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Champions of the Empire
Star Frontiersman Magazine
Crash on Volturnus - Turn 2.1 - The Tunnels of Despair; Crash on Volturnus - Turn 2.0.1 - Chronocoms - S'lch
- Passage 1 leads to the south. It is completely blocked. It is the passage through which you arrived here.
- Passage 2 leass to the east and is completely blocked.
- Passage 3 leads to the NNE and is the direction the Ul-Mor took
- Passage 4 leads to the NW.
- Passage 5 leads to the west.
- Passage 6 leads to the SSW.
GM: Whatever happened is over and there are no aftershocks so things seem fairly stable. Right now it is just a matter of picking a direction and moving on. If the group is unsure, I will send the next turn with the assumption that you head to the NW, which is the closest to your desired direction of NNE.
Once the dust has settled, the group takes stock of their situation. Some of their equipment and stores were destroyed by the collapse but enough survived that they are not in dire straights.
GM: Assume that the equipment you have on your character sheets survived, but the extra equipment you brought with you was destroyed. You are able to salvage three days worth of food for the nine of you.
You light one of the long-burning torches given to you by the Ul-Mor and investigate each of the exits. Three of the six are blocked, including the passage through which you arrived and the passage through which you were to depart in the morning, following the Ul-Mor. The collapse in that tunnel, leading roughly to the northeast, appears total.
With the northeast passage blocked, you decide to take the northwest passage. Alzarix reveals that his goggles include infrared capabilities so he takes the lead. You walk along twisting passage for about half a kilometer before it opens into a larger chamber. The floor is uneven and heavily sloped in places. Stalagmites and columns block a clear view so you take the time to explore and eventually discover three exits, one leading to the north, one to the west and the third to the southwest.
Deciding to bear as closely to the northwest as you can, the group chooses the north passage. They walk for a couple of kilometers before reaching a branch passage. Over this time, the tunnel curved from north to northwest and then to the west. The side passage heads to the south so the group continues.
They travel another kilometer and the passage curves slowly to the southwest. The mushrooms you have seen occasionally over the past two days in the tunnels appear more often now. The air becomes a bit thicker with dust and looks to get even thicker up ahead.
"Let's stop for a couple of minutes so I can take a quick air sample," Ciara says as she pulls her air sampling equipment from her envirokit.
GM: Ciara can make an Analyzing Samples roll.
CARTER: will also use his starting edge to determine if the area is safe (at least as far as it will let him)
CIARA: Ciara would like to group to mark our passage as we go along at any fork that we take. This could be as simple as stacking rocks in a way to indicate which direction we came from and then headed toward. We may also want to do some not so easily noticed or disturbed as well such as marking the walls in a subtle way.
CIARA: Analyzing Samples: 60% [rolled (3) Grievous Success!!!]
Ciara pulls out her atmospheric analyzer and checks the air. At the same time, Carter pulls out an alien looking tablet device and studies it. He touches a couple of the controls and then walks over and compares what he sees to what Ciara learns.
"There is definitely a substance in the air that I would describe as a foreign substance," she says as she runs the analysis. "It remains to be seen if it is harmful."
A short time later, she has her answer. "It is not deadly but it is toxic. I would liken it to a psychotropic effect emanating from the dust. I don't believe it is harmful in the long term or even in the short term if we can move out of it quickly and the concentration does not increase."
Looking forward down the passage to the extent of your flashlight beams, it is clear that the dust becomes thicker.
GM: Carter can also see on his alien device that it is showing a low level danger. Some of the symbols that appear are all new to him but with Ciara's analysis, he believes they relate to the mental effect of the dust. Based on what he sees, he would concur that moving deeper into the dust is a bad idea.
With regret, the group turns and heads back the way they came. They have been traveling through the caverns for five hours already and it is disheartening to have to turn back. Nevertheless, they waste no time on recriminations.
An hour later they reach the last fork that they had passed up and follow it to the south. However, it dead-ends after half a kilometer and they must again retrace their steps to the previous passage and then continue to retrace their steps to the next fork, which takes another two hours. This puts them almost back to where they started the day.
They now have a choice of west or southwest and choose west. About half an hour later, they reach a large cavern. It takes a short time to explore and determine that there is only one other exit. They follow it The the passageway gradually widens into a cavern. Your lights are not powerful enough to see the far side. A few high pitched squeaks echo toward you from deeper in the cavern. You also hear a faint fluttering. A moment later, you see a bat-like creature flying high above you and at the edge of your lights.
ENSIGN FURY: "Looks and sounds like bats. Any idea how we can safely get through here without being swarmed?"