For a Handful of Water

The Showdown
The group faces off with The Chairman and his elite guard.

The group beings the night fighting the guards in front of The Chairman’s office right away. Unknown to them, this meant that Rebeth was still downstairs at the caravan to the other Ark, and was getting ready to aprehend the group.

The enter the chairman’s chamber and Obi Wan once put it – “The negotiations were short.”

The rest of the night turned into a slugfest, with players going down, getting revived, and The Chairman’s forces doing the same. Rebeth shows up a few minutes into the fight and begins to turn things around until some daring plays by Lelu and Victor. In the end, most of the party is down when they finally defeat Rebeth and capture The Chairman.

Fortunately, the wounds to Victor let him finish out the battle, but right at the end, the unknown parasites that have been growing inside him erupt – spattering the group with gore. They are too startled to catch the first slithering horror, but try to catch the next few and unfortunately fail. What new horror has been unleashed on The Other Ark and how will they handle it?

At this point, the campaign is taking an indefinite pause to try some other RPGs. If/when it picks up, the players will need to decide what they’re going to do with The Chairman and Rebeth, and what they’ll do with The Other Ark.

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The Tower of Terror
A friendly face will help the party make their way to the top.

The group finds itself in the basement continuing to plot how they’re going to topple The Chairman, when a face from the other room suddenly recognizes them – it’s Toby!

Toby was one of the 10 “volunteers” from The People that were taken by The Other Ark. Toby is a Slave turned over by Johammad. The group finds out that he has been used as slave labor (as have the other 4 men from The People) to turn the power generating wheel. He is unsure where the 5 women were taken.

The group frees him, and Toby uses his closeness with Naphta to secure them a few vital supplies. Crackers, meanwhile, spends his time investigating fixtures in the basement. He finds that the metal tubes that show up in every room are all connected. After a short sojourn into them, he learns that they lead throughout the building. A plan!

The group enters the air ducts and climbs up to the third floor – above the last floor guards are posted. They successfully avoid the traps in the stairwell and make it to the 23rd floor – just below where people are living. Juey and Toby use stealth to take down the 2 guards at the stairwell guarding the 24th floor, and the group sneaks up to the inner stairs to the 25th floor (the penthouse).

Toby has the rest of the group hide while he heads up to where the elevator and the entrance to The Chairman’s penthouse is. Unfortunately, he fails to notice the two guards waiting just behind and out of sight of the elevator. Ambush!

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(No Game This Week)
#DunDraCon

No game Thursday night, as the majority of the players headed to DunDraCon – one of the biggest gaming conventions on the west coast. Fun and games were had.

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Into the Viper's Nest
The group makes it to The Other Ark and plots

After making it out of the train station, the group is badly wounded and head back to the expedition from The Other Ark with Krin. The party argues for a while, and the other expedition decides to head back.

The group decides to follow, but after a short time, they have to face up to the Rot level in the zone (Rot Level 2). After making a couple rolls, 2 of the party members succumb to their wounds. The surviving members debate what to do, when the other expedition turns back to find out why they’re lagging. Fearful that the women might just kill them all and steal their supplies, they instead are able to get them healed and continue on.

When they arrive at The Other Ark, they are greeted similarly to their original expedition – men are treated with indifference, and Lelu is treated well. They get a badly needed decontamination, and then meetup to discuss how to proceed. After they spend the night, they meet up with Krin, who once again shows them to Naphta. They get a proposition for supplies to overthrow The Chairman but they decline, deciding the price is too high.

In the end, they spend a great amount of time debating how to proceed, until it’s almost time for the war buses to head back to The People and gather more “voluntary laborers”. The group is almost out of time, and will need to decide how to stop The Chairman quickly – without getting themselves in too much hot water.

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An Old Friend Appears
The group meets Krin in the zone and forumlates a plan

Faced with fighting zone ghouls while injured (and at night) or escaping and giving up their newly gained truck, the group decides to opt for the better part of valor. Camping in the zone that night, they decide between a defensible location exposed to the weather or better cover, they decide to try and keep warm. It pays off as their meager supply of cold-weather gear barely keeps them safe through the night. Talking with Steve (the automaton), they realize that returning to the hospital as “patients” will likely end in their deaths.

The next morning they come out to find their truck has been taken. Juey has Pup catch the scent of the zone ghouls and they track them back to a industrial area where the trail ends at an auto shop center. The group decides to rifle through one of the open shops and then try to open the door where they believe their truck is. After a couple failed attempts to open the door (making plenty of noise), the door suddenly rolls up – just as the zone ghouls who have climbed onto the roof start shooting down on the party. The zone ghouls inside step up to bat.

After a short fight (with the zone ghouls focusing on stealing the party’s weapons), the group grabs their wounded and flee. They make it safety, heavily wounded and begin their schemes to re-capture their vehicle. Realizing it may be beyond their reach for the moment, they decide to move to another new sector.

The new sector turns out to have high rot levels, but the prospect of an artifact draw them in. An hour into the zone, they find an expedition from The Other Ark, and this one has Krin the Stalker leading it. She speaks with Lelu and they agree that the will work together to overthrow The Chairman (though they don’t know how). As they go to head back to The Other Ark, the group comes across a nearly intact train station.

They enter the station and find a mint condition, in the bag (with cardboard backing) #1 Iron Man comic book. The group (other than Victor) is excited as it’s a book they can finally read (it’s all pictures!). Unforunately, they stir up a nest of Zone Rats which quickly put the hurt on them. Juey uses this mutant power to create the image of an ENORMOUS cat trying to pounce on the rats, and they flee, allowing the group to escape.

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Did someone just leave the keys in the ignition?!
Dr. Jones. Again we see there is nothing you can possess which I cannot take away.

The group moves on from the shooting range and is faced with the decision of passing through a new/unexplored sector or heading back through a sector they know has a high level of rot. They decide to go with the danger they don’t know instead of the danger they know.

Despite the sun getting low in the winter sky and the temperature starting to drop, the group decides to press on. As they’re about to head out of the ruins, they hear another party sneaking along a main boulevard. They recognize them as a zone expedition from The Other Ark. Since the group is well armed and armored, they decide to wait until they pass.

As they’re waiting, a noise at the back of the building they’re in raises “pup’s” hackles. They find unit 573v3 (Steve) at the back of the building. He says he’s looking for Lelu and returns the rope & arrow she left at the hospital. He also asks if she still needs medical aid, and seems genuinely concerned for her well being. The group debates whether to go back to the hospital (hoping that Steve will get them past security), but in the end decides that the troubles with the Ark are more pressing.

They press on, and Lelu finds a parking garage that’s only partially collapsed. The group feels there might be artifacts inside, so they venture in. The large sticky webs everywhere set off everyone’s danger since, and it’s not long before they are ambushed by giant spiders. The beasts prove very dangerous, and the group takes casualties before they finally prevail. There are more spiders staying at the edge of their light, but the beasts don’t close in.

Just as they’re ready to give up, they come to a section of the garage with a large untility bucket truck surrounded by orange cones. Crackers is excited at the opporunity to claim his first automobile, and with a few quick repairs he gets it started! There’s a flipped VW beetle in the way, but the group works together to get it filpped out of the way (fuelled by Cracker’s rage at the thought of losing his new toy).

The group realizes night has fallen, but they don’t want to stay in the garage (full of spiders), but aren’t ready to press on to The Other Ark, so they decide to drive 2 sectors back to the hospital, which Steve says he can get them in through the razor wire.

Unfortunately, they only make it a half mile or so, when they round a corner to find a group of 15 startled zone ghouls standing in the road. The group panics and decide to plow their way through the group, successfully, but with their new truck taking enough damage to disable it (gear bonus down to 0). As it rolls 100 yards down the road to a stop, and faced with a big battle or abandoning their rig, they choose to flee – vowing to return for their precious transport.

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The Escape
Week 10

The group’s fight with the automatons goes well with minimal losses. They speak with 573v3 for a moment before realizing that there is a large security force coming from the 5th floor. They decide to get while they can, and with a series of good rolls, they make it out of the compound and into cover as automatons swarm the facility (they see about 20-30).

As the party recovers, they quickly find there are Zone Ghouls prowling everywhere, looking for the strangers who were able to get into the facility and the source of all the alarm klaxons. The group successfully sneaks away and realizes they need to get back to The Ark to recover.

The party walks in the main entrance after nightfall, and wake Max’s connection, Jonar the Fixer, to find out who might be able to figure out their new Artifact weapons. Unfortunately, Kruger the Gearhead, is asleep and the party decides to meet him tomorrow.

The party decides to all stay together in Lelu’s den, to guard their new treasures, but Jeff has gotten word the party has returned. He sends his goons to let the party know he’s displeased and wants to talk to them. There is a small fire, which the party is able to put out, but they feel it’s dangerous to stay and decide to spend the night sleeping in the zone. The deep winter continues to get unnaturally cold, and Lelu suffers some minor frostbite.

They decide they must continue their mission to The Other Ark. They make it through the hospital zone and into the next, where they discover more Industrial Ruins and a mostly intact shooting range with a strange phenomenon – a sandstorm tornado which is focused and persistent. They decide to risk it and investigate, and they’re able to find a couple artifacts. Unfortunately, the storm catches Juey and Victor before they can escape, and they both go down with non-life threatening critical injuries.

The party will continue their trek to The Other Ark.

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Patient Zero and Poking the Hornet Nest
Week 9

The next morning, the zone expedition checked on their exit route – the rope over the razor-wire, only to find it missing. The group formulated a plan to get into “Steve’s” room and find their rope and arrow – and anything else of value they could. Unfortunately, the plan went awry when their pre-arranged signal didn’t happen.

The group was split with Juey guarding the entrance to the hospital from strangers spotted in the zone. Lelu and Laslow were lead into the hospital by Steve and directed to the front desk for medical attention. Crackers and Victor got into the storage room and found a couple artifacts, but didn’t learn much more.

Meanwhile inside, Lelu was checked in by unit 4ur0r4 and she and Laslow were taken to a room on the 4th floor. The “nurse” seemed quite concerned and told them to wait for a doctor to arrive. After the nurse left, they decided it was best to not wait.

Everyone met up outside and reported what they found, Juey had heard some gunshots and a large number of vehicles driving by somewhere close, so when red lights started flashing in the hallways, they decided to check the perimeter of the hospital area. The razor-wire barrier was intact, but when they returned to the one open door to the hospital, it was shut.

The group decided to try and get back in through Steve’s door, and when he let them in, he let them know there was a lockdown of the hospital because there was a patient missing (who could that be?) The group quickly found themselves facing a couple of the heavily armed and armored bots from the 5th floor, and in a split second decision between going along with the guards and resisting them, the group opted for violence.

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Kidnappings and Health Care
Week 8

The heroes started the night with an assembly where they cast their die – they decided to continue building the cropland around the Ark in an effort to slow the starvation of The People. Juey knew this would probably anger Boss Jeff more than last week, but there was no love lost there. After the work had begun, Jeff and his gang approached Juey and let him know that his woman, Tatyanna had been taken by the other Ark when they left – in retaliation for not starting the Slave Market as they had agreed.

The treachery had only begun, as the next day the other Ark showed up with 3 war busses loaded with well armed fighters, and requested that The People provide 10 workers to aid in building defenses of the other Ark. After they left with 5 men and 5 women, the group decided something had to be done.

They left and made it through a couple zone sectors before they stumbled upon a building which was heavily fortified and nearly unscathed by time. They found a way in past the barrier and explored the building, finding a number of automatons still in operation. They avoided most of them, with the exception of unit 573v3, who seemed indifferent to their tresspass. They decided to explore most of the hospital, which took the entire day, so they camped out in some patient rooms, and left the fate of the captives at The Other Ark, for another day.

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The Other Ark
Week 7

The group had learned quite a bit about The Other Ark and some of the dangers it held. The Chairman and Rebeth, his right hand mutant, told them they would be heading to the party’s Ark to establish relations, but before they could leave, they PCs were approached by Krin – a Stalker from The Other Ark.

Krin filled them in on what was happening with the men, how the Other Ark’s power operated and more about their struggles with the Zone Ghouls. In the end, she asked them if they would aid her in overthrowing The Chairman. To begin, they needed to talk to the lead Gearhead – Naphta and see if they could get her on board for the revolution.

The group talked with Naphta, but in the end, didn’t feel like they could do it. They ended up getting on a War Bus with Rebeth. The bus from the old age, covered in armor and spikes, with a cannon mounted on top carried them back to The People’s Ark. The trip back was uneventful, and when they arrived, all The People came out to greet the newly discovered tribe.

As promised, Rebeth brought the medicine to cure The People’s Zone Fever, and a supply of dried meat as a gift to establish relations. The group held an Assembly and during it, Jeff lobbied hard to get a leg up of trading with the new neighbors. The player characters tried to counter Jeff’s lobbying, but failed, and Rebeth spent the night in Jeff’s compound.

The next day, an Assembly was held, and during it, Jeff pressured Juey to have his group start work on a Slave Market, promising to then sell Tatianna to Juey. The group decided against this, and in the end even Juey worked on Croplands instead. After watching and learning from the people for several days, the people from The Other Ark decided to return home, only to find that someone had stolen their fuel supply (Jerrycan with 10 doses of gasoline (Artifact))l Rebeth was furious, and the party came up with a plan to make her believe that “automatons” had stolen it, and the plan worked. The visitors ended up siphoning the fuel from the flamethrower to get home.

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