I found a pleasant surprise at the Oilville post office earlier this week. A man by the name of Kazzamo had been corresponding with me through the post, and had recently asked where I'd be headed in the near future. I was a bit apprehensive at first, expecting an ambush or the sort, but I'm embarrassed to say that I underestimated his intentions. Waiting for me in Oilville was a large wooden box containing a handcrafted flak jacket. At first, I wasn't sure how the thing went on or what it was even for, but after a bit of work -- and some helpful advice from the postman -- it fit like a glove. I was actually able to thank Kazzamo in person later that week as he was passing through my area, and it was a pleasure to meet him.
In Oilville, we asked around for the big news in town. Our group is steadily increasing in size and we need larger challenges. No more gathering chicken eggs -- we want the real deal. But some of the Oilville residents were reluctant to mention anything in public, so they would just say the name "Casta Gaunt" and then turn away. If a name is all we can get at this point, we'll run with it.
Freezer Burn did a bit of research on the name and it turns out this Casta Gaunt man is actually a big deal in the northern parts of the Plateau Wastes. He was once the head of security for that Alec Masters guy I've heard so much about from Elena. Gaunt decided he would form his own little group when the Hoover Dam fell, and now he's running around taking over small towns just for the heck of it. Word is, he's currently at war with the people of Old Kingman and has made the local prison into his own giant fortress. Sounds like an interesting challenge: breaking in to a prison to get the bad guy.
Once we hit Kingman, we could see that the rumors were true. The entire northern half of the city was overrun by Gaunt's men and the local enforcement is thinning by the day.
Being as large as we are, we caused quite a stir when we rolled into town. We quickly joined the front line to ward off the most aggressive attackers, which caused the unsuspecting raiders to turn back. But we knew they'd be back. This bought us just enough time to gear up and recruit some new blood into our clan.
As the story goes, Casta Gaunt has been assaulting the people of Kingman for a long time. It started with the prison, but quickly turned into an all-out assault when Gaunt decided he wanted the bank and post office as well. He never expected such resistance, but the Kingman residents are hearty and not willing to go down without some real bloodshed. Well, at least the ones who didn't escape north to Needle Eye.
We gathered up our new brethren and headed into the prison to put a stop to this maniac.
This fortress was heavily guarded with watch towers, packs of mutant wolves and more of Gaunt's men than I'd ever care to see again in one place. We made our way through the front gates and into a less-guarded entrance through the back of the building. Gaunt made sure to keep his best men on the inside, which set us back a bit. Although many of us were destroyed (I hesitate to use the word "died" here), we were quickly recloned and back in the fight before long.
Many of the prison's open cells were full of scientific atrocities. Mutated and unfinished clones attacked us from all sides, proving that Gaunt was trying to single-handedly carry on the legacy of his former boss, Alec Masters.
Once we reached the main chamber of the prison, we could see Gaunt peering down at us from high atop a center platform. He growled obscenities as he ordered his minion down to stop us. Being at the ground level, we had the advantage to take out these mutants and White Crow soldiers before they could even see us. Most of our group was able to train on some powerfully-accurate sniper rifles this week, and this was their shining moment. I peer down at my rickety old crossbow and help but feel a tinge of jealousy. My goal -- if we survive this -- is to work on making a rifle of my own.
Once his small army was defeated, Gaunt had no where else to go. We stalked up the stairwell as he fired his pistols down at us recklessly. A few well-placed shots on our way up maimed him a bit, and once we reached his platform, he was all but dead. I took pleasure in firing off that last shot to shut the man up, essentially saving the town of Kingman.
Well, the story doesn't quite end that happily ever after. Although Gaunt was defeated and his men scattered across the wasteland, he was more powerful than we imagined. His stranglehold on the local baddies continues to this day, and we know there will soon be a successor to rise up and take over his legacy. This LifeNet technology that he was exploiting is powerful stuff, so to truly stop him (even in death), we must continue to learn as much as can about stopping this technology.
Earlier in the week, while we were at Oilville, I sought out the local LifeNet facility to find out a bit more from its central computer. It pointed me to small town north of Kingman called Rest Stop that apparently had more information for me, as well as a way to interpret the bit of alpha clone DNA that I was able to recover so far. So now that I'm here, I figure I should take advantage of our recovery downtime and seek some more answers.
Luckily, the LifeNet facility was just outside of town, because a hoarde of infected zombies had taken over the town itself. The LifeNet AI interface was helpful, although a bit cryptic with its information. It informed me that something called TETRAX was threatening to overrun the interface's firewall, and ultimately turn all clones into those crazy zombies running around town. I don't know about the rest of the group, but I sure wouldn't want to come back one day as one of those rotting footdraggers.
Of course the only way to find the next bit of DNA I needed was to venture into town. Sometimes I think there was a malfunction with one of my re-clone processes, because my sense of smell is just too powerful. I can literally smell those infected creatures from a mile away.
I made it into town and found something I hadn't expected: a clone of Graham! This one told me about a malfunctioning LifeNet cloning terminal that is kicking out these zombies by the minute, and I need to repair it. This man is much smarter than I, as he reminded me with his carrying on about spare parts and pacification DNA from stored worker clones. The bottom line is he thinks the DNA strands I need are in that broken facility, and we'd be helping each other out by repairing the machine and finding that DNA strand.
I took my horse over the the entrance to this facility, but quickly realized that this will be something that will require many more of us. I'm heading back to Kingman to inform the others, but I wanted to jot this down before I forgot. Off I go!
I'm always so excited by our growing group, and the fact that Fallen Earth
doesn't really punish you for having "too many" people helps tremendously. Instead of forming multiple groups of eight for each mission, we've been playing around with forming a raid group (up to 4 teams of eight people each) and it's been really fun. We can still complete the quests, which is something that many other games won't allow.
With 27 people in our clan as of the time I'm writing this, I do believe this is the largest clan/guild we've had so far in a Choose my Adventure game. It must be some sight to see 10 or 12 players traveling around in a group. I know we've had a few stares aimed our way.
The prison was a lot of fun, even though we didn't all have the correct quests (and by "all", I mean me). But I'm not really the type of player to fret over missing a quest or repeating an area to complete a quest, as I think it's really all about the group and having fun. It's nice to see new faces still every week, and it's especially nice to know that we have a helpful group of players who are not afraid to go back and do quests again and again until everyone gets credit.
One quick shoutout I wanted to make before we get on with the polls this week, though. At the end of our trip through the prison, we encountered a bug that trapped us all in the bottom of a well. After a few Silence of the Lambs
jokes, we called on help from a GM who was on us almost immediately to get us out. So special thanks to GM Xadrien for the rescue, and to the whole Fallen Earth
GM team for their outstanding work.
Now on to the vote! Even though we've skipped a few towns up to this point, we're going back to cover them on our non-group days, and I believe that's worked out well so far. As we look northward, we have a few choices to make:
This farming town is ripe with quests and the continued storyline from the Kingman refugees that Gaunt drove out. There's also a nifty underground facility that needs a good scrubbing.
Lots of raiding camps around here need to be eliminated, plus part of Kingman's story continues here as well.
We're at a good level for Linewood now, and the locals would really love to see Gaunt's men cleared out now that he's dead.
We haven't tried any PvP yet, and there are a few PvP zones where we could experiment and report on our findings. If you choose this one, let me know in the comments if your clan would like to challenge us. We're not afraid of being demolished. Right guys? Guys?%Poll-40564%
So get those votes in and meet up with us this Friday night at 9pm EST
to join in the fun. Our waypoint rendezvous this time will be X: 4223135 Y: 3658938
. You can create a new waypoint by pressing Alt-P, clicking "create" and entering the coordinates. Even if you don't plan on joining with the group, stop by and say hi!