Hidden Suns session 6: Heat of Battle

Date: 2018-08-21

Player Characters (344 points):
ESA1000 45460 (4-5 for organics), humanoid engineering robot
Gaichu Koschei, android infiltrator/assassin
James Titus Kane, human legendary starship Captain of the Stewards Navy (retired)
Alva von Kirchess, aasimar diva / Captain of the Knights of Golarion (retired), breach and clear specialist
Julianne Margeurite Sadayo Aletta Mackenzie Kawakami-Rose-Albert III (or just Jill), human brilliant inventor / industry mogul, dilettante adventurer/explorer

The group spent a day in their crashlanded ship, resting from the previous delve into the jungle pyramid. Gaichu’s familiar, Greg, healed Gaichu, while Jill repaired 4-5 as well as Gaichu’s and 4-5’s gear which was corroded by the gelatinous cube. The next morning they made their way to the pyramid again. From now on, there would be five people but only two of whom could pilot a hoverbike. So the solution was for Gaichu and Alva to ride with Jimmy and 4-5, while Jill was towed on another hoverbike by 4-5.

Along the way, while flying over the savannah, the group noticed a band of natives on what looked like a hunting trip. They were human-sized but big and burly, pale blue-skinned and wearing patchwork metal armor. They did not seem to have noticed the party. That changed soon, however, since Jill took a pot shot at one of them out of “curiosity”. He dropped into the grass and didn’t get up again. The others noticed the group, ducked in the grass, and started aiming towards them with what looked like primitive slughthrowers. They didn’t shoot, because the party was rather far from them and moving rapidly away on hoverbikes. A discussion ensued on what to do with the natives, but no conclusion was reached before the group flew out of eyesight.

Reaching the pyramid, the party did what became their standard procedure – they left the bikes a hundred yards away, camouflaged them, and stealthily approached the building. Everything was clear, so they proceeded below. They went through the tunnels to where they blew up the gelatinous cube, encountering nothing new on the way. They didn’t continue down that corridor, however, opting instead to go through the stone door in the north-western corner of the room. It was a bit stuck, but 4-5 effortlessly budged it open. The corridor beyond was very snaky, and even though its majority was spread to the north-east of the previous room, it eventually led to a door to the nort-west. Gaichu checked for traps, but didn’t find any.

Beyond was an 8×8 yard room, with a small dried-out fountain in the north-west corner and a stone balcony on the east side. There were stairs leading to it on its south side, and stone beds carved into the wall could be seen on top. A stone door was on the north side, under the balcony. Alva decided to take a look at the balcony, and climbed the stairs. Reaching the top, she noticed four corpses on the floor of the balcony, previously unseen because the balcony’s railing was blocking the view from below. As she approached, they started raising up and she opened fire.

She did some minor damage to one of them, and then again on the next round, when the remainder of the party could also start shooting since the corpses were now in sight having fully stood up. One of them attacked Alva, while the other three jumped in huge leaps down at the rest of the party! They went for Gaichu, 4-5 and Jimmy, attempting to impale them on the sickles they had instead of hands. Jimmy and Gaichu managed to dodge or parry their attacks, but 4-5 was “hooked”. The corpses were tough, but could for the most part not get through the party’s defenses. Jill was free to pick targets with her holdout laser while the rest were engaged, and they eventually blasted them down suffering only minor injuries, except for 4-5 who received a nasty impale from the initial jump. But Greg took care of that after a quick retreat to the surface in order to facilitate the casting of healing spells (the entirety of the Pyramid has so far been a low-mana zone).

The corpses had nothing of value on them, but there were a couple of gems in the corner of one of the stone beds. The party proceeded through the north door. The tunnel beyond was basically a big, snaky U-turn, but it was nowhere near as long as the previous one. It effectively led to a room which was directly to the west of the one where the battle against the corpses took place. The door to it was a bit stuck, but 4-5 took care of that.

Immediately after opening it, the party noticed an orange glow coming from within the chamber. It was quite large, a some 20×20 yards, with a 3-yard wide chasm at its center. The glow emanated from it, and it was crossed by a 1-yard wide stone walkway. Ancient tapestries covered the walls, and contrary to all others encountered so far, they were completely untouched by time. As most of the team were examining the tapestries (they seemed to be depicting some abstract motifs) Jimmy approached the chasm and looked down. He didn’t like what he saw – there were five giant, orange-scaled lizards clinging to the chasm wall. They hissed at him and climbed up, just as he opened fire on one of them.

The others joined the fight when the lizards were already on top. Alva advanced with her gauss shotgun, Gaichu started shooting plasma projectiles with his gauss crossbow, Jill with her plasma pistol, and 4-5 with his modified arc cutter. The beam weapons and Gaichu’s projectiles seemed to have little effect. As the lizards advanced, they breathed fire on the party. Jimmy started to retreat since the lizards were ganging up on him. Gaichu shot a tangler bolt at the biggest of the lizards, which occupied it for a couple turns. When the lizards closed in, they caused a few nasty cuts with their bites. Gaichu eventually switched to cryo and piercing bolts when he noticed his plasma bolts were ineffective. Half a dozen turns in, Jill and Alva went into melee with their knives and 4-5 with his wristblade. Jill eventually retreated, Alva kept the lizards busy but didn’t inflict much damage, while 4-5 went all-out crazy stabbing lizard skulls. Eventually, the lizards were defeated, but the party was seriously injured by bites and burns. They retreated outside of the pyramid for healing provided by Greg, and that’s where we stopped.

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