Having driven off the creature dubbed “Lizard Jesus”, Mr. Dwight, Khiron, and Gabriel picked over the remains of the few fallen “Road Rash” gang members while Justus cooked the severed tip of the lizard’s tail for a meal—we were assured that “the rads are cooked right out”. The remainder of the trip to Springfield in Iron Home was reasonably uneventful, although many hours in the vehicle over rough terrain was no more comfortable than days riding in a saddle.
Springfield was an imposing sight, with a great smooth stone facade built into the mountain, overlooking a surface outpost where “guests” were expected to stay. The caravan put into this “foreign quarter”, and Mr Yezzel got touch with his contact and sponsor in Iron Home, a merchant named Yord Stonefoot. Thorne seemed disappointed to discover the so called “dwarves” were nothing more than rough-looking mountain folk, but was soon distracted by the strange clothing worn by folk the locals called “Pueblos”.
After some discussion, Yord agreed to sponsor the party to enter Springfield proper to conduct business in the market, as well as pointing us to Mildred Steadfast, keeper of ‘antiquities and old shit’. The invitation was conditional on good behavior and providing Yord a cut of any proceeds, and distinctly only a ‘day pass’ as strangers were not trusted to stay in the city proper after dusk. The market and it’s denizens proved more than interesting to both Khiron and Thorne, and the party was able to suggest a number of items of interest to Mr Yezzel for the return trip of the caravan. Thorne in particular was able to trade for a coveted raptor egg, which if it can be returned safely to our patron could be worth a good deal of favor—“a side quest” as Thorne had told Lady Nagastor. Mildred also proved to be a font of information providing the location of the “DOE Site” in “Old Springfield” as well as hints of another such site near the ancient town of “Hot Springs” in Owitichta territory.
Having been warned that the “DOE Site” was overrun with E.Y.F.O.U.F.O. bugs (Eat Your Face Off Ugly Fuck Off bugs), the group approached carefully with Gabriel and Mr. Dwight’s “drone” keeping careful watch. The area near “Old Springfield” was seldom travelled by men as the sense of dread and suffering from the cataclysm of the ancients was still palpable—Thorne confirmed it was something disturbing on the spirit plane or perhaps I should say something specifically disturbing on the sprit plane. After some searching among the overgrown ruins, Gabriel and Olis were able to spot crawlspaces into the collapsed structure that had insect tracks—large but not immense in size. Khiron and Mr. Dwight also noted strange well-cleared holes on the top which were likely ventilation maintained by the bugs.
Thorne integrated the shade of one of the bugs past victims and confirmed much of what Mildred had told us, and added that the animals stayed inside in the day and strayed out at night. Mr. Dwight sent in his drone to explore the nest to discover a well-preserved DOE site and lots of dangerous, fast, and powerful warrior bugs—the drone was recovered but the worse for wear having been nearly crushed by one of the warriors’ pincers. Gabriel walked out the tracks to determine the foraging range of the nest, and the party set to create traps along the perimeter with a camp some ways back to keep Justus calm about the E.Y.F.O.U.F.O. bugs (also called “brain bugs” by some). Late in the night, a trap was indeed triggered but as the party arrived to inspect the catch they quickly found they were not the only ones to hear the alarm call.