31 – Sikich’s Suggestion

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(Your group is just outside the arena (near Map Area #3). Most of the newly-freed humanoids are charging along the road towards the mongoliants at the palisade doors (Map Area #1), though at least a few have stayed back near your PCs.)

(There are three armed mongoliants crouching behind a low wall near the palisade (at medium range). More mongos – perhaps a dozen in all – are hiding behind the building ruins and assorted debris in the area. And last but not least, the artillery gun (Map Area #2, also at medium range) has rotated to face your direction – though it has not fired yet.)

(I need some group Initiative checks. For this round, I’m going to roll for your party ‘as a whole’ and assume you act in the order that your comments come in. The party gets 19, the artillery gunners roll 18, the mongos at the doorway roll 13, and the freed captives act on 6.)

Stadium Map

Seeing the threat of the artillery gun, your PCs take cover behind the rubble. (Well, some of the PCs see it – I assume that they’ll inform your vision-impaired allies.) You have a few seconds to survey your surroundings after you duck down. (Perception checks for the group; Cobb gets a Natural 20 and the GM stops rolling right then…)

Cobb’s eyes, adapted for these near-dark conditions, are able to discern details that his companions miss. He clearly sees about a dozen mongos hiding amongst the rubble – and not all of them are mere ‘civilians’, cowering in fear. There are two skulking behind pillars alongside the ‘roadway’ to the doors that are just waiting in ambush for anyone who approaches near.

The three mongo guards at the doorway are armed with a submachinegun, a laser pistol, and a huge, crudely made greataxe – but Cobb also spots two grenades in a holster on the greataxe mongo’s chest!

The artillery cannon on its swivel mount sits atop a well-preserved building (Map Area #2). The gun’s two operators appear to be taking careful aim in your direction. Also on the rooftop is a stack of the large flechette rounds that the gun fires and a giant sword (leaning against the ammo stack).

The sharp-eyed Cobb quickly describes to his allies what he can see (and gets 10 XP for the nice roll).

Acting on Cobb’s comments, Jumrak suggests: “Pouring out of the palisade exit when it is guarded makes us an easy target. If we can take a moment to hide here, making the guards inside think we’ve left, it might give us a chance to double back and break in!”

He adds in an excited whisper: “If we can ‘psyche out’ the mongoliants inside the arena, we might have a window to charge back to the citadel gate and break in.” He never was able to see the citadel gates closely, so Jumrak has to ask, “Do you guys think we have enough strength to bash down the citadel gate?”

Thrakazog listens to Jumrak’s suggestions, but prefers his cover behind the rubble. He wants to get away from the mongos in the citadel, not closer to them. Squinting in the direction of the artillery, he also hopes the cover will provide some protection from that piece of equipment…

If your cover is sufficient, then Thrak figures the group has time to plan the next step, which will probably involve getting outside the palisade. Perhaps through the crumbling wall by the gates? Just have those pesky mongos to take care of, peeking through with their cowardly, beady eyes! (Up to a half-dozen eyes per mongo, sometimes.)

Flechette Fury:

(A round of Luck checks to see who the unfortunate target is… Cobb gets 12 + 2 = 14, Jumrak 2 + 4 = 6, Kronic 9 + 3 = 12, Thrak 4 + 1 = 5, and Vash 14 + 1. Poor Thrak; he gets +4 Defense because of the cover, but that still only puts him at a Defense of 14. The gunners roll 11 – 2 = 9; a miss!)

Once again the scenery explodes before you hear the now-familiar “PONK!” of the artillery fire. Betrayed by his cursed glow – and the fact that his large bulk leaves him partly exposed – Thrak attracts the gunner’s attention. A section of the low wall directly adjacent to Thrak turns into swiss cheese as its pierced by dozens of flechettes, but Thrakazog is unharmed!

Fomorian

Seconds later, the mongoliants at the doorway open fire again at the onrushing humanoids. (Attack rolls are 14 – 2 = 12 and 3 – 2 = 1. One hit for 5 damage.) There’s a yelp as one of the running figures is hit, and their advance is slowed.

Immediately after, the two ‘hiding’ mongoliants rush forward from cover (as a held action) to block any further progress. One swings his greatclub menacingly, but the other – seemingly unarmed and badly deformed – just concentrates for a moment and the air before him ripples with some sort of paranormal force! (GM rolls some Cha saves…) With expressions of shock and confusion, most of the humanoids stagger to a halt – and even those who weren’t affected have lost their nerve and stop in their tracks!

Sikich’s Suggestion:

But not all the freed captives were so foolhardy. Just then, one of them slips from behind cover near your group, and crouches down beside Thrakazog. Ignoring the battle along the roadway, he points to the artillery gun. “Wee mussst kiillzz them beefore leeaviing! I ssssssay we take the big gunn, theeere! Wee russshh now, weeee oveeer-poweer! Thhheen, cha-ka cha-ka cha-ka zooom!”

(Everyone, meet Sikich. Sikich – this is everyone. GM rolls an DC 20 Intellect check for your new companion: 17 + 10 = 27. Success!)

(Oh, and Sikich gets 25 XP for the descriptive comments.)

“Sseveral sseconds to reeload, sseveral more to aim.” says Sikich. “We can reaash them before they cann ssshoot again!” (You have about two rounds before the next shot.)

The mutant who spoke stands seven-and-a-half feet tall, and would make for an intimidating figure if he weren’t so incredibly thin, the bones of his face and body pressing outward against his tautly drawn skin – and what skin it is! Vaguely reptilian in texture, but even tougher, the skin is a mottled pattern of browns, mustards, and olive greens. His large yellow eyes, glittering with an unnerving, piercing intelligence, rest beneath heavy brows, and his hair is a tangled mass of wavy black. His thin dark lips are much too wide for his face, appearing almost to divide his skull into upper and lower halves, revealing several rows of sharp jagged teeth. He speaks only with difficulty, sounding for all the world as if he were indeed some kind of fork-tongued reptile.

He wears a dark robe over his studded leather armor, suggesting some kind of monkish aspiration, but the way he handles the energy pike that he robbed from the corpse of a guard suggests that he is no stranger to the business of inflicting pain. Indeed, there is something slightly unnerving about his appearance, as if he were constantly on alert for any signs of weakness to exploit. Both fascinating and repellent, ethereal and raw, he seems almost to compel attention.

What are your actions?

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~ by K-Slacker on 27-Sep-07.

7 Responses to “31 – Sikich’s Suggestion”

  1. (Sorry for posting before most of you had a chance to respond the last one, but I’m going to be away for a couple days and wanted to keep the game moving…)

  2. Thrakazog starts a bit at the rather unexpected arrival of the ascetic mutant, but squints to get a good look as he listens to what the tall fellow has to say. It bears a striking resemblance to common sense, given the group’s current predicament.

    Thrak closes his eyes briefly to collect his thoughts as he hears what’s happening to the other recently freed mutants near the pallisade gate. This rubble won’t hold back much of anything for long, and he may as well have a bull’s eye painted above his head! Close as Thrak and company are to that gun, he’s pretty sure it can be taken out.

    Thrakazog, a little irritated at being shot at by the thing anyway, takes it into his head to do something about that gods’ damned big gun!

    “Good idea, Slim,” Thrakazog says. “Let’s go! You lead, and I’m two steps behind you… I need you as my eyes for a bit.” He tightens his two-handed grip on the long polearm. “Boys,” Thrak adds to the rest, “me and Slim here are going for the gun, turn the tide of battle a bit. May need some help…”

    With that, and not waiting for a definite response, he eggs the leathery, robed mutant over the rubble and into a run towards the gun.

    (If possible, he intends a charge attack with the polearm on the first mongo that reveals himself as a target. If not… he’ll improvise!)

  3. The large three-armed mutant ducks behind the rocks, waiting for the group to decide the course of actions. As they wait, he chooses to address those that freed him in a deep, baritone voice. “Words cannot begin to express my gratitude! My loyalty lies with you!” Looking to the other freed slaves, the apparent leader bellows loudly. “Follow the words of our friends! They will lead us to freedom and victory! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!” The last three exclaimations break through the sounds of combat as he pumps the polearm he retrived from his captors.

    Looking back to those that freed them, the three-armed man waits for orders. “What would you have Soggul do for you in battle?”

  4. “Yeesss!” Sikich says with glee when Thrak agrees to help charge the gun. Standing, he raises his pike aloft and shouts to the others, “Schaaarrgch!” Then he runs toward the emplacement, his lanky angular frame looking more and more awkward as he picks up speed, like a marionette whose puppeteer pays little mind to how he jerks the strings. But there is nothing random about how the energy pike’s blade slices the air in front of him as he moves, suggesting that blood will be spilt if any enemies should stand in his way.

  5. With Thrak and “Slim” running for the gun, Vash peeks out to see if there are any shots he can take to cover the two. The first person he sees peeking from that big gun, he brings up his old musket and fires. If not, he peeks a second target. The big guy at the gate with the grenades. What a perfect target then aiming for the grenades?

  6. Cobb points at the deformed mutant that produced the strange effect on the humanoids, not knowing exactly how he caused it. “Vash! Take that one out! He has some way of affecting their…their minds, or something.” He sounds unclear as to the cause, but his tone is urgent.

    Cobb tries to brace his unsteady linms as best he can and lines up a shot from his black powder rifle at the strange mutant.

  7. “Gotcha!” Vash answers, swinging his old musket around to aim at the mentalist Mutant. He aims and pulls the trigger!

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