The Fires of Ra - Act II (Continued)
The daring Knights board the Imperial armored train as it rolls toward Thebes across the desert. The group boarding by the tail-end of the train are shot at by shocktroopers manning an emplaced machine gun, and they clear the jump just as their jeep is destroyed by .30 bullets. The other shocktroopers guarding the cars pop up to fire bursts to suppress the heroes and try to keep them at bay. Olivia and Oswyn move from the top of the locomotive towards the second car where Hooded Cobra is with an Elite Shocktrooper and a half-dozen other shocktroopers.
William trades fire with the troopers behind the sandbags surrounding the machine gun, taking down two of them with expert marksmanship. Kash moves up to take over the machine gun and brings it to bear on two other troopers, blowing them away.
The Hooded Cobra wheels around to see the Paladin and Weird Scientist advancing on him, and he raises Eye of Sobek in his hand. The relic begins to spark with ruby-red energy, threatening to unleash its deadly power on Oswyn.
Sigma and Kash make quips as they progress across the roofs of the train cars, each making “No ticket!” references while taking out the shocktroopers. William continues to be annoyed by the meta commentary on the life and death struggle, and he tries to line up a shot on a shocktrooper clambering up a ladder. His missed shot hits the spigot of a passing water stop to swing around, sweeping over the tops of the cars. This forces the Storm Knights to duck to not get hit by it, flattening themselves to evade the unruly spigot arm.
Using the distraction created by the swinging metal, the Hooded Cobra forgoes unleashing the blast from the Eye and leaps inside the second train car. A ramp suddenly drops, showing that it contains a small stable of Imperial steeds. Cackling madly, the masked villain rides out on one such horse, riding away from the train with the prize and disappearing into the desert.
Oswyn disconnects as he tries to slash at some shocktroopers, instead hitting the belt of one of the men. This knocks a grenade from the soldier’s belt onto the top of the train car, also activating its internal fuse. Thinking quickly, Oswyn swipes sword and takes out the two shocktroopers and hits the grenade away. The explosion breaks part of the cliff shelf to one side of the train, causing a rain of dust over the speeding locomotive.
Olivia jets overhead and fires her ray pistol at an Elite Shocktrooper, knocking him off of the train and next to a military substation on the other side of the tracks. She continues the electric blast of energy and it hits a gas tank that blows up the whole substation! Glory in the Sahara, Desert near Abu Minqar.
The Storm Knights take over the now unmanned train and see a dust cloud on the horizon, a sign of the approach of the Bedouin nomads they left behind at Abu Minqar. The Bedouins ride up and Bashira tells the Knights about a railroad switchback they can use to take a new line of track leading away from Thebes. The group follows the new path further into the expanse of hot desert and take the stolen train to a relatively safe point on the train line. They stop there and make camp for a day with the nomads.
The Storm Knights and Bedouins loot the train of Nile Empire weapons and an assortment of other gear, including some minor artifacts taken from the dig site. Sigma trains with the Webley revolver with some help from the Bedouins, setting up target practice among the dunes. In exchange, the cyborg offers advice to the tribal leaders on resistance fighting based on his own experiences surviving in the war against the Tharkoldu. Kash creates or finds a domino mask for himself, and starts calling himself “The Mighty Sobek”. After their time resting with Bashira and her people, the team heads to Cairo with Shafira….
XP: 5 (195 XP)
The Fires of Ra - Act III
Ramses Station, Cairo
The Storm Knights return to Cairo after their expedition into the Sahara. Locating the large train terminal known as Ramses Station, they deposit the coin The Raven gave them in a specific payphone. A panel slides back on the floor, revealing a hidden stairwell leading underground. The group goes downstairs and finds a secret Delphi Council lab which is being used by the organization for planning their next mission.
The team meet some of the Mystery Men: The Raven (who freed them from the Imperial forces), the lead Mystery Man Dr. Alexus Frest, and Olivia’s brother Toby Sparks. “SNOWFLAKE”, the head of Delphi activities in the Nile Empire, is also there, overseeing their briefing. The group talks about recent signs that Cobra delivered the Eye of Sobek to Pharoah Mobius, but the Storm Knights make note that he will betray Mobius some time in the future. Dr. Frest says that Pharoah Mobius has some new superweapon in development that is airborne, showing the team movie footage the Mystery Men recorded showing of craters of glass. These pits of burned sand appear to be signs of the weapon being tested.
The Mystery Men and Delphi Council reps anticipate a big battle coming up to try and put a stop to this latest plot of Mobius, but they will need more allies. They say they have come up with a plan to try and get the recently transformed Amazons on the Mediterranean island of Karpatos to join their cause. The idea involves locating the Bow of Sekana and gifting it to the Amazons as a show of faith. The bow is apparently an Eternity Shard, the personal weapon of a Queen Sekana, the former ruler of the Lost City of Zembiti. The Zembiti people were destroyed by The Egypt That Never Was when they resisted being conquered, but the ruins of Lost City are still located somewhere on the Congo near Kisangani. SNOWFLAKE wants the Storm Knights to go there and recover the bow. He and the Mystery Men will continue investigating Mobius’ mystery weapon while they are away.
Kash, now sporting his mask, announces that “The Mighty Sobek” will volunteer for the mission to get the Bow of Sekana. The other heroes note that his heroic alias is maybe poorly chosen since Sobek is the patron of the Nile Empire.
The Knights are informed that Kisangani is a port city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, located at the confluence of several African rivers. It is a bit of a shady place by reputation, as it is frequented by explorers, mercenaries, and river pirates. The Raven warns them to be careful while there.
As they are discussing their plans, Toby offers each of the Knights one of three types of one-time-use gizmos he has constructed in the lab. One is a metal orb (a “Psycho-Repulsor”) that can emit a pitch outside the range of human hearing which can aggravate non-human creatures in the immediate vicinity. Another gadget is a pair of metallic greaves which contain rocket thrusters (“Pulse Rocket Greaves”) which can allow temporary flight by those who wear them. The third and final option is a single-use grappling hook launcher (“Omnicable Launcher”) which can fire a line of cable up to 100 meters. Olivia and William decide to take the Psycho-Repulsors, Kash and Oswyn pick up the greaves, and Sigma picks up the grapple gun.
Thus equipped, the Knights board a plane provided by the Council and fly down to the Congo...
Kisangani, the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The team arrives in the sweltering port town and meets up with an old friend of the team, Alex Hill. Kash recalls sharing chicken with him back in Washington, D.C. during the adventure of the God Box. Having subsequently taken up a job as a river pilot, Alex offers them a ride to the ruins of the Lost City free of charge. Alex calls his boat “The Jungle Queen”, and the team starts loading their gear on board.
Unfortunately, as they are getting ready to shove off, some local thugs show up, saying that Alex owes them money. A brawl starts on the pier near Alex’s steam launch, followed by an escalating chain of events:
- A fire is accidentally started on the steamer’s deck but is put out by Oswyn and William using a rug stored on board.
- Alex gets the Queen’s engine started, but some of the bad guys get on board.
- Oswyn inadvertently hits the engine with an oar while swinging it at one of the goons.
- A thug almost crushes a kid on the pier with some toppling crates while throwing one at Sigma.
- Kash leaps to save the street urchin on the pier, but ends up off of the boat as it pulls away.
- With the exhaust fouled up on the boat, the steamer goes off course, taking a tributary that leads them into some nearby rapids.
- The fight continues with some of the thugs until they are finally dispatched with fisticuffs and gunplay.
- Kash leaps across some rocks to catch back up with the steamer.
- The Jungle Queen starts approaching a waterfall at the end of the rapids.
- Olivia keeps her balance and goes to help fix the faulty engine. She puts on goggles to deal with the plumes of black smoke, then sees the pipe that needs to be fixed.
- Oswyn and Alex push the broken pipe back into place, fixing the problem and allowing the steamer to turn around and avoid going over the falls.
Having dealt with the would-be debt collectors (Alex says he owes a little money to a local loan shark), the Storm Knights continue upriver. They travel aboard the Queen for some quiet hours, deep in the African jungle. The expedition eventually arrives at a docking place near the city ruins, located before some cascades further ahead.
As they pull over to a clearing on the shore, they find two boats (a barge and a steamer) already docked. Alex says that he thinks they were left by a group of Colombians who had last been seen heading this way some days ago.
Alex stays on board the steamer, fixing what damage was done to his boat. The Knights walk into the jungle clearing and head up some clear paths that have been hacked through the thick foliage. As they are progressing, they begin to see some fetishes dangling from the branches. Taking a closer look at one, William figures out that they are shrunken heads!
Continuing along the path, the team finds the empty camp of the Colombian archaeological expedition amid some free-standing bits of Zembiti walls. Searching through the abandoned site, they locate a journal, maps with notes in Spanish, and supply crates with Spanish stencils. They read the entries in the journal as best they can without a Spanish-speaking member in the group, seeing that one of the Colombians has drawn sketches of the local ruins.
The heroes can see that there are signs of blood, a dropped rifle, and marks in dirt indicating that some heavy objects were dragged away into the jungle. As they look around the eerie scene, they spot some chimpanzees watching them from nearby treetops. The primates seem peaceful enough but are clearly curious about the new arrivals.
The team decides to continue walking along the path that led to the camp. Kash and Olivia detect voices coming from ruins further north of the camp, but a big dirt track heads east, with signs of jeep tire tracks on the road. The voices coming from the north have French accents, and there is a rotting odor coming from the same direction. The group steers clear of that area and heads east, coming to a jungle gorge that plunges down to river rapids far below.
There is a wide rope bridge that crosses the ravine, but the planks of wood look uncertain. An abandoned jeep is ominously sitting on the mid-point of bridge, tilted at an angle, perilously close to tipping over. Heedless of danger, Oswyn starts crossing and his first footstep causes the plank to crack. The Paladin nearly falls to the crocodile-infested, churning water down below, but is able to keep his balance and get his footing. Deciding not to venture onto the bridge, Sigma uses the grapple gun to cross to the other side of the chasm and Olivia flies over as well.
Meanwhile, crossing the rickety structure, Oswyn, William, and Kash all reach the dangling jeep, seeing blood on the inside and a broken window. Testing the ignition they find that it is out of fuel and won’t start. Olivia and Sigma use some other rope they have to reinforce the bridge and help the rest of the group finish crossing over.
On the eastern side of the ravine, the Storm Knights hear cracking and snapping sounds, and they see the bridge collapse just as Oswyn has finished traversing to safety. The jeep crashes noisily into the river rapids in a hail of rope and wood. In response to the crash, some figures appear on the western side of the jungle gorge. A voice calls out in French, but the group decides not to answer and plunges further into the Zembiti ruins on eastern side. They quickly see that the encircling walls are more intact than the rubble they have seen so far.
The Lost City seems deserted, with maze-like passages, pillars, vines, and lots of tree roots pushing through the ancient foundations. Scouting ahead, Kash spots a tripwire, and the party safely steps over it. They see yet more shrunken heads dangling over the ruins. Eventually the team enters a circular courtyard with a muddy pit in the center. They hear a Spanish-accented voice calling weakly from the bottom of the pit, and they go closer to investigate. Looking down, they can see a surviving member of the Colombian expedition lying at the bottom of the hole, which is lined on its sides with down-ward pointing spikes. The man says that his leg was broken and his arm is in a bad way as well, meaning he will need someone to descend into the hole if they want to assist him.
The sun sets on the horizon as they speak with the injured man, and William feels the atmosphere shifting, feeling to him like a curious mix of Nile and Orrorsh realities now. Chimps can be heard banging on drums, and the Knights see the primates are bearing torches, their red eyes staring down at Knights from the surrounding city walls. The chimpanzees begin to chant together in what sounds like “Ko-Lo, Ko-Lo, Ko-Lo”. As if summoned by its name, a massive Silverback gorilla appears out of the shadows and approaches the party. The gorilla has its brain encased in glass, and wields big metal weird science claws instead of hands. It roars at the heroes and the apes descend upon them....
To Be Continued…
XP: 0 (195 XP)