Game I – the Crossing
The great buttress led up from the lower levels of the Tower-of-Hosts. Those spaces close to the tower home to mushroom farms and water collectors, then beyond them a barren spur reaching way from the tower into the darkness of the great cavern. In some areas along the buttress great statues of unknown figures reared up, their features eaten away by many years exposed to the hostile environment of the hive city. Though foreboding of aspect, the statues gave some comfort. Amongst them we didn’t fear being overlooked by anyone in the watch-posts of the tower, and we could relax somewhat, no-longer tense for the crack of a long rifle from above.
Climbing the buttress became more tiring as we neared the wall of the cavern and the slope increased, made more difficult as the light from the burning tower diminished and the lumens did not reach far-enough. Though the fear of watchers meant we didn’t risk our own pocket lumens and lanterns – despite the risk that a fall could send one sliding down the buttress slope and over the edge into the stygian void to either side.
At one time the Five-Queens had stationed watchpoints along the buttresses leading to the tower but now the approaches were unguarded, save for the occasional trap and voltwall. We were in sight of the cavern wall when we stopped, now more than anywhere was the risk of ambush greatest. At some point in the distant past the buttress had been damaged where it connected to the greater hive structure and remnants of working, left behind by some unknown helots, clustered before us. The damaged section was only a dozen paces wide as it connected with the internal-hivewall and exposed from behind and infront, save for where the workings offered some scant cover.
Somewhere up ahead a volt-wall sparked, and Ryhn, the most senior of us, gestured for a few to follow her as she moved forward toward the scent of escape.
The escaping gangers need to reach the underhive proper so they can disappear among the masses, concealed from whoever instrumented the destruction of the Tower-of-Hosts Escher. Before them the great buttress that they have ascended connects to the hive-internal wall, plenty of access points should be available should they reach the hive wall. To reach it they need to cross the last section of the buttress, a natural bottleneck and it seems unlikely that anyone who was committed to destroying the Five Queens and their fief-clans would have overlooked the possibility of escapees, or the obvious routes they might have taken. There also seems to be a volt-wall up ahead, this likely needs to be deactivated so they can progress, though an agile (and brave) Escher might risk trying to slide through. At least the volt-wall is intended to keep people out not in and the controls are likely on this side.
-All active gangers must escape via one of the hive-access points.
-(Optional) The gangers should leave via the same access point.
-(Optional) Over 50% of the gangers should not be taken out of action.
-(Optional – but recommended) Disable the volt-wall.
Only Way Out, Is Through – The gang does not need to take bottle tests.