Clockwork Invasion: A Steampunk Adventure in the World of Dannae

05/21/2011 & 06/11/2011 "Bastion City Bath Time"

Brigadier Urdnot Hays
Counter Terrorist Operations Report
60th Snowmelt, 138th year after Rift opening

This morning my official reception of Alpha Company was interrupted by a violent shuddering of the city followed by the cessation of water flow. Only minutes later was I informed of a Halfling uprising within the water management department in the Granite District. Acting on the best interests of Bastion City, I dispatched Alpha Company via service shaft to the access corridor to the rear of Main Water Control. From there this specialist unit lead an assault on the water management offices.

Initially Alpha Company swept groups of large rats and small swarms from their path. Past these pestilent creatures the unit was forced to progress through a steamvent shaft to reach the next section of accessway. Once there they encountered a large reptile, one of our sewer crocodiles, as well as a small contingent of Halfling rebels. After a short engagement Darius lead his unit in a raid on the Water Management Offices dislodging the rebels entrenched within and rescuing a dwarven water worker.

Following their return I delivered to them their next orders from command, to seek out a master of Old Religion lore among The Collective and question him regarding strange symbols found both in the Waterworks and a bunker complex previously cleared by Alpha Company.

05/08/2011 "Grinding Gears" Pt.4

Douglas Howser
Personal Journal Entry #39
58th Snowmelt, 138th year after Rift Opening

I was ever glad to see the gates of Hightower again after leaving the old Methren weapons research depot (as that is what the bunker complex turned out to be_). After we found Heinrich in a storeroom that had been converted to a prison cell we made our way out of the main bunker to recover his lost journals. Before we made it out of the lower levels, however, we were intercepted by a group of Lizardfolk (_damn scales).

Shepard emerged from the narrow hallway leading out of the lower levels to be ambushed with four shotgun blasts and two uprooted juvenile trees, most hit. He just barely survived the onslaught and thanks in part to our quick responses and the complex’s defense system coming back online we were able to bring the savages down. Cassi ended one of the large, tree swinging scales with her eldritch powers. Morg finished the other bruiser as well as several of the green ones with the shotguns. Brandis dispatched a greenscale and after much healing effort was spent on Shepard, (and not Brandis for once), by myself and Heinrich, Shepard also defeated one of the reptiles.

Once out of that bunker we searched the other two smaller bunker that we had not earlier. In the first we found some weapon schematics. One, a “drum magazine rifle,” seemed promising for quick mass-production (once we can get inside The Foundry to see the Weaponers). The second was a very powerful seeming weapon called a “multi-integral-neutralized-inertia gun” or mini gun for short.

Inside the second bunker we came across a strange glass cylinder filled with a semi-translucent, blue fluid that contained a humanoid figure within. We chose to open the tube to see who was inside. That was a bad idea; we ended up releasing a biologically and mechanically engineered weapon that we later found out was called a Wererat Engineered Soldier, or W.E.S. for short (so many acronyms). It was a tough battle, the sucker had enhanced regeneration and mechanical implants to augment its abilities, but we were able to beat it. Darius even struck the killing blow so hard that he tore half the creature’s torso away from its body ( and he had hit it in the arm).

Now that we have returned Heinrich to the Artificers and ‘A Company’ has been rewarded they have been asked by Heinrich to check up on a firend of his in Bastion City. Some wizard named Ferugahl. I however, have received orders that I am to be transferred to Bravo Company in the 3rd Battalion. I will make my goodbyes when they board their airship in the morning.

04/02/2011 "Grinding Gears" Pt.3

Douglas Howser
Personal Journal Entry # 38
55th Snowmelt, 138th year after Rift Opening

After that atrocious fight we pressed further into the ‘bunker.’ At this point the floors and walls changed from the concrete and metal construction of the bunker above to worked stone and mortar. Fawkes noticed some symbols that revealed this to be part of a temple from one of the old religions though he didn’t know which one. When we exited the room now piled with fresh corpses we were faced with a choice of left or right, either way down a stone hallway that hooked again at the end.

Brandis scouted each hallway, both ended in a door with the one on the left being locked and the right was not. We chose to take the unlocked door first and found ourselves in a storage room full of crates, barrels and boxes all marked with “DANGER: Explosive”. Morg was in the lead and as soon as he stepped in the door a spear came flying at him from out of nowhere. The spear struck him in the chest and snapped on his armor plating, the head of the spear lodged itself in the door frame. We were able to move forward a bit more without incident but as soon as Brandis rounded the corner of a stack of boxes he was greeted by a blast from a shotgun that just narrowly missed.

Standing in a corner of this maze of crates was another Greenscale carrying both a long-barrel shotgun and a sawed-off. Fawkes decided to go up and over the nearest box wall between him and the Greenscale and was rewarded with a blast from the sawed-off in the chest. Orsi blasted the lizard with a burst of cold and Brandis finished it off.

Once the lizard was dealt with we searched the area, Fawkes took some of the explosives from the crates and Morg and Brandis found a chest just behind the dead lizard. We moved the chest into the antechamber where we fought the Clockwork Guardian and Brandis searched the chest for traps and then unlocked it. Morg insisted he be the one to open the chest and it was a good thing he did because as soon as he cracked the lid the poison dart trap Brandis had failed to detect fired. The dart managed to slip through his armor plating but the poison was so old it had no effect. Within the chest was a Visor of the Ages, 50 silver pistol rounds, and two bars of Carbon Steel.

All that was left to us now was the left hallway and locked door. Brandis checked the door twice for traps and unlocked it then Morg kicked the door open and stepped in to take a bullet in the chest from the Jailor’s pistol. Morg, enraged by the sudden attack, charged the Jailor striking him hard with his clockwork-leg greatclub. As the rest of us began to enter the jail area Cassi entered first and was struck by the jailor’s halberd and knocked to the floor. Brandis made some weird, pinching gesture with his hand and the Jailor seemed to be hurt by it but then Morg just crushed him under his club.

There were four cells in the area each with a single individual within, three of them appeared to be disheveled old men. Morg began unlocking cells starting with the old men and once he had opened the third cell we heard sickening cracking and popping sounds followed by shrill, high-pitched hissing. The trio of old men turned out to be a trio of wererats and they were now attacking us. Brandis, Cassi, and Fawkes were each bitten and seem to have contracted a disease from it. Morg broke one of the wererats under his club and Fawkes to another’s head off with his shotgun. Cassi killed the third with a spell that seemed to steal the wererat’s life energy and give it to her. The fourth cell held a man in a drug induced catatonic state. Orsi flushed the drugs from his system and then flipped out and started slapping the poor guy even after he came around. That continued for about a minute until a metal fist slammed into Orsi’s gut knocking the wind out of him. The man introduced himself as Heinrich Mineshadow, after a little suspicion of us (Orsi had not helped there), and when we explained the situation he agreed to come with us after we retrieve the rest of his journals from the complex.

03/19/2011 "Grinding Gears" Pt.2

Douglas Howser
Personal Journal Entry # 37
53rd Snowmelt, 138th year after Rift Opening

I am accompanying ‘A Company’ again, this time we are “off duty.” Our objective is to make good on a promise Major Shepard made to some artificer broad in Hightower. Her nephew is lost or something and we are going to find him and babysit him home.

Things started out easy enough, a couple days ‘stroll’ through the woods but then we came across this old, pre-war bunker complex. It must have been from one of the Old-Nations and it was pretty solid looking for an obvious civilian construction. Morg approached the nearest bunker and put his luck to the test punching random codes into the pass-lock. It had square metal buttons and a set of gear-reels with letters and numbers running the edge of the gears. As Morg punched in codes the reels spun to align into phrases like “I N C O M P L E T E – C O D E.” Eventually he entered the correct passcode, he said it was ‘IC3C R34M.’

The heavy door to the bunker opened and when we entered we found ourselves in a hallway with three rooms off of it. Looking around we found some scrap and the journal of one Heinrich Mineshadow. The damn thing was written in Draconic and no one in the unit knows how to speak it. We seemed at a loss for a bit until Fawkes used his hand of fate ritual to figure this out. The first two questions were utter failures but on our third and final Fawkes asked “Where do we go next?” and surprisingly the hand pointed in a clear direction. The room across the hall.

In the next room we found a scroll of comprehend languages in a filing cabinet, it had some old (very old) Church insignia on it. After using the scroll Fawkes could understand the journal, most of it was useless, but the last entry said that Heinrich was moving to another bunker and that the passcode for it was C|_|P C4K35. Shepard searched the last room, finding a terminal in it but when he tried to access it there was a charging sound and he barely leaped out of the way before the terminal exploded. (What a putz…)

Dire rat
Image by: Warren Mahy care:WotC MM4E

We found the correct bunker but when we entered the passcode the door opened only and inch or two, Morg and the Major had to force it open. When we got inside we found a few giant rats which Fawkes balsted out of our way with a single gesture. On exploring this bunker we found a room that looked like an old break-room, it even had an old couch in it though it was obviously a rats’ nest. Morg went to search the couch for change in the cushions or something and a dire rat leaped out at him. Luckily it was caught in one of the couch springs and could not get out of the couch. We dealt with it pretty quickly and Morg did actually find some old coins in the cushions, looks like they are from one of the Old-Nations.

Across the foyer from the break-room we found another room with some old terminals. (we weren’t sure we should let Shepard at these) Morg accessed the first terminal and pulled up the blueprints for the bunker complex, the first bunker and the two we hadn’t visited appeared to be storage facilities this one being the main structure. The Major successfully accessed the second terminal finding some research data and a catalog of the experiments in the scientific complex that this turned out to be. Brandis used the third terminal and found a few options, the most interesting being “Turret Controls.” We cleared the targeting parameters, heard some turret fire, and then reset the parameters to include only ourselves as friendly targets.

We then proceeded through the last door, down a flight of stairs, and through another door to find ourselves in a room with four fresh corpses, a pair of broken turrets, and three very angry looking enemies. A Clockwork Guardian, another of those Greenscales with a sawed-off, and a mean looking hobgoblin with a staff. The Greenscale shot Brandis with his sawed-off, then the Guardian shield-smashed him to the floor. Morg and Shepard tag teamed the Guardian, Morg delivered a hell of a blow with his greatclub-fashioned-from-a-clockwork’s-leg. The hobgoblin turned a dial on his staff and the end crackled with blue light that he jabbed into Brandis’ chest, stopping his heart right there on the bunker floor. I rushed over and got him up and alive again and warned him about the health perils of crackling, blue light and unprotected exposure. Cassi sent a surge of eldritch energy slamming into the Guardian ceasing its functions.

Shepard and Morg began closing in on the hobgoblin, which he did not like, and the hobgoblin responded by leveling the lot of us, except Cassi who was out of range, with a pulse of force that slammed most of us against the back wall and knocked Brandis out… again. The Greenscale was nearly taken out at this point and had been all but useless since its first attack on Brandis. The hobgoblin got off one last attack on the Major, a blast of targeted force energy that knocked him unconscious and threw him back along the floor into a heap along the back wall. We jostled around a bit more, Cassi laid a devastating hit on the hobgoblin and drained the last of his life-force away.

03/05/2011 "Grinding Gears" Pt.1

Convoy Captain Driggle Woolsworth
Escort Performance Review
47th Snowmelt, 138th year after Rift Opening

My convoy was deployed to transport a supply of weapons to The Foundry for bolstering defenses against the current clockwork siege (We should have flown them in but the damned Wayfarers’ Guild wouldn’t do it because it would be crossing current “enemy lines”). ‘A Company’ was assigned escort detail to protect the walkers. We had a wonderfully quiet journey up until we entered Anvil Pass.

image by: Steve Prescott care: Wizards of the Coast MM 4E

As we neared a bottleneck in the canyon we ran into a small mine field and were ambushed by a deployment of Coglings and Greenscale conscripts armed with sawed-off shotguns and poisonous darts. The enemy leaped down upon us from the cliffs above. With Greenscale ahead and behind and the Coglings all jumbled up in our line we were brought to a halt until a path could be cleared.

Major Shepard and Morg had been leading our ranks with Brandis and Reverend Fawkes to the middle and Cassi and Orsi Rumblegut to the rear. The Greenscales up front attacked first, firing not only upon Major Shepard but also on their own Imperium allies! Shepard was hit with the blast as were two of the Coglings which directly began to cease functions. To my horror I saw both Coglings strike at Shepard before falling inert to the canyon floor. (I don’t mind saying that this gnome has never been in such a hairy situation!) My rear guard has informed me that the Greenscale at our flanks were next to engage, firing on poor Miss Cassi and our rear walker with their shotguns.

Our escorts were quick to return the greeting, Darius engaged the Greenscales up front in a shotgun battle with Morg’s support. Young Brandis and the Reverend made quick work of the Coglings to our middle, suffering more final reprisals as they did so. (One of the cursed things ran straight for us and blew itself up!) Poor Miss Cassi was hit with poison darts and before all was done Brandis, Orsi and even good Reverend Fawkes joined her in the malady. Orsi deployed a mechanical gorilla I’m told he calls “Rosie” to come to Cassi’s aid against her reptilian assailants; unfortunately, the construct suffered several strong hits and was shortly taken out of the fray.

The good reverend summoned one of those Church tech Angels and proceeded to show the lizards to the back what a former Legionnaire can do. Just as the Major and Morg cleared a path up front Miss Cassi succumbed to the poisons and fell unconscious on the canyon floor behind us. Brave Orsi ran back to aid her and bring her back to the convoy as we made our way on to The Foundry.

My summary evaluation of ‘A Company’s performance as our convoy escorts should read as exemplary as should be expected of a unit of their standing.

03/04/2011 exploring Hightower

Douglas Howser
Personal Journal Entry # 34
44th Snowmelt, 138th year after Rift Opening

By the machine, Hightower is an enormous place. We took some time to ease down from our mission after our debrief with the High Artificer and poked around the city a bit.

Darius and Morg took off to some place called “The Grease Pit.” I hear its a coffee shop for the academy students. (I never pegged the Major for a java-lounge kinda guy, seems we have more in common than I thought…). Apparently he had a conversation with that Harden Riggs guy, turns out he’s an Enlightened Engineer! I’ll have to watch out for him from now on, those secret police guys are a bit too arm-bands and jackboots for me if you catch my drift.

Brandis, Cassi, and Fawkes discovered this awesome tavern in the Architectural district called “The Wrecking Ball.” Its three floors and huge inside, and best of all the second floor has an arcade! They are all mechanical games and novelties just there to see and tryout. Fawkes said he overheard some Gnomes talking about the Coal Mines and how the Imperium have them blockaded inside. Apparently it’s worth some money to the leadership if someone can arrange to get their coal reserves out past the clockwork.

I found out from the Major that Morg had some academy chick take an interest in his ‘anatomy’; supposedly she’s studying Warforged construction,yeah right. Morg agreed to help her with her studies though, sounds like he’s on the right track.

I heard some artificers talking about two Warforged from the USCA walking around the Garage District asking about getting into the experimental wing later that day. That must have been Morg and Shepard, the Major does kinda look like a ‘Canner’ if his armor is completely sealed up. I understand they managed to get in by sweet talking a local store owner, a Miss Marissa Mineshadow. The rumors are she’s sweet on one of them, but I also hear she just likes to find new toys to play with. I asked the Major about it but he wouldn’t say much, just that we have some favor to do for her. They wouldn’t tell me anything about the experimental wing either.

I spent most of my time in the Artificer Library in the Schemata District. On my way out I ran into Morg and Cassi, apparently they came to check out The Owner’s Manual alchemy shop and weren’t too impressed. We left to find the others at The Wrecking Ball and the Major opened our next marching orders from command.We were to rendezvous with a mobile field HQ unit and recieve our new dispatch.

So here we are now, prepping for a convoy escort to The Foundry and riding in style on the mobile HQ’s new gen six-legged walkers. Tomorrow we meet up with our convoy and the HQ unit goes its separate way.

03/04/2011 "Fighting Against the Clock" Pt.3

Reginald Heffenfeffer
Artificers’ Guild: Field Operation Witness’ Report
43rd Snowmelt, 138th year after Rift Opening

I accompanied ‘A Company’ to the Imperium camp in a ravine west of Hightower. We arrived sometime around midnight near the southeast edge of the encampment. Their shady fellow, Brandis and Major Shepard set out to infiltrate the collection of tents to locate, identify, and disable a pair of metal towers that turned out to be short-wave broadcast antennae. Shepard became preoccupied with providing distractions to allow Brandis some breathing room to complete his task.

While the two of them were off crawling around in the dark, the rest of ‘A Company’ prepared themselves to support their comrades in the event they were discovered.

Brandis successfully located and disabled the antennae (though I did see some small arcs of current pass between the towers which would indicate he was trying to do something fancy. Fortunately he apparently did not succeed.) and collected a coded message from the Imperium which had been decoded into supernal and now needs further translation. . Brandis then made his way back to Shepard and the two of them slipped inside the armory tent to complete their second objective; disabling the advanced Imperium weapons to be used in the assault on Hightower for later pick-up. Once finished, the two sneaked back to join the rest of us and we departed to return to Hightower and report our success.

02/26/2011 "Fighting Against the Clock" Pt.2

[*I am a few days behind in getting this up.]

Douglas Howser
Personal Journal Entry #28
40th Snowmelt, 138th year after Rift Opening

I arrived in Hightower with ‘A Company’ this morning. We were met at the gate by the Captain of the Hightower City State Militia, a Warforged whom I later found out is called “Old Sprocket.” Major Shepherd and Brandis seemed to have some issue with his authority when he questioned us about our documents for the High Artificer. Brandis was thrown out of the Wayfarers’ Guild, supposedly for some misconduct, and he may just have some problem with authority but it is strange to see an army officer suspect a militia captain. Either way Major shepherd did show him the documents and we were allowed in and directed to the Guild District.

When we arrived in the Guild District we were met yet again but this time by a young man who introduced himself as Harden Riggs. He seemed nice enough and offered to escort us in to the High Artificer’s office. Inside we met High Artificer Archibald himself and after a brief conversation were directed to meet an engineer by the name of Heffenfeffer who would accompany us on our next mission to sabotage the staging camp for the clockwork attack on Hightower.

02/25/2011 "Fighting Against the Clock" Pt.1

Medic First Class, Douglas Howser
Field Service Report
35th Snowmelt, 138th year after Rift Opening

I was assigned temporary medic duties to ‘A Company’, 4th Battalion, Special Operations Unit during a field engagement against Imperium forces in the Southern Blasted Lands region. After an extended shelling barrage the USCA forces under Colonel Cragedin Samulken took the field against the clockwork menace. ‘A Company’, composed of Brandis Usar, Rev. Warren Fawkes, Morg the Warforged and Dreger Don Omen, was deployed to the second defensive trench line and we found ourselves across the entrenchment from a large detachment of clockwork forces.

Steampunk inspiration 7

Fawkes opened up on the enemy first. With a wave of his hand he sent three arcs of radiant energy across the trench to strike at a trio of Clockwork Foot Soldiers sending each into convulsions and shaking them to pieces. Brandis suddenly bolted forward from the line making an all-out run for the trench. I believe it was his goal to leap the gap and begin his assault on the enemies there but at the last second the toe of his boot snagged on a stray coil of barbed wire and he was whipped down into the trench out of sight.

Morg made a more coherent and pragmatic attempt to cross the trench by dropping down within and then climbing out the other side. Meanwhile Dreger was off to the side being wizardly in his strange horned, red skinned sort of way (he’s a bit creepy), I could not see if he was making any meaningful contribution to the effort. (I have heard that Don Omen has been passed up for several commendations, rumors are he is suspected of being a spy).

We continued to carve out way through the clockwork, the only real threat being about a score of Clockwork Scouts firing upon us from range with .22 pistols. I found myself ambushed by a little more than a half-score of Foot Soldiers while I was taking cover from the pistol barrage. Fortunately my defensive prowess was such that only one or two even managed to scratch me. It was then that that dubious Dreger dropped a blast of fire right on top of me, (I am sure he was trying to eliminate me). Fortunately his attack failed to take me in but did eliminate a few of the clockwork about me.

The rest of the battle continued well in hand until the last few clockwork activated their self-destruct functions in an attempt to take us with them.

Colonel Cragedin Samulken
Unit Review Report
36th Snowmelt, 138th year after Rift Opening

‘A Company’ was dispatched to a small wilderness area approximately ten kliks west of the temporary command post established after the previous day’s engagement. Their assigned objective was the location and assault of a bunker network under clockwork control. Rev. Fawkes successfully lead the unit to the camouflaged entrance where they encountered a small pack of wolves aggressed the unit members.

Iron defender
image by: Ron Lemen(?) care: WotC MM 4E

Brandis scouted the entrance to the bunker complex and after a short exploration they were engaged by a handful of hobgoblins and a pair of Iron Defenders. Morg made short work of the hobgoblins and Dreger and Brandis removed the Iron Defenders. (Dreger reduced the Iron Defenders to molten slag. His lack of tactical restraint is unfortunate, a pair of refurbished Iron Defenders would have been a valuable asset for the battalion).

Brandis once again scouted the next bunker in the network and enabled a quick and brutal assault on the quartet of hobgoblins by Morg. As the rest of the unit joined the combat the remaining hobgoblins fell back behind cover down the narrow hallway. Brandis lead the press down the hall only to find himself opened up upon by a pair of twin light machine-guns.

Once past the machine-gun hall, ‘A Company’ came upon a large locked door. Morg attempted to breach the door and met with some success; however, the bar backing the door would not budge. The door then opened from the other side and a Clockwork Captain invited the unit into his office. . Major Darius Shepherd, who had just rejoined his unit, cut the Imperium force’s commander off with a unprompted blast from his shotgun. The blast successfully depleted the Captain’s magnetic barrier shield and, while doing no damage, cleared the way for a quick and decisive battle.

Morg rushed and destroyed an automated turret, narrowly avoiding evisceration by a spear trap, while Darius and Fawkes engaged the Captain directly. Brandis charged across the room, leaping over the Captain’s desk and flipping mid-air to land behind the clockwork and also landed a potent strike upon him. Fawkes connected with his signature radiant energy blasts on the Captain and a second turret and Cassi escaped the energy cell in time to let out an eldritch blast on the Captain.

When all was said and done ‘A Company’ discovered a clockwork machination to attack Hightower in a surprise raid. (Brandis also came back with a fancy new set of footwear. They appeared to be Acrobat’s Boots, I shall have to question him as to from whence they came). I sent the unit on towards Hightower to alert Archibald about the impeding attack.


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