The Drowned God

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While the Questing Knights are sending members of the Company out on quests, a woman comes into the Company's hall exclaiming that the Ukari have stolen her daughter from Drown Town. Don Dario leaps up and swears to aid her.

The Sluice-Woman's Story

"My lords! My lords! They have taken my daughter, and mean to sacrifice her to the drowned god!"

The Sluice-Woman - named Jayn - is sobbing, telling the heroes that her daughter Darla has been stolen from the Ukari. She takes them to the small Drown Town village where she dwells, many feet below the surface, and shows them her hovel: she is the sluice-woman, who controls a sewer-drain from the Imperial Palace kitchens and uses the refuse there to make stew which she barters to the people of her village. She says that a crowd of pale Ukari crept into her hovel and stole her daughter from her; she knew them by the whiteness of their face and their terrible scars, and says they worshipped a "Drowned God."

Others in the village tell the heroes how to find Vo Voshtok, where the local Ukari dwell, and they set off to find Vo Voshtok, navigating along an underground channel filled with Blind Pike as they do. Crossing a water-fall, some of the heroes nearly fall, but they make it at last to the territory of the Ukari.

Vo Voshtok

Vo Voshtok is over-run with the fungus the Ukari cultivate, a wild place of ruined hallways and winding tunnels. At last the heroes are surrounded by Ukari, who demand to know why they are there; after some tension, the leader of the Ukari - Goquan Zohor na Sudrik - arrives, and he and Don Dario have some harsh words. Zohor ultimately denies that they took the girl and directs the companions deeper into the Stygriat, where they say the cult of the Drowned God dwells.

The Great Fall; The Dweller in the Black

The Ukari directions are down a three-hundred-foot waterfall known as the Great Fall; Captain Ridek stumbles and falls as the heroes make their way down, rousing in the black pool at the bottom a terrible Dweller whose tentacles wrap around him and begin to drag him down. Fearful for their friend, the rest of the company leaps to the bottom of the falls; Don Alejandro's shield fails, wounding him sorely, but Don Dario, Father Domingo and Aurelia strike the beast like lightning and drive it back into its hole.

Recovering Ridek and Don Alejandro, the heroes pause to recover and then make for a small side-door the Ukari had told them about.

The Cult Complex

The door leads into what appears to be an ancient Second Republic facility that Captain Ridek is able to identify as a military research base from faded logos on the walls. After cutting through a few cultists, the heroes learn the location of the Drowned God itself and hurry there, hoping to rescue Darla from being sacrificed.

The Chamber of the Drowned God

The Drowned God itself is a giant golem - ten stories tall - submerged up to a catwalk at the level of its ears in dirty water. Several score of cultists wander around that catwalk level, and their priests are preparing to sacrifice Darla - it appears there is a door at the Drowned God's ear, and it repeats "ACCESS DENIED" each time the cultists touch it. They hope the girl's blood might open the Drowned God to them.

Battle ensues; the radiation leaking from the Drowned God has Changed the cultists, and some spit acid, have terrible screams or wield fiendish tentacles. Swordplay, gunfire and plasma grenades clear out the cultists, however, even as ferocious sword- and hammer-work by Don Dario, Aurelia, and Father Domingo rescue the girl. At last, the cultists on the run, the heroes approach the Drowned God itself and Captain Ridek is able to gain access.

"I am your god!"

Inside, the Drowned God is an advanced war machine: designed to be controlled by a single man, it is capable of flight even in the Void or in the depths of the sea and carries terrible weapons, including blasters and nano-factory produced missile batteries, all within the control of its pilot. Upon stepping into the pilot's field, Captain Ridek can only exclaim "I am your god!" - a testament, perhaps, to the rush of power such a device brings.

Debate occurs over what should be done with the device: Don Alejandro argues that it ought to go to the Hazat, to be deployed against the Kurgans, while Father Domingo claims it for the Church as forbidden technology. Don Dario is conflicted, but at last decides it will go to the Emperor, at which point Captain Ridek blasts an exit through the tube in the ceiling and sends it up through the ocean and into space, flooding the complex behind it.

Fealty

In orbit, some tense conversation with the Imperial Navy ensues, but Sir Chamon Mazarin ultimately negotiates with Don Dario. Mazarin wants the machine sent to a secret facility, but Don Dario instead orders Captain Ridek to land it at the Port Authority, where Admiral John Syngen-Wilkes - First Lord Admiral of the Imperial Fleet - is waiting. Captain Ridek has the Drowned God kneel in an expression of fealty to the Emperor, at which point the company disembarks and returns to the Imperial City - though they are sure to tip off Duke Jose about their plan, so that the Hazat can get some credit for the affair as well.

Aftermath

A return to Drown Town leads the heroes to fear that rising waters may wipe out some villages, and so they warn the people down there of the rise. This provokes rising panic, as the dwellers in the Stygriat arm and prepare to fight for higher ground. Concerned for their own safety, the companions flee, warning the Imperial Palace that the disturbance may boil out into the streets.

Dramatis Personae

  • Duke Jose Alfoso Louis Eduardo de Aragon -- The heroes' patron and relative, he is the Hazat ambassador and the most respected diplomat on Byzantium Secundus.
  • Sir Chamon Mazarin -- The Emperor's spymaster, a cunning dwarf.
  • Lord Admiral John Syngen-Wilkes -- First Lord Admiral of the Imperial Fleet.