Image by Kunrong Yap
The group meets some of Faustyn’s old synth friends, journeys through an underground aqueduct system, and finds bittersweet news upon their return to Medeba.
Rendmoor, a burnt-coral mycomorph with aphrodisiac flesh. Re-animated from the corpse of a plague victim. Wields cryokinetic powers. Driven by the desire to live and feed.
Faustyn, a golden janitor-synth. Vampiric and cannibalistic. The demise of his kin is the source of his mystical powers. Believes that all memories are a lie. Desires to liberate the local inhabitants from water-oppression and put them back in control of their reservoirs.
Nirid, a veracious true-kin. Protector of the purity of his kind. Armed with a blasphemous fungal spear and the gift of healing hands. Possesses a weird orb and a fascination of necrotech.
Last session, our derelict travellers found their way into a military facility, Complex 51, searching for a Faa elder named Yudhi. They soon found out that this complex was warped with hypergeometric disturbances. They restored an ontological generator and managed to find the elder. But they still had to get out alive.
From the facility’s speaker system came a wail that the ontological generator’s batteries were at a critical level–the generator will soon die. Investigating some strange noises on their way up the spiralling facility, they stop at a door labelled “Experiment Detention.” Out of this door comes a robot that introduces themselves as none other than LeadZPL1N, a member from Guitarband17, Faustyn’s old clean-up crew.
ZPL1N tells the group he has some news of an ambush waiting for them. He picked it up on the facility’s scanners. If they help Guitarband17 clean up a mess, he will give them more details. They agree. Going inside the room, they see an injured fractalisk as well as three half-dialated planeycarns.
After a brief and interesting fight, which included the dipping of weapons into hypergeometric blood and weird one-two rifle pass-off combo shots, the fractalisk fell. It reassumed its previous shape–the body of the facility administrator, who had somehow become warped into this hypersomatic being.
The companions learn that the root of the crime scene was this administrator, who had backstabbed a co-worker and opened a hypergeometric rift in the complex, transmuting several of the personnel into extra-dimensional horrors.
After ZEPL1N gave the group warning about the Dathan family lying in wait to spring an ambush, the three search the complex along with their ever-growing gang.
For the record, they now have tagging along: Hovel (facility personnel; absolutely terrified), Yudhi (Faa elder; almost unconcious), a Faa youth, and a survivor from the experiment room (planeycarn-turned-back-to-true-kin).
Together, this group searches the complex and invariably stumbles upon a trove of experimental weapons, including orange-coloured grenades, a fist-sized globe coloured red and white, an armiger’s egg, some guns, and 3 cans of SPAM.
To top it all off, they also find an iron mule with a hefty carrying capacity.
They also look for water, which leads them to the facility’s water storage tank. It’s a cistern that looks almost exactly like the one they found at the Fount of Illustrious Flesh. But this one is completely empty. Nirid, the true-kin, establishes his curiosity and plunges headfirst into the pipe to look for the source. After a half-hour, Faustyn and Rendmoor get tired of waiting. They join their companion and climb into the cramped space with their iron mule and the two Faas. Hovel and the survivor find their own way back to the surface.
[The players avoided a nasty ambush here by deciding to go through the pipes instead of out the front of the complex. Good thinking Nirid.]
After an hour of pipe-travel, the companions find a fork. They take the path that leads upwards. Along the way, they meet a greenguard. The soldier-synth is wary. Whenever he’s asked about his purpose or direction, he always answers with something along the lines of “…waiting for reinforcements,” or “…looking for reinforcements.” Through their banter, the three manage to set him off and he becomes a little salty. Rendmoor uses his newfound gravity-gun and pulls the guard’s weapon right out of his hands. Then they get the synth turned around and force him to go back the way he came (it’s a tight little somersault). They follow him out.
The whole group escapes the pipe. They resurface in the middle of a dried-up lake. Figuring it must be the lake straight east of Medeba, they head west. The greenguard thinks that there is a slight chance that this group of travellers might run into his reinforcements sooner or later. So he joins them. As they are now friends, they find out his name, which is Jask.
The next day they encounter a pudgy legionary on a skiff, his vehicle bouncing low over the dunes. His saddlebags are filled to the brim with waterskins. Their contents slosh over. He stops for a quick survey of the land, parking atop a purple-black crag. He bites a moutful of pastry while he scans the horizon with his binoculars. Nirid sneaks up behind him, miraculously unnoticed, and places a hand on the skiff keys. The two other companions approach the pot-bellied legionary to parlay.
They find out their bounty has grown more and more serious. An insurrection has started in the oasis-settlement of Medeba and they rally under a common symbol. The same symbol that Rendmoor drew on the tavern wall in the middle of a shootout–a biped with raised arms
While talking, the legionary pulls out a grenade and threatens to blow them all to kingdom come. The players call his bluff and make him toss it away. They steal his skiff and leave him with enough rations to wander the azure dunes for a couple days without too much worry. On their way back to Medeba, they get extra intel on the situation facing the oasis dwellers, who are surrounded by a company of legionaries. Nirid uses his knowledge of the hegemonic language to divert their attention. He passes along a tip on the radio that the three companions have been spotted at the Vats, north of Medeba.
The next day, the group enters the Medeba Basin, noticing that a large field artillery piece has been dug in just east of the settlement. As the companions near the oasis, they are greeted by villagers who sport the blue tattoos of the insurrection’s symbol on their foreheads and arms.
They meet with Joseph Gordon Diehard, who tells them of the recent calamity. After the grenade went off in the tavern, an insurrection sprang up. The hegemony was kicked out of the area. Then a raid was conducted on Medeba. During this, all the Faa tents were burnt to the ground and Grok, the gutsmonger, was taken captive. Without the Faa, knowledge of the surrounding desert is lost. Without Grok, minor wounds have turned fatal. Diehard brings them to the leader of the local resistance, a female cacogen named Knot. She is short, wrinkled, and her tentacle-hair is done up in a voluminous ponytail.
She tells the companions that the artillery emplacement to the east has been harassing them, causing them to live in decrepit filth amongst the village basements. Only recently it stopped firing, as the company of legionaries complementing the field gun left and took off to the north.
The companions hatch a plan to take out the gun while the company is gone. Nirid dons the autarch’s robes that he taxed from the Fount of Illustrious Flesh and rides out on the skiff. Rendmoor is behind him, using the gravity gun to stir up massive amounts of blue dust so as to cloak the approach of Faustyn and Jask the greenguard.
They overtake the gun pit without a shot fired. But as Nirid appraoches a small, nestled pillbox, laser fire erupts from the firing slits. But the shots fly over his shoulder. They are aimed at Rendmoor. Voices from inside the pillbox shriek for the autarch’s (!) safety. Nirid commands them to let him in, which they promptly do. He dresses them down then sends them on their way up north to the Vats with their companions.
As they run, Faustyn takes a few pot shots with the field gun, scoring a double kill. Next, he shoots the head off the big stone statue by Medeba, for some unguessable purpose. The top half of the statue erupts into smithereens.
The group returns to the settlement, walking by the ruins of the statue: massive chunks of blackened stone and hundreds of tiny, dead mycomorphs.
Rebels cheer them on for their daring raid of the field gun and Knot yells for a small band of villagers to occupy the emplacement. After a small meal and a mouthful of water, the companions sleep soundly under the Vaarnish stars.
Afternote: Another glad evening spent in Vaarn. The players defenitely took the right path out of the facility. I was shaking my head and smiling the whole time they climbed into that damned pipe. Things are shaping up well and there are several different paths the characters can take from here. Without saying too much, I am excited to see how they will handle the hostage situation (Grok) and whether they will be successful in finding Yudhi’s wormhorn.