The rain continued for several days. Eventually, even though the rain felt dirty and icky, they decided they had to bring the fuel they'd made inside, dry it out, repair the gears, and otherwise work around the constant rain.
There was some trouble with the wolverine in the watermill when Zedd teleported over to get some scrap metal (the panel covering they'd removed to find the faulty gears) and the rusted out gears that needed fixing. It didn't actually manage to bite anyone or anything, though, and they didn't do anything stupid like disturb its nest while it was out.
There was also trouble with centipedes, that made it hard for Grey to sleep, but they stayed away once the forge was online.
Zedd also noticed a strange obelisk on the smelter, which matched a similar one on the watermill and on the lift's motor, in the mine (they went in to check it out, and sure enough it would be really annoying to use the lift without power). There were buttons on the obelisks, so Zedd decided to press them all on the smelter's obelisk. One of them (marked with an X, on the bottom, normally obscured when it was in its socket) made a 'click' noise, but otherwise nothing happened.
Eventually, the gears were ready, and put back into place, the buckets were repaired, and the rain stopped. The river was dry again, though -- the animals had reparied the dam, presumably. Grey noticed that at some point during the storm, they'd installed a proper spillway to power the waterwheel -- it looked like it belonged, so it wasn't obvious that it was new. Still, it was also dry...
The otter was still hanging around the camp, even though their dog always went crazy whenever he saw it. The otter chased after them, agitated, when they reluctantly decided to head back up to the dam. Grey hacked it, and found out that it was in charge of managing the river here at the camp, now. So he told it to do its job and bring water for the waterwheel.
In a few minutes, it did just that. The wheel spun up, and the little obelisks on top of the waterwheel and lift started glowing. The smelter's was still dark, though. Apparently, Zedd's messing around with it had killed it, or maybe turned it off. No amount of playing with the buttons seemed to be able to turn it back on, though.
They discovered that they could safely (if uncomfortably) remove and carry the active obelisk back and forth between the lift and the smelter, though, so they'd be okay -- all they had to do was fill the smelter's vat with ore, then turn it on.
Mining, of course, was a pain. First of all, they had to find the vein of ore. The bottom level of the mine (which they figured would be the newest, and thus most likely to have ore left) was weird -- more like a natural cavern, although it didn't have any stalagmites or stalactites, with holes bored in the walls.
They explored it a bit, until it widened out into a large cavern, lit by the glow of... something below, over the edge of a cliff. Zedd leaned over the edge to get a look, and saw moles running back and forth carrying bits of glowy stuff under a luminous mist. Everyone else saw Zedd's fur start to glow, and pulled him back from the edge before he had to make a second con check. The healer was horrified when he heard about this incident later on, but his snake was able to cure the radiation overdose without any long-term effects.
A test run of the smelter that evening revealed that they really would have to fill it up all the way before it would work, annoyingly enough. The exhaust vent was also a bit clogged, so Zedd climbed up on the roof to clear it. While he was up there, he saw the sky to the south glow brightly, perhaps from the lake Grey had seen all the animals at.
The blacksmith mentioned a rumor he'd heard, from the technological heretics, that the gods were deliberately irradiating the world. They were certainly putting radiation into Alma Village's water supply! They mostly dismissed the notion, especially since (as the healer was quick to note) radiation wasn't really that dangerous as long as you got regular checkups.
They continued to mine for about a week, with only a few moments of excitement -- a fox followed them into the mine to watch them work at one point, and at another Grey was attacked by a swarm of bees and stung repeatedly. The third worst thing to happen was for the watermill to stop working, as the water was cut off -- not that bad, since the obelisks were well-charged, and they could probably have the otter get more water if they needed it. The second worst thing to happen was when a swarm of raccoons invaded the mine and dismantled the lift. They elected not to interefere, and started thinking of other plans to get at least a little metal out of this operation. It turned out to be not quite as bad as all that, though -- the raccoons had simply replaced the powered lift with an unpowered ladder, and used the extra material to block off the shaft above the radioactive level.
The worst thing to happen was when the vein they were mining ran out. None of them had any idea how to find another.
last week | next week
I gave them many, many opportunities to screw themselves over and earn the enmity of at least the local gods, but they played it safe and... well, it's still providing an example of how gods and people work together, I guess.
Next time, we expect to have Lazar back while Snowwy's away. If Lazar isn't back next week... well, we won't be able to play, because Snowwy will still be gone. So either way, the next session should be back at his place.