In Gaius’s office, the team queried him on the nature of the trouble at the Inn. First he edified them on the nature of the Inn: An institution that caters to Outlanders (tourists, diplomats, merchants, etc), the Inn has a variety of rooms that magically mimic the Outlanders’ original environment: desert, swamp, 1/3 City gravity, etc. He told them that he believed a Fractal Elf, nicknamed Brunei, was causing terrible chaos. The Fractal Elves are a species from the Far Realms who exist in multiple Realms at once – they appear to be constantly changing, like a fractal, snowflake beach ball, but they are only rotating in and out of our Realm and showing part of their larger form. They are capable of warping reality around themselves, and Gaius believed that this had happened, as the streets surrounding the Inn had starting twisting and undulating as though alive.
The team debated whether they would be able to make it to the Inn by land, and asked Gaius to provide them with a Realmshifter… but then decided they could end up being teleported into solid earth if the Realmshift didn’t go properly, so decided to see if they could walk there. Approaching the Inn, they saw that it was, for the moment, stable, though the road was badly damaged, filled with debris and overturned carts. They encountered several strange creatures that looked like gigantic single-celled organisms, which were eventually identified by Tyche as the Fractal Elf equivalent of white blood cells – the PCs were, in some sense, already inside the elf’s body, and its immune system was trying to kill them. Erillia created the illusion of a monster, and Mo spread some “fractal food” from the Elf’s home Realm around, and the cells hurried to eat both, allowing the team to quickly run past them.
The road suddenly began undulating, and the PCs saw a ten-by-ten-by-thirty lightning storm suddenly arise. Tyche tried to run around it, only to find that when she ran off one side of the road, she came back on from the other direction [like going off one side of the screen in an old-school video game]. Erillia flew over it, only to get shocked as the ground surged up and caught her in the storm – but she made it through with minimal injuries. Rasine sneaked through, her cat-like reflexes keeping her away from the worst. Mo, seeing Tyche’s difficulties, tried to run backwards… and, amazingly enough, it worked, and he was able to run around the storm with minimal fuss, carrying his wolf in his arms, it looking backward and acting as his eyes. Tyche followed him, and the Realmshifter Stevanus tried as well, only to get badly shocked and collapse in the storm.
Rasine, knowing Gaius valued Stevanus, decided to put forth at least a small effort, and successfully rescued him. Mo applied some salve, and Tyche Bloodshifted, resulting in a much more healthy man. They easily made it the rest of the way into the Inn, where they found a slim Grate-Scratcher girl trapped under a smoldering beam. Mo hefted it off her, and then Tyche healed her broken rib, making it merely badly bruised. The girl, one Svetana Milevic [who spoke with a vaguely Russian accent], told them she was a friend of Brunei, and believed that the problem was a recurring condition of its, known as “moulting,” where the elf sheds its current physical form and creates a new one. She said that if they could collect the survivors of the mess and make it through the shifting reality to the elf’s room upstairs, she could speak to it and probably get the moulting to stop.
The team surveyed the burning wreck that was the Inn of the Worlds, looking for survivors in the mess…
SANNA (Sara/Ann) – Self-Actuated Neural Network Array
Rasine doesn’t believe a thing Tyche says