Mission 09 – Tunnel Vision

Written by: Cho          Played on: 09 Oct 2009
PREVIOUS: Mission 08 – Chasing the Dragon
NEXT: Mission 10 – Twist and Insult – Part 1

The original log was very short and summerized. I’ve expanded numerous areas of the log for more detail and interest.

We got a call today for a different sort of job. We were sent to search for a missing exploration team in some tunnels found undernetah a construction site. The team missed their checkin and then the next. This was an armed exploration team that got lost down there, so they weren’t about to send in more valuable assets. I guess that’s where we came in.

The team had marked their path through the sewers with markers on the wall. Each marker displayed the time they were placed, which gave us a rough way of following their path through the twisting tunnels.

Along the way we ran into a giant aligator. It took me by surprise but, luckily, the team reacted quickly and I made it out without taking a bite. We explored deeper into the underground and eventually came upon a large hole in the ground. It seemed to be a drainage ditch of some kind, a torrent of water flowed from pipes above it into the area below. The last tag on this level was at the top of the hole.

We didn’t have much choice than to follow them down. Below was another level of sewers, this one older and more dank than the last. We found another trail of tags and persued them deeper into the tunnels.

Up ahead we heard some movement and, in retrospect a dumb move, rushed forward in hopes of finding the team. We found one team members, slowly dying from a poison delivered by the Naga that jumped us as we ran into the area. It must have been a baby Naga, I’ve heard those things were a lot more vicious than this one was.

Still, Marius took some pretty nasty bites which Levi was able to treat. I think the poison must have made him a little delerious, because he insisted on lugging the snakes head around with us for awhile.

We came upon a chasm a short ways later. We weren’t sure if the tags led to the other side of the hole in the floor or went down. We checked out the downward direction first. We didn’t find any tags, but we did find what must have been a tunnel in an ancient subway system. An old subway car was parked there and, as we approached, our old Johnson, Raven, walked out with another woman. It seemed to be a social call we were intruding upon.

Raven greeted us before donning his tribal mask and departing. The woman, a Coyote named Eliza we learn, brings us in for some tea, an odd courtesy considering we trapsed into her home uninvited. We ask for some information and she says she might be able to help if we would remove a troublesome Spirit of Earth that has settled in a nearby tunnel.

We agree, and the team dispatches the spirit quickly. Eliza then explains that she heard the team pass by the chasm we had decended some time ago. She followed them for awhile before losing interest. They were, however, heading towards the home of a friend of hers, or at least an aquantaince.

Enrico Trebol is a mage that lived in the sewers ahead. He had set up a magical research lab here in the sewers beneath an old Aztechnology buildng to do work for them in peace. When Ghostwalker drove Aztechnology out of Denver years ago, they forgot about him and left him behind. He often used to visit with Eliza and discuss buissiness and news. She admits, though, he had grown more reclusive and excentric and it has been some time since she last saw him.

There was the attempt here to inject some of the world’s story into the narrative, so the players could learn some of the backstory. Most of it was glossed over in the orginal write up as the players tended to be more focused on the mechanical aspects of the game during these runs than the world story.

We thanked her for the help and headed out, climbing  across the broken floor and continuing ahead until we came across another path of wall tags. Eventually they ceased, but led us to a wider portion of the tunnel. The far end had a wall constructed with a large metal door.

We approached cautiously, but weren’t expecting the floor to drop out. Clint and Marius slid and fell down into a spiked pit as they stepped onto the false floor. The rest of us could easily see the safe path around the edges of the room now that they had triggered the archaic trap (who builds those things anyway?) We hauled them out and Levi did his best to patch up their new holes.

The door was unlocked, but the next room appeared to be of the airlock variety, the door on the far side of the chamber wouldn’t open while the first was too. We weren’t too keen on locking one door as there were a number of charred bones littering the floor and pipes protruding from the walls.

We weren’t too happy to tempt fate, but ultimately there was little choice if we wanted to get through. We closed the door and tried to open the next. Once the first had closed, both locked. A magical counter appeared above the door and began ticking down.

I’ll admit, for a moment, I panicked. Eventually we started plugging pipes, trying to create a safe area for us to hide. In retrospect, a magical counter implied something other than a physical trap like flame throwers. We piled into a corner we considered safe, hoping our blockages would stop anything from coming through those pipes.

Nothing did. Instead, a mana ball exploded in the middle of the room, a magical trap. Clint managed to protect us a little bit, but we were all pretty stunned as we stumbled out of that room and into the next.

The traps were something I struggled with. They were included in the original write up for the adventure, but no discussion was given to how the players might deal with them and I didn’t have any specific ideas. I considered removing the magical trap but eventually left it in there for the players to deal with.

The mages, at the time, did not have Astral Perception, so there was no good way for them to detect and dispell the trap ahead of time, even if they had thought to check. Ultimately, the small amount of magical defenses that Clint did put up wouldn’t have affected the damage of the spell according to the rules. I chose to let it diminish the impact of the spell anyway since they really had no idea how to deal with something of that nature at the time.

Talk about jumping out of the frying pan…

Our panicked movement into the next room woke up a sleepy Hell Hound . There was a moment where we all just stared at eachother. The roar of the Hell Hound sprung us into action. The charred bones in the other room suddenly made sense as the large dog blasted us with fire and battered us further. Its a good thing that the one thing we do really well is killing. After a brief scrap, we stood victorious.

Cautiously we moved through the next few rooms. This section of tunnel had been walled off into three seperate rooms that made up a living space. One room had been setup as a bed room and kitchen, another as a study. The last room, some sort of ritual chamber, became the most interesting.

As we walked in, a mage we assumed to be Trebol, was finishing a ritual. He locked eyes with us as he drove a wicked looking dagger into the chest of one of the explorers. The asian man’s eyes bulged as blood began pouring from the new hole.

We really had no choice as we engaged him in battle. I’m not sure what kind of ritual he was doing, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to help him with the next. He cast magic like a madman, fire and spectral energy swirled around him with every spell. Clint worked to counter each of his spells aimed at us while the rest of us worked through his defenses and eventually defeated him.

With Trebol dead we took a closer look at the room. Scattered around were the bodies of the other explorers. Levi and Clint identified some of the runes on the wall and some of the texts in the room as some form of Blood Magic, though neither of them could decipher it to decide exactly what was going on. It was clear though, whether he had been doing it for Aztechnology or not, Trebol had been dipping into some dark arts here.

There were a number of handwritten books here, of the real paper and leatherbound variety, that appear to have been Trebol’s research notes. They were all written in another language, maybe even in code. I couldn’t tell by looking at them. Likely, they were worth a lot of money to the right buyer… though, looking around, I’m not sure whose hands we’d be delivering them to and what that would mean.

We took the books. Packed them up in our bags. I’m not sure why.

The team argued about what to do with the books. The options I expected them to take was to either destroy his research or to sell them off for a bonus to the game. I did not expect them to show an interest in keeping the books.

They still haven’t decided what to do with them, but no interest has been shown in persuing a Blood Mage (which is probably a good thing for them!) I’ll have to remember the books and bring them into a campaign further down the line to reward their investment.

Up top, we reported the deaths of the explorers and mentioned some of the creatures we ran into. I’m not even sure if they’re going to send a team down to recover the bodies, it should be pretty safe now, but I think the foreman is considering just closing off the tunnels with some concrete slabs. I shudder at the thought of being closed off in those tunnels forever.

As we head back home, I eye one of the books we took. I’m still not sure what we’re going to do with them, or why we’re holding onto them. There’s something aluring about them for sure. I just wish I understood what.

Maybe we’ll sell them. My portion would get me a good supply of Jazz. Maybe Wheeler and I could get out and enjoy a couple hits…

PREVIOUS: Mission 08 – Chasing the Dragon
NEXT: Mission 10 – Twist and Insult – Part 1

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