Break the Seal! (2300 A.D.)
Before heading to 2300 A.D. to investigate the potential connection between the sealed doors in the domes and Zeal Palace Ayla, Crono, and Marle decide to fly the Dactyls to Ioka to check in on the villagers. The Iokans tell the group that there have been far fewer monsters about lately however there has been less game around and many villagers have noticed that it has grown significantly mare cold. Another villager tells the team that Kino has also taken over as chief since Ayla’s absence and as his first major act as chief, he’s taken in the people of Laruba after the destruction of their village. Currently they are residing in the Iokan Meeting Grounds but given how cold it has been getting, they might want to look in to warmer accommodations. Once the group is caught up on currents events, they head to the Mystic Mountains to take the gate back to the End of Time on their way to the future.
Once the group returns to the End of Time, they ask the Old Man if he has any advice for their current situation. The Old Man tells the group that with the only gate leading to 12,000 B.C. sealed, they will need another way to move through to time in order to return. He claims that he once knew someone working on device to allow people to do such so but fears that he went mad during his research. With only a couple of scraps of information to work with Ayla, Crono, and Marle use the pillar leading to Bangor Dome in 2300 A.D. to investigate the sealed doors to see what they connection, if any, there is between them and the doors at Zeal Palace.
When the group emerges from the gate in Bangor Dome they attempt to open the sealed door with the Mammon Machine crest on it using Malre’s pendant and it works. All the group finds behind the door is some equipment and treasure but they have established that the pendant works on these doors just as they did in Zeal. Which actually sort of begs the question: How did they manage to open these doors before the Day of Lavos? Even if Marle’s pendant survived that long, it had already lost its power by 1000 A.D. Did they have some other means of opening the door? Or was there some kind of Renaissance in-between where they rediscovered the power and technology to do such things? Questions for another time perhaps…
After looting Bangor Dome, Ayla, Crono, and Marle head south to return to Trann dome. Things have gotten marginally better for the residents of Trann Dome since the group was here last. A man has managed to travel all the way from Arris dome with a cutting from the sapling they have been growing. The growing plant as well as confirmation that the people of Arris Dome are still surviving have given the people of Trann Dome something they haven’t had for a very long time; hope for the future. After getting through Trann Dome’s sealed door and collecting the equipment and treasure therein, the group decides to head to Arris Dome themselves and see if things have also improved there.
Fortunately, things seem to have begun to improve at Arris Dome as well. The residents are likewise happy to see the group once again and state that seeing the seedling grow has helped them regain the will to survive. They also tell the group about how they sent someone to Trann Dome with a cutting from the sapling to help them out and the group can happily report that the man made it relativity safely. Even through the the improving conditions in the Domes is welcome news, once the group goes into the lower level and once again only finds more (albeit useful) equipment behind Arris Dome’s sealed door, yielding no answers to the possible connection between the two eras. With all of the known sealed doors explored, the group decides to pay a visit to the man the residents of Arris Dome told them was researching Death Peak, where Lavos emerged in 1999. But to do that they’ll have to go through the sewers.
As soon a Ayla, Crono, and Marle enter the sewer system, they are immediately spotted by a flying eye creature who decide that they need to report this new development to their boss Krawlie. A little way further into the sewers, the group comes across two mutant frog creatures who want to cross a gap but the bridge that was there before has seemingly disappeared. The two run off after they noticed that they are being watched and both Ayla and Marle both state that they are getting some bad vibes from this place. At this point though, the group has no choice but to move on. Deeper in the sewer system, the group comes across a document lying on the floor. It’s the final entry of a diary written by someone else who was trying to make it through the sewer system. The entry relates to some of the creatures that reside in this part of the sewers, giant fishmen who attack upon hearing any noise. The author of the diary states that they would rather face the guillotine than continue trying to dealing with it. Face the guillotine? Could this person have been an escaped criminal? Regardless, since the team isn’t afraid of any fishmen, they decide to make all the noise they can in order to defeat the creatures haunting the waterways.
After dealing with the fishmen, the group comes across the frog duo once again. It seems that they have found the switch to activate the bridge that they were trying to cross a little earlier. Unfortunately, they are too short to reach the switch and they’re sorry excuses for frogs so they can’t jump up to it either. As the tam is nearing the exit to the other side, they come across the lookout again who it delivering their report to Krawlie about the intruders into their sewer. Krawlie boasts fighting the group once they come across them and the two have a nice, long laugh before the group makes their presence known and puts Krawlie in his place. Once everything in the sewer is dealt with, Ayla, Crono and Marle emerge on the other side at the foot of Death Peak and the Keeper’s Dome.
The entrance of the Keeper’s Dome seems to be devoid of any human life, but the group does find a Nu near the main computer which bodes well for finally finding some more significant connection to Zeal. Unfortunately, the Nu is much more interested in getting some shut-eye than peaking to the group. Since the Nu doesn’t seem to want to be any help, the group then heads to the back of the main room and they come across another sealed door. Behind the sealed door, Ayla, Crono, and Marle find a long corridor with several glowing “nodes” in what appears to be a precursor to the audio logs that are founds in so many games now. The messages are from Belthasar, the Guru of Reason. Now we’re getting somewhere!
Belthasar tells the group through the nodes that he was cast into this era of the future during Zeal’s great disaster. During his subsequent research, he learned that Lavos fell from the sky during prehistory and has spent the ages growing stronger by feeding off the planet’s energy through the ages. Lavos was summoned briefly by Magus in the year 600 and fully emerged in 1999 resulting in the current state of the planet. Now Lavos resides at Death Peak with small spawn emerging from its nest. Belthasar concludes that Lavos is essentially a parasite that feeds off entire planets as part of its life cycle and eventually the spawn will leave this planet to find others to feed on and continue the cycle. He says that he wishes to continue his research but the end draws near for him, he’s finds it more and more difficult to maintain his own sanity in an age like this so he left these records in order to pass on his knowledge to anyone who may find it.
Along with his research, Belthasar want to also pass along his greatest invention. During his tenure in this bleak future, Belthasar long to return to his native time but since it seems that the end of his days will come before its completion, he leaves it to be found so that people from all time periods may be united to stop Lavos. He recognizes that it is an extremely small chance, but it’s a chance nonetheless so the fate of the world now rests in the hands of the one who would claim his great work: The Wings of Time.
After the group makes it through the final message from Belthasar, they make their way into the corridor into to another large room which looks like a small aircraft hangar. In the center of the hangar is what looks like an aircraft fuselage. The group walks around inspecting the vehicle, Marle seems really impressed but for a machine called “The Wings of Time” there seems to be a distinct lack of…wings. It would seem that Belthasar worked out the time travel part of the equation before the flight part. We can definitely work with this though!
Once the group completes its inspection of the device, the Nu enters the hangar with the cockpit seats ready to install. The Nu then reveals that it is in fact what remains of Belthasar. Before he died, he transferred his consciousness into this Nu construct. The Belthasar/Nu then explains to the group how to operate the machine and even allows then to rename it. The group settles on “Epoch” for its new call-sign and enters the machine to take it on its maiden voyage to far away times.