After leaving the bridge of Hound, the party explored more of the fore section of the ship. A storeroom off the kitchen had been barricaded and the party found the remains of three humans who had starved to death inside. A partially eaten journal was found on one body and the party gleaned these three had been locked away because they were not “changing” with the rest of the crew.
The party also ran across some maps and logistics files in an officer’s room detailing plans a raid against a small village on an unknown planet using a large military force. The transport ship the party is on could only have held a fraction of the assault force. Dates on the files are three years old but the party was unsure whether this was a plan or the raid had already occurred; nonetheless the party took all the paperwork and rolled up the maps for future perusal.
The officer’s lounge was also explored (it was very hot and humid and smelled horrific) and was filled with fleshy man-sized cocoons. Bastardized cabling and machinery had been jury-rigged and ran from panels in the wall into the cocoons. The party cut one open to find a person in stages of partial mutation (similar to but not as severe as Petty Officer Jensen) who was breathing rapidly. The cables were cut on one body that immediately went into violent convulsions before finally frothing at the mouth and dying. The party decided to leave the others unmolested.
Moving into the rear sections of the ship the party came to a large open staging area with arcane symbols carved and painted in the floor with five crew members chanting in the odd dialect they heard from Jensen. The crew’s uniforms were painted in garish colors and their bodies were mutilated and tattooed. One spoke in a barking aggressive manner and the party showed the black idol to the group. Four crew dropped to a knee as if in prayer but the leader became enraged and seemingly ordered the others to attack.
One enemy was set afire with psionics and expired shortly afterwards but the rest closed to melee after suffering some minor wounds from ranged fire. They attacked furiously with knives covered with talismans and wielded their weapons with considerable skill inflicting moderate wounds to Rylios, Khan, and Rolf in the ensuing battle before finally being killed. The enemy never once showed interest in retreating or preserving their own lives when the battle turned against them and fought to the bitter end.
Things came to an end with the party deciding they needed to withdraw to a safer area to administer first aid!