Nikko notices something odd about the path over which we drag the statue, as if the plant growth was accelerating. We head back to the boat and return to Radamir. We show him the statue, but no one knows just what it does.
Radamir asks us to pick up the statue, and notices moss growing on our ship. He tells us he can give us the money he has on hand, or we can take it to his guy on Torag. He gives us a document to present to Torag with the terms of the transaction.
First we head to a la grange asteroid, Port Massive, to pick up supplies and fuel ingredients. The asteroid doesn’t quite live up to its name. A gnome claiming to be the mayor approaches them, and comes across as a bit insane. The mayor tells us not to attack anyone unless we clear it with him first. We tell him we’ll be on the lookout for Skooge.
We head to the local bar, Fortune’s Orbit, to cool our heels. We are welcomed by Earl D’Perusio, and Quinton confirms that he’s the distant cousin of the general. The crew does a bit of gambling. Nikko sits down at a poker table, and exchanges words with the local surgeon, Doc Ric.
The Doctor takes an interest in the brothers, noticing their similar smell despite their differing races. Quinton exchanges words with the Doctor, who comes across as somewhat predatory in nature.
Nikko and Digger notice a man in full armor sitting in the back of the room, causing fear among the other patrons.
A local pirate learns that Quinton is a soldier from Fortune, and begins threatening him. He heads off to find the mayor and get approval to kill us.
Bortle approaches the large armored man, who warns Bortle off. A barmaid whispers to Bortle that the man is called Vanton Black. Bortle has heard the name before… a notorious bounty hunter.
One of the mayor’s minotaurs comes to the doorway and grunts to the party, indicating that we should follow. We see four figures down the street, including the pirate, Roeber D’Troi. They watch us walking toward the mayor and glare at us.
We head into the mayor’s general store. He tells us he’s given Roeber permission to kill us, but wants to do business with us first. He shows us his extensive stock of guns, weapons and alchemical ingredients. He won;t sell us fuel ingredients, only fuel. Quinton and Digger each kick in 1,500 GP to pay for 5 units of sphere travel fuel.
The Mayor gives us some intel on Rober’s crew, and sends us on our way. The street appears empty as far was we can see. Roeber appears down the street. Quinton walks up and blows him away with a single shot. We then shoot it out with Roeber’s remaining crew.
Vanton Black descends and demands Roeber’s body, at least once the sun goes down. Quinton is unwilling to give it up without understanding why. As the sun goes down, the Doctor comes out and joins Black. Black wings his sword at Roeber’s body, but Quinton blocks it. Quinton negotiates a settlement with Black , and finally agree upon 1,000 GP which the crew then spends on food/water for the voyage.
Nikko asks the Doctor whether he has any fresh fruit he can spare. The Doctor, a vampire, offers a single apple in exchange for a drink of Nikko’s blood.
On the way, the influence of the statue produces an tree from the apple seeds. It also causes the barrels holding the water and fuel to grow branches. The deformed barrels leak, wand we lose approximately a ton of fuel, leaving us without sufficient fuel to make our destination.
They locate a comet, and Digger sees a ship landed on it surrounded by several structures. The ships lands, and the party ventures toward the other ship. The severe cold makes the walk perilous, but they reach the ship. They see several frozen human bodies scattered around outside. The colors of the flag indicate that the ship is from Pharasma, the inner-most planet of the system. The ship’s name is “The Desert Oasis”.
The ship’s log indicates that the ship’s purpose was to drag comets to Pharasma, a hot desert planet. The logs indicate something had killed the crew near the structures constructed at one end of the comet (to push it toward Pharasma).
Digger examines the ship’s elemental engines. While they may be dismantled for spare parts, they cannot be repaired. The elemental shard has been cracked and can no longer contain the elemental. For some reason, perhaps because of the cold, the fire elemental had not escaped the shard. However, with the arrival of the crew, it breaks free of the shard.
The elemental immediately attacks Digger and does massive damage. Digger attempts to dive out the hole in the hull, but the elemental hits him again and he falls, dying. Bortle attacks it with water while Quinton picks up Digger. They party escapes out into the snow, and the fire elemental stops short. Eventually, the elemental returns to its shard. Digger is healed, and the party rushes back into the hull to grab a locked chest before the elemental can attack again.
Soon afterward, the bodies in the snow rise and begin shambling toward the party. Bortle calls upon the power of his god to damage all the zombies, but they close on him and he is taken down, becoming infected with zombie rot. The rest of the crew disposes of the zombies and heals Bortle.
The group turns to the chest. Digger fails to disable the lock. Nikko and Quinton have a shoot-out challenge to see who should try to shoot the lock. Nikko wins, but then fails to shoot the lock. Bortle then blasts it with his pepperbox. Inside, the group finds:
Gems (worth 204 GP)
Legend lore scroll
Overland flight scroll
Stone shape potion
1 unknown potion
The saddle has the symbol of a white rose on it. Bortle knows it refers to the furthest outpost of humanity, The City of Change on Ergathoa, but little beyond that.
We arrive at one of the engines. It appears partially constructed, and is surrounded by crates. We notice dead bodies in the snow.
Nikko and Quinton slowly approach the crates, cautious to see whether any of the bodies rise. They get close enough to examine the crates. As they use the pick to open the crates, Bortle notices the bodies rising. Bortle called on the power of his god and destroyed all the zombies.
Digger gets to work on the fuel. They’ll need to store some water to mix with the fuel in the crates, so Digger begins fashioning barrels from the surrounding scrap metal. Nikko and Quinton head back toward the ship to bring it back to the engine area.
On the way, they see a knight on a dead-looking horse. The knight bears a banner with the white rose insignia. He rides up, and inquires about their identities in a rasping voice. He appears to want their ship so he can escape. Nikko pulls his gun and shoots at the horse. The knight pulls a sword and a battle ensues. The knight rides off, rasping “Returrrrrnnnnn…”
With a little difficulty, Quinton gets the ship started and they bring it to Digger and Bortle. During this time, Digger has produced approximately 5 tons of fuel. The crew begins loading as quickly as they can. When most of the alchemical crates are loaded, a crewman sees the knight and a group of zombies approaching.
They decide to lift off and fight from the air. Digger starts the engines and the ship rises. The party fires at the approaching zombie forces, but they leap onto the deck in the comet’s lower gravity. They manage to defeat the zombies and knock the knight off the ship. The knight is apparently vampiric and disappears into gas. We find his masterwork plate mail and two-handed sword.
We land, load the water and get back on our way to Torag. As we approach, we note that the planet looks like a giant dwarf head. A dwarf-head shaped ship approaches and the ship is boarded. A female representative of the Red Sun Inquisition tells us that our ship will be searched. She introduces herself as Oilya of Clan Gormykin. She questions where we got the statue, and we are forced to explain we got it from the elves. WHile she doesn;t like theft, she likes elves even less and she allows us passage.
We meet our contact, and they are very pleased with the statue. He offers us 100,000 GP for the statue. Quinton negotiates for 130,000 GP, of which 45,000 will be a credit at the shipyard. They hold back Radamir’s share of approximately 39,000 GP.