Croatoan, Part 2

roanoke-colony-2Gog explained that they followed the mighty god king Croatoan and that the settlements along the island coast were made up of various aliens from other worlds. Each able bodied man was to serve in his armada for 5 years and their children and their children’s children, to the hundredth generation, could not settle on any land that did not belong to Croatoan.

The time travellers stayed with the colonists as they set up a new settlement, among the other humans that already served Croatoan while Gog studied the gifts they had brought. He was particularly pleased with the flint lock pistols they had.

Once night had fallen the Inspector attempted to take the TARDIS to the tower but found his vessel was in some distress. He came to the conclusion they’d entered a pocket dimension and the time machine was unable to navigate isolated from normal time and space.

They were forced to resort to using a tandem bicycle from the TARDIS store room (paid with using a story point). This wasn’t he best of vehicles as the island had no roads and so it was rough going, at least for Inspector as Phillipa decided to let him do most of the pedalling.

At the tower the armoured guards refused to let them enter until the Inspector revealed he was a gallifrayian. They were led through the structure, the size of a small city, passing ancient technology on a massive scale.

In the mighty throne room they were confronted by the demonic Croatoan who towered above them. The Inspector had suspected that they were dealing with a Daemon but found this was something different, a living black hole.

Croatoan claimed to be an ancient god and that he would consume all things. He questioned the Inspector on what gallifrayians were and was fascinated  by the idea of conquering time as well as space.

He demanded that the Inspector build him a time machine. When the Inspector refused Croatoan increased the gravity around them, bringing them to their knees. When he continued to refuse Croatoan threatened to kill Phillipa.

Finally relenting the Inspector said he could use the technology to create what he wanted. Croatoan warned them that he would know if they were trying to trick him which the Inspector put down to a surveillance system.

Given access to the technology they learnt that it was originally an anti-gravity device that had gone wrong and was protecting the island from Croatoans black hole body. The lightening crackling around its summit provided its power.

If they shut it down Croatoan would be trapped but everyone on the island would die.  A further challenge was that the vast equipment wasn’t linked. It would take a co-ordinated strike to shut down the equipment.

Using her newly gained computer skills Phillipa was able to find out that Croatoan was originally a scientist and even found a photo of him with the research team, wearing a lab coat with a clip board under his arm. Phillipa deemed him a geek.

With few options the Inspector convinced Croaton that he could create a time machine using his TARDIS and using his black hole body as a power source. Secretly the Inspector planned to use this power to intensify the anti-gravity field around him, reducing his powers and giving the people on the island time to escape.

Croatoans men were sent to fetch the time machine while the Inspector working to link it to the ancient machinery. The TARDIS was placed in Croaton’s throne room . The Inspector set up a collector device and the demonic ruler used his gravity powers on it. The ancient machinery was pushed to its limits and the TARDIS started to whine.

The Inspector and Phillipa got inside the TARDIS as sparks flew from the console. This was not what the Inspector had anticipated, his time vessel unable to handle the pocket dimension being further destabilised.

Sensing danger the TARDIS dematerialised, violently throwing the occupants about. So violent was the shaking that they were knocked out, leaving us with a cliff hanger ending, unsure if their plan to trap Croatoan had worked. 

I was a little disappointed with the ending as the players seemed to have little idea of how to defeat Croatoan. Once again they resorted to over-reliance on the TARDIS and techno-babble.

I’d hoped that they’d have used the settlements to overthrow the god king. I’d established that his warriors only served him because they believed him to be a deity. The time travellers knew the truth and could have used this information to make them take their side.

dareWith their help they could have laid siege to the tower, giving them time to shut down the equipment and co-ordinate an evacuation. As it was once they got the tower they had no further contact with either the colonists or those who had made the island their home.

Time was against us during this game. We’d started late and worked out in such a way that there wasn’t enough of the adventure left to justify picking it up later. Given more time I could have perhaps delayed the preparations to trap Croatoan, giving the player characters more opportunities to interact with the colonists and those loyal to the god king.

With a slower pace I could maybe have had Croatoan discover the deception, placing Phillipa in danger and forcing the player characters to use something other than technology to defeat him.

My thoughts must now turn to how to follow this game up. I already had an adventure planned on an alien world with a human colony. It will be a simple matter to have the origin of the colony be those people fleeing the collapsing dimension.

I think there is also long term potential for Croatoan. His power intimidated the players and the scene in which he tortured them was particularly effective. With his fate uncertain the player characters might find they haven’t seen the last of him.

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