Kalgunn's Answers to Party's Initial Inquiries

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  • How does one re-charge a battery?  (PEP - Is that the right acronym? Personal Energy Pack, right?) 

Thousands of years and still no improvement over the PEP design? Unbelievable! Wasteful little things – disposable, too, to enforce reliance on Xen’Teler during the colonial period. That’s the only source of new PEPs accessible from Meidia, by the way, and it is beyond our reach forever. I heard tell once that a group of warriors trapped on a collection mission across the oceans tried charging their mechanical suites with an Electrosphere … it did not work as anticipated, although the charging issue was resolved rather permanently.

  • Where is the nearest location to do so?

The nearest is approximately 22,000 miles as they were measured by the native humans.

  • Is there a limit to the number of times one can activate the sword of a Lord Marshall? (I'm drawing a blank on the office that uses Thorfus's sword. It's in my notes somewhere. I believe it is Lord Marshall)

I assume the Lord Marshals are no more, so you must be talking about another relic from my era – which also explains your interest in the PEP. Exhausted your charges poking around in ancient graves? Hmm … well, to answer your question, no limit beyond that imposed by the power source. Those alternate versions of you are an unlimited resource no matter how many you doom to save your skin, renewed with every choice you make as the multiverse bifurcates.

  • Where is the nearest high level control circlet?

I am afraid my knowledge of the current state and allocation of the dwarven empire’s treasures is rather incomplete. Doubtless such things are to be found here is Xen’Khel, although perhaps not as common in the research facilities themselves given the delicacy of their tasks and a well-founded fear of rebel exploitation.

  • Even better what is the hierarchy of these circlets and what color/metal/design signifies each level of control?

Most control circlets will observe the traditional hierarchy of silver, gold, copper, and platinum with perhaps some aesthetic flourishes to differentiate specific artifacts. Of course, that is simply tradition and convenience; mechanically, the material and design are immaterial in determining function.

  • Can one wear a control circlet and will it function if also wearing the device that blocks telepathy?

An odd question that reveals a number of interesting things – clearly you (or your companions) possess a control circlet; also, you fear being dominated by a foe that has knowledge of these things. Do the primitives who pick through the wonders they cannot understand fight over our treasures like scavenging jackals? Or perhaps not all of our creations sleep easily? Regardless, the question is nonsensical. Something that blocks neuro signals will not allow the circlets to work.

  • Does he know anything about an ancient dwarf with a control circlet and the ability to make more undying? (AKA the dark king?)

Creating Undying is a trivial affair – the domain of Bioforge engineers, who are engineers in name only and not skill. Assuming access to fullerene-enriched material to provide control and processing abilities, the surgical procedure is simplistic and well within the reach of even primitives such as you. An ancient dwarf with a control circlet would have no trouble producing such servants. Does this mean, though, that there are some survivors of my people’s empire still active in your world and creating new Undying? Interesting …

  • Is there a facility where undying were created other than here in engineering?

Again, the question makes little sense to me. Undying could be created anywhere the raw materials are available. Do you wish to produce such servants?

  • If the power is cut off to the Bioforge facility, can those in that location use the portal system? Will it close any open portals?

The simple answer to your question is that the portal system used to travel between different sections of Xen’Khel is powered through my grandson’s facility. Shutting off power to an area will close any open portals and make travel by such means impossible. The real answer is that the various administrators in Xen’Khel were not the most trusting of colleagues and the existence of backup power sources in different areas would not surprise me in the least. My grandson may have seemed to have a stranglehold on the other administrators, but he was a paper tiger.

  • Is there a way to see the activity in the other facilities without going to each one?

Not likely – each research team wanted the glory of saving the empire for themselves. That’s not even taking into account their fear of the rebellion and its surveillance abilities following the debacle at the Crystal Tower.

  • Is there a way to permanently increase one's physical strength? Without risking death? (Thorfus's ticket to higher levels.)

That is a question for Bioforge engineers, experts in their limited domain. Why bother augmenting the flesh with all its inherent weakness when you could build something so much better from only the best materials?

  • What happened in the botanical research facility? (Is this the origin of the giant mushrooms?)

I imagine everyone died or left a long time ago. Has it really taken the rebellion forces millennia to clean out the Xen’Khel labs? Were we forgotten? Quarantined?

  • What happened in the Bioforge? (Is it wrecked for any other reason than they suspect an infection - we know it was Derich's doing with the undead?)

The same thing, I imagine.

  • What happened in the pathogen lab? (Some sort of infection got out.)

Again, I have no idea except that it likely wasn’t pretty. The work by the pathogen researchers always seemed inherently unsafe to me, even when there wasn’t the pressure of a losing war to encourage reckless behavior.

  • Are there any other devices with the essence of ancient dwarves? If so, where are they located? What kind of devices?

Many of the better families would bring back especially honored ancestors to guide their fortunes – some of those other descendants may have even been worthy of such care. Why would I know where they are now? I will say that my grandson was true to form in his choice of vessel for my “essence” – you’re unlikely to find another elder of my stature trapped in such rubbish.

  • What else is in area X besides the dragon emperor's consort? (XenoTel?)

The only work in Xen’Khel that mattered after Heaven’s Fall – an attempt to undo the damage the emperor’s consort caused XenoTel. What better resource to help design the antidote than the author of a disease?

  • Are the offices of the administrators of the botanical research lab and the pathogen lab located to the West, like they are in the bioforge and engineering? (If it is a cultural thing to do that, it would help with other ancient dwarven ruins.)

I’m afraid my ability to explore the facility was somewhat hampered by form and the tendency of my grandson to lock me in his bedroom trunk. I vaguely recall, though, that the original plans for this location had most of the administrative offices either to the west or north of the lab entrances. It’s likely they kept that configuration when they reopened the site after Heaven’s Fall.

  • Do the portals lead to other Khels? Is there a way to redirect the other end of a portal?

The portals can lead to any other gate on Meidia, assuming one has the proper key. Since you recovered me from my grandson’s trunk in the deepest research facility, I will assume you understand the key mechanism to some extent.

  • Where are the flying vehicles? (That would be impressive indeed.) 

They were destroyed by the Dragon Emperor’s forces just after the Crystal Tower fell – that was, in large part, the second part of the battle of Heaven’s Fall since it prevented the survivors from immediately undoing the damage to Xen’Teler caused by the emperor’s consort.

  • What reasons did the dwarven traitors give for their actions?

What reasons do traitors normally give? An attack of conscience, convenient morality, and simplistic notions of justice were the typical rationales of those siding with the rebellion. Fanciful terms for weakness of resolve and cowardice.

  • One good question perhaps would be to see if he recognizes Axel and Thorfus's family names, to see if we can claim any hereditary legitimacy as this would especially help Thorfus's cause.

Well, I’m gratified to hear that family connections still matter to our descendants. It is a bit unnerving to hear those relations described in primitive terms like “clans”, though. Tell me: is the concept of fostering and patronage dead now? Are your dwarven clans defined solely by blood? And who are your dwarven companions to whom these questions matter? Can I speak with them? Regarding the Ironhand and Rhom’Khul families, though, I know nothing. Those families certainly didn’t produce any engineers of note.

  • How did the Crystal Tower work/connect with Xen’Teler and what could remain after the fall to fix it?

It connected quite literally and provided the most convenient means of accessing Xen’Teler from this world. I never saw the ruin after Heaven’s Fall, but I imagine the base of the tower would remain, given the depth of its foundation, along with large sections of the tower itself after it fell back to earth.

  • Does he have any plans/prototypes not shared with his son that he'd like to impress Edan with?

I may have some designs that were being saved for a great-grandson more worthy of my guidance. Since that plan is no longer feasible, perhaps I would share them with a sufficiently learned apprentice. Let’s see first if you deserve such honor.

  • Why did the Dwarves come to here from the sky and Curabel specifically?

We came to establish our empire and prepare a world suited to our race for those who would come after us. Clearly we failed in that mission and will likely be judged harshly in consequence.

  • What does he think of a religion based on Xen’Teler?

The phenomenon of a cargo cult is nothing new, although it is saddening to think that our own descendants have fallen so far that they would participate. Given the Dragon Emperor’s purported cruelty, it would not surprise me to find out this was an intentional humbling of his defeated enemy.

  • Can he explain trans-spatial energy in more detail to Edan (i.e. - new spells!)

I would actually be interested to hear you explain the concept of ‘magic’ and ‘clerics’ to me … how do you understand these things? What do you believe powers these wonders?

  • What are the safeguards that failed when the Crystal Tower fell?

The safeguards that failed were those preventing non-dwarves from accessing and manipulating trans-spatial energy – your magical forces. How exactly the Dragon Emperor’s consort managed to undo those seals is one of the key questions Xen’Khel was tasked with answering after Heaven’s Fall. From our current situation, I assume the answer was not discovered in time.

  • Many of the enchantments (trans-spatial energy) within the dwarven automata seem indefinite (at least spanning millennia); care to teach Edan what he doesn't know?

Prove yourself a worthy apprentice to one of the dwarven empire’s greatest engineers; if you do so, I will reveal what secrets I have.

  • How would he go about reestablishing Xen’Teler?

That would be another of the key questions under investigation here at Xen’Khel – specifically in the Special Research Facility.

  • Did the Dragon Emperor ever attempt a rescue or negotiate for his consort?

No. He was never much for negotiation, although in this particular case I imagine that was because he never knew that she lived – did he ever learn about her abduction during Heaven’s Fall after the war? In fact, what happened to him after the rebellion? 

  • His own clan?

My ‘clan’ likely came to an end with my empire. While neither imaginative nor intelligent, my descendants did seem loyal.