16 – Exploring the Tower

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(Long post this time. Would you prefer short updates or longer ones like this? I’ll probably skim over future scavenging efforts and just get to the results.)

The Lost City

The rickety boat bobs precariously in the water of the flooded quarter. Quietly, you discuss your next course of action. Vash glances in the direction that you came from before looking back. “It’s better that we keep going forward.” He squints in the low light at the nearby tower. “Maybe we can hole up there before heading further downriver? It has got to empty out somewhere.”

Thrak voices his opinion to stay well away from the falls that are obviously to the south. The large mutant suggests that the group can take a quick break in the lone sturdy structure here in the flooded quarter, root through the safe parts of the building to see if anything of value can be found, and then carry on.

Cobb nods in vigourous agreement, not bothering to conceal the look of greed in his eye as he imagines the loot that may be found… (Jumrak doesn’t look too pleased with this suggestion, but he doesn’t say anything and instead concentrates on keeping the boat afloat.)

You carefully row your crowded boat towards the best-preserved building. The tower a massive grey concrete structure with deep-set sockets for windows. Nearly all the glass is shattered; only a few intact windows remain. Four storeys extend above the water; the waterline happens to be just below the floor level of the lowest storey. You maneuver the boat to a nearby window ledge and peer inside. The building is almost pitch black, but it seems that the window opens up into a large room of some sort.

Cobb is eager to check out the ruined building. Most of the ruins you’ve encountered have revealed nothing of potential value, but one Scav’s junk is another Scav’s treasure, so he prepares eagerly to clamber out of the boat and into the window…

“I had better check it out for traps since it’s the only solid structure worth hiding anything in.” he says.

Cormac whispers in response: “All right then, but let’s not take too long here. And make sure we don’t lose the boat, we don’t want to get stranded out here.” He knows that these kind of buildings make popular hideouts for riff-raff in other cities, but you’d have to be pretty comfortable in the water to hide out here.

First Storey (Cubicle Land)

It’s extremely dark inside, but Cobb’s nightvision helps him take a quick survey. The odd phosphorescent fungus lining the ‘cavern’ walls of the Lost City provide just enough light by the window for him to make out old tables and chairs; desks and broken electronics, separated by odd little ‘walls’ that are only shoulder-height.

(Cobb makes a DC 15 Perception check to detect hazards on this floor. Roll is 16 + 4 = 20.)

It looks like the structure here is stable, though the floor is water damaged (indicating a higher water level at one time?); Cobb motions for his allies to come inside. “Careful around the windows; there’s still a lot of glass shards here.” says Cobb. The rest of the party crawls through the window frame and into the building.

The torch you stole from the slavers has long since burnt out, but you are able to fashion crude substitutes from a metal tube and some stuffing from a broken office chair. Kronic uses his lighter, and you have light to explore by.

This floor consists of dozens of small, cube-like dwellings arranged around the outside perimeter of the building. In the tower’s central ‘core’, there are washrooms, an area that may have been a small cafeteria, two elevators (doors closed), and a stairwell (allowing access to upper levels; the stairs down descend into water). Vast mounds of rotted paper litter everything; broken glass and broken furniture are everywhere. You can’t tell if this place was looted, was intentionally vandalized, or just suffered the ravages of time.

(Cobb makes a DC 25 Luck check to scavenge for swag; roll is 2 + 2 = 4. No luck here.}

While Cobb is scouting, Cormac uses the nylon rope and tethers the rowbat to a heavy desk inside the building to make sure it doesn’t float away. Meanwhile, Vash uses his first aid kit to treat Kronic and Thrak (Vash ‘Takes 10’ on the Treat Injury check and heals 1 hp for Kronic and 3 hp for Thrak. 20 XP to Vash for healing his companions.). Kronic is somewhat unimpressed with the medical attention, but Thrak thanks Vash for his aid. (Thrak’s wrists were still sore and raw from the escape and the struggle with the slaver wasn’t without its consequences.)

After a number of minutes, the scavenger returns. “I suspect the dwellers here were of low caste.” comments Cobb. “The furnishings are poorly made and there is nothing in the way of valuables. And it looks like looters may have been here already…” (Even the old electronics and wiring are too corroded to be salvageable.)

Indicating the central stairwell, Cobb continues. “Maybe I’ll have better luck with the next floor up. Come with me to the stairs, but hang back in case there’s something dangerous.”

Second Storey (Meeting Rooms)

Ascending to the next level, Cobb repeats his survey. (The old electronic locks on the stairwell doors are long since inactive.)

(Cobb makes a DC 18 Perception check to detect hazards on this floor. Roll is 12 + 4 = 16. The GM grins and rolls some d%… Next, Cobb makes a DC 23 Luck check to scavenge for swag; natural 20!)

This floor consists of several larger rooms arranged around the outside of the building, connected by a hallway which surrounds the central elevator/stairwell/washrooms core. There is very litter clutter on this floor, and virtually no water damage. As Cobb explores one of the meeting rooms, however, he manages to slice his foot on some glass (2 points damage). Cursing under his breath, he vows to be more careful, then continues his search…

A few minutes later, the rest of the party is summoned by hooting and hollering from the scavenger. You follow his voice into one of the meeting rooms, where Cobb indicates his find. “Look here!” it’s a living machine from the Ancients! He indicates a small wheeled robot, about a foot in diameter and shaped like flying saucer which sits on the floor. On the machine’s black plastic surface are set a number of buttons and lights. Every few seconds, one of the lights blinks red for an instant. “When I came into here I swear I saw it move!” says Cobb. “This thing is worth a lot to the right buyer; either one of the rebuilder societies, or the tech-hating cults.”

(Vash’s eyes are wide with wonder… Working pieces of livemetal are very, very rare! Jumrak makes the sign of protection across his chest; maybe his newfound companions are fools after all? Or perhaps even evil…)

“Oh; and check these out…” Cobb indicates a pile of about a dozen plastic bags of freeze-dried, vacuum packed coffee. “You can mix these with hot water and make the life-giving energy drinks of the Ancients! They’re worth good coin too.”

Obviously excited by his finds on this level, Cobb urges the group to press on up the stairs. “I’m on a roll – let’s keep moving!” Before anyone has a chance for discussion, he trots to the stairwell and resumes his looting. (Vash takes the machine, despite the weight, and Thrakazog claims the coffee.)

Third Storey (Professional Offices)

(Cobb makes a DC 20 Perception check to detect hazards on this floor. Roll is 14 + 4 = 18. The GM grins again and rolls some d%… Next, Cobb makes a DC 20 Luck check to scavenge for swag; 18 + 2 = 20.)

As the rest of the party reaches the third storey, you hear a crash and some high-pitched squealing. You race towards the sound of the noise and encounter a flock of shrieking albino bats fleeing a cloud of dust and debris! It appears that part of the ceiling has collapsed on top of Cobb! (The bats are harmless)

You find the vampish mutant coughing and sputtering; his torch has been extinguished from the debris fall (luckily nothing caught on fire), but he got a bit bashed up (3 points damage). “Be more careful!” says Jumrak.

Vash, coming behind the rest of you (he’s slowed a bit carrying the robot), sees Cobb’s cuts and pulls out his first aid kit. (He ‘Takes 10’ again, healing Cobb for 3 hp. 10 more XP to Vash.) “There; the cuts shouldn’t get infected. I think I got most of the bat guano out…”

You convince Cobb to continue your explorations as a group. This floor consists of larger offices, with more impressive furnishings. The bat colony has caused a lot of damage on this level, particularly to a large room that appears to have been a library or data repository of some sort… Everything is covered in bat guano.

From the offices, you scavenge an undamaged briefcase. (Thrak takes it and packs his coffee away.) All the books in the library are ruined, but Cobb manages to find two dozen intact datacards in a filing cabinet (datacards can be used for trade in higher-tech communities). The furniture, though of high quality, is too large to drag out of the building.

“Let’s head up; one more floor.” says Cobb, slightly more subdued than before.

Fourth Storey (Executive Boardroom)

“This time we’ll work together.” suggests Vash, helping Cobb with his survey.

“Careful, here.” says Cormac. “I’m familiar with ruins like these; this floor is very unstable…”

(Top floor is the most dangerous… and potentially the most lucrative! Cobb makes a DC 25 Perception check to detect hazards, with +2 from Cormac’s ‘Slicker Sense’ and another +2 from everyone else’s ‘Aid Another’ actions. Roll is 6 + 4 + 4 = 14. The GM smiles from ear to ear and rolls the d%… Next, Cobb makes a DC 15 Luck check to scavenge for swag; he gets another +2 from his allies. Roll is 13 + 2 + 2 = 17.)

This floor consists of a waiting room, complete with couches and a secretary’s desk, with two doors leading to either side. One doorway leads to a large boardroom, with a massive wooden table and filled with extensive electronic gear (for videoconferencing, etc.). The other doorway leads to a large office with a single desk inside…

You search the boardroom first. As you search the area, the rusted supports holding up the electronic equipment give way, falling onto the group! (GM makes Luck checks to see who gets the projector on the head… Cobb gets 7 + 2 = 9; Cormac gets 6 + 2 = 8; Jumrak gets a natural 1! GM rolls 7 + 3 = 10 for Kronic, 12 + 1 = 13 for Thrak, and 8 + 1 = 9 for Vash. Cormac and Jumrak each take 5 damage from the collapsing equipment!) Cursing and swearing, you withdraw from the boardroom and Vash pulls out his first aid kit again. Jumrak waves Vash off; he’s sturdier than the others. (Cormac gets healed for 1 hp and Vash gets his 10 XP. The first aid kit is running out of supplies…)

“Damn.” says Cobb. “We’d better finish up here and get back down to a safer floor.” The electronic gear in the boardroom is all ruined, so you head across to the large office.

No Future

This large office, beautifully decorated, is hung with artwork and has tinted windows (still unbroken!) that once looked out upon the expanse of the Lost City – but now are shadowed in darkness. Dead plants adorn the corners of the room, and bookshelves line the walls. Dusty tomes – reasonably well preserved – sit on the shelves, written in the mysterious script of the Ancients.

There is a huge mahogany desk at the far end of the room. Sitting behind the desk is an ornate leather chair. At first, you think the chair is unoccupied, but as you get closer you see a shrunken corpse, skeletal now, slumped in the chair. In the hand of the corpse is a revolver, and as you inspect the scene you discern a massive skull wound! Upon the table is an expensive-looking letter opener, and there are words scratched into the wooden surface.

While Cobb examines the revolver, Cormac and Vash try to decipher the words written on the desk. (‘Decipher Script’ class ability, DC 15 Intellect check; Cormac rolls 18 + 8 = 26, Vash gets 10 + 8 = 18.) Cormac puzzles out the meaning…

“NO FUTURE.” he translates. It says “NO FUTURE.” (10 XP for Cormac.)

Seemingly unfazed by the eerie message, Cobb proclaims: “The gun’s in perfect condition. Except for one bullet missing. And look what’s in this guy’s pocket!” Cobb holds up a silver card with strange symbols (corporate logos) and a faded photograph (of the corpse, in better days, you assume). “This is a security card. A silver card. I don’t know what it’s good for, but I know a buddy who was able to trade one of these for a working motorbike!” Pointing towards the bookshelves, he says “Grab some of those, too. If we manage to get them out of here they can be worth their weight in food and water.”

Satisfied at his scavenging in the tower, Cobb says: “Well; we’ve got what we came for, let’s head back to the boat.”

(Each party member gets 50 XP for scouting the tower. Cobb gets an additional 150 XP for being a good scavenger. I’ve updated the the party stats and equipment; remember that you can see a quick summary of hit points on the ‘Player Characters‘ summary page.)

What are your actions? And who wants the handgun (and other gear)?

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~ by K-Slacker on 14-Jul-07.

5 Responses to “16 – Exploring the Tower”

  1. Hey Cobb – those bats looked like you! Albino bats for the albino vamp!

  2. Vash checks on Cobb once he is pulled from the debris. He pats him on the shoulder. “Next time you might want to also look up.” He tries to joke.

    With the tower explored, Vash looks around the large decorated office. “Well…what shall we do next? Anyone need to rest?” He points to the couches outside. “We have a nice place to lay up. Maybe even defensible. If not, we can break up the couches and bring up the fabric and cushions with us. They would make nice bedrolls…maybe even coats?.”

    He looks to the books that are pointed out, trying to decipher them and seeing if they are worth anything of use. “So what do you say?” He asks while looking, pulling one from the shelf.

    (ooc: Cobb can choose who the gun goes too. He risked his neck. And Anonymous, would you mind sharing those comments on the OOC thread please? Thank you!)

  3. “Thanks Vash. Sometimes I get a little too excited over this kind of stuff” he chuckles. “You have a good point. This place is very defensible. We could probably stash our stuff here and explore the rest of the ruins, and then find a way out. Maybe get our bearings, and then fetch our swag and hit the road.”

    “This is a nice gun, but I’m not the steadiest shot. One of you would probably make better use of it. Any takers?”

  4. Thrakazog feels a little leery about the small, blinking machine of the Ancients. He’s all for trading it after this little adventure is over, but having an unknown thing in his presence, surely capable of acts that remain undiscovered, is worth a little caution. Jumrak may be a little over-reactive when it comes to these sorts of relics most of the time, but there will be at least two of this crew that will be watching ‘Blinkie’ out of the corner of their eyes.

    Thrak wonders if there’s any way we can get up onto the roof of this building? Not to look for any more loot, but for the far-sighted among the crew to get their bearings and perhaps spot a way out that has remained hidden at the ground and water level? If not, then he suggests the group returns to the boat and paddle across to the large domed structure where better shelter (and perhaps loot) can be had.

    “Good idea on stashing the loot here for the time being, Cobb,” he says. “The boat’s sitting pretty heavy in the water as it is and we don’t want to risk ourselves any more than we already are. Or we can just leave the stuff under the overturned boat when we get across the way.”

    Thrak also offers to take the hand-gun from Cobb. They’re better at close range and not meant for distance shots like the other weapons we’ve acquired, and gods know that Thrak isn’t going to be taking any long shots any time soon. Unless one of the better sighted would like it instead…

  5. Kronic likes the idea of having more guns, but he is pretty confident he can take care of himself in a fight, so if anyone needs a little more protection they should have it.

    We’ll probably have to ferry this stuff over in the boat while leaving some people behind… adding the robot and this stuff to an already tips boat spells ruin for our good loot!!!

    I’ll head over with the loot and a couple people and then I can guard it while we send the boat back. I only say that cuz I am pretty good at fighting and well… not much else.

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