chaos awakening act 2
session 11: mesmer 7
The crisis on Aemos averted, the party takes Waya and decides to do some housekeeping before leaving the compound. Remembering that the land cruiser is nearly destroyed in the wing pack, Krazo thinks it might be a good idea to take some equipment while the base is abandoned so they can sell it for repairs. Cobalt agrees, and has the foresight to turn the power off to the facility after unlocking the armories. The two of them then proceed to stuff the vehicle with weaponry before stuffing it back in the wing pack, and take a bit more on their person.
Miliardo and Vandor go up to the security rooms to loot imaging equipment for Vandor's helmet, and are successful in finding infrared and UV scopes; Cobalt and Krazo join them shortly.
Then Vandor decides it's time to reveal the purpose of his business on Aemos. He mentions the data disk he hid in the vehicle, and recovers it from the engine bay. It looks a bit banged up but the contacts are fine. Remembering that there was a terminal in the command room where he could read the disk, Vandor leads everyone up to the command center and plugs in the disk.
The disk contains a dossier and a bunch of encrypted data. The dossier summarizes the project that the base was incubating: the Awakening is a scheme to enhance the Scions' spiritual and psychic abilities over multiple lifetimes, and the base was participating in an experiment to artificially replicate and accelerate the process. This led to some of the soldiers going insane. At the end of the dossier file is an outline of the main data ina tree format, encrypted.
Horrified, Vandor descends to the works and throws his armor in the magma pool by the pump. Miliardo follows down with Krazo and Cobalt, and creates a set of broaches from his stash of ball bearings in the shape of the tree outline at the end of the dossier.
Everyone leaves, drops off the cruiser full of weapons at the mechanic shop (the mechanic looks at them funny but is convinced to let it go since Cobalt says it was spoils from bounty hunting for the government), and gets a room for the night.
The next day, with the vehicle repaired, a profit reaped, and a Waya recovered, she splits to the forest. Cobalt gets a message from her oldest brother — their youngest brother has been MIA for a few days. Cobalt messages back that they should meet, and that they're on their way to Mesmer 7. He responds he can be there in less than 2 days.
They go through the rift, and emerge on Mesmer 7. It is a stark moon with craggy features, and clear lime green sky. Visible above the horizon is the planet Mesmer, which is a melange of dark green and creamy grey. In the gorges between the crags are lush forests on the rivers.
Vandor scans with his infrared scope and spies lots of activity in the trees and on the cliffs of the gorge, presumably the monks. As the party walks down into the gorge on the paths, they run into two monks, who bow to them and ask what brings them. The party presents the slab they found on Zant, and the monks, not knowing specifics, decide to introduce them to the abbess.
On the way to the temple, everyone catches sight of strange movement and realizes they are tarantula-like animals (longer bodies and stouter legs than tarantulas, but otherwise similar). Coming to the temple facade, it is a beautiful building made of stone and wood, embedded in the cliffside. The party is led inside, through the entryway, and down a hall. The part is briefly told to wait outside while one monk went inside a side room, the monk soon returns, and the two of them take leave and tell the party to enter.
The abbess introduces herself as Aida, and asks what the party's business at the temple. Vandor holds up the slab, and Aida looks to her side, behind the table, and a tarantula crawls up Vandor's arm and grabs the slab before he can respond.
Aida recognizes the script on the tablet, and says that she will do some research in the library and meet everyone back in the temple at dinnertime.
Cobalt and Krazo ask around and find out there are hot springs an hours' hike or so away, and decide to go for it. Vandor and Miliardo, curious about the monks' culture here, stick around and are invited to tea.
At the springs, there are two monks already there and they welcome Krazo and Cobalt to the water. Cobalt takes the time to release her tension, thinking of her brother, and Krazo asks about this moon and how the monestary ended up here.
The local monestary is mostly made from immigrants from Enceladon, an ocean world. With changing waters from industrialization and galactic market prices, many Enceladonians were eager for a fresh start, and founded this monestary for a more sustainable lifestyle. Most of the monestaries on Mesmer 7 were formed in the same fashion from various diasporas.
At the tea ceremony, Miliardo and Vandor learn that the spiders are called Tarantula Moles, and that in addition to being very social creatures, they are also great gardeners and produce a medicinal pseudotoxin. They also like tea, and produce small amounts of the toxin on their backs as gifts when offered some.
At dinner, Aida reveals that the tablet is written by a previous Scion (one of the four's past lives). It describes the process of storing consciousness in a Core and using it to accumulate experience over lifetimes. This is the methodology for the Scions' reincarnation.
Aida suggests that while the darkness the party observed on Aemos may not be directly related, the accumulation of energy in this way would not be without side effect; and that there is an order that the Mesmer 7 monks are in touch with known as The Key which hunts down anomalous and threatening forces in the universe.
The Scions entrust the tablet to Aida to take care of, Vandor mentioning it may be dangerous for them to keep it. Aida motions to Mesmer on the horizon out the window, saying their secret archives are not here, but there, on that harsh and irradiated planet and secured in deep impenetrable vaults.
With a day or so before Cobalt's brother can arrive, the party stays on Mesmer 7 for the night, digesting this new information and contemplating their next moves.