Session 7: The Planet Continues to Be Awful
The PCs immediately crowd Adriana, demanding to know how she turned into water to escape. She shrugs, unsure of the answer, and they set off to the outcropping. The PCs take shifts again for rest, but the presence of desert scourges means that their rest is not easy or peaceful. During Ashlee’s watch, she walks to the edge of the rock they’re on to watch the dunes for any signs of movement. From where she sleeps, Sarah hears the faint sound of electricity, and she wakes as a creature—larger than the sand ray—bursts from the sand among arc of electricity, produced from moving through the sand. The creature lunges at Ashlee while Sarah screams at the others to wake, standing up in the process. It narrowly misses, going just over her head, before burrowing back in the sand. The others, startled, begin to move, realizing that a land shark is attacking them. They have a harsh battle, particularly since Joel is separated and the land shark has a tremor sense with makes it hard to attack it. When Sarah throws a boulder to distract it, Joel realizes that he has sand ray jerky to distract the beast, so he tosses it at the center rock. The land shark falls into their trap, and when it’s pinned to the rock, weakened severely by the others’ well-placed attacks, Sarah leaps onto the shark and attacks it in a frenzy. Her skin seems to harden into stone when she jumps, and the desert scourges that attack the downed shark don’t affect her at all. The PCs decide to stay for a while longer, as they need the rest. They wait for the scourges to devour their fill of the land shark, before they go over and inspect the remains. They decide to keep the hide, which will make great armor, but they have to take turns dragging it through the sand.
The journey continues to be hard, though the ground slowly hardens and the air grows saltier and windier. Soon, they can’t see more than a foot in front of them. Sarah, with her newly discovered tremor sense, moves forward to help Joel, who uses his mask to navigate to the ship now that the sun is gone. However, he misinterprets his mask, and they walk for some time before they realize that Pip can “see” perfectly even in these conditions. They correct their course before anything terrible happens, and soon they are out of the blinding wind and onto salt flats. After more walking, which brings them within a day’s journey of the ship, they stop to rest. Marco spots strange markings in the ground, but they continue further off their course, so they don’t investigate. Adriana sees a giant sand ray in the sky, much larger than those they had seen before, surrounded by young. Sarah thinks she hears something during her watch, but they’re safe and nothing happens.
The PCs set off to the ship, and as they walk they plan. They decide to send Marco, who is well-trained in stealth, to go to the ship and mark it with their tagging system. Pip, however, tells them that elementals surround the ship, and so the PCs decide that Pip will be fast enough to save Marco if he’s attacked, though it won’t be stealthy. Joel notices something in the air, a ship in orbit, though he can’t tell if it’s their ship or a Synodian ship. The PCs continue to the ship, until they come across a basin where a river likely used to run. A great skeleton in the sand, surrounded by seemingly hard ground, so they decide to stay there, hidden while Marco goes to the ship. Sarah has Pip take her to the skeleton, while Ashlee uses the land shark hide and her staff to steadily sail across the deep sand to the skeleton. Pip returns to the edge to get Joel, and as they fly to Sarah, tentacles erupt from the ground around Ashlee and the skeleton. Adriana and Ashlee recognize the creature as a silt horror, and the group readies itself for battle.