Into the Mountain

After getting back to the Sex Thing last session, the crew had to recharge their battlesuits and get some rest, so they were ready to head out to investigate the mountain by late afternoon. Again they went prepared for heavy combat, first flying out to the Stormhaven ship that was landed at the base of the mountain.

The ship was a 100t Starfight Starship, a Stormhaven design. Interior explosives had taken out the drive and power systems, so someone had definitely decided that she wasn’t going to fly again. There were signs that she had suffered complete power drain prior to that, so the scuttling was merely to make sure. There had been seven crew aboard, but they were all gone.

The crew (or someone) had taken weapons and armour, and there were signs that someone had been patched up, for there were some bandages and signs of dried blood. Whatever had happened here had done so at least a year ago, possibly two.

After a couple of hours flight over to the ship, and another hour spent looking around, there were 3 hours into their 12 hour battery capacity for their battledress, so decided to take a scout around the mountain rather than actually heading in.

Above them, the crude goblin head loomed out of the clouds, and there was a stairway cut into the mountain side that went up to its mouth. The mouth was a gaping cave, but not that deep – just a single tunnel in the ‘throat’ of the carving headed deeper into the rock. Flying up, they noticed a goat laying dead – it’s head sliced off and other wounds on its body.

The PCs were very careful about checking for signs of anything dangerous as the entered the mouth, which is quite usual for them. The tunnel itself was about twenty metres wide and about seven tall, and gradually smoothed to something that was definitely artificial. Stone buttresses along the side curved up towards the ceilings, and it headed deep into darkness.

It was then that Khadashi noticed a warning on his battledress – it was complaining of high power drain. Not significant, but higher than normal.

They quickly exited the cavern, realising that if they stayed here then their battledress and energy weapons would probably suffer the same fate that the starships had – becoming drained of power and utterly useless. If they hadn’t been quite so careful in approaching, then they probably would have realised this too late, and been left in non-functional battledress and having to walk back to their ship.

So instead they got to fly back to their ship, recharge their suits and get some more rest overnight. Bu morning they are prepared for the actual investigation – but this time they are taking shotguns, cloth armour and bladed weapons. I let Khadashi knock up some explosive triggers since he has an explosives skill. It won’t be that reliable, but better than nothing. They take some grav belts rather than battledress, since they still don’t want to walk, and don’t want to risk taking their ship too close to the mountain.

The Sex Thing is incredibly well stocked in terms of weapons and equipment – a side effect of how successful they’d been at trade in the first part of the campaign. Shinzaro and the engineers stay behind on the ship to look after it, whilst the three of them head back to the mountain.

They leave their grav belts outside the main cave, and head inside, using cold lanterns (chemical lights) to provide light. This time they make it far enough in to notice metal woven in within the walls of the tunnel, like a fine mesh. Eventually the tunnel opens out into a large room, which has a 10m circular well in the middle. A set of stairs winds down around the edge of the well, down into the darkness.

There was a pile of discarded equipment – dead laser rifles, a harness of battery packs and some cold lanterns. The only option seemed to be to head down the stairs.

It was a long walk down narrow stairs without any safety rail. And then the steps started getting difficult to balance on and everyone realised that gravity was switching round – what was a vertical shaft had become a horizontal corridor.

Up ahead were alcoves in the walls, most of which seemed to have the shattered remains of some amber-like crystal in them. There were two dead bodies on the floor – both human, both showing signs of cutting wounds. Up ahead, there were some alcoves sealed with amber coloured crystal, and behind them was the shadowy form of something vaguely humanoid. They had four arms – two of which seemed to be formed into blades, and a long predator-like head.

Shotgun casings were on the floor, so there had been some sort of fight here long ago. The Travellers kept well away from the sealed alcoves, and moved ahead to a large circular door. There was more signs of shotgun and rifle casings on the floor, as if someone had made a last stand against something coming from the stairs.

Khadashi touched the door, and it rippled under his hand – flowing back into the wall. Beyond was a large, softly lit room. Some sort of spherical chamber, with a walkway going around it. On the far side was another closed door, and some form of consoles were to the far left and right. In the centre of the room was floating machinery, glowing with yellow and blue light, sliding up and down with lights pulsing around them.

Samuel Penn

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