[Taocow PBEM] [Everyone but Alex and Louissa] Book 3 - Chapter V - England REPOST

Aaron Clausen mightymartianca at gmail.com
Tue Feb 22 22:54:43 UTC 2011

OOC: Ignore my previous post. Clearly that one was from an alternate 
Rifts Earth.  Curse you Megaverse!!!!!

>>> [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]

> [Owen]
> "I think you are right, it would be a little too much for us in our
> current condition, and we are not all here anyway."
> "I am unfamiliar with this area, but if someone is willing to drag
> by body around for a bit I can use a little Astral Projection to do
> a little scouting ahead, and see if we can find a safe and prudent
> way forward."
> [/Owen]

> [Ted]
> "I volunteer, Owen," Ted replies. "The safer and more prudent the
> way, the better."
> [/Ted]

OOC: It's been a while since anyone did astral projection. My general 
rule is to treat this the same way one would in table-top play, and that 
is just to post what the astral projector is seeing, with the assumption 
that he or she would tell the rest of the party anyways.

It will take Owen six minutes to prepare for the astral projection, and 
Ted will be completely responsible for him.

> [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 heard...

> [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.

As the company nears the eaves of the forest, Owen's astral form takes 
flight from his body.  He looks below to see his fellow adventurers, a 
ragtag and exhausted group.  As he rises up he can gain a better 
vantage, and sees the Splugorth Slavers and other Splugorth minions 
struggling despite their technical superiority against the villagers. 
Armored minions with large vibroblades seem incapable of landing many 
blows against the villagers.  Villagers still die, but they are now at 
the large steel doors of the fortress, which seems little more than a 
hump of earth with megadamage material showing up here and there.

Ahead lies the forest, and Owen's astral form moves towards it.  The 
forest is made up mainly of oaks, birches and beech trees, along with a 
few more obviously alien species.  Little is visible above the thick 
canopy, the tops of the trees so close together that they almost make an 
impenetrable shield.

Owen swoops down and the forest is revealed in all its dark glory.  For 
a forest that cannot be more than two centuries old, it seems much much 
older, some of the trees so large that they should be properly five 
hundred years old or more.  Here and there on the ground are standing 
stones, some the ruins of buildings, some appear to be tombstones or 
markers.  There are no clear paths, just animal trails that never lead 
in a straight line for long.

Suddenly Owen sees before him a clearing with several rough-built cabins 
surrounded by a high wall.  There are several men on horseback, all 
dress in black robes, though armor peaks out from underneath here and 
there.  One robed figure seems to be laying out a quick strategy, and 
then they are off like a shot, racing out the gate towards where Owen 
left the rest of the company, leaving behind only a couple of men, or by 
the size of them, boys, though they wear the same black robes.

Owen does not have a lot of time and so moves more northward.  The 
forest becomes less dense in this direction, and there are larger 
clearings, and even a few small houses.  All have been abandoned, some 
have been burnt and here are there are roving bands of Splugorth 
minions.  The only safe path seems through the woods, though perhaps to 
the south to avoid the black-robed horsemen.

By the time Owen returns to his body, the company is now on the edge of 
the forest itself.

Aaron Clausen

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