Iron Gods

The Ghost of Robots Past

The party continued their expedition into the tunnels beneath Kevoth-Kul's palace. After passing through the chambers once occupied by the leukodaemons, the party found themselves in a large cavern dominated by a pit shaped like an inverse ziggurat with a sacrificial platform extending out over the middle. All around it were the scattered remains of old robots. Rob and Elron were the first to explore the chamber. Elron picked up Rob and flew them both to the center of the platform using the wings Elron's draconic heritage had given him. As they looked around the room, Ghartok and Shecks approached on foot. Suddenly, strange events began to occur. One of the dead robots shifted on the ground, and Rob was taken by the sight of a golden robot in the shadows. He ran off to take it down, shouting for his companions to follow him. The rest of the party held back for a moment and heard the sounds of Rob's knives slicing through metal. Elron flew after him with Shecks, while Ghartok stood on the platform with his gun at the ready. As soon as Elron and Shecks got close to Rob, the ghost of a woman in what looked like druidic garb emerged from the floor and possessed Rob. She had already dominated his mind and compelled him to slash at a robot on the floor, but now she could more easily direct him to attack his companions. Rob raised his knives against his will and the fight was on.

Ghartok opened the fight by attempting to harmlessly stun Rob with a carefully placed laser shot. Unfortunately, Rob was using a force field and Ghartok was holding back, so the laser bounced harmlessly off Rob's forehead. Shrugging off the headshot, Rob put his knives to work against Elron. Shecks attempted to contest the ghost's control by targeting Rob with a Dominate spell of his own, but Rob managed to resist that one. Battered by Rob's sneak attacking, Elron swung his mighty axe and knocked Rob's knives out of his hands. Ghartok was having difficulty getting a bead on the fight, so the gnoll backed up to the edge of the platform, dropped to all fours, charged forward, and cleared the distance with a 42 foot leap. The ghost abandoned Rob at this point, but her mind control stayed behind. Rob stepped away from Elron, drew a bow, and got an arrow into Shecks before Elron was able to grab him. As Elron subdued and tied up Rob, one of the seemingly dead robots lurched out of the shadows. It landed a single massive punch on Shecks before Ghartok blew it apart with laser fire. The robot collapsed, revealing the ghost inside. Annoyed at the loss of her puppet, the ghost circled around the party and telekinetically shoved everyone but Ghartok into the central pit. For his part, Ghartok only manged to get a few shots into the ghost before also falling under her spell.

In the pit, Shecks broke the enchantment on Rob and magically confirmed that it worked just before Ghartok barked in Gnollish that the fight was over and it was safe to return. Elron wondered if that was true, but then Shecks confirmed that it was. A more perceptive group might have noticed that Shecks communicated this without a single hurtful remark, a clear sign that he wasn't himself. Elron carried Rob back up to the top of the pit, refusing to untie him out of suspicion.

When the party climbed out, Ghartok began shooting at Rob and Elron while Shecks cast spells against them. The ghost joined the fight while inhabiting a new robot body. Elron only had to fight alone for a few moments before Rob escaped his bonds with the magical Unfettered Shirt Shecks had made for him and every other party member. After escaping, Rob darted over to where he had been disarmed and picked up one of his knives. Unfortunately, Ghartok had taken the other just before being dominated, intending to return it later.

As Shecks mocked everyone, Elron tried to grab Ghartok as he had Rob. However, Ghartok used his own Unfettered Shirt and gained temporary immunity to the tactic. Ghartok squirmed away and prepared to gun down Elron. At the last moment, Elron was able to dodge in and slap Ghartok's laser pistol out of his hand at the cost of taking of a reflexive bite from the gnoll. Ghartok responded by stepping back and drawing his double-barreled pistol. Again, Elron disarmed him and was bitten in return. Since Ghartok could potentially kill both Rob and Elron if allowed to fire, Elron was forced to spend nearly the entire rest of the battle accumulating bites and repeatedly taking away Ghartok's many backup guns.

Meanwhile, Rob's adamantine knife finally took down the robot and exposed the ghost again. She had expended her mind control abilities for the day, forcing her to rely on her relatively weak melee attacks. Rob rolled around her and did the seemingly impossible. With the help of his Ghost Touch knife, Rob was able to sneak attack a ghost into submission. Finally, Rob turned around and finished off the ghost with a blast of firebreath.

Ghartok and Shecks promptly stopped fighting, since their orders were to defend the ghost and there was no longer a ghost to protect.

After dealing with the remaining mind control and healing their wounds, the party searched the entire chamber carefully until they found a secret door. This lead them into a tunnel that finally opened up into the secret back door of the Technic League compound. The party was grateful to finally reach their destination, as the grueling palace catacombs felt like they had taken months to escape.



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