Portentous petraportals - Intro and Series 1 ( Yuff )

2.13 City of peril
Beset by danger in the ruins

A fight!
Nik got injusred, then dragged to safety by Jax. XR took out a swordman then helped Sybil with the one fighting him. One archer then ran away, then the other. Jax tended to Nik’s wounds. In the aftermath, a stranger was seen running away from the scene of the battle. Sybil made sure his oponent was dead, and Jax took out his shame on the other. XR found 3 gold coins ($150) on one body.

In an effort to get Nik to the best care as quickly as possible the adventurers decide to head to Esberg by going around the central ring-road a little. Looking down there XR noticed a pair of B-14 barricade droids and a bunch of ancient bodies. … spooky.

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2.12 Into the city
What lies in wait in the ruins?

With their supplies ready, the team head into the city to seek the agriculture control centre where Jax hopes to re-enable the agricultural belt, and Nikolai hopes to score an enormous haul of ancient tech.

Having set off around 2, the party walked for several hours. During this time Sybil drank one of his canteens which he’d filled with beer, causing him to pass out. About 6 o’clock, they encountered a stranger on the road. Fearing an ambush, Jax jumped over the wall of the elevated roadway to sneak around the side. After a misjudged hop though, he was lucky to stay hanging on to the rails on the side of the road. After regaining his composure he snuck around the side to be ready for a sneak-attack.
The individual revealed themselves to be a D-45 police droid. He was adamant that the travellers return to their home immediately as there is a curfew in effect. Some attempts to deceive / confuse the droid failed, so when XR stated an address near the city center the D-45 unit escorted them to the remains of the identified building. The team convinced it to leave them in the neighbouring building. Here they scrounged around for a while and found an old drinks machine with some “Herr Cola” and “11-up” along with some bottles of mineral water. Nik was injured climbing down a vine from an upper floor. They camped for the night in the lobby.

The following morning, our adventurers set off to go to the heart of the city. It wasn’t long though before they were attacked by bandits. Nik was shot with 2 arrows and badly wounded.

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2.11 The aftermath
Was operation monkeymess a success?

Tuesday PM

Nikolai and XR go to pay Nina The Ninja for her night’s work. Just outside the alley, a pickpocket tried to steal Nik’s money, but an enormous mutated stranger (Sybil grabbed him. Following this encounter, Sybil offered his services as a bodyguard for free. When Nik and XR got to see Nina, she revealed that everything had gone mostly to plan, but she’d had to kill a guard who spotted her in the act.

Jax was released from the guardhouse as they suddenly seemed very pre-occupied with what had been reported by a prostitute, and subsequently the evidence found in Varn Gillock’s house.

Wednesday

Nikolai gets the good news from Grith Astor that Varn is totally discreditted, and he expects the purity law proposal to fall flat. Nik is in line to receive improved status and a nicer shop. Grith has arranged for some medical help for Udan.

That night Malory returned and told our party about her need to find her travel partner Quinn Beckett.

Thursday

With the stone off the cart, the team all gather supplies for their trip into the city.

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2.10 Operation monkeymess
Send in... the monkey

Monday

Udan agrees to be chained up in the garden knowing he can free himself later.
The rest of the group go to the pub so they are well visible as not being involved with anything that happens. During the day Nik goes to buy some hats for the guys: a tiny top-hat fascinator for XR, a full top-hat for Jax, and a wide-brimmed hat for himself.

Late in the day, Udan ‘broke free’ and went to the Gillock house to cause a ruckus to distract from Nina’s activities. After breaking into the house’s grounds, he rooted around for a weapon, ended up thwacking a hand-cultivator into the back door. Upon turning around he saw 4 guards, 3 of whom gave chase. He ran, then in a stroke of genius crapped in his hand then slapped the 3 guards “3 Stooges” style. As they lay on the ground vomiting, he ran around the front of the house, hearing shouts from inside.
As he ran across the front garden though, Varn Gillock and his father came out with their guns. A superb shot by the father took Udan down. The unreliable warp device failed to save him, and he collapsed in the grounds.

Meanwhile, Nina went about her task in secret.

Tuesday

The city watch came to arrest Jax as he’d previously declared ownership of Udan. Jax was hung over and pissed off that he was getting heat for the actions of his “pet”. Officer Officer questioned him but was stymied by Jax’s insistence on seeing the town charter to prove it’s his responsibility even though he took reasonable precautions.

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2.6 Peace of Neberg festival
How to discredit a puritan?

Having been contacted by Gryth Astor to discredit his house’s rivals by intoxicating Varn Gillock at the town fair, Nik also acquired some more “Peace” to use to pacify the highly dangerous Malory.

Malory appeared at the arranged time and hovered in the cloud of peace smoke produced by the fire. Thus-calmed, she answered the adventurers’ questions and revealed that she is not from this world, but from another layer of the multiverse. Trapped here on a slow-time planet the Peace helps her deal with existence. She is unable to leave due to her travel partner going missing. He was the one that drove the stone and she doesn’t know where he’s gone. XR bravely stuck his head through the portal and verified that it appears safe to travel through and seems to be on Yuff.

The following day Nik and Jax went to the apothecary to get some “Healing Metabolism Boosters” (ancient meds) to help Jax recover. They noticed they were being followed. After getting the meds and Nik getting patched up they tried to approach their tail but lost him in a crowd.
XR spent the day helping the blacksmith that was replacing his sword which Malory melted.

The following day was the day of the 20th annual Neberg fair.
Jax failed at the shooting range. Nik had a crack at it and aced it, winning a teddy which he gave to XR. XR terrified a stall owner from out of town, then tried to dunk senator Arnold by throwing balls at a target.

With the festivites enjoyed, the team set about framing Varn. Nik pulled him away from a bar full of city watchmen that he was berating and convinced him to come to another pub. There he tried with limited success to get Varn to drink so they could then convince him to smoke. He was too aware of his duties though and then almost caught Nik planting a bag of “peace” on him.

As a plan B, Nik went to “The Alley” to find a ne’er-do-well to report a commotion to draw Varn down there. After a confused conversation with one of the ladies of negotionable affection in that street, the message was sent. Unfortunately, Varn brought some men with him, so the opportuntiy to bag and drug jim didn’t arise.

Gryth Astor didn’t seem happy with Nikolat as the Midday archery contest got under way without any sign of an intoxicated Varn.

Brian won the archery contest.

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2.6 Neberg
A little R&R? If you're lucky

The adventurers had a good night’s rest in Mrs. A’s “Hole” and felt refreshed in the morning.

They each decided to go their own way about the town and look for services or activities to suit their own needs.

Day 1
Jax went fishing with Udan ‘disguised’ as some sort of exotic pet, and the pair enjoyed a spot of relaxing fishing for a few hours, caught a moderate fish. Udan studied the stone to no avail. Nikolai bought some shuriken, and XR got his sword polished.

Day 2
Udan managed to control the stone a little.
Nikolai convinced Jax to act as his protector.
That night Mallory Al’Turo appeared late that night and floated around demanding some “Peace”. As XR attempted to delay her departure she melted his sword.

Day 3
Gryth Astor contacted Nik to defame his rival Varn Gillock.
Jax went to the local apothecary and got a bit of surgery to help him heal.
Nik went and bought a family pack of “Peace”

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2.5 Debrief
XR has a head full of new knowledge

XR-77451 spent several days in the tunnels learning his way around the computer system there and extracting information from it:

  • Last communication from base was in 2222
  • This system has no map of Bergang
  • Central control can be accessed via hatch NE3/4-hatch-003
  • “Agri-2” security clearance required to get into NE3/4 from circle tunnels or hatches
  • Clearance is determined by multipass + PIN
  • First Officer Jax Vikerns is not listed in the Agri staff database
  • No recorded security stations in the AGri-belt
  • There are periodic automated guns in NE1/2 and NE3/4
  • Turned off animal capture
  • Turned off Arable plowing
  • Turned off arable harvest
  • There are only surface access hatches within the city perimiter
  • Opened animal capture tube NE3-521-g
  • Logs show power spike 6.5 days prior to enquiry
  • Video footage shows a control panel exploding in a shower of purple sparks
  • Set internal speakers to “play smooth jazz”. This is now on repeat in the tunnels:

The adventurers then headed back to the village where they relayed the information about having shut down the machinery and sealed the animal capture holes.

The village Chief wanted to be rid of their once-sacred stone after he heard that it could be related to the machinery due to the purple sparks shown on the video footage in the underground tunnels matching that which occurred when the two strangers appeared on the stone.

The adventurers agreed to transport the stone with them using a 4-wheeled cart provided by the Chief which XR obediently pulled along. They headed out towards Jax’s pod in order to recharge his weapon on the way to Nicolai’s Mother’s house in Neeberg.

Along the way, they were ambushed by a gang of three bandits – a big burly man wielding a large sword and two scrawny archers.

After scaring them off with a few well placed shots and slices, they continued to Nicolai’s Mother’s house with stone in tow (planning to either sell it or find someone who might be more interested in its strange properties).

We left our adventurers with promise of a nice cooked meal and a warm bed to recover from the journey and the brawl outside the town.

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2.4 Next Steps
Where do we go from here?

The adventurers returned to the Mochawa village, Jonas went to fetch the elders to hear what had gone on, and bring some healers to tend to the injured,

Upon learning that there is ancient technology beneath his feet, Hank is disgusted and wants the tribe to move out to the savannah.

Drew is somewhat more balanced in his views and asks the adventurers to go back and turn off the plow and animal-grab parts of the machine, but leave the fertility drive on.

Roused from his semi-concious state by talk of disabling the machinery, First Officer Jax Vikerns called XR-77451 to one side and revealed to him that he has a strong motive to increase the fertility of the land, not decrease it. They make a deal with Drew that if they do as he asks for this area, Drew and the tribe will help them as much as they can if Jax manages to enable the machinery in the region to the south of the Mochawa lands. Satisfied with this deal, Jax is taken away to be tended to by Joan and Joanne, 2 pretty young healers from the tribe.

Meanwhile, Udan has managed to return to the group. Having a little way away appeared during the deal-making, he stayed hidden until the deal was done. When the group dispersed, XR welcomed him back and learned of all that happened to him while he was away.

The following morning, Jonas, Bartimaeus, XR and Udan trek out to the hole-ridden area. XR spends the days interrogating the computer, while Udan goes scavenging for parts to fix his warp drive. The tribe lads act as guard against a few wild animals, and provide shelter in the wild.

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2.3 Restoration
Up from the grave they arise

Udan teleported into the sea near the town of Kuste, where he nearly drowned in the acidic waters. He was rescued by local Wally and taken to a near by bar. Unknown to Udan, Wally intended to display him as an oddity to make money. A bar fight ensued but Udan was captured and now is waiting to be exploited by Wally.

Jax, Nikoli & XR-77451, carried on exploring the tunnels of Mochawa region. Jax being severely injured was carried for much of the journey by XR until they were set upon by a ferocious lion. Jax in his wounded state hurled his gun, in a critical fail at the lion rather than shooting it! Nicoli and XR managed to kill the lion although Nikoli was severely wounded.

After much effort tying ropes the adventurers escaped the hole. Using XR’s absolute direction to locate Bartimaeus, they managed to find him. Unfortunately in the rescue attempt Jonas was dropped this was conveniently blamed on XR. After a struggle with ropes Bartimaeus was rescued and taken back to the tribe.

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2.2 Living dead zone
It's quiet... A little too quiet

Udan’s jump device has malfunctioned and sent him 600 miles Southeast to the coast! Oh dear. (rabidacidbadger missed this session)

A few hours (10 miles) east of the Mochawa village is the area where Jonas’ brother went missing. Jonas takes our characters out there. They follow the trail east for a little way before turning back to the place Jonas was camping the previous night, which is presumed safe for the night.

During the evening, several animals are heard briefly in distress then quiet. There are occasional mechanical noises too. Mostly though, the area they were exploring is eerily still. This piques the interest of Nikolai and Jax who decide to go out in the night to investigate. XR-77451 accompanies them as he feels compelled to protect them from expected danger.

Wandering in the dark, our group hear a squawk a little way away to their left. They follow the direction of the noise. Cautiously, they explore, when suddenly a metal claw on the end of a cable strikes Jax in the chest and starts dragging him at speed along the ground. Nikolai dives and grabs Jax’s foot, while XR runs alongside, trying to get ahead to attack the cable with his sword. Jax shoots wildly, but to no avail, missing the cable each time. Realising that this isn’t going well, Nikolai decides to cut his losses and at least recover the shoe he sold Jax a couple of days ago.

Jax vanishes down a metal-rimmed hole and falls to the bottom of a 6 meter shaft with a crump.

Filled with concern for their friend, and curiosity about the hole, Nikolai and XR clamber down the shaft. As XR is about to drop, the grapple-hook mechanism resets itself and appears next to him in the shaft. XR carefully grabs the support pole, then jumps up and down on it (in the shaft) to snap it off. He arrives at the bottom of the shaft with an almighty crash in a pile of broken metal and grapple cable as the device fired while falling.

After identifying the device as an animal-catcher, they realise this is probably a facility for gathering food. The group decide to explore the barely-lit, meter diameter tunnel in which they find themselves. After a while, they find a hole leading down into a larger (6 meter diameter) tunnel. Jax falls and is so injured he passes out. XR stays with him while Nikolai goes to find a first-aid kit.

Nikolai manages to find a kit and a control panel. After returning and tending to Jax, they all go to the panel to see what can be done. XR manages to to bring up a map showing many many warnings and errors in what appears to be a large underground network for harvesting both arable and livestock. A look at the productivity logs reveals that another human was dragged down in a neighbouring tunnel. Believing this to be Jonas’ brother, the team prepare to head to his position.

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