Sciona can reactivate the portal, but until then they’re trapped in the vault, which is why it was imperative they got the jacks in place right away. Also once the ceiling is down, there’s no empty space to pass through the portal into. Of course the first question anyone might reasonably ask is why isn’t the collapsible ceiling pre-collapsed in the first place? And that’s a good question.

Honestly if I was in charge of the place, that would be my call. The two best reasons I can think of would be the one, no one thought of it. The vault was built before movies and TVs and even adventure novels. They weren’t saturated with all the tropes yet. Plus the Vault is heavily warded against teleportation. It took Scion a long time to figure out a way to bypass them, as will be hinted at on a future page.  Two, they could have just been so enamored with the idea of a deathtrap that they figure it was better to let people who could breach the vault do so, then let the array of deathtraps within the Vault trap or kill them, and of course, under normal circumstances, the Vault would have been blaring alarms to the Council and deadly deadly agents would have been dispatched.

The other problem with having the ceiling down in the main vault… uh… lobby area, the antechambers where the actual artifacts are kept would still have open space in them. The reason they started off in the lobby was, as you can see on this page, they need to get into multiple antechambers. If they started off in one antechamber, they’d have to break out of it into the lobby, deal with all the defenses there anyway, before breaking into the other rooms. Plus each antechamber has its own set of defenses unless they’re deactivated from the lobby.

You know, I designed Sciona’s hot/cold drill basically with the knowledge I gained from watching the old D&D cartoon, where Tiamat (whose name I thought was T.M.X. for some reason) used her red and blue dragon head to freeze and heat a door to something and eventually shatter it. Like a dummy, it didn’t occur to me to check if that’s a real thing until I was trying to come up with a title for this page. Obviously with stone, repeatedly expanding and contracting with temperature variations will cause cracks over time. That’s what most of the cracks in anything made out of concrete comes from. (That and roots messing up sidewalks) But with metal, well, it seems to depend on the metal. With some metal that actually makes it stronger. I mean, why else would blacksmiths plunge their glowing hot swords and what have you into a vat of whatever to cool them off only to reheat them again? It’s called cryogenic hardening. Also it helps add carbon to the blade. Still, I’d think that repeatedly heating and cooling almost anything, especially if it was wedged into a wall for instance, and had nowhere to expand, it would eventually become quite detrimental to its overall structural integrity. Plus this stuff regenerates so who knows what the hell kind of metal it is.

Double res version will be posted over at Patreon. $1 and up, but feel free to contribute as much as you like.