Hive Mind


The Synaptic Span

The heroes stare across the wide chasm to the narrow tunnels beyond, the air teeming with alien creatures.

Rainier and Minoru can tell by looking at the

Squinting a little as she peers into the darkness, Minoru feels certain that the energy they can see coursing through the synapses would be harmful to actually touch.

Looking at each other’s faces with silent understanding, Gallydyn and Minoru eye their targets carefully.

“Now!” Ereveron whispers with urgency. Letting loose a bolt of white lightning, Gallydyn reveals the heroes’ presence and his Matron target screams in pain.

The creatures immediately launch into action as the Matrons’ attention is focused on the small landing where the heroes stand.  Interestingly though, many of the creatures seem to be ‘leashed’ to their matrons and attempt to rush the heroes but can’t.

Utilizing their range, the heroes begin to pick off the creatures as they rush in, very few reaching them to snap with their needle-sharp teeth.

Amidst the battle, the heroes hear The Voice whispering still… her voice now more angry… more… desperate?

Whittling them down, the matrons see the efficiency and keep their distance, hoping to lure the heroes into the platforms to suffer the effects of the energy beneath them, but the heroes remain steadfast, allowing Ereveron to snipe the matrons from so far away.

Realizing their plight, the matrons retreat from across the span down a tunnel, and the heroes give chase, ensuring to watch and time the energy currents of the synapses and sprinting to the safety of the rock floor on the other side.

Fastion‘s song persists, and carefully continuing down the tunnel, the heroes see the Matrons have cut them off, and at much closer range try to stop the heroes.  They are no match, however, the heroes’ minds have been steeled by the waves of madness sent their way, and the Matron’s powers seem to fall short.

With the bodies of the mind-creatures lying still now at their feet, the heroes continue forward, certain now that they are nearing their goal.

Visions of Death

This proves true, as a devastating mental attack rushes toward them, appearing as before in the split-second before it washes over them, but this time… it is vicious… more powerful… and… definitely more ‘angry’.

The heroes leave the gaping chasm behind only to suffer another blast of mental energy – this time, bringing their pasts back to haunt them.

Each PC is chillingly reminded of a time when their own mortality was brought very near to them – near-death experiences, or such pain that they would hardly bear it!

  • Fastion: captured and tortured for what seemed like days until members of The Black Shield rescued him
  • Gallydyn:
  • Rainier: Caught in the heat of battle, his contingent being overwhelmed, Rainier takes cover behind his broad shield against an onslaught of flaming mortars from enemy trebuchets.  The realization that he was protected by the bodies of his company who were not so lucky haunts him with a keen pain to this day
  • Minoru:
  • Ereveron: On what seemed an ordinary hunting mission, Ereveron and his band pursued an Orc leader beyond the forest and into the barren lands of the orcs.  Successful in executing his target, the battle wounds and loss of his hunting party made the pain of both echo for him, even years later

Rainier feels the sheer willpower of their assailant overwhelming him, but channeling the strength given him by his experience in The Emperor‘s armies, he steels himself and manages to shake off the pain.

Despite his training and the horrors they’d been assaulted by before, Gallydyn‘s pain felt especially close in this place so far away from the comforts of nature that only Ereveron knew better.  His mind remained distracted as the heroes foraged forward.

Hive Mind

Just beyond the small incline of the stony cavern floor, the heroes enter a massive, open cavern with a horror in front of them, gargantuan in size.  A massive, floating brain with writhing, animated tentacles a hundred feet long, with minions, soldier-like in front of it. The alarms raised by the Matrons have given this creature and its minions time to prepare – the madness threatens.

It takes not more than a second before the assault begins!

Waves of mental power exude from the massive creature, and as the heroes attack, the tentacles block with the same golden-like energy the heroes are now familiar with – ‘time’ magic that seems to be part of the grand mystery.

Even defending the Psychic Surgeon minions, the Hive Mind lashes out at the heroes, attempting to drag them to it, for what nefarious purpose they have no interest in finding out.  Ereveron‘s keen arrows struck with deadly accuracy, and it was soon obvious the shield around this abomination was growing weaker.

Minoru shook off the mental effects of the first of the minions’ attacks and drew her vicious blade, bringing steel as well as her unique magic to bear on these aberrations.

Gallydyn‘s lightning blasts electrocuted the Hive Mind and by the time he regenerated his power, the shield was down, and the Hive Mind’s awful, unnatural screams were a glad sound as the heroes summoned everything they had.

Fastion‘s song thundered in the huge cavern, and the Hive Mind could do nothing against the assault – for there was nothing to block… he had found perhaps the breach in the creature’s armor.  His battle hymn grew louder as the heroes saw the massive creature’s wounds worsen.

With shield and hammer in hand, Rainier drew much of the attention of the clawed and tentacle-wielding minions, the magic blasts ran current through them – the heroes would not be denied.

With her eyes keenly focused on the towering monstrosity above her, Minoru saw an opening from two of Ereveron‘s vicious arrows, and summoning power from beyond, she hammered concussive force into the heart of the creature, felling it with a sickening, thunderous collapse.

Another Revelation

As the massive, screeching brain collapses with an echoing, squelching thud to the stone below, the air seems heavy with pregnant silence.

Then, a sound meets the heroes’ ears, soft and faint but quickly grows louder and louder – a voice – a scream that is both audible to their ears and loud in their minds!

The faces all are looking at her – pleading desperately and in such anguish. They tear their hair and throw helpless arms in the air in frustration. They are such like children… so helpless. She looks to him and he sees it too, but he knows what she will say, what she can do.


She rises above the city, reaching out to the entire world to feel it’s desperation – she sees the growing horrors. She can feel them burning, she can feel the emptiness, she can feel the timeless hunger. Beings from a dozen places most minds cannot fathom, all encroaching in this place. Her mind’s eye manifests images around her, windows hovering next to her and those watching her from below, transfixed, see in those windows the horrors that they had only heard about… and their terror grows. Looking down at him, she knows what it will cost, but there is no one else… she was the only one.


Focusing her intention and her power on the images, she clenches her fists with a ferocity that she’s never used before.  In each case, the creatures threatening this world reel back from the sheer power of her Will, as if nature itself were rebuking them.  The holes they have torn in this reality slowly start to close, their movement reverses and with strained effort, she continues closing them, turning them back.  She can feel now that it is taking from her, but she must continue until the reversal is complete.  The energy that fills her… that is her… pours through the windows and her goal is accomplished, sealing back these abominations from whence they came, as if their assault had never begun.

It is all she can do to finish the task, sealing away the gargantuans and the rifts that opened.  She closes her eyes in pain, exhaustion overwhelming her.  Falling stories to his arms below, he catches her effortlessly.

She is spent.

She has nothing left.

And he smiles.

And just as before… as if you were somehow stealing these images, the voice returns – louder and faster:


And then it goes silent.

Author: Turnerbuds