70 – Transfixed

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(You’ve been exploring the Ancient riot scene (Map Area #33) at the edge of the glowing fungus patch. Of interest, the box of one of the cargo trucks appears to be unopened, though damaged. Unfortunately, the glow from the fungus patch appears to be getting brighter, and Sikich can tell that the mushrooms are psychically active. A flock of flying creatures is assembling overhead, attracted by the glow.)

Seeking Cover

Deeper Caves Map

Soggul looks up, eyeing the ominous flock. “Hold. Let’s go no further.” The three-armed mutant goes over to Cobb and takes the cable off of his shoulder. “The closer we get to that machine, the more the creatures above gather. Perhaps we should use your hook and my cable to pull the vehicle closer to us. Maybe they won’t react the same way. What do you think?” Whatever is decided upon, Soggul will follow the group’s decision, for better or for worse.

Cobb shakes his head. “No the truck is much too large; we won’t be able to move it.”

Sikich has a feeling that the fungus is signalling the presence of prey for the fliers. Perhaps in return, they get the ground around them fertilized by dead creatures! He tells the group of his theory.

Vash frowns as he looks around with the light getting brighter from the fungus. “I wonder if it is detecting our movement… wait a moment, they can think?” He reaches for his rifle. “Well, we should move out of here. It might get bright enough for those flying-rats to see us.” He comments, pointing his gun up. He looks to the truck.

Sikich motions towards the vehicles. “Sssaafeer iinsssidee, wheeree theee fliieersss caannoot ssssee usss”. Sikich motions to the damaged cargo vehicle, which would provide some overhead protection from the fliers. “Weee cann openn the trruck, thenn lleeeave quickleee whenn thee fungussss glooww hassss died doownnn.”

Vash replies: “It looks like it really beat up. It will take time, strength and noise to get in it.” He comments, looking to the others.

Open reflection, Sikich instead suggests that the stronger members of the band (Jumrak & Thrak) work to lever open the back of the truck with the grapping hook or any other handy. The rest of the group can take cover amongst the other vehicles and watch for the fliers, weapons ready. Once the door is opened, if it is safe inside, “Weee hiidee insssiidee truuck, untiill fuunguus ssstoopsss glloowiing.”

With the possibility of a swarm of partially-psionic creatures, Thrak is nervous about staying too long in the open, but he’s still curious about what could be inside that truck. “With all the weird stuff we’ve seen, you’ve probably got it right, Sikich, with your guess about the fungus alerting the flying things to nearby prey. Especially if there are mental powers thrown into it.”

He looks around the immediate environs as best he can and suggests, “Let’s all get under cover in one of these nearby buildings. If we’re swarmed, then rifles and swords aren’t going to do a lot of good against numbers like that. Once holed up, we can plan how to open the truck from the safety of cover – only a couple of us at a time – and assume that we should at least be able to out smart a few glowing mushrooms, for gods’ sake.”

(That two-storey building with the billboard on it (near Map Area #33), is Thrak’s first suggestion for a place for cover.)

(The buildings will provide better cover against the flock than hiding amongst the vehicles, but will require you to enter the fungus field to reach.)

Kronic speaks up: “Frakkin psionics… What if I just take a machete to the fungus? Maybe we can eat the crap and with it dead it won’t be summoning no flying buzzards. We still need to get some rest too… We head into those buildings maybe we can pop some of these fungus near the trucks off and kill them from range before venturing back out so they do not alert the buzzards. More martial toys are always a good thing, especially when we still owe some Mongo’s more payback.”

(So I’ll assume that you’ll leave the truck alone for a moment, and seek out the safer cover of a nearby building You’ll go with the billboard building, which will incidentally provide you with a view of the mongoliant fortress.)

(The GM rolls some dice and jots down some notes.)

Transfixed

With improvised machete in hand, Soggul steps forward and leads the party into the fungus patch to a nearby building, with Jumrak at his side hacking with his fire axe. Forging a path through the smaller mushrooms (‘only’ hip high), they lead the group towards the nearby two-storey building with the billboard on top.

The iridescent mushrooms seem to grow directly from the crumbled pavement of the ruined city. A soft layer of lichen and mold in bizarre hues carpets much of the space between the larger fungi. Small insects, most of them albino in colour, skitter out from cover as the passage of your group disturbs their nests, but you luckily encounter no larger lifeforms as you pass through the fungus forest. The air here is moist and there is the faint smell of rot in the air.

Sikich maintains concentration and mentally scans the fungus for a response to your passage. They seem to be keyed only to your proximity; there is no reaction as you hack and cut the ‘shrooms to pieces. Sikich breathes a sigh of relief, “Theeeyy arre passssive, the ‘ssshroooomss. Thheirr mindsss are sssimple.”

“Still, they glow even more brightly now.” notes Vash. “The patch is like a beacon, indicating our location to any observers.”

“Like those damned fliers.” says Kronic, pointing to the flock. There are significantly more of the mutant creatures flying above now; you can hear their chitters and squeaks now.

Thrakazog steps forward with his greatsword and starts hacking at the mushrooms too. “Quickly, friends! We must reach cover now!”

You are close enough now to get a better view of the two-storey building. It appears structurally sound, and you see that most of the windows are smashed and empty. Inside you can make out multiple rooms with intact doorways – perfect for hiding.

The squeaking from above grows louder, and the surrounding fungus glows even brighter.

“I cannn feeeel thhemm!” says Sikich, his psionic sense tingling.

(The GM makes some Luck Checks for the PCs; Soggul rolls lowest at 4 +3 = 7. He gets to make a DC 15 Perception Check now; the roll is 5 +1 = 6, a fail.)

Cyclat

You are only a short range from the building when Soggul trips over something in his path and drops his machete. Looking at the ground beneath them, he realizes that he has stumbled over the body of large mongoliant, dead and completely bound by some type of webbing. “Damn!” he mutters as he fumbles for his dropped blade.

Ahead of him, Kronic and Thrak finally break through the fungus patch and reach the building. A large open window looms in front of you; beyond is a small room with a single doorway. The party could pass through and close the door behind them, blocking the flying creatures behind you…

Soggul scrambles to his feet and follows his allies. Suddenly, one of the mutant flyers lands on a mushroom nearby. Soggul, machete in hand, glares at the creature and threatens it with his weapon.

The single eye of the mutant beast has a hypnotic effect on Soggul. For him, the chittering and squeaking of the creatures seems to fade into the background, and Soggul is momentarily confused about the situation… (He needs to succeed a DC 8 Charisma Check; the roll is 2 +1 = 3. The dice are your enemy today, Soggul.)

Soggul is transfixed for a moment. Although the effect lasts only for a few seconds (1 round), its long enough for another three of the creatures to descend from the air and begin swarming around Soggul…

(I leave it up to you to decide whether your PC has stayed back with Soggul after he stumbled or continued forward to the safety of the building. There are currently four of the flying creatures at ‘ground’ level, and perhaps several dozen further above.)

(It appears that the although the flyers are individually weak, in enough numbers they can keep a target dazed and thereby dispatch larger foes! You believe that each flyer could be dispatched with a single blow, but only if you haven’t been distracted that round.)

What are your actions?

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~ by K-Slacker on 27-May-08.

5 Responses to “70 – Transfixed”

  1. Thrak will have stopped at the entrance to the building before heading inside. If he was one of the first to reach the door, he would have waited until the rest of the party was inside before being one of the last through the portal.

    Sensing a situation where his poor sight could serve him well, Thrak surges back away from the door toward where Soggul stands transfixed. He endeavours to keep his eyes averted from the flyers, wrap his tail around the hypnotized mutant and return to the building, his back turned to the swarm, dragging Soggul with him.

  2. Sikich had just entered the building but, seeing what had happened to Soggul decides to fight fire with fire, or in this case psionics with psionics.
    Sikich musters his will and unleashes a wave of kinetic energy (Kinetic Blast) at the flier transfixing Soggul (or any of the other fliers if that one is dead when he gets his action). Feeling that making lots of noise so close to the mongoliants would be a bad idea,if Soggul is still in trouble he clutches his energy pike and will move to protect Soggul until he’s inside while shouting “Nooo fiireeaaarmss, tooo noosssy”.

  3. Vash agrees with Sikich. With the two more capable members of the party out there to grab up poor Soggul, He continues into the building to make sure it is safe and secure. He helps to usher the rest in. Once inside, he will pull out his laser rifle. It might be noisy, but if they get swarmed, he can try to provide cover.

  4. Soggul’s mind swims with thoughts much like white noise. There’s something there, but it’s scrambled and not making much sense. He sees quick images of the bat creatures, the rock lobster, the mongoliant torturer, and finally, his tranquil swimming hole on the surface. It all faded back to white noise as the mutant was dragged along by Thrak’s thick tail.

  5. Seeing these nasty things getting ready to feast on my friend, I charge in from my location at the building to chop at least one of these things to pieces. As soon as it’s clear that we’ve got Soggul, I’ll return to the building to take cover from the possibility of more of these things pouncing!

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