[Taocow PBEM] Book 3 - Chapter IV - Who's This Then?

Aaron Clausen mightymartianca at gmail.com
Tue Feb 22 18:10:51 UTC 2011

> > > [GM]
> > > Within a few minutes the beach is left behind as the company makes their
> > > way up the hillside.  It is a good half mile until the company reaches
> > > the top.  At the top, they can more clearly see the battle being waged
> > > below, or more accurately an invasion.  The defenders, made up of maybe
> > > two dozen armored vehicles, a few Triax power armor and perhaps sixty
> > > armed men and women who, by the looks of it, are more likely local
> > > militia than any kind of regular army.  They are woefully outnumbered,
> > > and appear to be making for some sort of hill fort perhaps four or five
> > > miles away as a last stand.
> > >
> > > Ahead of the company lies a land of rolling hills.  It's too dark to see
> > > many features, but what is visible is what looks like a caravan of
> > > people and vehicles moving slowly inland and away from the coast.
> > > Numbers are hard to estimate, but there are perhaps a hundred people on
> > > foot and about two dozen vehicles.  They are heading roughly northwest
> > > and are about a half a mile away.  To the east and curving in a wide arc
> > > to the north is what looks like a forest, the nearest eaves of which are
> > > perhaps a mile away.
> > >
> > > Then the company sees three of dreaded Splugorth Slaver barges swooping
> > > down on the caravan.  There is intermittent gunfire, but these people
> > > look ill-equipped for a prolonged firefight, and it seems likely that
> > > many will be captured.  The only upside to this is that the Slavers seem
> > > unaware of the company, and if they use some stealth they might be able
> > > to reach the cover of the forest undetected.
> > >
> > > Louissa and Alex, however, have not yet returned.
> > > [/GM]

> [Koba]
> "I don't think that we are in the best condition to help them right now.
> We have too many injured or unconscious and were missing two others.
> I think out best chance right now is to get everyone to the biggest city
> around here and hope they have defenses that can hold off these attackers."
> Koba looks around at the unfamiliar landscape without any sense of bearing.
> "Anyone know where we are or how to get there?"
> [/Koba]

> [Justin]
> Justin finishes offloading the wounded, and will carry one, while offering an
> arm to Osiris to help him walk, saying to Koba "I'm new to the region myself,
> literally just arrived yesterday from somewhere considerably further away than
> the far side of the planet. Other than being able to point to where I was aiming
> for before being diverted by a dimensional standing wave to here, I don't know
> much about the surrounding area."
> [/Justin]

> > [Osiris]
> > "If was in any shape, I'd be in the middle of that right now." Osiris
> > says sadly. "But I'm no position to get there. What say the rest of you?
> > For the forest, or do we try to kick some Slaver ass?  At the very least
> > we should get a hold of Alex and Louissa."
> > [/Osiris]

> [Justin]
> Justin, while supporting Osiris, answers him "I'd be a pretty sorry excuse
> for a knight if my own inclination on the matter were anything but 'bring
> down justice upon the wicked' here, but quite a few people here aren't in
> any condition to be more than target practice for the enemy. So until we
> can get the wounded to a relatively sheltered spot, it limits our options.
> But just because I'm not shooting, doesn't mean I'm not doing anything...
> unpleasant...to those monsters. Let's just say karma may be closer than
> they think, and it has teeth in rather unexpected ways."
> Justin takes the opportunity to perform Psychic Diagnosis on Osiris, looking
> for exactly what all is wrong with him (injuries old and new, maimings, cripplings,
> cumulative effects of old age, etc). Then he apparently begins meditating rather
> intently on something, though he continues to walk and make conversation,
> he seems highly distracted by something.
> [/Justin]

Osiris is suffering from partially healed multiple fractures to his
legs.  He also
shows many signs of a long, hard life, and suffers many "elderly" ailments like
arthritis in his hands and partial blindness in one eye, possibly from a serious
head injury.

It is quickly agreed to keep moving, and not directly involve the company in the
distant battle.  As everyone starts moving again, radio's crackle and
Alex can be

> [Alex]
> "Have a situation here. A monster and a possible baby that is in trouble."
> [/Alex]

Osiris keys his radio.  "We're in a similar situation here, Alex.
Lots of slavers,
villagers on the run.  We can't help them.  If you are going to do a rescue
mission, recommend make it fast and meet up with us ASAP.  We're heading
for a heavily forested area approximately three or four miles east of your
position. Over."

As the company closes the gap with the forest, they can see the villagers having
some success against the Splugorth.  A few fantastically lucky shots and what
looks like an obscenely lucky grenade attack take out one slaver barge, which
smashes into the ground with with a loud explosion.  One of the Triax
power armor
somehow manages to leap on to another low flying barge and is an actual hand to
hand combat with the slaver.  Despite what would seem sheer odds against it, the
villagers are nearing the hill fort as the Slavers have no lack of
difficulties trying to
contain them.  If they can make the fort, and if it is a well-built
one, they may be
able to hold out much longer than on open ground.

The forest now approaches.  It appears to be largely oaks, birches and
beech trees,
though there are a few trees of decidedly alien appearance.  As they
enter the forest,
the dense canopy plunges them into near absolute darkness.  The sounds of battle
behind them rapidly fades away and soon all that can be heard is the
scurrying of
forest creatures.

The going is hard.  This is not a well-tended forest, and there is no
lack of bracken
and low-lying plants and vines.  Here and there, looming at the edge
of sight, can
be seen standing stones.  Some look perhaps like the remnants of old buildings,
others more like tombstones or some other type of marker.  The general effect is
to make this place very eery.

At that moment Owen feels his Sixth Sense go off.  Danger is close by.  He has
just enough time to warn the others when suddenly the forest is alive
with the sounds
of galloping horses.  Ropes suddenly drop to the ground and figures
dressed in black
slide down them like ninjas out of some pre-Rifts martial arts film.
Within moments
the company find themselves surrounded by at least a dozen masked men in black
clothes, and by eight horses, three of them robotic or cyberhorses,
and the other five
well-armored but normal-looking horses.  The riders, like their
counterparts who slid
down the rope, are dressed in black cloaks, though here and there can
be glimpsed
silvery armor beneath.

One of the figures on a regular horse, a massive battle horse in
armor, trots forward.  "Declare yourselves immediately.  You have
entered Lostwithiel
without leave of the King, Duke or Warden.  Speak quickly or die.  We
have no time,
for there are Splugorth who seem to desire death."

There are a lot of guns aimed at the company.

Aaron Clausen
mightymartianca at gmail.com


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