[Taocow PBEM] Chapter XVI - Into The Southlands

Aaron Clausen mightymartianca at gmail.com
Mon Apr 14 21:03:52 BST 2008

>> [GM]
>> The inn itself is empty, and the equipment left behind is 
>> unmolested. Bongo had left behind most of his possessions. Osiris
>> picks one of the bags up, and hands it to Alex. "For our brother."
>> he says simply. Bongo had most of his weapons on him when he
>> disappeared. There is still an old style C-12 Heavy Assault Laser 
>> Rifle, which, unless anyone objects, Osiris takes charge of.
>> Along with their belongings, the company finds two weeks of good 
>> rations; hard bread, cheese, dried meat and dried fruit, a final
>> gift from Max.
>> The company make their way out of the inn and back out on to the 
>> street, where they find Sialillion waiting for them with her own
>> gear.
>> [/GM]

> [Sia]
> Sialillion comes by wearing dark goggles a black large-brimmed felt 
> hat and with a high-tech looking frame backpack strapped to her. The 
> backpack also has a compound bow tied to the back of it and a Wilk's 
> laser rifle clipped to the side within arm's reach. A matte black 
> breastplace and leg guards peek out underneath her cloak.
> [/Sia]

> [Ted]
> "Well, Sia," Ted speaks up for the group, "You seem to know a little 
> more about this place than we do. How do we get out of here?"
> [/Ted]

"Impressive." the old man says.

> [Carlos]
> "If everyone's ready, let's head out before we encounter trouble
> again."
> [/Carlos]

> [Lady Frost]
> "Not possible Carlos. With this group, trouble always finds us. Give 
> me a second here."
> Setting down the man she's carrying, she looks him over to see if her
> frozen form has been causing him any difficulties, then carefully 
> applies a thin layer of cold and ice to his wounds in an effort to 
> slow down bleeding and swelling.
> She might not like, or trust him, but she wasn't going to let him 
> die.
> "When we're in the clear, someone needs to take a look at this guy. 
> I'm a superhero, not a doctor."
> [/Lady Frost]

> [Talas]
> "If we can spare a minute, I can use what healing talents I have on 
> the man."
> Talas uses his healing touch on the man.
> [/Talas]

Some color returns to the man's cheeks, and he looks at Talas and Lady 
Frost with a mix of revulsion and relief.  He looks ready to say 
something, but holds his tongue.

> [Sia]
> "Right. This way. And we should move quickly- there's something 
> sinister lurking overhead. What, I'm not sure of, but my familiar has
> felt its presence since our encounter with Bruth." She leads the 
> group to the sewer grate she was talking about earlier, taking back 
> alleys and avoiding main roads when possible.
> While en-route, she explains, "The men at the castle are expecting an
> invasion. They've moved the jetboat down river to a nearby village- 
> that's our best bet. But I fear that Poughkeepsie may not hold." She 
> seems geniunely concerned- an uncommon reaction for the stoic lady 
> elf.
> "It was a good home while it lasted," she says after a time.
> [/Sia]

> [Koba]
> "It sure looked like a decent place to rest." Koba says rembering
> that he only has been in the city for about 45 minutes so far.
> [/Koba]

"Let us hope we can do whatever we can to defeat their enemies, and 
preserve them." Osiris says grimly.

Despite Sia's warnings of something above, neither she nor her familiar 
catch site of it again.  The streets are in chaos, and no one seems to 
notice the company making for the tunnel.  The tunnel is small, no more 
than two and a half feet wide by about three feet high.  The grate 
itself is made of metal.

Osiris's psi-sword appears as deftly cuts the grate away.  "After you." 
he says to the rest of the company.

The tunnel is some fifty feet long.  It must certainly be very old, for 
the concrete is cracked and chipped, with tree roots slowly tearing it 
to pieces.  It leads steadily downwards until it ends in the middle of a 
rather brambly rose bush which hides the exit.

Struggling through this bracken, the company finds itself at a muddy 
section of the river bank.  A few hundred feet downstream the docks can 
be seen clearly, fire engulfing many of the boats.  Several boats have 
escaped however, and are either keeping to the middle of the river or 
haphazardly moored to the other side, where a small village has grown up 
around the ruins of an ancient bridge.  Most of the residents of the 
village are standing on the banks watching the fire.

The going is tough here, with thick mud hampering progress.  Slowly the 
company makes their way towards the village Sia has told them about. 
Finally the mud gives a way to firmer, rocky ground.  Beyond the river 
is a hilly land of wooded knolls, grassy fields and small farms.

Soon the village can be seen in the distance, a small affair of maybe a 
dozen houses surrounded by an earthen wall that has fallen into 
disrepair.  A few sheep bleat as the company passes them by, but other 
than that is dead silence, with only the odd distance shout from the 
city, and the red glow of the fires, to disturb the night.

The company fords a small creek at the foot of the earthen wall.  From 
the top of the wall there is a commanding view of the village and the 
river.  The speed boat they are to use is moored to a small dock, with a 
small contingent of soldiers, one on horseback, keeping guard.  The 
mounted soldier catches sight of the company and spurs his horse forward.

The soldier, a Wolfen, approaches, and when he sees Sia he takes off his 
helment and bows his head.  "Lady Sialillion, the boat awaits you.  It 
would be best if you hurry.  We've had reports of brigands, maybe 
connected to that lot that are causing all that trouble in the city. 
I've got my orders to get you on the boat and then track the bastards 
down.  So if you would..."

There's a faint whine of an energy rifle somewhere in the village, and 
the wolfen's head explodes into burned fur and sizzling flesh.  The 
horse rears in fear and bolts, knocking Osiris to the ground.  From the 
village shots fire, at least two shooters, and the company is completely 

Aaron Clausen mightymartianca at gmail.com

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