FATE Apocalypse

In Which We Open a Canister
3-22-2015

The Raider King allows the party to recover from our first day in Purgatory in his spacious guest quarters. Coral swiped whatever food and drink she could from the remainders of the feast, for midnight snacks or possibly breakfast. The Bloody Hands guard remains outside the room to insure we are not disturbed during the night.

Dr. Powell is taken to the most comfortable area and settled in. Axel begins the interrogation of Dr. Powell. We learn:

Vortigus = Adam Powell = Dr. Powell’s brother = the children of the Elder

Adam was the first person to research the weaponized mutagen. He was fascinated with what he called the perfection of the mutants. He created a new strain of the mutagen and tested it on himself. He is the first of the smart mutants, he created the smart mutants. The creature that is Vortigus, Adam did it on purpose. He wants to make more smart mutants because they are perfectly adapted to live on this world.

She also had some more information on the mutagen. Raleigh was the foremost mutant researcher, after Adam turned, and he was entrusted to research the mutagen. The mutagen creates mutants from normal bioforms, mutants from humans. It was weaponized in the past and released. It caused the mutants of the waste. Day Zero happened to stop the mutations. Raleigh was researching the mutagen, but he was enamored of smart mutants as well. Clarke was supposed to keep it safe. It should be destroyed.

The Whisperer makes a comment that is completely unexpected, “would it be so bad? After all, they can survive. We can’t.” Dr. Powell is appalled and horrified. The rest of the party, is more thoughtful or at least fails to show their emotions as plainly as Dr. Powell.

For a short time we discuss what to do about the Cold One, wake her up, stall, or arrange a convenient accident during the awakening. Dr. Powell is adamant that she should just be killed. The Whisperer, Axel and William Tell are on the “wake her up” side although Axel could stall. Hedda and Coyote abstain being slightly too tipsy to be coherent. Coral would prefer to stall but argues for sleep and decide in the morning.

Everyone sleeps until quite late in the morning. Coyote and the Whisperer go out to track down Jonah. They hear some Raiders yelling “Look at this kid go.” Coyote and the Whisperer exchange looks, probably Jonah, and head over to the area. They find a ring of Raiders with all sorts of liquid holding containers surrounding a teenage boy swaying in the center. Oh good, it’s Jonah. The Raiders are filling a bottle or dipper with radioactive water and giving it to Jonah who drinks it down. 18 drinks, any normal person would be dead. Jonah is stuporous, drunk but still alive. “Jonah, Jonah,” the crowd chants. Coyote and the Whisperer push their way to the inner ring, but Jonah does not have his wits about him enough to recognize Coyote. Coyote and the Whisperer discuss what to do bet on Jonah, convince him to come away with them, drag him out, start a fight? The crowd seems to be no longer betting, rather they are trying to see how much he can drink before he falls over, preferably dead. They move in closer to Jonah and try to quietly convince him to leave. They invoke Dr. Powell but Jonah refuses. Whisperer suggests waiting until he passes out then dragging him off, Old Man Coyote agrees. Then Udah shows up and interrupts the spectacle. Coyote attempts to distract the crowd, the Whisperer cold cocks Jonah and slings him over his shoulder. The three of them leave the area to return to the rest of the party. Udah looks very thoughtful, why was Jonah able to drink radioactive water and foul grog without harm?

When the Whisperer and Coyote arrive with Jonah, Dr. Powell is very happy and relived to see him. “What happened to him? What did he do?” Whisperer and Coyote avoid the question and put Jonah to sleep on one of the mats.

Dr. Powell is somewhat well-rested but is still confused and concerned. The discussion about what to do with the Cold One starts up: kill her or revive her. Dr. Powell makes the cryptic statement, “What if you knew your entire world was a lie?” Before we could follow up on that statement, the Raider King arrives to take us to the Cold One. We leave Jonah to sleep off the drink.

The Raider King hands William Tell the Astronomy book he is reading. It is a thick book with odd places like Europe and Oxford in it. Axel, Tell and the Raider King chat about stars, Earth etc. Coral links arms with the Raider King and asks him point blank, “What do you hope to learn from the Cold One?”

“Why the stars are wrong and how we can fix them?” He tells her and all of them. Coral is confused, “What do you mean wrong?”
“The stars in the sky don’t match the stars in the book.” The Raider King replies.

Once in the chamber with the Cold One, Axel’s eyes begin to glow. If anything, he is more infatuated with the Cold One than the Raider King. Of course, Axel likes the tech, the Raider King likes the girl. Axel begins to prowl around the room. The Cold One has long black hair and is wearing some sort of close fitting garment with sensors embedded in it.

The readouts are in characters that Axel recognizes as Chinese. He figures out how to switch the readouts to English. Dr. Powell moves over to the medical information area and checks the vital signs. Hedda joins Dr. Powell to help and to keep an eye on her. The Whisperer and William Tell go over as well mainly to keep Dr. Powell from doing anything deliberate to harm the Cold One. No one is really sure what she will do. Axel gets the control panel up and running and learns the system. Coyote is casing the room hoping to be able to do something in an emergency. Coral waits by the Raider King until the action starts.

“There are several layers of security protocols. I think I can hack them. But if not, we risk failure and killing her.” Axel explains to the Raider King.

“Time is running out. The planet is dying. We need answers. Proceed.” The Raider King instructs Axel.

“Just to be clear, what happens if Axel fails through no fault of his own?” Coral asks.

“That would be unfortunate.” The Raider King replies impassively.

The party attempts to explain to the Raider King that maybe having someone else with more technical ability, maybe with more experience working with Advanced Tech like this would be a good idea. The Raider King will have none of it. Axel will do it and succeed or everyone pays the price. Giving into the inevitable, Axel alerts Dr. Powell to be ready, “here we go.” Coral moves over to the cylinder to watch the Cold One.

Axel works his magic with the cylinder’s controls. Dr. Powell monitors the vital signs readouts. The temperature in the chamber warms, the fluid becomes less viscous and the body begins to move a bit. There are some tense moments when the temperature goes too high or the security system is triggered. Finally, the fluid begins to drain and the chamber fills with gas, the Cold One coughs. Last step, a cardiac zap to restart her heart. The chamber splits open and the Cold One falls out onto the floor. Coral immediately covers her in towels and blankets and begins to quietly tell her it is okay over and over again. The Cold One is coughing, spitting, her eyes are closed against the bright light and she is shaking violently. Her breathing is weak. All symptoms of deep shock. Without opening her eyes, she mumbles something in a strange language. The Cold One is carried off to the Medical Tent so Dr. Powell can see to her recovery. Coral goes with her convinced that she will need a friend.

Everyone else is astonished. She does not speak our language!

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Death Race 2: Electric Boogaloo
3-8-2015

The Death Race is in it’s second lap of the course, The Whisperer is currently in second just behind Speed Demon, the other dirt biker. He takes the lead by vaulting over an obstacle at top speed. Speed Demon retaliates by starting to shoot at the Whisperer’s bike. The APC has reversed and is preparing to shoot at people nearing the finish line. If you can’t beat ’em, kill ’em appears to be this strategy. “Son of a b*$#@”, the Whisperer notices that the Dune Buggy has been leaving explosives, mines etc. behind him during the first lap. Using driving skills gained at the Legion, the Whisperer maintains his lead and avoids the traps at top speed.

Axel realizes exactly what the APC is up to and starts to take pot shots at it from his hiding spot. Unfortunately, several of the Raiders take offense at this, shout and set off to stop whoever is helping the Whisperer. Axel scrambles to find a new place to hide.

The Whisperer is within reach of the finish line, the only thing in his way is the heavily armored, heavily armed APC. He aims his bike directly at the APC’s slanted armor and using it as a ramp, vaults right over the vehicle. He raises an arm in victory, “I pity da fool who gets in my way!” He lands more or less safely, guns it and crosses the finish line alive and first. The crowd erupts in fury, shouts of “NOOO!” and “Kill him boys!” are heard. The Whisperer, not being an idiot, realizes that no one except himself and Axel are happy he won so he quickly decides to make a run for it as the riot breaks out.

Axel sees the Whisperer win, hears the shouts and watches the riot erupt. He too needs to get out alive, without the advantage of a dirt bike to ride. He tries to sneak out of his hiding spot but the crowd falls on him, literally, a body knocks him to the ground and Axel is trapped underneath. He wriggles out and moves at the edge of the crowd. Luckily, Axel is neither a bettor nor a bookie and is obviously not the Whisperer so he can avoid most of the troubles in the riot. As he leaves the Death Race mob behind he hears a smaller fight in one of the alleys and goes to investigate.

While the Death Race is occurring, Old Man Coyote is fighting his own Purgatory trial. Longtooth had found him! During the early part of the race, Coyote tries to watch hoping to be able to help somehow, but the sense of being watched, of dread, drives him to leave the area to find safety or something. As Coyote is leaving the stands, a hand wraps around the nape of his neck and flings him into a side alley. A spectre, a man in a red cape with bones or teeth and two long tusks sewn around the hood as decoration and warning, holding a bowie knife growls “Coyote.” Coyote shoots but with no time to aim scores only a glancing blow. Longtooth is tall and bulky but Coyote is a survivor. The two fight in the alley. Coyote tries to get away but is followed by Longtooth. Coyote gets in a good hit to Longtooth’s back from his hiding spot and decides to finish the fight here and now. This battle is what Axel hears once he escapes from the mob. Axel joins the fight. Taking down Longtooth requires both of them. Eventually, Coyote causes Longtooth so many injuries that a point blank shot from Axel and a simultaneous blow from behind by Coyote finishes him off. Coyote takes the tusks from Longtooth’s hood as proof. They also find a note on the body, Coyote takes it and puts it in his pouch without reading it.

In the Coliseum, Hedda is losing her fight with Krugar, but she has lasted longer than anyone expected. In fact, she has lasted longer and inflicted more hits than anyone ever has in hand to hand battle with Krugar. The crowd is loving this excellent fight between two gladiators. Hedda has a dislocated shoulder and a bloody nose, but she channels her inner honey badger and continues to grapple. Krugar is also broken and bloody but manages to evade Hedda and gets in one final flip, hands around Hedda’s throat cutting off both air and blood. The fight is over, all except the final killing stroke. Suddenly, Coral runs out onto the sands and attempts to push Krugar off of Hedda. Krugar calmly flips Coral over her onto the sands.

“Enough,” the Raider King bellows and Krugar releases her hold on Hedda’s throat. The Raider King had been standing at the edge of the arena sands awaiting the right moment, with Coral standing anxiously beside him.

During Hedda’s pit fight, Coral had been talking with the Raider King. When it became apparent that Hedda was going to lose, Coral tried to talk the Raider King into stopping the fight. She tried using knowledge of the prize around his neck as a bargaining chip. The Raider King agreed to that as long as Hedda survived. She tried the concept of ‘breeding stock’, ‘both women are excellent fighters, they might be better raising children to fight for Your Majesty’. Praying that Hedda never caught wind of that stratagem. The Raider King replied that that was interesting idea, he himself was the child of the leader of the Bloody Hands and the leader of the Crying Wolves. Nothing Coral said would convince the Raider King to stop the fight before the death of Hedda. Finally, the two of them descended from his throne area to the edge of the sands. The Raider King seemed poised to stop the fight but also pleased and excited by the combat. Coral waited until Hedda was down with Krugar throttling her to death. Then she shouted and ran out to save her friend.

Krugar helps Hedda up from the sands to the roar of the crowd, displeased that both combatants are alive but pleased that the fight was a good one. Krugar compliments Hedda on her skill when it was obvious that grappling is not her forte. The Raider King declares the contest a draw. Krugar throws Hedda’s arm over her shoulder and the two of them limp slowly out of the arena leaving drops of blood trailing behind them.

Coral tries to leave the sands and gets a nasty surprise. The Raider King shakes his head disapprovingly at her. “This is a sacred killing ground. Blood is expected to be spilled. You interfered. Now you must fight for your right to live. I had plans for you, but everyone has to prove themselves in Purgatory.” Uh oh. Coral is now in trouble. The Raider King calls for Valeria. She arrives, dressed in the diaphanous clothes she was wearing earlier, carrying a barbed spear. A second barbed spear is tossed into the sands near Coral. The crowd erupts into cheers, a second fight, with pretty girls. Valeria is obviously the crowd’s favorite and she is ready to eliminate the competition. Valeria, as a member of the Crying Wolves, is a fighter but maybe a bit out of practice. Coral is obviously going to die. She picks up the spear, bows to the crowd and the fight begins.

Over in the Medical tent, Dr. Powell has been brought in to patch up Hedda and Krugar. Hedda and Krugar are chatting. “Your friend, she is a good fighter?” Krugar asks Hedda.

“No! She more of a lover than a fighter,” Hedda hotly replies. “But she is one lucky b*%#@.”

Valeria draws first blood but then Coral gets in a good hit. Coral’s strategy appears to be hit hard and fast because she will probably lose in a long fight. Valeria almost breaks Coral’s wrist during a hit. Coral manages a lucky swipe and hits an artery in Valeria’s neck. She gets close to Valeria and whispers, “can this be over now? I really don’t want to kill you and I don’t want you to kill me.” Valeria, realizing her wound is fatal unless tended to immediately, telegraphs a move to Coral. It takes Coral a second to figure out what is going on, then she ‘takes out’ Valeria. Valeria falls ‘dead’ to the ground, Coral has won, to everyone’s surprise including her own. She drops the spear and walks off the sands to the Med tent.

The Purgatory trials being completed things return to normal, for some definition of normal that is. Delegates of the Raider King find each member of the party and tell them, “you have pleased the Raider King.” The Raider King holds a feast in our honor after we have cleaned up and been patched up. There is food such like we have never seen, fresh meat (don’t look too close), water, wine, and other fresh foods and delicacies. Dr. Powell joins the group. It is just us, Dr. Powell, the Raider King and some of his guards. After we have eaten and begun to relax at bit, he starts to talk, well specifically ask questions.

The Raider King toys with the canister around his neck. When we avoid answering questions about it. He takes it off, Dr. Powell winced when she saw it and now is staring at it. Casually, oh so casually, the Raider King lets go of the canister and we all dive for it. At the last second, he scoops it up on the tip of his sword, just above our reach. “So, you do know what it is. Or at least you suspect. So start talking.”

The stuff in this canister was used in the past. Day Zero happened to clean up the mess from this. What can we say, what can we tell him? Coral tells the Raider King what Administrator Clarke from Magellan told them. It is a doomsday device, don’t really know what it does exactly, if it is used then all life will end etc. This is sort of the truth. After all, the party only ‘knows’ what it is told about this thing right now. The Raider King does not need to know what Vortigus told them about it. Besides, everyone could be lying to them anyway. The Raider King hates Magellan for withholding information and decides that he is the best person to hold the doomsday device.

“You can’t be expecting to come and go as you please. Do this one last thing for me and you can bargain for your freedom.” The Raider King tells us. The one last thing is waking up the Cold One, that only Coral has seen. Even though we passed our trials that just gave us the right to live and join up. The Raider King is not naive, he knows that we are smart and resourceful so we do not need to belong to his tribe. Therefore, we are up to something or we want something and he needs something from us, or rather Axel. So the Raider King is keeping us on a short leash until he gets what he wants and can figure out what we are up to. Although, we are sure he suspects we want the doomsday device.

Coral starts to bargain for waiting until tomorrow after everyone has rested. Dr. Powell faints and the argument is over. The Raider King agrees to wait until tomorrow. He tells us to find accommodations in the outer region. Coral argues for ‘guest rooms’ since he needs Axel and Dr. Powell at their best. She wins again and one of the Bloody Hands guards takes them to guest rooms and stands guard outside.

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Death Race
3-1-2015

The party is spending its first day in Purgatory trying to stay alive. Axel fixed a helicopter earning himself some leniency. Now he is working with the Whisperer on his dirt bike for the Death Race trial. Coyote is gathering information on Purgatory, Longtooth and casing the area for that might be left unattended during the evening’s events. Hedda is hanging out with Dr. Powell hoping against hope that the Pit fight will be cancelled. Coral is being escorted to the Raider King without time to fix her hair, change her clothes or freshen her look. William Tell is wandering through Purgatory collecting intelligence.

“William Tell” a gravely voice calls out as Tell walks by. “William Tell, best marksman in the Wastes. You always kill what you aim at … or not eh?” The man taunts while pulling open his shirt showing a nasty bullet wound on his chest. He has long black hair and sliver teeth. There is a posse of men with him. William does not actually recognize him but then there have been a lot of marks in the past. The two of them talk for a few moments before Tell is warned that Silver Teeth will be watching him. Then Silver Teeth and his gang leaves. William Tell continues collecting intel but now it is focused on Silver Teeth. Eventually, Tell comes across a group of guys drinking ‘foul grog’ from a foul barrel. Tell joins them and learns that Silver Teeth is actually called Jericho. Jericho has been around for ages. He is a survivor of many battles, gun fights and drunken brawls. He is considered an ‘up and comer’ in Purgatory ranks. Basically, not someone to mess with or to be on the outs with. So situation normal for William Tell. The talk turns to the Death Race and Pit Match. Tell learns that Hedda’s opponent is Krugar, the infamous Legion fighter known for excellence in CQB (Close Quarters Battle). What such a person is doing here fighting for the Raider King is anyone’s guess.

Hedda notices that Dr. Powell is close to collapsing from exhaustion. She forces the guards to allow the good doctor to take a break. “At least a few hours, with food, water and time to sleep. Look at her, she is worn out!”
“No. Work.” Bloody Hand guard replied. Hedda continued to argue and got the guards to agree to a few minutes rest with food and water. Hedda led Dr. Powell over to a cot as far from the guards as possible and convinced her to lie down. They got to talking. Dr. Powell slipped Hedda some stim packs to help her out in tonight’s fight. Dr. Powell also begged Hedda to locate Jonah and get everyone out of Dodge er..Purgatory. Hedda hugs Dr. Powell and promises to put Old Man Coyote on the trail. Then, Hedda leaves the med tent area.

Whisperer and Axel decide that the dirt bike needs some special tricks. So Axel wanders over to the Inner Sanctum area to see if he can obtain anything from the good junkyard. The Bloody Hands guards recognize Axel but are reluctant to let him back in. Axel haggles with guard and gets a few minutes to grab whatever he can find. Specifically, Axel finds materials to make a smoke launcher. He returns back to Whisperer and the two of them work on the bike and learn a bit more about the other competitors.

The Death Race will be in a course outside Purgatory. The other competitors include an member of another dirt bike group and enemy of the Earth Spirits, a guy from the WingNuts with a tricked out Halftrack, and a Dune Buggy driver who is a survivor of several Death Races and well known for dirty tricks.

Coral Rose is being escorted by Bloody Hand guards through the inner sanctum to the coliseum. In the sandy center theater area, she witnesses 5 people being killed by Udah for being interlopers from Magellan. There are many people sitting in the stands, Raiders, slaves perhaps. One staircase has a red velvet carpet leading to a throne room. The stairs are lined with Bloody Hands who completely ignore Coral as she is compelled up the stairs. At the top, is the Raider King, reading a book, with his attendants. He is a giant man 6 foot 7 inches, bronze skin, long black hair and very gorgeous. Coral mentally calculates what it would take to remain here. With him is a woman Coral recognizes, Valeria of the Crying Wolf Raiders. The Crying Wolves were a group that used women and children to fake distress calls then would attack anyone that tried to help them, an effective technique. Valeria eyes Coral with boiling hatred. Coral tries to dismiss her. Coral notices a series of wires and tubes going into the wall behind the throne. Udah whispers something in the Raider King’s ear causing him to look at Coral and smile slightly. Suddenly, the King’s long, sharp saber is right under Coral’s chin tipping it up. “Why are you here Little one? What do you have to offer me?” The King inquires. “Why should I let you live?” Coral begins to fight for her life with words. Since the Raider King already has a Beautiful Thief, sex appeal alone is not going to cut it this time.

Valeria pipes up that Coral is not to be trusted and she should be killed immediately. After several banter rounds, Coral finally states, “Your Majesty, either kill me now or remove the sword. If you kill me, then you will never know what I have come to tell you. Either way, I am tired of arguing.” The Raider King approves of Coral’s plucky attitude, sends Valeria away, removes the sword and allows Coral to breathe freely. While this has been going on, Udah slipped away to begin the evening’s entertainment.

“Combatants Assemble” a deep bellow resounds throughout the coliseum and into Purgatory. Outside the Death Race is getting underway. Udah whips the crowd into a frenzy, “Spilling blood for the glory of the Raider King!”

Krugar steps out onto the ‘Killing Sands’. She is a woman forged hard by the Legion and the Wastes. Hedda joins her on the sands. The two look up the throne of the Raider King. Krugar bows to him. Hedda realizes he is not paying attention to the upcoming battle, he is busy talking to Coral! Of course, trust little Coral to find the most powerful male around as fast as possible. Hedda turns her attention back to her own situation. She realizes that Krugar is a grappler. Hedda is more of a heavy weapons shooter with hand-to-hand combat as a last resort. She slaps on one of the stim packs and the fight begins.

Coyote manages to sabotage with WingNuts APC. Unfortunately, after he jumps down from the APC and disappears into an alley, someone else finds him. He feels a knife on his neck and a breathy voice, “found you, Coyote.” Coyote dives, hits and gets away. His attacker vanishes but leaves a trail of blood drops. Coyote tries to hide in the crowd but he feels a specter of dread on him.

William Tell is checking out the Western District where Jericho is known to hang out. He mainly finds only people too drunk or injured to walk. Tell wanders aimlessly over to the wall of the coliseum to do some recon work, just in case.

Over to the Death Race, Axel gives the bike once last going over and Whisperer gets some last minute advice. Then the Whisperer lines up with the other riders and Axel finds a spot in the crowd. They learned that at some point, it will become legal for spectators to fire at the racers. So Axel has his plasma rifle and has taken up position to protect the Whisperer. The race begins! Whisperer is in second right behind Dune Buggy, the old dirty tricks guy. Dune Buggy knows the course – as well as it can be known – so Whisperer sticks close, but not too close – you know ‘fly casual’. The APC’s gun malfunctions when it tries to shoot at The Whisperer. It is starting to become clear that the other contestants are ganging up on the Whisperer. The smoke launcher is coming in handy. Suddenly, a loud horn goes off, “FREE FOR ALL!” The spectators start shooting – at the Whisperer. It’s official, they are all out to get him. Axel shoots his grenade launcher at the APC and takes it out. This gets him in trouble with the others in the stands. Meanwhile, the Whisperer is flying through the course somewhat literally depending on the jumps.

Up at the Raider King’s throne, the Raider King and Coral are not actually paying much attention to the “blood spilling in the Raider King’s honor.” Instead they are discussing, power, Vortigus, Haven, Serenity, mutants, water and the future. Coral is keeping half an eye on Hedda’s fight, the Race is outside their sight but it can be heard distantly. The Raider King has taken something of a liking to Coral, maybe, so he takes her to see his greatest treasure. In a room, down a corridor, behind the throne, where the wires go, is a sealed guarded chamber. In this chamber, is a frozen cylinder containing a sleeping woman. A woman unlike any other. Her face unmarked by life in the Wastes. She moves ever so slightly, alive, but not alive. Pale, very pale. “Behold, the Cold One. We do not know where she comes from. But think of what she could tell us. Here is power. She is why we located our base here. Now that we have two of the greatest loremasters here, one of medicine and one of mechanics, we can wake her.” The Raider King boasts to Coral. Coral is very afraid. The Raider King comments that the stars are wrong, and with the Cold One he will make it right.

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Welcome to Purgatory
2-22-2015

Purgatory looked warm and inviting. There were cheerful fires everywhere. The welcoming committee crowded around Axel’s van waving assorted weapons and chanting greetings. Raiders as far as the eye could see, several ranks of people all turned out to meet the new visitors. In the distance, the group could see the wall around the inner sanctum and inside that wall a taller round structure, the innermost fortress. The voice repeated the invitation to “GET OUT!”

The group exited the van keeping little Coral in the back. It looked like a ‘trial by combat’ welcome, with the unspoken rule evident, use a gun and they would shoot back. Whisperer launched himself at the rabble, might as well start the ritual! Hedda followed close behind. Coral cowered back into the van. Old Man Coyote, looking much like a Raider, melted into the crowd. Axel worked his way through the throng. And the game was begun!

Whisperer’s brawling skills took out several of the Raider attackers. Old Man Coyote’s ability to sneak up behind people and whack them with his entrenching tool accounted for several other assailants. Hedda got in some good hits but unfortunately so did the bad guys. She took some bad blows but still kept several Raiders occupied. Axel took out quite a few by rolling an oilcan into the crowd. Coral tried to hide in the van but was smoked out. She fought back “Coral-style” by launching herself at the largest one and starting to kiss him. The guys were knocking down Raiders left and right and were starting to come to the rescue of the gals.

A wave of silence moved through the crowd and the Raiders came to a standstill. “ENOUGH! What is the meaning of this?” The shout rang out from a large man dressed in leather, accompanied by a cadre of Bloody Hand Raiders. He was middle-aged, scarred with an air of authority about him.

“I am Udah, The Hand of the King. What is your business here?” the man demanded.

“We are here to join up,” Coyote answered. A bit of discussion ensued while Udah explained the Purgatory situation, mission statement, job prospects, benefits etc.

Eventually Coral took over introductions.

“First, this is Axel Grease, the world’s best mechanic. He can fix anything.”

“Impressive. Tales of your abilities have reached here. We have recently acquired a piece of technology from the Legion that requires your expertise. Get it working and the Raider King might have a place for you. Take him to the Inner Sanctum to the Raider King’s prize and guard him.” Udah directed Axel to be taken away.

“Next, we have the Whisperer. He can drive anything car, truck, helicopter. Best wheel man ever. The Raider King must need excellent drivers.”

“And an impressive fighter. You will be put to the test tonight in the Death Race. Acquire a vehicle, be ready.” Udah says to Whisperer.

Udah then pointed to Coyote. “You look like a survivor, a one time member of a band.” Coyote and Udah chat about Coyote’s past and ability to survive in the Wastes. Coyote mentioned that he was once a Lord of the Plains, a member of the Raider Band wiped out by Udah’s Bloody Hands. “You will find your own test in this place. Pass and be allowed to stay.”

Udah turned to Hedda, “You look like you know your way in a fight. We are willing to give you a second chance. Tonight in the Pits.”

Finally, Udah looked at Coral. “What about you? What do you have to offer the Raider King?” He seems confused that she has survived this long in the Wastes (a feeling shared by most of the group). Coral attempted to sell her abilities without actually saying ‘I can steal you blind’. Finally, it came down to the usual, “there is always a place for a pretty girl.” Coral began to flirt with Udah, calling him Sugar. Udah decided to show Coral around Purgatory while figuring out what to do with her.

For the rest of the day the group is split up on their own missions.

Axel was taken to the Inner Sanctum coliseum area where the important and valuable machinery is being stored. The Inner Sanctum was surrounded by a wall and guarded mainly by Bloody Hands. There he was shown the Legion Helicopter. Axel inspected it and it seemed to be salvageable. A bit of work, a bit of good luck, a bit of tech from the junkyard and the world’s most famous mechanic should be able to get the copter up and running again. While he examined the computer, he found the flight information. A bit of sleight of hand and he managed to download some information. “seize objective alpha at all costs. diversion at objective bravo. seize bravo if possible.” Alpha = weapons console starfall? Bravo = piloting module starfall? What was the diversion? The third potential starfall was thought to be the Ship security section – what ever that means. After several hours, Axel and a few Raider techs and some lucky tech finds were able to get the helicopter mostly functional. The Bloody Hands Guards tell Axel that his reputation is well deserved and he is free to go about Purgatory – for now.

Whisperer set off to find a vehicle to use in the Death Race tonight. He also hoped to get some further details about what the Death Race entailed exactly. First, he checked out the van and did some work. Safe but probably too slow and not maneuverable enough for anything called a ‘Death Race.’ He would have to acquire another vehicle, either borrowed or stolen. Whisperer checked out the other cars and bikes in the parking area. He noticed over in one area a group of guys wearing dog tags. Former Legionnaires often kept their tags with them and tended to stick together on the outside. He walked over to talk to them showing his dog tags as proof of ID. Whisperer’s reputation both as a driver and a survivor preceded him, the former Legionnaires knew of him and thus were slightly more friendly. The group explained that the goal of the Death Race is survival. One of them was a member of the Earth Angels dirt bike group. He offered to trade Whisperer for one of their non-functional bikes. Luckily, Axel arrived about then and determined which bike he could fix up in time for the race. Axel also offered his services to work on other Earth Angels’ bikes in exchange for parts and information. One of the things they learned is that Krugar was going to be fighting in the Pits that night. Krugar was an ex-Legionnaire with a reputation for being unmatched in hand-to-hand combat. The Legionnaires were thrilled to have inside information on the driver in the Death Race and wandered off to place bets.

Hedda was rather beaten and bruised after the welcoming ruckus. With the second fight coming up tonight she was directed to go the Med Tent in the Inner Sanctum and see the new Doctor. New Doctor? Doctor Powell? The ubiquitous Bloody Hand guards at the Inner Sanctum take Hedda back to the Med Tent. It was filled with bloody, injured, moaning people on makeshift stretchers. In the back, a figure bent over a patient with two or three other people intently watching what she was doing. There were also guards stationed inside the tent, obviously keeping the doctor under control. Hedda realized the doctor was indeed Dr. Powell, exhausted but working. She looked around and did not see Jonah. Hedda over exaggerated her limp and ‘broken’ arm. Up close, Dr. Powell seemed even more fatigued. One of the Raiders barked, “Who the devil are you?”
“Hedda.” Dr. Powell’s head snapped up and she stared at Hedda with a look of fright/relief/disbelief. Dr. Powell asked one of the Raiders to close while she looked at Hedda. Very quietly they talked. Hedda learned that they captured Dr. Powell, took away Jonah and started her working on the children first. The Raider medics were supposed to be learning medicine from her because they had need of healers. However, they had not let the doctor rest in the 2 or more days they held her. Hedda reminded Dr. Powell that she had some medical skill and maybe she could help out in front to ease the work load. Also, that would allow Hedda time to recover and learn as much as she could about this set up. So Dr. Powell vouched for Hedda and set her to work patching up patients out front.

Old Man Coyote melded in with the Raiders easily, perhaps a bit too easily for comfort. As he had no particular place to be nor set test to prepare for, Coyote simply began to wander around Purgatory. Soon he felt someone following him, Dust Wolf. When Dust Wolf first appeared back in Haven he was self-assured, confident. In Purgatory, that facade was gone, the man was broken, nervous, even terrified. “You have to help me! He is after me, after you, after all of us!” Dust Wolf cried.

“Who?” questioned Coyote.

“Longtooth. He has a vendetta against the Lord of the Plains. No one knows what he looks like, who he is, where he comes from. It is rumored he is an outcast of the Bloody Hands.” Dust Wolf explained.

Coyote tried to get more information out of Dust Wolf but he did not have any more. Then, Coyote tried to make some sort of plan or something with Dust Wolf but instead, Dust Wolf backed into the shadows apologizing insincerely and left. Old Man Coyote, alone again, decided to investigate Longtooth and regroup with Whisperer.

Coral Rose managed to charm Udah enough to get a guided tour around Purgatory. Or perhaps, Udah figured that Coral was the weak link for getting more information about the party’s motives and information. Udah began waxing poetic about the Raider King, the future, Purgatory and probably telling Coral more than he should. The Raiders have one of the Starfalls, the Legion got the other one. The Legion is the main enemy and the two groups have started to clash more recently. Coral ran off a bit at mouth as well mentioning Vortigus, Haven and Serenity. At the mention of Serenity, Udah demanded she be taken in to an audience with the Raider King straight away. Previously, Udah had maintained that only special worthy people were granted audiences with the King and made it sound unlikely that anyone other than Axel would get and audience. He even refused to allow her time to freshen up!

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Secret SuperMutant Graveyard
1-25-2015

The group was dismayed to discover that Dr. Powell and Jonah had not returned to Deadwood. What had happened to them on the journey back? Are they hurt? Captured? Need rescuing?

The group debated which objective to follow: rescue Dr. Powell or track the Starfall or head to Purgatory. The Starfall was probably already claimed. There was a very good chance that Dr. Powell was in serious trouble and quite possibly being held in Purgatory. Purgatory and Haven not on the same vector from Deadwood but with Axel’s drone we could search for Dr. Powell while heading in the general direction of Purgatory. We decided to trace Dr. Powell.

After chatting with Hadley the prospector about the geography of the Wastes and trading for water, we set off in Axel’s van to search. Axel drove the van while Whisperer used the drone to scan for visual signs of our favorite medic. Coyote, Will, Hedda and Coral scanned out the windows in all directions looking for anything. Unfortunately, soon after we left the environs of Deadwood a giant sandstorm became evident to the North, exactly where we wanted to go. Old Man Coyote noticed big black helicopters circling around the edges of the sandstorm. The Legion is known for big black helicopters and not known for being friendly. The storm will over take us before long. But, Axel is resolute, Legion or no Legion, storm or no storm, we will continue the search for Dr. Powell.

The drone picked up a set of tracks. We stopped to take a closer look. Axel thought the tires could be ones that he put on Dr. Powell’s car. The treads matched the treads of a batch of tires Axel put on several cars back in Deadwood. In the sand, Axel found Dr. Powell’s jade necklace, the necklace matches the ones worn by the Elder and Vortigus. There are several more tracks of different vehicles. These tire tracks lead north-northeast in the direction of Purgatory. The conclusion seems to be that Dr. Powell and probably Jonah have been taken to Purgatory.

By this time, the storm was on top of the group. We hurried back into the van and brought in the drone. We started off into the edge of the storm to avoid the helicopters head off into the general direction of Purgatory. Every so often we felt/heard/sensed something moving around in the sandstorm. Maybe a giant flying thing in the heart of the sandstorm. The group readies armaments. Whisperer takes over driving skillfully keeping us in the storm, away from the flying thing and on course. We never got a clear look at the thing in the sandstorm. Eventually, the sandstorm moved on.

Old Man Coyote’s Geiger counter sounded the alarm that we were encountering radioactivity. The sandstorm whipped up radioactive dust and we were approaching the radioactive area where Purgatory was found. Once the sandstorm moved on, Coyote’s Geiger counter calmed down and indicated that the radioactivity was only just over normal here. We should be okay as long as we don’t stay for long.

Then we saw just where we were, a gigantic boneyard, “The Secret SuperMutant Graveyard.” The odor was overpowering and smelled like rotting mutant. Some of the skeletons were completely devoid of soft bits, others were fresher. Whisperer drove through a few of the larger skulls while everyone in the van stared around in horror. Several people, not Coral of course, saw some movement around the edges. Some places seemed to have piled waystones, almost like guideposts or markers. Some of the larger skeletons were rigged up like shelters, occasionally with snares and carcasses. The traps and snares were stronger and more elaborate and usual, but recognizable as traps. Traps set by who? to catch what?

The van began to vibrate. Axel’s equipment registers a huge thermal signature behind the van and gaining. The nearby bones begin to shake. We were being chased by a gigantic mutant T. Rex intent on having us for lunch. Whisperer poured on the speed and evasive maneuvers. Hedda and William Tell pulled out the big guns and took several shots. MutantRex caught up and spit out a glue bomb onto the van. Whisperer evades some of it but the van gets tossed. Hedda, Coral and Axel got a bit injured in the accident. Coral being useless in a fight runs off and hides. Coyote and Hedda get to a safe hiding places with their weapons. Specifically, Hedda snagged the rocket launcher. William Tell, Axel and Whisperer ran away from the van with their weapons and nothing else. After several rockets and shots are fired at the MutantRex, Axel fired the killing blow with his plasma rifle.

The group emerged from their assorted hiding places to assess the damage to themselves, the van and their supplies. The van is hanging about 30 feet up from a ribcage of some sort. Coral and Axel scavenge as many of the supplies that flew out of the van as possible, focusing on water and ammo. Coyote and Whisperer maintained watch around the area. They remembered all the edge of vision movements they saw earlier and they realized how vulnerable we were at that point. At about the same time, the two of them noticed a figure wearing canvas, breathing apparatus and carrying a gun approaching us.

A tense conversation ensued with Gerard of the Sand Spiders. While he was impressed with the killing of the MutantRex, we were invading Raider territory. Coral explained the Bloody Hand invitation and our interest in talking to the Raider King. Gerard conferred with the other Sand Spiders on patrol and they decided to allow us to continue ahead. The Sand Spiders assisted us in getting Axel’s van down from the bones. Luckily, Axel can work miracles with machinery and he was able to get the van running again, at least enough to get us to Purgatory. Gerard gave us directions to get to Purgatory and how to get past the first set of guards. As a parting shot, Coral makes a date with Gerard for a drink in Purgatory when he comes in from patrol.

We limped on to Purgatory suddenly realizing that we had no plan. Back in Deadwood we discussed why we wanted to go to Purgatory. We think the Raider King probably has the Doomsday Device or Vortigus’ ‘weaponized mutagen’. Plus, we knew nothing about this Raider King so we were curious about him. Whisperer postulated that he might be a ‘mind-control phage mutant’ and that is how he amassed all this power. We might also have to rescue Dr. Powell and Jonah from his clutches. But we never actually came up with a plan of action when we actually got to Purgatory.

The outskirts of Purgatory came into view. We were greeted by human heads on spikes and a great many guards and debris. Not exactly welcoming. Coral showed the guards the Bloody Hand fabric and mentioned meeting with the Sand Spiders. This only got the group through the first set of guards. We were told to continue into the parking area. Purgatory was quite the sight. Fires everywhere, roasting meat – don’t look too closely. Rank upon rank of raiders. Thumping music. Crowd bumping into van, jumping on top of the van. We finally crawled to the edge of a clearing and had to stop. A loud gruff voice shouted, “GET OUT!”

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From A to Omega

Given free walk of the commons of Haven, but still under watchful monitoring, the party explored the culture and economy of the Smart Mutant outpost.

Axel spoke with Graham and learned that a Starfall had recently landed in the wastes, deep in Raider territory, and contemplated that it could be a piece of import predicted by Nigel. Dr. Powell was on her way out inconspicuously and was flagged down by Axel, and she confided in him that Adam/Vortigus was not to be trusted.

Hedda and Coral made their way to a speakeasy-like bar where they found themselves unexpectedly chatting up a member of the Bloody Hand. The raider had much to say about the mounting power of the Raider King in his court of Purgatory. Hedda may have also let slip too much of the wealth and resources to be had in Serenity. Coral convinced the raider that the group may have something to offer their king and was instructed to display a pass sign displaying the mark of the Bloody Hand if they should venture into the domain of the Raider King.

When Hedda dozed due to her indulgence in drink, she was visited by a strange but lucid dream where she wandered the dark hallways of Vortigus’s lab. A strange force seemed to compel her towards a door marked “17” in the dream. She awoke in a daze but was strangely affected by the disturbing dream.

The group espied a hulking Smart Mutant by the name of Bluth in the commons. They recognized him from a previous encounter in the tunnels beneath Deadwood and he fortunately did not recognize them.

The Whisperer and Coyote took it upon themselves to infiltrate into Vortigus’s lab by way of an access vent. Soon after coming within sight of room 17, they began to experience strange sensations and hear voices stirring in their conciousness. The high-security key that they had acquired from Ahri didn’t even work, but they observed a pensive Vortigus about to enter the room and saw an opportunity.

Within room 17 beyond a long hallway of reinforced doors and decontamination areas, they beheld the dormant Phage Omega suspended in a chemical tank. Instantly, they felt a presence creep into their mind and found themselves enacting actions against their will as the Phage Omega unleashed its dominating presence. Vortigus reappeared and told them of the threat of the Phage Omega and as an aside, mentioned how interesting it was that the creature was able to assert itself on humans. Rather than be dominated by the Phage Omega’s psychic presence, they surrendered to Vortigus’s administering of a tranquilizer. They awoke again in the commons of Haven with a barely noticeable scar just below the throat. When The Whisperer tried to explain what happen, he felt a peculiar buzzing within his chest that he surmised was a warning device. The group decided it was a good time to distance themselves from Haven.

While on their way back across the wastes, they came upon a recent battleground that appeared to have involved aerial vehicles, and they figured out that the Legion may have been involved.

Upon returning to Deadwood, they were greeted by a recovering Rico who revealed to them that it seemed Dr. Powell had not yet returned, even though she had left before them…

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Stairway to Haven

Having found themselves in dire straights alongside the enigmatic Task Force Zero within the ruins of Serenity, a fragile truce was worked out with the faction as they agreed that terminating the category-3 Phage creature was of the utmost priority. Ryker enlisted The Whisperer, Axel, and Sharpe to lure the massive super-mutant away from Axel’s old shop in which they were trapped, and tear into it was a powerful automated turret that Axel had repaired. After a dangerous chase, the winged creature was finally felled. However just as the dust had seemed to have settled, the ground cracked apart and the behemoth burrowing Phage that had terrorized the party before lunged forth from beneath the bedrock and seized the flying Phage in its jaws, disappearing from sight.

Ryker was barely able to collect himself having understood the development in the situation. He elected to return to Haven and report this disastrous event to his leader, Vortigus. The group resolved to accompany Ryker to Haven under the pretense of exchanging information about the Phage but hoping to work out a deal to enlist the help of Task Force Zero in the siege of Serenity.

Along the way to Haven it was revealed that Ahri was a human enlistee amongst the ranks of Task Force Zero. Coral Rose sensed and opportunity to deploy her wiles. After a few days of travel, the convoy encountered a raider group but surprisingly the raiders announced their presence and initiated parley with the convoy. Ryker seemed to know of them and they began to exchange goods, among which was a noticeable refrigerated container that may or may not have had organs inside. Coyote recognized one of the raiders as a survivor of his old band the Lords of the Plains, a man named Dustwolf. Coyote approached his former raider-brother and was given information on the Raider King who has united various clans of raiders into a formidable force.

Upon arriving at Haven the party swerved through a concealed mine-field just to approach and then submitted to strict security searches for entry privileges. William was able to conceal one of his handguns beneath his armor plating. The party was led to a huge freight elevator that descended into “The Commons” of Haven, during which Coral extracted an electronic key/squib from Ahri with an incredibly deft burglary skill. Once within the Commons, they were surprised to see many humans living among the smart mutants.

The party was quickly whisked away to another highly-secure elevator that descended far down into the depth of Haven, to Vortigus’s research wing, scattered with an unsettling array of in-progress experiments and surgical equipment. There they encountered Sonia Powell and a recovering Jonah, before Vortigus announced himself.

Vortigus is frighteningly intelligent and and anomaly even among smart mutants. Protruding from his back are a pair of Caduceus armatures that bespeak his immense knowledge and skill in surgery and technology. Vortigus heard out the account of the party, and was willing to lend the aid of Task Force Zero on the condition that a certain device that went missing from Magellan is recovered on his behalf. He is even willing to lend his forces at an earlier time, provided that the party agrees to have remote explosive rings surgically installed around their trachea for “insurance.” Certainly the less desirable situation.

Vortigus went on to explain that the device from Magellan is in fact a weaponized mutagen that pertains to the origin of mutant life in the wastes. He offered the reasoning that if he were to acquire this sample, he could reverse engineer it to manufacture a cure, that could be used to combat mutagenic effects, even as a countermeasure against the ever-threatening Phage. He went on to reveal that Day-Zero was a last-resort contingency that was enacted to try and mitigate the effects of this mutagen being unleashed in the past (and even then, wasn’t a complete solution).

Jonah awakened and offered thanks to Vortigus but Vortigus reveals that he had taken the opportunity to use Jonah as an interesting experiment; he had successfully implanted a mutant organ replacement for Jonah’s liver, much to the behest of Dr. Powell and Jonah who were beside themselves with shock. It was then revealed that Vortigus and “Adam” are one in the same. What exactly is Dr. Powell’s connection to this Adam?

After returning to the Commons, they met Graham who works as an overseer and administrator in Haven.

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Countless Events

Michiel – Axel Grease
Hazel – Hedda Dahmerson
Trond – William Tell
Marco – Old Man Coyote
Tony – The Whisperer
Michelle – Coral Rose

Sharpe the Mutant Hunter chats with group.

Coyote sees evidence of combat – blood patterns, shell casings, foot tracks

Group argues about whether to recruit fighters or to tell Rico

Old Man Coyote notices a vulnerable pile of fuel and water that might be lifted

Old Man Coyote sees Hadley and is generous and gives me two canteens worth of water

The Whisperer noticed a new religious cult appears and chants. Their members wear shrouds. William Tell tried to see where they came from. They were spread out and scouting.

Coyote approaches these people. Where does this message came from? Coyote learns a bit about the theology. The speaker produces a dirty cup.

Coyote sees a corpse. Lies and says he’s still alive, takes him to Dr. Powell. Axel and William suspect religious types. Luxury goods of the dead had the same brand of cigarettes. These were Lucky 7 brand. Coyote cleverly took some water from the vendor.

Hedda talked about making contact with Egrin

Axel asked for some future tech to make a filter in return for a cut. Rico was a bit angry but Rose tried to convince him. Don’s boys get the machine but we get the clean water of vendor.

A few figures went to the derelict part of town.

Religious types clean weapons and chant, also look into a canister.

The Whisperer made two silencers for his commando raid.

The evangelists disappeared to who knows there

Coyote saw some cultists patrolling as we snuck in

The Whisper got in deep and stealthy, behind a pew

Coral walked in and acted helpless. The crowd seemed like they were waiting for someone

Coral descended into the bowels of hell

William and Silent killed two guards with their silences guns

The Whisper jammed his boot into the closing door to rescue Cora. He was grazed by a guard’s bullets.

Coral

William Tell tried to dodge some gunfire and
Coyote knocked out a guard and Hedda shot two

Coral found some water and got a sample. She also scavenged some military stuff
The Whisper killed three guards

William dodged a grenade

Coyote killed two guards messily

William, Whisperer, and Coral tried to dodge a grenade from a launcher. William’s ears rang. Whisperer was stunned a bit. Coral found a dank tunnel after opening a door. They emerge suddenly into the street, battered but alive. Coyote found a concealed doo that allowed us to escape the cult and the guard patrols.
Two of the three waters were poisoned

Coyote knew that something was wrong. Amelia was stunned and said that the Doctor was going to want to see something. Coyote saw some good place to hide and saw a dead male, Jonah, the young man that we rescued. The Doctor was stunned. (Addendum: Jonah was not dead but in a near-death catatonic state having imbibed an almost lethal dose of poisoned water)

We hear the Doctor mention Adam.

Axel successfully finished his machine
The town boss was mobilized and decided to raid the place. What we learned confirmed things that he found.

On the way to Axel’s Coyote heard something, tried to stop a suicide bomber from destroying the machine. He missed and was knocked on his ass. He was stunned and disoriented.

There was a huge explosion and most of Don’s Boys there died. Rico was also badly wounded. Axel looked for bits of technology. The Whisperer and Coral carried him to the doctor.

No advanced tech survived from the machine‘s destruction.

Coyote noticed 20-30 of Don’s Boys heading towards the ruins.

Coral noticed a strange man from Magellan with satchels and bags that seemed to be searching the blast site. He is a lore master. He talked to Coral and the Whisperer. He wanted to know about the fanatics and the blast. He quoted the wormwood reference. His name is Ahmed.

The Dawnbringers seek to destroy. Can’t be reasoned with and take no prisoners. They almost took over Magellan.

Coral tried to convince one of Don’s Boys to stop the attack. She tried to sell him on using a secret entrance. Coral convinced him.

Hedda and Coyote got in to see the Don after the old man convinced the guard. Ahmed stepped forward and he talked to the Don. He called off the attack, and decided to send in Jack.

Ahmed said that the fanatics are often branded or otherwise marked with a cross. Hedda said that he might have men that were converts and sleeper agents.

The Don gives Hedda a fancy platinum and copper flip phone as a rewad.
Dr. Powell is very protective of her charges because she can’t have children. She is packing up.

The Whisperer staked out the doctor’s office. He sees her leave the hospital late at night. She drove out and crashed he vehicle out of the gates.

We decided to .
The cultists had fled and the traps have been re-rigged by the Don’s cleaner.

Off to Serenity. Coyote and Hedda and Sharpe and Axel ride together. The Whisperer and Coral and William rode together.

A rolling sandstorm greeted us on our way out. Coyote’s keen observation helped us avoid the path of the storm.

Coyote noticed equipment scattered about in part of the desert. We searched.

Hedda noticed some valuable items. We found some high tech and luxury goods.
On the third day out, we started seeing dead plant life.

We saw some movement behind the dunes and Axel drove closer in his stealthed vehicle. There was a pack of mutants, some of them wounded by bullets, that seemed to be fleeing something. Coyote examined the dead body. There was a bit of cloth in one’s mouth, a bit insulated by radiation. He dug out expanded bullets. Coyote suspects Legion activity.

We noticed tracks leaving Serenity are preserved in the soil. This suggested a bit of moisture in the soil.

Coyote stepped out of the vehicle to scout and a horrible smell of rot hit him. He investigated a glinting in the dirt and saw spent casings from a recently-used weapon as well as some prints. He also saw a corpse in the dead brush. The stench was really much greater.

There was a dead, humanoid mutant with hook-like talons that was not dead for too long. It had a bizarre face with mandibles and a honeycomb of openings and no eyes.

At this point, a mutant wandered near and Coyote saw a living one of these creatures. He carefully snuck away and avoided the creature. We all saw more moving creatures in the brush.

Axel’s hatred of mutants drove him to shoot and the rest joined in. They smelled really bad when they were shot. They bounded and swarmed about. A few chased us, but most swarmed the one that fell.

Coyote noticed fresh vehicle tracks and saw some caves in some rocks. He snuck forward through some lava tubes and crevices. There was lichen on the rocks. He saw two armed people wearing masks inside, as well as some antipersonnel mines. He reported back. This reminded him of some raiders called the Chem Boys, who liked chemical warfare.

Axel sent out a drone. There were many mutant in and near Serenity. We camouflaged the vehicles. A mutant showed up. The Whisper drew it off with his drone, and the creature leapt at it but it missed dur to clever flying.

We came closer and saw living plants and the outskirts of the city, and the town gates. Drone scouting revealed mutants inside that avoided the spring. It also saw water flowing out of a cave. Some great shadow was in the sky. The Whisper made the drone avoid it.

The thing had a wingspan of 200 feet and was leathery and terrible. Sharpe was speechless. The thing screeched horribly and a blue glow came from its mouth. The monster’s presence seemed to disrupt technology. The Whisper’s vehicle wouldn’t start.

Coyote, Hedda, and Coral went to scavenge. He found some fallen branches that made it easier to pass over the wall. Coyote decided that some insulated things might have protected their contents, including high-tech stuff.

The Whisper opened the vehicle door and was caught unawares by a gunman. Axel was too. They were led away by the masked gunmen. The Whisperer told them that they were the only two ones there.

Coyote and his companions made their way into Axel’s old lab. Coral realized what we might need to fix the van. Coyote slid down a ladder into the darkness. He felt some slime on his hazmat gloves and he heard skittering as he went down to the next level. He got ready to light his torch.

Axel and the Whisperer got taken away. Axel tried to talk their captors out of killing them. The Whisperer tried to get in a good word too. The men in the masks said they are from haven. Axle dropped several names. They recognized Coral’s. They said that they were here for the category 3 creature. Axel produced a chain that had a medal that said Ailie on it, which angered the masked men. Axel said that Ailie was killed by the giant worm but the masked men said that she had been killed by a bullet.

Coyote heard acrid smell and heard skittering in the darkness. Coyote slid down the ladder silently and saw human-sized shapes. Coyote spilled some grease and set a fire. He saw more of the skittering creatures in the area. There were many creatures there.

Hedda and Coral slid down.

The masked men were getting ready to blow up and collapse the cave that had the spring in it. They wanted to kill the Phage, mutants that assimilate powers from other mutants. Axel suggested alternate options, but the masked men didn’t trust him. The masked men explained that the Phage had to be destroyed before it became unstoppable.

Coyote made a Molotov cocktail and prepared to make more. Coral cased the joint and saw ways to sneak around there. She crawled through a channel under the floor grating and was almost found by one of the creatures. She broke into a vehicle and she found the parts that we needed.

Axel made a couple of suggestions about how to deal with the Phage, but his words were met with skepticism. Then, they decided to recapture Axel’s shop and use a turret from that place to destroy the creature. During this arguing, they noticed the Phage blended in with the local trees. It made it hard to get into the shop.

Coyote lit up the larva with a firebomb and the big mutants near the back of the shop exploded at the same time. The closer mutants went up the access tunnel and Shape shot at them.

Axel and the group saw the great creature crawling toward the shop after the sound of gunfire was obvious. One of the men fired smoke grenades at the shop. Axel tried to run to the secret back entrance. He managed to do it and the Phage nearly grabbed him. They saw the fire and wanted to put it out. The masked men killed various mutants and the Whisper and Axel fought the flames and managed to put it out.

Coyote shot quickly and killed two of the masked men. Axel saw mutant faces underneath. Sharpe dropped down and tried to get the masked men to stop shooting and talk. The Whisperer threw a fire extinguisher at a masked man that was readying a grenade.

Coyote escaped from the group, climbing up into piping above. The others disarmed and surrendered. Coral tried to talk the group out of killing the captured adventurers. Still angered, they decided to go on with their goal of fixing up the turret.

Coyote heard a big thing pushing down on the building. Axle rigged the big gun and the masked leader gave the group back their weapons. The Whisperer drove the vehicle. The masked leader gave Coral a belt full of chemical grenades to disrupt the sense of smell of the hoppers. Coyote found a good, off-road motorcycle.

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Just Dropping In!

The group went on with Old Man Coyote to Raleigh’s place. He climbed onto the roof using a ladder that Axel made. Coyote heard Raleigh and a woman speaking. He wanted to escape across the wastes to Vortigus.

Sharpe spied William in the street and tried to get him to help in a confrontation with Raleigh.

The roof panel collapsed and Coyote fell in. He tried to convince Raleigh that he got lost on the way to a local bordello. Axel shot at Raleigh and tried to shake him up and the eccentric ran. Coyote started fighting him. Sharpe broke in because of the noise. Raleigh warned the others to run and Coyote beat him up by throwing him into some boxes.

Sharpe grabbed Raleigh and told him to talk. Axel and William searched the back. He yelled a sudden warning and a black shape surged forward. Coyote shot and killed it. The thing looked like a child, though a mutant one. As security team appeared. They questioned Axel first, and he said that he came to deescalate the situation.

Security was frightened that there were intelligent mutants that had infiltrated the city. Computer research confirmed that Raleigh was a collaborator and had fallen in love with a female mutant and had a child. He had a heart attack as he was led off and Hedda saved his life with quick first aid.

Security told us that they were searching for a female mutant that was carrying a valuable cargo. We heard that the Legion was mobilizing and that the Raider King was mobilizing. Rumors abounded. We visited Nigel and he wanted to mount an expedition to ground zero.

Security caught the mutant woman and killed her. Old Man Coyote realized what the bloody hand meant.

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Between Haven and Heck

William met with Sharpe, a mutant hunter. Axel Grease and Old Man Coyote went too. He seemed put off by the idea of human-like mutants. Axel told him about the adapting mutant. He showed us some pictures of mutants that suggests that there are some giant mutant out there that is only getting stronger.

Then, we went to see Mr. Raleigh. He thought that we were going to make fun of him. Raleigh was shocked and fearful when asked about intelligent mutants. He seemed to be hiding something. Coyote peeked around them and saw a table heavy with food and a loose ceiling panel. Coyote told him that the Legion were planning to go to Haven in number and Riley made a quick goodbye.

Coyote sneaked over to Nigel"s and saw that the door had a new mechanical lock and a spot of blood. Coyote saw Nigel strangling, dangling in the air. Coyote picked the lock as the others came over. They barged in and took damage from a stun grenade trap. William Tell started talking to them after he got up and things looked bad. Threats were made by both sides.

Coyote wounded Walker and the cloaked man counter attacked. A battle ensued and plasma flashed. Walker got his knife stuck in the wall for a moment. Axel shot one. Walker took out a grenade and Coyote grabbed the hand and held it shut. Still partially blinded, Hedda killed Walker. Old Man Coyote got the grenade and put back the pin.

Security showed up and took the bodies into custody. Nigel told us that the attackers were ;very interested in the ship’s weapon and security systems. The weapons were nuclear. Rico left for Deadwood, as mutants were swarming.

We went to the Elder, but first we were disarmed and had opaque helmets put on us. The Elder was ancient, hooked up to various life support systems. He was both impressive and sad. He asked why we were here. Coyote said it was to speak to Nigel and a couple of experts on Mutants. Axel said it was to seek out the sages in town. The Elder said that the mutants were a game changer in the wastes, and a key to the future. WE noticed an odd symbol that he wore which was unfamiliar to us. We were then ushered out. Axel asked if the Elder came down in the space craft that made up the palace. The Elder said that he could not remember and then his vital signs destabilized.

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