49 – Facing Fears

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(Wow; the post ended up pretty long. You’ve descended to the passageways beneath the stadium; your group stands together now at the base of the stairs (Map Area #12). Thrakazog’s flashlight is your only source of light; all else is in darkness. There has been no signs of the remaining mongoliants or Lord Mraag so far.)

(The Free remain at your current camp in the artillery building, outside the stadium.)

Beneath the Stadium

The halls beneath the stadium are of simple, unadorned concrete. In many places it looks like the mongoliants have removed the doors and enlarged the openings. (They likely found the human-sized doorways too small for their convenience.) Passages lead off north and south. Black and red letters painted on the concrete western wall have long faded, leaving only the first three: “W-E-L”.

After reaching the bottom of the stairs, Thrak finally takes his hand away from his face. The stench from that ad hoc latrine nearly bowled him over! Shaking his head one last time to clear his senses, he stands still at the bottom of the stairs and tries to visualise the area based on previous study of the map.

Hearing the faint dripping sounds to the south, he suggests that the party perform a perimeter sweep of this area starting on the north side (Map Areas #13 through #22), then proceeding to investigate the south rooms (15, 18, 23). It seems that the central area should be saved for last.

Thrak keeps his flashlight gripped tightly in his prehensile tail, and two hands steadies on his firearm. Having recovered from the stench at the top of the stairs, he also sniffs the air cautiously at the bottom to help root out any lingering mongoliant presence. From the recent battles with the deformed mutants (which is saying something, coming from a mutant), he should be able to sense how recent (at least relatively) the mongo presence here has been.

(Thrakazog can still detect the stench of mongoliants, which means that they must have been here in the past day or so. He can’t smell anything presently nearby, however.)

Thrak warns the rest of the group (probably unnecessarily) that the surviving mongos may have holed themselves up somewhere, possibly with one or more weapons that haven’t been revealed yet, and that may outpower our own. We must be cautious.

Soggul says nothing. He sweats even though it is much cooler now that they are underground. The three-armed mutant is unusually on edge now, being down in the darkness again. He breathes slowly and deeply, trying to keep himself calm. However, his courage is faltering… (Now that he’s in these constricted underground corridors, his phobia of confined spaces has kicked in.)

Jumrak agree with Thrak. “As we descend further, we make it easier for any mongos we missed to trap us from behind.” he says quietly. “I can’t see well enough to be of much use, but I’d feel better if someone was keeping a good eye to behind us. Someone should keep guard on the rear. Maybe another between the rear guard and the rest of the group for relaying info and backup. I bet we’ll find something in Sogor’s chamber.”

Nobody volunteers, but Sikich steps forward and puts a kind hand on Soggul’s shoulder. “Followw Jumrak’sss advicccce.” he suggests. “Ssssomeone musssst guard our backssss.”

Soggul brightens for a moment. “I will defend you.” he replies, and takes rear guard at the stairwell.

Jumrak nods, and since nobody else has offered he agrees to be the ‘messenger’ between the party and Soggul.

You select the northern branch and step forward, your footsteps echoing in the darkness. Cobb peers ahead into the darkness trying to discern any movement or hazards. “Well, we could use some light. Sure it might make you stand out at range, but that’s better than being surrounded up close with no retreat. Let’s check these nearby rooms for anything we can use as a light source…” Cobb grins and looks to Jumrak as he fingers the key around his neck, “then we head to Sogor’s chamber.”

Thrakazog waves his rather luminous flash light in Cobb’s general direction with a bit of a smirk. Clasping it in his prehensile tail and his automatic rifle in his hands; the hulking, glowing mutant sniffs the air and moves onward. Cobb and Kronic follow behind Thrak, carefully watching and listening for danger, their weapons in hand.

Jumrak (ready to relay messages) accompanies Vash and Sikich at the rear. Vash’s human appearance contrasts with that of his mutant companion. The freakishly tall Sikich leans heavily upon his energy pike to support his lanky frame. With his dark robes and ‘staff’, he looks almost like a wizened wizard out of some Ancient fantasy novel.

And you continue forwards into the darkness.

(The GM tosses some more dice; you notice a d20 rolled for each PC, but he says nothing.)

Northern Chambers

Ahead, Thrakazog’s flashlight has revealed a small, dark side chamber (Map Area #13). It looks like it was burrowed out of the rock by the mongoliants to serve as a convenient watch post. Empty now, the cave itself is featureless except for a few stubby stools and a low metal table, and various junk items scattered about.

“It’s a trap.” replies Cobb. “I can feel it. Let me search the room.” (Perception Check, Cobb’s roll is 18 +5 = 23.) The albino scave carefully inspects the cave, but can find nothing amiss (nor any loot).

Carefully checking for any danger, you enter the next chamber (Map Area #14). The concrete northern wall of this room bears a long black stripe, with the fading words “L-O-C-K-E-R R-O-O-M-S” painted all along the stripe’s length. Rusted and battered lockers and old rows of benches have been turned into a kind of barrack-house for the mutant giant occupants. The room is empty, and on first glance it looks like everything of value has been removed.

(Perception Check for Cobb; roll is 9 +5 = 14.) “Nothing here, either.” he comments.

“Where are they?” asks Jumrak. “Have the cowards truly fled?”

“We waited too long.” suggests Kronic. “They escaped with all their gear.”

After Jumrak checks with Soggul, you decide to avoid the ‘central’ chambers for now and inspect the northwestern rooms. The first area (Map Area #17) consists of old showers, and is unguarded. Shaggy mold has grown from the cracked ceiling, draping over old rusted showerheads along the tiled walls. Bits of crumbled and shattered porcelain lies scattered about among empty crates, and boxes.

Cobb performs a quick search (Scav Scan Perception Check, roll is 12 +5 = 17), and finds a box of ready-meals (ten total) carelessly left behind amongst the debris. “Well, at least we won’t starve today.” says the scav.

You move onward. The next large concrete chamber, partially collapsed, is filled with straw bedding and bits of refuse, bones, and other organic remains. It appears to have been the home of perhaps a dozen mongoliants, likely the ‘civilians’ that you slaughtered earlier.

Off to one side is a small room, its original purpose unknown. Smaller ‘beds’ line the walls; perhaps this was the home of the mongoliant ‘children’?

Both rooms are now unnocupied and eerily silent. A quick search turns up no valuables.

You return back to the stairwell, then head to the southern passage.

Southern Chambers

The first chamber (Map Area #15) is a locker room, similar to the one to the north. This ruined room has long served as a dwelling for mongoliant warriors, the lockers and benches transformed into makeshift beds and storage spaces.

While Jumrak reports to Soggul, Cobb searches the room (he’ll easily make the roll, even if Takes 10) and finds a power clip left in one of the lockers.

In the next room (Map Area #18) you find more Ancient showers, unused in centuries. The cold tiled walls of this chamber are cracked and tinted with old mold (white and green mostly) and fungus seeping through the cracks. Stacked throughout the chamber are olive drab military crates, all opened and apparently empty. Cobb’s search confirms that there are no valuables remaining.

The next room holds something of a surprise. It appears that the mongoliants have performed manual excavations of this chamber, using metal braces to shore up the ceiling to provide a clear passage beyond. The crude passageway extends into darkness beyond the range of Thrak’s flashlight.

“We should finish exploring the central rooms before venturing further here.” suggests Thrak. Sniffing the air, he says “The mongos have left their stink here recently. Maybe a few hours ago…”

“Let’s get Soggul before continuing onward.” says Jumrak, tired of acting as messenger boy.

You return to the entry stairwell and collect your ally. With still no sign of resistance – or any life at all – the group ventures towards the central chambers (Map Areas #16 and #19-20).

Central Hallway

Forced to face his fears, Soggul’s breaths come in ragged gasps now as the party moves onward, and he’s almost as pale as the albino Cobb. Memories flood back of the events in these subterrannean chambers that Soggul would rather forget. “This one. It’s the medical lab.” (Map Area #16) he manages to whisper. “And Sogor’s experimentation chamber…” He pauses. “And across the hall was Sogor’s personal chambers.”

To your sides, your path is blocked by sturdy metal doors – apparently the only ones the mongoliants left intact down here. The door to the west (Map Area #19) shows signs of much abuse; it looks like someone with heavy weapons and a great deal of anger has spent a lot of effort to try to break it down, but failed. There is a badly damaged lock just below the door handle.

The eastern door, leading to the medical lab (Map Area #16), appears unlocked and undamaged. Suddenly, from behind the doorway, you hear a sound like clinking chains followed by a low, pained moan. (Soggul nearly turns to run, but catches himself.) It’s the first sound (other than from your own group) that you’ve heard since decending beneath the stadium!

What are your actions?


~ by K-Slacker on 19-Jan-08.

6 Responses to “49 – Facing Fears”

  1. Cobb tries to reassure Soggul. “Soggul, you said it yourself, we’re all together. And you’re not a slave anymore. Try not to be afraid. We’ll look out for each other down here.”

    Cobb tries not to seem too anxious about the battered door with the incredibly sturdy lock, almost as though he wants someone to remind him of the key so he doesn’t seem too greedy. He licks his lips and smiles his sharp-toothed grin as he leans on his spear and rocks back and forth on his feet.

    He moves to inspect the door and lock for any traps, though it seems as though they would have been set off already, when the moan from the other door comes rolling down the hall.

    “What the hell was that?” he whispers. “Maybe we can hide in here?” he whispers hopefully and gestures to what he thinks is the great Lord Sogor’s treasure chamber.

  2. Vash continues to walk slowly through the dark hallways, squinting through the darkness. He brings up the laser rifle, readying it. He keeps his eyes out for anything that might of interest. At the medical lab, he brings up the rifle at the sound of the moan. “I think they left someone in mid torture.” He whispers.

  3. Lets see whats in there… If there is some poor sap in there we better finish him off or help him. If he is too far gone lets just end it, most likely he is stark-raving mad and will have to be put down anyways. Besides there may be medical gear in there that is usefull for wounds we have or may recieve. We could use all the medical gear we can get. I’ll get the door (draws his plasma pistol and flexes his claws) you guys cover the entrance. Fighters in first, follow me, sikitch cover left, thrak cover rigth, soggul come in and back me up. Once the room is clear the rest come in a search with us.

    Oh yeah, and we found another tunnel that leads deeper into the earth the Mongo’s created Soggul. Looks like we’ll be spelunking for a bit… get yourself ready.

  4. Thrak wheels his light around to shine into the exposed medical chamber. If Sogor’s door has stood up to the attacks evident from its surface, then it can wait a few more minutes he figures.

    “Cobb,” he says, “let’s first make sure there’s no threat from in the med-room where that moan came from. We need to cover our backs before tackling that lock.”

    As the most obvious target, glowing even without being the one holding the flash light, Thrak looks to see if Cobb and Vash will cover his entrance, and then steps tentatively towards the medical room, panning the light back and forth and sniffing cautiously…

  5. (OOC – that was a cross-post with Kronic there. Since he posted first, I’m more than willing to let him take the lead into the room, but will remain close enough on the right flank to ensure ample light for all.)

  6. Panic almost gripped Soggul as the sound startled him. His mind raced with thoughts of fleeing and rushing to surface as fast as his feet could carry him. The comforting words of his new friends was the one thing that was still keeping him here.

    His breathe came through quickly and raggedly, as if he was on the verge of hyperventilating. “I… I must get through this.” Tears came on as the big man forced one foot in front of the other in order to keep up with the group. He let the tears pour, but kept from sobbing to prevent being discovered.

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