Arion, Episode 99: Hunting

Sindalian Ruins, Thebus, 1106 Week 14

“What are these things, Muhsteyjen?”

“Mass graves. Thebus joined the Empire early, was one of the heartworlds, and it was too closely linked to cut free in the end. It was bombed almost as badly as Noricum. The survivors fled from the cities into the countryside, where they found no food, no water, and no breatheable air. It must have been horrific.”

Cori turns, hands on hips, and regards the Blue coolly.

“I’ve something to say to you,” she says, “Now that we’re alone.”

Muhsteyjen smiles. “This ought to be good. Alright, let’s hear it.”

“Arion’s mine. I’ve seen the way you look at him. Leave him alone.”

“Or else?”

“I’ll kill you.” The flat certainty in Coriander’s voice unsettles her opponent.

“Suppose he wants to leave you?”

“He doesn’t. You don’t make any trouble, there won’t be any trouble.”

Theban Jungle, Thebus, 1106 Week 14

Arion and Dmitri persuade the Baron to hire a native guide, and the four of them pile into the Dolphin’s air/raft and head out for the jungle. The guide is at pains to point out how dangerous everything is, and how only he and his fellows can protect them from the huge, sneaky Theban lions, which are prone to pretending to flee as you approach only to stalk you for days and finally kill you all in your sleep. Thanks to generations of adaptation, the guide is able to breathe the local atmosphere despite its low pressure, but the others perforce must wear compressor/respirator combinations.

Privately, Arion thinks the guide is exaggerating, but he and Dmitri went over the air/raft thoroughly before setting out, and as long as they stay a few tens of metres in the air, he doesn’t see much risk. In fact, he feels almost sorry for the lion.

Arion is flying the vehicle, while Dmitri keeps an eye out for lions with his binoculars, the Baron is at the ready with his laser rifle, and the guide is making loud, and in Arion’s opinion, inaccurate, suggestions.

(This is a dangerous quick encounter with effectively two PCs. Dmitri rolls d8w and gets a 7, success; Arion rolls d8w and scores 4, not his best day but still a success. As there are at least as many successes and raises as PCs, they complete the task successfully. although as neither got a raise they suffer bumps and bruises and gain a level of Fatigue.)

“There’s one,” Dmitri calls softly, pointing it out to Arion, who steers the air/raft to intercept. The beast certainly looks big enough, but judging from the rise and fall of its flanks, most of the barrel chest is lungs. It stands on its hind legs, and for a moment Arion thinks it’s an aslan, but no. It drops and runs with surprising speed, and everyone in the air/raft is thrown around as Arion jinks after it through the trees.

The Baron misses with his first couple of shots, but quickly corrects, and drops it with his third. It looks like it should weigh 200 kilos or more, but is surprisingly light and easy to load into the vehicle.

GM Notes

I had planned to do the hunt as an actual combat, got the maps and tokens ready and everything, but when it came to it I was just too tired so it turned into a Dangerous Quick Encounter.

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