The Enclave: Blind Men and Jumpers

This rounds out the Enclave. Next time you hear from Vestitas, it’ll probably be an urbancrawl for either Grey Harbor, Echo Lake, or Imberkavitas, and hopefully soon, because I’m hoping to finish up the whole project and get it out of the way before Imbolc in February of 2019. It’s one of my largest outstanding projects and yet also one of the ones I’ve completed the most of.

Enclave Map

Blind Man Territory

The blind men live deep within the bowels of the Enclave, in the ruined heart of the ancient, underground laboratory. They hold their own largely because they have exclusive access to the pulse weapons stored here underground, and feed themselves based on their control of the facility’s production plant, once used to make pulse weapon parts, now used to make simple industrial goods. The blind men have no idea how to make new pulse weapons, and when their existing stockpile finally succumbs to mechanical failure, they will be vulnerable to conquest by their neighbors.

It is unfortunate for them, then, that they are so unfriendly. Blind men have a starting Disposition of 20, and are in a state of cold war with both the beastmen and the jumpers. They maintain better relations with the pale ladies mostly because the pale ladies are so agreeable, and with the pelagers out of necessity. Even then, the relationship is uneasy and rooted largely in the fact that they both need something from each other, and each would be delighted to get rid of the other and take their territory, yet also terrified of being cut off from vital trade in the event of a failed invasion.

Blind men are literally blind but can see through echolocation by emitting bursts of clicking noises. Their section of the facility is completely unlit, and this does not bother them, which is why they are able to express such blatant enmity for the jumpers despite being completely underground. Most blind men are blind watchers, armed with only stub automatics or stub revolvers. They can be deadly in unlit places, for while they cannot detect unmoving things like walls and doors or even people holding still without giving them away with an echolocating burst of clicks, their highly attuned ears allow them to easily discern the footsteps and even breathing of living creatures, and open fire from ambush. Their control over the infirmary has also given them many blind chirurgeons, but the crown jewel of their unseen empire is the pulse weapon laboratory, used to equip the blind warriors with pulse rifles. These weapons are stronger even then plasma weaponry. They’re also old and decaying, and the blind men’s supply of them is steadily declining, but for now, they still hold enough to secure their territory. Finally, the blind men have blind seers, prescient psykers who serve as their leaders.

22) Office Complex

The corridor here loops around, with a few dozen offices off of them. Most of them are empty except for a forlorn desk, some filing cabinets, and a broken video monitor shaped like a window in one wall. One of them has a couch. It’s been occupied by a blind warrior. Four blind watchers camp out in a few of the others. They use sleeping pads on the thin carpeted floors, but at least they get a room to themselves. A door on one end leads to the explosives warehouse. A door at the other leads to the pulse weapons laboratory. Down a manhole is the sewage system of the lower facility.

23) Lower Facility Sewers

This maze of cramped tunnels give Medium(4) size creatures a -20 penalty to any Dodge checks, as well as Athletics or Acrobatics checks made to move quickly or jump around, but not to other feats like crawling steep inclines or swimming. Hulking(5) creatures cannot fit in at all. Three blind watchers lurk about down here, preparing ambushes for anyone who enters. They do not hunt any who flee, but they will kill on sight any who do not. Detecting them requires a Challenging(+0) Awareness check. Manholes lead up to the office complex, the infirmary, the pulse weapons lab, and eventually multiple tunnels come together to form the sewage end of the sewage canal, but getting from one to another requires a Challenging(+0) Logic check to navigate the maze. Failing means wandering into an ambush laid by any surviving blind watchers, and then reaching a random location.

24) Pulse Weapon Laboratory

A large, reinforced chamber contains a firing range where pulse weapons were tested against thick metal plates. The metal plates rarely won the confrontation, though if it’s any consolation, the pulse weapon sometimes exploded. Ringing the chamber, about five meters off the ground, are a series of windowed offices and control stations looking out over the firing range. A single ladder leads from the edge of the firing range to what was once a hatch, long since removed, to the offices up above. The offices above also contain weapon cabinets guarding the pulse weapon reserves of the blind men. Five blind warriors are stationed there to guard them, and a half-dozen blind watchers and a blind seer are spread throughout the other offices. On one end of the office ring is a door leading to the central transit station, and on the other is a door leading to the office complex. An access hatch in a janitorial closet leads down to the lower facility sewers.

25) Transit Central

This central station of the facility’s underground rail network is held by three blind warriors, a blind chirurgeon, and a half-dozen blind watchers. It connects to all manner of other locations in the facility. The long dead rails lead east and west to the other main transit stations, doorways on either end of the station lead to the infirmary and the upper ring of offices at the pulse weapons laboratory (not to be confused with the larger office complex further down). An elevator shaft lies with its elevator car inert at the bottom, but the elevator cable is climbable with an Ordinary(+10) Athletics check to reach the landing at the upper tanks of the aquatic laboratory, or further up to the small, dilapidated building at the east end of the starport. A ladder in the middle of the station platform’s far wall leads down to the power plant.

26) Transit East

The eastern transit station of the facility’s old tram network lies here, dilapidated and abandoned. A single blind watcher lurks in the shadows here. A door in one wall leads to the production plant. An elevator shaft lies empty at the other end, but a rope ladder has been dropped from above, allowing for easy access to the lobby fifteen meters up. The tracks go further east to the reactor core and west to transit central.

27) Production Plant

Once this plant was used to make pulse weapon components, but there are none left who know how it operates. Now it’s been repurposed to produce simple manufactured goods for trade to the other factions of the Enclave, like the pincer gauntlets of the pelager grapplers or the cookware and furniture used by the pale ladies. A half-dozen blind watchers live here with a single blind chirurgeon, firing up the blast furnaces whenever needed to manufacture something, or sometimes just for warmth. One door leads to the east transit station. Another leads to the infirmary.

28) Infirmary

This infirmary contains a dozen beds and a doctor’s office. It hasn’t quite run dry on medical supplies, although they’re running low and the blind men have begun to hoard them. In addition to what blind chirurgeons carry, there’s a stockpile of five medi-kits here. Any chirurgeon who consumes a kit completely but survives the encounter will return here to take one from the supply. The soft beds here are always in demand. Six blind watchers, three blind chirurgeons, two blind warriors, and one blind seer live here. Down a manhole is the lower facility’s sewers. Back in the infirmary proper, one door leads to transit central, the other leads to a short corridor to the production plant. The doors leading to the production plant swing open easily.

Jumper Territory

The jumpers are thin, fast, fragile, and capable of short range teleportation of about five meters. They control the power facilities and most of their territory has lots of machinery not designed to stand up to a gunfight, machinery which allows them to supply other parts of the Enclave with power or not as they wish, which they use to trade with the pelagers for food and the pale ladies for basically everything else. To avoid destroying their own source of power both figurative and literal, jumpers favor single shots with their lasguns and most carry melee weapons which they use after teleporting into range.

Jumpers have a Disposition of 30 and suffer the usual -10 to any party who appears Imperial aligned. They’re on good terms with the pale ladies and at the very least have mutual respect for the pelagers, but are in a cold war with the beastmen circumvented only by the pale ladies, and with the blind men, which isn’t circumvented at all.

As such, the jumpers rely on the pale ladies for all manufactured goods, which is why they have few of them, but they tend to be of fairly high quality. Jumper riflemen use lasguns so they don’t have to rely on blind man manufactured bullets so much, though their gunners still use heavy stubbers, and their assassins use power swords and laspistols.

29) Transit West

The western end of the facility’s underground transit rail. Two jumper gunners, three jumper riflemen, and a jumper assassin guard this place against potential beastman or blind man attacks. The gunners have set up their heavy stubbers in MG nests on either end of the long dead rails leading up and out of the facility to the train station on one end, and deeper in to central transit on the other. The third rail branching out from the junction is unguarded, and leads to the explosives warehouse deeper in jumper territory. The sandbags provide AP8 cover.

30) Explosives Warehouse

All of the explosives from the blast pit were once stored here. There’s still plenty lying around, leaking explosive fluid or powder all over the place. Probably most of the ones that were going to detonate when disturbed already have. Probably. The crates containing them have AP8, and whenever one is hit and pierced, roll a d10. On a roll of 10, the crate explodes, detonating as though it were a krak grenade. If someone intentionally rummages around in a crate looking for explosives, they roll a Challenging(+0) Tech Use check and also roll the same d10. On a 1-9, the explosives are duds. On a 10, if they failed their Tech Use check, the explosives go off. Otherwise, they’ve retrieved a half-dozen functioning frag grenades from the crate, although they’re unstable. Transporting them requires another Challenging(+0) Tech Use check every twenty meters or so they’re transported. If packed in soft, cushioned materials to keep them more or less steady, they’ll remain stable until removed, although a sudden jolt to their containers prompts another d10 die roll, and on a 10, they detonate (as individual frag grenades if separate, or as a single krak grenade if together).

Three jumper assassins guard this area against potential incursions from the blind men. They refuse to let anyone with firearms enter, for fear that starting a gunfight inside might detonate a poorly placed crate, start a chain reaction, and blast the whole warehouse apart, causing cave-ins that could destroy half the facility. These fears are unfounded, as there are too few functioning explosives left to cause such a chain reaction, but the jumpers don’t know that (and in any case, even one crate going off is still a danger to the people standing nearby).

Train tracks here lead to the transit west station. A door at one end leads to the blast pit where the explosives were tested. Further down the same end, another door leads to the office complex where the scientists who tested both the explosives and pulse weapons worked.

31) Blast Pit

Once used to test explosives, this is now just a ten meter deep hole in the ground surrounded with reinforced cement with a ladder leading to the bottom. Four jumper militia camp out at the bottom. On one side of the catwalk encircling the top of the pit is a door leading to the power plant, while on the other is a door leading to the explosives warehouse. Both were once reinforced with heavy blast doors, but these were long ago dismantled to allow for easy passage.

32) Power Plant

This power plant was once fed by the reactor, but now operates purely on its backup generators, which run on ordinary fuel. Although theoretically they have enough capacity to sustain the whole facility for weeks in case the experimental reactor went offline and needed extensive repair, there’s hardly any fuel left. From the control room overlooking the plant, the jumpers control what parts of the facility do and don’t get power. They almost never restore power to rails or elevators because of how much fuel they consume, but will often restore power to lights, temperature controls, water pumps, and other functions in exchange for large supplies of the fuel needed to run them. Everyone knows the jumpers demand more fuel than is required to supply the power and use the excess to power their own part of the facility, but what the other clans don’t know is that the jumpers demand far more fuel than is necessary, and use the significant excess to power the teleporter laboratory.

As this area is vital to their continued livelihood, it is overlooked at all times by two jumper gunners manning heavy stubbers up in the office, four jumper riflemen also in the office, and three jumper assassins lurking amongst the capacitors and power lines below. Whenever anyone enters, the gunners and riflemen fire short bursts to drive them into hiding without jeopardizing the equipment, and then the assassins will teleport into close range to carve them up. Though the gunners and riflemen will not sustain suppressive fire for fear of damaging the equipment, they will open fire with more short bursts or single shots on anyone who leaves cover to try and assist others fighting jumper assassins.

At one end of the plant is a small gap through which the reactor once beamed blinding energy through. Now it’s empty, and any character who can make an Ordinary(+10) Athletics check can jump up to grab it and pull themselves through the meter-radius gap and into the reactor core. A ladder that ascends up to the platform on which the control room rests goes further up until it hits the central transit station. A gaping chasm opposite the reactor beam once held a blast door, but it was dismantled long ago to permit access to the blast pit used to test explosives. Anyone who succeeds on a Challenging(+0) Awareness test can also find the secret door leading to the teleporter’s power generator. The door blends in fairly well with the wall, but anyone who looks closely will see a fine seam. The door gives way with a push – it can be barred from the other side, but not otherwise locked, and the jumpers leave it unbarred for easy access unless specifically bunkering down for a fight (it’s dangerous to teleport without being able to see where you’re going).

33) Teleporter Power

This hidden power station is plugged into the rest of the underground plant via cables that run along to the wall, appearing from the other side to just be plugged into a socket that hooks them up to the facility’s power system. Most of the actual teleporter machinery is kept down here, including the capacitors.

If the jumpers are cautious about preserving the power plant that allows them to maintain their position in the enclave, they are paranoid about the survival of this delicate teleporter equipment. Three jumper assassins lurk down here, but they won’t attack unless the intruders show some sign of interfering with the equipment or if it looks like they’ll discharge their weapons anyway.

The hidden door leading to the main power plant is obvious from this side, and likewise the ladder leading up to the teleportation chamber overhead.

34) Teleporter Laboratory

Three massive arms, each five meters tall, stand in the center of this chamber. Upon one is mounted an emitter that emits the teleportation beam, while the other two hold dishes that project containment fields to keep the beam focused on the matter to be teleported, rather than diffusing out to uselessness. Stairs at one side of this chamber lead to an office overlooking the teleportation device, from whence it can be activated. The teleporter has unlimited range, but three major drawbacks.

First, it requires exact coordinates. Planets and stars both move through space all the time, so teleporting to somewhere else on Vestitas requires a Routine(+20) Navigation (Stellar) check (Stellar because it requires compensating for the travel of Vestitas through space), teleporting to another planet or location in the system requires a Challenging(+0) Navigation (Stellar) check, teleporting to another system in the sub-sector requires a Hard(-20) Navigation (Stellar) check, teleporting to another sub-sector in the sector requires an Arduous(-40) Navigation (Stellar) check, and teleporting anywhere outside the sector requires a Hellish(-60) Navigation (Stellar) check. Failing the check by even a bit means being teleported into space several hundred (or several hundred million, for longer distance teleportations) kilometers from your destination.

Second, the teleporter is one-way. While one could theoretically build a second teleporter for two way transit between them, no such teleporter currently exists.

Third, every time the teleporter is used, a d10 must be rolled. On a result of a 1, the user is mutated into a jumper. They lose 2d10 Toughness and 1d10 Willpower and can jump a number of meters equal to double their WP bonus. Teleporting where you can’t see can result in teleporting part of your body into a solid object, which immediately fuses the body part with the object at the atomic level. If the body part was vital, this results in immediate death. If the body part was non-vital, you’re going to have to hack it off where it’s fused with the object. In theory, you could also intentionally teleport into a solid object, if you want to commit a creative form of suicide.

Jumpers also randomly phase in and out of the material world. Objects they are carrying and clothes they are wearing will phase with them, although there is a limit of about 150kg to how much matter can be phased at once before the jumper’s phase ability goes wonky and begins merging them with the worn or carried objects, which usually results in death, although if the only foreign material the jumper is wearing or wielding is on their limbs, it may just result in having a wrench permanently grafted to their palm or something. The 150kg weight limit is pretty generous and mainly just discourages jumpers from wearing heavy armor. This phasing always subsides after a few seconds and is not worth tracking under ordinary circumstances, however it is worth noting that the jumper will begin glowing softly blue and briefly fade from visibility every few minutes, which will certainly cause alarm in Imperium-held towns and villages. Additionally, whenever a jumper rolls doubles on an attack roll, they phase out at exactly the wrong moment and their weapon becomes immaterial, passing harmlessly through the target.

The jumper champion makes his residence here in the laboratory with a jumper assassin and five jumper thugs.

A ladder leads down to the teleporter power station below, and upwards to a hatch, clearly visible from this side, that leads to the train station.

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