Monday, December 28, 2009

Chapter 13, Part 1: "The Face-Eaters..."

This Episode's Cast of Characters:

Buzz Brazelhatch - Rowdy, Hearty and Lusty Australian Adventurer
Corporal Radar O' Reiley - Earth Man Rocketship-Soldier, Former Crewmate of Dank Darkstar
Dank Darkstar - Earth Man (Texan) Fighting-Man,
Former Crewman of the Scout Rocket Alpha
Mookla of the Slime Lands - Fighting-Mutant possessing a Sulfurous Stench and twisted limbs
Nigel Nightbringer - British Man-at-Arms
Rodan the Scrounger - Zermish (Green) Man Fighting-Man and Scavenger
Thibodeaux - 1850s' Nevada Alien Abductee, Cousin of Jedediah
Thragg the Skyman - Zermish Man Ornithopter Passenger and Fighting-Man

and

Jhooghovahr - Vhaashti Man Noble


Part II Here.

It's morning on a rocky slope in the Bornite Mountains above the Forbidden Mist Valley. A camp of adventurers are rising from their slumber and are in alarm as two members of the party, Dickie Dee the Bone Man Sorcerer and Jedediah the 1850s American Southerner, as well as their mounts, have disappeared during the night.

Jedediah's cousin Thibodeaux expresses worry that the inhabitants of the flying saucer that the party had passed yesterday have taken the pair; an understandable concern considering that both of the cousins are on Planet Algol due to being abducted by "aliens".

As the worried party hurriedly pack their gear on their orniths, two figures are seen riding up the mountainside and out of the white fog of the Forbidden Mist Valley: Rodan the Scrounger and Corporal Radar O'Reiley.

There is a brief reunion as Radar and Dank Darkstar recognize each other as fellow crew members of Earth Man vessel Scout Rocket Alpha. Dank is surprised that Radar no longer has his metal prosthetic nose (as his nose was eaten by a baboon during their initial, and disastrous, expedition to the surface of Planet Algol). Radar then carefully explains how his body was completely regenerated after he was slain by the bird-mutants of the pastel chalk cliffs.

Rodan the notorious Scrounger exhibits curiosity regarding the three recent additions to the party, who exchange greetings and brief introductions. Buzz then explains their mission toward the Vaults of Eternity; namely that their patron Jhooghovar seeks to enter the Vaults so that he can destroy a dangerous terraforming device of the Elder Races. Rodan is skeptical of Jhooghovar, and his scrounging mind begins scheming.

Once these matters are all carefully explained, the party takes a quick survey of their surroundings and ready themselves to once again make for the Vaults of Eternity. With their baggage packed, they ride their mounts down into the thick, cold, moldy white fog of the Forbidden Mist Valley.

After an hour of making their way through the monotonous vista of steep mossy hills, seeing not much else but an occasional white boulder or three, a group of hunched shaggy forms lurch from the mist ahead. As they draw closer the party sees the shambling forms belong to a pack of man-sized baboons!

Radar screams in terror as the shaggy white forms shamble forward waving bone clubs, all the while snarling to expose their long fangs. Parasitic gray fungus grows in their matted hair and a dim vicious intelligence glares from their eyes. While the party holds their ground and the front ranks of fighting men ready their halberds, Mookla the Mutant and Dank Darkstar run away; Radar O'Reily stands paralyzed with fright.

The mass of baboons charge the group, aside from a smaller group that lope after Mookla and Dank. It is a ferocious battle, halberds and swords stab and chop at the baboons who reply in turn with clubs and teeth. Dank Darkstar puts bullet after bullet into baboons before three surround him.

Rodan the Scrounger sees Dank's situation and begins firing his laser pistol at the baboons assaulting the Texan. Seeing this, Radar overcomes his fear and begins bashing away with his magical bronze battle axe. While the party is hacking down baboons, Dank's foes bludgeon and tear at him while he continues calmly firing his pistol at his fierce and snarling foes. Two of the baboons attacking Dank are soon slain, one by Rodan's laser beam, the other by the magic axe of Radar. Still, the third of Dank's baboons sinks his teeth into the neck of Dank and the Earth Man is borne to the ground by this remaining antogonist who then begins savagely eating his face. The party, with much effort slays the remaining baboons, including the one that is hunched over Dank's body, and takes stock of the situation.

Upon closer inspection, Dank Darkstar is indisputably dead, and nearly unrecognizable. Although he was liked by the party, the fact remains that he was a companion of theirs for only a few days and Rodan's Eye of Bestowing Life remains in his pouch. Rodan the Scrounger immediately begins going through the deceased Texan's belongings and begins distributing his gear: a Colt 1911 .45 automatic and ammunition, a lever-action rifle and ammunition, plasteel cable, mesh armor, a radiation crystal (which Rodan pockets), two glow rods, a set of Earth Man tools, and three medi-sprays. Mookla the Mutant asks for the medi-spray, but the reeking mutant's request is ignored by the True Men of the party.

The adventurers then quicky mount their steeds, and putting heels to hind quarters, dash away, moving ever onward to the Vaults of Eternity...

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