Here There Be Science; Here There Be Dragons!

Chapter 5: Jay-Lo Wischa and the Sweetmeat Factory

The players retreat to the assembly line room as the t-rex charges them. The room is littered with machinery and inactive tiktoks, causing a lot of difficult terrain in a small room. In all the commotion, only Jerome notices that Elphabon has disappeared, even though the immovable rod can still be seen. The battle with the t-rex (yes, it breathes fire, multiple times) is brutal, and Arjan and Sporck have a hard time hitting with their whips and lance. Just as the players make some progress on the dinosaur, twenty fire-brethin reptillas join the fray. The players make short work of them, especially when BetterBorn drinks a Potion of Fire Breathing and roasts half of the reptillas in one blow. Several seconds later, four Knights of The Fury (they wear black armor with symbols of black dragon heads) join the battle. Although quite worn out, the adventurers emerge victorious, and are free to explore the rest of the second floor of the factory, with Pop and Lolly (aka Crapper and Dummy) as their guides.

The players don’t find much else on this floor, except for some gold, treasure, and a candy laboratory. In the lab, they discover that the candy being produced by the tiktoks have been enhanced with Elphabon’s potions and are being prepared for distribution. They wonder how this would fit into Elphabon’s plans, or those of The Fury. They find another set of stairs that lead up to a third floor.

The first thing they see on the third floor is a set of pedestals. On each pedestal is an item that is valuable to a specific member of the party. The first pedestal has a bowl of milk for Jerome, another pedestal holds a gold potion that catches BetterBorn’s attention, the third a shiny pistol for Booth, a fourth holds a repair kit that Slade could use, another has a book of dragon lore that Arjan has been looking for, another holds pan pipes that Sporck loves, and the last pedestal displays a picture of Juan’s village.

BetterBorn, Slade, and Jerome approach their respective pedestals and each one is trapped in a box that lifts them up like a glass elevator and smashes against the walls, dealing damage to them. Luckily, the glass is weak enough to break through with some effort, and the players are released from the boxes. The other players and characters are cautious and retrieve their items from afar (such as with Arjan’s whips). All of the items are real, except for Juan’s, which was just an illusion (in retrospect, I realize this was a mean thing to do to Juan, but he got inspiration for the tears he shed for his village and his family).

After dealing with the pedestal traps, the players move on to explore the rooms. One room has the same furnishings as shrine to the Fury found in the Western Fortress, black clockwork dragon and all. the dragon begins to recite the familiar lines as BetterBorn quickly grabs the book inside the room and runs out. In six small storage closets they find tiny bells (two play an E, three play a G, and one plays an A). They also come across a conference room, but when they enter the room a huge boulder comes crashing on them, dealing more damage than the glass elevators did. On closer inspection, they realize the boulder is a huge jawbreaker. When it cracks, the players try to break it open. Inside, they find many multicolored layers surrounding a giant bright pink pearl worth 5,000 gold pieces!

There are four storage rooms, each holding machinery and candy that seems to match a certain element of nature (fire, water, earth, and air). Some candies are helpful while others harm them when eaten.

The players continue and the find a locked door with a tiny keyboard. They couldn’t determine the musical password, even when trying a few combinations of the tones given by the tiny bells. Arjan and Sporck are able to remember a tune that works: the first six notes of “The Candy Man” (from the 1971 Willy Wonka movie).

On the other side of the door is a hall that leads to large double doors. On the walls are more paintings of monsters, similar to the paintings found in the Western Fortress. There is another certificate on the wall, welcoming the recipient into The Fury, but this one has an older date them Elphabon’s.

The party walks through the double doors into a large hall, where they find Elphabon sitting at a desk on a dais. Two larger tiktoks (also known as engine golems) stand inactive in the middle of the room. As Elphabon smiles and greets the players, he sees Jerome and adopts a different tone.

“Hey yo yo Jerome! What up, my rakshasaaa? How you, how, ho-, how you, how you, how you doin’?” Jerome recognizes that voice and how much he hated it. The enemy they thought was Elphabon changes his shape, revealing himself to be Jay-Lo, a rakshasa from Jerome’s early and brutal gladiator days. When the players ask about Elphabon, Jay-Lo says he has no idea where the real Elphabon is. The party starts to attack. The engine golems come to life, whirring, clanking, and stomping their feet in a steady rhythm. Jay-Lo pushes a button and a gelatinous cube comes down on each engine golem, muffling their sounds in such a way that the effect is similar to large boom boxes. As the golems stomp and the cubes vibrate, Jay-Lo starts to rap:

“Ay-o, ay-o, ay-, ay-o, yo,
Welcome to this funkytown show!
As you’re tryin’ to rock and shock a rakshasa,
How can we get this party to move along fasta?

Hey yo, say hello to the Vibe Squad.
Like a dope cantelope, it should be outlawed!
Now Jerome, back at home, with his crazy cat, Jay-Lo,
We can vibe, side by side, like the old times. Ay-o!"

As some of the players deal with the huge metal/gelatinous boom boxes, BetterBorn uses his alchemy magic to bind Jay-Lo and strike him with a dozen spikes. Although a powerful gladiator and expert in magic, Jay-Lo is soon wiped out, with his boom boxes to follow suit soon after. As Jerome looks into Jay-Lo’s limp body, he has mixed feelings. Jay-Lo used to be his best friend, until the gladiator lifestyle became too much for him and he decided to try to align himself to good.

Before leaving the factory, the heroes turn to the two halflings and declare themselves as the new owners of the Sweetmeat Factory. They send Crapper and Dummy to find the rest of the Sweetmeat Guild so they can get the factory operating again as soon as possible. The players decide that there is good profit to be made from the factory, and they look forward to the additional income to subsidize their adventuring costs.



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