Jeb was just starting to come around from his operation when a large owl appeared in a flash of light! The owl seemed to be as startled as the group. He also resembled a mutant owl named Whoo from the village. Just as suddenly as the first, a second owl appeared! Both Jeb and Mister Pointy tried to speak with the owls (the former verbally and the latter mentally), but they received no replies. The party was unsure what to make of the situation until Max explained that the second owl was illusionary. Talking or not, they knew of an owl with an odd sense of humor who could create illusions: Whoo. The group ignored his antics and decided to revisit the garage… followed by a curious owl and his fake friend.
The villagers investigated the last unexplored room in the garage. Inside, they discovered a metal cabinet and a shallow basin with a drain. A metal pipe protruded over the basin and two knobs were attached to the nearby wall. Jeb stepped into the basin and turned the knobs, causing water to rain from the pipe overhead. As Jeb played in the water, Jim examined the contents of the cabinet. He found numerous bottles on the shelves alongside some folded cloth. The labels on the bottles indicated that the contents were emergency treatments for exposure to various hazards.
Whoo could no longer contain his laughter and rolled on the floor as his illusion faded. Hearing the odd owl hoots and seeing Whoo collapsed in convulsions, Zandor picked up the bird and headed for the Veterinary Clinic. Zandor was almost inside before Whoo composed himself enough to telepathically explain that he was merely laughing at his own joke. Disgusted by the game, Zandor dropped the bird and returned to the others. Whoo followed and explained how he had mysteriously appeared. After leaving the village, his group leader asked him to fly ahead as a scout. He did so for many miles before spotting a tasty field mouse. He was almost upon the morsel when its eyes flashed and Whoo found himself next to the others. The tricky little beast must have been a tele-mouse instead of a normal field mouse! It used its teleportation power to transport Whoo away! It was pure luck that Whoo had arrived surrounded by friends. (A few of the group rolled their eyes at this description.)
Mister Pointy described the group’s own adventures since leaving Habitat to the owl. Whoo was very interested in the medical robot; he thought the robot might cure his epilepsy. He convinced Mister Pointy to return to the clinic with him. They were just to the clinic doors when they were brushed aside by a sprinting Hayseed. The droid was carrying a convulsing Jeb. While Whoo had been deep in conversation, the farmer had grabbed a random bottle from the metal cabinet and drank deeply. Acting quickly, Hayseed had gathered Jeb in his arms and raced for the medical robot.
Hayseed reached the medical robot in time to save Jeb‘s life. The others arrived in time to see the robot working with a tube down the human’s throat. After Jeb recovered from the stomach pump, Hayseed warned him not to drink liquids without reading any relevant labels. Jeb mumbled that he was just looking for a drink with kick.
Whoo attempted to activate the medical robot for his own examination, but quickly realized the metal man could not hear his thoughts. The owl asked Jeb for assistance. Jeb easily activated the medical robot, who ran a variety of tests on the mutant owl. He informed Jeb that the owl had numerous abnormalities which he could not address. Poison glands had been found in the owl’s talons and the robot recommended removal if the owl was to remain in human company. Jeb declined.
The party returned to the garage and asked Hayseed to open the outer doors. The doors opened with a loud, low rumble. The frosted wood could be seen past a shallow entrance tunnel. Leaving the mutant animals in the garage with Hayseed, the men walked outside and moved toward the complex’s main entrance. (The main entrance was located around a protruding bend of the hill covering the complex.) They had not gone far before bumping into a wolfoid coming from the opposite direction. Outnumbered, the wolfoid fled.
Max raced after the fleeing man-wolf, but took a course that gave the beast a wide berth. This course proved wise when he saw the wolfoid enter the complex next to another of the man-wolves. One of the entrance doors had fallen from the frame and left a gaping hole through which a wolfoid fired an arrow. The arrow missed while Max was able to send a dart of psychic power into one of the beasts. Max called out to the other villagers, warning them of the two wolfoids.
His shield held high, Zandor rushed to the entrance. He battled with the wolfoids as the other men grouped behind him. Zandor’s wild swings and large shield prevented them from entering the fray. The beast men were armed with axes, but one disregarded his axe to attack Zandor with sickly-green beams from his eyes. Fortunately, the beams missed the true man.
Zandor called out to the others as he pushed his way through the entrance. His shield rush allowed the others an opening to attack one of the wolfoids. Both Jeb and Jim missed with their weapons but Max‘s mental blast destroyed the man-wolf’s mind. The beast collapsed.
Hearing the shouts, Mister Pointy and Whoo thought to flank the wolfoids by running through the complex. Unfortunately, Hayseed could not allow unaccompanied animals to wander deeper into the building. He grappled with Mister Pointy, which kept the metal man too busy to grab Whoo as well. Whoo raced through the corridors to the front entrance and just missed raking the remaining wolfoid with his talons. Mister Pointy switched directions to run outside and Hayseed released him.
The last wolfoid voiced two sharp howls and then attempted to flee inside, but he was brought low by the combined attacks of Zandor and Whoo. The party regrouped as they heard Hayseed closing the garage doors. They noticed that the fallen entrance door had been cleanly sliced through. No weapon known to the villagers could do such a thing to metal.
The party decided to investigate the security office down the hall, leaving Max to watch the closest set of doors to the Control Center. The office door had been cut down like the entrance door, allowing the corridor illumination to filter into the unlit office. Jeb entered and groped about the small office while Zandor worked on lighting a torch.
Suddenly the doors to the Control Center opened to reveal a large pack of wolfoids. Max bravely stepped forward to meet the challenge. The doorway prevented more than two of the beast men from engaging the mutant. The pack leader, a large man-wolf with a wicker shield and a glowing blade, ordered several of the pack out another set of doors. These wolfoids burst into the corridor and attacked Mister Pointy, Whoo and poor Hayseed, who had just come through the doors leading to the garage.
Hoping to at least distract his attacker, Whoo created the illusion of a female wolf in heat in the corridor. Unfortunately, the illusion had little effect on the wolfoids’ bloodlust. The beasts’ axes bit deeply into the two village animals but glanced off Hayseed‘s metal body. A round from Jim’s slug projector slammed into a wolfoid. Although the shot was a solid hit and slowed the man-wolf’s movements, the beast did not react to the pain. Jeb fired an arrow from security office doorway but missed. Zandor finished lighting his torch and slipped past Jeb to search the office. Mister Pointy proved true to his name by firing a poisoned quill into the beast attacking him. The wolfoid fell to the floor in spasms and died.
Max tumbled past his enemies and the Control Center’s machinery, deeper into the room. The four wolfoids slashed at him, but only the pack leader was able to land a blow. With no one nearby, the doors slid shut, allowing Max to release an ear-splitting scream without harming his companions. The man-wolves shuttered at the pain but showed no sign of being cowed. The pack leader sent one wolfoid outside as he turned toward the lone mutant with his two followers in tow.
Max fought with mental blasts as he dodged most of the wolfoids’ attacks. Unfortunately, the pack leader’s knife always seemed to find his flesh. Max was bleeding from several cuts while one wolfoid was disoriented and bleeding from his nose. However, as Max watched, the blood stopped and the pain eased from the man-wolf’s eyes. The beast men could heal at an incredible rate! Max was in trouble.
Meanwhile, Zandor searched the security office. He saw a desk and chair as well as equipment similar to the machines in the Auxiliary Control Center. Along one wall was a case displaying numerous ancient devices, some of which were reminiscent of Jim’s slug projector. Unfortunately, an invisible wall prevented Zandor from reaching into the case.
The wolfoid sent from the Control Center flanked the true men and animals, rushing up to Jeb with a wild swing of his ax. Whoo, already badly injured, dropped his wolf illusion and flew for the exit. He paid for his flight with an ax slice along his side, but still managed to leave the complex. Jeb and Jim attacked with their swords, but their wolfoid opponent proved too quick. Hayseed was evenly matched by his opponent. The wolfoid had not harmed the droid, but in turn, the droid had not succeeded in grappling the beast.
With blood flowing from a wound on his scalp, Mister Pointy feared for his life. He reached out with his mind, draining life energy from all those in the area. Only Max, with his strong mental defense, and Whoo, who was too far away, were unaffected. Mister Pointy’s wound closed as he felt the stolen energy rejuvenate his body. Fear turned to anger and he telepathically broadcast a challenge to the wolfoids, shouting at them to face him if they dared.
We had a new player join the game unexpectedly which served as inspiration for the brand-new, fresh-out-of-the-box, tele-mouse! This handy little guy let me teleport a new character into the game without re-writing the story or allowing him to have too much information about unexplored areas (which he could have logically had if he had entered the complex separate from the party or had been a prisoner of the wolfoids). Feel free to use him in your own games.