The Cherub Portal is the tentative name of a machine of great importance in the plot of Hiveswap, and presumably in Hauntswitch. They function as portals through long distances and realities, and their appearance distinctively make them artifacts of the Cherub race. Two of these machines appear in Hiveswap: Act 1.
Arrival and assemblyEdit
One such machine was present in the attic of Half-Harley Manor some time prior to November 11, 1994. It is uncertain who built the machine, but plans for the machine are displayed on the wall of Jude Harley's treehouse, and he called it a "portal" when trying to warn Joey Claire to not interact with it. Joey was in possession of a heirloom from her mother, A. Claire, which was instrumental in activating the machine. Her connection to the portals is unknown at this time.
Another machine was present in Dammek's hive on Alternia, presumably at the same time. However, the technology it was based on was visibly much more advanced than the one in Half-Harley Manor. It can be surmised that Dammek built it as he was in possession of the plans for its assembly. It is implied that Dammek believed the machine to be some sort of weapon.
Both machines were found near great crates, which presumably contained the parts necessary to assemble them. The shipping invoice near the box at Half-Harley Manor was described as barely legible, faded, and having no return address. The portal seems to be battery powered, since one of the only discernible lines of text on the slip reads “BATTERY NOT INCLUDED IN SHIPMENT.” “The KEY! Where is that dadblasted gadzooks KEY?!” is also scrawled on it, presumably written by Pa Harley.
On November 11, 1994, shortly before activating the portal, Joey Claire felt the need to take her mother's heirloom with her while hiding from the monsters. When she got to the attic, Jude warned her not to approach it, either because he thought it was generally dangerous, or because he knows of the connection between his sister and the machine. However, sudden static in their walkie-talkie channel prevented him from issuing a more detailed warning. After unveiling the machine, Joey felt the overwhelming need to use her heirloom on the machine, and when she gave in, the snake carvings on the heirloom animated to physically force her to use it.
When inserted in the keyhole, the heirloom was sucked into it instead of turning like a regular key. The concentric circles at the front center of the machine then slid outwards and disappeared, and an eight-digit flip clock reading zeroes with a winged scarab protruding from the top, with the wings deploying upwards. The cheeks of the reptile statues on each side of the device glowed, with a red spiral on the right one and green spiral on the left one. The heads then rose and opened their mouths, revealing antennas. The center of the portal displayed a red and green spiral, with red and green lights on the outside.
The antennas sparked before bursting beams matching the colors of the serpents. The portal in the center sucked Joey in and shot her through the green beam. While traveling through space towards Alternia, Joey saw Dammek travelling towards Earth through the red beam.
When Joey arrived on Alternia, Dammek's portal was surrounded with a force field denying access to the portal and presumably any return trip.
- As the only known directly traversible link between the A2 and B1 universes, the Cherub Portal could have been used to enable The Condesce to travel from Alternia to Earth while working for Lord English, something previously largely unexplained (although this is merely speculation).
- When the crate in the attic is clicked on, Joey mentions that it was "Another victim of Jude's overzealous crowbarring..." When the cherub key is used on the same crate, she also mentions she feels as if the crate and key are somehow related. This, along with the instructions to the portal on Jude's wall, shows that he may have had something to do with the portal.
- As of Hiveswap: Act 1, the official name for this device has yet to be revealed. However, "Impressive Piece of Machinery" is the internal name of the portal machine (as almost all interactive objects in Hiveswap have name strings associated with them within the game's files). The portal in Dammek's hive is internally labelled "Doomsday Portal".