Len looks around, feeling the red mana of the area and the sun suffuse him. He's surprised at how his heart starts to beat faster, thundering in his ears. His thought drift to Drea for a short second, before returning to the matter at hand.
Len looks at the metallic creatures, fascinated at the artificial life form, even in death.
The corpses of the creatures don't appear to have had metal grafted onto them, as some Izzet mages have. It seems fully integrated into their bodies, as though they were born with it. Most of the larger creature bodies are too damaged to tell what they once were, though the smaller ones have proportions similar to goblins seen within Estark.
There is no portal, Venge observes. The two of them crossing through seems to have used up the last of its fading energy.
There are, however, two strange beings watching the two mages with hungry eyes from behind. They are green, and appear to have skulls for heads instead of flesh. They each wield a bone knife, and the instant they notice Venge spotting them, they swiftly leap forward and deliver a cut to each mage.
They slither back in an almost reptilian motion and in total silence, licking the blood from their knives as they do. As they consume the blood, they noticably increase in size, their muscles and claws growing larger and heavier. Behind the two beings, a larger creature looms, natural armor plating covering portions of it. It is feasting on the corpses of the dead, and doesn't appear to have noticed the two mages appear from thin air.
Venge roars in anger at the sudden attack. Then his roar turns into a loud incantation, and a spiked, metal object seems to emerge partway from his skin, lodged in one of the circular indentations in his arm.
Len breathes carefully, wincing slightly at the blows the creature managed to land on him.
Seeing that the creature is currently engrossed in his meal, at least... Len glances inquisitively at the creature... he thinks it's a he, Len carefully makes his way silently out of the creature's line of sight, trying to make as little noise as possible. Nevertheless, he summons more mana to him, ready to deal with this situation if need be. Flames appear on Len's fingers, licking warmly at his flesh.
The beast doesn't seem to notice Len sneaking off. It does, however, spot the corpse of the slith that Len smashed with his mechanical arm. It wanders over and begins feasting on the body. The slith's corpse isn't very large, and the beast will be done eating it in moments.
There aren't any obvious places to hide nearby. The ground has been blasted barren by whatever violence happened recently.
Len keeps looking around, moving generally away from the creature, and searching for any signs of civilization, where all these corpses may have come from originally. He summons a bit more blue mana, having it encompass most of his artificial hand.
OOC: Yep, you got one extra turn because the creature was distracted.
Len doesn't see any sign of civilization. However, after he leaves the ruin of the first crater he notices that nearby is another one. It looks similar to the first, but is full of nothing but small, charred skeletons all facing the same direction: backs to the first crater. The bodies of the first crater are scattered and random, facing different directions and with different dead creatures.
The skulls of the small skeletons are strangely proportioned, very large with plates of metal integrated into the bone.
As Len makes his observations, he hears a sniffing noise from nearby. The giant creature is wandering around, having devoured all the corpses. It prowls around the edge of the crater, its eyes fixed on the center where Len came through the portal. It appears to be paying no attention to Len once he had left perimeter of the simmering circle of earth.
OOC: I'm just going to play it as if Venge never made it through the portal. If you want to me to play it as if he had never come along, that's fine.
Len's brow furrows as he makes his way towards the second crater. Keeping a third of an eye on the first crater in case the huge creature decides he's in the mood for another meal, another third on his surroundings, including the sky (who knows what creatures live here? Certainly something able to create these craters...) he makes observations of the skeletons, hoping to find something he can deduce. At least the species.
Sadly, forensic anthropology had not been taught in the school he went to. Nevertheless, he knew roughly what a skeleton looked like, mainly considering that Trey had several in his lab. Some with metallic bones or other bits. Still, he did his best. He paid special attention to the metal grafted to the bone. He knew his metals better than he knew his species.
OOC: Yeah, we'll just assume the portal didn't have enough power to bring both of you and Venge was left behind.
The bones are small, with large skulls and sharp teeth. If flesh could be imagined on them, their proportions would somewhat resemble Izzet goblins, though with metal plates or spines sticking out of them in odd places. Several of the bodies on the far side of the crater are only mostly burned, with bits of red flesh still attached above the waist. The bodies closest to the first crater are noticeably more damaged than the further ones.
The beast apparently has no interest in Len's movement.
"Yummy..." Len mumbles to himself at the bits of flesh. He glances back at the first crater, wishing that Venge had gotten through, and hoping that he hadn't been IN the portal when it collapsed. That would have been unpleasant.
Len then glances up in the direction of the portal, idly wondering what kind of angle a fireball would have had to hit to make this kind of blast pattern.
OOC: There are several ways to test that, if you want. You could make a specific d20 roll to figure it out. Or you could test it with a spell. Or there are others that Len will have to figure out for himself.
During his examination of the bodies and the crater, Len notices that there is a swath of unburned ground between the two craters that was obviously tread on recently. The thin layer of rust and dirt has been disturbed between the portal and the crater.
Len stands up and steps back a bit, walking so that he judges that the level of destruction is about equal throughout the crater from his perspective. He then turns around and guesses where that would come from, extending the invisible line from the perceived center of destruction through where his head is.
OOC: Does it look like it came from roughly where the portal was, or directly above?
Whatever caused the destruction had to have come directly from the portal. The end of the crater that is nearest the portal is much more damaged and charred than the opposite side. That would account for the condition of the bodies on the far side of the crater as compared to the bodies on the near side of the crater.
Why all the goblinoids were facing away from the portal when they died is still a mystery. There is nothing obvious in the direction they face for them to be looking at.
Len tries to remember what had happened. It was just a bunch of mages who had come over from Dominaria. Zealots, certainly. Something about purifying... well purification fell under White mana, but destroying artifice tended towards the chaos that red mana embodied. That would account for the widespread destruction here.
Convinced he had gleaned as much information out of the corpses as possible, he scanned the nearby mountains, trying to find signs of intelligent life. Or other goblins, failing that.
To clarify: He has left this as one part of a mystery. He probably will find out other parts later, and he'll figure this one out.
For some unknown reason, Len's stomach felt like he had suddenly swallowed a sun, and the pain from that feeling quickly spread to his entire form like every cell in his body decided it was time to explode.
Then, as quickly as it came, the sensation was gone.
Len gasped as the burning sensation started. He placed his hand against his stomach, and started looking around for the source. When the pain spread throughout him, he barely held back a cry of pain. His vision swam, his knees buckled. All he knew was the flame. The residual red mana on his hand started sparking as his emotions flared, trying to make sense of the sensations shooting through him.
For a few moments after the pain disappeared, Len sucked air into his lungs, just grateful he could breathe. It took him a few moments to even realize that he was lying on the ground. Moving carefully, he picked himself up, looking around for the source of where that pain had come from.
Nothing obvious could have caused the pain. The strange-shaped mountains surrounding Len are barren. The huge green beast continues to circle the portal. Which is strange, considering the portal has since expended its energy getting Len through to this plane.
The massive red sun burns above. The red mana saturating the area seems to empower Len somehow: With the huge sun beating down mercilessly, he should be hot and thirsty, but he isn't.
Len takes note of that. A lot of things are very strange here. A bright sun that should be dehydrating him but it isn't, metal grafted to the inhabitants bones, strange, apparently uninhabited mountains, random flares of pain. He's not used to all the differences between here and Dominaria. He may miss the cues.
Very, very faintly Len hears something. It's too faint to make out exactly what it might be, but it sounds like a series of distant popping sounds.
The red sun's power has apparently enhanced Len's senses, because whatever is making the sound isn't within view but he can hear it just well enough to determine a direction. It's in the direction all the burned little goblin-like creatures were facing when they died.
In that direction, the ground is relatively flat. The mountains are less steep and the ground appears clear of debris or rocks for as far as the horizon.