Homer and Virgil decide to join the party, at least provisionally. The loose plan is to head back down to Seattle, bring the brothers’ higher-ups in contact with our higher-ups, and Figure Shit Out somehow from the results. We have no idea where Molly is, so our best bet is to use Dayna to continue trying to sniff out information.
Zhou, Dayna and Virgil scout the area and find a slightly better path down the mountain. Meanwhile, Raahi, Casey and Homer do a more detailed search of the cabin, and Raahi finds a trapdoor in the floor of the cabin. Raahi finds that there’s a long tunnel leading diagonally downward behind the door, and a couple of chambers at its end; the whole deal is bigger than the cabin but no larger than a house. Casey uses his spear to open the door while various people nervously point guns. Behind the door are six storeys of stairs leading down; steep, good craftsmanship, no detectable traps. The risers are very tall. Raahi realizes these steps look like the ones made by ancient Mesoamericans; they even have some carvings to match. At the bottom, there’s a strangely ancient yet perfectly preserved room in the same pre-Columbian style; it seems as if it’s been here untouched for centuries. It feels like a natural cave, only the floor is tiled and completely flat. There are blocks of stone whose presence is mysterious, since there’s no sign they were quarried from the cave. There’s a raised platform and two doors. The platform is about the height of a card table, and has, basically, blood grooves and a slight concavity, but it’s clean. The whole place screams Tlaloc, what with the nasty-ass carvings and so on.
When Casey steps through the door on the right, he’s blinded by a bright flash of light. Zhou pulls Casey back, and the light dims. The room turns out to be a gargantuan geode; any light cast into it is reflected dazzlingly back on its source. Polarized goggles help, as does this realization. Many of the large, faceted quartz crystals have been carved with geometric patterns; the same ones as on the floor in the previous room. The cast of the crystal is somewhat bluish. Dayna infers that it’s magically preserved ice. The geode room seems to be a dead end.
Zhou checks the left room, and finds a tiny room where the floor domes up and the ceiling is low, less than five and a half feet. There are jade chains running along the surface of the dome, ending in open links. It seems like they should fall down, but they don’t. Dayna and Raahi realize that Tahoma is imprisoned in this room. Dayna thinks that if the object in the box is placed on the mound, it would release Tahoma. As she puts it, if we do this, terrible things may happen, but if we don’t, we are leaving someone in chains. There is much argument and no conclusion. Meanwhile, Dayna, singing to the spirit, walks into the room and falls unconscious across the stone, groaning and making inhuman, whale-like noises. She is incommunicative otherwise during this period. Zhou tries to check her pulse, and she stops moaning, like someone stopping a tape. Dayna regains some consciousness and starts vomiting; her lungs are full of saltwater. Zhou drags her out into the main room and Raahi gives her medical assistance; it’s basically as if she’s nearly drowned. Dayna says that she is unable to talk to it; she had no sense of any emotions or ideas during her contact. Raahi speculates that Tahoma may be more like a blind force of nature than a personality, and Casey chimes in that the confinement may be more dam than prison. The whole experience seems to tilt the group against the iaadea of using the object in the box.
The group spends awhile just examining the area before they leave. Raahi notes that there are a lot of Greek notes in the architecture of the place; besides the leering frog things, there are Ionic columns and things lying around, suggesting a confederation between Tlaloc and some Greek gods.
We spend the night at the cabin, posting watches. Homer and Zhou take first watch, Raahi and Virgil the second, and Casey and Dayna the third. Halfway through second watch, Raahi and Dayna both realize that something’s thumping in the wind, except there’s nothing to thump. As they decide to wake the others, the door is blown open by a thunderous crash.
We all get 4xp, and Dayna gets a point for briefly letting Tahoma posess her. Zhou gets a point for diplomacy and coordination. Raahi gets a point for academics. Casey gets a point for providing a loyal opposition and helping to convince us all not to let loose Tahoma.