This post continues the adventures of the Rebel Tunnel Fighters. Part One is available here
Our Squad, The Grizzly Devils, had made it to the outskirts of their territory (a day's journey, in and of itself). Being especially careful and watchful, they made their way to the newly discovered tunnels. Hector, ever sure of his abilities, took point and following the directions the scouts had provided to Simon Luther, after a few hours trek, they found the newly discovered tunnels and cautiously entered.
The Caverns of the Pustulent Slime Shrooms
Continuing on their journey through the Slime Fungi caves was difficult and challenging. Hector on point, took the worst of it, trying to find a safe route through the slimy caves, backtracking and trying again, others offered to take point, but Hector took it as a point of pride to be Point man on this expedition. The slime caves took a toll on everyone, but impacted Hector the most. Hector used up all his water and food rations and the rest of the squad all had to go deeply into their resources to get through this challenge. Once through this foul system of tunnels and caves, everyone was extremely low on rations and almost out of clean drinking water.
Hector was killed immediately, already weakened from the difficult route through the Slime Fungi Caves, The Eldritch Mind Warper ripped Hector’s mind to shreds, killing him instantly. The entire squad was mentally attacked all at once by powerful waves of psychic force. Simon Luther went down next, and Mungo came close to death’s door! Only by expending what reserves they had left did they manage to survive. They threw everything they had at the beast engaging in a running fight with it in the large cavern. Even with that they only just barely managed to defeat the creature. At the end of the fight, Hector and Simon Luther were dead. Mungo severely injured and the remaining squad members were all injured, weak and dangerously low on resources.
They paused to bury their two fallen comrades; it was too far back to attempt to carry the bodies all that way. Doc Eldred said a few words, and what could pass as a prayer. Kadin said Amen in a quiet voice, while Mungo and Shalonna stood in grim silence.
The fight with the Mind Warper had diverted the squad from their previous trail, less skilled individuals would have become hopelessly lost and died out there. Fortunately, Shalonna’s skills as a Way Finder allowed the squad to find their way and make it back to safety. Their home territory had never looked so good. Tired, and dehydrated, they trudged onward.
On the edge of the rebel controlled tunnels they encountered a rebel patrol, Gilbert and Brone along with a trusty AT3. Gilbert told the squad they looked like hell, while sharing his water and rations. Brone said they'd heard scouts report of Bone Ape sightings in the Western Tunnels but the patrol hadn't seen anything. The patrol escorted the exhausted team back to the Rebel Vault. They said little during the journey.
The mission had been challenging and difficult in unexpected ways. They had lost two members of the squad. But in fighting the Eldritch Mind Warper, Mungo and Shalonna had learned ways to enhance their mental defenses, which would hopefully help them be better equipped for psychic attacks in the future. And as Simon Luther (R.I.P.) had suspected the Caves of the Slime Fungi did in fact provide a route around the Bone Ape territories, but risking an encounter with another Mind Warper, might not be worth the risk. That would be for the chain of command to decide. Along with whether or not the risk of investigating those strange glowing "coffins" was worth it.
Under the care of Doc Eldred and Kadin, everyone healed up. A somber service was held for their two fallen comrades, and they pondered their next mission. Healed up back at Hecate's Pub, they said a toast to Hector and Simon Luther.