98 – Cargo Barge

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(Leaving the hospital, your party has decided to explore the cargo barge (Map Area #41). You have reached the shore of the black river, and found a long narrow catwalk bridge (Map Area #40) extending to the looming shape of the ship.)

(The catwalk is held up by metal and concrete supports that vanish into the murky black depths of the river below. As you approach, you hear the sound of rusted rivets groaning and old weathered bolts creaking from where the bridge connects to the barge.)

Catwalk Bridge

Deeper Caves Map

Immediately, Soggul begins to look around, checking the structural integrity of the bridge. “I should go first across since I am the most able swimmer of the group.”

(The catwalk appears to have been in place here since before the Fall. It is badly rusted and may not be entirely safe. If only one person crosses at a time, you should be fine.)

Sikich also examines the bridge. He doesn’t like the look of the box like structure at the other side of the bridge which looks like it could be a guard post – fine if the inhabitants are friendly but not so good otherwise.

(Sikich notes some railings beneath the main walkway, perhaps originally intended for maintenance, but no ‘lower walkway’. The rails are not continuous, so cannot be used to cross to the boat.))

(The box-like structure at the far end also appears to be of pre-Fall construction. It is large enough that it could hide a sniper or some such.)

Thrak, from habit, raises his face to sniff the air, trying to sense anything out of sorts, his eyesight being of no aid compared to that of his companions.

(Thrakazog smells nothing anything unusual at this time.)

“Let’s settle down here for a few minutes at least and get a feel for the area before rushing across that bridge, guys,” Thrak suggests. He feels a little nervous about a long fall into the water he can’t even see in the poor lighting. “Soggul’s got a good idea with him going first, being the best swimmer and all. I say weapons up and at the ready, we take it slow and steady over the bridge, and make our next plan of action once we get on board that boat.”

Kronic considers the options. “Well Soggul; you may be the best swimmer but I am the smallest and the lightest… Do we have any rope or anything? Perhaps I can get across and we can make a tie off rope that we can use as support on the bridge.”

(Yes; you do have rope with the party – Cobb and Thrak have been carrying some in case of circumstances such as these.)

Kronic continues: “Also if I fall would you telekinetic types be able to move me over to the other side as well perhaps? If I do go perhaps I can borrow Thrak’s goggles of night seeing so I can help out if need be. Also if there is trouble over there I can hopefully put up enough of a fight for you guys to come and help me.”

Sikich readies himself to use his telekinetic powers to save Kronic should he attempt to cross the bridge and fall.

Kronic then shrugs, muttering. “Just some thoughts. I do like the idea of waiting to see if anything stirs… let’s wait here for a bit and see if anything stirs. Is there a way to reinforce the ‘bridge’ with ropes we have or cabling we have seen in the ruins around here just in case?”

(Good thoughts. You decide to stand watch for a half hour before proceeding with any plans.)

(Your ropes aren’t strong enough to reinforce the metal catwalk. However, back in the warehouse near where you landed your boat there were spools of wire cable. You could lug a spool back here, but it probably isn’t worth it to use it for reinforcement unless you decide to stay in the cargo barge for an extended period – it will just take too long.)

Jumrak can’t really see anything, so he figures he had better stay close to Cobb. “You’re going to have to be my eyes, my friend.” he says, and concentrates on listening for anything suspicious.

(The GM rolls some dice, but says nothing.)

Cobb nods his head at everyone. “All good ideas fellas, and (speaking to Jumrak) I certainly don’t mind being the eyes. I could also creep my scrawny butt across and scope things out if you like, since I can see a little better, and then come back and report on what I find.” Cobb pauses, clarifying himself. “Not that I’m going over there to look for anything like swag or anything like that.” he shakes his head, “I’m all business when I have to be.” He smiles his toothy grin.

Kronic stares at the inky black stretch of river separating you from the barge. “I am still leery of the water around here. Remember that nasty crab thing we fought when we first got into this cavern! If there are more of those things around falling into the water could be all bad. They might also have a lair on the boat…”

The diminutive brawler continues: “On the same nasty thought, I just thought maybe a scout around the perimeter of the boat might not be a bad idea. Soggul could make a swim around the boat and see what that turns up as well maybe?”

Kronic considers the risks involved, and expressing an uncharacteristic degree of empathy, notes: “I do not really want him to do that though for the obvious dangerous reasons! Maybe I am puny enought that he could swim with me on his back so I can back him up if things go wrong? At the worst he can leave me behind and I can give things indigestion (flexes his claws)…”

(If Soggul keeps close to the surface, then Kronic would be able to cling to his back. You’d be pretty obvious to creatures above or below the surface; Soggul would probably be safer on his own swimming underwater.)

At Kronic’s suggestion of a scout around the boat, Soggul resolves to complete the task (Pack Mentality flaw). Kronic decides he’d be better off crossing the catwalk instead of swimming, his safety enhanced by roping off and relying Sikich’s telekinetic powers (if needed). First, though, you’ll wait a half an hour and keep watch on the cargo barge and your surroundings.

Crawlers!

(The GM rolls a number of dice. He thinks for a few minutes about how to proceed… Some of your planning will be interrupted.)

Crawlers

Crawlers!

You douse all light sources, and remain as silent as possible. Finding a pile of wreckage to hide behind, your group stands watch, carefully examining the surroundings.

The wreckage of a large canal barge, rusty, bent, and covered with fallen rock and disintegrating debris, lays half-crushed under the collapsed cavern wall of this subterranean vault. Though the water is still and the air quiet, a sense of dread hangs heavy over the ancient vessel. A massive hole in the side of the ship has allowed the icy black water of the river to come through, flooding the entire hull just thirty feet below the hatch to the top deck.

At first, all is peaceful – other than some faint hoots from far in the distance and the sound of rusted rivets groaning and old weathered bolts creaking on the catwalk itself. However, after about fifteen minutes, Cobb hears a noise approaching from near the shore!

There are a group of creatures, perhaps six or so, crawling/slithering amongst the shattered concrete and metal pilings that extend upwards from the water. Only a hundred feet away, they appear to be heading towards you and the catwalk, but have not noticed your group yet.

What are your actions?

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~ by K-Slacker on 31-Oct-08.

10 Responses to “98 – Cargo Barge”

  1. “Do we dare try and Parlay?” Kronic whispers.

    If i can see them I will line them up with my rifle. Otherwise I get ready for a fight unless our diplomatic types feel like talking and trading for information or services.

  2. With most of any helpful lights extinguished, Thrak shoulders his rifle and hefts his fullblade in two hands. He grips the flashlight in his tail, but won’t turn it on until it seems appropriate: either to aid others in sniping the crawlie things or to simply cast light on the situation at hand.

    “We have the high ground right now, guys,” Thrak mutters quietly. “I say we either make our presence known to talk to them, or assume a defensible position at a point where they’re forced to fight uphill. And given the sort of reception we’ve gotten down here so far, I definitely opt for the second choice.” Thrakazog tightens his grip on the haft of his weapon.

    “Whaddya say, guys? Let’s at ’em, eh?”

  3. *swim swim swim, hope I dont die, swim swim swim*

  4. “I agree with Thrak. No sense letting them get on top of us if they have bad intentions. On the other hand, they might trick us into entering the boat and then…” Cobb draws a line across his throat as he clenches his teeth.

    “Well, I can see them. Should I greet them or let them get close enough for someone else to do it?”

  5. (Soggul; I assumed you’d wait on watch with the others. Did you decide to scout the water instead?)

  6. (I thought I was swimming while they did the watch. That’s the impression I got with my Pack Mentality flaw. Either or, I’m good, but it’s your call.)

  7. (Sounds good. Soggul slipped into the water just a few minutes before the crawlers appeared.)

  8. Speaking quietly, “Why don’t we just stay still and quiet and hope that they move along? There are other things in this place that might be alerted if we engage these things…”

  9. “Theey doont loook friiendly”, whispers Sikich.

    Having said that, Sikich examines them carefully. Do they have any tools or equipment that would show signs of intelligence? If they are some sort of beast we cannot hope to negotiate with them.

  10. (The crawlers are naked and without tools. They are moving as a group and with some purpose, but you cannot tell whether their minds are intelligent or animalistic.)

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