Glad to say we managed to get enough people together this week to get a game going! The heroes decided to venture into the waste yard tunnels of Landfill, making for their first actual scavenging adventure, which proved quite successful in the end!
PS: I won't be updating for a while as I'm leaving on a trip, see you in two weeks!
- Craig the spirit hunter: Good natured Super Mutant shaman, wanderer of the desert and gambler with spirits of the underworld;
- Dexx: Young but experienced thief from the streets of the Boneyard, aspiring scavenger who likes to drive a hard bargain;
- Paul: Rough-and-tumble wastelander, muscle-for-hire by trade and ever eager to get in a good fight;
Earlier that morning the party had paid a visit to the office of Harlan Clint, proprietor of the waste yard and strongman of Landfill, and had learned from him that, in all likelihood, it would be another week before the next caravan headed west would pass by the shantytown. Not very keen on the idea of trekking through the desert on their own, our heroes found themselves stranded in Landfill with little money for atleast a week. Looking for a way to raise some additional funds quickly, Dexx, Paul and Rhiannon [whose player was not present this session] decided to try their luck and head out into the network of tunnels that lie beneath the trash mountains of the sprawling waste yard. Their fellow traveller Florian, moved by the plight of the destitute denizens of Landfill, forwent their invitiation, deciding instead to make the most of his medical education and help the poor in the streets.
As they parted ways, the party suddenly heard quite a hubbub, with several guards and some townsfolk running toward the outskirts of the town, soon followed by the sound of gunshots. Curious themselves what all the commotion was about, they inquired with one of the guards what was happening and were told that a lone mutant had showed up near the town. They then followed the other onlookers and once there saw, perhaps not entirely to their surprise, a familiar figure standing in the distance. Though well out of range of the pot shots the guards were taking with their rifles, Dexx and Rhiannon unmistakably recognized by his tall stature and long flowing cloak of furs, their friend and erstwhile companion, the Super Mutant Craig. Dexx immediately intervened, telling the guards to hold their fire. As vouching for the Mutant's good behavior alone didn't seem to convince the guards, he proceeded to walk up to the Mutant, together with Rhiannon, who was very pleased to see Craig again. A brief reunion took place. Dexx was still a bit vexed by Craig's sudden disappearance days before, which left the group to its own devices, which in turn may have led to the death of the tribesman Pyal. Craig's story about his vision quest in the desert, dealing with the spirits of the underworld in a dangerous gamble to safeguard the souls of his friends, did little to sway Dexx. Though Rhiannon partially shared his disapproval, she was first and foremost relieved to see the Mutant again.
Together the three of them walked back towards the town and Paul who had cautiously waited with the guards as he was not yet acquainted with the Craig,. Due to the lack of spectacle the crowd had meanwhile already dispersed. After a quick breakfast Craig was brought up to speed on the plans the party had made, and as some extra muscle could always come in handy, the Mutant agreed to join them in their exploration of the waste yard tunnels. Before heading out they first made a stop at the supply store near the entrance to the yard, a small run-down shack, unimaginatively named Joe's Supplies. Joe, a grizzled old man and the eponymous owner of the store, gave the group some free advice with their purchases, telling them to heed the lower levels as all manner of nasty creatures made their home there, and to be sure to return to the surface before nightfall. In the shop the party's penury became once again painfully obvious, as Paul hadn't managed to put any money aside from his previous ranching job, and Craig's hermitic lifestyle did little in the way of bringing in caps either. Realizing with just the tiniest amount of alarm that scavenging the tunnels might actually require physical labor, Dexx bought some prospecting supplies, in the hopes that they'd pay off. After finishing up their business with Joe, the group returned to the compound, where the main entrance gate to the trash mountains was located. A small queue of prospectors had formed in the meantime. They were passed by several times by some shabbily dressed men, who were admitted to the yard without paying the entrance fee. When it was their turn Dexx learned from the guard at the entrance, who was busy writing down the names of those entering the yard in a leather bound ledger, that many of the prospectors worked on a contract for Harlan Clint, getting free admission but having to surrender all their findings in return for a small finder's fee.
Once past the gate, the group followed the prospectors ahead of them, along a pathway cleared through the more recent garbage which the inhabitants of Landfill dumped there. Continuing down the path they came to the first of the three mountains of refuse, easily several hundred yards high. Most of the prospectors could be seen going straight ahead in what looked like the main entrance tunnel. The party however followed a few other men, which went round the side of the mountain until they reached an entrance located in the back. Yet a third entrance, in the western flank, could now be seen, which the party after some deliberation eventually went into.
A pungent smell wafted out of the entrance, overpowering Paul to the point of retching, his churning stomach a constant distraction while they descended deeper down into the tunnel. The party held tightly to the principle of always taking the same direction as to not get lost, which, despite the warnings of Joe and several prospectors, meant always taking the most downward route. After rooting in vain through some piles of trash, littered about a recently excavated room, and running into some other prospectors, the group came across a small oblong room, which had become a nesting ground for an intrusion of Radroaches. The creatures initially skittered away, disturbed by the harsh light of Paul's lamp and he kept them at bay, the bugs lingering at the edge of the light. When Paul subsequently disturbed one of the trash piles, the roaches became enraged and in an effort to protect their spawn, braved the light to jump the trespassers. Some of them managed to catch the party off guard, latching on to a leg or grabbing on to their chest, but were quickly thrown off before they could inflict any real damage. Craig combined killing and culinary prowess, impaling a grand total of four roaches on his spear, making for a nutritious wasteland shish kebab. The roaches managed to dodge quite a few of the swings and thrusts directed at them, but one by one Dexx, Paul and Rhiannon managed to plant their knives in the creatures. After the remainder of the bugs had been dispatched, rummaging through the piles of refused netted them a handful of caps, some spare parts and various egg cases, a few of which Craig took along.
The party kept following the tunnel, always choosing an offshoot if it sloped down even more. Coming to a large, oddly shaped room, their way was barred by various rusted, but razorsharp, torn sheets of metal and girders, jutting out of the walls and ceiling and sticking out of the floor, making traversing the enclosed area quite risky. Limber Dexx and even the bulky Craig managed quite well, but Paul and Rhiannon took a few missteps while navigating around the obstacles, fortunately only getting some minor cuts to show for it. Our heroes proceeded further east and down, eventually reaching a corridor which showed signs of recent excavation. At the end of the tunnel they found some tools lying around and what looked like a smooth, metal box lodged in the wall, only partially dug out. Craig used the newly acquired pickaxe to try and break open the box, which, despite his superhuman strength, didn't prove as easy as he had hoped. Just when the group managed to perforate the metal casing, approaching voices could be heard. Two scavengers came down the tunnel and were quite surprised to find the party prospecting their claim, as well as using their tools. A discussion ensued. Ultimately the party resolved matters peacefully, returning the equipment and taking their leave, being pointed towards the lower tunnels by the prospectors. They followed the men's directions until they reached a steeply sloping tunnel, descending into darkness.
They climbed down and found themselves in a series of low, narrow tunnels, partially caved in at places. Unlike the wider tunnels above, which were propped up with girders or wooden beams, these tunnels didn't seem to have any supports at all, the compacted trash the only thing keeping the tunnels from collapsing. Continuing down the tunnel they eventually came to a junction, where a single Radroach scurried about. When Paul, carrying the lamp, stepped closer to the scare the bug away, in a sudden flash it disappeared; caught and dragged down into the ground by some unknown creature. The group tried to lure the creature out of its hole again, using one of the dead roaches Craig packed, but as the unseen menace didn't put in a new appearance, the group moved on, down another tunnel. Even further downward they went, Paul taking point and paying close attention to the ground, to avoid any other holes these creatures might have left behind. Too late he noticed the danger came not from below but from the side, as another of these creatures suddenly burst through the wall of the tunnel and latched itself onto Paul, throwing him back against the other side. Luckily Dexx had stayed alert, and he quickly managed to bury his knive between the Pig Rat's shoulder blades before it could inflict more damage. One dinner richer, the group cautiously proceeded. After following the path even further as it twisted deeper and deeper down the bowels of the mountain, they reached in the end what seemed to be the mouth of a limestone cave, lying forgotten below the mountain of trash. In crevices and niches on either side of the cavernous walls they noticed well preserved barrels bearing nuclear hazmat signs, which registered on Rhiannon's PipBoy as well above safe radiation levels. Despite this the party pressed on, emerging into a much larger cave, where they found many more of these barrels, stacked in great heaps almost reaching the ceiling.
Slowly they explored the cave, sticking to the walls whenever possible, the other side of the cavern beyond the small reach of the light of their lamp. At one point a broken barrel had spilled a faintly luminescent green sludge all over the floor of the cave, which posed an obstacle for all but Craig, who played Super Mutant ferryman and carried the others over the spill. Safely across, the group was about to go deeper into a cavern branching off to the east, when suddenly they heard a shuffling, dragging sound, slowly but steadily approaching. Exercising maximum caution, they backed away till they had their backs to the wall. The sound drew nearer, suddenly picked up pace and in the flickering lamplight they could see for an instant a horrible, mutant creature, dragging itself forward on legs resembling human arms, its body covered with tumorous growths from which two heads protruded, one beastly, snarling, the other almost humanlike, but no sign of intelligence could be seen in its dead eyes. Craig remained unfazed by the creature; Dexx and Rhiannon mustered up the courage to stand their ground, but the sight of the ghastly monster proved too much for Paul, who ran as fast as his legs could carry him. The creature lunged forward, savagely attacking Dexx and Rhiannon, but the threesome managed to fight off the Centaur even without their companion. There was no time to feel complacent however, as the cries of more of the creatures could be heard. They braced themselves as two more of the creatures appeared, one attacking Paul, who -having regained his composure- jumped in front of Dexx and Rhiannon, the other going for Craig. Out of the Centaur's mouth slimy tendrils extruded, and with a gurgling sound it started spitting acid globules at Craig. A frenzied fight ensued. Dexx managed to distract one of the creatures, which bought Craig some time to sneak up on it, driving his spear deep down in the creature's twisted torso, killing it with one fierce strike. After further attacks back and forth our heroes emerged victoriously, a third Centaur who tried to sneak up on them suffering the same fate as its predecessors. Having made sure no more of the mutants were around, they proceeded to explore the rest of the cave, coming across more of the hazardous toxic spills and more winding tunnels. After an unexpected, but futile, attack by a particularly stealthy mutant the group found the remains of a small camp site in one of the cavelets branching off from the larger cavern. Around an improvised fire pit the bodies of two long dead Super Mutants were slumped, which the party eagerly looted for a fine selection of military-grade hardware and a holotape, which detailed the journey of the Mutants.
Running low on lamp oil and nightfall drawing closer, they decided to head for the surface again, concealing the valuables they found, lest they draw any unwanted attention.