79 – Split Group

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(The party remains split into three groups – the GM’s typical nightmare to referee…)

(Alone at the edge of the mongoliant ‘killing field’, Soggul draws fire from some kind of invisible ray weapons but is unhurt. He dashes to the edge of the water and dives in, shouting defiantly at the mongos before diving deeper.)

(Cobb and Thrakazog have continued their search for Soggul through the fungus patch. Reaching the wreckage of a large machine (Map Area #27A), they lose Soggul’s trail. However, Cobb hears the mutant’s defiant shout from further south.)

(Meanwhile, the other party members are back at the safehouse, recuperating and keeping in touch with the search party via walkie-talkie.)

Close Call

Deeper Caves Map

After his defiant shout to the mongoliants, Soggul keeps below the surface, breathing as easily as he did on the surface. His mind races with all the possible ways he can meet his end in the murky soup. The mutant decides that his best plan of action is to stay in the water. Taking his dagger between his teeth, he swims quietly underwater towards the north, watching out for potential threats.

(Time to roll for wandering monsters… The GM makes a DC 5 Luck Check for Soggul; the roll is a 3 +3 = 6. Just made it!)

Something large and sinuous swims past Soggul in the darkened depths, but it passes by without incident. After this close call, Soggul continues north, passing the cave of the lobster-beast and coming to shore at the train rail terminal (the train tracks near Map Area #32). He plans on circling around to meet up with the rest of the group…

Search Party

Meanwhile, the Cobb and Thrakazog are at the machine wreckage near the edge of the fungus patch and the start of the minefield.

“Wait, wait, wait… did you hear that Thrak? It sounded like Soggul’s voice coming from the direction of that laser fire.” Cobb nudges Thrak indicating the direction he’s talking about. “Can you smell him over that way?”

Feeling confident that their combined senses will eventually yield their quarry, Thrak wants to carry on with Cobb to regain Soggul’s scent trail and find him before it fades too much. Not able to see very much at all in the dim light of the cavern, he will rely on Cobb to relay any significant sightings or warnings while scouting.

While waiting on Thrak, Cobb climbs atop the largest nearby mushroom to gain a vantage point from which to observe the direction that the shot came from and to makes a very deliberate scan of the area hoping to see signs of anything obviously out of place, any tripwires, or any patterns of traffic.

The fungus patch definitely thins out south of your current location. It looks like it was cleared at one point, and has slowly regrown southward. In spots, there are signs of recent earthwork or digging in the crumbled pavement and bare dirt, but there are no clear paths. There is also no sign of Soggul.

In the distance, Cobb can make out the figures of several mongoliants crouched behind the parapets of their fortress. They are too far away to hit with ranged attacks – which should mean that you are safe from their shots as well.

He’s a little nervous about trying to disarm a bomb that could take out the behemoth they’re hiding behind, especially with his shaky hands. It makes him miss old Soggul all the more. “Damn. I hope he’s okay.”

(It’s a DC 10 Perception Check for Thrakazog to regain the scent trail. Roll is 17 +2 = 19, a success!)

Thrak sniffs out the area around the robot wreckage, hunting for Soggul’s scent. “Got it!” he says, crouching with his nose to the ground. “The trail leads further south from here.”

Once Thrak picks up the trail, Cobb joins him and the duo cautiously sets out, trying to find the safest course.

(You’re essentially following Soggul’s path, and he didn’t hit any mines. But I’m still going to make DC 5 Luck checks for each of you since you’re sniffing around for the trail. Cobb rolls 13 +3 =16, Thrak rolls 9 +1 = 10.)

The pair reaches the edge of the fungus. There is stretch of water ahead of them, then the killing fields beyond that – and the mongoliant fortress. You still see no trace of Soggul, though there are scorch marks on the mushrooms and ground near here. “The scent trail – it leads directly into the water!” says Thrakazog.

Atop the Parapet

Srorm was a good mongoliant, loyal to his Lord – whomever that may be this week. He was on edge because of the recent events in the Upper Caverns; the vicious assault from the mutant raiders who were much stronger than their size indicated. He had lost his sons in the genocide outside the arena, and now the monsters appeared to be here in the lower caves!

Srorm contemplated the crimes of the interlopers as he continued his watch from the parapet, microwave rifle in hand. He was proud to serve as a sniper in the Lower Caves, and proud to wield one of the Ancient relics that had been recovered by brave mongoliant explorers here.

The first of the stunted dwarves had made quite a show in his approach through the fungus patch. The clever bastard had gone to water before crossing the killing fields, however. Srorm had tried to fell him then – he recognized the creature as an ex-slave, the one that was delightfully resistant to torture!

In the sights of his microwave rifle now he had a glowing humanoid not much smaller than mongoliant. How convenient… makes the shot easier!

(Mongoliant targets Thrakazog; attack roll is 17 -1 = 16. A hit for 15 damage!)

Thrakazog feels a sudden heat rising from within his body, as if he is cooking from the inside out! Shouting and hollering, he tries to roll for cover from the invisible attack, but the sparse mushrooms nearby are too small to block his large form.

Atop the parapet, Lord Mraag cuffs Sror on the side of his head. “Damn, it soldier! Wait for my order. We need to draw them out before firing!” The new Lord’s bionic eye scans his foes as he raises his own weapon…

Fungus Beer and Fishsticks

Meanwhile, back at the safehouse, Jumrak’s search had turned up an six-pack of beers hidden inside a cabinet. Although the preservation technologies of the Ancients were nothing short of miraculous, the beer has still acquired an unusual mushroom taste…

Kronic is much more cheerful now. He has constructed a comfortable ‘nest’ of trash and office furniture and spends his time relaxing. “Pass the fish sticks and fungus beer.” he says.

Earlier, he had provided an opinion to the search party over the squawk-box: “Well if I was Soggul I woulda headed to the water… said that before. Thrak, Cobb… ya might want to avoid laser fire locations and head to the dock and work your way along the coast and see if you can smell where he comes out. It is the only way he is gonna make it imo…. It’ll also be MUCH safer for you if you are in a mine field. Or loot that robot you mentioned with no rust.”

There was no answer from Cobb or Thrak.

All Sikich can do is nod his head at Kronic’s suggestions. If Soggul has gone to ground (or rather water), then Cobb and Thrak are not going to be able to follow him directly.

The group continues to rest and recuperate. There are few updates from the search party for a while…

Suddenly, you hear the screams of Thrakazog from the walkie-talkie!

What are your actions?

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~ by K-Slacker on 10-Jul-08.

6 Responses to “79 – Split Group”

  1. Re-orienting himself with dry land again, Soggul surveys the area, trying to find out where to go next. The… thing in the water made another swim potentially dangerous, and he had no good reason to return to the ‘safety’ of water. “I hope my companions are alive…” With that, he begins his jog into the land with his weapons at the ready, trying to find his fellow warriors.

  2. Oh crap!

    “Talk to us boyz!” Kronic will say into the squakie-talkie quietly at first… hate to give away their position if they are being ambushed.

  3. Writhing in pain at the unexpected attack, and terrified that it seemed to come from *inside* himself, Thrak hauls himself off the ground as soon as he is able and starts to run away from the apparent source of the damage.

    Driven by competing forces – the urge to stay alive and the desire to find Soggul – Thrakazog shouts to Cobb something about an attack on his insides, and begins to pelt away, keeping in mind still that he wants to get to the water and find the scent trail again.

    This is all starting to feel like it was a bad idea, Thrak thinks to himself, as his nose is also now able to determine what he smells like, cooked.

  4. “Keeeep Caalm,” cautions Sikich, “Trry aand fiind oout moore.”

    Sikich reasons that even if we leave now, we will never be able to get to Cobb or Thrak’s last known location in time to help. If we can find out more about the situation however, we may just be able to aid them.

    Sikich moves over to the squakie-talkie in the hope of hearing from Cobb or Thrak.

  5. Vash looks to Kronic as he talks to them over the Talkie. He keeps an ear out if anyone gets injuried. He might not be able to be there to help them, but he can give advice. He continues to search the building, using the windows to scout out the terrain beyond their temporary shelter.

  6. Intent on the path ahead, Cobb is startled and instinctively ducks at the sound of Thrakazog’s cry. “Thrak!” Unable to see the invisible attack, Cobb’s first thought is that it’s another mental attack from somewhere. He quickly glances up remembering the bat-things, and then takes a quick look toward the fortress to se if he and Thrak are in anyone’s line of sight. “Thrak, over here, take cover! It’s not inside you!”

    If Thrak doesn’t come over right away, Cobb will rush out and try to pull him in the right direction. The walkie talkie buzzes with the voice of an ally but Cobb can’t make out what was said over Thrak’s shout.

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