Present: Gregory Stanfield, the Pilgrim scout, Mirabella, Shiva, Calidore, Roland, Rydell, and Brittomart.
Re-appearing for the first time since ‘ The Archangel’, Brittomart had a lot to take in. Two new Survivors, Sov-Selkie corpses, an entire people that resembled an absent Bradamante, a stark & unfamiliar beach, and Roland bleeding out on grey sand.
After some hasty first-aid, an improtu stretcher made with a cloak and two spears, and loooots of catching up…the Survivors led the hunter-gatherers back through the cave tunnel to begin the long journey back to The Sheared Mountain. Food stores were heavily augmented by a good deal of Sov-Selkie meat.
Leading the hunter-gatherers, the Survivors enjoyed a peaceful trip in which they had plenty of time to think while heading through the mountain tunnel, along the railway and across ashen grassland parallel with the North-Western edge of The Dead Forest toward the mountain-range keeping some truly terrifying acid rain weather systems at bay.
The Survivors returned to The Sheared Mountain late on the thirty-fifth day since waking in the lighthouse, and about a month since they’d last been there,
After Brittomart failed to find the contentious hair across the entrance’s doorframe, Rydell offered to take point with investigating to see what may have changed in the past thirty days. The automated minigun had, blessedly, not been given a fresh load of ammunition. As it whirred in the background, Rydell found his gaze drawn to the familiar flag draped across the inner antechamber’s door.
This was, of course, the same flag found in patches on the shoulders of jackets taken from the commandos who’d been camped by the desert and had even been seen on the rags worn by the series of unfortunate wretches who’d exploded, melted, been shot by that still-whirring minigun, or eaten by the cannibals who used to reside at that house.
After further discussion, and Brittomart putting her ear to the door rather intently, the flag was removed and the rockslide filled room was investigated. Everything was more or less as they’d left it a month earlier, especially the several tons of collapsed ceiling and rockslide. The group began to plan for the future and eventually bedded down for the night, though not before Gregory bid a non-verbal adieu and headed off in the direction of the Pilgrim village.
- The dig through the rockslide begins.
- Rydell and five of the hunter-gatherers head north to hunt for fish near the Lighthouse.
- Mirabella and Shiva take turns keeping watch on the mountaintop. Brittomart and Calidore (“We must preserve the culture!”) do what they can to learn the language of the HG’s and teach them Survivor language.
- Acid rain kept everyone indoors for the morning. Digging progressed while Brittomart and Calidore continue “cultural exchange”. Brittomart begins to make illustrations on the south wall of the inner chamber.
- After watching the skies in fear for hours, Rydell and his group experience something familiar to him, new to them, and terrifying to all – hard acid rain. The one woman in the group gets caught by the rain and Rydell valiantly tries to save her, taking terrible damage to his black jumpsuit as he does so.
- Roland uses his very dusty bard abilities to spin a work song for the hunter gatherers (and helping Survivors), a throat-singing melody to inspire the work. It’s roughly to the tune of this:
- Up at the Blue Cave, the poor hunter gatherer’s wounds are too much and she dies overnight. She is buried in a shallow grave by the men, using Rydell’s cloak to cover the dirt and holding the corners down with rocks. By day’s end they reach the stark, northern bluffs and are forced to bed down in the open, the sounds of the sea in their cold, cold ears.
- Digging, and language exchange, continues while Mirabella mostly keeps watch from just outside the entrance. Rations of Sov-Selkie meat begin to be given out to the two best diggers of the day.
- Rydell gets in the water. The hunter gatherer men take quickly to fishing after he tests the water for acidity. Some lung fish-esque creatures are caught. Rydell leaves the HG’s to it as he spends the afternoon searching for better shelter.
- Just missing some incoming visitors, Shiva left with another five hunter gatherers to head North on a second fishing expedition.
- The Pilgrim Governor, four of his guards, and Gregory show up with the rather unhappy Japanese commando prisoners in rags and ropes. Communication is tricky, but it’s made clear the Pilgrims have had their fill of holding onto these guys and would like them taken off their hands.
While a brief ethical discussion erupted among the present survivors, the HG Shaman came out to see what the hubub was about. Uncharacteristically diplomatic, Mirabella engineered an awkward handshake between him and The Governor. Eventually she took watch and, satisfied there was nobody else approaching the mountain, everyone bedded down – including the visiting Pilgrims, who set up tents outside on the mountain top.
Nobody else approaching the mountain.
- Early in the morning Rydell, unsatisfied by a slight enclosure he found the day before, goes off in search of better shelter while the others continue fishing. Edging carefully along the rockface, he is stunned to discover what appears to be a submarine pen carved deep into the bluffs!
- Shiva and her party reach The Blue Sign Cave around noon.
- Back at The Sheared Mountain, Mirabella comes out for morning watch to find the Governor already awake and smoking a pipe. She has no memory of tobacco, but dang if she doesn’t like the smell. Calidore joins them. The guards still sleep in their tents and the others are inside digging – a job that should finally be finished by dinnertime.
But, as Mirabella is enjoying the smell of the Governors pipe, an interruption comes in the form of Japanese bullets that begin to fly from the mouth of the path which everyone has been using to get to the mountaintop. Mirabella throws her smaller frame into the Governor in a classic “GET DOWN” motion and, luckily, he does fall to the ground. It would seem the commandos found on the edge of the desert aren’t the only representatives of the Greater Japanese Empire to be found in these lands!