Episode 8 – Lost (During pursuit of Tao, blown of course by storm and meet Tagranesi)

 

After the uproar of the hijacking, all of Davao is abuzz and mounts a pursuit of Tao at first light. Any PC that wishes to participate is welcome to go, but in order to maximize range additional fuel tanks have to be installed with a HARD Intelligence + Mechanical Engineering roll. Space on the Macao Clipper is also going to be limited to the flight crew and three gunners that will man the Lewis gun and both BARs. Taking off at dawn Martin executes a spiral search for Tao and the hijacked feluccas. On the surface, all 22 remaining cannon armed feluccas fan out on likely vectors also looking for Tao. However, several hours into the search, the skies begin to darken and an EASY Intelligence + Knowledge roll will realize a storm is coming up. If the crew can succeed with a HARD Intelligence + Pilot / Felucca, they will be able to avoid the center of the storm. They will not be able to continue the search, but they will ride out the storm safely. If the roll fails, an AVERAGE Intelligence + Knowledge test will realize that they will be unable to avoid the center of the storm and that they are going to be in for an extremely rough time.

 

As the storm strikes the violent pitching of the seas requires that everyone roll against a HARD Vitality + Willpower to not be sick from the constant pitching. Anyone with the Lightweight Complication, as will anyone that rolls a Botch on the above roll is going to be miserable and will have to be strapped to a hammock to ride out the storm. If they wish to perform any activity, they will have to make another HARD Vitality + Willpower roll with the standard two-step penalty to Vitality.

 

Riding out the storm is a HARD Complex Action of Intelligence + Pilot / Felucca with a time increment of two hours. The storm is so violent that each roll for the Complex Action has a HARD difficulty. A success will do a point of damage to the boat, an Extraordinary Success avoids all damage, a failure does d4 Basic damage and a Botch does d4 Wound damage with the lasting storm a full 24 hours. Many of the feluccas will take more damage than it can sustain, sooner or later, the boat will begin to sink. In order to stay afloat, once a felucca has sustained damage the Crew will have to roll an AVERAGE Intelligence + Craft / Carpentry or Mechanical Engineering / Repair or a HARD Intelligence + Knowledge / Sailing roll to repair a single point of damage and keep their boat afloat for another time increment. In addition, the storm has become so powerful that each time increment, every member of the Crew must roll an AVERAGE Agility + Athletics to not be blown overboard. Eventually, storm blows itself out and based on skill rolls, each felucca will either survive or founder. Any felucca that sinks the crew can roll one HARD Agility + Athletics to make it to an island on a makeshift raft. Anyone that fails this roll is lost at sea and either drowns or is eaten by flasher fish.

 

Those on the Macao Clipper can attempt an AVERAGE Intelligence + Knowledge roll to realize that a storm is coming up, but they also realize that they will not be able to avoid the storm. A second AVERAGE Intelligence + Knowledge roll will know they have no chance of riding out the storm in the air and know they have to land before the seas become too rough. Touching down in the heavy seas requires a FORMIDABLE Ship’s Agility + Piloting test, if the roll fails the difficulty becomes an attack roll doing Basic damage. Properly securing the plane to prevent damage is a HARD Strength + Knowledge roll also becoming an attack roll doing basic damage if failed. Once secured, riding out the storm proves to be without further complication. A HARD Intelligence + Knowledge / Navigation figures out they are on Yap in the Caroline Island Chain.

In the morning, the surviving feluccas and the Macao Clipper will need to make some repairs before returning to Davao. Each ship must be above 50% damage or suffer a two-step penalty to all rolls, while the Macao Clipper to be even able to fly must be above 50% damage. If there are any stranded PCs or NPCs from sunken feluccas, they must succeed in a HARD Intelligence + Survival / Jungle in order to create a signal that will draw the attention of one of the returning feluccas in order to be rescued. If this roll fails, that character is stranded and must being a FORMIDABLE Complex Action of the same skill with a time increment of one day. The stranded must reach the threshold within ten days or they will succumb to some predator, injury, disease, or starvation.

 

As the crew of the Macao Clipper affects repairs, have each character make an Opposed Roll of Alertness + Perception / Hearing. Anyone that succeeds will detect that they are being watched from the edge of the clearing by half a dozen Grik! It takes a HARD Alertness + Perception / Deduction to realize that the Grik are not making any threatening moves. Instead, they display more curiosity than hostility. At this point the PCs may attempt an AVERAGE Alertness + Perception / Sight test to realize these Grik are a different color from anything they have ever seen, being almost tiger striped in black and orange. Anyone that Botches either of these rolls or fails both of them will attack the Grik. An alert PC might notice another about to attack with an AVERAGE Alertness + Perception / Sight and will be able to knock aside the attacker’s weapon with an Opposed Roll of Agility + Athletics versus the attacker’s Agility + Weapon skill. Even if the attacker wins, they must add the result of their Opposed Roll to the difficulty of the attack to represent the hurried and nearly interrupted shot. Again these Grik react completely different from all the others they have encounters in that even if attacked, these retreat into the jungle.

 

However, if an attack is avoided, calling out to the Grik in Lemurian, or shockingly in English, the Grik respond in the same language! If a PC can succeed with an AVERAGE Intelligence + Influence / Persuasion, the Grik will enter the clearing and will speak with the humans. It does not take long to learn that although similar in appearance to the Grik, these lizards are yet another inhabitant of this Earth and call themselves the Tagranesi. The Tagranesi knows of, and surprisingly, despite acknowledging having a relationship to them, do not like the Grik. They will not speak more on why other than to say that they ‘do not properly raise their young’.

 

Even more stunning if the humans used English to greet the Tagranesi (they will over hear the humans talking among themselves and respond in English if the greeting was in Lemurian) is how they know the language, they have seen humans before! Once or twice a year, great wooden canoes that belch smoke sometimes stop at Tagranesi villages that are far to the east, this island being an uninhabited and seldom visited hunting ground. The Tagranesi leader Golkan draws a simple map and an AVERAGE Intelligence + Knowledge / Navigation roll will be able to determine that the Tagranesi homeland is the Palau island chain. Golkan does not know where the other Tailless ones live as they are very secretive about that information.

 

As all hope of tracking Tao is gone, the only the PCs have to do is complete repairs to the Macao Clipper and succeed with an AVERAGE Ship’s Agility + Pilot roll to take off safely. Navigating  to Davao requires a HARD Intelligence + Knowledge / Navigation roll. The PCs return to find that none of the feluccas were successful in tracking the hijackers either; leaving the pursuit of Tao and Hansen for another day.