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Trouble at the Ichorwerks VII

Initial Brief

Something’s going down between the Imperial Bureaucracy and the Imperial Commission. Everyone can feel it. Watchers are posted on the streets opposite the grand entrance, and every day Inquisitors head into the marble pillared atrium to make enquiries. Commissioners are on edge, and whispers on the street say it's with good reason: respected though they may be, not even the Mystikos is above the law…


Master Commissioner Dmitri Romov of the Imperial Commission would be grateful for citizens to volunteer with a transportation job to Gateway.

As the nature of the matter may honour volunteers with exposure to some of the workings of the Commission, external volunteers will be required to give their word not to disclose anything they discover of these workings before being admitted to the Commission.

Successful applicants will be invited for further briefing by the Imperial Commission.



Following the events of Spires of Glass, Benten Gear receives a private brief with Master Commissioner Dmitri Romov, who explains the task and the preparations that the Commission requires and has made. Benten is to take a Philosopher's Stone to the Unbroken Chain, bury it, and kill 20 people to feed it and turn it into a Black Ichor Spring. In order to get there, he'll need to go through the Wheel Sanctum with a number of decoy boxes, some of which contain binding equipment, and also out of the Commission in the first place which is currently crawling with Imperial Inquisitors. To achieve this, a group of people have been contacted to help move boxes, whom Benten will be responsible for briefing and encouraging.

The party make their way to the Imperial Commission and find it is clearly under investigation by the Bureaucracy. Watchers interrogate the party when they arrive and make contact with Benten, who is in disguise as “Colette Tabriio”. Finding nothing worth acting on, they're left be with “Colette” who intimates that discretion is necessary and guides them to the boxes they need to move.

When they go to the storage facility with the boxes, there's an explosion from an Ichor pipe, engulfing the room in flame and attracting the attention of a nearby Watcher. The Watcher is distracted by a passing Carmen Montiel, with a brief concern passed by Alessia before she's more preoccupied with removing the boxes from the burning room. Eight boxes are saved from the flames, but two are lost, as well as Nikolai, but by the Blessing he returns to them. Benten then guides the party down the Eriden toward the Wheel Sanctum. An altercation with a river monster and a party of bandits headed by Gordon the Disappointing later, they get to the Wheel Sanctum.

At the Wheel Sanctum, Leymoon Wen gives the party help with some crates to hide themselves in to get around the recently instituted rule that Commissioners may not pass through the portal. The party discuss why this is necessary when suddenly the Inquisition appears. Benten reminds the party they're under the instruction of the Commission and they make their way to distract / talk / prove their way through the portal. Benten sneaks his crate close enough to the portal to make a dash for it; Alessia, Evanescence and Xenon acquire paperwork from Leymoon Wen to get through, but Nikolai is caught. He confesses the plot to the Imperial Bureaucracy who are significantly concerned and employ Nikolai as a spy to find out what the Commission is planning and put a stop to it, and send him through the portal too.

With the original delivery job completed, Benten offers more of the Commission's gratitude for delivery of the boxes (of which there are now only four, due to Nikolai getting caught) to a safe house in the Unbroken Chain due to the pressing concern of corruption in the Imperial Bureaucracy. They agree, and head out to the Unbroken Chain guided by Benten and Xenon. They head through the wasteland, fight some Conflict emus, Perfection kiwis and Unbroken bats (from which Evanescence claims a kiwi feather), and then come into conflict with a number of Conflict Binders.

The situation is de-escalated by having a fight, and Benten strikes a deal with Lilia Adrovan that she will help them with the ritual - which Benten explains is their true purpose, to the shock and concern of his compatriots - in exchange for the power it will provide. They pick a nearby village of Poveza - an enemy of Lilia's current residence in the village of Soryk (having been driven out of her original residence in Adrovan) - which is full of Connection Binders to commence the ritual slaughter and head on out.

When they reach the village, there's a Connection Ward to break through. Alessia uses the connection to the ward's caster to warn them of the impending threat, and agrees an alliance. When the party and the Conflict Binders break through the ward and charge the village, Benten's companions betray him and turn on the Conflict Binders. Xenon smashes the ritual equipment in the boxes with the power of the Rod, and Nikolai turns all binding equipment into marble to prevent their use. Benten is beaten down in the ensuing, but as he's being searched by Nikolai takes out the Philosopher's Stone that he'd hidden in his pocket all alone, and takes a bite out of it.

Immediately, Ichor vapour pours out of Benten, his skin turning slick with black ichor, his blood turning blacker and blacker as he writhes on the floor, the Philosopher's Stone using him as its new soil. Nikolai wrenches the Philosopher's Stone from Benten and pockets it, wiping off the black ichor to prevent further mutation of his hand. The lives of the Conflict and Connection Binders at war are used to fuel the Stone, and the party desperately try to prevent the Binders from being sucked into the growing pool of Ichor that Benten is the crux of. The party break down Benten again, and Nikolai executes him, causing Ichor to splatter everywhere.

There's a moment of calm. Most of the Conflict Binders, including Lilia Adrovan, are dead, and normality starts returning. The Blood Ichor has still flowed into a pool, so Xenon starts digging a trench around it while Nikolai converts the bottomsoil to marble so they can carry it when suddenly Benten's Blood Ichor stands to attention, then whips its way into the ground as Benten sacrifices his own lives to the Ichor, completing the ritual. Calamity ensues: the ritual is completed as Benten's blessed life is enough to sate the Ichor, and the Creature is born. The Monstrous Creature, constantly changing, evolving, moving, free, chases the party, furious and ready to murder them and subsume them all. They fight back, but the creature simply changes faster, consuming the land and converting it into more of itself to fight harder.

Xenon is the first to jump into it - he leaps into the heart of the Ichor Monstrosity that Benten has become and attempts to fight it. By the power of the Rod he exerts his will onto it and permanently binds it by the Rod with a Rule before he is dissolved into the Ichor.

The rest flee, but Alessia refuses to leave Xenon behind and so completes a ritual to go in after him. Alessia also exerts her will onto it, permanently binding it by her Connection mastery with a Rule before she is dissolved into the Ichor.

Nikolai feels Alessia's farlink fading, and so concerned for her he uses the farlink to go in after her. Nikolai meets a match exerting his will onto the creature, but upon realising it has an interest in the Philosopher's Stone in his pocket uses his last ounce of will to turn the Philosopher's Stone into marble and prevent the Ichor Creature from being able to use it. Furious, it rends Nikolai apart.

Evanescence watches as her friends disappear one by one, but sees the Ichor Creature suddenly stop shifting, collapsing over in an explosion of black dust in the middle of the bubbling Ichor wasteland. Xenon and Alessia have applied their rules: by the power of the Rod this creature may never change, and by the power of Alessia Doubt this creature may never leave the village of Poveza until its Ichor-mother is freed.


Evanescence regroups with the Connection Binders to offer aid and support. There's a long exchange of mistrust regarding the creature before Evanescence explains the basic premise of Black Ichor and offers to bring help that can help them reclaim their village. Evanescence arranges with the leader, one Emélie Poveza, a Connection-sealed promise that she will send information about Black Ichor to help them understand within 3 months, and if she doesn't then she will be compelled to arrange someone they can talk to. Beyond that, she promises people will be organised to come and help them, and that they will get their village back, but the sealing for those Promises will be made at a later date. Emélie seals the deal with a snap of her fingers, the power of Connection Binding making sealing such a deal trivial. In exchange, Evanescence is promised the basics of Plane Binding when she delivers on her knowledge, and help getting back to Gateway. The Povezan Connection Binders that don't accompany Evanescence head to other nearby Connection Clans to seek shelter.

Meanwhile, in Rastaban, Xenon revives himself at the Rod Sanctum. He explains what happened to Grand Master Grandwick, who reassures Xenon that he'll get 'em next time. Grandwick writes to the Strategos to explain what the Commission have done, while Xenon heads to the Bureaucracy to give a full debrief. They advise him not to tell anyone about the Ichor Monstrosity, and express gratitude for the information.

Alessia revives in a bar with Gemini. She doesn't stay to chat with her sister though, and shouts “I'll explain later!” as she runs full speed to the Rod Sanctum where she finds Xenon. On the way she debriefs what happened to Carmen via Mindlink. Carmen expresses regret that the creature was bound, but is intrigued as to what can occur next. She's certainly thankful for the information. Alessia meets Xenon at the Rod Sanctum and Xenon explains what he's done so far. He advises talking to the Imperial Bureaucracy, and hands Alessia a copy of what he told them so they can be sure of no inconsistencies.

At that point, Nikolai arrives. Having revived in his laboratory under the Imperial Commission, he snuck out and made his way to the Rod Sanctum. They debrief a little with each other about what happened and Nikolai heads to the Imperial Bureaucracy while Xenon and Alessia go to the Wheel Sanctum to see if they can head out to find Evanescence. The Bureaucracy has effectively shut down the Wheel Portal while they investigate, but they tell Leymoon Wen their concerns for Evanescence. Leymoon hops off through the Portal regardless of what the Bureaucracy says and leaves Alessia and Xenon to return home.

Nikolai debriefs to the Imperial Bureaucracy who are grateful for the information he provided. In particular he notes how this was all Benten's fault, and his concerns about conspiracies in the Commission. He also notes that the Conflict Binders of Soryk already knew about Black Ichor and that the Connection Binders of Poveza saw him using Black Ichor. Having gained knowledge of trust broken from him about his spy work, they ask if he would spy further by infiltrating the Cult of the Mystikos, which they brief him about. Nikolai agrees, and they provide him with contacts in the Imperial Watchers and a list of people he can and can't trust in the Bureaucracy. He is their only Commissioner Agent at this moment.

Nikolai heads off to the Commission and Alessia debriefs to the Bureaucracy. Her story lines up with that of Xenon and Nikolai's, so they are grateful for her information, and encourage her not to mention the existence of the Ichor Creature to anyone for fear of generating panic. Later, Alessia also receives particular gratitude from the Imperial Commission for her information passed through Carmen.

At the Commission, Nikolai seeks out Dmitri Romov. He debriefs what happened, carefully curated to make himself sound like he was on Benten's side all along. Romov is pleased by the progress and takes Nikolai to his meeting with Carmen. Carmen is not so pleased, given her information from Alessia, and raises some significant concerns about Nikolai's version of events. Nikolai makes excuses for his actions against Benten, but insists he didn't do anything to bind the creature. Romov is disappointed in Nikolai, having been grateful before for his information, but suggests that if Nikolai can prove his loyalty to the Cult of the Mystikos (though he doesn't name it!) with an action, then that would speak louder than any of his words.

Nikolai leaves, but quickly contacts one of the Watchers to intercept Evanescence when she comes to debrief to the Commission, before going instead to visit Zosime to let her know of developments.

Evanescence, heading back from the Unbroken Chain, is surprised when Leymoon Wen falls out of the sky, but the speed he can get her back to Rastaban is appreciated. She gives a quick “goodbye” mindlink message to the Connection Binders so they're not confused, and then after being dropped in the Wheel Sanctum heads to the Circle of the Enlightened Mind to debrief to the Professor of Interdisciplinary Affairs, Constance. Constance is very pleased that the Circle has been kept out of the Commission / Bureaucracy feud, and is even more pleased by the prospect that Plane Binding knowledge might be brought into the Circle by Evanescence. She offers sympathy for the difficulties encountered, but Evanescence glosses over the Ichor Creature and the unpleasantness there, just opting to ensure her use of the library is available.

She heads to debrief to the Imperial Commission but is waylaid as Nikolai asked by a Watcher who explains they would be grateful for her not giving any information that would identify the actions of individuals to the Commission. Evanescence agrees, and heads in where she debriefs vaguely to Alexis Telemova. Telemova is disappointed, but Evanescence does let slip that Nikolai murdered Benten, and locates Poveza on a map, which causes Telemova's eyes to light up. Gratitude is given, and Evanescence also takes the favour from the Imperial Bureaucracy before heading to the Circle of the Enlightened Mind to compile research on the basics of Black Ichor to later give to the Connection Binders of Poveza as per her arrangement.

Fiona Gear is made a pariah by the Bureaucracy in retaliation for Benten's treason, but the Commission and the Order of the Wheel keep her safe. The Mystikos stays true to their word that Benten's family would be kept safe, and the same luxury might be applicable to Jemil too.


Benten Gear

  • Retired, pouring his life force into the Ichor Monstrosity now bound in Poveza.
  • The Ichor Monstrosity is 95% its own mind, but still maintains a small portion of Benten's personality, horribly warped.
  • The Ichor Monstrosity is bound by two rules:
    • It may never change
    • It may not leave Poveza until its mother (Ichor-mother, not Benten) is freed
  • Fiona Gear is safe


  • 2 Favour
  • Promise Made Manifest to Emélie Poveza - “Within 3 months I will provide you with information about Black Ichor or else I will be compelled to introduce you to someone else who can help.”
  • Has compiled a basic guide to Black Ichor for transmission when she next leaves the Embrace


  • 1 Death
  • 1 Favour
  • Ichor-Touched: You are slightly more resilient to mutation by Black Ichor if you wish to resist it. You can, for instance, handle wading through the polluted end of the Eriden, or handle Black Ichor for 10s without consequence. At the same time, your dreams are haunted by a dark shadow.


  • 1 Death
  • 3 Favour
  • Ichor-Touched: You are slightly more resilient to mutation by Black Ichor if you wish to resist it. You can, for instance, handle wading through the polluted end of the Eriden, or handle Black Ichor for 10s without consequence. At the same time, your dreams are haunted by a dark shadow.
  • Owes one explanation to her sister


  • 2 Deaths
  • 2 Favour
  • Ichor-Touched: You are slightly more resilient to mutation by Black Ichor if you wish to resist it. You can, for instance, handle wading through the polluted end of the Eriden, or handle Black Ichor for 10s without consequence. At the same time, your dreams are haunted by a dark shadow.
  • Knowledge of Trust Broken “I will not reveal information about the Cult of the Mystikos outside of the Imperial Bureaucracy”
  • Employed to spy on the Cult of the Mystikos by the Imperial Bureaucracy
  • Tasked with proving loyalty to the Cult of the Mystikos by Dmitri Romov

Wider Consequences

  • The Imperial Commission now has a permanent Bureaucracy presence in the atrium, including a Suprema overseeing the Inquisitorial operations. The Mystikos's excuses are running short.
  • The portal to Gateway now has a Bureaucracy presence, much to the distaste of Leymoon Wen. Paperwork is required to be double checked, and Commissioners will be subjected to the same level of suspicion as normal citizens and banned from transporting goods.
  • The Unbroken Chain has a large toxic area where the village of Poveza used to be. People who go into there don't come back.
  • The Cult of the False Mystikos now has information as to the location of Poveza and the Ichor Creature that lies there.
resources/adventure/trouble_at_the_ichorwerks_vii.txt · Last modified: 2019/04/28 10:39 by katiem