Thursday, May 26, 2016

Unwritten, now written

Last night we played Unwritten. I think it went pretty well, and since I'm too restless and bored to do the work I should be doing, I'm-a do the write-up.

The characters start out doing their usual things: Principessa is skipping stones in the upside-down water in the unexplored area. Nick is taking readings on his equipment near the border, while Terra is sneaking around in places she oughtn't be. Eleni is following a mafia tough, while Saron is delivering a book (not a Book) to a patron.

And then a huge, powerful wind kicks up out of the unexplored version. Everyone manages to take cover except Saron; the wind blows the book right out of her hands. Principessa, thinking quickly, grabs a cable and flies up like a kite, catching the book. She returns it, and Saron gives her a pair of gloves in thanks. She also notices that the wind kicked up some residue that isn't native to the cavern - in fact, it looks like the dirt from Vilette, an Age marked by high winds and a cyclical 400-year destruction of civilization. She brings this to Nick, who analyzes the dirt and concurs. Nick, of course, is fascinated - weather systems from other Ages don't just pop up. He moves to cordon off the area and go exploring, but then Walleye, Principessa's mafia handler, warns him that he should just stay away.

Nick, however, is too experienced and dedicated an explorer to be dissuaded, so he decides he'll just go in anyway. Principessa tags along, concerned for his safety, and Saron goes, too, to take notes.

Meanwhile, Terra and Eleni, in the unexplored area from the other direction, meet up. The two groups eventually meet up with a tunnel opening up in a deep pit between them. Terra, after a quick compel to Leap Before You Look, tries to jump the pit, and fails...but she inverts and "falls" up, landing on the ceiling.

A little experimentation later, the characters realize that gravity inverts itself in the pit. Nick sinks pitons and starts climbing "up" into the pit (down?), and Terra uses her grapple gun and just zooms by him. At the bottom, the characters realize a couple of things. First, there are five tunnels, roughly equidistant from each other, leading back into the wall. Second, dozens of Linking Books are set into the floor, Linking Pages up.

With some trials and tribulations, the other characters make it to the bottom (top?) of the pit. Nick climbs down a tunnel and finds a lever, which he pulls. Half the books disappear. Eleni climbs into another tunnel, finds another lever, and gets a similar result (but with the other books). Saron notes that the books seem roughly divided into Ages with running water and ages with deserts or otherwise high heat. The other tunnels contain levers, but when flipped individually they cause hideous grinding sounds, as though immense gears were about to strip.

When those three levers are flipped together, though, the gravity rights itself (OOF). Now able to walk on the bottom of the pit, the characters check out the books. Saron recognizes some of the Ages depicted - Vilette, the Pearlescent Aeon, and others that the players came up with originally (and some that they didn't, of course).

At this point we used the deduction system to figure out the answer to the big question: "What is the purpose of this mechanism?" After a few rounds of deduction, they realized that this place was a D'ni cleansing apparatus; it could activate water and heat. As a side effect, many of the places the books link to were good for dumping bodies, which might be why the mafia was so interested...

At this point, Nick started trying to chisel out a Book. Saron objected, strenuously - the Archivists needed to document this and make sure that they weren't destroying some expensive bit of history. Nick agreed, but Terra didn't, and popped one out with a crowbar. She touched the screen, and pop, she disappeared. She was in Vilette.

Nick, concerned for her safety, Linked after her. The others looked at each other, shrugged, and followed. If nothing else, they were pretty sure Nick had a Linking Book to get back.