Several years back, after getting out of the service, I tried to reunite with my old gaming buddies via PBEM. It started out OK and quickly fell apart. What follows are the three narratives that evolved from that experiment. Each one is written from the point of view of that character.

Dren is a Pure Strain human, Fenris Black is a mutant wolf and Yosugi is a mutant feline.

Dren's Story

     Hungry, tired, thirsty, what a way to end your day. You and your friends have been travelling north of your home city of Tempesa, searching for the fabled city of the ancients known as Aksarben. You left Tempesa about two weeks ago, and now, your supplies have run out, worse still, it's getting dark.

     Your little group has done very well up until now. Nights have been somewhat difficult, but you've usually been able to spot a rocky area to camp in, once you even found an underground complex. You were even able to find a few useful artifacts there, especially that nice shotgun of yours, of course if Fenris hadn't shorted out the still working computer box you found you might have learned a whole lot more. Sometimes you wonder if Yosugi and Fenris share the same brain, cause neither one of them is very smart.


     Going over your thoughts, you are startled by Yosugi's voice," Fenrees, Dreen, coom an seee whet I have deescovered!"
 Topping the next dune you see a sparkle in the distance. Fenris is lagging behind. "Can you make out just what it is Yosugi?" you ask Yosugi. "Eets sum kend of stuc, dvell, omm... Eet looks leak shelter!” Yosugi finishes the last in his cat-like voice. Yosugi looks like a bipedal bobcat, and if you don't keep him moving, he has a tendency to roll into a ball and fall asleep. The one thing that really impresses you is his ability to dodge blows in a fight, the cat seems to be everywhere! Of course, some nights you worry that you'll wake up to the sound of those two running around the camp chasing each other.


     "I trust your eyes better then my own Yosugi, what do you say Fenris, want to go and sniff it out?"
     Fenris gives you a tooth filled glare and then follows, He doesn't appreciate when you razz him like that, but hey, he's stupid and your not, after all, if he was smart he'd be party leader. Besides, he looks way too tired to do anything, and with that hostility field he emits, he could never even surprise a water dish!
      A few kilometers later, with the sun almost completely gone, you arrive at a strange structure sticking about 30 meters out of the sand. It is metallic and covered with all sorts of weird protrusions and devices. The tower is otherwise smooth and if the sun weren’t down, looking at this thing would probably blind you. " Ova hei goys, E thenk  E seee a wee en." His voice is hard to follow sometimes, but you've gotten used to it.

     Walking over you see Yosugi pointing up near the top of the structure, there is a wide band of some dark material up there, except there is jagged 2 meter hole in it. You could probably scale this thing with no difficulty and be inside in about 5 minutes. "Looks easy enough to defend," you say, Fenris gives you one of those looks again. Looking back towards him you see him drain his goat bladder down his throat, "I hope it burns your throat on the way down," you think to yourself. Damn dog, drinks up the last of the water. No matter, soon you will be up there, in the ruins of some ancient tower, maybe you'll find a muzzle in there. You smile.

     While taking a careful inspection of the tower towards the opening above, You notice Fenris lean over to Yosugi and speak in his guttural gruff tone, "Climb Kitty. If u fal, u lan on yor feet". You nod your head in agreement to what Fenris just suggested.

     "You two don't sense anything unusual, do you?" You ask. Fenris responds with a shrug, as does Yosugi.

     "Fenris will follow behind you," You speak to Yosugi, "and I'll cover our rear. Just to be on the safe side though, here take my rope and fasten it to something inside or right near the break, ok?” You hand him the old rough rope you had in your field bag. It's an old and much used cord of rope, perhaps 50 meters long at one time. You watch as Yosugi begins to scale the tower.

     Looking up, you see Yosugi begin to scale the mighty tower. He expertly climbs from one handhold to another. Even though he only stands about 3 feet tall, the close proximity of protrusions on the structure provides him with very easy access to handholds.


     Suddenly your rope dangles in front of your eyes, you hadn't noticed Fenris begin to climb the tower. In his rather gruff voice Fenris speaks to you from a perch about 10 feet above your head, " I new yew umanz leak to theank, but yew dew hav to teak acton every one en a wile." You also notice that he has the rope tied about his waist and that Yosugi has reached the top and dropped in through the hole.

     Within a few minutes, Fenris and you also drop in through the hole. It's very dark in here but with the fading light of the setting sun you realize that you may have just hit the jackpot! The opening the three of you came through must have once been a window, the floor is covered in several inches of sand, and some of the walls have deeper dunes against them. By the fading light of twilight you are able to make out several gleaming metal cabinets, as well as chairs and what appears to be old computer terminals. These things appear very old, and if you can just keep Dog-boy from frying them, this might prove to be very profitable.

     Just then, you stop. A strange hissing sound is coming from behind one of the cabinets.

      Before you can even warn the dogman away, a metal bar comes to Fenris' feral hands. " Ack off," he says to Yosugi and you in an angry commanding voice, at the same time you say the same thing. He turns towards you when he hears you say the same words as him. After you make eye contact, you notice Fenris gazing about as if to locate something, it is then when you notice that Yosugi is not in sight. You quickly tie your shield around your arm and heft your red axe, you point towards the metal obstruction from behind which the hissing is coming from, "See if you can move it Fenris, it might be one of the traps of the ancients." as he quickly step towards the cabinet, You begin to look about for catboy, "leave it to catboy to fall asleep before a battle," you think to yourself. First you see Fenris slowly try to push and pull at the object, but to no avail, it appears to be rooted to the ground like an old tree. The hissing begins to grow louder, Fenris replies to the hissing with a guttural growl. Then as almost part of the growl, "Coom an ount. E hungr."

     Two large scale-covered humanoids with human torso's and arms, but with the heads and lower bodies of snakes appear. One of them is carrying a glowing dagger about 30cm long, and the other has a long glowing whip. Both appear very mean as they flick their serpent tongues in the hot desert air.

     Taking a defensive stance, you heft your axe before you, attempting to look menacing. Fenris turns his head briefly in your direction. Suddenly you notice him clutch at his head with his free hand, the other holds his iron bar. At this time you also begin to notice that the hissing sound coming from the mutant lizards is taking on a painful high pitched quality.

 Fenris lunges for the one with the whip and misses, he seems off balance to you, and you catch a quick glimmer of fear in his eyes. At the same time a sudden vision enters your mind, one of your shotgun exploding in your hand.

 Forcing the evil visions and sounds from your head, you pull your hands from your ears, and notice blood on them. Putting forth all your mental might to push the demon from your head, you charge forward, axe raised. Thunk! The painful noise stops, replaced by a furious hissing noise. You feel warm blood ooze onto your arms from the axe in your hands. You have managed to wound the lizard bearing the dagger. With a grin upon your face you pull the axe back for a second swing, at the same time you hear Fenris scream out in pain.

     Thunk! The axe falls again, one more time for luck. You look down and notice that a good portion of the creature’s internal organs are now decorating the sandy floor. Out of the corner of your eye you can see the still form of Fenris. The other one is standing behind you, you can feel it's hot breath on the back of your neck, as well as the ambient light given off by his whip. You feel a voice in the back of your mind tell you to drop the axe.

     Dropping your axe, you let your shoulders fall as well, trying to give the creature the impression that it has won. As soon as you feel it's attention diverted to the axe you roll forward on the sandy floor. You arise four feet away from the slithering beast with shotgun in hand. Planning on going for a chest shout, you are surprised to see the beast looking at you with his mouth wide open.


     "Boom."

     The large creature crumples to the ground, albeit with out a head. The whip loses it's light as soon as the creature dropped it. Looking over the body you can see Fenris begin to rise, as well as the still form of Yosugi.

     Standing still for a moment, to let the adrenaline rush fade from your body, you rack open the shotgun and replace the spent shell with a live one. You are about to put the empty shell into your pack when you realize that it disintegrated somewhat in the firing. Deciding that the brass butt end might have some value, you toss it in anyways. Noticing Fenris begin to get to his feet, you rush over to the still form of Yosugi.

     Kneeling by his side you notice that he is still breathing, "are you all right Fenris?" Fenris gives a silent nod to you, and Yosugi begins to come to.

     "Ooh, me ho bode urts."

     "Urrrhh, I 'ope they ar goood tooo eat. Mee 'ery 'ungry." That's just like Fenris, thinking with his stomach first. Taking a cursory look around, you notice that there are strips of low-level ambient red light on the walls. It also appears that over the doors there were once signs. Above one of the doors you notice what might have once been the letter "E" stenciled on the wall.

 Recovering your axe, you find that Fenris has discovered their food cache. He brings it forth, at the same time Yosugi rounds up their weapons.

     The food cache consists of three water gourds, one of which is empty. A sack of salted meat, and a 1 kilo bag of fine clear crystal. The weapons prove to look very similar when turned off, the only major difference being that the whip has a longer handle and a small ball protruding from one end. It'll take some time to figure out how they work.

     "Let me take a look at those weapons, I may be able to figure out the technology," you say to the group. You reach forward and examine the whip device. It appears that the small ball on the end might be the end of the whip. It seems quite plausible that the whip itself contracts back into the device when not in use. There are several buttons on the handle, they look as if they could be hit with a forefinger when in use.


     Fiddling with a few of the buttons and knobs on the device, the ball end suddenly shoots out and zaps Fenris. His body crumples to the floor. Putting the device aside you jump out of your chair to check on Fenris. On the way over Yosugi tells you that he has discovered the bag of crystal to be salt. He yawns once and then heads off to sleep beneath a chair.

 Fenris seems to be ok, although he his sleeping rather soundly. You suppress a little bit of laughter, he's had a ruff,ruff day.

Sitting yourself back down in front of the dead console, you decide to examine the knife weapon. It has a similar construction to the whip device, except for the ball on one end. Several knobs and dials are on the handle and it appears just as mysterious as the other one. After a few minutes of checking it out, you begin to mess around with the buttons. Turn a dial here, press a button there. Suddenly, you find that the blade has materialized right through your left forearm! You let out a blood-curdling scream as the blade vanishes back into the handle. Your forearm feels like it is on fire, and where the blade went right through you, the wound is perfectly cauterized, and that's sure gonna leave a nasty scar.

     You feel a hand on your shoulder, you turn to face Fenris. "Touba ? Hi you sceam? 'E need est. "E tak look-see. You seep lik Kit Kat." He points over at the sleeping form of Yosugi. "You noize tik al you need. Ef you no cayfell, you bloo off on ed." he starts to laugh a little at this point and then sits down on one of the chairs, attempting to watch both doors and the opening in the wall.

     Putting the devices into your bag, to ponder over at a later date, you lay down your sleeping bag and go to sleep. It seems like only a few minutes later when Fenris awakens you for your turn at guard.

     Guard proves to be very boring. The rest of this place must be empty, for you've been watching those doors for hours. Leaning back in your chair you look up into the ceiling. The walls go up to form a dome, in the middle of the dome hangs a large flat disk. It is easily several meters across. You have no idea what it could be and figure it is just as well. You fight back the urge to examine the strange devices again and instead decide to walk around the room and see what is in here.

     The red light strips on the wall give you just enough light to realize that you are in some kind of computer room. Chairs rise from the floor in front of old terminal screens. All of the screens are dark, and you see no input devices. The two large cabinets the creatures were hiding behind look a bit sand blasted, but otherwise intact. In the far back of the room you find what you believe to be an old lifting platform. There is a bar on one side of it. Stenciled on it you can read the words "UP" and "DOWN".

     Just then you hear a strange slurping sound outside the hole in the wall. You carefully make your way over to the opening and peer down. You now see what happened to the bodies. Apparently Fenris tossed them out to the ground below, and now you see several tentacles groping through the sand and pulling the bodies under. It almost looks as if the creature might begin to scale the tower, but it soon departs back under the shifting sands.

    Feeling a bit better as dawn approaches, you eat a little bit of the salted meat and drink some water. Walking around the room you wake Yosugi and Fenris. They take a few moments to rouse and eat some breakfast. You decide not to tell them about the tentacle monster outside just yet.

     "We shood spit up de soop lies bee tween oos, es," asks Yosugi? Or atleast it sounded like a question. Fenris leans over and says" E'll kar re de wata, you too kan kar re de eats, oo key?"


     "That's ok Fenris, why don't I carry one of the gourds? We might get separated. In fact, why don't you let Yosugi carry the gourd and we'll just put some of the water into your waterskin? That way, we'll all have water."

     "Soond oo key to 'E. Weech doo Dren?"

     "I recommend that one, " you say while pointing to the one with the letter "E" stenciled above it.

     The door opens to a set of stairs going down. It is also lit dimly by the glowing red strips. The stairs seem to stop every three meters at a landing and then reverse. The sand is much less prevalent in this area. At the bottom of the stairs is another door.

     Standing to the sides of it, Fenris slowly pushes it open and then signals for the two of you to follow.

     Once inside you are amazed by what you see. You are standing in an immense underground dome. The stairwell must have descended several hundred meters. The walls are decorated with some form of art. From what you can see close by in the dim light cast from the red strips on the floor and the ones a few meters up on the wall, it appears to be men on horses, and desert scenes. The dome above you stretches into blackness. Immediately to your left you see a rounded wall rise into the blackness and straight-ahead is a smaller dome inside the bigger one with several arched openings in it.

     As Fenris slowly closes the door behind you, you notice writing on this side of the door. It reads, "AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY."

     As you walk away from the door and towards the smaller dome, you notice that it is perforated with many small round openings. There are two archways leading into the dome structure that you can see from where you are now.

     As your small party approaches the small dome you can see shapes through the nearest circular wall opening. The shapes look like boxes with appendages hanging off of them. To your left you see a collection of letters above the archway. Unfortunately for you, you are unable to decipher them.


     "E' no see nutin fom dun hyr. 'E do see hoes in 'ig walla." Yosugi throws in a few words, words that seem to echo through this death-like silence very ominously.

     "Yoo be no tak, kit kat. Yoo 'ak noize un 'ell lizadz we he." Well, if they didn't hear Yosugi, they probably heard Fenris.

Fenris Black's Story

 Hungry, tired, thirsty, what a way to end your day. You and your friends have been travelling north of your home city of Tempesa, searching for the fabled city of the ancients known as Aksarben. You left Tempesa about two weeks ago, and now, your supplies have run out, worse still, it's getting dark.

 Your little group has done very well up until now. Nights have been somewhat difficult, but you've usually been able to spot a rocky area to camp in, once you even found an underground complex. Dren was even able to find some useful artifacts there. Apparently the computer box there still worked, but you accidentally shocked it into never never land. Dren was a bit miffed at you for that one, but he'll get over it.

 Going over your thoughts, you are startled by Yosugi's voice," Fenrees, Dreen, coom an seee whet I have deescovered!"

 Topping the next dune you see a sparkle in the distance. Dren is already there. "Can you make out just what it is Yosugi?" That's Dren, always wanting to know what everything is. Trying to tap into your intuitive side, you draw a blank. Whatever that thing is, you get no sense about it. "Eets sum kend of stuc, dvell, omm... Eet looks leak shelter!” Yosugi finishes the last in his cat-like voice. It's hard to restrain yourself sometimes from chasing him around the camp. Yosugi looks like a bi-pedal bobcat, and if you don't keep him moving, he has a tendency to roll into a ball and fall asleep. The one thing that really impresses you is his ability to dodge blows in a fight, the cat seems to be everywhere!

 "I trust your eyes better then my own Yosugi, what do you say Fenris, want to go and sniff it out?"

 You give him a tooth filled glare and then follow, one more joke like that and you may just have to kill him, but you've been learning to think abit before acting, that and the fact that you are so tired and thirsty, you probably wouldn't last long in a fight.

 A few kilometers later, with the sun almost completely gone, you arrive at a strange structure sticking about 30 meters out of the sand. It is metallic and covered with all sorts of weird protrusions and devices. The tower is otherwise smooth and if the sun weren’t down, looking at this thing’d probably blind you. " Ova hei goys, E thenk E seee a wee en." His voice is hard to follow sometimes, but you know yours can be too.

 Walking over you see Yosugi pointing up near the top of the structure, there is a wide band of some dark material up there, except there is jagged 2 meter hole in it. You could probably scale this thing with no difficulty and be inside in about 5 minutes. "Looks easy enough to defend," You hear Drens' voice nearby, always thinking first is he. Well, he can do all the thinking as far as you’re concerned. You shake your bladders and realize you've got a little bit of water left in one of them. It tastes warm, but it is water.


 While Dren is taking a careful inspection of the tower towards the opening above, You lean over to Yosugi and speak, "Climb Kitty. If you fall, you land on your feet". Dren nods his head in agreement to what you just suggested.

 "You two don't sense anything unusual, do you?" asks Dren. Yosugi responds with a shrug, as do you.

 "Fenris will follow behind you," begins Dren, "and I'll cover our rear. Just to be on the safe side though, here take my rope and fasten it to something inside or right near the break, ok?” He hands Yosugi an old rough rope. Slowly and nimbly, the cat climbs the tower, after he gets about 10 meters up, you follow.

 Looking up, you see Yosugi half way to the top of the tower. He expertly climbs from one handhold to another. Even though he only stands about one meter, the close proximity of protrusions on the structure provides him with very easy access to handholds.

 Tying the rope about your waist, and checking all of your gear, you begin the ascent after him. Within a few moments you look down on the human, " I know you humans like to think, but you do have to take action every once in a while." You dangle the rope in front of his face to show him what you mean, then you look up and notice that Yosugi has reached the top and has dropped in through the hole.

 Within a few minutes, Dren and you also drop in through the hole. It's very dark in here but with the fading light of the setting sun you realize that this place is allot like that last place. The opening the three of you came through must have once been a window, the floor is covered in several inches of sand, and some of the walls have deeper dunes against them. By the fading light of twilight you are able to make out several gleaming metal cabinets, as well as chairs and strange metal and glass objects. These things appear very old.

Just then, you stop. Your intuition begins to scream danger! A strange hissing sound is coming from behind one of the cabinets.

  As instinctual as blinking, a metal bar comes to your feral hands. "Back off," you say to Yosugi and Dren in an angry commanding voice, at the same time you hear Dren say the same thing. He seems to have a note of fear in his voice, when you turn to look back at him, the tone is reflected in his eyes. It is then when you notice that Yosugi is not in sight. Dren quickly ties his shield around his arm and hefts his red axe, he points towards the metal obstruction from behind which the hissing is coming from, "See if you can move it Fenris, it might be one of the traps of the ancients." As you quickly step towards the cabinet, an electrical field of hatred builds up around you. First you slowly try to push and pull at the object, but to no avail, it appears to be rooted to the ground like an old tree. The hissing begins to grow louder, and you can sense two forms behind the metal wall, you reply to the hissing with a guttural growl. Then as almost part of the growl, "Come on out. I'm hungry."

 Two large scale-covered humanoids with human torso's and arms, but with the heads and lower bodies of snakes appear. One of them is carrying a glowing dagger about 30cm long, and the other has a long glowing whip. Both appear very mean as they flick their serpent tongues in the hot desert air.

 Taking a quick glance over at Dren, you notice him steadying his axe, but not coming forward. "Leave it to a human to stay in the rear," you think to yourself. As you begin to put your plan together of attacking the whip critter you feel a strange sensation in your head. You lock eyes with the whip mutie and it feels as if he is inside your head, reading your thoughts and showing you quick visions of your pack throwing you out. At the same time you begin to notice that the hissing of the other lizard mutie is changing to a painful high pitch.

 Steeling yourself from the pain in your head you lunge forward at the whip bearer and miss his hand as the piercing sound reverberates through your skull.

 Coming back with a back swing, you manage to clip the lizard in the abdomen. Not a long enough contact to zap him though. Out of the corner of your eye you see Yosugi scaling the back of the other one. Just as he is about to slice into its throught with his claws, he vanishes. Taking form in front of it you see Dren charge in and slam into it with his axe. A good solid hit you note. Unfortunately, at the same time he hit, you were stung by the mutie's whip. You scream out in pain as you notice the feeling begin to ebb from the wound site, slowing drawing out your will to live.

 Blackness. Inky blackness. The hit from the whip dropped you quicker then a lightning strike. You know you're alive, but every fiber in your body hurts. Everything is hazy, but you can almost pick up the sound of an axe sinking into scaly flesh, ofcourse it could just be your imagination, they're probably both dead now anyways.

 You begin to get your vision back, though not your motor control. You can almost make out Dren, with his axe in his hands. Unfortunately, right behind him is the lizard that got you, and Dren appears unaware.

 You find that you can not yet regain your feet, and Dren is about to be eaten. He just dropped his axe, and you can see his shoulders drooping. Wait, what's this? He's dropped to the ground and rolled about one meter away, and he's got his noisemaker out!

 "Boom!"


 The head of the lizard thing explodes as its body drops to the sandy floor. Dren is standing now, looking around the room. You start to regain muscle control and attempt to stand. As you do so, you notice the still form of Yosugi behind you.

 You notice Dren standing still for a moment, and then he reloads his noisemaker, dumping the empty shell, after a careful inspection, back into his pack. He then takes a quick look around and heads for Yosugi.

 Kneeling by his side Dren looks over at you and says, "are you all right Fenris?" You give him a silent nod to indicate that you are atleast alive. At the same time Yosugi begins to come to.

 "Ooh, me ho bode urts."

 "Urrrhh, I hope they are good to eat, I'm hungry." You growl to noone in particular as you look over the corpses of your enemies. Taking a cursory look around, you notice that there are strips of low-level ambient red light on the walls. You poke around behind the wall where they were hiding and find three water gourds, one of them is almost empty, and you decide to help it on it's way. You also find a sack of salted meat and a bag of little white crystals. You walk back to others and drop it all on the floor. At the same time, Yosugi produces both of their weapons.

   The weapons prove to look very similar when turned off, the only major difference being that the whip has a longer handle and a small ball protruding from one end. It'll take Dren some time to figure out how they work. "Better him then me, " you think to yourself, remembering what happened when Yosugi found Dren's noisemaker and almost killed himself.

 "Let me take a look at those weapons, I may be able to figure out the technology," Dren says to the group. Deciding that the snake critters are not worth eating you drag them to the opening in the tower and toss them out. Who knows, maybe something will find them tasty.

 As you head back to the food and water and prepare for a brief rest you feel a sudden burst of intense pain on your leg. You awaken sometime later to the sound of Dren screaming. You happen to catch a glimpse of him sticking that strange light blade through his forearm. Rubbing the welt on you leg you begin to understand where it came from as you chuckle to yourself with the realization that Dren already paid himself back for that one.

 You place your hand on his shoulder, and he turns to face you. "Trouble, why you scream? We need rest, I'll take watch. You go sleep like kitty kat." You point over to the sleeping form of Yosugi. "Your noise stick is all you need. If you’re not careful you'll take your head off." You start to laugh a little at this point and then sit down on one of the chairs, attempting to watch both doors and the opening in the wall.

 Dren lays out his sleeping bag and goes to sleep.

 Guard proves to be very boring. The rest of this place must be empty, for you've been watching those doors for hours. You decide to walk around the room and see what is in here.

 The red light strips on the wall give you just enough light to realize that you are in some kind of "Dren wet dream" room. Chairs rise from the floor in front of old black glass things. All of the glass things are dark, and you see no "Dren wet dream" devices near them. The two large cabinets the creatures were hiding behind look abit sand blasted, but otherwise intact. In the far back of the room you find what looks to be a stick with some weird stuff on it. You try to push the stick in both directions but nothing happens.

  Feeling a bit tired, you decide to awaken Dren and get some sleep.

 Near dawn Dren wakens both you and catboy. After a quick breakfast of salted meat and water you begin to feel better. Yosugi also lets you in on the information that the bag of crystal was nothing more then salt.

 "We shood spit up de soop lies bee tween oos, es," asks Yosugi? Or atleast it sounded like a question. You lean over and say" I'll carry the water, you two can carry the meats, ok?"


 "That's ok Fenris, why don't I carry one of the gourds?" There goes Dren's mouth. "We might get separated. In fact, why don't you let Yosugi carry the gourd and we'll just put some of the water into your waterskin? That way, we'll all have water."

 "Sounds ok to me Dren, which door?"

 "I recommend that one, " he says while pointing to one of them.

 The door opens to a set of stairs going down. It is also lit dimly by the glowing red strips. The stairs seem to stop every little while at a landing and then reverse. The sand is much less prevalent in this area. At the bottom of the stairs is another door.

 With the two weaker people standing to the sides, you slowly push it open and then signal for the others to follow.

 Once inside you are amazed by what you see. You are standing in an immense underground dome. The stairwell must have descended real deep. The walls are decorated with some form of art. From what you can see close by in the dim light cast from the red strips on the floor and the ones a few meters up on the wall, it appears to be men on horses, and desert scenes. The dome above you stretches into blackness. Immediately to your left you see a rounded wall rise into the blackness and straight-ahead is a smaller dome inside the bigger one with several arched openings in it.

 You look around carefully as you slowly close the door.

 As you walk away from the door and towards the smaller dome, you notice that it is perforated with many small round openings. There are two archways leading into the dome structure that you can see from where you are now.

 As your small party approaches the small dome you can see shapes through the nearest circular wall opening. The shapes look like boxes with appendages hanging off of them. To your left you notice a collection of weird lines above the archway. It looks as if Dren is trying to decipher them.

 "E' no see nutin fom dun hyr. 'E do see hoes in 'ig walla." Yosugi throws in a few words, words that seem to echo through this death-like silence very ominously.

 "You stop talking kity-cat. You make that much noise and the lizards will know we are here." Dren and Yosugi both give you funny looks.

Yosugi's Story

 Hungry, tired, thirsty, what a way to end your day. You and your friends have been travelling north of your home city of Tempesa, searching for the fabled city of the ancients known as Aksarben. You left Tempesa about two weeks ago, and now, your supplies have run out, worse still, it's getting dark.

 Your little group has done very well up until now. Nights have been somewhat difficult, but you've usually been able to spot a rocky area to camp in, once you even found an underground complex. Dren was even able to find some useful artifacts there. Apparently the computer box there still worked, but Fenris accidentally shocked it into never never land. Dren was a bit miffed at him for that one, but he'll get over it.

 Looking out over the next sand dune, you see a large shining structure, rising out of the sand several kilometers away. You yell out to your friends," Fenris, Dren, come and see what I have discovered!"

  Dren is already there. "Can you make out just what it is Yosugi?" That's Dren, always wanting to know what everything is. "It’s some kind of struc, dwell, umm... it looks like shelter!”

 "I trust your eyes better then my own Yosugi, what do you say Fenris, want to go and sniff it out?"


 Fenris gives him a tooth filled glare and then follows. Your not sure what to make of Fenris, being part wolf you don't like being near him, with the added hostility field that surrounds him, you sometimes feel like striking out at him.

 A few kilometers later, with the sun almost completely gone, you arrive at a strange structure sticking about 30 meters out of the sand. It is metallic and covered with all sorts of weird protrusions and devices. The tower is otherwise smooth and if the sun weren’t down, looking at this thing’d probably blind you. " Over here guys, I think I see a way in." The other two walk towards you.

   Pointing up near the top of the structure, there is a wide band of some dark material up there, except there is a jagged 2-meter hole in it. You could probably scale this thing with no difficulty and be inside in about 5 minutes. "Looks easy enough to defend," You hear Drens' voice nearby, always thinking first is he. Well, he can do all the thinking as far as you’re concerned. You notice Fenris turn away with a grin on his face, there's no telling what he's thinking right now.

< end intro >

< turn one >

 While Dren is taking a careful inspection of the tower towards the opening above, Fenris leans over to you and speaks in his guttural gruff tone, "Climb Kitty. If u fal, u lan on yor feet". Dren nods his head in agreement to what Fenris just suggested.

 "You two don't sense anything unusual, do you?" asks Dren. Fenris responds with a shrug, as do you.

 "Fenris will follow behind you," begins Dren, "and I'll cover our rear. Just to be on the safe side though, here take my rope and fasten it to something inside or right near the break, ok?” He hands you an old rough rope. Looking it over you sigh to yourself and begin to climb the tower.

< end turn one >

< turn two >

 Looking up, you see the top of tower only a short distance away. The climbing proves to be very easy with many handholds all over this tower. Even though you only stand about 3 feet tall, the close proximity of protrusions on the structure provides you with very easy access to handholds.

 As you reach the top of the tower, you look down to see Fenris part way up talking to Dren and waving the rope in front of him. After a few moments, Dren begins to climb as well.


 Looking in through the hole. You notice that this must have once been a window to the outside world. The entire top of the tower is one dark window! Stepping through the opening you come into a large circular room filled with metal objects. There are large cabinets and chairs, as well as many other strange objects. The floor is covered with sand, and several of the walls have sand dunes against them.

  Just then, you yawn. Finding a nice little spot beneath one of the metal things, you lay down for a quick nap, after all, there's no telling how long it will take them to climb . . ..

< end turn two >

< turn three >

  You stifle a yawn as you glance about the room with dream filled eyes, and you notice Fenris and Dren looking very tense as Fenris is pushing and pulling at a large metal block, then you also notice the hissing sound. Dren and Fenris don't seem to have noticed you, then again, how could they, your not even sure how you could have gotten into the snug little sleeping hole you've found. Wiping the dust from your eyes, you crawl out of the hole. The hissing begins to grow louder, Fenris replies to the hissing with a guttural growl. Then as almost part of the growl, "Coom an ount. E hungr."

 Two large scale-covered humanoids with human torso's and arms, but with the heads and lower bodies of snakes appear. One of them is carrying a glowing dagger about 30cm long, and the other has a long glowing whip. Both appear very mean as they flick their serpent tongues in the hot desert air.

< end turn three >

GM note: This is the start of combat All responses from here on in should be of a combat nature. For attacks, merely specify which one, and such. Limit your response to what could be done in about 10-15 seconds.

< turn four.one >

 Using your expert feline agility, you stealthily creep out of your hole, padding softly behind the big metal block from whence they came. Upon reaching the backside of the obstruction, you begin to notice that the hissing sound has begun to change into a head-splitting high-pitched wail. Putting your paws to your head to try and block out the sound you round the corner behind the two creatures. You see Fenris lunge at one of them and not connect, as well as Dren standing 3 meters away looking scared.

< end turn four.one >


< turn four.two >

 Feeling that everything depends on your next move, you lunge for the one with the dagger. You jump upon his back, dig in your claws, and climb his scaly hide. Just as you are about to slice for his throat, you find yourself on the other side of the room, near the opening to the outside. Looking back you see Dren's axe sticking out of the side of the creature you just scaled, along with Dren still holding it. You also hear a wolfen scream tear through the air as the other Lizard's whip connects with Fenris.

< end turn four.two >

< turn four.three >

 Thunk! The axe falls again,  you look down and notice that a good portion of the creatures internal organs are now decorating the sandy floor. Dren appears to have taken care of that one. You lunge forward in an attempt to take the other one unawares, when suddenly, your plan goes awry. The lizard beast catches you in mid-air with his whip. You feel powerful jolts of electrical current pass through your body as you go numb and black out.

< end turn four.three >

< turn four.four >

 A loud sonic boom disturbs the inky blackness that is your existence. Then all returns to darkness.

< end turn four >


< turn five >

 You begin to regain consciousness and notice Dren leaning over you, he says something that sounds garbled.

 "Oh my body hurts."

 "Urrrhh, I 'ope they ar goood tooo eat. Mee 'ery 'ungry." That's just like Fenris, thinking with his stomach first. Taking a cursory look around, you notice that there are strips of low-level ambient red light on the walls. As you regain your feet, you pick up the weapons of your enemies and look them over. The weapons prove to look very similar when turned off, the only major difference being that the whip has a longer handle and a small ball protruding from one end. It'll take some time for Dren to figure out how they work. A memory of almost killing yourself with Dren's boomstick makes you a little uneasy just holding them.

 Looking them over, you find that Fenris has discovered their food cache. He brings it forth, at the same time bring over the captured weapons.

 The food cache consists of three water gourds, one of which is empty. A sack of salted meat, and a 1 kilo bag of fine clear crystal.

< end turn five >

 "Let me take a look at those weapons, I may be able to figure out the technology," Dren says to the group. You decide that this might be a good time to put some distance between you and Dren. Heading over to the bag of crystals, you decide to figure out what it is. Dipping your hand in, you realize that it burns on your cuts. Putting your pained limb in your mouth, you discover that the substance is nothing more then salt.

 Out of the corner of your eye you watch Dren play with one of the strange devices, suddenly something shoots out of one the devices and zaps poor Fenris to the ground.  His body crumples to the floor. Dren jumps out of his chair to check on Fenris. On the way over you tell him that you  have discovered the bag of crystal to be salt. You  yawn once and then head off to sleep beneath a chair.


  Near the crack of dawn, and much to early for civilized being to be awake, Dren awakens you.. You and Fenris take a few moments to rouse and eat some breakfast.

 "We should split up the supplies between us, yes ," You ask?

  Fenris leans over and says" E'll kar re de wata, you too kan kar re de eats, oo key?"

 "That's ok Fenris, why don't I carry one of the gourds?" Dren quickly jumps into the conversation, "we might get separated. In fact, why don't you let Yosugi carry the gourd and we'll just put some of the water into your waterskin? That way, we'll all have water."

 "Soond oo key to 'E. Weech doo Dren?"

 "I recommend that one, " Dren says while pointing one of them.

 The door opens to a set of stairs going down. It is also lit dimly by glowing red strips. The stairs seem to stop every now and then at a landing and then reverse. The sand is much less prevalent in this area. At the bottom of the stairs is another door.

 Standing to the sides of it, Fenris slowly pushes it open and then signals for the two of you to follow.

 Once inside you are amazed by what you see. you are standing in an immense underground dome. The stairwell must have descended real deep. The walls are decorated with some form of art. From what you can see close by in the dim light cast from the red strips on the floor and the ones a little ways up on the wall, it appears to be men on horses, and desert scenes. The dome above you stretches into blackness. Immediately to your left you see a rounded wall rise into the blackness and straight-ahead is a smaller dome inside the bigger one with several arched openings in it.

 As Fenris slowly closes the door behind you, see Dren looking at some curious lines on the back of the door.

< End turn six >

< Begin turn seven >

 As you walk away from the door and towards the smaller dome, you notice that it is perforated with many small round openings. There are two archways leading into the dome structure that you can see from where you are now. Further along the outer dome wall you can also see openings in that.


 As your small party approaches the small dome you notice Dren and Fenris peering through the nearest circular wall openings. You can't see through the holes yourself because of your height. To your left you see a collection of curious lines above the archway, Dren appears to look at them intently, then scratches his head.

 "I can't see anything from down here. I do see wholes further down on the outer walls." Your voice seems to echo through this death-like silence very ominously.

 "Yew be no tak, kit kat. Yew 'auk noize un 'ell lizadz we he." Well, if they didn't hear you, they probably heard Fenris.

< End turn seven >