The Gate of Envy has taken its toll on the troop before once again vanishing into the bowels of the earth but there is still much to be done. With the Sword of D. in Rachel and Claire’s possession the troop must decide where to go from here…
Meanwhile, the Thorn Head Demon continues to prey on random travelers on their way to Tritonia. Plus, the revelation of Rachel’s enigmatic employer. All this and more in the soul-wrenching conclusion to Rifts®: Megaversal Highway™ – The Sword in the Stone.
Previously. . .
The morning began as expected with polite conversation, general schmoozing and the revelation that the trucks would soon depart with a full load of cargo. Although all expectations were thrown out the window by the most unwelcome of intrusions to the group’s plan: A duo of True Atlantean warriors, one of which was immediately recognized by Rachel as her former acquaintance, Claire Parker. Claire had been sent by a council of True Atlanteans to recover what was reportedly the Eternal Flame Blade so they would have a bargaining chip with the Lemurian government.
The Atlanteans presented themselves somewhat suspiciously, seeking shelter at dawn but with a sufficiently large bribe, they managed to secure entrance into the encampment. However, before taking the opportunity to enter, the collective were besieged by Alu Demons, wolf-like monstrosities that had seemingly chasing an unknown, third party. After a prolonged battle, the adventurers defeated the Demons but not before Gobi telepathically asked Rachel to use the confusion as an opportunity to check out the cargo of the trucks. Reinforcing Gobi’s suspicions, Claire chased after Rachel in order to ensure she did not reach the artifact first. Unwilling to allow the True Atlantean to disrupt his plans, Gobi pursued her, leaving the remaining members of both groups and the newcomer Tyson to dispatch the remaining Demons.
After an alarm was set off in the back of the truck, Gobi fled the scene unwilling to taint his rapport with the locals and seeking plausible deniability for the actions of his subordinate. Before fleeing, he telepathically instructed Rachel to do the same, hoping to leave the rival Atlantean holding the bag.
Heading into the courtyard, Gobi witnessed the other intruding Atlantean infiltrating the depot, refusing to fail the people of Earth, Gobi followed in hot pursuit. Before long, the two rivals came to an unspoken understanding. Although the two had mutually exclusive goals, they would explore the complex together with the sword to be the prize of whichever group secured it first.
Eventually, the two rivals found their way to Jorel’s vault, together smashing their way in. With the sword in sight, Gobi sprinted to his goal and what he was sure would be the savior of all life on Earth. However upon entering the room, his goals immediately shifted, in his carelessness (and with his mental defenses lowered) Gobi’s desperation and ambition betrayed him and he was unwittingly possessed by the supernatural forces emanating from the obelisk. No longer in total control of his own faculties, Gobi abandoned the sword (at least for the moment), and his primary desire had now become the obelisk.
Gobi’s efforts to drag the obelisk out of the room recaptured Ren’s interest. Upon witnessing the obelisk that captured Gobi’s desire, Ren too submitted to its will, as this close to too source of the taint was too much for even him to resist the compulsion.
Outside, Rachel and Claire had given into mob mentality and had seemingly abandoned their cause in favor of looting the complex and burgling the Road Hammers. After hiding all of the valuables they could get their hands on in the nearby wilderness, they both entered the depot in search for the Sword that was their original goal.
Robert and Tyson valiantly aided the Northern Gun soldiers in their battle, securing an easy victory. That which would normally be a moment of celebration was disrupted by what can only be described as intense confusion. The soldiers that had been fighting at each other’s side, slowly began turning on one another, their hearts seemingly corrupted by desire for the gifts of their peers. A corruption that at that time both Robert and Tyson found no meaning in.
Gobi and Ren were still fighting over the apparent source of the corrupted soldiers, the obelisk which was in turn corrupting the both of them, until finally help arrived in the form of their respective allies: Rachel and Claire. The potential salvation the girls offered was immediately refused by the possessed Gobi and Ren. Unwilling to let the girls have their obelisk, the men bombarded them with a plethora of insults and disdainful remarks, all of which shared one common theme, Envy. The girls too unfamiliar with mind control and possession had no idea that the two victims were acting under the influence of supernatural forces and abandoned them to their fate, but not before thieving the ever-important Sword of D.
During the escape, attacks were made with Claire bombarding the men with a searing wall of flame; seriously wounding Gobi’s beloved pet Nautilus in the process. Still a under the influence of the Gate of Envy, the two men united and together threw the obelisk at Rachel, pinning her beneath it – an act that would prove fruitless as the mercenary then decided to void her contract with Gobi and handed the sword off to the rival Atlantean, Claire.
Together Gobi and Ren muscled the Obelisk to the entrance where Gobi’s compulsion finally peaked and inspired him to seek the contents of the Obelisk for himself. Unable to open it, the possession appeared to end, leaving him lying on the floor a defeated, broken man. Witnessing the ordeal and desiring whatever it was that Gobi wanted, Ren too tried to open the Obelisk, failing, and like Gobi succumbing to the throes of depression.
Together the emotionally fatigued duo climbed back out of the bunker, only to be met by an army of zombie-like former Northern Gun soldiers – men who had once been Gobi’s admirers and fans. Immediately recognizing the signs of the possession that had enveloped them prior, the duo leapt to action. Ren descending back down the bunker to reseal the Obelisk and Gobi remaining behind to delay the soldiers. Struggling against what amounted to be a small army, Gobi managed to convince a significant portion of them to leave and find their desires elsewhere. Their numbers now reduced to a meager four, Gobi easily prevented them from infiltrating the bunker and disrupting Ren’s work.
Although the duo’s efforts seemed to stop the soldiers from seeking the artifact, their minds remained unhealed. In an attempt to gift the remaining soldiers the same free will he had recovered, Gobi lent them his magic armband which successfully repelled the forces in one soldier’s mind (although seemingly at the expense of his sanity) but had no effect on two others. The fourth however had an effect that was both unexpected and deeply frightening. In a tone that shook Gobi’s very soul and helplessly reminded him of his dealings with the Three on Hrrac Island, the victim spoke. Shaken by the events and concerned about what this thing could represent, Gobi slew the former soldier, hoping to prevent whatever was unleashed from being re-unleashed.
Together, Ren, Gobi, the insane former mind-slave and the two possessed soldiers in tow, left the depot to find the others waiting outside.
Swallowing both his pride and the sting of betrayal, Gobi apologized to Rachel for his actions while possessed, genuinely regretting his lack of self-control which is something he normally took great care in maintaining. Claire however, he offered no apologies to, only offering more suspicion. He declared that she was trying to start a war between the Atlanteans and Lemurians. An accusation that she did not rebuke nor react to in any manner, her unflinching demeanor taken as an unwitting admission of guilt.
★ – Terrible!
★★ – Bad!
★★★ – Good!
★★★★ – Great!
★★★★★ – Excellent!
Session #007: The Sword in the Stone, pt. 3