Zion Journal
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Background

You are all members of the Canyon Tribes, a collection of humans that have gathered around three main settlements in the sheltered Zion Canyon for protection. Technically, your lands are within the control of a larger Slikk dominion and every now and then they demand slaves to be given to them, or they just take them by force.

There is also a larger confederation of humans in the badlands to the north. Unfortunately, these Badlands Tribes are considered enemies. The Badlands tribes are religious nuts that are ruled by The Church. Every member serves a particular faction (or Ordinate) and has a specific role.

Your people, the Canyon Tribes, believe in spirits. Animals, plants, the land; they all have spirits. The Ancients displeased these spirits when they brought ruin to the Earth. You believe these spirits need to be appeased in order for the Earth to return to a vibrant place to live.

The Badlands Tribes and the Saurians (Slikks & Ssurans) do not share your views.

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Mission

You have been personally selected by the Chief Shaman of the Canyon Tribes to undertake a mission to find a new home; one with sufficient water. The water that trickles down Zion Canyon now and then is drying up, but of more concern is the fact it is being tainted by the Slikks with their necrotic energies. The shamans believe tribe members going mad and turning into 'Screamers' is because of this poisoning of the water by Slikk necromancers.

Old tales tell of the Cave of Life; a place with a secure underground water storage. This facility lies buried under the Steel Rocks to the northeast of your tribe, at the terminus of the North Fork canyon.

The tribes have gathered in Scaringdale for your send off. You have been given a majority of the weapons, ammunition and cyphers owned by the Canyon Tribes. Many of these are considered relics and ammunition is hard to come by, so use them wisely. The survival of your people is in your hands.

Mission Journal

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Day 1

(Hot, light breeze, lots of yellow cloud cover).

  • Travelled north along the west side of the North Fork.

Day 2

(Hot, light breeze, lots of yellow cloud cover).

  • Early morning, stumbled into an ambush by a pack of scrabs. Fortunately, members of the group saw them hiding in the grass and rocks before blundering right into the middle of the pack. In the opening salvage, Nathan took out a scrab and 1 with a rifle was wounded.
  • More scrabs emerged from hiding and one threw an explosive near a bulk of the party, but all managed to dive clear without too much damage.
  • In the crossfire, 'Sparks' dropped his handgun into some cracks within the rocks. Lux retrieved it for him but then he went and got his foot stuck in those same rocks.
  • Meanwhile several scrabs were taken out, including the one wielding a rifle and another that appeared with a Slikk automatic weapon (thanks to a headshot from Lux).
  • One scrab moved into melee with Shilo, and another engaged Peter after his six-shooter ran out of bullets. The scrabs were all soon dealt with. Loot included: a speed-booster plant chew; an electrical detonator; a rifle; and a Slikk flechette automatic rifle with 2 clips.
  • Under the direction of Face, the group moved on. Early afternoon the clouds started to turn a dark mixture of grey and yellow. Acid rain could be seen, so the group took shelter in a side passage of the canyon. Unfortunately, others had also sheltered there. Several sleeping Slikks were alerted to the patry's presence by their 'lizard hounds'.
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  • The lizard hounds were first into the fray, and rushed the PC's front lines. They were dealt some minor wounds before Smasher chopped the lizard hounds to bits.
  • Face then lobbed his electrical detonation cypher into the midst of the slikks. All were damaged and the last lizard-hound was killed.
  • Lead slikk returned with a necro-grenade, his green companion fired a rifle, another took cover and the last 2 engaged the PCs with swords.
  • The sword-wielding slikks were soon dispatched. Face head-shotted the slikk with a high-powered flechette pistol, leaving the rifle-slikk and leader on their rock as the last two. Polzy closed to melee combat with the green one that dropped its rifle and produced a knife.
  • The last 2 slikks were taken out by gunfire and an exploding rock positioned between them (thanks to Shylo's mind powers).
  • The group decided to settle into the slikk's camp for the night. The building acid clouds triggered a full blow thunderstorm as night developed.
  • In the middle of the night a thunderous wall of water came crashing down the narrow canyon. The group managed to get their things and rush out of the side canyon into the main North Arm, just in time.
  • The group rested as best they could for the rest of the night propped under and overhang of the main canyon.
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Day 3

(Hot, light breeze, light clouds).

  • Mostly uneventful day, until late afternoon. As the group moved through an area of short stunted grass (much like short bamboo), some of the stalks seemed to come to life. They were in fact strange hollow growths on the back of a tortoise-like creature known as a cha'thrang. It rose shaking the dirt from its back and long sticky strands shot from the hollows on its shell to envelope Face. Immediately, Face started feeling woozy and where the sticky pads of the tendrils attached went numb. Others moved in to dispatch the beast and cut the lines. It did not take long to defeat the slow, but well-armoured creature, though it did follow a volley of spines from its bony tubes too.
  • Face suffered throughout the rest if the day and was happy when the group looked like resting near a side canyon full of old rusted car bodies that had recently been revealed by the recent downpour. Unfortunately, Slikks were also checking out the scene. After another shoot-out in which no one was seriously wounded, the four slikks were defeated. The crew took the Slikk weapons and rations as well as some sort of necrotic-fluid grenade and an injector (also with bright green fluid).
  • The group rested up among the car parts which yielded very little except for a few mechanical parts. Strange screeching was heard through the night, but nothing came of it.

Day 4

(Hot, light breeze, light clouds).

  • An uneventful day in which large lizard-tracks were seen but ignored.
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Day 5

(Hot, moderate breeze, light clouds).

  • On this day the group tried to 'push' themselves a little harder through the heat of the day. Rations were running low and Face decided they needed to get further. As it turned out, the group only travelled the normal distance in a day anyway as Shadow passed out from heat exhaustion.
  • Made camp early. In the dusk of twilight, several members of the group noticed dark, scrabbling shapes crawling down the far wall of the canyon. As they prepared for an attack, 2 small swarms of mutant-roaches burst from the spinifex grasses and scurried towards the group. Shiloh, who was up close behind a pile of rocks near a waterhole, was overcome first but using his strange powers lept back to safety behind the posse. Peter was not so lucky as the second pack swarmed over him, clawing, scratching, biting.
  • The second pack of mutant-roaches moved up and enveloped Lux. Fortunately, the swarm was quickly reduced in number to a few individuals, whose height was no taller than Lux's hips. Despite Shiloh's best efforts to pull him free, Peter remained covered in the critters.
  • Eventually, the group dealt with the mutant roaches and spent the night resting in the ravine. distant howls were heard at night but nothing came of it.

Day 6

(Hot, moderate wind, light clouds)

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  • Mid-afternoon the party came across one of the sources of the creek; steam geysers on this side of the canyon and extending into a side canyon.
  • Across the creek seemed free of the muddy ground and geysers so Shilo performed one of his uncanny giant leaps to the area. Upon landing he twisted and ankle and fell into the spinifex grass (out of site of the rest of the party). Almost immediately upon his landing a giant, partly upright, scorpion-like critter seemed to appear from nowhere right where Shilo went down.
  • The giant scorpion soon had Shilo in its claws and as the rest of the party approached (many stumbling inn the rush) or fired at the creature, it simply blinked out and reappeared further up the canyon with Shilo still in its claws.
  • Shilo was poisoned by the beast's stinger. The party approached shooting all the way. Smasher actually closed and then he was captured in the scorpion-like claws as the creature tried to retreat with Smasher. The beast (later identified as a checkryan by Shilo) was defeated with a few lucky shots and the group decided to rest the night near the geysers.

Day 7

(Hot, moderate wind, light clouds)

  • About four hours into journey, came across old rusted and fallen metal towers. (Old wind turbines). Searching in the hollow shells of some of the towers of the Ancients, Sparks and Smasher found some usable electronic parts.
  • The North Arm Canyon got narrower throughout the day and by the end of it they reached its end - where it split into several smaller ones. Party set up for the night.
  • During the night some canyon borer worms came through the walls nearby. These worms, about the length of a person's arm and slightly fatter, were recognised as edible by Shilo and Lux, so they were killed and kept for later consumption.

Day 8

(Hot, light wind, moderate clouds)

  • Journeyed up the main smaller canyon, ever heading north and slightly east. Water here was rare and dirty. Finished their journey at end of canyon where it was time to go up onto the Up-Lands.

Day 9

(Mod temp, light wind, Heavy clouds)

  • Group goes up in the exposed badlands where the rot is more prevalent. The air tasted bad and the billowing, yellow-tinged clouds look ominous.
  • After wandering the wastes for several hours some of the 'rocks' started to look more uniform in shape. Upon inspection, some seemed to be remains of the Ancients.
  • One small dome had a large wheel attached to a trapdoor. Upon opening a dark shaft with a metal ladder descended into darkness. With their Lashak fusion lantern, all by Sparks and Smasher, began the descent.
  • The shaft continued down to an area where a large slab of stone (concrete) had fallen onto the ladder and the group had to slide down this into a dusty area of old offices off a corridor. Nothing of note was here and the group continued to a large pair of doors at the end of the corridor.
  • Doors opened onto a massive shaft. They were on a rusted metal landing from which stairs went up and down into darkness. Above them could be seen remains of what looked to be an old elevator that would have used the central part of the shaft.
  • The party decided to head down. Shilo moved ahead of the party with his night-vision goggles and they heard him fall and splash into water below. Soon the rest of the group cam to the part where part of the stairway had come away from the wall, leaving a gap. They took their time, but eventually all leaped the gap and continued on.
  • A massive corridor was out the doors at the bottom of the large elevator shaft. Twisted wiring, pipes and vents lined the corrugated walls. In some places piping was exposed with greyish 'fluff' wrapped around the pipes.
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  • A small office was found with old screens and furniture, but without the two techs, little could be made of this.
  • Group found a spherical massive chamber divided into levels through metal stairs and platforms. On the bottom were large box-like machines, long since fallen into disrepair.
  • At end of corridor was a flooded chamber. Pipes along one wall allowed access around one of the two flooded corridors that led from the chamber. Shilo inspected, but upon seeing faeces and movement on the edges of his night-vision, retreated and the group headed back to the small office near bottom of elevator shaft.
  • They decided to send Shilo to the surface with the lantern to get Sparks and Smasher. Sparks also ended up in the water on the elevator shaft descent, but soon the whole group were in the small office. Sparks and Smasher put together a scrap torch from the materials in the room and an energy cell from one of the Slikk flechette rifles. Rest of group got some rest.
  • Explored the other direction of long corridor. Found another spherical room. Had evidence of having been divided but many of the internal walls were in ruins. This seemed to be a barracks of sorts. There was a ruined bathroom, bed frames and lockers. In a small foot locker a journal was found. Lux read it to the group. It seemed to contain entries from the time of the "Fallout". The author constantly asked, 'What have we done?' and documented the mental break down of his comrades.
  • A staircase in the large circular area led down to a similar (but more flooded area below). At the bottom of the stairs some of the 'water' gathered in a blob and sent a tentacle out to wrap up Shilo. He was drawn into the blob and the water soon turned red as it absorbed Shilo's blood and fluids. Shadow too was almost taken before the group retreated up the stairs leaving Shilo for dead. (The first of the party sent out to perish).
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  • Beyond the main tunnel and angled tunnel was even wider. Half filled with debri and slimy floors that got worse the further the part went. Out of the darkness limped a slime-covered creature with evil in its eyes. The shadows seemed drawn to it and as it approached a chill aura engulfed those nearby. (Nathan recognised the creature as a tembo - killers created by Slikk leaders of the past to sniff out and kill humans remnants). Fortunately, the wounded beast was dealt with quickly with shots fired by ??? and then Shadow finished it with well-aimed shots to the head.
  • The wide tunnel narrowed again as it approached a cross-section. The area was under an inch of black foul-smelling water. Straight across was a sunken room with a large pile of sand and refuse under an open hatch. A small ray of sunlight also penetrating the room indicating the open hatch in the ceiling led to a shaft to the surface. The pile indicated it had recently been disturbed - no doubt by the wounded tembo.
  • At crossroads, the left passage ended in collapsed tunnels. To the right the PCs cam across a room with massive tanks and a complicated series of pipes, gauges and taps. Smasher and Sparks worked out that this could be the great 'Waters of Life' spoken about. After some time they successfully extracted water from the systems and it was not tainted! This is what the group were looking for.
  • Group replenished all water supplies, rested up and prepared for the journey home, including building a make-shift bridge spanning the gap in the large stairwell.

Day 10

(Mod temp, light wind, mod clouds)

  • Returned to the outside world. Travelled across the sands into the small canyon that leads to the North Fork. Uneventful day and night.

Day 11

(Hot, light wind, mod clouds)

  • As the group were packing up to leave a lone tembo appeared on a rocky outcropping. A few members moved to better positions but before much could be done it leaped and attacked Lux. Fortunately she had her machete in hand and turned to fight.
  • Whilst attention was focused on the tembo another emerged from hiding and ambushed Face at the other side of the group. He managed to fend it off with his rifle butt and others peppered it with shots, but the tembo scrambled back in and took Face down.
  • Smasher moved in to help Lux and a mighty blow from his swordaxe was mostly turned aside by the tough plates on the tembo's back.
  • Nathan also acted quickly and with a carefully aimed shot downed the tembo on top of Face, but not before it had ripped Face's arm and dislocated his shoulder.
  • Smasher finished off the other tembo.
  • Group patched up the wounded, rested for most of the day, then travelled late arvo into the night. Camped at same spot they did (on day 7) on the way to the Caves of Life.
  • During the night the agonising sounds of what could only be 'screamers' were heard. Party packed up camp in a hurry and ran into the night to escape. Whilst scrambling over a loose rock pile in the dark, Lux's foot was crushed by a falling rock. Smasher helped Lux move on and the group avoided the screamers.

Day 12

(Hot, light wind, mod clouds)

  • Out of food, the group moved on slowly, both to looks for signs of food and to assist the injured.
  • Mid morning, Polzy spotted a pair of vikras grazing in some spinifex grass in the shade of the canyon's eastern wall. Polzy moved forward and dropped one of the vikras with one shot. The other stood stunned for a while and then fled.
  • Just as Polzy moved up to the shot vikra a large monstrosity came lumbering at him from a side crevice. The large canyon ape claimed the dead vikra for itself and when Polzy backed off, the ape made some threatening advances before returning to chew on the dead vikra. Not wanting their chance at food to be taken away, the group advanced and the ape was gunned down before it could cover the distance to rip someone apart.
  • Day spent butchering the meat of vikra and canyon ape, though with the many bony protrusions, it was hard to harvest a lot from the ape. Milk and meat rations were taken from the vikra.
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Day 13

(Hot, light wind, mod clouds)

  • Travelled uneventfully all day until early evening. As the group arrived at the geysers the shadowy form of a slikk appeared through the mist. The large and overweight slikk looked up from where it was filling a canteen, let out a cry and fell back for some cover.
  • 3 other heavily armed slikks appeared and a gun fight ensued.
  • Despite taking cover, Peter took a head shot as half of his skull disappeared, shaking some of his allies by his side.
  • Face, showing true leadership, rallied the troops and gunned down the slikk that killed Peter.
  • 2 other slikks fell, as the strongest one emptied its clip, then decided to advance towards the group drawing a huge knife. Shadow moved to intercept the large slikk, but was no match for the slikk and went down after being stabbed deep in the thigh. As Shadow went down the others finished off the slikk with gunfire.
  • It took quite a bit of effort to staunch the blood flow from Shadow's leg with Face, Lux and Polzy all getting their hands bloody and messing with Shadow's medical kit. Shadow even drifted in and out of consciousness to offer advice.
  • Group buried Peter, then distributed his gear along with the slikk gear. Fortunately, the slikks had several dried meat ration packs and water was plentiful at the geysers.
  • Just as group settle in for a well-deserved night's sleep… something is about to happen ~9pm.
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