Thursday, June 23, 2011

Turn 16: Dark-Beasts

[Rolls for the six doses for the case of skin spray were 4, 4, 3, 4, 2, 4.  Sufficient to heal all injured characters completely].
Sabb'asch declines any offers of credits for the customs fee, “the customary bribe,” he calls it.  He rides in the front of the cart with his reptilian child while the party spills into the back with the few metal crates.  The Shén whips the great Martian lizards and the cart pulls out, soon it is beyond the city gates and on the north road. 
The lands north of the city are rocky red desert scattered with domes and enclosures of agricultural and moisture farms.  A few humanoid skeletons, soldiers from the recent siege, stripped bare by scavengers and carrion eaters, are visible along the roadside.   
In less than an hour, under the dark blue and violet Martian sunset , the road bears to the northeast at the base of a low escarpment and a sign reading “Sugwé Moisture Farm” points down a rocky lane that branches to the northwest and ascends the low rise. 
Sabb'asch halts the wagon at the intersection, the domes and evaporator towers of the moisture farm can be seen in the far distance perhaps a mile away.  Taliat and Tabash notice shadowy figures moving along the lane to the northwest several hundred feet away.  Asab’at has seen this too and lifts a scan-scope to her eyes.
“Five Zrné,” she hisses.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Turn 15: Customs

Over victuals and kaf, Sabb'asch  proves to be an extremely friendly,  likable and open reptilian.  He provides the party with their fill of tasteful treats, drink, and laughter.

He soon notices that several of his new found friends appear to be injured. He asks no questions but produces a container of skin spray [6 doses; heals d4 per dose] from a voluminous bag and offers it to whomever might need it.

Within an hour a young Shen arrives on the scene.  Sabb'asch makes the introduction for Asab’at, his female child and travelling companion.  She speaks little, is wiry and bright-eyed and it’s noticed that she wears a wavium pistol in a low slung holster beneath her desert robes.

Arto inquires about Sabb'asch’s home, the village of Babakú and what has led the Shen to trade so far from home.  Sabb'asch explains that this is his first visit to Akupánthur in many years.  He regularly trades with the cities on the Sea of Argyrá to the east and nearer his home; however rumours that much higher prices might be paid for his Babakún carpets in Akupánthur regrettably  lured him to the far west this season.

Martian minutes roll into standard hours and its noted that the customs official is some two hours late and the sun is hanging low in the sky.
At last, he appears, a grizzled desert rat of a man in an overfine red military uniform and golden slippers. As Sun surreptitiously lurks in the shadows hiding his face,  Sabb'asch excuses himself, huddles briefly with the inspector alongside the wall and slips him a heavy sack that is likely filled with coins. The official slides the sack into his shoulder bag and departs smiling, having inspected nothing.
Sabb'asch returns to the party and invites them aboard the wagon.
“Should be able to make your moisture farm before the dark beasts all come out,” he says baring a row of razor teeth.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Turn 14: Sun of the Desert

The robed figure, when approached, is seen to be a large and dangerous looking Shen. A battered wavium rifle is slung across his back and the robe is crisscrossed with bandoliers of ammunition. Despite appearances, he seems quite friendly and introduces himself as Sabb'asch, a trader from Babakú, a village located several hundred miles to the northeast. He explains that he had just arrived in the city prior to the siege and his trade goods were looted leaving him nearly credit-less. Now that hostilities have ended he is preparing to begin the long journey home and would happily convey the party a few miles north, as he will be travelling along the Lamplan road which passes through the northern agricultural district.

His large metal wagon has six massive knobby tires and is pulled by six large and brilliantly striped Gakúz. Although five large dura-steel crates are wedged into the front of the cart, behind the driver’s seat there is ample room in the rear.

Sabb'asch informs the party that he is awaiting a customs officer in order to obtain a travel permit but hopes to leave within two standard hours. [It is now several hours past mid-day, the rendezvous with Husz Chenu is to occur at midnight, in about ten standard hours.]

The Shen invites the party to join him for kaf on a carpet that he has laid out alongside the wagon in the shade of the high city wall. It is growing very hot, the mid-day sun is high in the tainted red sky.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Turn 13: Hello Walls

The party makes their way through the crowded bazaar, bearing to the north. Soon the high red plastisteel city walls loom in the near distance near the northern edge of the market.

Along the way, Sun manages to trade for a cheap dark grey hooded cloak of some odd vat grown synth-skin material. Jesamin finds a weapons booth where she has the opportunity to acquire a used Regulan disruptor pistol for CR 300. Prices for weapons in the market seem generally inflated. The Nininyal trader at the booth, speaking through a translation orb, offers a contraband black ray rifle for CR 3000 and a cumbersome Nyagga gamma ray pistol for CR 600. It also carries a fairly impressive inventory of standard weapons at prices about 20% over what one might pay in less backwater environs.

Arto locates a rickshaw stand near the north gate but the driver, a long legged, four armed mutant girl with fire red hair refuses to transport anyone through the desert beyond the city wall. She points to a robed humanoid standing near a Gakúz drawn cart and suggests speaking with him.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Turn 12: The Bazaar in Akupánthur

The party quickly distance themselves from the boiling white smoke cloud and, with no sign of pursuers, intermingle with the crowd in the bazaar. The open air market seems particularly busy and overheard fragments of conversations suggest that it may have just re-opened following the lifting of the siege and the beginning of a return to normalcy in the city.

Many booths offer mundane items, Martian street food, brightly colored textiles, clothing, and cheap imported gadgets from Luna. Humans, mutants, and aliens of most known species throng the street as customers and are for sale in the slaver’s booths.. In other booths there are weird and unnatural displays, contraband weapons, small outlawed armored tanks, dented used robots, drugs of every description, monsters from unknown worlds in energy cages and more.

At every booth barkers are chanting…”Bargains! Buy! Buy! Buy!”

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Turn 11: Fire

Cookie, still on the floorboards of the old GEV has no luck reaching the fuel lines so he finds a fire extinguisher, jams the nozzle into the opened access panel and sprays. This seems to keep the fire from spreading but the old van has had it and it skids to a stop. 
As everyone else is bailing, Sun scans the streetscape from the back of the van.  He can’t believe his luck. The reptilian thugs have paused to fire on the van -standing next to a parked Standard Utility marked “Abuzek’s Best Liquid Oxygen.” He aims his old disruptor at the vehicle, there is a loud hum followed by an explosion and a cloud of white smoke billowing down the street.