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Landon

ADVENTURE IN THE RUINS OF SOBEK!

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You’ve received word from a reliable contact that a cavern system on the planet Binatelli contains a Temple of Sobek. Temples of Sobek are relatively common in Binatelli’s system, but most of them have been intensely studied and looted. Find a “fresh” Temple of Sobek in this system is a great opportunity, especially considering the fact that evidence found in similar temples in the system point to there being a “main” temple that may have been the central temple for the system. Your informant may have stumbled upon this long-sought location.

 

Unfortunately, a few days after you received this information, your source was found tortured and killed. It’s easy to assume that someone else has the very same information as you, so there may very well be multiple groups converging on the ruins around the same time. At the same time, many of the frontier settlers that make Binatelli their home have taken to rummaging through the ruins of Sobekian temples in order to dig up the scraps left by professional looters and archaeologists. These locals tend to play scavenger and prefer to wait for the pros to leave, but they’ll defend themselves against anyone they perceive to be a threat to their lives.

 

Binatelli is known for its extensive, labyrinthine cavern systems, and within said caverns live numerous forms of insect and reptilian life forms. While most species are harmless to people, there are several species that pose threats. Unfortunately these tend to be the species that dwell within the temples found on the planet. It’s as if someone intentionally raised such creatures and had them adapt to the temple surroundings to act as deterrents for possible looters.

 

One of the primary threats one may encounter in the caverns of Binatelli is the Cmatk. Cmatk are large insects native to the planet. The insects themselves are fairly harmless and prefer to avoid humans, but it’s their symbiotic relationship with a native cave fungus that makes them a threat. They collect the orange Ost Spores that grow in the depths of the caverns and bring them up to their nests. They use these spores to defend their nests from would-be predators. The insects are immune to the spores’ toxins. If provoked, the insects can spit whatever spores they have collected in their stomachs. Each insect that has collected fungi recently has enough fungi within its stomach to spit once. Ost Spores are toxic to humans. If recognized and treated quickly, it will do minimal damage to surface tissue, but if it isn’t diagnosed within minutes of contact and allowed to sit, it begins to dissolve flesh at a rapid rate.

 

In addition to creatures such as the Cmatk, Sobekian temples are known for being infuriatingly difficult to enter. Even with extensive knowledge of other temples and their various locking mechanisms, entry traps, and other devices, many temples exhibit different obstacles, making each Sobekian temple a unique experience. If this is the “central” temple for the system, one can imagine how difficult it will be to enter.

 

Note: Before you left, a group of five locals from the town the group landed in offered to escort them to the mountain range. Someone within the group recognized the leader as someone wanted by the People’s Defense Movement and has a bounty on his head. Wishing to avoid unwanted attention, the group politely declined the offer.

 

All discussion must be IN CHARACTER. You can't say "You should use this tactic and you should use that tactic. You must speak as your character. There'll be some sort of "roleplaying" reward at the end of this adventure for people who go out of the way to RP their characters well. You'll still give the final decision in "game" terms, though, to make it obvious, but be sure to have your character "say" their decision in-character as well.

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AREA ONE

 

THE CAVERN ENTRANCE

 

Critical Stat: Toughness

Tip: You rarely find treasure at the entrance to ruins.

 

The entrance to the cavern system in which the temple can be found seems innocuous at first glance. The cavern is found at the base of a mountain in a small mountain range that lies in the vast tundras of Binatelli’s southernmost continent. Vegetation is scarce, mostly consisting of grayish grasses and shrubs with edible berries. That said, the land surrounding the entrance is fairly sparse and open with little in the way in terms of places to hide.

 

The mountain itself is another matter. The entrance to the cavern proper is not the only opening within the mountainside. There are several smaller openings, many of which could fit several human-sized beings. It is difficult to see within these openings without getting dangerously close, so anyone lurking within one would have the jump on someone approaching the cavern entrance.

 

The cavern entrance itself is unremarkable. Had the group not been given advanced knowledge, it would appear to be any other opening on the mountainside. There seems to be no blatant markings signifying its nature, and there seems to be nothing signifying tampering by human hands, therefore making the likelihood of a created trap unlikely. At the same time, there are numerous loose rocks adoring the mountainside, many of which seem to be perched in perilous positions.

 

It seems to be fairly harmless, but that’s often the worst situation one can find themselves in.

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As the group slowed down upon approaching the cavern entrance, Billy shifts the weight on the equipment he was carrying. Naturally, he was the designated pack mule, but he didn't mind. They weren't that heavy to him, and he's a practical sort anyway. He's been on these expeditions a few times before, and there was one time, his group got trapped and separated. It took Billy days to dig himself out of that particular mess, but that's a good thing. At least he could dig himself out, since he had all the tools and most of the food. The others? Not so much.

 

"So Layman, what now?"

 

Billy deferred to his partner, as per usual. Not just because he was more familiar with Layman, seeing as they were put together on this little tomb raiding expedition by a mutual acquaintance. But Billy's a pretty decent judge of character. As a bouncer, he had to be. The bitch didn't seem to be the dominant type, and while the normal looking girl seemed like the bright sort, Layman's the kind of guy Billy would rather not cross. He could probably take the little Crawling Hamper in a straight up fist fight, but he's pretty certain the little bastard would just stab him in his sleep if they should have a catastrophic falling out. That and coming from a little village in the middle of nowhere, Billy's a self confessed sexist chauvinist pig anyway.

 

Billy cocks his head to his partner, waiting for the word.

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Layman grunts, a wet sound under all the bandages. His one visible eye glinting with either laughter or malice, it was difficult to tell which. Glancing at the gaping hole in the rocks for a long moment in silence before speaking. His quavering, muffled voice just loud enough to hear.

 

"You and me go in hot, ready for trouble. I'll be right behind you." A long, curved blade pulled from inside his jacket as he speaks these words. Gesturing with it casually towards both Mia and Elise. "You ladies put your thinking caps on and keep your eyes peeled. You see something important you speak up and do it quick, I don't need any slackers."

 

He turned the knife over and looked back at the entrance, you could almost feel him smile at the thought of plundering another ruin. The soft gurgling sound, barely audible through his layers, could either be his breathing or something akin to a purr. "Whenever you Grum are ready we can get this party started."

 

(Layman will be preparing to go in Guns Blazing and Observant.)

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"Aww, that's not a nice thing to call the ladies Layman", Billy turns to Elise and Mia, "Stay back ladies, this big ol' Grum will open the door for you".

 

With a swagger, Billy lumbers toward the entrance. He knew Layman was the eager sort, but it's not like the entrance was strewn with rotting corpses. Chances are, there wouldn't be anything they couldn't handle, right off the bat. But still, Layman wants to go in hot, they go in hot. That's his job anyway, he's the muscle. It's why they paid him the moderately sized credits. If anything comes their way, he and Layman could squish 'em like little Rhet.

 

(Billy is ready to provide Back-Up for Layman, but he's not too concerned this early on, so he's also being Careless)

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Elise nods upon hearing her name, but wasn't quite listening; if pressed, she wouldn't even be able to tell you how many people were in the group. She's distracted; her brother had not called or visited for quite a while, well over the space that elapsed between his usual visits. She was concerned, especially as the long travel to Binatelli had rendered her unable to check newsfeeds for information about his organization.

 

She glanced over at her compatriot with the robot. Normally, Elise might give some directions to her, but Elise was too distracted to even tap out a short message on her voice simulator. It'd fade once the thrill of the dig set in, but...

 

She crouched down behind the biggest thing available, in this case, Billy, and watched the caves.

 

(Elise will Duck and Cover as much as she can and Scout for hostiles.)

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Mia followed behind Layman and Billy at a respectable distance, trying to keep an eye out for danger, but finding it hard due to the familiar feeling of excitement bubbling within her stomach. It was the same time every dig she went on, the prospects of new discoveries, rare treasures, history making artifacts, it was enough to make her mouth water with anticipation.

 

She walked side by side with the abnormal named Elise, Mia had never had much interaction with abnormals in her short adventuring career, and Elise had remained mostly silent for much of the time they had been together, so there wasn’t much to say about her. The Large one, Billy, on the other hand seemed to be the nicest one in the group. And then there was Layman, she couldn’t tell if he was a victim of some horrible accident that left him disfigured, or if there as some other reason, Maybe he was an abnormal as well, making her the only “Normal†human in the group.

 

Stopping to crouch behind Billy along with Elise she tried to strike up a conversation. “So, how many digs have you been on?†she asked simultaneously picking Draco, the large mechanical dragonfly, off her hat and pointing to Layman with a nod. The robot’s wings began beating at a furious pace before lifting off and hovering just behind Layman’s head, shining it’s light into the cavern ahead. Mia herself also keeping an eye out for any signs of trouble.

 

(Mia is Assisting Layman, and will Duck and Cover)

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OOC: Alright. Lets try this again.

 

 

As the rest of the party began to step forward, one of them did not. Not for the first time, Jack began to wonder just what the heck he was doing here in this party. In fact, we're it not for the two archeologists he would have thought them to be nothing more then treasure hunters. And he despised treasure hunters.

 

Almost unconsciously, he flipped his Colt out and began in an absent-minded way to spin it. As he did so, he calmed down and began to examine his companions more closely. It would seem that in their excitement, they completely forgot to mind their surroundings. Jack snorted quietly. Ah well. What could you expect from eggheads?

 

(Duck and Cover/Scouting)

 

OOC: Jack is ready to evade and at the same time, making sure there's nothing ready to pounce.

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Layman

Guns Blazing

Observant

 

Fighting: 4 + 2 (Guns Blazing) + 2 (Back-Up - Billy) = 8

Speed: 4

Toughness: 2

Knowledge: 2 + 1 (Observant) = 3

Awareness: 3 + 1 (Observant) + 4 (vs Living Things - Assist - Marina) - 2 (Guns Blazing) = 2 (6 vs Living Things)

Luck: 2 + 1 (Guns Blazing) + 1 (Assist - Marina) - 1 (Observant) = 3

 

Billy

Back-Up (Layman)

Careless

 

Fighting: 4 + 1 (Careless) = 5

Speed: 2 + 1 (Careless) - 1 (Back-Up) = 2

Toughness: 4 + 1 (Careless) = 5

Knowledge: 1 - 1 (Back-Up) - 2 (Knowledge) = -2

Awareness: 2 + 1 (Back-Up) = 3

Luck: 4

 

Elise

Duck and Cover

Scouting

 

Fighting: 2 + 1 (Scouting) - 1 (Duck and Cover) = 2

Speed: 1 + 1 (Duck and Cover) - 1 (Scouting) = 1

Toughness: 3 + 2 (Duck and Cover) = 5

Knowledge: 4

Awareness: 4 + 4 (vs Living Things - Scouting) - 1 (Duck and Cover) = 3 (7 vs Living Things)

Luck: 3 - 1 (Scouting) = 2

 

Jack

Duck and Cover

Scouting

 

Fighting: 3 + 1 (Scouting) - 1 (Duck and Cover) = 3

Speed: 3 + 1 (Duck and Cover) - 1 (Scouting) = 3

Toughness: 2 + 2 (Duck and Cover) = 4

Knowledge: 2

Awareness: 3 + 4 (vs Living Things - Scouting) - 1 (Duck and Cover) = 2 (6 vs Living Things)

Luck: 4 - 1 (Scouting) = 3

 

Marina

Duck and Cover

Assist (Layman)

 

Fighting: 2 - 1 (Duck and Cover) - 1 (Assist) = 0

Speed: 3 + 1 (Duck and Cover) - 1 (Assist) = 3

Toughness: 2 + 2 (Duck and Cover) = 4

Knoweldge: 4

Awareness: 3 - 1 (Duck and Cover) = 2

Luck: 3

 

---

 

Looter Ambush

 

The five locals that offered to escort the group were a group of amateur looters. The looters knew of a short cut to the area around the entrance and are lurking in the shadows of the various openings along the side of the mountain. They aren’t looking for a fight, they’re just waiting for the group to get done so they can sweep in from behind and get anything the group couldn’t carry in their initial run. At the same time, tensions are running high. A couple of the looters don’t trust the group and are a little trigger happy. They’re itching to fire upon the group, but won’t do so unless one of the group members makes a move on the looters or otherwise does something suspicious. That said, most of them won’t fight to kill if anything breaks out and will run away if they’re out-gunned and have the chance to do so.

 

Awareness: If any one character has 8 Awareness vs Living Things, they notice movement in some of the caverns but don’t recognize the figures. Alternatively, if the group has 13 Awareness vs Living Things, the same movement is noticed.

 

No single character has 8 Awareness vs Living Things. Despite this, the group has 24 Awareness vs Living Things. Therefore they notice the movement.

 

Knowledge: If movement in the caverns is noticed, if all of the characters have 2 Knowledge, they recognize the figures as being the “escorts” from before. If the group recognizes them, they decide not to attack. If any character has less than 2 Knowledge, they make a preemptive attack.

 

Everyone BUT Billy has a Knowledge of 2 or higher. Because of this, Billy gets an itchy trigger finger and fires into the shadows much to the dismay of the rest of the group.

 

Luck: If the group recognizes the escorts, or if the escorts are not noticed, if any character has less than 1 Luck, one of the looters suspicious of the group makes a preemptive attack on the group.

 

Irrelevant since Billy made a preemptive attack.

 

Fighting: If the group makes the first attack, if the group has 10 Fighting, the four looters without bounties on their heads are defeated. For each point below 10, one of these four looters escapes from the fight. If all four looters are defeated, the group receives X Inikus Berries items, where X equals the number of characters in the group minus one.

 

The group has a total of 18 Fighting. Therefore they defeat the 4 regular looters and receive 4 Inikus Berries.

 

Fighting: If the character with the highest Fighting has 5 Fighting, the looter with the bounty is defeated. If the leader is defeated, the group receives a Bounty determined by the condition of the leader when the mission is over. If the character with the highest Fighting has less than 5 Fighting, the looter with the bounty escapes.

 

Layman has 8 Fighting, therefore he takes down the leader of the group (with a little Back-Up from Billy) and they will receive a bounty depending on the man's condition after the encounter.

 

---

 

Rock Slide Obstruction

 

Speed: As the characters approach the entrance, a large boulder falls across the entrance as the result of a minor rock slide. If any character has less than 2 Speed, that character is damaged due to falling debris.

 

Elise has 1 Speed, therefore she doesn't get out of the way of the rockslide in time and takes 1 Damage.

 

Toughness: After the boulder falls, the characters must attempt to remove it from their path. If one character has 6 Toughness, they are able to move the boulder out of the way after much exertion. Alternatively, if the group has 12 Toughness, the boulder is removed as a part of a group effort.

 

No single character has 6 Toughness, therefore the must resort to a group effort. The group has 20 Toughness, therfore they move the rock out of the way.

 

Luck: If any character has less than 1 Luck, they are damaged in the process of moving the boulder due to pulling a muscle. This character has -1 Speed in the next room.

 

Irrelevant since no character has less than 1 Luck.

 

Luck: If the group is unable to move the boulder, the rock may be destroyed by means of explosives. This is automatic. If the character with the highest Luck has 5 Luck, no rock slide occurs. If the character with the highest Luck has less than 5 Luck, a major rock slide occurs.

 

Irrelevant since the rock was moved.

 

Speed+Toughness: Any character with a combined Speed and Toughness less than 5 is damaged in the rock slide, as a few small rocks fall on them. Any character with a combined Speed and Toughness less than 4 is damaged twice (instead of being damaged once for having less than a combined Speed and Toughness of 5), as one of their legs is pinned under a rock. Any character that is damaged twice and suffers the -1 Speed penalty from pushing the boulder has the Speed penalty increased to -2.

 

Irrelevant since the rock was moved.

 

---

 

Decisions

 

Each player must decide if the person they defeated lives or dies. Since there were five attackers and five players, each player is considered to have defeated one enemy. Layman defeated the leader of the group while everyone else defeated a regular looter. This decision is yours to make by yourself and is dependent on how you think your character would react. Will he shoot/hit to wound/disarm/disable? Will he knock him out then finish him off execution style? Will he fight to the death and make a killing blow? That's up to you. Your decision will have consequences (good or bad) either way.

 

The group received 4 Inikus berries. There was one on each defeated regular looter. At the moment everyone but Layman has an Inikus berry. It is up to the group if each person keeps their berry, if one person holds on to all of the berries, or if they're divided up in some other way.

 

Inikus Berries

 

When this item is obtained, if the character with the highest Knowledge has 2 Knowledge, they identify the berries. The berries can only be used if identified, since no one would be stupid enough to eat one without knowing what they are. These berries are native to the planet. When dried, the enzymes within the berries are activated and become a potent antitoxin. Any character that uses an Inikus Berry in between rooms is no longer Poisoned. Using a Berry destroys it.

 

Both Elise and Marina recognize the berries, so the group can use them.

 

---

 

Everyone needs to write at least one post detailing what they did during and after the encounter. Give your decisoins in-character as usual. Once everyone seems to be ready I'll post the next room.

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The instant Billy went trigger happy Jack knew it just wasn't his day. Cursing under his breath, he flipped out his pistols and ducked behind an adjacent boulder. As he listened to the sounds of battle he readied himself and jumped out suddenly. As he did so, he recognized the guy he was about to shoot. Checking himself just in time, he gave his opponent the once-over.

 

He was little more then a youth. Armed with a switchblade and completely pissing his pants at the pistol in his face. Jack was disgusted. "I'm not gonna kill you." The youths relief was short-lived before the sudden impact of a pistol-whip took his attention. As he blacked out, Jack holstered his pistol and said to the body "but your not gonna be coming after us either." As he turned to leave, he paused and picked up some kind of weird fruit that fell from the boy. Without a thought, he pocketed it. If it was a poison, he didn't want to leave it in their hands. And if it was medicinal, well better us then them. Noticing everyone else had finished he strode off towards the abnormal. Maybe she'll know what the berries were.....

 

Even as he strode towards her, he suddenly became aware of the rocks from above, beginning to pick up speed and fall towards them. As he yelled a warning, he could see that he was to late to help Elise and winced in empathy as she was obscured from his view. Coughing from the dust, he made his way past the rocks and began to throw off what debris he could. Luckily it wasn't much and after making sure she was alright, he leaned down to eye level and said "can you identify this?" After receiving a confirmation that yes it was perfectly safe, he got up and walked over to Billy to examine his fallen foe. After studying his face carefully, he got up and began to contemplate the boulder. Even as his eyes were examining, his mind was elsewhere. Contemplating a scar-faced man and his new vow to continue his wife's work. If he lived long enough that is.

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Mia continued walking alongside Elise, Keeping a wary eye on the man spinning the revolver in his hands. She had a fear of people who played with weapons instead of holding them as they were meant to be held, Far too easy to accidentally apply pressure to the trigger and send off a shot in a random direction, possibly killing those nearby. It would be far easier to simply hold it and - but her musing was cut shot as she noticed several shapes moving ahead, she resisted the impulse to shout a lout warning to the others and instead tapped Billy on the back, hoping to get his attention and not let the opposing group know their trap had been foiled. Billy, however, had already noticed the looters and opened fire, from that moment it was chaos.

 

Pulling her own revolver out of her holster as she hit the ground she took aim at one of the attackers, it was only as she squeezed the trigger did she realize it was the group that they had met that morning. The shot went wide and struck the rock face behind him, The man returned fire with great fervor, with one shot nearly hitting her shoulder. Taking time to gaze down the barrel of her pistol she lined up the sights with the man’s gun and squeezed the trigger. The shot went to the left hitting him square in the chest, sending up a large spray of blood as the man fell to the ground. A cold chill ran down Mia’s spine, she had only shot at a man three times in her life, and only hit once, in the leg. The way the man had dropped like a marionette with it’s strings cut would haunt her nightmares for weeks to come.

 

She stared at the body for longer than she had intended too, only snapping out in time to see the lupine abnormal be hit with a fallen rock. Rushing over she helped move some of the rocks and let Jack help her to her feet. “I-Is everyone okay?†she asked, still jarred herself.

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Elise ran out from behind Billy as he fired, surprised he didn't recognize the silly escorts, and the firefight began. Elise dashed as fast as she could towards a man on the in a cave on the right no one else seemed to notice. While he looked ready to run, Elise didn't want to risk a trap. She drew the handgun she had learned how to use in another push against Sadducismus's gilded cage. And before the bandit could do anything, she fired, impacting the man in his shoulder. He tumbled down the rocky slope and was knocked unconscious by the time he was on the ground, a ripe berry in his shirt pocket somehow having survived the somersaults.

 

When the men approached the tunnel and the rocks fell, Elise hadn't a prayer of getting out of the way in time; her limp was just too aggressive. She threw herself away from the falling rocks, getting pounded in her left arm by several of them and coated with rubble.

 

She checked her arm. She was bruised, but nothing serious; between the adrenaline and time, she probably wouldn't even feel it soon. The blonde man helped her up, then with little fanfare inquired about the Inikus berry. Elise nodded that it was safe and he quickly moved on, before she could even elaborate.

 

She dusted her trenchcoat off as she moved away, letting the others push the boulder. Shaken and excited, Elise thought no more of her brother.

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Everything happened relatively quickly, unfortunately Layman didn't see exactly how it started so he'd have to lay the blame on Billy. Dashing swiftly from the back as bullets and fists started to fly, his knife sliding across a back here and a limb there as he attempted to get his bearings in the chaos. He saw their leader. It wasn't that he was doing anything that singled him out as their leader, not in the middle of a skirmish, but he remembered that it had been this man that had stepped forward to offer them their help. Looks like they'd be collecting a bounty later after all.

 

Layman moved, dodging between bodies and then slamming into the man with his full weight to knock him down. Holding his blade above a nervously gulping throat as the hoopla died down. Sitting on the man's chest Layman whipped his neck around to glare at Billy. His voice shrill and loud despite his layers. "WHAT in that BRONZE-HEADED BASTARD'S NAME were you THINKING? No. Don't answer that. You weren't Thinking. That's not why I hired you. I said go in hot, not set the place on fire!"

 

Layman watched Billy's face as he berated the giant, his eyes never moving as Billy tried to slip something into his shirt. Layman ignored it, for now. Looking around and seeing only one of the thugs no longer breathing, he nodded towards James. James? Jack. That was it. He gestured to the leader, still dazed from his fall and held in place by the knife at his throat. "There's a bounty on this one's head, best if we keep him alive. Have him and the rest of the breathing ones tied up secure before we head in deeper, I think..." He paused, looking at Mia, his eye searching for her name. "Mia has the extra rope. Use it. Make sure it's secure. We'll get them on the way back out."

 

He walked over to Billy and held out one of his hands. "Hand it over, whatever it was you took off that kid." Billy did as much without questioning, the berry small in the giants hand almost a handful for Layman. He glanced at it for a moment and shook his head, walking to Elise and handing it to her. "If the rest of you have one of those let her carry it. Better to have one person keeping them in order to disseminate them as needed."

 

Once that had been taken care of, they moved on. Unfortunately, someone's gun had been too loud and as they approached the door someone else stepped somewhere they shouldn't have and the world came tumbling down around their ears. Well, Elise's ears anyway. Everyone else had noticed and were quick enough to react, but the shock in Layman's eye as he watched Elise vanish in the cloud of dust was unmistakable.

 

Gladly, she walked out of the rubble with only a bruise and coughing silently from the dust.

 

With some effort he, Jack, and Billy pushed the only true boulder blocking the entrance...

 

And with that, it was off to the next chamber.

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"Eric!?"

 

A shot rang out, and suddenly, chaos reigned.

 

It was Dean, he'd been twitchy all day. He was a good guy, but his happy and normal life with a wife and kid got derailed from the "Devil's Own" incident, and the only thing he had to soften the hard times was hard liquor. The boss didn't want him on this job, but Hank and Eric vouched for him; promised they'd keep him off the sauce. And they did, but his going cold gave him the shakes.

 

And when he saw Billy, well, things were already bad enough, but he got extra nervous. Dean remembered this crew, but he didn't remember that big guy. Maybe that big lug was off in the can when they approached them earlier, whatever. But when you got a guy as big as a Rogolith shouting out of the blue like that, well, they couldn't blame him for acting on impulse.

 

Besides, why speak ill of the dead? When all's said and done, Dean's dead. The others were lucky, even the boss. They got a beating, but nothing fatal. But Dean? He got a bad pair up. Got shot right in the chest and collapsed. The bullet missed his heart, or any vital organs really. But it killed him just the same. One moment it was chaos, then it was excruciating pain that felt like it lasted an eternity, and finally, it was the certain knowledge that he was about to die, and all he had time for was to think to himself, "I'm sorry, Bethy".

 

And then nothing. Dean died...

 

As for Eric, yeah, he was surprised to see Billy. Probably not as surprised as Billy was to see him though.

 

"Eric!" Billy yelled, "You're alive!?"

 

"Yeah Billy, fancy that." Eric took a quick survey, a lot of stuff was happening. Before he realized it, he got bowled over by the little guy in rags, who then pushed off and went straight for the boss. Billy walked over and helped him to his feet.

 

"I didn't mean to leave you behind Eric. I thought you and the others... oh great Pharaoh, did the oth-"

 

"Nah, I'm the only one. And no hard feelings mate. We all got screwed by that fez wearing son of a bitch. *vulgarity*, bet you're still working for him aren't you Billy?"

 

"Yeah Eric, it pays the bills"

 

"*vulgarity*, well... yeah, *vulgarity*. Whatever." Eric took another look around to assess the situation. Looks like his crew's los- oh *vulgarity*, Dean? Oh Great Pharaoh, what about Bethy and their kid? And... *vulgarity*it.

 

"You know what Billy?" Eric looked to his one time comrade in arms. He didn't blame Billy for what happened before. Well, he did, but he's gotten over it. It was an accident. And it's not Billy's fault they had him carry all the supplies. Eric just got lucky there was a tiny stream where he got caved in. It was "that" slimeball's fault anyway. If he ever saw that bastar- ah, forget it, time for contemplating revenge later, now's the time for surrendering. "Listen, Billy. Looks like my crew's lost. So here's a little something for your trouble."

 

Eric reached into one of his pouches and pushed an Inikus Berry into Billy's hand. "Don't say nothing Billy. You guys won. It's your spoils. Just... put in a good word for m-"

 

"WHAT in that BRONZE-HEADED BASTARD'S NAME were you THINKING? No. Don't answer that. You weren't Thinking. That's not why I hired you. I said go in hot, not set the place on fire!"

 

Eric looked at the squalid little man berating Billy, and decided to just keep out of it. Hopefully this crew isn't as bad as that Devil's Own they ran across awhile back. Murderous devils, that lot.

 

Oh well, "Glory to the Victorious" and all that shit.

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Note: I'm assuming that everyone handed their Inikus berries over to Elise.

 

The Big Drop

 

Critical Stat: Speed

Tip: Knowing one’s colors are important.

 

After entering into the cavern, it opens up into a small hollowed-out section. In the middle of this section is a large hole. There’s no other way in which the group can go. The hole is roughly ten feet in diameter and remains so as far down as the group can see. There’s also ample outcropings along the sides of the hole, so if one wished they could descend down the hole without rope without risk of moving to a point where they’d no longer have something to grasp. The group does have ample amounts of rope which they can use to make the descent, but anyone using the rope will be out of reach of any potential items found along the walls of the hole.

 

There’s what seems to be orange stains on some of the rocks further down the hole. It is quite distinct when compared to the gray, brown, and black stone that makes up the rest of the caverns. A faint hint of rot and fungus can be smelled coming from the hole. A breeze can be felt coming from the hole as well.

 

Looks like you’re going down.

 

Pre-Room Decisions

 

Do you use rope to descend down the hole?

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The group gathered around the hole. Being the tallest, Billy had the dubious honor of being told by Layman to inch in just a tad closer for a better look. Billy could only confirm what everybody else already knew though.

 

"So Layman, what should we do now?", as per usual, Billy deferred to Layman, but something was itching at the back of his mind. Those orange stains, they're pretty obvious. The gut reaction was that it's blood, but orange? And the smell of rot, either there's some dead animal down there, or a dead archeologist. A trap? Maybe, but maybe something else.

 

As Billy waited for Layman's deliberation, he considered asking one of the ladies to keep a look out for that stain or around it. It's either a trap or a pretty nasty example of the local wild life. Could even be a plant... a plant? Orange? Hmm...

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Elise took the Inikus berries from the rest of the party as Mia explained in paralyzing technobabble what the things did. Elise was slightly annoyed she hadn't brought her larger shoulder pack if she was going to be used as inventory space, but wasn't about to complain. She put the berries in a pocket inside her coat and quickly accompanied the rest of the group.

 

Elise watched the rest of the group. Elise was by far the youngest, and the three men didn't seem interested in socializing at all. She would probably need to talk with the other woman if she wanted to chat.

 

Well, time for that later as she nearly fell into the pit.

 

Climbing. Elise was categorically shit at climbing. Well, anyone could try climbing with a limp and a periodic spasm in her left shoulder and see just how well they climbed. Her disability rarely bothered her, but this was definitely one of those times.

 

She peered down the hole. The orange goo-stuff worried her, but not as much as just getting to the bottom of the hole without breaking her neck. Elise slipped a pair of Grum-leather gloves on as she got the rope out of her pack. She'd just slide down the rope; gravity was much more dependable then her limbs' constitution ever would be.

 

(Elise will Dodge and Weave down the rope, and is being merely Observant.

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As Elise got ready her equipment for the climb down, Billy just couldn't shake the bad feeling he had. Finally, he decided to speak up. He walked over to Mia and motioned her for a talk.

 

"Hey Mia."

 

"Hey Billy."

 

"Something's bothering me about all this. I think we should be careful going down there."

 

"That orange stain right?"

 

"Yeah, you got it. So how about this Mia, we'll throw a rope down and you can hang onto me while I take us both down. Meanwhile, you keep a lookout for anything not right. See if there are any traps or creepy crawlies around there? I'd do it, but my eyes aren't that good."

 

"Hmm, let me think about it."

 

"Alright Mia, in that case, I'll just get ready for the climb down. You tell me what you wanna do when you're ready."

 

(OOC: Billy's made an offer to carry Mia, so he's gonna Use Rope to climb down. It's her choice whether to take him up on the offer (Use) or not (Don't Use). But since he's already setting up, he'll use it regardless of her decision.

 

Billy's nervous, especially after that last fiasco, so he'll make a Cautious Advance going down. He's also squinting his eyes real hard, trying to figure out that orange stain, so he's being Observant.

 

OOC#2: Darn in-characterness, I sorta wanna use Dodge and Weave, but it wouldn't be in character, hehehe.)

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Mia was called over by Billy and listened with half her mind on what he was saying, and the other half wondering what might be down the hole. There were multiple ledges encircling the drop that looked like they should support the weight of anyone who stood on them, save Billy, perhaps.

 

“- You just tell me what you wanna do when you’re ready.†Billy finished as he upholstered his rope from his backpack. Logically it would make sense to use ropes and decent as quickly as they could, but two things were on Mia’s mind, One. Perhaps it should be Elise and not her that took the first ride down, the canine abnormal had been the one caught in the rockslide, and that limp she had worried Mia. That, and the fact that Elsie’s nose might be better suited for stopping trouble in the darkness of the hole than Billy and Mia’s Eyes put together.

 

“What about if you take Elise instead?†She asked, putting forward her opinion. Layman can decent on the rope next to you, and Jack and I can cover you from up here?†She felt a twinge of guilt offering fire support, recalling how her last shot had gone horribly off mark and killed the one young man. But she felt that her determination would make sure she would aim before firing.

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Working on her rope, Elise perked up upon hearing her name, but shook her head. After carefully removing her voice simulator from a pocket, she tapped the screen and a voice, female and dainty but unhuman, came out. "I'm-not-sure-I-could-hold-on-to-him-that-well." Elise paused, unsure, then tapped, "Besides-I-kind-of-already-decided-what-I-was-going-to-do. Sorry-I'll-be-less-hasty-next-time."

 

She smiled. "I-think-you'll-do-fine."

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As Mia suggested Elise to do the scouting, Billy finished up his preparations. He'd been getting his thoughts straightened out while he'd been packing, since he had a feeling this might happen. It was nothing personal. He knew the group was new, and everyone's basically looking out for numero uno, including himself. And it was a suggestion by the big dumb grum, but he didn't survive as long as he did under the employ of "that" man by having no survival instincts.

 

"Mia, it's up to you. But to tell the truth, I'm not offering you carry you on my back because I'm a good guy. That's why I'm not offering Elise just because she has a limp." Billy took a deep breath, he was going to have to talk a lot, and that's kind of out of character for him. But this was something that he'll have to explain in detail, so they'd know he wasn't just throwing it out there.

 

"I'm not offering Elise because she has a limp. You and her are the smart ones. If there's a dangerous animal down there, you two will know. But you don't have a gimp leg, so if anything happens down there, you can get away better than Elise. I'd do this myself, but I wouldn't know if what's down there is dangerous even if I was starring right at it. Jack and Layman are smarter than me, but you're the best one for this job" Billy had to take another breath, he felt winded.

 

"Maybe I'm wrong and it won't make any difference. Chances are I'll walk right into whatever's down there even if we spot it. But I think our chances might be better if we work together. But this is up to you, if we all just rush down by ourselves, we'll probably make it without any trouble anyway."

 

(OOC: It probably doesn't matter if Mia goes ahead with Awareness vs Living Things or just focuses on a defensive tactic. It's pretty much for flavoring/rp purposes that Billy's made the suggestion, so do as you will.

 

OOC #2: Billy's pretty much useless here though. Even if he has Awareness of trouble, with his low Knowledge and Speed, I have a feeling he's going to stumble into whatever trap or creature is laying in wait, much like the first room. Hopefully with the Speed and Awareness modifiers of his actions, he won't end up dead when the group hits the bottom.)

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Mia nodded hearing Billy’s plan, The brute was quite smart, even though he seemed to pretend he wasn’t.

 

“So Billy and I go down first, Jack next, Elise after, and Layman covers the rear?†She suggested loosening her own rope and the extra rope she was carrying for the rest of the group, along with a small flashlight attached to a headband that she looped over her hat.

 

(OOC Mia will climb down with Billy, Taking a cautious advance and Scouting for danger.)

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Oblivious to the conversation, Jack was examining the rope and the handholds down into the pit. They looked sturdy enough to support him, though that orange thing slightly bothered him. But the rope..... Having made his decision, he sat up and walked over to Mia just in time to hear her plan of descent.

 

"-Billy and I go down first, Jack next, Elise after, and Layman covers the rear?â€

 

"It's a sound plan for us, but I'm uneasy about leaving the rope up here like a beacon showing anyone else the way we went. We know our contact was killed and a few moments ago we were ambushed by the locals. If its all the same, I'd rather make sure we eliminate as many traces of our presence as possible. No sense making it easier for them. Now I can cover you all from up here, everyone else can descend and when your all on the ground, I'll let down the rope and climb down the rocks."

 

For the first time, he smiled uneasily. "Any objections?"

 

(Snoop/Dodge and Weave)

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"I commend you on your paranoia, Jack." Layman finally spoke up, his voice breaking the silence that hadn't had a breath's time to settle on the cavern. He stood from his leaning position against one of the walls as he allowed Jack to absorb his compliment. "But I must point out that, in all honesty, it wouldn't take someone of Billy's mental prowess to figure out that if we came this way and aren't here that either we vanished in a puff of Church-Mojo or we went down the Big. Damn. Hole!"

 

Putting the exclamation point on his comment as he gestured to the dead-end cavern and then the natural drop with his blade. He slipped the metal back into a hidden sheath along his back before continuing, looking at Jack with his visible eye. "So what would unsecuring the rope get us in the long run? A tough climb back up. And what if we have to run from something? Did you think about that Jack? Are you so very eager to die that you want the rest of us to get eaten by whatever might be down the hole too?"

 

He grunted, the sound wet and hard under his layers. His tirade apparently finished. His shoulders shrugged. "I see your point, but if someone was really after us we're just as likely walking into a trap as being followed. In fact, if I were in..." His hand waves in the air for a moment "THEIR position I wouldn't follow us. I'd set charges here and just leave us to die. That's all it would take. We don't know where this goes, it possibly goes nowhere."

 

He walked up to Jack and looked up at the man, his voice quiet now. "Always leave a way out, Jack. Mostly for yourself, but not just for you. If something goes wrong, we're going to want out and fast."

 

He turned to Mia and nods. "Me and Jack will climb down last. Whenever you're ready."

 

(Finally getting around to this, glad I did wait though. Layman is, of course, going down via the rockface and is going Cautiously and Carelessly)

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Layman

Cautious Advance

Careless

Rope: No

 

Fighting: 4 + 1 (Marina's Knowledge) + 1 (Careless) - 2 (Cautious Advance) = 4

Speed: 4 + 1 (Careless) + 1 (Cautious Advance) = 6

Toughness: 2 + 1 (Careless) = 3

Knowledge: 2 - 2 (Careless) = 0

Awareness: 3 + 2 (Cautious Advance) = 5

Luck: 2

 

Billy

Cautious Advance

Observant

Rope: Yes

 

Fighting: 4 + 1 (Marina's Knowledge) - 2 (Cautious Advance) = 3

Speed: 2 + 2 (Rope) + 1 (Cautious Advance) = 5

Toughness: 4

Knowledge: 1 + 1 (Observant) = 2

Awareness: 2 + 2 (Cautious Advance) + 1 (Observant) = 5

Luck: 4 - 1 (Observant) = 3

 

Elise

Dodge and Weave

Observant

Rope: Yes

 

Fighting: 2 + 1 (Marina's Knowledge) - 1 (Dodge and Weave) = 2

Speed: 1 + 2 (Rope) + 2 (Dodge and Weave) = 5

Toughness: 3 - 1 (Dodge and Weave) = 2

Knowledge: 4 + 1 (Observant) = 5

Awareness: 4 + 1 (Observant) = 5

Luck: 3 + 1 (Dodge and Weave) - 1 (Observant) = 3

 

Jack

Dodge and Weave

Snoop

Rope: No

 

Fighting: 3 + 1 (Marina's Knowledge) - 1 (Dodge and Weave) = 3

Speed: 3 + 2 (Dodge and Weave) = 5

Toughness: 2 - 1 (Dodge and Weave) - 1 (Snoop) = 0

Knowledge: 2

Awareness: 3

Luck: 4 + 1 (Dodge and Weave) + 2 (Snoop) = 7

 

Marina

Cautious Advance

Scouting

Rope: Yes (By means of Billy)

 

Fighting: 2 + 1 (Marina's Knowledge) + 1 (Scouting) - 2 (Cautious Advance) = 2

Speed: 3 + 2 (Rope) + 1 (Cautious Advance) - 1 (Scouting) = 5

Toughness: 2

Knoweldge: 4

Awareness: 3 + 2 (Cautious Advance) + 4 (vs Living Things, Scouting) = 5 (9 vs Living Things)

Luck: 3 - 1 (Scouting) = 2

 

---

 

The Drop

 

Speed: Any character who has less than 3 Speed loses their grip and falls a short distance while climbing. They regain their grasp and continue down but are damaged.

 

Since no character has less than 5 Speed, all of the characters climb safely.

 

Speed+Luck: Any character who is damaged by falling that has a combined Speed and Luck less than 4 is damaged twice as the fall and land at the bottom of the hole. This is in addition to the damaged received previously. Any character that falls does not encounter any of the challenges listed below and cannot receive the Cmatk Egg.

 

Irrelevant, since no character fell.

 

 

Cmatk Nest

 

 

Knowledge: If the character with the highest Knowledge has 5 Knowledge, they will recognize the orange stains as the Ost Spores. Recognizing the spores is critical in treating the wounds created by contact with them.

 

Elise has 5 Knowledge, therefore she recognizes the Ost Spores.

 

Awareness: If the character with the highest Awareness has 6 Awareness vs Living Things, the Cmatk nest is noticed. If the nest is noticed, each character receives +1 Fighting for this room.

 

Marina has 9 Awareness vs Living Things and notices the Cmatk next. Therefore each character gains +1 Fighting for this room due to Marian's knowledge of the insects. This has been calculated into the above stats.

 

Fighting: Halfway down the hole the characters encounter the Cmatk nest. Each character with less than 4 Fighting is unable to avoid the Ost spores that the Cmatk spew out of their bellies. Therefore they’ve come in contact with the spores.

 

Every character BUT Layman has less than 4 Fighting. Therefore, ever character BUT Layman has come into contact with the Spores.

 

Toughness: If a character comes into contact with the spores, they are damaged if they have below 4 Toughness. If any character has below 1 Toughness, they are damaged a second time. If the spores were not identified, each character that is damaged by the spores is considered Infected. This comes into play at a later date.

 

Elise and Marina each have 2 Toughness. Therefore they are damaged once. Jack has 0 Toughness. Therefore he is damaged twice.

 

Knowledge: If any character has 6 Knowledge, they will come to the realization that a Cmatk, even when dead, can be squeezed and forced to release its fungi reserves. Each character with 6 Knowledge receives a Cmatk Corpse item.

 

No character has 6 Knowledge. Therefore no one in the group gets the Cmatk Corpse item.

 

Awareness: Each character that does not use rope that has 6 Awareness vs Artifacts finds a Cmatk Egg left by fleeing Cmatks. Each character that finds such an egg receives 1 Cmatk Egg item.

 

No character has 6 Awareness vs Artifacts. Therefore no one in the group gets the Cmatk Egg item.

 

Luck: Any character that obtains an Egg comes into contact with the Ost Spores if they have less than 3 Luck.

 

Irrelevent since no one received an Egg.

 

---

 

SUMMARY

 

The damage dealt to Marina and Elise heals, since one damage heals between rooms. One damage on Jack heals, but he is still damaged once.

 

The group received NO items in this room. At the same time, no one was infected by the spores. Call it a wash.

 

Go ahead and post your reactions. The next room may go up before everyone reacts. If this is the case, still give your reaction posts and then go right into the next room's stuff.

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