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Chapter 14. Epilogue

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Alas, the journey is over. But what a ride!

So, in the final episode of this admittedly ridiculous prehistoric science fantasy romp, the adventurers accomplished what exactly? Set the timeline aright? Nope. Saved the world from destruction? Not really. So, what then? Hmm, well…

Last time, having traveled back in time to just before the great cataclysm, the adventurers found a way to sequester the carbon in the atmosphere into a giant ball of ash that was directed into the ocean. As it struck, there was a blinding flash of light.

What happened next? They awoke with a ringing in their ears back in what was apparently their own time and in the Sink, except that much was changed. First of all, all of them had switched races: Hominids were now Saurians, and Saurians Hominids. Their pteradactyls had also become burrowing moles. Moreover, the world was still dominated by terrifying beasts, but instead of cyborg megafauna, it was hordes and hordes of furry robot death-puppies. When they discovered this, they promptly gathered whoever was present of their tribe and leapt through a portal to the Zone.

In the Zone, they found that the time-craft was now a giant pyramid presided over by a pharaoh named Elizabeth Jones, Queen of Gary. Her royal consort was the ever-eyepatched anti-hero Snake. A long line of spider-plant people were presenting the royal couple with sacrifices, which were cast into a flickering portal at the base of the pyramid. The adventurers likewise offered up a sacrifice: the elder Scraeeaczck. For some reason, they also attempted to pee on the portal just to see what happened. A strange static-electric tingle crept up the stream to lightly electrocute them. Jerking away, they accidently got some pee on one of the guards, who then drew his khopesh and attacked. The ensuing melee ended up with many dumped into the portal, including Snake and the Queen of Gary.

Next, they attempted to gain entry into the pyramid via their formerly-pteradactylic moles, and popped up inside the pyramid. Passing into the pyramid’s innards caused them a number of strange mutations. They then discovered that all that had gone through the portal had also simply been transported inside the pyramid. It turned out that the Queen of Gary was a Spark-talker with an amber Deep Device, and their duel with her was a bitter one. They finally defeated the Queen when Feather created a wind/vacuum that pushed/sucked her out the portal the other way.

Finally, they got the pyramid, which was indeed the time-craft, running again, and took it up into space with the goal of establishing dominance over space-time. They began it traveling through time, but stopped it mid-process. Thus forever suspended in time, they became permanent and unaging denizens of the time stream itself. From such an abstractly lofty perch, they could perceive all the various timelines, but they felt increasingly distant and insignificant as their entire existence merged into a single, seamless moment of pure white experience.

So, what did the adventurers accomplish in the end? Did they become gods of time? Maybe, though they’ll never know if anyone shall ever worship them, or even learn that they exist.

THE END.

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Chapter 13. The Future Is the Past

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Aw man, where to even begin? So you used the proving rock to open the suspended animation pod in the craft, and out came a hominid in an eye patch with camoflauge pants hiked up above his belly button. “Call me Snake,” he said. Though he appeared a hardened loner at first, Amblys managed to cow him into becoming a team player. He was sent into the future by Saurian scientists to find out how to solve their climate change crisis, but something apparently went wrong and the craft ended up crashing back into the planet, initiating the very cataclysm it was launched to prevent. With all of you working together, you managed to destroy a number of incoming comets, fend off another humping-attack of the eyeball-saurus, then get the craft running again and travel back (forward?) in time to before the cataclysm. Unfortunately, you had a stow-away: the cyber-allosaurus that Feather bulls-eyed in its cyborg eye so long ago. The local Defense Force’s energy weapons only mutated into it a much bigger and stronger creature. Fortunately, prehistoric courage came to the rescue: Klag managed to pin the creature in place with deft maneuvering of a mag-lev ptera-fighter so that a well-aimed government-launched missile could effectively collapse a building onto it and take it out. Meanwhile, Feather got strapped into a Lawnmower Man-style VR machine to amplify his Gridcasting and managed to focus his power enough to sequester the carbon out of the atmosphere and form it into a giant ball of ash. The attempt very nearly failed, but a last-minute assist from Scraeeeaczck saved the day. The plan was to have it hit the Sink (in order to preserve the timeline?), but at the last minute Feather diverted it into the ocean. There was a blinding flash of light, and then…

We’ll find out what happens next time!

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Chapter 12. The Zone

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Kinda busy this week, so no adventure log yet, but a quick recap: last time we explored The Zone and found our way inside a strange domed craft with an igneous rock formation with glowing lights in its center. The craft played an image which seemed to suggest it may have been the “comet” that took down the Saurian civilization. Also, Scraeeeaczck’s eyes and ears grow over when he sleeps and Gritsle’s skin is hanging off of him in bags.

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Chapter 11. The Portal

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Last time, the adventurers ventured beneath the geyser of the sea-scorpions lair and found their way into an underground chamber full of refuse, girders, and junk. There they met an old Saurian, who turned out to be none other than Scraeeaczck’s old heresiarch mentor, confusingly also named Scraeeeaczck.

Talking to him, they discovered he’d been wandering in The Zone and arrived there through some kind of portal that opened periodically into the underground chamber in which they currently found themselves.

That portal kept opening and closing as well, apparently. Sometimes mutated rats from The Zone would fall through it. Apparently the sea-scorpion lord, !Gal, had been able to control the portal to some extent, because he occasionally came down there to use the portal.

Then, as they were talking, the portal opened – a staticky bluish-light rectangle overhead – and through it suddenly fell a nine-foot hominid with a mud-painted body and the head of a triceratops.

The triceratops man stood up bewildered, asking “Where am I?” He was in such shock that he didn’t even realize that he had fallen onto a girder, which now impaled in his torso. When he finally realized, he passed with fright. Scraeeeackz managed to heal him with a Gridcast, though, and he soon came to. He explained his name was Rodillar, and he was a Mud Person who had ventured into the Zone to make a name for himself (among his people, only the very brave and the very foolish dare enter the Zone – if you survive it, you are hailed as a hero). The longer he was in the Zone, the more he mutated, till he found himself nine feet tall with a triceratops head. After this strange transformation, he eventually came upon a strange rectangular gate (apparently the same portal that Scraeeackz did), and venturing through the gate, he ended up here.

After much discussion, the adventurers eventually escaped the chamber by tunneling out (thanks in no small part to Amblys’s digging expertise), and returned to the surface level of the sea-scorpion lair.

There, they met up again with Gritsle and Feather. Finally, they all resolved to try to journey through the portal and into the Zone. They got the impression !Buddy knew where !Gal had hidden the device that allowed him to manipulate the portal, and got him to retrieve it. Then they all ventured bravely through the portal.

They found themselves in a craggy, blasted land of rock and very little vegetation. Near them was a cave, which they decided to explore. No sooner had they entered than the ground began to shake, and the eye of an enormous megafauna peered into the cave. Its roar shook their chests, and they ran deeper into the cave, only to be obstructed by a strange plant with hanging vines terminated in what looked like spider legs.

Amblys, an herbivore Saurian and feeling peckish, impulsively devoured one of the vine ends. Suddenly she felt a burning feeling rush through her veins and she grew lightheaded. She seemed to have been bit the vines and injected with venom. Scraeeeaczck used a gridcast to counteract the poison, while the others slashed at the vine creature. Its spidery legs crawled all over them like a dozen tarantulas. Finally, Scraeeeaczck gridcast upon it to make it find their scent repulsive, and it released them.

So that is where the adventurers now find themselves: in a dark cave inside the Zone, stuck between a rock and a hard place (or rather, between a spidery vine plant and an enormous, hungry megafauna).

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Chapter 10. The Geyser

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Last time, the adventurers repelled the besieging sea-scorpions, captured one of them (who has since been named !Buddy), and chased them nearly back to their home base, where they saw off in the distance a disgusting brown geyser spewing above the treetops.

Investigating closer, they discovered the home of the sea-scorpions: a wooden-palisaded complex of huts with a large smooth dome in the center, out of which spewed a geyser of rusty-brown water at regular intervals. At appeared to be a fountain of raw sewage with bits of corn.

The adventurers needed to find out about this, and figured !Buddy would now, but they could not communicate with him. So, they tried putting the deep device into !Buddy’s throat and discovered it could function as an electrolarynx.

!Buddy then revealed that the late Lord !Gal of the sea-scorpions had been the keeper of this strange geyser phenomenon. It is the way the sea-scorpions reach their blessed afterlife. They want to get to the Undersea, and must enter through an underwater gate below the mound. Those who are rejected are spewed out the geyser and suffer eternal damnation in Heaven (the sky realm above), whereas those who are accepted enjoy eternal bliss below in the Undersea.

The adventurers figured this underwater area beneath the geyser mound must be where !Gal hid his horde of devices (assuming he had any that he had not yet destroyed by the time of his untimely demise). So, they devised a plan to worm their way into it.

First, they flew in on their pteranadons with !Buddy at the lead, as if he were returning some great victor, and then they dropped him into the middle of the complex, with the deep device still in his throat. When the other scorpions saw he had !Gal’s deep device, they were over-awed and considered him !Gal’s rightful successor. The adventurers were then able to land and explore the complex unimpeded by the remaining army of sea-scorpions.

They needed to get under the geyser mound, but the problem was that it was underwater. Gritsle scouted it out, with his ability to hold his breath extended by a gridcast from Scraeeeaczck, and he reported back a dark realm with a strange mechanical plant and shadowy figures swimming in the water.

Then the team devised a plan to use their kinetic wall device as a diving bell. Only three could fit within it, so Klag, Amblys, and Scraeeackz went down to explore further. They found something like a giant mechanical venus fly trap underwater. The opening and closing of its maw pumped the water to create a whirlpool-like current drawing anything and everything into its metallic mouth.

Amblys managed to dig her claws into the side of the underwater chamber enough to stop them getting sucked directly into the Venus fly trap, but then a trio of shadowy underwater panthers with teeth like deep sea carrion-feeders attacked. It was difficult to fend them off in the water, and the battle was starting to look grim.

Finally, the adventurers decided to intentionally let themselves get sucked into the venus fly trap’s opening and closing mouth, gambling that the kinetic wall/diving bell would stop it from closing on them.

Their gamble paid off. The venus fly trap ground against the force of the kinetic wall. Then there was an enormous fla-woosh! and the adventurers found themselves sucked down a gullet-like tube.

They washed up inside a new dark chamber full of refuse. It was crawling with rats of bizarre, mutated proportions: tiny legs and huge heads, hulking left legs and mini right legs, and so on. And among them was another figure: a Saurian who called out “Scraeeaczck? Is that you?”

Stepping into what little light entered from a crack the ceiling above, it turned out to be none other than Scraeeaczck’s old heresiarch mentor (whose name is also Scraeeeaczck – how confusing!).

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Chapter 9. The Siege

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Last time, the adventurers barely fought off an attack by a horde of sea-scorpions. They temporarily routed them, but didn’t defeat them. The horde camped just outside the entrance to their complex, preparing for a second assault.

Besieged thus, the adventurers connived a plan to break out. The scorpions had suspended vine-nets over the entrance to prevent pteranadons from flying out. Scraeeeaczck used a Gridcast to dessicate the vines, then they sent forward a force to torch the vine-nets. Then Klag burst through the still-flaming vines on a pteranadon. He dodged two further nets launched by catapults and broke out into the open air where he could attack from above with arrows.

Meanwhile, the others attacked the horde. Feather took aim at the leader on a palanquin, presumably the tyrannical !Glah, and hit him several times. In response, !Glah used a gridcast to create a strange, shimmering barrier in front of his troops and around himself. Any projectiles fired into the wall lost all their kinetic energy upon striking it.

This posed a formidable defense, but Gritsle snuck into stealth position and fired his laser obtained from the pelicans, which passed right through the kinetic wall. It was a crack shot, and fried !Glah to a crisp.

Upon seeing their leader killed, the horde of sea-scorpions panicked and routed.

The adventurers obtained some mechanical items from the corpse of !Glah, and captured a retreating scorpion, then chased the routing horde by air back toward their home.

Finally, as they pursued the horde, they saw in the distance an apparent sign of !Glah’s home base, a geyser of sewage spewing up out of the mangrove swamp.

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Chapter 8. Sea Scorpions Attack!

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Last time, the adventurers found the ruins of an underground complex that could serve as their new base of operations.

This time, they explored those ruins and discovered, among other things, a large, lightning-fast serpent hiding out in one of the chambers. They managed to slay the creature, mainly via Klag’s deft badger-style combo attack. Then they discovered it was actually a mechanical creature. It was not a cyborg, like the megafauna, but an entirely artificial construction. It must have been a left-over feature of whatever the complex was in its heyday.

After that, they explored the rest of the complex, and found metal crates, “sun wheels” (gears), and dolls decked out in bizarre metallic jewelry. The sun wheels and jewelry quickly became symbols of their new tribe.

Last, scouts returned from the surface with urgent news of an attack by a horde of intelligent sea scorpions. The adventurers quickly devised a strategy: they lit a fire at the entrance to the complex’s atrium to obscure it from the approaching creatures. Then they stationed themselves on a level above and waited. As the sea scorpions advanced through the smoke and into the atrium, they launched their javelins while the adventurers rained hell down in the form of arrows and sun wheels. In particular, they lobbed the largest, heaviest sun wheels onto the weakest part of the only stairwell leading up to their position. Eventually this weakened the stairs until they collapsed, killing many sea scorpions in the falling rubble.

This was enough to route the attackers, but who knows for how long?

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Chapter 7. The Rain

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Last time, the adventurers had just subdued the false Zin-Guna in the wake of a strange violet-colored acidic rain. Now, it continued to rain… and rain… and rain.

In the rain, they saw the shadowy forms of Klag and one of the Zin-Guna’s former raiders, a raptor called Gritsle. They explained that their camp was pinned down by a strange foe: a gaggle of laser-firing cyborg pelicans.

The adventurers were desperate to rescue their fellows in the camp, but they were stymied by the acid rain, so they devised a plan to construct umbrellas out of layers of ferns. Those who braved the rain to collect the ferns felt it sizzle and burn their skin. Once the umbrellas were constructed, they trudged back toward their camp.

On the way, the acid rain burned through their fern umbrellas, and they were searched around for cover. They discovered a strange group of metallic outcroppings that seemed to line either side of a walkway, providing temporary shelter from the rain. Within the shade created by these outcroppings, a flickering image of a weeping woman beckoned. She led the party underground into a large atrium full of similar flickering images all going about their business – some of them eating, others shopping at phantom vendors, or relaxing on benches. Both Hominids and Saurians were among them.

The weeping woman, a Hominid named Caen-gul, explained the source of her sorrow: her beloved Bellingus had put her away, explaining that the impending comet strike made their relationship too much to bear. Apparently he couldn’t stand the thought of her being snuffed out like that, or perhaps the thought of her seeing him snuffed out, and considered it best to separate. Suffice to say this left Caen-gul deeply bereft.

Amblys asked where Bellingus was now, and Caen-gul led the adventurers to a lower level where he sat at a restaurant table. Amblys then spoke to Caen-gul, cleverly leading him to believe that Caen-gul had taken up with another man. This roused Bellingus and he ran off to renew his love for her.

Just then, there was a flash of light and then a deafening shatter. Then all the flickering images disappeared, and the adventurers were left in a chamber that appeared to be the ruins of what they had seen among the flickering images. It seemed as though they’d seen a vision of what the place had been like just before the great comet strike that destroyed the civilization of the Saurians.

Next, the adventurers hastened back to camp. There, they found eight cyborg pelicans firing lasers over the heads of their tribesmen, who were trapped in a muddy depression gradually filling with puddles of acid rain. Springing to action, the adventurers braved the burning rain, and took down the pelicans in pitched battle.

Finally, the rain abated. With the tribe rescued and the rain resolved, the last order of business was to deal with the false Zin-Guna. All militated for her execution, but they stayed their hand long enough to interrogate her about the real Zin-Guna. Then they discovered that this false Zin-Guna, whose real name was Kretch, had been forced into service by a certain Rha-Tusha, who had captured her eggs and threatened to destroy them if she did not do his bidding. This Rha-Tusha was a Saurian rival of Zin-Guna, and the leader of a heresy believing Saurians can only survive the coming apocalypse by evolving into serpents. The real Zin-Guna fled the City when he rose to power, taking refuge in the Sky-Gardens. In order to flush out his rival, Rha-Tusha pressed Kretch into taking on Zin-Guna’s identity and raiding Hominid villages in order to destroy the real Zin-Guna’s reputation among the Hominids. Kretch only went along with it in order to protect her eggs.

Hearing this, the adventurers tempered their bloodlust somewhat. They put her fate to a tribal vote, deciding between execution and maiming (cutting off her tail). In the end, the tribe was merciful and voted to only maim Kretch. Her cries echoed through the swamp as her tail was sliced off.

Goals Achieved

  • Rescue tribe
  • Find leads on tech (get from Zin-Guna)
  • Serve justice

Twist

  • The false Zin-Guna, Kretch, who’d burned Klag and Feather’s village and many others, was acting not out of ambition but out of maternal instinct: to save her eggs, she had to obey the orders of the one who’d captured them, a Saurian cult-leader called Rha-Tusha.
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Chapter 6. The Swamps

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Emboldened by forming a new mixed-race tribe of Hominids and Saurians, the adventurers set off with a mission: kill the false Zin-Guna.

After picking up her trail, a weeks-long chase ensued in which Zin-Guna fled into the swampy, polluted region known as The Sink. The adventurers followed her in, and stalked her like a wild animal. When they closed in on her, though, she was not easy prey.

First, she caught Sckraeeaczck in a net trap. Then she impaled Amblys with a sharpened stick-javelin. She also managed to hit Feather with a javelin, and nearly evaded capture by swimming under the brackish swamp waters, breathing through a reed.

However, at long last, the elements themselves came to the adventurer’s aid. Feather raised his hands and prayed to the ancestors for aid. It’s not entirely clear whether it was merely a coincidence or not, but a strange rain began to fall. It left inky violet clouds in the waters where it fell. And where it struck the adventurer’s skin, it caused sizzling pain. It seemed to be some kind of acid.

All were harrassed by this putrid violet precipitation, but none more so than the false Zin-Guna. Perhaps a droplet had fallen directly into her reed breathing tube and burned her lungs? It was not quite clear, but she surfaced, writhing in agony. The adventurers quickly took her captive, and now have her at their mercy at last.

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Chapter 5. The Sinkhole

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  • The scene opens upon the adventurers roaring in argument. After frequently finding themselves at cross-purposes, the situation has finally come to a head. Saurians are suspicious of Hominids, and Hominids of Saurians.
  • Then another magenta light flashed across the sky, much as before. It sent the Gridcasters Feather and Scraeeaczck into tremors of pain, temporarily knocking out their Deep Devices.
  • A short while later, the earth below their feet, apparently made unstable by a pit-digging Gridcast during the fight, trembles and collapses. They are swallowed up by the earth.
  • They awake with dirt in their mouths and darkness all about them. They had apparently fallen into an underground cavern.
  • The party manages to light some tinder and a pole-torch, and finds there was a tunnel leading out of the chamber they were in, but they are not alone…
  • As Feather peaks into the tunnel opening, a hard-carapiced pincer clamps down on his nose. They manage to break him free, only to find themselves facing a cohort of strange crustaceans. One of them has geometric shapes scored into its carapice.
  • The one with the scorings ambles into the chamber, walking sideways in what was apparently its normal mode of locomotion. Two others follow it.
  • The scored crustacean draws a three-sided shape on the ground.
  • Scraeeaczck responds by a drawing a four-sided shape on the ground.
  • The scored crustacean, apparently their leader, then inscribes four dots on the ground and points to the party members, then three dots and points to itself and its two allies, and draws a circle around all of them.
  • Taking this as a communication of peace, the party responds by pointing to themselves and pronouncing their names.
  • The crustacean leader then begins to make a series of clicks () and pauses (-). It points to itself and pronounces, "." It points to its ally on the right and pronounces: "--" and the one on the left: ""*——*."
  • The party attempts to imitate these sounds, much to the crustaceans’ glee.
  • In this bizarre conversation, the party manages to ask the crustaceans to help them return to the surface. They are led through a series of tunnels.
  • As they spelunk through the tunnels, the party notices a strange device, square and flat, set into a wall. Scraeeaczck recognizes just enough of the markings on it to activate it.
  • What they behold next amazes them: a series of silent moving images. It looks to them as though they could crawl through the device and enter into another world. The scenes depict a thriving Saurian society with great, gleaming towers. Saurians in strange clothing bustle about. Then it shows what looks like some kind of gathering of important people, all seated in a circle in dialogue. To the shock of the party, the circle includes both Saurian and Hominid. They were apparently living together in peace and cooperation.
  • This strange scene is interrupted, however, by scraping noises deeper down the tunnel. Amblys also detected more scraping approaching from the other direction.
  • The crustaceans lock their legs together in formation as the party peers into the darkness.
  • Then the glint of a tooth appears out of the darkness, and a gaping maw strikes into their midst. Klag narrowly avoids getting gobbled up by it.
  • Feather activates the device in the wall again in order to cast light upon their foes. The creatures look like enormous earthworms with triple-rows of teeth.
  • Amblys uses her voice-amplifying conch in an attempt to frighten the creatures away. Scraeeaczck recognizes just enough of its alien anatomy to guess it has a sense of smell, and Gridcasts to misdirect its olfactory sensations. Klag attempts to summersault on top of one of them, but it is too quick. Feather fires arrows at one but also fails.
  • The party is saved when Amblys tries her conch again, but this time placing it against the wall so that the vibrations ripple through the earth. This seems to terrify the creatures, who retreat post haste.
  • At last, the crustaceans lead the party to the surface, then scuttle back into their subterranean home.
  • A short while later, the adventurers are spotted by a very unsteady pteranadon rider. It is one the Hominids left from the false Zin-Guna’s raiding party. He says the other former raiders are arguing about whether to try to find the adventurers, who saved them from their former master, or to flee.
  • The adventurers return to the raiding party camp and each give rousing speeches of brotherhood and sisterhood. They manage to win them over, especially with the story of the strange device that showed scenes of Saurians and Hominids working together.
  • They establish a new tribe of Saurians and Hominids united.
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