99 – Caution

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(After a quick check of the surroundings, you have decided to take cover and watch the cargo barge (Map Area #41) before proceeding. After watching for a couple minutes, Soggul slips into the water for a swim around the boat. After another ten minutes (before Soggul returns), Cobb hears an approaching noise from along 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 (Map Area #40), but have not noticed your group yet.)

The Crawlers Approach

Deeper Caves Map

“Do we dare try and parlay?” Kronic whispers. Taking a sniper position, he lines them up with his rifle. Kronic appears ready for a fight… unless more diplomatic party members feel like talking and trading for information or services.

With all 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?”

The paleface scavenger nods. “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?”

Speaking quietly, Jumrak says: “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…”

Crawlers

Crawlers

“Theey doont loook friiendly!” says Sikich, examining them carefully. They lack any tools or other equipment that would show signs of intelligence. “If they are some sort of beast we cannot hope to negotiate with them.” thinks Sikich.

As the crawlers approach, you are able to see their forms more clearly. The monsters are an awful, viscid white (some are even semitranslucent) in color, and resemble humanoids crawling on their scaly bellies. Their ‘legs’ are atrophied leaving only stubby limbs with which to feebly push them along. Their arms, thin and humanoid, are used for movement.

The heads are their most frightening aspect – a bald human head lacking eyes, nose, or ears, with only a gaping maw filled with needle-sharp fangs and an inky black saliva.

(The GM rolls some dice. The crawlers proceed onwards without pause.)

You watch the creatures as they pass your party, heading towards the catwalk. You confirm that there are indeed six crawlers. They slither within thirty feet of your location without noticing you. The first creature reaches the catwalk and begins swinging across, climbing underneath the bridge instead of atop it. The creature seems more capable swinging on pipes or using overhanging debris to brachiate than crawling upon the ground!

The other crawlers are following closely behind. The nearest creature is about thirty feet away and slightly below you. The catwalk begins about fifty feet from your hiding spot.

Soggul’s Swim

Meanwhile, Soggul continues his swim around the barge, not knowing of any of the events on the shore. The open waters have always been home to the three-armed mutant. Although he has faced deadly combat in these waters before, Soggul still finds the frigid embrace of the waters to be calming.

(The GM tosses some dice and jots down some numbers. Then he tosses another die.)

He first circles the barge at what he considers to be a ‘safe’ distance. Observing the boat, Soggul sees no obvious signs of habitation. The far side is relatively intact and appears structurally sound. On the near side (facing the shore), 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. Soggul approaches the hole, swimming cautiously.

The dim light in the second dome hampers Soggul’s sight, but peering inside the hole still reveals he below-decks area of the barge is a chaotic labyrinth of fallen metal catwalks, passages, and air ducts – all partially submerged in water. The barge is full of equipment – all badly rusted and covered in slime. As Soggul swims even closer to discern the nature of the cargo, he thinks he sees a sudden burst of movement from the corner of his eye! But, as he turns, all is still, with only the gentle movement of water lapping against the flooded hull.

What are your actions?

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

9 Responses to “99 – Caution”

  1. Soggul immediately swims up and out. The water is dangerous and should be avoided by the party. He needs to let them know.

  2. Move to another site and investigate it knowing the ship is apparently the lair of some semi-aguatic crawler things? Or if we engage them now we can get em all single file as they have to come back across the bridge to get at us one at a time or drop to the water.

    They appear to have limited ranged weaponry so we can light em up now or move on.

  3. “If they weren’t even well-armed, and have been living in that wreck for however long, it’s not likely that we’re going to find anything of value in there,” Thrak adds to Kronic’s suggestion of moving on. He still retains a firm grip on his fullblade, not yet letting down his guard. He tries to catch the scent of the passing Crawlers, mostly so that he knows it and can identify it again if needed.

    He adds, “The next part of our plan involved heading into the big building at the far end of this dome. Perhaps we should go straight there. Stop at a couple of the outer buildings (Map Areas 47 & 45) on the way, and be sure to check and see if we’re drawing any attention from anywhere at all.

    “That’s my vote, anyway,” Thrak says with finality, giving the air one last searching sniff.

  4. Sikich nods his head in agreement to Thrak. Although there may still be salvagable items in the boat, it is unlikely to be worth the danger of fighting our way through these beasts, thinks Sikich.

  5. (So I assume you’ll head on – away from the barge – once Soggul returns, then?)

  6. That’s what Thrak will suggest when our aquatic friend returns from his foray.

  7. I nod in agreement as the outcome of the discussion makes sense. Whispering, “Yeah, let’s move out as soon as Soggul finishes his scouting.”

  8. I like the plan. Moving on is a good choice.

  9. *Swim swim swim, look around for scary stuff, swim swim swim*

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