03 – Underground Base
“Well, what are we waiting for?” Steckel asks as he strains to peer down the ramp. All that you can tell from out here is that someone has set up shop inside and there are barricades of old scrap metal and wood about 30 feet from the entrance.
The grip on her pipe tightening with each syllable leaving Steckel’s mouth, Mad Mariah pauses before slowly responding. “How about you stand right here and the rest of us figure out a way to get in there without getting killed?”
Seeing a challenge, Silent Jack raises his hand and mutters: “Stay under cover. Let me mess around with the door and see if anyone is in there.”
“Sounds like you know what you’re doing there Jack, we’ve got your back.” Steckel taps his palm with his hammer. Mad Mariah grunts and looks for some cover.
Silent Jack creeps forward. There is enough ambient light for him to see that, although crude, the barricades are sturdy and should be quite effective at keeping out potential enemies. A single metal door, obviously scavenged from elsewhere, sits in the middle of the barrier.
(The referee tosses a d20. It’s an Awareness check for Jack. The result is 17+10=27. Jack gains 10 XP.)
The layer of dust on the ground indicates that there has been no traffic here in recent weeks. This is no light and Silent Jack hears no sounds from beyond the barricade. Jack spies several concealed peepholes in the barrier – large enough for a gun barrel – but all are dark and empty. He motions to the rest of the party to approach, then checks out the doorway itself.
(The referee rolls another d20 for Jack’s Awareness. It comes up 2+10=12.)
Silent Jack approches the door and inspects it closely. He places his hands on its cool metal surface, then presses his ear against it to listen once again. The rest of you watch, bored. Finally, he pushes it gingerly and with a creak, it begins to open. “Stiff.” he mutters. “Hasn’t been used in a while.” He nudges the door open far enough to peek in, and sees that it is indeed dark beyond. “Hmm; nobody home.”
He then shoves the door completely open, triggering a spring-loaded trap from above. A two-by-four tipped with a booby-trapped shell swings suddenly at Silent Jack!
(Jack failed his Awareness check to detect the trap. He succeeds his Reflex saving throw, however, with a roll of 18+5=23.)
“Damn!” Jack yells as he dodges the bang stick. The shell explodes with a loud “CRACK!” at the end of the swing, less than a foot from Jack’s head! The sound echoes throughout the streets of Crestone…
As Jack stares, stunned and panting, Mariah chuckles. “Good work, scout. You disarmed the trap.” She steps forward through the doorway, her thick fingers clutching the lead pipe in her hands. “Steckel – be useful for once and get some light in here.” She looks genuinely happy for the first time all day.
(There are no more ‘surprises’ like the bang stick inside. Allow me to skip to the chase now with what you find here…)
You spend several hours carefully exploring the underground ‘base’. Before the Fall, it was some sort of mechanic’s shop. Although it has obviously been used in recent years, there are no signs of current occupation.
Area 3: The door to this area is barred shut from the outside and someone has painted a skull and crossbones on the window. As soon as the door is opened, a strong chemical scent wafts out that makes your eyes water – you identify the smell as fuel. The vapours are strong enough that you do not explore further.
Area 4: This open area is clear of debris. There are several sniper positions behind the barricades, as Jack spotted earlier. A heavy metal wood stove is near the middle of this chamber, and there is a bench and some stools. The back of this area has collapsed since the Fall. There is a raised platform on the north wall with a door to Area 5.
Area 5: This area has been set up as a base of operations for the scavenging expeditions. The main room contains a large oak table and ornate chairs, while the surrounding chambers contain beds, desks, and (empty) supply closets. The passage at the north end of the area leads to a set of stairs down to a small utility room (currently containing some basic survival gear).
There is a map (as depicted at the end of this post) on the main table, and in one of the desks you find a notebook with the words “Jomat’s Journal” written in bold capital letters on the front (see the
comments below Campaign Rumours post for contents).
Area 6: Beyond the double doors you find a large all-terrain vehicle, partially disassembled. It’s big enough to carry about six to eight passengers, and sturdy enough to travel cross-country if the terrain is clear. Unfortunately, there are obviously a few missing components where the engine should be…
Your explorations reveal no signs of recent habitation. All items of worth have been removed, except for the vehicle, the map & journal, and survival supplies in the basement. Even so, this location will make an excellent base of operations.
Evening is approaching. You contact Tau to inform them of your findings. You decide to rest for the night and review the contents of Jomat’s Journal…