Memories of Connor's Adventures

Orlando the Adventurer pulled a Scimitar from beneath his Robes and smiled...

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Something Old: The Doomwheel

 ADVENTURE: THE WHEEL TURNS

DM BRIEFING: The Party is spending the Night in the Guild Town of Leia. The Local Guild Lodge also serves as the Inn and Tavern for the 200 population town.


PART 1: A NIGHT ON THE TOWN

FOR THE PCS
As you enjoy a quiet evening after a hard trek to get to this sleepy little hole in the wall, a bunch of local boys who have been swilling beers all night decide to include you in their argument over Turnip pricing in the regional market place.
Dexterity check on random PC to find which is hit by the beer mug (1hp). Try for non lethal violence.
Let the Players duke it out with drunken Laborers. Anyone attempting to leave will be attacked by drunken laborers near the entrance.

FOR THE PCS
Within minutes of the beginning of this brawl, the local guardsmen burst into the tavern arresting everyone conscious or unconscious. Identified as ringleaders of this brawl – rightly or wrongly, you are escorted down the street, past the church to the Guard Cells by the Gate.
“Father Therou adjudicates criminal cases in the Morning and I’m not waking him just for you idiots.”
The Duty Guardsman locks you in for the night.
“You can contemplate your chances under a new fangled concept as trial by Magistrate…” He relaxes down outside your cage in a wooden chair – the rest of the guards departing for the evening.
This can be a serious situation if the PCs killed anyone or resist arrest– otherwise they are detained for damages in the Guard house cells near the Church gates - For what ever reason they will be spending the night separated from their equipment.


PART 2: CRUSHED BENEATH THE WHEEL

FOR THE PCS
As you contemplate your future in the quiet of the prison you are compelled to sleep.
Ask the PCs what their actions are. Those who choose to sleep will enjoy what little sleep they can get. Those who decide to stay awake will need to make a fatigue check against their constitution.
It begins as a distant vibration that increases with intensity and within a few moments a huge explosion as though a mountain had exploded with terrible force. Your keeper is awake and is screaming at you with his weapon in his hand. As the sound settles down there are distant screams. Your guardsman opens the outer door and steps outside.
“What the hell is that thing?” He seems terrified of some thing overhead as he vanishes from view. As you now have a view of the street you can see people running about in all directions in a terrible panic – all looking up.
Those asleep and awake are disturbed by a terrible thunder so deafening that they are literally deaf for the next few hours (they must each conduct a listen check to see if they hear what happens around them). In the middle of the night the Doomwheel – a huge Steam-driven construct crushes half the town. The sound of it crushing half the town will wake the PCs. Out in the Street is a sudden anarchy as survivors emerge to be confronted by a great looming shadow a mile high.
If the PCs escape their cage and leave the building read this:
You see a terrible looming shadow: A mountain a mile high that blots out the Starlight. What torchlight there is seems to illuminate a wall of Stone that seems to have crushed half the village…then a great spray of steam strikes the village from above and everything vanishes in a cloud.
The Steam kills everyone in the spray zone and levels all the structures. The PCs should be careful where they are located. Just outside their cell block, they suffer steam burns (4d6).
Otherwise,
A great sound of gas or steam – matched by the warm cloud that billows through the building you are confined in comes from somewhere overhead. A terrible noise of things being destroyed issues forth before falling quiet.
A Steam exhaust blows away part of the surviving town – if the PCs as still trapped in their prison cell they will only hear further destruction and screams. 
The momentary silence is short lived. The great engine of the gods moves away as the earth trembles with its fury and for a time you are alone.
This is the most likely time the PCs will be able to free themselves. They have about half an hour before the Carrion feeders arrive.

JUST WHEN YOU ARE VULNERABLE
As the Doomwheel moves off – a tide of Undead pour into the Town devouring the remains of the Dead and attacking the Survivors.
If the PCs are still hold up in the Guard house at Church Gate – they are soon confronted by undead (Ghouls) who want in to feed on them. 
Your guardsman finally returns in a panic twisted by pure terror. As he reaches the door, he is immediately grabbed from behind and devoured by Clawing undead hands that drag him screaming into the darkness, before even more ghouls enter the building and are clawing and snarling as they reach through the cage trying to get you.
If the PCs are outside when the undead attack: 
At first there are distant screams and then the horror comes out of the darkness. It seems to be a hundred ghouls, all of them drooling for your organs. You notice your wayward Guardsman from earlier in the night fleeing toward the prison block – only to be grabbed as he reaches the door.
Either way the PCs should be encouraged to believe the Cage is the only save place to be for the evening.

PICKING THROUGH THE RUINS
As daylight arrives the Ghouls slathering for your innards vanish into the last remnant darkness and you can settle down to deal with the Carnage of a long night.
By morning the undead horde have moved on. A few are hold up in the ruined buildings. The PCs will find the few remains of their equipment buried in the debris field scattered across the landscape. It is a scene of utter devastation. Likely if they enter any of the ruined buildings they will be attacked by Undead. They are the only Survivors.
A damaged bell tower, a couple of Gates, and a cluster of buildings. There are corpses here and there that have been fed on and a huge trench where whatever it was rolled through town.

THE WHEEL OF DOOM
It is unlikely they will be able to pursue the Doomwheel as horses were crushed in the Guild Stables. The adventure ends here. They are the Sole Survivors of some terrible Engine of Death and will be lucky to survive on what they can scrounge from the ruins. 

FOLLOWING THE PATH 
The Trail will likely crush the next town and the next in what appears to be a pretty much 100’ deep, 2000’ wide furrow which begins at the Quarry Mountain where it was crafted a thousand miles away and ends in the Ocean if the PCs don’t warn future victims in its path. Basically the DM is urged to line this up with as many communities as possible.
Eventually the Trench will become a river from the Mountains linking all these Ruined Communities by ‘Canal’. The experience Points on offer should be allocated toward any NPCs they saved from being eaten and Undead killed.

REWARDS
If the PCs are lucky they will find most of what they lost after several day of scrounging through the rubble. There will likely be a few coins that once belonged to the community in the rubble as well.




Map of the week: Tozboz' Tomb

Here is Tozboz's Tomb. Feel free to use it in your next d&d game.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Popular Protest: The Great Riot of Specularum

Standing Rock, North Dakota
How bad can it get when the government objects to protest with force and are met with resistance?
Consider if you will the Great Riot of Specularum in AC1000. An oppressed Traladaran populace are in the great marketplace of the capital of the grand duchy of Karameikos listening to the voices of public protest when suddenly armed Thyatian cavalry are sent to disperse the crowd through violence. Now if the populace are able to overcome this cavalry which is possible considering the populace lack leadership and weapons despite outnumbering the cavalry ten to one the city watch pulls in the duke's guard armed with swords and pole arms from across the city forcing the populace caught in the streets back into the great market place where they can be arrested and ringleaders hanged. To enter the great market they must do so via narrow streets overlooked by rooftops. Ten men skilled the use of and armed with crossbows can descimate the advancing troops from above.
The response is to call in another thousand soldiers from across the countryside. The City of Specularum at this point is set on fire. Primarily the slums and shanties but the purpose of this is to force the populace cowering in their homes out into the streets so that they will share the same fate as the dissenters: Arrest and/or Death.
Have no doubt that this Rebellion will be put down by force and the dissidents arrested and/or killed.
There are of course options here for survival. One is Migration. The harbour is flush with ships, the grainiaries and storehouses filled with food. Loading food and populace on ships so the Rebelling Populace, sobered by the prospect of being executed once the Dukes army is done retaking the city might suddenly result in a floatilla of vessels and refugees.
The other is the installation of new government. Rational Voices amongst the Rebels decide to sign a petition suspending the existing government and monarchy and demanding the troops return to their barracks and only take orders from an elected leader of the new government. This of course will be rejected by Monarchy and its supporters nine out of ten times meaning that one side or the other must be exterminated.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Dungeon Mastery: Tuzboz' Tomb

 So your PCs are wandering in the desert when...one of them falls through a coverstone under the sand and tumbles down some stairs...thus they have found the Tomb of Tuzboz.
So you toss some dice on some paper and mark their positions and number values...in this case the number indicates dungeon depth and approximate position. So even though there are four physical levels (1, 2, 4, 6) we can consider using the tougher threat levels of level 4 and 6 as opposed to 3 and 4.



There is a lot of stairs in Tuzboz's Tomb.

Dungeon Levels
1: room 1
2: rooms 4, 5, 6
4: rooms 2, 7
6: rooms 3, 8

So anyway...what ever you decide you have a quick and easy eight room dungeon.



Miniature Adventures: Oleg's Manor

 You spent the night across the river in Rikard's Gambling den playing Dead Eye Molly: an interesting dice game where everyone buys in the pot and then procede to roll two dice until you score a pair of ones at which you get tossed into the river. Somehow you pocketed the title deed to this mansion before you were throw into the river by Rikards thugs. I guess some people are sore losers.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Dragon's Hoard: Smaug and the Treasure are always bigger in the retelling

Smaug. A giant winged horror that slumbers on a mountain of treasure...well maybe thats what it becomes. The problem is that mountain of gold must have limits. When the king of dwarves is promising a one fourteenth share it isnt something you can carry home in a couple of chests. Even if your hobbit can tote a fourty pound sack of potatoes those two chests amounting to four hundred gold pieces and four hundred silver pieces seem small. But what of the dragon and its Mountain of treasure?

Smaug carries the Protoindoeuropean phonetic 'aug-' which we find in other words:
  • Augend: the quantity to which another quantity, the addend, is added.
  • Augment: to enlarge.
  • August: To inspire Awe.
  • Auger: a religious leader who fortells events by interpreting signs and omens.
  • Augite: A dark green to black precious stone containing aluminium, iron, and magnesium.
So our dragon and its mountain of treasure are always bigger in the retelling. Its odd that the name of a dragon found in a story written almost a century ago should be even remotely linkable to a language thousands of years old without having been looted from some previous story and storyteller. So is the story of The Dragon's Hoard hidden in plain sight?

Gandalf, our Wizard looks to be the Auger in this company.

We have our Arkenstone in the Augite. Certainly Augite is a recent word and most is dark and dull but it comes from 'Auge', a greek word meaning brightness. Gemstone quality Augite is bright, its crystals prismatic, and transparent Gemstone quality Augite comes from a place near the Ken River in central India and is called Shajar. Its found in Basalts so it likely came from the heart of a Mountain. If shajar has a protoindoeuropean root then we will see it in a similar phonetic form of s*g or s*j:

  • Sag: to seek out.
  • Segh: To hold; through conquest or victory in battle.
So now we have a part of the plot where the Arkenstone is sought out and then must be held through battle.

The egh phonetic in this part of our plot gives us:

  • Eghero: Lake.
  • Eghs: Out.
So we even have a lake.

As to our Dragon Smaug? Smeug is a protoindoeuropean root meaning smoke and is a pretty close variant of Smaug so lets look at another phonetic variation on sm(aug): sm(eug).

  • Eugene: a name meaning well-born, noble.
A tale of seeking and holding through battle. A tale of a bright prismatic gem from the heart of a mountain, a dragon of smoke, a lake, a well-born Noble, and an Auger as an Advisor and spiritual Guide.

So the fragments of the Hobbit fall slowly into place...as a protoindoeuropean tale?

Tolkien delved into old english and northern european lore and built a setting.
I came along and pulled a single thread from his tapestry, and found something older in a few phonetic fragments that exist exclusivly to function together to tell the tale. It might seem odd that a people would create words just to tell a specific story but that looks like what they did. Somehow this story is the plot of the Hobbit because of the use of a single name given to a Dragon. This hidden tale is the original form. Unexpected. Yet there it is.


Protoindoeuropean tales have evolved over time shared and traded via descendants and neighbours, and this is no different. The Idea of a noble travelling with an interpreter of spiritual matters to a lake where a battle is fought to posess a particular object recycles in the Arthurian Legends. But somehow excalibur is originally a bright gem stone. The liberating of a sword from the stone might well have been an iron age tale, but now it is much older.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Board Games: Kurosawa









Terrain is laid out.

  • Brown is hills
  • Dark green is forest
  • Light Green is Grassland
  • Yellow is Desert


 Players select colour units:
red, yellow, blue.

Players allocate a fort to a start position with colour pieces adjacent.

Whose move? A player checks whose turn it is. Dark/light Greys are barbarians.

Player checks turn outcome. What happens? If barrier or fort player gets board piece to deploy. Otherwise next turn. Conflict symbol means you surrender or defend a fort from a barbarian.



Lets see how that works

Short Fiction: The Tavern

Title: The Tavern

Kas dwelled with ever greater frequency on the past. Those thread bare nightmares worn down by his moments of repentance were replaced with ease by the cue of horrors waiting their turn to torment the drunken soldier as he cowered in the poorly lit corner of the tavern.
"Shall I tell you a tale?" Kas looked closely at the Drunken shadow enjoying his company from the other side of the table and recieved no objection.
"I had at the instruction of my commander," Kas rolled his eating implement in the bowl of food, "been dispatched from the fortress not ten miles from here to a work camp to over-see labourers working on a section of the Barrier."
Gathering a single morsel to his mouth, Kas chewed, swallowed and continued with the tale.
"Several Days had passed when the well diggers penetrated through into an old structure," Kas dipped a steamed dumpling in the thick salt rich black sauce and held it aloft examining it as he spoke. "and deep beneath the earth, ancient chambers were revealed, their heavy timber beams carved by ancient hands." Kas chewed at the dumpling remembering the Taste.
"I remember the first of the well diggers being pulled out on a rope because he had fallen through a ceiling and dropped a hundred feet to his death." Kas dipped his dumpling in sauce and continued. "His name was Koji."
Kas swallowed the remains of his dumpling and reached for the bowl of steamed vegetable broth drinking the beverage before setting it aside.
"His brother Jin had ventured down to retrieve the body." Kas shook his head at the memory. "Jin spoke of a sea of newly forged weapons still in their racks as though he had discovered a secret imperial armoury." Kas returned to his meal.
"I made a mistake then." Kas reached for the bowl of duck meat and lifted the lid from it enough to retreive a piece of meat with his eating implement. "I told Jin to retrieve a weapon from the rack." The duck dipped gently in the black sauce.
"I did not see the thing that killed him," Kas looked at his quiet companion. "but we all heard his scream."
Kas paused to eat his duck, chewing it gently.
"Kuro was lowered in to retrieve Jin's body." It was becomming difficult to think about it. "Kuro found what was left of Jin in the darkness of that Armoury, eaten away by something that had poured on him from somewhere above, his hand still grasping the weapon in its rack."
"Kuro didnt make it back to the surface either." Again Kas sipped at the vegetable broth. "Kuro triggered another trap having noticed a box of some value and tied it to the end of the rope in his stead."
The broth emptied, Kas indicated to a servant the desire for another bowl.
"A red cloud of some poison sprayed from the box as he struggled to secure it," Kas fetched more duck from its bowl. "He was dead before he could finish."
The drunken companion reached out of the darkness across the table for a small bowl of wine, clearing his throat.
"The next was Toki." Kas accepted the arrival of a new vegetable broth with a silver coin. "He managed to send up the body of Kuro."
Kas cleared his throat of an oddly bitter taste and reached for the vegetable broth. The bitterness eased as Kas drank the warm vegetable Broth.
"Far too many had died that day." Kas flipped aside the earthenware lid covering the duck and retrieved a third piece. "I instructed Toki to send up the box and return to the surface."

Kas wiped the duck through the black sauce.
"The box revealed itself to be wood." The bitterness ate at his tongue. "but inside, a collection of delicate glass vials filled with a strange red liquid, one of which had shattered." Again the vegetable broth cleared the bitterness from his throat.
"Something leaking from the box had eaten into the rope as we retrieved Toki." Kas gave up on the duck. It was just going to get worse. "Almost at the opening in the ceiling, the rope gave and Toki fell."
Kas coughed.
"I gave an order to fetch a new rope," Kas examined a second dumpling and rolled it in the black sauce. "and this time I lowered myself down into the darkness."
The dumpling was perfection. The sweet mix of vegetable and meat. The source of bitterness was definatly the Duck.
"The chamber was huge." Kas held the duck aloft and a sevant scurried forward. "I noticed that every weapon carried a seal of imperial authority etched into the blade."
The servant bowed before Kas and took the duck from his hand.
"The Duck is bitter in taste." Kas looked at the servant with suspicion. "It tastes like Poison."
The servant shook his head.
"No." Kas collapsed face down on the table. "The poison was in the vegetable broth."

Thursday, 13 October 2016

BX Dungeons & Dragons: BX Dragons?

Those Dragons capable of spell craft are unable to enchant Magic items unless they are 9HD. HD range from the medium +/- 3HD. So only the largest Dragons of each type qualify as crafters of magic items. Spells however dont improve with HD as they do in BECMI/Rules Cyclopedia D&D.

Charmed Minions: All dragons capable of a first level spell can charm a minion. Scroll Library & Minor Magic Items: any dragon of 9HD+ can create a scroll library or enchant minor magic items.
Crystal Ball Surveilance: The dragon with access to third level spells can enchant a crystal ball.

Somewhat different from dragons that can animate undeaf and enchant flying csstles.

Free Stuff: Forcefield Generator

Motor rotates varying the capacitance between 0.2-0.3 picofarad. I know...cyclic capacitors are not in the manual of standard IEEE symbols.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Free Stuff: Antimatter Weaponry

Recent scientific breakthrough resulted in lasers being used to create antimatter. Warp travel anyone? No? Then how about antimatter weapons. Rounds eject subsonically and tracking lasers target the rear of the projectile creating a matter-antimatter reaction accelerating the projectile to hypersonic velocities.

Artillery+antimatter producing lasers+ballistic propellant=antimatter propelled gyrojet rocket weaponry.

Basically everything!

Linguistic Archaeology: Religion in Japan

The words for Religion and Religious Factions are built from three phonetics.

  • Shu
  • Kyo
  • Ha
Shu
The shu phonetic appears in the words for monastary, archive, and capital city implying a monastic authority that has established monastaries and the capital city.

Kyo
The Kyo phonetic appears in the word for arena implying a martial art. It also appears in the words for world-jungle, frontier, canyon. So martial arts begins life in a canyon off in the world-jungle of south-east asia on the frontier of civilization.

Ha
The Ha phonetic appears in the words for pillar and tomb. Basically islam has reached Civilization. Hadj in far off Mecca with the pillar and tomb.

Kyo emerges from the jungle and enters the monastary system giving rise to martial arts dedicated monastaries. Shukyo becomes the primary religion. Kyo is now a faction. With the arrival of Islam it infiltrates the monastaries evolving into a new cult (shuhu). Islam infiltrates the martial arts faction kyo forming a new faction (kyoha). Ha and Shu become individually extinct.

The influence of Islam on eastern civilization could mean the expulsion of women from martial arts schools and religious monastaries. The emergence of a new religious cult and a new martial art.

Enjoy.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Campfire Tales: A Shared Meal

A Shared Meal
A dwarf named Yob camped in the wild with his fellow adventurers. They caught a fat boar and cooked it over a fire and Yob spilled fat in his beard and went to bed unclean. On the first night something small bit Yob on the toe while he slept and he woke in the middle of the night. He was unable to see what had bit him but it had drawn blood. He got very little sleep that night and was weary all the next day. In the evening the companions caught wild hens and Yob again spilled meat in his beard before going to sleep. On the second night while Yob Slept something bit him on the tip of his index finger again drawing blood and rousing him from sleep. Irritated at the pain he was unable to sleep the rest of the night. The day gave Yob no rest. Weary and tired Yob fell asleep that evening missing the meal all together. That night a dozen small things came in the night and finding no food in Yob's beard, each bit Yob for one point of damage until he bled to death.

DM Briefing: This is a cautionary tale about camp hygiene when outdoors. Leaving food out can attract scavengers and predators.

Character Origin: The Survivor

Five years ago, a masked killer brutally murdered a group of friends. Since then, [character A], the lone survivor, has struggled to reclaim a shattered life. Wracked with guilt and paranoia, [Character A] leads a depressingly lonely existence until [Character B] befriends [Character A] and attempts to integrate [Character A] into the Adventuring Party.
But just when [Character A] might be ready to start a new life, [Character A]'s past comes back to haunt them all.

Out damn spot
How is it that PCs can go off and murder hundreds without being psychologically changed by the experience? I suggest that every life taken requires a charisma check with a cumulative -1 penalty for every life taken. If the PC is unable to cope emotionally, it should cost one point of charisma or an alignment shift toward chaotic and evil. When charisma reaches three a multiple personality emerges with an alternate alignment (and even class).

Creature Catalogue: Men-rei-ki

Men-rei-ki
AC: -2
HD: 8*
MV: as wearer
AT: touch
DA: as mask
SA: F8
NA: 1 (1-12)
ML: as mask personality
TT: as wearer
AL: Chaotic
XP: 1200

Men-rei-ki are personalities of a would-be immortal looking to purge itself of all emotions and contemplate immortality from a purely logical perspective. It trapped its emotions and personality in mortal form. The masks posesses the wearer.

Mask.....ML...DA
Hunger: 10, attacks others out of Ravenous Hunger biting for 1d6.
Fear: 1, paralyzed with fear for one turn
Despair: 3, catatonic for one turn
Hate: 11, attack others as berserker for one turn
Love: 4, distracted for one turn
Lust: 7, distracted for one turn
Joy: 5, distracted for one turn
Pleasure: 6, Distracted for one turn
Suffering: 2, 1hp/round
Inquisitivness: 12, Death
Greed: 8, wisdom reduced to three when confronted with gold
Jealousy: 9, alignment shift to chaos.

Destroying a mask is impossible. It regenerates after twenty four hours even if disintegrated.


Sunday, 9 October 2016

B/X Dungeon Building: The Caves of Ominous Sufferance

Building a dungeon adventure requires that you pick a scenario and a setting.

1d10-scenario
1 - explore unknown
2 - investigaye chaotic outpost
3 - recover ruins
4 - destroy ancient evil
5 - visit a lost shrine
6 - fulfill a quest
7 - escape from enemies
8 - rescue prisoners
9 - use a magic portal
10 - find a lost race


1d6-location
1 - castle or tower
2 - caves or cavern
3 - abandoned mine
4 - crypt or tomb
5 - ancient temple
6 - stronghold or town

Ex. Our adventure is to Fulfill a quest (6) by fetching some object from some caves (2).

Specifics: The local wizard's previous apprentice perished in the caves. You need to fetch his remains. The caves are occupied by stirge (1-10) and giant geckos (1-3) which are wanering monsters.

Caves 1,3,4: trapped with pendulum blades (1d8).
Caves 2, 9: flying daggers attack when pcs enter.
Caves 6, 10: empty caves.
caves 7, 8: each is guarded by a living statue.
Cave 5, a concealed chute drops the pc down a slide into cave 9.

Treasure: the flying daggers are cursed magic daggers -1 and the pendulums are battle axes on ropes. The apprentice's remains have a scroll-levitate, and 5gp in a pouch.

So that should give you an adventure.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Map of the Week: The Blue Sapphire Mine

You followed the gnome back to his sapphire mine in the Jungle with the imtent of jumping his claim
That was probably a mistake.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Hidden Temple: When Adventures Go Bad

Legends of the Hidden Temple was a Nickelodeon game show obstacle course for kids. Basically they spoke to the talking stone head who tells them stuff, they then get quizzed on what they were told on the temple stairs for the right to retrieve (via an obstacle course) some single-use holy symbols that will protect them from the zombie guards within the temple of the monkey god while they search for the three parts (4 counting a rod spine up the centre) to the silver monkey statue.
They have three minutes to search a three floor inner sanctum (thats 18 d&d rounds) and assemble the statue while being accosted by zombie guardians (if you dont have a holy symbol you die). The statistics were horrible. The Success rate is four percent. Primarily this was to do with the design of the structure being for larger adult sized players not little children. So silver statue parts were atop shelves out of eye level perspective...and the only position to view them from was from the top of the rope from the entry hole in the ceiling or the top of the stairs.

Learning from LotHT
Adventurers should find adventures almost impossible to suceed at. A 4% chance of success shouldnt be unreasonable. Dont be afraid to feed your adventurers to the zombies.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Short Fiction: Fire, to destroy all you've done

Title: Fire, to destroy all you've done

"The Reichmarshal is expected in three hours for the demonstration and that..." Vosk crushed his gloves in his right hand and pointed at the colossal generator occupying the cavern, "...needs to be operational in ten minutes."
"I assure you Commander," Professor Bern cleared his throat. "the n-space generator is ready."
"Bring it online then Professor." Vosk twirled his glove occupied hand in a circular motion indicative of a generator that made physical rotation causing Professor Bern to wince at the man's ignorance. The n-space generator lacked any moving parts. "I want to test it before we demonstrate it to the Reichmarshal."
"Of course." Professor Bern signalled the Technician to turn the key before focusing his attention on Commander Vosk. "The capacitors are charging."
The air in the cavern became the colour of television tuned to a dead channel.
"As you can see," Professor Bern pointed at the centre of it. "the n-space generator is functioning perfectly."
"What of the previous problem?" Vosk could see a bubble of gold growing mid cavern.
"Solved by a filter replacement." Professor Bern pointed at the Gold bubble. "And before you ask No thats not gold."
"I know its not gold Professor Bern," The bubble of gold continued to swell. "I read the research."
"In that case...yes," Bern smiled. Vosk was a rare jewel amongst the leadership. "that is the n-space boundary."
"And beyond it is," Vosk could almost feel the presence of the Fuhrer who was waiting on the otherside for the n-space boundary to reach the volume of the chamber in an almost identical cavern beneath the Berlin. Vosk could feel the weight of the promotion pinned to his uniform. "the second facility beneath Berlin."
A bell rang alerting those in the chamber that the second facility was online.
"We can build these n-space generators anywhere," Vosk was excited at the prospect of instantaneous travel. "and simply step through."
A surge in the electrical bus and molten gold poured from the bubble splashing the floor of the cave.
"Professor?" Vosk turned to look at Professor Bern whose face had become ashen. "Is there going to be a problem?"
"Berlin has just been destroyed," Professor Bern was physically shaking. "The n-space boundary will reach us shortly."
"What do you mean?" The bubble had stabilized. "The boundary looks stable."
"The fluctuation in the power grid was the other facility failing." Professor Bern was terrified. "The n-space boundary is now expanding uncontrolled."
"How long?" Vosk stared at the perfectly stable n-space boundary in front of him. "How much time do we have Professor?"
"Minutes." The Professor was breaking down emotionally. "The Universe is collapsing to n-space."
"So it will not go further than this boundary?"
Vosk formed an idea walking forward. "Where does that lead?"
"Without a second facility?" Professor Bern understood where Vosk was going. "Anywhere."
"Anywhere?" Vosk moved toward the bubble of gold to get a closer look before looking back at the Professor. "Then we go where we can."
"With haste Professor," Vosk turned his attention to the n-space boundary in front of him.
"The end of the Universe waits for no Aryan." Vosk stepped through the n-space boundary.

The Universe was bright light. An infinite sea of aromas that Vosk was sure was the outdoors. The light faded from white revealing an ancient forest.
"Professor?" Anywhere now looked a lot like somewhere. Shadows gathered and stirred. They were Men wearing animal hides for clothing and armed with wooden spears. Spears now pointed at Vosk.
"Gun-sar will decide your fate." They spoke something akin to early German. 'Gun-sar' was a name. 'Gun-sar will decide?' The warrior indicated a direction of travel with the motioning of his spear. "Move."

"I am Gun-sar. I rule by right of challenge."
Gun-sar looked at one of his warriors. "What's the tally of challenges?" Vosk considered the value of the warriors surounding him. They smelled of dung, urine, sweat, and blood.
"Twenty five dead and one missing. " The warrior who spoke was closest to his chief.
"Oh come on Ka-to, Ba-tu fell backward off the cliff. " Vosk needed them to build his empire.
"Yes..." This one would serve as a lieutenant.
"So he's dead. You can't say Ba-tu is missing when he has fallen into a bottomless gorge. "
"No..." but the chief, "So its twenty six dead."
Vosk pulled the Lugher, fired with considerable accuracy and brought Gun-sar's reign to an end.
"I am Vosk," Vosk pointed his gun at Ka-to, "and this is my boom-stick."
"Now," Vosk pulled Gun-sar's corpse from the throne, sat down on the throne and looked at Ka-to.
"Where exactly is this village?" A warrior leaped forward in attack. Vosk met the challenge with another round from his lugher dropping the nameless corpse on that of Gun-sar.
"Are there any further challenges today?" Vosk looked about expectantly. "No?"
"You four dispose of these two." Vosk pointed about before turning his gaze on Ka-to. "How far are we from Berlin?"
"Ber?" Ka-to seemed wary of the new tyrant as he watched the newest corpse dragged from the hall.
"Ber-lin." Perhaps some other nest of civilization. "How far are we from Rome?"
"Rome?" Ka-to was confused by the word. It was unfamiliar. "Sel-ka. This is Sel-ka."
"Sel-ka." Vosk nodded his head. "Great. Just great." Vosk contemplated the world. No Berlin. No Rome. There was only one thing for it. "No more Sel-ka." Decisive leadership was needed. "This is now Ber-lin."