Escape From Stalag VIIIB

Clearing Out the Grounds

11 August 1943

The party members quickly decide that they will try the Munitions Factory first. Although it is unlikely that Dr. Holdst will be there, there’s a good chance that they will find some more useful weapons with which to fight whatever monstrosities await them in the laboratory.

Arriving in the central courtyard some 15km away, they see that the Munitions Factory seems to have suffered a similar fate to that of the gatehouse and the crossroads. The two smaller buildings comprising the compound have been destroyed and there are three dead bodies littering the centre of the compound. There is also another Kubelwagen. They approach the dead bodies cautiously, but they are really dead – not undead.

They decide to investigate the factory first of all. The factory is filled with machinery, crates and work places. It is essentially one large room which looks like it was converted to munitions after being a lumber mill for many years. The room is eerily quiet and a mist hangs over the machinery as though waiting to create its deadly products.

As the party investigates, they find several hundred rounds of standard ammo, but this is of little interest as they have plenty of such ammo already.

They see that there are stairs going up to a balcony which reaches around the entire building. Going up the stairs, they see that there are more stairs going up to an attic area. Entering the upstairs area, the find an abandoned guard room in front of a laboratory.

Heading inside they see that there are a couple of long desks, one of which has a flamethrower on it. Taffy leads the way and investigates it. He finds that it seems to be in working order, but does not contain any fuel. There are four study looking metal boxes around the benches. Dr. Faber advances and tries to pick the locks. He manages to get into two of them – one of which contains fuel for the flamethrower.

Leaving the others to fill the Flammenwerfer, Dr. Faber continues to check the other boxes. As he does so, he is rushed by a hulk of a creature – presumably the P-112 that he mentioned. The doctor avoids taking any damage and, because this monstrosity is not bulletproof, it quickly falls to the combined fire of the party.

Shaken by his narrow escape from the creature, Dr. Faber is unable to open the other two boxes. Lodd soon solves that problem though as he neatly manages to cleave the two boxes in half with blows from his entrenching tool. The contents are not of much use though – some shipping documents, keys to a vehicle and around RM 160. They pocket their finds anyway and then finish checking the building. It has little else of interest to offer them, however.

So they leave the Munitions Factory and check out the barracks on the other side of the compound. In the barracks there are another three dead soldiers. Much of what was here has been stripped out. The building itself has three basic rooms. The first from the front door is a mess hall and recreation room. It looks like it could have contained 20 people at one time. Stairs leading from this room go to the second floor where approximately ten soldiers were housed. There is capacity for up to 50 but the foot lockers of the soldiers indicate no more than ten. There does appear to be evidence that at least 30 workers for the munitions factory were also housed here but their area looks to have been separated by a makeshift curtain. The workers were mostly women. The entire second floor is left untouched.

The mess hall on the first floor has access to the kitchen. In here the party finds the civilian cook and his assistant, dead from gunshots. There is a root cellar with a butcher’s block wedged in front of it. The sounds of someone scratching on the other side are obvious.

Taffy calls down to the cellar in German, asking for a response. None comes, however – just more scratching. All are pretty sure that there is just some monstrosity down there. Lodd is all for opening it up and blasting the unholy creature with a shot from the flamethrower. The others talk him out of it though, telling him that they could need all of the firepower at their disposal in order to deal with the laboratory. Reluctantly the Serb agrees and so they head back to Betty and head for the laboratory.

The scene in the square in front of the laboratory is even more horrific than at the Munitions Factory. The Barracks and the Motor Pool seem to gave been completely destroyed and there are around a dozen corpses close to an abandoned Kubelwagen and an Opel Blitz truck. In front of the laboratory is a large fountain. Ominously it is blood red and there are several bodies half in and out of it.

Terry stops Betty at the entrance to the courtyard. Bob and the others each decide to pump a clip into the bodies to ensure that they really are dead, but they appear to offer no threat.

Cautiously, the party members dismount from Betty and advance towards the entrance to the laboratory building, which is located immediately behind the fountain. As most of the party members approach the fountain, they look on in horror as writhing tentacles raise up from the fountain and start to clutch at the group. Lorelei, the Padre, Piotr and Dr. Faber are all hit and try to fight off the tentacles. All apart from Lorelei are able to break through while Lodd and Terry blast the unholy creature with their flamethrowers. Heroically, the Padre manages to get free of the tentacles, hacks at those which are about to pull Lorelei into the pool and he drags her free.

All of the party members run back away from the fountain. Fortunately it seems as if the tentacles are only able to stretch a maximum of 20 feet. Lodd and Terry try and finish off the Bloodpool, but the creature is incredibly tough and they realize that they are burning through the flamethrower fuel faster than the creature is taking damage.

They try another strategy, which is to bypass the Bloodpool completely and try an find another entrance into the laboratory and head off to the north. Unfortunately, nine bloodlets are waiting for them, hiding in the long grass and spring out once the lead half of the party are within their grasp. Once again it is Lorelei that gets the worst of the attention and has to fight off several of the creatures with the hilt of her rapier. Terry is able to take down three of them with a well-aimed shot from his flamethrower, but the others they have to take care of the hard way as the others come to the assistance of Lorelei and Taffy who are in the thick of things. Eventually they manage to fight off the creatures and resume with checking to see if there is another way of entering the building.

Unfortunately the fight with the bloodlets was in vain as all of the windows are heavily barred, and so they are forced to return to the fountain, keeping a safe distance from it this time around.

Terry decides to give the pool a gift in the form of the Opel Blitz truck. Narrowly avoiding being hit by the tentacles, he manages to get into the truck and drives it away from the pool. He neatly turns it around, sets it in first gear, wedges the throttle open, points it towards the fountain and then bales out just before he gets into range of the tentacles once more. All goes to plan as the truck crashes into the fountain, toppling over onto its side in the fountain. They wait a couple of minutes for the ruptured fuel tank to empty its load and then Terry gives it a blast with the flamethrower.

Much to everyone’s delight, the Bloodpool goes up with an almighty WOOF!! Once the black clouds have subsided they see that the blood is no more, having retreated.

With that obstacle now taken care of, they approach the heavy wooden door to the laboratory. They discover that it is locked and alarmed, but their attempts at disabling the alarm and picking the lock are unsuccessful.

Terry decides to use the vehicular approach to problem solving once again as he gets into the Kubelwagen. He reverses it before setting it on a course straight for the door. Once again he is on target and the mighty doors splinter as they are crushed, destroying the front of the Kubelwagen in the process. The entry to the laboratory is now open to them.



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