Played 6/20/20 IRL, 1/8/2122 IG.
- Thoreson Grimeater (Anders) Berserker, Chef, Healer.
- Ivo Flynt (Imre) Support, Gunsmith, Engineer. (Apprentice, Tella)
Preparing to Go
The Various Gardens Expedition Council took some time to deliberate on the Silkpurser offer to turn over Kalara Heights to Rumbleseed in exchange for slaying the spiderstalker beast that hunted in their Screenhall so they could return home.
Meanwhile, at the Hollowing Party, Thoreson won a cooking competition against a local favorite, an elderly engineer named Chef Jaya whose cooking tended to aim for mass production. Many locals were steamed at him for being an arrogant shallower and disrespecting their local culture and customs.
Assuming they’d get permission to go after the spiderstalker, Ivo and Tella worked on a portable ballista and an armor-piercing harpoon Ivo dubbed the Tickler. Ivo’s teachers scoffed at his idea for an explosive-tipped armor-piercing harpoon that would latch inside armor and be anchored to a cable to keep the prey from escaping. The rope would be too heavy and too frail, and the force of the harpoon wouldn’t be enough to do what he wanted. He feverishly worked on the harpoon and anchored it with spidersilk cable; this was his chance to use a field test to prove those “experts” wrong. Ivo and Tella also weaponized their cosmic spores from the Golden Vent in a short-range explosive blaster. Just in case.
The Rustad family earned a major victory as Lady Jeet ran into a “clotting” of fungal ogres and cut them back to stone, burning the area out and laying the foundation for a forge keep at the head of the Roaring Stairs. Her family continued mounting assaults against the trolls that the fungal ogres had kept in check.
The Timaron family was not so fortunate. They suffered a major setback as Marralease, one of their leaders, was missing in action. Her team checked the Cinnamon Swell area, and only one survivor made it back to the expedition. The Cinnamon Swell was full of a very fine tan dust, and it was not only toxic and irritating, it was explosive. The team faced off with hulking shrimp-like creatures that could vent plasma attacks, and when the dwarves opened fire they detonated the fog.
The Mission Was Authorized
Ten dwarves were assigned to the Fellowship, two squads to hunt the spiderstalker.
Oria’s Gunners were assigned from the Dunn family, led by a Chosen. Ivo was pleased to take command of that squad, and he inspired the Chosen to bless his ballista.
Burava’s Slayers were assigned from the Grimeater family, close assault specialists under Thoreson’s command. Burava was impressed by Thoreson’s perspective and experience, and offered her services as a delver (and her squad in support of the hunt.)
Equipped with armor-piercing rounds and dwarven resolve, the Fellowship headed out to the Golden Vent with Sypert as their guide.
Journey to the Screenhall
They passed through spore-laden winds, and when they were half a day out from the Screenhall they camped so they would arrive fresh and dangerous. Tella asked them how they managed their anxiety; through preparation and bottling up violence to release at an opportune time.
As they approached the Screenhall they saw swarms of wasps ganging up on targets and stinging them to death. They were jumped by swarms of finger-sized wasps at one point, and Thoreson’s legendary weapon tore through one mass with a burst of energy as Ivo’s firebombs sorted out the rest. Vanmil managed to use her energy to create a vortex to whisk the wasps away until they could be otherwise discouraged. The Fellowship was increasingly cautious as the wasp swarms buzzing past got bigger and bigger, some the size of their forearms.
Luring the Spiderstalker
Once they saw the grand ruin of the Screenhall, they decided to lure the spiderstalker out rather than going into unfamiliar territory after it.
Thoreson and a team located some vent spiders and pounced, and after a little back-and-forth they managed to kill a few to harvest their glands to create a scent lure.
Ivo and a team created a spider-like shape made of explosives in a serviceable ambush site. When the others returned, they made the bait more realistic by adding some actual spider legs and scenting the trap. Then they hid and waited.
The spiderstalker didn’t show.
Growing impatient (because it was her idea) Burava took some spider lure and headed towards the hall, Thoreson backing her up. She managed to lure the spiderstalker out, and it casually tore her apart before Thoreson could intervene. He got its attention in turn, and as it pounced on him he deflected its attention with a burst from his legendary weapon, and managed to scramble to relative safety long enough for the bored super predator to lose interest–and pick up the scent of the actual lure.
The Battle of Screenhall
Ivo triggered the trap, blasting the spiderstalker at close range with all his explosives as it approached the trap. The spiderstalker squeezed out horrific sludgy defenders out of its abdomen; it was a multi-dimensional being with some sort of parasite monsters tucked between its plates.
Tickler hit, blew a hole in the carapace, and lodged; the cable held, and the spiderstalker could not retreat.
As Ivo’s shooters poured bullets into the monster, Thoreson rushed it from the far side and led his warriors into battle with it. The spiderstalker swept its mighty horn across the attackers, badly hurting some of them, but they managed to hack at it as bullets banged and ricocheted around them.
Thoreson tore into its flank, breaching its thorax and roaring as he plunged into its innards. He sensed its life force, a crystal matrix in its center. As the meat crushed him all around and stings stitched through him, he clutched at the crystal and tried to drag it free.
He was blacking out and the crystal was too slippery and secure; he found something else deep in his rage, another presence that combined with him and lent him strength to tear the crystal loose. It changed from glowing bright yellow to curdling with blood and pulsing red.
Ivo ran down to the dying beast and rescued Thoreson from its guts, reviving the berserker and marveling at the crystal.
The dwarves wasted little time hacking some trophies loose, and they relocated quickly. The death of a super predator is a tricky thing to manage, and other inquisitive responses would likely be incoming. They retreated back to Roachseat with their prizes and Told the Tale. Kalara Heights would soon be theirs.
They earned 6 Ledger.