When we left James “Basilisk” Rokuro, he was leaving the Vault Camp to enter the exclusion zone around the Vault in search of Warden, Precursor Cultist and son of Lastport lawkeeper Annora Petrov.
Ship Integrity 5
Hunter Hunted Clock 1 / 8
They Progress 0 / 10 (Formidable)
Iron Vow 0 / 10 (Epic)
In order to track down Warden, James is going to make a Gather Information move as he follows the path Kaisa Valk and Static indicated Warden left with the field dampening equipment.
Action Die ROLL +wits = 1+1 = 2. Uh oh.
Challenge Dice ROLLs = 4 3. A miss! “You unearth a dire threat or reveal an unwelcome truth… Pay The Price.”
Pay the Price ROLL = 53: A friend, ally or companion is put in harm’s way, or you are if alone.
The question is, “Is Warden a friend, ally or companion” for the purposes of this Pay the Price? I will let the Oracle decide: 01-50, James comes across Warden in some kind of trouble; 51-00 James himself is in trouble.
Oracle ROLL = 91: Jmaes is put in harm’s way. What sort? I will roll on the Theme oracle to help define it.
Theme ROLL = 71: Religion. This definitely implies the Cult, or maybe a splinter of it. I will roll on Focus oracle in order to, well, bring the threat into focus.
Focus ROLL = 67: Relic. Oh. Well. It seems like something of the Precursors that the Cult worships has become dangerous for James. I will turn to the Sacred Peril oracle to determine what sort of threat the relic represents.
Sacred Peril ROLL = 96: Roll Twice.
Sacred Peril ROLL 1 = 83: Zealots enact a ceremony to unlock forbidden powers.
Sacred Peril ROLL 2 = 78: Unnatural corruption or decay fouls the environment.
It seems James, in his search for Warden, has stumbled across a splinter group of Precursor Cultists. Unbeknownst to Static, these cultists have gotten hold of a Precursor Key that has allowed them to open one of the many access portals allowing entry into the Vault. Even before Boss Takara began his push, these cultists debated whether to ignore the warnings of Kaisa and Static and claim their divinity. Once it became clear that Takara’s goons were going to be the first to enter the Vault, the splinter group decided they must not allow that. And it only seems right that Warden is the leader of these separatist cultists. He volunteered to take the field dampener out just so he and his followers could open the access they found. But they were not prepared for what awaited them inside.
James followed the tracks of Warden’s vehicle until those tracks suddenly veered off the route described by the scientist Kaisa. He examined the ground for signs and saw fresh boot prints converging on the spot where the vehicle changed course. Warden must have been set upon, thought James, probably by Takara’s thugs. Moving with more speed than caution, James hurried to follow the new path. A few minutes later, among the jagged rocks, sand and strange alien structures, James turned a corner and found himself shocked into immobile silence. A group of a half dozen figures in the gaudy robes of the Precursor Cult surrounded an aperture in the desert. The truck carrying the Field Dampener was nearby and James crouched behind it to watch as the lead Cultists manipulated some object while the others chanted their prayers. The aperture vibrated and sang with alien music, then began to iris open. The lead cultist turned, arms triumphantly raised, and James could see clearly that it was his quarry, Warden.
The music of the opening portal stopped and the cultists went silent. James’ own eyes were glued to the scene, so he saw it happen as a glistening, writhing, seemingly living miasma poured forth from the aperture. James instinctively reached under his poncho for his pistols, but something inside told him how futile that was. You can’t shoot a cloud, can you?
Looks like James as well as Warden are in trouble. Next time, I will establish a progres track for this “terrifying manifestation” and we will play to find out what happens!