61 – Survey

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(You’ve just defeated the vicious chuul of the slime caves. Quite to the GM’s surprise, you have even managed to do so without losing a party member. Sikich and Kronic are still pretty beat up, and you don’t know what lies deeper in the cave (or deeper underwater). You’ve brought your boats into the shallows (Map Area #3); but given the lack of dry land nearby, it will be difficult to strike camp at your current location – assuming it’s even safe.)

Chuul Lair

Slime Caves

“Well, I guess it can’t get any more dangerous in here than that,” Thrakazog mutters. “May as well see how much farther into this cave these shallow waters will let us go.”

With Vash tending to Sikich and Kronic, Thrak suggests that Cobb and Jumrak accompany him on foot through the shallows to see what else lies in the cave. “But first,” he adds, “I need to see to my weapon.” He intends to dry out the rounds in his rifle’s clip and ensure that the barrel is also free of obstructions and excess moisture. Then he wants to see what’s around the bend.

With flashlight clenched in Thrak’s tail, the trio scout the further through the shallows on foot, keeping an eye both on the depths of the cave as well as the water. You find that the slime caves loop on themselves, ending in what appears to have been the chuul’s lair (Map Area #4). This dismal cavern oozes slime, and the smell of rotting flesh and stale water is almost overpowering. It appears that the chuul dwelt here, submerged under the relatively shallow water (the water is the same depth as Map Area #3).

(The GM rolls some dice…) “This place is tainted. It is unsafe for us to remain here for long.” (Jumrak’s ‘Creep Detector’ ability kicks in.)

You decide to cut your exploration of this particular area short, and return to your companions in the shallows.

While they were scouting on foot, Vash looks to the party members remaining in the shallows, taking a paddle and poking at the surrounding water. “If we use the paddles, we can make sure that there are no more Rock Lobsters lurking?”

(You scout the waters; no more rock lobsters here.)

Meanwhile, Soggul gets an idea. The creature’s shell was hard and may provide good protection for the group. He disrobes in front of the group and leaves his gear in the boat. “I will be back in a moment.” Grabbing his dagger, Soggul dives under the water to try and remove some of the creature’s shell. He stays clear of the pincers, worried about the poison they might contain.

Crawler

Cyclat

While underwater, Soggul gets a better look at the submerged areas of the slime caves. (GM rolls a Perception check, in secret.) He spots a submerged tunnel (to Map Area #4), which he avoids (sensing the taint). He also has a chance to examine some of the half-eaten corpses that lie rotting beneath the surface. There are a handful of corpses that may have been human at one time, a couple mongoliants, and a host of creatures that he is not familiar with. (Click on the images at right for a look at the bodies.) Amongst the bodies, he finds an unused light rod, and a small metal tube with a cord clutched in the skeletal hands of a humanoid corpse. Luckily, he sees no traces of additional chuuls.

(The metal tube has some Ancient writing on it. Sikich will be able to translate it as “Emergency Raft. Pull cord to inflate”.)

After several minutes underwater, Soggul comes up with a shellful of smelly meat. “We should make camp soon. Anyone care to try and cook?” The mutant gives a smile as he drops the meat and shell into in the boat and heads back into the water. Swimming gave Soggul some calm as the past few days have brought on so many wild swings of emotions. It was a bit of peace that was to be treasured for however long it could last.

Vash looks to Soggul. “I have read once that Lobster meat is delicious with butter.”

“Uh; don’t eat the meat.” suggests Jumrak (who has just returned). “Not unless you want to grow extra arm…”

(Soggul shoots Jumrak an annoyed glance at the ‘extra arm’ faux pas.)

(The chuul’s carapace should be safe to work with. Given a bit of time and patience, it can be fashioned into a suit of chitin armour – or perhaps a ‘light chitin’ breastplate and shield. Soggul scrapes the shells clean and packs them into a boat.)

Vash continues to tend to the wounded members of the party. “Hmm, perhaps you can rest in the boats? You’ll be out of the water, plus we can make you more comfortable.” He says before looking at his new experimental medicines. He rubs his hands together. Someday… Someday.

Sikich is absolutely shattered after the trip down the rapids and his near death experience at the hands of the Rock Lobster. Lying there, he considers how much food it much take to feed a creature this size, so although it will be a grisly task for someone he figures we may be able to find out what other creatures live in the second dome by examining any remains so he suggests, “Crreaturre feedss much… lllook for bodiess.” He also considers the value of using this creatures lair as a place to rest, reasoning out loud that, “Sshoulld be sssafe… no oother creatures ssillly enough tooo come herre.” At that he slumps back, exhausted.

(Sikich may be correct. Given the chuul’s size, it is likely the sole large predator in these waters… Clever deduction; +25 XP.)

After that harrowing experience, Jumrak tends to agree that a survey of the area is needed. He doesn’t want any surprises, especially when the group is beat up. “Let’s take a look around…” or in my case, a listen and feel. “Once we’ve established that we have some level of safety, we can make camp.”

Survey

With no dry ground and the risk of slime-induced Creep contamination from the chuul lair, the party agrees to Sikich’s suggestion. You conduct a quick survey of the second dome to find a safe site to camp…

(GM rolls some Perception Checks for the party, the some Luck Checks – all in secret. What is he up to?)

Deeper Caves Map

Hollow echoes can be heard in the distance as you row your little boats out of the slime caves to conduct a survey of the surrounding areas.

There is a fortified wall guarding the southern reaches of the dome (Map Areas #25 and #26). Light emanates from behind the walls – artificial light, not from torches – that illuminate the silhouettes of mongoliants guarding the wall. Luckily, there appears to be only a handful of guards. The fortress itself is set into a ledge in the wall; a set of natural stone ‘stairs’ (Map Area #28) lead upwards to it.

The glowing fungus field (Map Areas #27 through #30) lies directly across the waters from the slime cave. The macabre light from the mutant ‘shrooms dimly illuminates the entire deeper caverns, glowing with colours unknown to the eyes of surface dwellers. You cannot make out any details from within the fungal grove.

North of the fungus lie a number of warehouses (Map Areas #32 and #33). Further north is a larger industrial building (Map Area #35) at the base of towering skyscrapers (Map Area #37 and up), which extend as far north as you can see in the semi-darkness. The metallic skeletons of these large structures are still intact, indicating that they are largely untouched since the Fall.

Across from ‘downtown’, a rusted barge sits low in the water (Map Area #41). You cannot make out any details of the boat from this distance.

Finally, looking upwards you see the faint outlines of flying creatures – bats most likely – circling an enormous stalactite drooping down from the top of the old buried dome, several hundred feet above the city. (Not depicted on the map, but directly above the train car near Map Area #32.)

What are your actions?

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~ by K-Slacker on 30-Mar-08.

6 Responses to “61 – Survey”

  1. Back in the boat, Thrakazog wants to set up a camp somewhere so the rest of the party can sit and heal up as best as possible. He’s not in the worst shape like poor Sikich or Kronic, but he’s still hurting from the trip across the rapids and would like to get some solid, dry ground under his feet again.

    “There’s that small building jutting out into the water just around that near point. I say we pull the boats up there and hole up for a day or two, set guards and see if we can’t get ourselves back into some sort of fighting shape before striking out to investigate more of this dome.” (He’s referring to the small building just north of the train tracks by map area 32.)

    “Once we feel up to it, I feel an urge to see what’s inside those huge buildings there!” (The downtown core.) “I’ve never seen anything that big on the surface, and there’s bound to be something we can use inside ’em.” Thinking back to the recent fire fights with the mongoliants he also adds, “And it gets us further away from the mongos behind the wall there. I’ve had enough of them for a while now, but it’s a good reason to keep a guard up at all times. Gotta watch our backs extra careful now…”

    Thrak wants to see what loot can be found here, but not at the expense of any more danger than needs to be faced.

  2. While in the cave, the swimmer reports what he finds below and hands the items to whoever desires them. He decided to gear up afterwards as the group hasn’t been so lucky with avoiding danger thusfar.

    Soggul scans the city with his eyes as the boats glide forward from the last stroke from his paddle. His Scavenger instinct kicked in, realizing there would be much to discover within the broken city before him. He wanted to see the surface badly, but the thought of discovering something new within the city combatted those thoughts to a stalemate. The three-armed mutant decided he would like the rest of his fellows choose the next course of action to take.

  3. Sikich thinks about the layout of the caverns. He realises there is a building that would allow them a good view of the mongoliant compound as well as a fair view of much of the rest of the cavern. He still remembers the cruel treatment he received at the hands of the mongoliants and wants to be able to observe them – see if there is any weaknesses in their defences.
    With this in mind, he points towards the building on the hill (left of map area 32). “Good viewsss ffrom tthere. Hide boatss behind hill.”

  4. Vash listens to both of them as he keeps an eye on both of the patients. He glances in the direction that are being pointed out. “Both are in the same general direction. We can stop at Sikich’s place first since it is by the water. If it is not a useful shelter, we can move on to Thraka’s. Plus, even if we can hold up on the hill, we can still scout out that Thrak’s building, right?”

  5. “I’m all for regrouping and healing up before the swag hunting begins.” says Cobb. “I agree that getting to a place that provides us with a view of the mongos is a good idea, and one of those tall buildings may be more defensible.”

  6. Soggul nods to Cobb with a smile on his face. “Swag hunting… I like that.” The three-armed mutant remembers a time when he was above ground, scouring broken cityscapes like this for forgotten treasures. It filled his heart with fond memories and gave him hope for a new life. “We shall find great things in this graveyard, my friend.”

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