09 – Vegepygmies25-Jun-08
Your party has regrouped in the large chamber, forming a semicircle around the central shaft and preparing for an approach from any direction. More bellowing and thumping can be heard in the distance, and Slinker attempts to provoke a response by firing a crossbow quarrel down the hallway.
Suddenly, a group of small pygmie-like plantmen dashes across the T-intersection to the north, along with a thorny canine-like creature. And a lone vegepygmy peeks around the corner, surveying the situation.
A small head peeks around the northwest corner in your direction; a vegepygmie gazing at you with alien eyes. It utters a gutteral bellow, then just watches you in silence…
Yobo sniffs the air, trying to determine whether the vegepygmies are the source of the strange vegetable smell. The creatures are still too far away to tell, but it’s a good guess that they are the source of the unusual aroma.
Sensing that caution may be in order, Rasputin whispers: “They may not be hostile… yet. Apollo, what is their state of mind.” (Rasputin has studied the tales of Apollo’s mental capabilities – a fair precaution since he suspects that the Judge may one day be sent after him for various heresies.)
Apollo stops aiming his guns for a moment as he musters the required concentration to sense the creature’s emotional state. (Referee rolls the dice…) It is difficult to sense the alien minds of the creatures; Apollo has to scan multiple ‘channels’ for mental activity… Eventually he does manage to pick up distrust, wariness, and an undercurrent of fear from the vegepygmies – but no overt hostile intent.
“Well I’ll be…” – Apollo tells his companions – “The little runts are afraid of us! I don’t sense any open hostility, maybe they can be reasoned with?”
Ibben turns his attention towards the newcomers from the north. “I can talk to them,” he volunteers, “But I will need to get up close… cover me.”
Ibben slips his pistol back into his robes, and cautiously heads up the northern corridor, with his hands raised away from his body.
Apollo puts both his guns back on the holsters and follows after Ibben. “Wait! Two of us can do better than one, I can, er, send a wave of peacefulness to helm calm the little buggers.” He smirks nonchalantly before continuing.
“Why, there’s been more than one commoner public disorder put down by ol’ Irons ability back in Affiliation territory. It’s also quite useful to keep condemned prisoners relaxed during execution…”
Ibben and Apollo walk slowly up the north hall, hands held peacefully before them. (Apollo uses his Empathy power as they approach the creatures in an attempt to nullify their fear. The referee tosses the die…)
Apollo senses the fear washing away from the vegepygmie. The creature remains wary, but a certain degree of curiousity also creeps in. It thumps its chest and bellows; perhaps a command to the others?
The vegepygmie remain peaceful as Ibben approaches close enough for his telepathic powers. The vegetable nature of the plantmen means that Ibben will need to succeed a Willpower check to forge a telepathic link. (The referee rolls some dice…) Luckily, Ibben is gifted in terms of psionic potential. He extends his mind towards the odd creature… “We mean you no harm.” he ‘thinks’.
The vegepygmie appears absolutely dumbfounded. (Apollo senses surprise and even awe from the creature.) Ibben concentrates and attempts to understand the strange thoughts of the creature…
Vasha relaxes her bow, and Aka turns her head to her sister.
“Whats going on?”, Aka whispers.
“I don’t know,” Vasha replies. “I think Ibben is trying to talk with them with his mind!”
Gene peeks around the corner at the vegepygmies. “I don’t think they belong to this place” He speculates in a low voice. “I dont think they put those spikes in either…” (Referring to the spikes and pitons leading up to vault door.)
Slinker reloads his cross bow just in case. Trying to break the tension of the situation, he calls down the hall: “Hi! We come in peace!” he says, giving a hippy V sign.
The vegepygmie cocks its head towards Slinker, but does not respond. Instead, it focuses its attention on Ibben.
Slinker turns to his companions. “We got anything we can offer them in trade?” he whispers, “Like salad dressing or something? What do you think animated sprouts actually need?” He takes out his tobacco pouch and rolls a cig, eyeing the pygmies. He never has trusted vegetables…
Rasputin considers Slinker’s suggestion. “Hmmm, trade. Their weapons look very primitive. Even our daggers might be considered a good trade. We need information and we may need allies. See what you can find out for us Ibben,” states Rasputin, while making mental calculations on what we could gain through trading with these ‘primitives’.
The Moldman Responds
Strange word-forms flicker through the vegepygmie’s mind. Ibben tries to comprehend what the alien creature is thinking… “Not… from… others?”
Ibben concentrates, and responds both vocally and mentally: “I don’t understand. What ‘others’?”
The vegepygmie steps into the open corridor to get a closer look at you – and you likewise get a closer look at it. This creature appears somewhat larger than the other ones which you saw dashing across the corridor earlier. From this range you can see that the vegepygmie’s leaves are covered by some kind of mold or spores; more like primitive ferns or even fungi than leafy plants.
The moldman appears deep in thought. “Others… Aliens… From the outside…” It points a leafy finger behind you, towards the airlock.
Apollo detects a wave of rage wash over the creature, as if it is remembering a horrific event. “Whatever you’re thinking to the plantman…” he whispers to Ibben, “I suggest you change topics!”
(The referee tosses some dice behind his screen.)
Meanwhile, back in the large chamber, Reesus gives a low whistle and alerts his companions: “There are more of the creatures down the western hallway – just around the bend!” He nervously readies his shortbow and seems ready to fire…
Aka scans the eastern corridor carefully; she sees a leafy topknot and primitive speartip sticking out from around the corner: “We’ve got them down this one too!”
What are your actions?