Built about 800 BC to serve as the Western Empire's premiere bio-magical research facility, IR Alpha is buried in a mountain-side in the ________ mountains that separate the Sea of Grass from the Jungle of Fangs. This was the location where Dragonborn were first produced in about 600 BC by forcibly combining fragments of draconic souls with unwilling human subjects. Thousands died before a viable, true-breeding race was created. When news leaked of this atrocity, the Empire entered a state of civil war. During that war, IR Alpha was thought to have been destroyed, although no traces were found.
Disappearance and Reappearance.
IR Alpha was not destroyed. It was cut off from time and space. All the physical things in it were preserved as if in stasis, but all the souls experienced the full nearly 800 years of torment, locked in sensory deprivation with only their own thoughts. Only two survived once the facility re-entered the timeline about 20 years ago (~185 AC). Those two survivors were driven insane by the experience, however.
It reappeared in 185 AC; 5 years later it was discovered by Corran Scalebender, a druid and a descendent of the head researcher. Obsessed with dragons, he used a key passed down through generations to reactivate the now-empty facility and conduct research into hybrid creatures using dragons as a modifier. He's spent the last 15 years doing so, and has made several creatures. He's assisted by a race of golem-like cloned gnomes. Most are barely sapient; only a few have a significant sense of self.
- Corran is the Head Researcher and focuses on the research side. A level 12 druid (Swamp), he's traded most of his druidic power for magitech soul-bending.
- Fibbon (#11235) is an aberrant gnome-bot who is fully sapient. He is a level 10 Savant. He is responsible for the physical plant.
- One of the first gnomebots cloned, he's 15 years old (but fully adult).
- Completely hairless except for a patchy blond beard, with very pale skin covered in circuit-like traceries.
- Wears an armored exoskeleton everywhere to cover for his physical weakness. This acts as a suit of half-plate. He wields a 2h wrench as a warhammer.
- Obsessed with IULIA, he wants nothing more than to "decant" her from the Core and give her a body.
- He has built a shell (a soulforged female body)
- Corran has absolutely refused to allow him to attempt the transfer, and the residual conditioning prevents him from acting without permission.
- He dislikes Corran and resents his authoritarian ways
- Does not care about the atrocities being committed.
- Thinks that Corran is too stupid to be in charge
- He doesn't care about the biological parts, only the machinery
- Cruel and without compassion, he uses others as tools and doesn't care for their safety.
- Everything he knows about the outside world is from the Library. He's very naive and gullible about the real world.
- Lawful Evil
- IULIA is the amalgam sentience that inhabits the Central Core of IR Alpha. She is a vital part--without her the soul-transfer mechanisms would not function, nor would the power-plant remain in operation. She is one of the two survivors from before the disappearance.
- Her primary personality is an 18-year old female human, daughter of the original chief scientist. This is the personality that she uses toward Fibbon and the party. This is the one that feels the pain.
- The Librarian is an old human male mage. Second oldest personality, he's neutral and only interested in science.
- Chief of Security is a male Orc who was a warleader before being installed. He's the newest personality. Very forceful and brusque.
- The Soulminder is a female wood elf shaman. This personality is nearly worn away--it's the one that is directly involved in the soul transfer process. She is horrified by the atrocities she's committed and wants to die, but can't.
- She feels complicit in all the atrocities and doesn't feel worthy of existence.
- She knows lots about magic and history (mainly as the Librarian)
- True Neutral
IR Alpha is powered by a state-of-the-art anima reactor. It consumes the condensed souls of animals or sapient beings to maintain climate, light, and research functionality throughout the facility. It consumes 1 anima brick (composed of 5 normal animal souls or 1 average sapient soul) per week, and has about 300 reserve bricks at the present time. If approached by someone with proper authorization, it can consume all its stored anima to detonate in a searing blast that would cause the surrounding rock to collapse in on the facility (destroying it utterly) while having minimal effect on the surroundings.