27 – Beastmen Presence01-Sep-08
You have just slain the last two phase spiders, and are seemingly safe for the moment. During the battle, Gene was bit twice and is badly poisoned (though not at risk of dying). None of the other party members were injured.
Olive and Gene stand in the intersection, surrounded by three spider bodies. The other party members are about 30 feet south down the hallway. You do not see any foes, and Ibben’s echolocation indicates no movement.
Green ichor oozes from the bodies of the arachnids. Gene slumps with his back to the wall, favouring his good leg and clutching his throbbing hand. Your surroundings are suddenly quiet; you can hear only the drip of water into the pool at the intersection, the hum of Olive’s repulsion field, and the clicking of of Ibben’s echolocation.
(The referee rolls some dice, then looks annoyed. He rolls again and sighs.)
The android waits a few moments before doing anything, ensuring the danger has truly passed. Dropping the field, Olive tilts his head to the side. “Exasperated comment: Seems I don’t make for good spider bait.”
Meanwhile, Apollo reloads his pistols without wasting words, not yet trusting that the situation is completely safe.
Aka-Vasha moves over to Gene, and hands him an oil of remedy (a type of antitoxin). “You can owe me later!”, whispers Aka.
Gene accepts her gift, and quickly applies the medicinal fluid to the bite on his ankle (the more serious of his two injuries). (Referee tosses the percentile dice…) A cool numbness replaces the burning of the venom in his veins, and Gene feels much of his vitality restored! (21 hp of poison damage are neutralized.)
“Thanks, Asha. I owe you one!” says Gene.
“That’s Aka-Vasha!” corrects the two-headed mutant curtly. She looks around the spider’s nest, knowing full well that there was likely others who were not as fortunate as the party were. Hopefully, such unfortunate souls left something of value.
Rasputin, who had suffered an unfortunate misfire of his pistol, rubs at his hand and starts cleaning out his fouled weapon. Then he sighs.
Raising his voice in a tone of command, he says: “Check the webbing, see if we can find anything of use. Scout – make sure we have not attracted anything else with the noise we have made.”
Ibben keeps his pistol ready and continues using his echolocation as he moves towards the intersection so he can inspect all four corridors. His mutant senses detect no movement out to the echolocation’s full range (90′) – but then again, he didn’t detect the phase spiders either until their attack.
Joining Aka-Vasha’s search for loot, Ibben looks above his head at the webbing, to see if the phase spiders have collected any trinkets.
(The referee tosses some dice. Some of the webbing is pretty thick; it’ll take a bit of time to search here…)
While poking at the webbing, Ibben spots a glint from the water in the intersection. In the pool of water are seven small gem bearings, seemingly made of beryl! Proudly displaying his find, he voices his opinion: “Indeed these darkened corridors are dangerous. Yet perhaps not as dangerous as what we may encounter in the lit areas. I still say we continue onwards. Shall we inspect the doors to the west, or continue north?”
Rasputin responds: “I feel it is pointless avoiding the lit areas now – if anything lives there they has to be aware of our presence and these unlit areas are too full of dangerous creatures. Let us head east at the intersection ahead and approach the shaft from the north. We can always return to these darkened halls later if we need to.”
Even though he is wounded Gene’s mind stays sharp. As he observes his allies searching the webbing, he has an idea. “I bet those bodies up there are plantmen If they are should go back and offer their leader the spiders we killed and maybe they’ll trust us more.”
Aka-Vasha is slicing the webbing of one of the two cocooned humanoids at the same instant. Indeed, the dried grey-brown husk of a vegepygmie can be found within! His possessions were mummified with him, including a few primitive weapons – and a black keycard hung from a reed thong around his neck!
“Bingo!” announces Aka-Vasha triumphantly, holding the card up for the party to see.
Next, Aka-Vasha cuts open the second, larger cocoon. The corpse within is certainly not a vegepygmie! Within the webs is revealed a bipedal mutant pig, with four arms and a long whip-like black curly tail. The creature is dressed in the livery of the Beastmen of the Barrier Peaks!
Aka-Vasha cocks her heads. “I think this one is from the Affiliation!” Confused at her find, she calls the party over for a closer look…
(Just to remind you: The Affiliation is made up of many member factions, not all of them completely friendly with one another. The Beastmen of the Barrier Peaks are one of the outer territories of the Affiliation; you are in their lands now while investigating this vault.)
(The Beastmen never mentioned any past contact with this installation during the meeting of the Conclave, nor while you visited their forts when you entered their territory. If there is a Beastman body inside here, however, it suggests that they must have known about this vault before your Expedition!)
(Suddenly Reesus, your Apeman retainer from the Beastmen clans, seems very nervous…)
What are your actions?