First, an apology for the late log - the session was back in December, before the holidays.
Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get it done before I left for Hamburg, although my birthday might have had something to do with that... Well, yesterday we had session four, so I figured it was long past due.
The day after the first foray into the structure, the group carefully explores the ground floor. We find a broken wall, which opens onto a natural cave. The corridor there leads to a few more rooms, including one which is filled with some sort of machinery. There is also a massive door with a glowing rectangle next to it. Touching the rectangle shows ripples and drawing patterns seems to leave a short after-image, but has no other effects.
Examining the natural cave, we find that there is airflow into the cave, which must therefore lead outside somewhere.
As we've explored the ground floor, we move to the second floor, where we encounter a labeled door. Unfortunately, we can't decipher the text, but we can investigate the small room behind it. It has strange little holes in the ceiling and clearly was built for a purpose we don't understand.2
Behind that, there is a large room, mostly empty except for a table and some chairs in the center3. The strange thing about the room are the walls, however, as they are all made from glass, with strange blue swirls on them. Alexander touches one, and it lights up.
On the opposite wall, a woman appears! She seems to be speaking, but we can't hear anything. Except, outside there's a humming sound getting louder and closer! We close the door, to be safe and suddenly there's music.4
Then, a female voice speaks. Siri and Ibram immediately realize that it's the woman on the wall, but Dane faints from surprise, while Walter freezes up for a few seconds. Alexander simply shrugs it off as yet another weird thing.
Ibram goes to help Dane, since he figures that he can't understand the woman anyway. Siri meanwhile tries to figure out what the woman is saying. Both of them figure out, at almost the same moment, that the woman is repeating herself. This gives Siri the chance to try and write down what the woman is saying as best she can.
Alexander has been examining the table instead and finds a protrusion on it, which is white, but doesn't seem to do anything.
The group then opens one of the doors in the room, left from where we entered. Dane and Alexander go check out the room there, which seems small and empty except for another glowing panel. They touch it and call Siri over, to try and translate the symbols that appear. Siri writes them down, but doesn't understand them.
There are eight buttons, arranged in little groups of two, with an upper and a lower button. Dane touches the top left button, and a window begins to open. It turns out that they are in the structure seen from the outside. The paired button closes the window again.
Through experimentation, they figure out that the buttons are linked to Window Left Floor Window Front Window Right
Dane and Ibram try to interact with the woman on the wall next, but don't manage to get any response. Still, talking to the woman seems to achieve that she speaks a slightly more understandable language. Something about entering somewhere? A secret?
No further success in interacting with the woman, so we call it a day and return to camp. On the way out, we meet a rite cat, sitting in the corridor towards the natural cave. It turns its head as we turn off to the exit, but doesn't follow us.
Our camp, including Estebán, is fine. Siri brings her notes up to shape, Ibram does the same with his map and Alexander tries to figure out the language of the structure before we all go to bed.
During the night, several rite cats show up, their eyes pulsing a signal. The light seems to lead into the structure and Ibram decides that he must go and see where they lead him. He wakes Walter and convinces him to take a watch, while he goes off with Siri.
Dane follows them and eventually joins them. While they are all somewhat creeped out, they follow the cats through the structure and to the natural cave. There are hundreds of cats there, all over the cave. Still, the pulsing shows them a way further into the cave, ultimately leading them to a larger cavern with another congregation of cats.
In the middle, there is a much larger cat.
Siri and Dane hang back, while Ibram approaches the big cat slowly. The other cats make way for him, until he is about 10m from the big cat when a voice tells him to stop.
The voice turns out to belong to the Mother Cat, head of the rite cats, who are, like the beoars, metallagolems. The mother cat tells our group that the entire world as they know it is a closed off section of the larger world, a controlled experiment, which is being repeated for the second time. The first iteration was wiped out after an uprising, and this wiping was the White Flash.
A group calling themselves the Ethical Experimenters infiltrated the original research group and inserted the cats into the experiment to try and prevent another wiping from happening and to try and perhaps liberate everyone from the experiment.
The cats can kill beoars, but we have to kill some of them ourselves, as that would be some sort of signal, and allow us to exit into the world beyond the experiment - out through the mountain and first to the control station.
We agree to help the mother cat in trying to free everyone by going through the mountain, killing the beoars on the way and talking to the researchers.
The mother cat shows us how to open the big door and sends us back to our camp to get ready.
On the way back, we discuss amongst ourselves whether we really want to follow the cats or not, but we all agree that we should. In the morning, we proceed to convince the others to do so as well.
Since we still have a day before the mother cat told us to be at the big door, we try to finish exploring the structure by using the glyph that it showed us in the control room. Activating the computers there allows us to explore various previously locked rooms.
We find a few vials of a clear liquid which we think is pure alcohol, some high-quality paper and, most importantly:
We spend the rest of the day figuring out how they work and learning how to use them safely6.