Chapter 6, Part II: Workshop of Wonders

In the early morning light, Blake sought out Bart Jr., the cat he employed as part of his "Blake and the Platinum Talons" Act, finding it in the Citadel's gardens with the remainder of the Mini Talons. He also paid off a bartender for some information, learning that Pizzy Willips, the Blue Chipper that got away, was discovered dead on his porch by the Midnight Milkman.

Once back with the party, Blake questioned whether the deaths were somehow his responsibility. Vance assured him that the deaths were not necessarily his fault, but likely everyone's fault. Xerxes divulged that he had previously fought in war, and so was able to share his understanding of the burden that killing leaves on someone. Firebrook, the astral elf, recounted his journey to Detroit, reflecting on the transient nature of life and the darkness in it.

At the AGI in Platinum City, Xerxes provided a passcode to Julie, yielding a letter from Adrian Grayforge, written nearly 600 years ago, with details on how to retrieve the fruits of his investments. He would need to locate Adrian's administrative assistant construct, J3551CA.

Meanwhile, Blake, grappling with guilt, sent flowers and a letter to the widow of Sean Goodingtonboy, the gladiatorial "hero" accidentally killed in the arena. He was able to get the help of the rest of the party to best workshop the letter for best effect.

Following this emotional interlude, an owl appeared on Drez's shoulder, who Drez introduced as his familiar, Dr. Hoo. The party set forth from Boymin to Shoalbank, engaging in a lighthearted debate on the superiority of eagles versus owls.

Upon reaching Shoalbank, Blake noted the disappearance of his favorite sausage stand but were soon whipped up into a bit of reminiscing with the Harbormaster Uhfrtiz, a previous employer of Blake's. They soon were ferried to Conclave Island by Uhfritz on the Chancellor's tab. The arcane storm wreaked havoc, altering Vance's height, providing Drez temporary hit points, summoning a phantom steed for Xerxes, and diminishing Blake's dexterity.

Uhfritz and the boat gnomes set up a beach picnic, waiting for the Talons' return. Dr. Hoo scouted a path to Clefshire, where the party found you  trytorememberandthereis  nothing  youtryt  oremember  and  ther  eisnothingyo  utrytorememberandth  ereisnothingyout  rytoremember  andtherei  snothingyo  utry  torememberan  dthereis  nothingyou  trytorememberandtherei  snothing  youtryt  oremem  berandth  ereisn  othingy  outrytor  ememberan  dtherei  snothingyo  utrytorememberan  dthereisnothingyo  utry  torememberandther  eisnothing  therei  snothing  thereisnothing  ther  eisnothingthereis  nothingth  ereis  nothingther  isnothing  thereis nothing.

Xerxes then led the party northward, after Adrian's instructions, to a warehouse in the forest. Inside, they found a bizarre room with a broken construct, Beezbos the Entertainer, an arcane power source, and an arcane generator. They also found information on Beezbos,-- including his broken light and too-tight hug-- a testing chamber which had been home to many failed experiments, and on J3551CA and her sudden "arcane sickness." In the journal, they read that Adrian had developed a cure for her sickness, but had not been able to administer it.

Using some good old fashioned common sense and some discovered information on the arcane generator, Xerxes and Firebrook got the generator running, which caused Beezbos the entertainer to power up and begin shambling towards the Talons to give them his trademark hug. After solving the puzzle, which required the Talons to group up and lead the creepy clown onto pressure plates in the correct order, Beezbos powered down and the heavy metal door unlocked to the testing chamber in the next room.

Inside was a rather damaged room, filling with large scrapes and gashes in the floor as well as burn marks across the floors, walls, and ceiling. In the center of the room was a pedestal with an adorable construct in the center. This construct, Gizmit the Adventuring Companion, engaged the group in 'combat', which entailed spinning his sword-like arms like propellors at his side as he zipped around the tracks in the floor. The party made quick work of his challenge, landing melee hits three times to the button on his chest.

He then, upon their selection, jumped into the Knowledge practice, which had them answering questions about Fynali, the creatures in the world, the geography, and its history. The party did exceedingly well with this, not triggering the "three-wrong answers fire protocol." They were able to cycle Gizmit and turn him off, opening the far door into the storage room.

Venturing inside, they encountered J3551CA, corrupted by the arcane storm and left rather aggressive. After a tense battle and some problem-solving which included knocking an entire industrial storage shelfing unit onto the robot and initiating her 'cleansing' sequence which created a large arcane explosion. After, they picked up her head and cured J3551CA, who gave the party 5000 GPs and helped them collect the proper pieces to turn her into a more mobile unit.

The party also found a hatch that lead into an underground tunnel. The middle of this tunnel appeared to be fully collapsed, but when operational, had previously led to the AGI in Clefshire. On the way out, Blake attempted to rip the head off of Beezbos, which resulted in another 'cleansing' explosion that took out the entire north end of the workshop.

They headed back to Uhfritz on the beach only a few hours later. On the boat, the arcane storm continued its unpredictable effects, leaving the party with unexpected changes. Vance's skin began to shift colors every thirty second, turning him into his own personal rave. Xerxes lost his ability to smell, Blake gained a sudden floating spiritual steel chair, Firebrook became briefly luminescent, and Drez let out a giant shockwave fart that did some damage to his party members.

After recovering from the mental toll of the odd effects, Xerxes and Firebrook got to work on building some constructs of their own, so inspired by Adrian's workshop. Xerxes was able to put J3551CA together as a wearable wrist-watch type construct. Firebrook assembled a small cat construct out of parts from the storage room and the large, sinister smile of Beezbos the clown found in the remnants of the explosion. Firebrook then added an additional effect onto J3551CA with his tinkering prowess, allowing her to emit a 5 foot light.

By the time they landed on the shore of Shoalbank, many of the Arcane Storm's effects had worn off. Xerxes's ability to smell had returned, Blake no longer felt clumsy and his steel chair had vanished, Vance was no longer 2 inches shorter, and Firebrook no longer glowed. All that remained was Leroy, the phantom steed, Vance's rave skin, and Drez's temporary hit points.

Completed: January 2024