Nvidia bought a map and a tale from Retro and she’s convinced that it shows the way to a hidden human city. Eldur, having acquired a taste for adventure, is willing to accompany her. They take a couple of weeks to get everything ready for their expedition, Eldur spends a bit of time with Yeesha and Nvidia hooks up with Leonid, a saddler who lives in Tavor.
With two mules each, provisions, tools and sacks to carry their loot home in they set out. They can spend the first night at a local farmer’s house where they have an interesting discussion about crop rotation – Eldur and the farmer patiently explain to Nvidia that the crops are rotated by the Elementarists once a year, from left to right, to make sure each side of the field gets enough sun. She’s suspicious, but farming is too weird for her anyway.
Their journey leads them up into the mountains north of Tavor, which is why they travel by mule and not by sand yacht. The air gets thin up here and it’s very quiet…until a stone drop right in front of Eldur. Looking up, they see an Ikarim disappear over the wall of the ravine they are riding through and before they can react, another stone is dropped by a second Ikarim. Eldur and Nvidia make a run for it, but the Ikarim are practically shooting fish in a barrel. So Eldur throws some stones back: he uses his powers to create a wave of soil and stones right where he thinks they will pop up next. When the dust settles, everything is silent save for some small pebbles falling to the ground.
They don’t wait around, but leave as quickly as possible and the Ikarim leave them alone. After two days, they reach a canyon that bars their way. The map doesn’t show anything helpful and they decide to follow the canyon for a while, taking a narrow path hugging the cliff. A couple of hours bring them to a bridge, but a single Ikarim stands in front of it, patiently waiting for them to come close. A quick look around shows them that there is a whole clan of them, perched on the rocks on both sides of the canyon.
The Ikarim demands a toll for using the bridge. Eldur offers some fudge Yeesha gave him and the Ikarim is intrigued, but he also wants Nvidia’s shotgun, for passage to and from wherever they are going. She offers her crossbow instead and he accepts. He asks where they are going and seems to know the place. The Ikarim have seen a few people go there. No-one ever came back.
With this cheerful advice, the Ikarim take off and Eldur is certain that he recognises the two stone throwers among them. They are smaller than the others, so he assumes that they are children. Nvidia crosses the bridge with the mules who are willing enough save for one, who can be persuaded with some dried fruit. Eldur is more of a problem, he’s afraid of heights and it’s a long way to the bottom of the canyon indeed. He holds on to the bridge for dear life and crosses slowly while Nvidia shouts good advice and laughs her head off. When Eldur arrives on the other side, he punches her and then drops down himself, holding on to the ground until his heart has stopped racing.
They spend the next day in silence, no-one wants to apologise first. They make a few worldless apologies: Eldur uses his power to keep Nvidia warm during the night and cooks breakfast and Nvidia goes hunting for both of them. But it takes a while until they talk to each other again. It helps that they have finally arrived at their destination, marked by a cat-shaped rock in the side of the mountain. With a bit of searching, Nvidia discovers the entrance where obviously someone cleared away some rubble in front of one wing of the door.
It’s too late to go in now and next morning, they move their camp closer to the doors. A push opens the door and they enter, leaving the door cracked open behind them. They walk down a tunnel made from this grey material the Humans sure did love. Eventually, they arrive at another set of doors and come into a second tunnel with doors on both sides. They investigate the first one and discover a room full of panels, with lots of buttons, levers and lights that are now of course dark. The copper from the cables alone here is worth the whole trip! It’s obvious that there has been a fire here that destroyed some of the panels and they find a big red button that says ‘Emergency…’ something. It has been pushed.
They investigate further and come into an enormous room. It’s so high and large that their lamps cannot fully illuminate it and so Eldur casts a spell that creates a ball of light. Now they can see that the room actually contains very little apart from some cranes mounted under the ceiling and a huge basin. The basin actually holds some water, maybe it leaked in through the cracked ceiling. The water has a fascinating, blueish glow, but all thought of maybe swimming in it are crushed by the fact that there are bodies in it, sunk to the bottom. Nvidia recognises a sign that is attached to the railing around the basin, it shows a weird shape that means danger. So whatever they have found, it’s not such a safe place.
OOC session discussion is here