|TIME:||Tuesday – July 01, 1879 – 10:15 PM|
|LOCATION:||New Jerusalem [MAP]|
|POSSE ROLE-CALL:||Allen Jabour with his flock (Ed Green, Nathan Green)|
After dramatically obtaining the attention of everyone in the mining cavern, the posse raced back toward the narrow fissure that led to the masters’ tunnels. Almost everyone had squeezed through the opening when Oliver Pickman reached it and became stuck, trapping Sterling and Nathan Green in the masters’ tunnels. After several tense minutes, Oliver scrapped his way through and was quickly joined by Sterling and Nathan. Sterling and Brother Allen then formed a firing line across the tunnel while Jonah took a position near the fissure with his pickaxe. Everyone else lined up behind Sterling and Allen to watch the fun as best they could.
The group soon heard the shuffling of feet and low moans, and then the first miner squeezed his way through the fissure. Brother Allen fired his shotgun, blowing a large hole clean through the miner, while Jonah’s pickaxe pierced the infected man’s skull. The body slumped to the ground and the next miner moved in to attack Jonah. Allen shot this one as well, but to little effect. (The miner did not seem to feel pain.) Jonah struggled with the man as Sterling waited, unwilling to “waste” a shot with Hildegarde on the infected. Brother Allen fired again, catching the man in the face and leaving a gruesome head wound, but the miner did not fall. The man actually managed to grab Jonah and bite his forearm before collapsing. Fortunately for Jonah, the miner’s teeth were unable to penetrate the cloth of his shirt, but the force of the bite did cause him to drop the pickaxe.
Somewhat shaken by the close call, Jonah allowed Yang Li to take over his position by the fissure, moving behind Sterling and Brother Allen. Jonah also loaned Sterling his pistol so Sterling had a weapon he was willing to use. Yang Li immediately entered a meditative trance and focused his ki (invoking armor), trusting to Brother Allen and Sterling to cover him as he prepared to do battle. Sterling and Allen fired upon the next infected miner to arrive through the fissure, but their shots did not seem to hinder the man. Yang Li was easily able to evade the man’s clumsy attacks but was unable to harm his foe himself. His quick punches and kicks had little effect. Deciding to focus on head shots due to the resiliance of the infected, Sterling manged to blow a hole through the side of the miner’s skull. Even so mortally wounded, the man managed once last lunge at Yang Li before the yellow light faded from his eyes and he fell.
The next infected miner quickly engaged Yang Li. Shots from Brother Allen and Sterling proved ineffective, but after wrestling with the man for a short time, Yang Li was able to give himself enough room for a devastating roundhouse kick which broke the miner’s neck.
Another miner quickly squeezed through the fissure to do battle. Once again, the man shrugged off shots from Sterling and Brother Allen as he wrestled with Yang Li. It was then that Sterling, wishing to take the fight to the masters, attempted to teleport himself and Allen past the infected and further down the tunnel. Unfortunately, in his hurry, he did not adjust the dials on his hat to the precise settings required. Instead of teleporting, the device only momentarily placed him out of phase and exposed Sterling to the searing heat of the imploding ghost rock powder. Seeing Sterling’s condition after the failed teleport, Brother Allen called upon the Lord to heal Sterling’s painful burns.
Recovered from his failure, Sterling once more attempted to teleport with Brother Allen and this time succeeded! They re-appeared roughly 70 feet down the tunnel, just in time to see and hear the crack of lightning. While they teleported, Yang Li brought down the miner he had been fighting, revealing one of the masters standing at the fissure. The master held a strange ball of black metal in two of its claws which generated a searing bolt of lightning that struck Xinjin. (Xinjin had been directly behind the firing line along with Jonah when Sterling and Brother Allen teleported.) The bolt ripped a horrible scream from Xinjin’s lips before he fell to the ground in a smoking heap. Meanwhile, the master stepped back around the corner as more infected miners moved to attack. In a quick, hushed conversation, Sterling and Brother Allen considered attacking the master and the miners under his control from the rear, but instead decided to explore deeper into the lair.
Having given his pistol to Sterling, Jonah prepared the only weapon he had, his new trusty pickaxe, and moved up to assist Yang Li in battle with the infected. Oliver surprised the group by reaching into his satchel and bringing out a black metal ball identical to the one held by the master. He waited as Yang Li and Jonah battled miner after miner, finally firing a bolt of lightning between them as the master stepped into view with its own weapon. Oliver’s bolt seared into the master’s flesh and it fell, unmoving, to the floor. The last couple of infected miners were no match for the group and the fight soon ended. As Oliver explained to Jonah that he had found his lightning weapon in the mine while previously researching the situation, Yang Li noticed that Xinjin was not quite dead. However, with such grievious wounds, it was obvious that the man was dying. Xinjin was muttering in Cantonese as he lay in agony. Yang Li heard him ask, “Where am I? How did this happen? Who are you?”, before breathing his last breath.
Hearing gun shots and the crack of lightning echo down the tunnel, the group hurried to reach Sterling and Brother Allen. However, before leaving, Jonah claimed the master’s lightning weapon as his own. Oliver put his weapon back into his satchel, explaining that he was uncomfortable using such alien technology except in the most dire situations.
Meanwhile, Sterling and Allen had found a bit of trouble. They had encountered another set of infected miners down the tunnel. Their first shots missed the miners and the infected were able to close. As Sterling and Allen wrestled with the miners, they noticed two masters further down the tunnel holding odd devices. One of the aliens twisted and proded the melded collection of shiney metal tubes in his claws to produce a cold white mist that quickly spread down the tunnel toward our heroes. By dodging to the sides of the tunnel, both Sterling and Brother Allen missed the worst effects of the freezing cold. However, the infected miners they were fighting were not as intelligent or lucky; they were fully enveloped in the mist and collasped to the floor. Fingers and other external appendages were actually frozen solid and smashed apart as the bodies hit the floor. This attack was followed by the other master, who used his lightning weapon to fire at Brother Allen. Fortunately, the bolt missed. In response, Sterling opened fire with Hildegarde and Allen fired his trusty shotgun. Both shooters hit with devastating effect, killing their foes.
The rest of the posse joined Sterling and Brother Allen as they examined the dead masters. Sterling claimed the mist weapon while Allen picked up the lightning weapon. Brother Allen noticed while examing the corpses that the semi-luminous green slime covering the torso was some form of kinetic armor and would adhere to human skin. He covered his own chest with the slime and was soon copied by Yang Li (who gathered the slime from the other body).
The group continued back to the large mining cavern, encountering no other foes. The cavern appeared abandoned when they arrived, but as the posse carefully walked onto the ledge outside the tunnel, two of the alien masters flew down from above the tunnel entrance. They grabbed Sterling and Yang Li and then flew out past the ledge, dropping the unfortunate men to the floor 30 feet below. The masters then turned and flew back toward the rest of the posse. Brother Allen had dropped to one knee to allow those still in the tunnel to see as he fired his shotgun to little effect. As soon as one of the masters got close enough, Jonah swung his lucky pickaxe, scoring a hit that stunned the creature. The other alien master attempted to grab Allen, but the preacher dodged its claws.
At this point, Oliver began reading from a book taken from his satchel. The sounds he emitted seemed distorted and unreal; not synchronized as they should be with the movement of his lips. As Oliver spoke, a small sphere of distorted space formed before him. His voice rose to a creshendo before abruptly breaking off. As soon as his speech ended, the sphere flew past the group and the masters before quietly exploding and distorting space in a larger area. Only one of the masters was caught in this effect. Although it continued to threaten Brother Allen, its attacks seemed less coordinated and it staggered a bit. (Just added a little flavor text for the stun spell, and this log is being written late enough that I can admit it without the players losing the mystery. – Ed.)
Yang Li was very lucky when he was dropped by the master. His martial arts training assisted him in avoiding any major damage from such a fall and the kinetic slime protected him from the rest. He quickly regained his feet and began the climb back to the tunnel entrance and the rest of the group.
After being dropped, Sterling had hit the floor of the cavern hard, but managed to climb to his feet without any broken bones (although the bruised ribs he would feel for some time). Assuming that the rest of the posse could handle the two masters, he decided to continue the exploration of the tunnels without them. He hoped to be the first to discover more of the masters’ technology. He left the cavern via the one other exit that could be seen.
Meanwhile, Jonah proved that his pickaxe was harder than any alien fungus-crustacean’s shell and killed the master attacking him. Although he tried, Brother Allen could not land a solid blow with his shotgun on his own attacker. It was Oliver, once again reading from his book, who laid the last master low. Once again, he spoke sounds that did not belong in reality to unlease a bolt of black energy that smashed into the master. At the same time, the ears of the Green brothers, who happened to be standing near Oliver, began to weep trickles of blood. The flow stopped the instant Oliver stopped speaking.
As the group rejoined Yang Li and worked their way across the cavern to the only other exit, Brother Allen and Oliver discussed his newly displayed powers. Although Allen was worried that Oliver’s powers came from the devil, Oliver explained that magic was only science that people did not yet comprehend. Oliver’s book apparently explained much about the universe and its strange dimensions, and even stranger corners. Since his powers had helped the group, Brother Allen accepted Oliver’s explaination, but decided in his own mind that he should keep a close watch on Oliver… and if Oliver should be proven to be in league with the devil – well, Allen had handled such situations before… usually with the help of his revolving shotgun.
|EXPERIENCE AWARD: 2|