Session 4: The Broken Path
After taking two days to recover from their wounds and entrench themselves on the chasm floor the group is largely ready to start their exploration.
As the camp houses all the supplies for their extended trip, a selection of the group stays behind to guard the base camp. Gess stays behind to continue working on repairs to the Rift Walker while Lysander, Helios, Zisk, Billum (Captain) and Ruby (Numenera Expert) start their journey across the broken pieces of Lysander’s home, the conch.
The going is slow as they make their way across the broken pieces of the shell. The ground is broken by huge boulders, undoubtedly the cause of the conch’s collapse. As they make their way across the broken landscape, Lysander scavenges for food, plant life found on the inside of the broken pieces of the conch.
A few hours into the trip Zisk feels the hairs rise on the nap of his neck again. The group starts to drop into a little bowl made by falling rock debris and pieces of the shell. Zisk has yet to drop in and notices a few creatures on two sheer pieces of rock lining the side of the bowl. He shouts a warning and preps a bolt of lightning, targeting one of the creatures on the top of the cliff. Lysander, confident in his mastery of his homeland, brushes off the warning and continues his way obliviously up the shell to the other side. Helios, having learned his lesson, jumps to attention and spots the creatures over the top edge of the sheer rock faces. As Lysander turns his head grumbling towards Zisk he fails to see a piece of loose shell and his feet go out from under him. He starts an uncontrollable slide down the upper sloped portion of the shell. As he slides he sees one of the creatures, a kargriff, resembling a Bulette in many ways (though a bit less stout, with a dorsal and tail fin and a metallic head made of incredibly strong material), jump of the cliff to try and land right on him. He’s unable to get purchase on the slick shell and knows he won’t be able to avoid the attack. Helios acts quickly and stops Lysander’s slide, helping him up just enough for Lysander to launch to the side to avoid the creature. It bangs into the shell, shaking the platform and throwing off a loud, but dull, ringing sound. Billum moves himself and Ruby down to the back edge of the bowl to avoid getting flanked and sets up a defensive position.
Zisk lets loose with his bolt, but misses the mark as the kargriff takes two quick steps and launches itself back in retaliation. Zisk dodges deftly under the creature then up a portion of the sheer face to gain a tactical advantage. The final kargriff leaps straight down the bowl at Helios, who drops to the shell, sending the creature flying over the top of him and into the far edge of the bowl. Zisk lets loose with another bolt that is dodged. The kargriff attacking him pursues and Zisk retreats again to higher ground, but not before taking a wicked bite along the left thigh and calve.
Lysander has fought these before and moves deftly with a jump attack to try and penetrate the creature’s soft spot behind its impenetrable head. His first blow is deflected by the creatures head, but his next strike hits true and blow instantly kills the creature, thumping into the underside of the hard head. Lysander lets out a bestial roar as he survey’s the battle.
Billum deftly places blows on the creature fighting Helios, always keeping up his defensive stance, protecting Ruby. Helios recognizes the soft neck of the creature and aims his blows there. Just like Lysander, his first blow is rebuffed by the creature’s head, but the second finds its mark and the kargriff goes down under the combined efforts of Billum and Helios.
With the final kargriff hot on the heels Zisk, Lysander moves to intercept. He takes two long strides, jumps on to the platform Zisk started the battle on and springs himself straight to top of the sheer edge of the left cliff. He grabs the edge with his hand, a single hand, using the momentum of his leap, his dexterity and the strength of his climbing hand to sweep a foot on to the plateau. He moves to intercept the charge kargriff and meets the creatures charge. He stops the creature’s momentum with a well-placed thrust from his glaive into the hind quarters of the creature. Zisk capitalizes on the creatures weakened state and distraction. He jumps to the side of the kargriff and places a blast right between its shoulders, dropping it in a sizzling mass.
As Zisk works to bandage his wounds and the group organized itself, Lysander moves in a clinical pattern, trying to find the nest of the kargriffs. He’s successful in finding the nest quickly and upon looting the bodies there find a few cyphers and some rations they can use along their journey.
They rest for the day upon a tall outcropping of rock, providing them high ground and views of the surrounding area. The next day they continue their journey and reach the edge of the broken part of the conch. They can see the expanse of the remaining intact piece, rough half, and look to make their decent off the rubble to the shell’s floor. Just then they hear the screech of a thrisall. The team forms up, ready for another heated battle. A lone thrisall comes into view and Lysander lets loose a bolt from his crossbow. The bolt flies wide and swoops around to try and pick off Ruby, who is the middle of the group. Hawking the creature’s movements, Lysander drops his crossbow, pulls out his glaive and heads to the far side of the group, trying to intercept the path of the thrisall as it comes through. Zisk unsuccessfully sends a bolt of lightning toward the creature and Helios misses the mark with his sword. Ruby crouches to the ground as the thrisall passes over and Billum deflects it’s grab with this shield. As it passes over Lysander is waiting and with a might thrust puts a gash into the underbelly of the beast. It screeches and flies off into the dark.
The group makes their decent with Lysander guiding them; he’s able to keep Zisk from taking the fast route to the bottom. Once they reach the bottom they search for ways through the rubble, hoping to angle back through along the ground, towards Lysander’s village. His knowledge of the land allows him to navigate quickly along natural terrain features that would likely provide enough space to traverse under the crushing weight of broken shell and rock. In a matter of hours they reach the village, or what’s left of it. The group can hear the creaking and groaning of rocks and shell as they unstably shift ever so slightly. It’s a ticking time bomb and no one knows how long they have until the whole thing goes. They begin a frantic search of the remaining buildings, hoping to find anyone yet alive.