39 – After the Slaughter

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(This post is pretty darned long. To summarize your plans; your group intends to spend a bit of recovery time outside the arena. Jumrak and Soggul have returned from the docks with the longboat, so you’ll be ready to retreat quickly back to the flooded quarter if required.)

(There are six surviving ex-captives – plus Sikich and Soggul, of course – that are hiding in the rubble along the roadway. Maybe a dozen mongo civilians are also scattered amongst the debris; several have begun to creep back towards the arena, away from your group.)

(I’m also going to level up your characters this post, where appropriate. I’ll assume that you’ll continue in your current class; if you want to do something different, just let me know…)

The Rise of the Free

Stadium Map

Addressing to the ex-captives still cowering amongst the rubble, Soggul stands up and speaks loudly. To his former cellmates, his only companions for quite a long time, he says “You have your freedom. You have the choice to leave or stay. However, I encourage you to stay. There is still much to be done here. Some of Sogor’s men still breathe air. We never will be truly free until they are gone from this world. Take up arms and fight, one last time, for true freedom. This opportunity will come only once in life. If you pass this up, you may regret it in time to come.” The scarred man’s face is stern, but the softness of his eyes relays true compassion for his fellows.

Turning to the group who freed him, Soggul makes a loud proclamation for the benefit of all watching. “I shall see this through to the end! Death to the tormentors!” He raises his pike to the air and lets out a loud ‘Hoo!’ sound.

(A few of the mongos still hiding amongst the rubble sneer and spit at this comment.)

Vash turns to his companions with concern. Looking around at the others, he asks quietly: “Can we handle another fight? We do have some injured. I can help those that I can, but I will be needing more medical supplies. They are in a weakened state now. What happens when we do beat them finally?” He asks.

(Most of your group is in pretty rough shape; some are badly hurt. If you were to face even moderate opposition, one or more PCs will die.)

Sikich steps away from the interrogation of his mongoliant captive and walks over the edge of the roof. Standing there, he addresses the others on the ground: “Iiiii saaay weee kiiil them aaall. Iiii thiink weee shooould toorturre theeem sloowleee, maake theem paaaay foor whaaat theeey diiid. Whaaateeever haaapens aaafter iiis noone of ooour conceeern. Whaaat weee neeed noow iiis reeevenge.”

From the scattered humanoids hiding amongst the rubble rises a weak cheer. The mongo civilians are becoming increasingly concerned…

Looking to Vash, Soggul grits his teeth. “They must pay. Look upon my body…” He gestures to the many scars and burns that cover his form. “This is what they will do to you if they do not die. You killed their Lord Sogor. They will hunt you down and do things to you that even I wouldn’t be to bear.” The three armed man points inside the complex. “Down there they have the resources they need to come at us. They also experiment upon their slaves down there, twisting them into terrible things you cannot even imagine.” Soggul swallows hard and musters the courage to continue, but he takes a few breaths before he can.

“The best plan of attack is to force them out on the field, within range of their raining death.” The scarred man points to the gauss gun. “The liberators should proceed inside, while I organize forces up here to spring the trap.” In actuality, the last thing that Soggul wanted was to be in those tunnels again. The memories rushed at him and he cringed reflexively as he warded them off again.

Kronic gathers close to the rest of the group and speaks quietly. “I think your revenge thinking is good Soggul, but I too have revenge to take on another group of slavers. Men who deal with these mongos and delivered their slaves to them. We should tell the prisoner if they want revenge they can come to our slaver camp and try and take it. The other trick may be for us to take some of these slaves and try and use them… mock selling them to the slavers to get some trust with that group and find a way to infiltrate them and then destroy them from the inside!” If we take over that larger gang we can then use them against the mongos and liberate this whole darn city from the wretches that be, set us up a good little empire if we can control the gangs… heck we appear to have possibly crippled one of the strongest forces in the city.

(Sometimes I wonder if Kronic missed his calling as a raider (or even a slaver!); he definitely ain’t no paladin.)

Then speaking loud enough for all to hear, Kronic says: “We can be kings! All we have to do is take it!”

As the adrenaline starts to wear off in the moment of relative peace, Jumrak starts to realize how banged up he really is. He’s used to taking a beating, but can’t imagine going into battle now without at least a full day’s rest. Looking around, he thinks he’s not the only one who needs a break. “How about we discuss this somewhere safe where we can bandage up and recover? My axe feels like it’s getting heavier with every swing. The last thing we need is to get overwhelmed in our current state.”

Vash nods his head slowly to Jumrak. “We could organize now. We can rest here, help those who are wounded.” He looks to Soggul and Sikich. “Would you two like to organize the Free? You can find those who are hurt?” He offers. He looks to the building that the cannon is on. “We can use this as our base and shelter for now.” He looks to the others. “I know you want to hurt those who were cruel and evil, but if we rush in, we could rush into a trap. We must act wisely.” He points to the water. “We have shelter out there. Safety. We can fall back there if need be. What do you think, guys?”

(Sounds good; you’ll organize from here and spend maybe a day recovering, and help out ‘the Free’ as much as practical. From Soggul and Sikich’s comments I’ll also assume that you won’t show any mercy to the remaining mongo civilians.)

Soggul pauses. “Hmmm… You are right. We do need to wait.” It didn’t take much to sway Soggul’s opinion when more than one person other than him agreed. “I can organize those here in order to make sure we don’t lose this ground. If we fall back now, our chance at finishing the tormentors off is gone. The water is a grave when taking on the raining death. They regain that weapon, then all is lost. I will make camp here in order to ensure that does not happen.” With a nod, the three armed man walks over to address the freed prisoners in order to organize a resistance.

He gathers the weapons and armor off the fallen and begins to distribute them amongst the group. In a booming voice, Soggul tries to encourage them into defending the area. “You are slaves no longer! We shall have our retribution! We will organize, defend this ground, then move forward to eliminate the tormentors ONCE AND FOR ALL! HOO!” He raises the pike with a pump and lets out a shrill noise into the air.

(A quick Charisma check for Soggul… 13 +1 = 14. Not quite enough to entice them to attack the mongo civvies at this instant.)

Cries of support rise from the Free, but they don’t rise up as Soggul had hoped.

Sikich listens to the events, then hops down from the roof with a scowl on his face. “Theeey aaare noot ooorgaaaniiiziiing a traaap,” he says. “Weee onleeey nooow eeescaaapeed. Theeey haaave nooo tiiime tooo laaay a traaap. Iiii saaaay weee gooo nooow. Iiiif weee waaait, theeey wiiiil haaave tiiime tooo ooorgaaniiize tooo.

“Iii caannooot gooo alooone, buuut I saaaay wee shoouuld gooo nooow.”

Sikich then steps over beside Soggul, and raises his voice in harmony with his to rally the survivors.

“Liiisteen too hiiim!” Sikich cries, “Weee aaaall suuuffeered aaat theee haaands of theee baaastaaard mongooos. Iiif weee cooome tooogetheer nooow aaand fiiight, weee caan stooop theeem fooreeveer mooore! Nooow iiis ooonly a reest. Weee muuust taaake the fiiight tooo theem iiiif wee waant tooo staaay freee!”

(Another Charisma check, this time for Sikich… 15 +10 -8 = 17. A success.)

The newly-freed are inspired by Sikich’s words, despite his unusual manner of speaking. Soggul slaps Sikich on the shoulder and grips it hard. “Thank you for your support in this. The bastard tormentors deserve worse than death…” His voice trailed off as his eyes began to water.

Within moments the Free fall upon the mongo civilians with weapons scavenged from the battlefield. Ignoring the cries for mercy from the deformed behemoths, Soggul and Sikich also move forward to support their former cellmates, and within a minute all the remaining mongoliants are dead (except for your one captive), with no casualties amongst your group.

(The mongoliant civilians were not enough of a threat to earn your group combat XP, but I’m giving Soggul 100 XP and Sikich 150 XP for their in-character actions. Again; you’re definitely not a party of paladins.)

(The six humanoids that make up ‘the Free’ will be treated as NPCs under the direction of your group. They’re all ‘0-lvl’ non-combatants, but they might have a few interesting mutations. I’ll roll up their stats when I update your character sheets.)

After the Slaughter

After finishing off the mongoliants, the ex-captives drag all the bodies into a pile along the roadway and set them alight (there was no salvagable gear on the ‘civilians’). Their bodies burn alarmingly well and a ribbon of acrid smoke rises above the battlefield.

Jumrak sniffs the air. (Creep Detector class ability; Perception roll is 11 +3 = 14.) “Stinky.” he says. (Thrakazog must be nearly retching.)

(GM rolls for Soggul next; 15 +1 = 16.) “Yes.” agrees the three-armed mutant. “It reeks of the Creep; we had best stand back.”

You all keep your distance from the bonfire.

You set up camp in the artillery building and prepare a watch at the arena openings towards the citadel. The gauss cannon is set up to point towards the arena, covering the entrances in particular. All appears quiet at the citadel; it’s not obvious from your position whether the towers are even manned, but you assume the snipers are still stationed there. It looks like a few of the bodies and gear that were on the battlefield have disappeared, presumably into the citadel itself.

Vash tends to Soggul’s wounds; all other party members area about as patched up as they can be already. (Vash ‘Takes Ten’ on his Treat Injury check and restores 2 hp.) Although a few of the Free are hurt, Vash keeps the last remaining medical supplies to himself (at least for now).

After your many hectic battles, you take a well-deserved opportunity for rest. You finally have a opportunity for proper introductions and to get to know each other better. For the PCs who escaped from the slaver stockade, the stories of those who were sold to the mongoliants are enough to renew your hatred for Blackthorn and his men. Sikich and Soggul add the slavers to their revenge list, to be destroyed along with the mongoliants.

Soggul begins to organize those willing to help in order to move things around to provide cover for the organized resistance. Along with the Free, he creates a small semi-circle of rubble in order to allow attacks to be taken at range from behind cover. (It’s a very low wall; a foot or two high, except in some places.) Additionally, Soggul places several good sized stones to be used for throwing behind the rubble wall in order to provide another method of attack if needed.

Many hours pass uneventfully. You sleep in shifts to recover and heal. You train with your newfound weapons and experiment with the relics you have discovered.

(Congratulations; you all receive a 500 XP story bonus defeating Sogor and many of his elite warriors. There’s another 500 XP waiting for you when you finish off Colonel Mraag and the rest. You share the rations that you have recovered and boil water from the lake to drink. You all benefit from one day’s worth of rest and healing, and I’ll grant your new levels at this point as well.)

(Let’s give Vash a chance to apply his technological savvy… First he examines the e-clip charger; roll is 7 +8 = 15. Just good enough to figure out that three of the five charging docks have shorted out; there are only two that are usable now. It’ll take an hour or so per e-clip to recharge. Kronic’s plasma rifle is identified on a roll of 8 +8 = 16; see his character sheet for details. He rolls 2 +8 = 10 for the energy pikes; you already know their combat stats, but Vash isn’t able to figure out how to check the current charge on the e-clips. They’re still perfectly usable, though, and if you use fully-charged e-clips you should be fine.)

(Vash rolls a natural 1 when trying to identify Thrak’s ancient rifle and shoots himself in the foot for 5 damage! Sorry, dude. He promptly uses his healing kit to restore 1 hp, but curses his luck and leaves the gun for others to figure out. Sikich gives it a shot and rolls 18 +10 -4 = 24, identifying the firearm for Thrak.)

(Artifact details have been added to your character sheets. And 250 XP to Vash; 25 to Sikich.)

Many hours later, Cobb is on watch when there is some activity at the citadel… The doors have opened a crack and it looks like there are large figures entering the arena.

What are your actions?

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~ by K-Slacker on 04-Nov-07.

8 Responses to “39 – After the Slaughter”

  1. (One unanswered question; is there anything more that you want out of your captive? What do you do with him? I assume you’d take care of him – one way or another – during your rest period.)

  2. Soggul attempts to whisper to Sikich, but it comes off as a normal conversation volume because of the three-armed mutant’s poor hearing. “Movement going into the arena. We should investigate. Perhaps it is the slavers that the others have spoke of.” The scarred man readies his shield and pike. Go alert the liberators and choose a course of action… quickly. I will ready the freed men for a possible battle.” Soggul ducks low and moves to do as he stated to his former cellmate.

  3. (The figures are entering the arena grounds from the citadel itself (Map Area #11), and thus are unlikely to be slavers.)

    (In your time as captives to the mongoliants, you have never seen slavers here – the mongos must have gone to the slaver stockade to deal with them.)

    (Nope, these figures are more likely to be mongo scouts.)

  4. Sikich stays low and checks the load on his pistol. “Cooome aaaand git soooome,” he says under his breath.

  5. Sikich nods to Soggul and moves over to Vash. “Weee haaave coompaaneee,” he whispers hoarsely. “Ssspreaaad the wooord. “Theee tiiime haaaas coooome to fiiight.”

    Sikich then turns and jogs over to the broken entrance to the arena (below area 4 on the map). There, he keeps himself pressed low against the wall for cover and looks around the edge toward the doors on the other side to see if he can identify who their probably attackers are.

  6. Vash examines the rifle, looking it over. He doesn’t notice that the trigger is slowly moving.. “Okay, this looks like it could be a..*BLAM!* OW! Sonnaofa…GOD that hurts!!” He hops away to his medical kit. Very angry.

    After tending to his self induced, Vash hobbles around their small camp, trying to help those who might need tending, including their new additions. They need help and care too. Hearing the call that someone is coming out, He hobbles for the Gauss Rifle to help fire the thing.

  7. Prior to his going on watch, Cobb will discuss the swag he pilfered from Sogor’s body with the others, particularly Vash, and ask them to provide cover fire for him so that he can attempt to sneak in and recover the missing piece of the puzzle – Sogor’s vest.

  8. (Okay Cobb; we’ll resolve your scavenging attempt at the start of the next post.)

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