06 – Sweet, Sweet Freedom

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Slaver Stockade

(Okay; the situation is similar to the last post. All PCs except Vash and Cormac are free and engaged in melee with the two guards, and two NPC slaves have made a run for it. The slave pens are #7 on the map, the water tower is #2.)

(The tower sentry has noticed the skirmish; he rolls a natural 20 on initiative! Initiative order is tower sentry (21), slaves (19), Thrak (16), Cobb (14), guards (also 14), Kronic (8), and Jumrak (4).)

Tall, ungainly, and rusted almost through, an Ancient water tower stands high above the slaver compound. Perched atop the tower is a single sentry, with a nearly perfect birds-eye view of the current situation. Shouting “Slavebreak! Slavebreak!” in Gutterspeak, he hoists a crude black powder rifle into position and fires!

(It appears that he’s aiming at one of the fleeing NPC slaves, not you guys. Attack roll is 7 + 1 = 8; a miss.)

The two unchained mutants who fled the slave pens run towards the water tower (I wonder why they went in that direction?), disappearing behind the corner of a building. The sentry’s shot ricochets off the nearby wall, missing them.

Thrakazog’s world has shrunk to contain nothing but him and his prone opponent. His night blindness is a hindrance, true, but his focus in these close quarters can’t help but be bolstered by an inability to be distracted by outside influence. (It’s when that influence is an unexpected blow to the head that it becomes a little more than inconvenient, but he’ll deal with that if it comes.)

Thrak continues to wrest the weapon from the guard with the express intent of braining him with it after. His nearby foes and companions are hazy at best, and anything beyond that range is accessible by scent alone for the large mutant. One thing at a time, and right now it’s a soon to be short-lived slaver scum.

(Disarm attempt on the grappled guard. Again, Thrak gets a +2 on the roll for the prehensile tail and +4 for being ‘Plus-Sized’. Thrak is already grasping the club with his tail, so the guard doesn’t get a free attack.)

(Thrak’s roll is 5 + 11 = 16; guard opposes with 3 + 3 = 6. Thrak wins!)

Wrestling the guard to his knees, Thrakazog rips the club from the slaver’s grasp with his tail! “Help! HELP!!” the scum screams in Gutterspeak.

Cobb is by no means a cannibal, but at this moment the circumstances are different. He is satisfied by the taste of blood and pain of his enemy. To him the guard’s cry was one step closer to despair than he himself was to freedom, but he was working on that. Judging by the shouts coming from behind him, Thrakazog was doing the same to the other guard.

He hears someone yelling from within the pen, but is too preoccupied with his own fight for life to pay it too much attention for the time being…

(Cobb rolls 2 + 2 = 4. No dice.)

The smaller guard, wary now of Cobb’s vicious bite, easily sidesteps the albino. He retaliates with a club to the head (roll is 16 + 2 = 18; hit for 3 damage) and manages to graze Cobb’s skull.

The larger guard’s eyes bulge in panic, caught in Thrak’s grapple and with Kronic and Jumrak standing over him. He desperately tries to wrestle free…

(Opposed checks; guard rolls 17 + 3 = 20, Thrak gets 7 + 11 = 18. Guard wins!)

In a mad panic, the slaver wrenches himself from Thrakazog’s grip and runs screaming! Kronic and Jumrak are ready for him, though, and strike!

(Guard provokes free attacks from Kronic and Jumrak as he flees from melee. Attack rolls are 6 + 7 + 2 (flanking) = 15 for Kronic and 9 + 5 + 2 (flanking) = 16 for Jumrak. Both hit! Damage is 4 + 3 = 7 for Kronic and 4 + 2 = 6 for Jumrak.)

The panicked guard makes it only a few steps before Kronic and Jumrak both fall on him. Kronic skewers the slaver from behind, while Jumrak lands a haymaker squarely in the guard’s face. He collapses to the ground in a bloodied heap – and the ring of keys falls from his belt!

(Since that was a free attack for our heroes, they still get their actions for the turn. Thrak, Kronic, and Jumrak each get 100 XP for defeating this foe.)

Kronic, the bloodlust upon him now, turns to the smaller slaver and lunges. (Full attack with two swipes; 7 + 5 + 2 (flanking again) = 14 and 3 + 5 + 2 = 10. Both miss.) This guard is agile, and he manages to dodge the pint-sized brawler’s deadly claws, though the look in his eyes reveal that he is now resigned to death.

Jumrak, seeing the fallen keys, remembers his oath to Vash. Grabbing the keyring, he races back into the slave pens and desperately starts trying keys in the irritable savant’s shackles. (Luck check against DC 15; roll is 15 + 4 = 19.) Within seconds, Jumrak has Vash free from his chains! (20 XP to Jumrak for his honourable action.)

(Vash will act on Initiative 5 + 1 = 6 next round, just ahead of Jumrak.)

Moments earlier…

While those outside are beating each other into a bloody pulp, Vash calms down and turns to the shackled prisoner next to him: the somewhat frail-looking mutant with shifting-coloured skin and deep-set eyes bright with fear.

“Hey, you. You look halfway useful. You want to get out of here? I could sure use a friendly face in this company.”

The oddly quiet prisoner says nothing, and made no movement save to pivot his gaze directly at Vash. It were as though his neck had moved along a track, as though he were a machine himself.

Unnerved by the action, Vash shudders. He knew that the Ancients had once built fake men (‘Andruids’ or something similar) and that was the cause of their Fall. To encounter something so similar was offsetting, to say the least. He’d much rather take the oddities who wore their mutations on their outsides.

Letting out a sigh, Vash turns his attention to the unchained still-slaves cowering in fear. Apparently, the numb-skulls around him didn’t want to escape to the outside world. Evidently, they wanted to be bartered for like cattle or used as ‘toys’ for their masters or whatever happened to slaves in the wastes.

Time to try and raise those half-dead louts again….

(Another DC 19 Charisma check; this time the roll is 16 + 9 = 25. Four slaves revolt! 20 XP to Vash.)

Emboldened by Vash’s goading and the defeat of the one guard, four more mutants flee the slave pens and break out into the open. They nearly collide with Jumrak as he runs back in to free Vash.

Alerted by the sounds of battle and the sentry’s cries, you hear shouts and movement from around the slaver compound. You’re not sure how many slavers there are, but you know that they know that something is up now…

(Now that you’ve got the keys, you can remove Thrakazog’s chains and free Cormac. There aren’t any other prisoners who are chained like you guys were. You’re also free to loot the large guard’s body – remember that he was carrying a firearm!)

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~ by K-Slacker on 11-May-07.

5 Responses to “06 – Sweet, Sweet Freedom”

  1. Has Cormac lost his will to live? The sullen mutant must have been mistreated by the slavers during his capture…

  2. Cobb and his opponent continue their battle with Cobb gnashing at the guards throat again and barely dodging what would have been a crushing blow to the head and turning it into a graze instead.

    The situation was getting desperate for Cobb. With his opponent on guard for his bite and another firing off shots from above he feared the worst. He quickly surveyed the ground for something to use as a weapon, wishing he had the gun being fired above him. He would rather die like this than as a slave.

  3. I don’t want to stay chained to this wall. I’ve barely been able to move, paralyzed by the depression that this place has stuffed my soul into. I know I have the power to do something, yet I’ve hung here unable to channel my mind. But these men who have busted their chains and risen to riot – how can this not inspire me? I can finally feel something inside, something that I thought these slavers had violated and taken from me, but now I can see that it’s there, within my grasp, if I can only reach out my hand and take a piece of it. Here is someone who can free me, if I can cough out just a word or two. I can do this. I have what it takes to get out of here, I can match skills with these men who have taken a stand and are fighting for their freedom, our freedom. I will call out to my comrades a simple request, “please, let me free. I can help you if you can help me.”

  4. Now that I have these keys, I better use them. And it sounds like the guy right here finally caught on to what’s going on around here, so I’ll get him unshackled. It also seems like the big guy could use to have his chains unlocked – those chains could come in handy. We better figure out where to get moving to – sounds like we’re in for more company right away. And no doubt they are willing to use the cursed tools of the ancients on us – I can’t let myself be sullied by their blasphemy!

  5. Thrakazog heaves a sigh of satisfaction as the guard thought he was free of the large mutants grasp, only to be felled by Thrak’s new comrades. A sense of kinship is born, fostered by a common goal to unite against the slavers. The big man’s first goal is to get completely free of this unwelcome imprisonment; the next is to determine whether or not keeping company a small band formed through solidarity will be best for continued survival.

    Thrak’s wrists still bleeding and his tattered clothing flapping about him, he again focuses on that which he can see best and sets to removing from the guard whatever of value can be scavenged. His world, for the next while, seems like it’s going to consist of a dim globe of poor illumination, and so he will do his best to take his cues for action from his fellow newly-freed prisoners. At least, those who have elected to help make a stand here, and not sprint off into gods know what out there in the dark…

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