DH3.11.5: Airless

 

We return to our heroes, the Acolytes Grimm Jahr Mola and Zarkov aboard the fast packet ship Debitar Lost. Zarkov is working with the sole surviving engine seer, to restore life support: the others stand guard, balancing hope and fear. The expectation of a rescue ship out of Scintilla is on one end of the balance; on the other is the fact that a highly lethal lurker-daemon is loose.

++++++++++Data slate resumes++++++++++

I commune with the Auspex, hoping to detect the creature’s approach. Behind me Zarkov and the engine-seer work busily. Beside me, Grimm and Jahr stand blocking the single hatchway letting into the enginarium.

On the third hour of out watch, Sr. Leona voxes an emergency call – and much to my surprise appears to be slightly panicked. The creature has made an attack on the medicae bay where she and her three sisters stand guard over Inquisitor Vaarak and Explicator Voss. And now there is one fewer sister.

“We barely scratched the Throne-damned thing!” – Sr. Leona

“Ah? Oh well…” – Mola, not particularly sympathetic

“We could form a guard and help bring the Inquisitor to the bridge… unite the area needing guard…” – Grimm

“Once we finish restoring things here, yes we could consider that” – Mola

[Mola here switches her vox unit off and signals the other two to do the same. She steps clear of the engine-seer’s hearing.]

“In fact dragging Voss screaming through the passages to the bridge would be an excellent lure… but let’s just be patient” – Mola, switching her vox unit back on

On the fourth hour, we receive another vox, this time from the few survivors on the bridge. Again the creature has attacked like lightning and made away before any could react. Idly I wonder if my original plan, to wait for rescue in void suits, would have resulted in fewer casualties. Still Vaarak needs must be protected in the medicae bay, and the sisters are not being distracted by non-essentials.

On the fifth hour, Zarkov reports some real progress but another sister falls victim.

On the sixth hour, about the time when life support would be failing, it is still functioning. We congratulate Zarkov. Shortly after that it gives out after all.

[Sounding a bit… pre-programmed? To be fair Zarkov’s rolls have been modest, only making a couple of successes so far. Toughness tests all round: Grimm easily makes his; the others are at one level of fatigue.]

On the seventh hour the bridge-Auspex watch signals the approach of a rescue ship, and the creature attacks us.

Combat begins

Mola makes a Perception test (the Auspex does not seem to help) by two raises, avoiding the surprise attack, as the creature races along the ceiling and leaps into melee.

Initiatives

  • Creature
  • Jahr
  • Mola
  • Grimm
  • Zarkov

Fear tests! Grimm fails badly and gets a punishing failure roll as well: he must flee and gains 2 insanity points.

Round 1: Creature leaps and attacks Grimm, who dodges [reroll]. Although the creature is tricked out with blade-master and ghost blades that punch through armour with full pen, this foils it.

Jahr drops his grenade launcher, quick-draws his power blade, and makes three attacks. His first attack registers righteous fury. The GM rolls the dodge [80% chance] and comes up with double-ought. 25 points damage with 6 pen, thanks very much. Jahr’s next attack is dodged [step-aside] but his third attack connects for 13 and 6 pen.

Mola flips a Krak grenade [reroll] into the creature’s chest where with a good roll it scores 20 and 6 pen.

Bits of creature pinwheel away as it disintegrates messily. [Rk 9 explosive crit]

Grimm retires to the head to clean himself up and thence to quarters to find fresh underwear.

Zarkov continues working.

Combat ends.

We don our void suits, since despite Zarkov’s brave attempt the Debitar Lost has lost the breathable sprites, and await rescue. Naturally there is some joshing among the lads about our success and I grant them the privilege of not recording it.

Bit of good-natured triumph, discussion about how to rub the Sororitas’ noses in it. Mola suggests Jahr wander round with an appropriate piece of the creature, wave it at Sr. Leona and ask ‘was this what all the fuss was about?’ Grimm acknowledges he does now have enough corruption to notice that the Sororitas jiggle temptingly under their armour. With his Fellowship bonus of 2 he is limited to thinking about it.

The Acolytes pick up 600xp, and players take some minutes’ downtime spending it. Everyone is now very near 8000xp, which is a fairly senior level.

With the rescue ship docked we are soon restored to life support and can pay due honours to the fallen. We ensure the corpse of Cambyses joins them in the void’s embrace. As we prepare to void it, Cambyses voice is heard once more.

Cambyses thanks us and reveals the location of the false Drusus.

++++++++++Data slate paused++++++++++

It’s one of those things. The scenario gives you a lethal Boss, and the players with a bit of sound tactics and flukey rolls take it out in one round, and suffer no damage!

Since the scenario forces the party to set the strategy I’ll take full credit for just guarding the engine-seer and letting the monster stalk the NPCs. It was forced into a frontal attack, instead of the hit-and-run tactics it favoured. And Mola’s Perception/Awareness is very good.

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About andrewmclaren26

Weekly Roleplayer, Wargamer when I can
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