FoE: The Flooded Passage

The three glyphs that the party finds after defeating the Necromancer prove to fit depressions in a rock wall in a narrow cleft canyon at the far edge of the Mud Flats; clearing the cliff face reveals a wide sheet of dull stone embedded in the rough cliff, untouched save for the mineral accumulation from years of sea-spray. Slotting the glyphs into place causes the ground to tremble underfoot, with the nearby pool draining to reveal a passage into unrelenting darkness.

Exploration of these passages reveals numerous dangerous creatures – more of the Drowned Dead, these so soaked as to have an additional Aspect of Too Wet To Burn, as well as crablike creatures that spit gravel with Shoot (+2), Stealth (+1), two stress boxes, and Living Rocks as an Aspect, and horrible squid-like monsters with a vaguely human aspect that hurl seem highly agitated by the draining of their home. These last have Virtue (+2), Fight (+1), Notice (+1), two stress boxes, and Swarm Predator and Shaken Dry as Aspects.

The passages themselves are long, Dark, Cold, and Dripping Wet. As such, much of this section is more of an investigation interspersed with bursts of struggle as the players try to find their way from the Lower Passages to the Upper Passages – with a detour to the Flooded Depths along the way, as the massive Old Crab comes scuttling up to attack before retreating back into the dim glow of the luminescent-slime-strung Flooded Depths.

The Old Crab is a monstrously large example of the gravel-spraying crablike creatures. With Shoot (+3), Notice (+2), Physique (+2), Provoke (+1), Will (+1), three stress boxes, a mild consequence, As Hard As Bedrock, Born From The Dark And Damp, and a Stunt that permits it to spend a Fate point for a Physique roll against a Difficulty of (+4), with success spawning a smaller crab-creature with only one stress box but otherwise identical to the others in the caves, with an additional spawn for each shift of success. When first encountered, it should be in the Lower Passages, attacking what looks like an unfamiliar but easy meal. Obviously leaving a threat like that on the loose where it can crawl out isn’t in the cards, so the second encounter in the Flooded Depths is to the death. (Players who shrug and let it go can be asked to go off it after it attacks the Fort during the dark a few days later.)

The Upper Passages are drier than the Lower, but still full of the same nasty creatures; up here, though, Investigation checks can find etchings under the mineral accumulation on the walls, revealing this to be a passage created by the lost Empire; it was designed to be flooded to keep any invaders out while Gemling warriors could be called up from the reserves or sent straight to the Mud Flats wayshrine. It seems that the system still works, but whatever threat caused them to flood it the last time didn’t leave anyone to come drain it again.

The Upper Passages open out on a winding cliffside path – to be detailed the next time, along with the segments after as the exiles continue to look for a better way to survive than huddling in the decrepit ruins of a fort.

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FoE: The Flooded Passage

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