You are here :-  Wiki
Wiki
Minimize

RSS

Playfair's Axiom

Modified on 2011/10/18 11:25 by Kerrick Categorized as Books, Deathlands


      We do not so much need the help of our friends as the confidence of their help in need.

      - Epicurus
      3rd century BCE



   As the story begins, the companions are making their way through the ruins of downtown St. Louis. They're being stalked by a band of cannies, who attack the group. They flee the initial fight, chased by more cannies, and run into a group of scavvies, who also join the chase.
   They hunker down to take a breather and reload, and JB is through the chest. Mildred gets him patched up, but he has a sucking chest wound - he can't walk on his own. Ryan looks for the source of the shot and finds a second scavvie band. Since there's a chem storm rolling in, both bands charge the companions' position, looking to get their gear and women. The companions fight them off, then a horde of screamwings descends on the scavvies, tearing several of them apart.
   The scavvies flee from the screamwings; just when the companions think they're home-free, though, another group appears behind them. This group has the drop on them, so they surrender. The men (who are a sec patrol from a nearby ville) take them prisoner, and they run for a highway overpass as the acid rain starts to fall. Once the rain turns to normal water, they continue on toward Soulardville.
   Once they reach the ville, the companions hand JB over to the healer, a woman named Strode; the others are herded into a fortified house. Later that day, they're taken to see the Baron Savij, who's dying of rad poisoning. His daughter, Emerald, ran off two weeks ago, and he wants the companions to find her. He doesn't say anything further before passing out.
   The companions are on their way back to the prison house when they run into Brother Joe, the ville's "spiritual leader" (aka, a self-proclaimed holy man). He invites them to dinner that evening.
   At dinner, they hear the story of the first Baron Savij, who created Soulardville and gave rise to the lineage that remains in charge. Afterward, Joe has a private talk with them. He makes them a deal - in exchange for JB's treatment and additional supplies, he wants them to find and return Emerald - alive if possible, or with irrefutable proof of her death otherwise. The companions are forced to accept.
   The next day, they're taken to see a sacrifice. Joseph calls down a swarm of screamwings, which descend on the young woman. A gigantic specimen, dubbed King Screamwing, then comes down and carries off her body. Shortly afterward, the companions are given their gear, along with half the promised supplies, and sent on their way.
   Their first stop is Breweryville, to the south. The baron there is a rival to Soulardville, but they think he'll have information as to Emerald's whereabouts. In exchange for the information, he has Mildred perform an appendectomy on one of his citizens (which she does, easily). He tells them that Emerald spent some time with a scavvie band run by a man named McKinnick (who just happens to be the first band that attacked the companions).
   The plan is simple: have Krysty walk into the camp - while the others surround them - and ask about Emerald. The other men are willing to talk (they're smart enough to realize that a woman wouldn't walk into their camp without backup), but McKinnick is more interested in raping and killing her, so he attacks. Ryan shoots him down, and the others subdue the rest of the group without further bloodshed.
   They find out that Emerald did indeed join the band, but that lasted until the first night, when McKinnick tried to have his way with her. She stabbed him in the leg and fled east, toward the river, which is home to hordes of cannies and stickies; they heard her scream, so they assumed (rightly) that she'd been caught by cannies.
   The companions head east and capture a lone cannie scout, whom they interrogate as to Emerald's whereabouts. The cannie tells them they did catch her, but they got into a fight with stickies and she got away, fleeing across the bridge over the river.
   As they're questioning the boy, a howl rings out, and the cannie responds. The companions flee from the approaching horde, across the bridge. The stickies are nesting in an old gambling riverboat; they pour out of it when the see the companions and cannies coming, and a huge battle ensues. The companions make it across the bridge in the chaos and get to LaClede's Landing.
   There, they find out that Emerald passed through and hooked up with another scavvie band, this one with a better rep. They buy a boat and head upriver the next day toward the scavvies' current base of operations. They spend two days scouting the place, then Jak goes in and grabs Emerald. One of the other scavvies comes to talk to her at the same time, just as Mildred sets a fire and starts screaming about a stickie attack as a distraction. Jak gets Emerald out, but the scavvies notice she's gone. A recent rain means Mildred's fire doesn't go off as well as planned, so the scavvies quickly realize what's going on and chase the companions. The companions get away clean, though, and make their way back to Soulardville with Emerald in tow.
   Once there, they find that Baron Savij is dead (rumors say Joe murdered him), and Joe is in charge. He charges them with mistreating Emerald (the new baron) and orders them arrested and sentenced to death. Since he reneged on their deal, the companions have no compunctions about turning on him. Ryan gets Strode to send a scout outside the wire to find Dan E, the leader of the scavvie band Emerald joined, and have him join up with the ville's sec men to help Emerald overthrow Brother Joe and his acolytes.
   Meanwhile, Joe has plans to sacrifice the companions one by one over a period of time. Jak is the first, so he's taken out the next day and tied to the altar. Only King Screamwing comes this time; it descends and carries Jak off in its talons.
   That night, Tully (the sec sergeant) and Dan E show up at the companions' prison house and set them free. The companions head to the baron's house, where they break in, recover their gear, and grab Joe. They also find Joe's staff and realize that he's been using sub- and supersonic frequencies to attract and repel the screamwings. They make a quick stop at the temple to see where Joe hides the amplification equipment, then over to the healer's to stock up on containers of fuel and to tell Strode about the equipment. After that, they head for the front gate while the sec men (augment by Dan's scavvies) and Joe's acolytes fight it out.
   As they're heading toward the screamwing nest, Ryan notes that something is going on in Busch Stadium - apparently a huge cannie gathering. They pass into the park in the middle of town (now a forest) and are attacked by another band of cannies. The ones from the stadium hear the gunfire and come out to investigate en masse, forcing the companions to flee. Ryan, thinking quickly, has Krysty toss a Molotov at the cannies around them, which starts a large blaze and serves to hold the cannies off. They use the opportunity to flee just before stickies arrive on the scene and get into a battle with the cannies.
   The companions make it to the high-rise housing the screamwings without further incident and make the climb up to the 42nd floor. They liberally spread their fuel around on the floor below the nest, then go up and rescue Jak (who is largely unharmed - he managed to crawl into a nook as soon as the screamer dropped him). Now that their deal with Joe is done, Ryan turns the staff to "attract" and kicks Joe back into the nest before sealing the fire door to the stairs. They then light the oil and run down as it bursts into a huge pyre, wiping out the nest.
   They return to Soulardville long enough to recover the supplies Joe gave them (plus a bonus) and book passage on a boat headed upriver - despite what they did for her, Emerald doesn't want them around, and they're more than happy to leave in any case.

  
Copyright
DEATHLANDS, OUTLANDERS, EARTH BLOOD, and JAMES AXLER are all the property of Gold Eagle / Worldwide Library, and are used here strictly under Fair Use guidelines.
Who's Online
Membership Membership:
Latest New User Latest: Automatic Jack
Past 24 Hours Past 24 Hours: 0
Prev. 24 Hours Prev. 24 Hours: 0
User Count Overall: 2340

People Online People Online:
Visitors Visitors: 86
Members Members: 0
Total Total: 86

Online Now Online Now: