Time remaining: 20:47
The party took some time to assess the items that they had looted from the Sil’ess Arms Warehouse, breaking open the treasure chest from the vault room to find a silver sphere inside with an incredibly intricate serpentine pattern scored into it, similar to the designs of the Sil’ess, but apparently fractal, repeating itself on a smaller and smaller scale to the limits of Ellis’ magnification. When held, the sphere tugs faintly in a northerly direction, and it emits a supernatural scent that Patch found quite distinct from other Sil’ess artifacts. Opening his psychic senses to the sphere, Patch found himself drawn deeper and deeper into the design, which appeared to move around him with a grinding of metal until he emerged into some temple hewn from rock, carved with Sil’ess symbols and illuminated in crimson by crystal lights. Patch was drawn into the rumbling darkness before the vision abruptly ended.
Mulling over their next move, the party decided to promote conflict between Riffkin and Acher. Hoping that Riffkin might blame Acher for the warehouse break-in, they suited up in the looted Sil’ess armour, modifying it where appropriate for Ellis and Patch, and armed themselves with Sil’ess weapons, aiming to attack Acher’s people in Rock Bottom and claim it was retribution from Riffkin.
Using their knowledge of Newtown geography, the party made their way through the back streets of the Hob and down into Bowler, trying to avoid detection. They were spotted by minions of Katya, however, who then waited in ambush for them with The Rotters. She shot North, but the party managed to disable her men and disarm her without any fatalities, and explained the situation. Kayta wasn’t impressed, but let them continue on their way.
The party moved down through the Chokes, with Ellis detecting the distant sound of wings in the haze. They reached Rock Bottom without incident and moved through the work site of The Garbagemen, past the dumps and landfills and fire pits, following the scent of Sil’ess magic that Patch felt led north. Three borg guards followed the party beyond the works and further into the caldera, at which point the party confronted them. North demanded a password, which seemed to confused them. They inquired if the party were from ‘the hollow’, and when North repeated his demand they said they did not work for ‘him’. North dismissed them and they returned to the works site, leaving the party alone.
They continued northwards past the shanty settlements of subsistence communities, at one point being spied upon by a crater-dweller with a skull painted on his face mask, close to a field of human bones. Pressing on, the party came to a black serpentine sigil painted on a rock, beneath which were more bones. Beyond this lay a large volcanic pool, emerging from a cavern in the crater wall, and surrounded by a shanty settlement, patrolled by squads of guards. The stench of Sil’ess magic issued from the hollow in the rock, Hell Hollow, and the party knew where they had to go…