DM7.01: Stormfall, part one – Phadus 5

The scruffy nerfherders for this session

Aethelair, the gunslinger;
Dantas, the hacker;
Kincade, the tank

Ably supported by Kofi and Triples, matokai warriors, and respectfully cheered on by Alfred3020, droid carrying a segmented personality from the Hyperlance

Guess who’s back! – mission prep

Baludan is back! In the year’s absence he has made new, sorcerous friends, and has struck at bastion. Garland/Abraxas is gone, probably dead. Arisa/Unrisen Angel is kidnapped, along with Selexi Sunfire! Baludan and his cadre of Obsidian Knights and at least one Alterist sorcerer have then retired to Phadus 5.

The Infinity Order helps the nerfherders prep, and they themselves call on matokai mercenaries Kofi and Triples to beef up their firepower as well.

Two of our heroes now wear a shield-shaped ornament that, if overcharged, will throw up a force-field. Kincade, already well protected, chooses a cannon that can swivel up and fire over his shoulder. He, and his two fellow matokai, also wear a traditional rocket pack and grapnel-gun each.

Silent running to Phadus 5

The Rafaela suddenly goes quiet. Seated in the ready bay, the heroes glance around. Ageing space cowboy Rufus Drake appears in the hatchway. He leans casual-like and sips from a battered silver-metal flask:

“Waal gents, now begins the run in. Ready in ten.”

Behind their pilot, a small round blob atop a large orb appears, and Alfred 3020’s respectful-butler-mode voice emerges:

“That’s correct sirs, the Hyperlance is on course to do her duty. She will draw off the defense fleet.”

It seems that Rhona, the Rafaela’s AI, segmented and took with her a portion of the Hyperlance’s AI when she left it to go aboard her current craft. Now that segment is deployed in a BB model droid. The nerfherders do not know how much of Alfred3020’s original capacity this segment has. Nor what equipment its current vehicle is fitted with.

The locals aren’t friendly!

“I’ll stick around 12 hours,” Rufus drawls as the company of six walks or rolls down the ramp. Rolls? Yes, Alfred3020 has asked to tag along and the three heroes agreed. They fan out away from the Rafaela and while Dantas adjusts the breather he has on (Phadus 5 has a coarse but breathable atmosphere with a note that long-term exposure is not recommended) Kincade scans the rock dust endemic on the ground here.

“Reptilians, and big ones… maybe bipeds… no, just often raising themselves onto two legs,” he warns.

Kincade gains the Bug Hunter feature at 7th level and it is in use as often as I can jam it in!

DM

Sure enough, after a very short distance is obtained between the Rafaela and themselves, a goggle-eye head pops up over a rock outcrop. A large head. Joined soon by two more. They attack!

The phaedra-lizards emit a particularly nasty wave of energy and Kincade, who closes with them, becomes battered very quickly. More so as the bites and claw-rakes of the things seem to be getting past his heavy armor about half the time.

But between Dantas’ sneak-attack shooting, Aethelair’s multi-shooting, and the pair of troopers’ carbines, the lizards are whittled down and two decide to flee, leaving one dead.

Kincade jams a couple of hypodermic heals into himself, takes Second Wind, and on they go!

Crusty! Oooozey!

Their destination is a lone hangar, and Dantas is not alone in speculating that Baludan has layers of security there. About midway to that location, Kincade’s heavy boot goes through the rock beneath him. There seems to be a large cavity below.

Dantas peers down and follows the beam of a flashlight, to where oily liquid roils. A rock bridge, seemingly natural in origin, leads towards their destination…

“What are the odds that if we take this underground path we end up at the base?” – Dantas

A short time later three grapnel-ropes lower three pairs of heroes (or sidekicks) and they make their way forward, Dantas in the lead now.

Then he pauses. The liquid is roiling against the current in a number of places.

“It’s a trap!”

Sludge monsters, viscously translucent, surge up onto the rock bridge or send pseudopods battering at those on it!

There is one per adventurer, so I kindly (very kindly) do not count Alfred3020 as he has yet to demonstrate any aptitude for anything but suave flattery and occasional snark.

DM

This is a slightly easier fight, thanks to Aethelair who unerringly targets the core of two of the oozes, stopping them them exploding them from the inside out! But Kofi and Triples, who had three oozes between them to fight off, are battered.

As they each jam a couple of hypos in, Dantas gets onto his datapad… and gets a surprise.

If you are reading this then I am probably dead at Baludan’s hands. I have been gathering intel on where he relocated to. At your discretion proceed to download the blueprints of Phadus 5’s base as it originally was.

Garland

Dantas promptly hits <consent> and announces his discovery:

“Looks like we can gain access to Baludan’s lab complex from here – up the waste disposal unit!”

And as the team of six heads on to the next chapter, the session ends.

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