Day 24 Mid-day
With Rydell down below, the others investigated the camp, finding not much in the first two buildings they checked. They then found footprints leading to the deep hole. Starting to consider how to get down there, they spotted a figure or figures coming in from the woods to the west and so chose to hide.
Meanwhile Rydell allowed himself to be taken and laid upon a a flat wooden surface in a large, moist chamber with no light for him to see anything by. The Sov-Ghoul’s tone seemed friendly enough and a little one even played with him by making a stuffed toy duck dance along his arm. A single adult hand stayed on his chest, a gentle reminder to stay where he was.
On the surface a group of Sov-Ghouls came in from the woods with some mean looking wounds, likely from some kind of large animals, and a captive Survivor. Mirabella opted to intervene.
A lot of shouting, shooting, confusion and acrobatics followed. By the end, Rydell narrowly escaped to the surface only to be convinced that he should follow the strange Survivor into the woods while an unseen sniper kept the others at bay.
Gregory had been, understandably, hanging back during all this. As the others rallied to go save Rydell, he found a note left behind by the last pilgrim scout, the one they had to find to close their pact with the Pilgrim Village. He indicated that the last scout had headed South, but the group outvoted Gregory in favour of rescuing Rydell. So they set off into the woods, having to camp fairly soon and with worries about just what that large community of underground, feral human-things might have to say to them if they ever returned.
Tracking and trekking through the woods, Mirabella found the trail around mid-afternoon. They went until evening and then slept, with nothing but quiet and cold ash for company.
Day 26 – Morning
Not long after breakfast Mirabella locked onto Rydell with her mind, doing so with such accuracy that she got a birds-eye view of where he was…
…and who he was with. Talus!
He and this woman had taken Rydell to a house Shiva and Gregory had no desire to return to, that Mirabell and Calidore weren’t keen on either after they had the story of the Survivors first visit there told to them.
By the time they arrived at the house Mirabella was pleased to have her temporarily crippled hand return to full functionality. She’d need it.
Carefully approaching the house, Shiva’s broke to charge in hard after the new Survivor somehow made her see terrible things that she later refused to describe to the others. Chasing the woman through the house, Shiva tripped several booby-traps set by Talus, who fled with his new partner into the backyard.
Things escalated quickly.
Eventually freeing Rydell from the basement, the others found themselves in a backyard Mexican stand-off as Talus seemed to be successfully choking Shiva to death with his whip while she struggled to escape. After a lot of shouting, some shooting – that Talus never seemed too concerned by – and Shiva finally snapping the whip in half…all parties agreed that this wasn’t going to end without at least some deaths they weren’t comfortable with.
Even though he didn’t seem terribly warm toward her, the new survivor had changed at least one thing – Talus now had someone other than himself to take care of.
Shiva reigning in her bloodlust barely in time, a very temporary truce was agreed upon, just long enough for Talus and the new survivor to melt westward into the woods.
With terrifying ghouls back at the lumberyard and more sophisticated danger bound to return some time soon, the survivors regrouped to look at their wounds and decide where to go next…