45 – Scavengers & Skulk

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(Most of the crew – Soggul, Sikich, Kronic (still unconscious), Cobb, and Vash – are behind the barricades (at the ‘southeast’ stadium entrance near Map Area #2). Jumrak and Thrakazog are at the docks (Map Area #10), hunting the chameleon-like humanoid lurking in the area. And the Free have reloaded the gauss cannon but can’t get clear shot at present.)

Scavengers

Stadium Map

Soggul suggests that everyone withdraw back to the cannon in order to reorganize. Chaos has destroyed what little the group had in the way of plans, so now you will have to improvise.

Before returning to the cannon, Soggul scans the area, looking for potential threats… especially Lord Mraag.

(Soggul rolls a 9 +1 = 10 on his Perception check. I assume the others will take a look around as well. Sikich gets a natural 1; Cobb a 9 +5 = 14, and Vash a 4 +9 = 13)

“Whhhhaat’ss thhhhaat?” asks Sikich, pointing into the arena. Everybody takes a close look at where the reptilian savant indicates.

“You’re seeing things.” responds Cobb. (Soggul and Vash tend to agree with Cobb’s assessment.)

“Phhantomss, perhhapss.” mutters Sikich.

“You know,” says Cobb “I didn’t notice that the mongoliant bomb killed the livestock too. I wonder if their meat is safe to eat.” (The livestock pen at Map Area #4 is now filled with ex-livestock.)

While glancing out over the barricade at the dead mongoliants (and dead sheep), Cobb contemplates the gear that was left behind. Looking to Sikich and Vash he says “Can you guys cover me from here? I’m going for the squawkie-talkie box and that light. We can talk at Mraag with it.”

Vash tries to move, reaching for his laser rifle. He knows he is still weak from whatever that bomb was. He must study it! But later. “I will try… to cover you.” He says before looking to Kronic. He pauses before reaches to take his pulse, making sure he is still with them. (He’s stabilized but is still unconscious.)

“I will go with you Cobb.” Soggul grits his teeth in fear (nervous about Sikich’s ‘phantoms’), but he musters the courage to walk with a fellow mutant.

Carefully, Cobb chooses his path to the dead mongoliant and proceeds forward with Soggul close behind.

(Agility checks for Cobb and Soggul; rolls are 18 +12 = 30 for Cobb and 9 +5 = 14 for Soggul. GM rolls some more dice in secret, but doesn’t say anything about the results.)

(Might as well roll ‘Scav Scan’ Perception checks for Cobb and Soggul now as well. Cobb gets a Natural 20 (and 10 bonus XP)! Soggul is no slouch either, rolling 18 +1 = 19.)

You reach the fallen mongoliants. The ‘squakie’ box is quiet now, and Cobb carefully lifts it from the the mongoliant’s belt. He’ll wait until he’s behind cover before trying to figure that one out. He also grabs the remains of the bomb ‘vest’ for Vash to examine. Wait… What’s this? The creature also seems to have a nanowire garrote woven into the belt. That might come in handy…

Meanwhile, Soggul gets the pistol and finds an additional ammo clip in the holster that was hidden at the mongo’s back. Examining the flashlight, he tries to figure out how to turn it off without stepping into its light… (DC 10 Decipher Technology check; Soggul rolls a 17 – an easy success.) …and figures the big red button on the side will do the trick.

“Click!” and the arena is pitch black again. Somewhat surprisingly, there’s no response from the citadel (and the walkie-talkie remains silent). You guess that Mraag’s ‘snipers’ were a lie after all.

Relying on his blindsense, Cobb guides Soggul back to the barricades, and the entire group relocates to the gauss cannon – just in time to catch the end of the battle at the docks.

Skulk

Along the shore (Map Area #10), Jumrak is able to get a glimpse of his foe as he tumbles away in the near-darkness. It’s a small humanoid, definitely not a mongoliant. He wears a simple loincloth and some kind of utility belt but is otherwise naked, and his skin seems to mimic his surroundings like some kind of human chameleon.

Before Jumrak’s very eyes, the creature blends again into the background.

“If you are with us, make yourself visible!” yells Jumrak at the fleeing mutant. “Otherwise, you’re toast!”

Thrak lunges forward, towards Jumrak’s voice. He keeps his ears tuned to the noises he heard and especially smells for strange scents that will alert him to the activity. Clenching his fullblade in his two hands, he picks up his pace and shouts out for Jumrak to give him some guidance. “Jumrak! Make some more noise so I can find you! We can take this guy down together!”

(GM rolls some dice; and smirks. Perception checks are now needed for Jumrak and Thrakazog; it’s an easier check for Thrak since he can rely on his smell. Rolls are 16 +3 -5 = 14 for Jumrak and 9 +2 = 11 for Thrak. Both succeed.)

Jumrak has never relied on his eyes; he hears the shuffling of feet as his foe withdraws further away and is able to guess at the skulk’s location. Thrak has an even easier time tracking him by scent. But the creature definitely isn’t making himself visible; you advance threateningly and continues the attack.

(Jumrak’s the closest, so he’ll get first attack. There’s still a 20% miss chance in the dark; Attack roll is 14 +6 = 20, miss chance is 66% – a hit! Damage is 11 +3 = 14.)

Jumrak’s axe cleaves his spindly foe in twain, an effect perhaps more dramatic than he was intending. (Jumrak gets 50 XP.) The pieces of the skulk fall apart, his chameleon-like skin no longer active. Thrak’s gentle glow illuminates the body as he approaches.

“Ouch.” comments Thrakazog.

The creature was unarmed, but tied to its loincloth is a small leather pouch. Carefully examining the contents, you find only a small plastic bottle, sealed with wax (which you break open). It contains an array of about a dozen multicoloured pills (none alike) and a sheet of paper written in a large but careful script.

“What does it say?” asks Jumrak, handing the paper to Thrakazog.

“It’s in Unislang.” comments Thrak. “It says ‘Blackthorn – urgent assistance required. Will pay handsomely for eradication of foes at Arena. If successful, access to the Second Dome guaranteed. Reply on the usual frequency. It’s signed by Lord Mraag.” (You remember that ‘Blackthorn’ was the apparent leader of the slavers.)

“A messenger, I reckon.” says Jumrak (who is mildly annoyed that apparently Lord Mraag is more literate than him).

Thrak nods. “I wonder what the ‘usual frequency’ means? Anyhow; let’s get back to the others.”

Jumrak and Thrakazog board a mongoliant boat and row back to the others at the gauss cannon. The arena – and the entire Lost City – is silent again.

What are your actions?

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

10 Responses to “45 – Scavengers & Skulk”

  1. Sikich shakes his head to try and clear his vision of the phantoms that he is still seeing in the shadows. “Damn! Did I prick myself with that needle?” he wonders. Apparently, Sikich doesn’t lisp when he thinks!

  2. The three-armed mutant slides the pistol in his pocket with his lower right hand. “Could be useful…” Smiling, he walks to the docks to see what the rest of the party has uncovered.

  3. Vash looks to the building as it becomes dark and silent again. It is an ancient building. “I wonder…” He mumbles. “I wonder if it still has ancient lights. It will certainly draw the attention of everyone in the city, but it will give us an advantage.”

  4. (By ‘building’, I assume you mean the citadel…)

    (Soggul and Sikich confirm that the citadel does still have working Ancient lights inside, though the only time the rest of the group were able to see them was when the gates opened to let the ‘negotiators’ out.)

    (The arena itself has no electric lights – well, except for the spotlight on top of the citadel – and its walls block any lights from the citadel from being seen from the rest of the Lost City. Click here to see a (very big) picture.)

  5. Once you’ve regrouped at the artillery building, Hex speaks up. “Please, sirs. I am starving; soon I will die.”

    (Remember that Hex is a Leech who must drain the Endurance from others to survive. See the genotype traits on his character sheet for details.)

  6. Vash looks sadly to Hex and at his cry. “I would offer you something, but I am too weak at the moment.” He looks around and spots the livestock. “Could you eat one of those?” He points them out. He is not giving up on any of them yet.

  7. Most of the livestock are dead, but a few are merely comatose. Hex drains them of their last wisps of life, and is sated. (+10 XP to Vash for the idea.)

  8. Soggul steps up to Hex and nods. “Brother, you may feed from me whenever you need to. We work together from this day out. Understood?” The three-armed mutant speaks to the leech as if he was a close family member, not like a stranger.

  9. Cobb watches, mildly grossed out at the sight of the leech ‘feeding’ from the animal. He looks to Soggul and says “Uh, yeah… ya know.. I just don’t think that’s too healthy. Maybe just a little as long as someone’s watching him.” His shaky limbs quiver involuntarily.

    Cobb sits down near Vash and lays the remains of the vest down next to him. “Got us something to tinker with when you’re feeling up to it Vash. It’s what’s left of that black light… bomb..thingy.”

    Cobb examines the squawk box while talking to Soggul. “Hey Soggul, I was thinking that that lightstick might be useful for Thrakazog. You know, since he can’t see very well? WHat do you think?”

  10. “We are brothers now, all of us, and we must support each other. Hex will not take what he does not need.” Soggul says this with absolute conviction and unwaivering faith in his fellow Freeman.

    Upon mention of the light, the three-armed mutant nods in agreement of Cobb’s proposal. “It should help greatly if his vision is impaired. I will return shortly.” Soggul walks off to find Thrakazog to give the light to him after a bit of instruction on how to operate it.

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