|Monday August 14, 2017 at 8:00pm||numenera, mysts of the ninth world, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Ronin and Ganthet set off to find the murden. The hike up into the mountains was arduous, but eventually lead them to a small plateau tucked into the cliffs where they found dozens of rough columns of various diameters but all about 75 feet tall. Between the columns were stretched various hides and insect carapaces, forming a sort of multi-leveled nest. They approached to attempt to speak with the abhumans, but were ultimately ambushed when they entered the area.
- Piper had some time to rest and was eventually retrieved by a humanoid that had sets of tentacles in place of arms. He lead her from the room...and that was the last thing she remembers of that place. The next thing she recalls is being awakened by a group of travellers atop a column-like structure somewhere in the south of the Pytharon Empire - a name she happens to recognize as being a kingdom in the Steadfast, which lies across the Black Riage and hundreds of miles from her home.
- Helios attempted to communicate with the otter-man who had invited him in, but didn't have much luck. The creature's responses were unintelligible and somewhat odd. Eventually he fell asleep, only to awaken a short time later with the otter-man standing over him. He then began asking Helios questions, apparently in The Truth(?), about where he came from and what he would do. When Helios told him he was trying to find his friend and return to their home planet, the creature took him to Mekel - which was under attack.
- Naran spoke for some time to Eufren and Motof about the books, the planet they're on, and the surrounding area, before an alarm from somewhere in the village startled her hosts. Racing outside, they found much of the settlement already in flames as a raiding party from the nearby, sinking village of Yefort descended upon the town...
This is a new game we put together for my brother-in-law Michael. He wants to run a Fate game himself, but is having a difficult time getting people together. Also, while he's read the book, he wanted to see how it plays out at the table.
We had already decided on a "traditional" fantasy genre, but we set up the remaining game aspects collaboratively as suggested by the Fate Core rulebook. What we came up with was a high fantasy setting, based on a lost civilzation, where magic is being corrupted and the PCs need to find out why - or at least how and stop it.
[Michael] Jace - Soldier without a Kingdom
[Jese] Cassia - Quick-witted Huntress
[Sheri] Talia - Itinerant Historian
[Tony] Cooper - Acquisitions Expert for the Second Dawn
The group heard rumors of a cult that was speeding the corruption of magic in the world - and that they might be based in the ruin of a small keep in a forest some distance to the south. Upon arriving, they were met by a group of goblins fleeing from an angry ghost. Cassia was able to catch one of them and get from it that they were working for a sorceror, mining gold beneath the keep. Goblins inside the structure itself were more hostile than terrified, however, and the group had to fight two of them off before they could proceed deeper into the ruin...
- While the two stranded 'mechs managed to escape their pursuers and make for the designated LZ, Aralakh's desperate bit to clear the zone for the battered dropship takes a turn for the worse. As damage mounts, Steiner attempted to intimidate the opposing units into surrunder, but they knew they have the upper hand. Riley's Trebuchet sustained critical damage to the reactor core - which exploded catastrophically - and Jyun's Panther took some unfortunate leg hits which all but remove it from the field. Fortunately, the forced-retreat of one of the Clints and the massive damage the enemy Archer had taken were enough for the opposing force to reconsider the assault and withdraw.
- Aftermath: Riley's Trebuchet was a total loss, though Riley herself was able to survive the incident (albiet in poor spirits). Steiner is having some growing doubts about the viability of the merc company long-term. That said, the beneficiaries of their rescue have brought a Union dropship to Aralakh, as well as a Crusader and an Assassin with their pilots and techs. In light of this, the company has decided to release the Leopard from their service on good terms. They are now going to spend some time resting and repairing before taking on a new contract.
|Monday August 7, 2017 at 8:00am||numenera, mysts of the ninth world, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Through some cleverness and good fortune, Ronin was able disuade Seluxii from pushing them out of the village of Urnmoll. The group of them proceeded to have a conversation about recent events and the party's goals (hopefully without giving too much away). The key points discussed were the murden that raided the village and (likely unintentionally) summoned the craft that took Piper, and a man said to be the foremost expert on power supplys residing in the steadfast. After a rest, Ronin and Ganthet decided to go after the murden in hopes that they can learn something of what happened to their friend.
- Unable to find a suitably hidden location in the floating village, Helios decided to swim to a wooded shore to the north. There he found an otter-like humanoid who invited(?) him into its dwelling for food and rest.
- Naran used her cutting light to stab at the octopoidal creature pursuing them while she and the boy escaped the remaining distance to the surface - which turned out to be under some section of the floating settlement. He led her to a building where another man was apparently waiting for them. The man gave Naran some sort of potion that rendered her unconscious, but when she awoke, she found she could speak to and understand them. She was in a village called Mekel, and the man's name was Eufren. He seemed very interested in the fact that she was an outsider and where she came from. He told her that their ancestors had once traveled between worlds very easily, but he didn't know how they had done it. Naran's stories about the books that had transported her and her friend fascinated him.
- Piper decided to spend some time attempting to repair her burned-out headband artifact while waiting to see what would happen next. After several hours, she was interrupted and lead (apparently) out of the craft she was in and into some other structure. There, she was taken to a massive chamber where several entities locked deep within some sort of crystal asked her a myriad of questions about herself and her world. Her responses were clever and informative, and so The Seven (as they called themselves) took a particular interest in her. After some time, they suggested that they would speak more, but that she and they required rest...
|Tuesday July 25, 2017 at 8:00pm||numenera, mysts of the ninth world, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Multiple drones and automatons (or possibly, armored entities) emerged from the cylindrical craft and began a sort of harvest of the surrounding village. Using stunning and tranquilizing weaponry, they subdued Piper and Ganthet, though only the former was actually taken.
- Helios made a quick exit from the chamber where the robotic entity was tending to the thirsty machine. He hadn't made it very far when he heard the sounds of the reptilian cats pursuing him. Upon reaching the pool where he'd entered, he once again encountered a strange, hovering being with heavy robes and one large, mechanical eye. It asked several questions of him before sinking back into the pool.
- Naran resisted the octopoidal creature's pushing for her to use the linking book it was presenting to her, and after it left in frustration, attempted to swim to freedom. The distance and pressure of the water soon proved too much, however. Fortunately, she found another "pocket" of air near the point where panic was starting to set in, and managed to reach it before blacking out.
- Aboard the craft, Piper suddenly found herself in her room back in Arable - or, at least, a very close approximation. The door and window were impassible and everything felt slightly "off". She was missing any functioning cyphers or artifacts that appeared technological, but otherwise seemed unharmed.
- Helios leapt into the pool after the his questioner, and began swimming "down" and away from the cat likely still pursuing him. It was a long, hard swim back to the surface, but he somehow was able to succeed. He happened to notice a boat lurking in the shadows some distance from him before swimming for the village.
- As she recovered Naran was briefly visited by a boy in some sort of swimming gear. They had a brief "conversation" in which little was communicated (due to the language barrier) before he left again. A couple of hours later he returned, however, this time with an additional breathing apparatus. As the two of them made the long swim for the surface, the octopoidal creature found them...
- Having taken Piper, the cylindrical craft lifted slightly before de-materializing. As the panic in the village began to calm and Ganthet regained consciousness, Seluxxi approached he and Ronin, demanding they leave the village - declaring to those around her that these outsiders would not help their village as some had hoped, and that they cared only for what they could take...
|Monday June 26, 2017 at 8:30pm||numenera, mysts of the ninth world, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Helios became disoriented in his dive and surfaced, but found himself in a dark cave. Using an electricity artifact for light, he found his way into a chamber where some sort of robotic automaton was apparently "feeding" human blood to a massive machine. He spoke for a while with the robot .
- Naran chose not to struggle against the man who was threatening her, and instead watched the faces of the growing crowd he was addressing - their expressions seemed to vary between fear, anger, and uncertainy. As his address resolved, someone else grabbed her and put something over her face. She had the vague sensation of splashing into water before she lost consciousness. She later awoke in some sort of air pocket within a small room in a ruined building surrounded by water. After some time, she was visited by a large octopus-like creature that produced another of the strange books - this one overlooking golden spires piercing upward above a sea of clouds - offering her a means of escape for a vague "price".
- Piper and Ganthet spoke some more with Seluxii, though her suspicion continued to increase. A few of the townspeople seemed convinced that these outsiders might be able to help their dying village and, on their behalf, Seluxii somewhat-disingenuously asked them if this was so.
- Ronin finally arrived in the village and was greeted with obvious fear by the villagers - parly due to recent events, and partly due to his now-more-monstrous visage. The presence in his mind urged him to react violently, but he fought to refrain. Ronin was able to calm the villagers somewhat and ultimately rejoined his companions - who were shocked to see him alive, and moreso at his somewhat-disturbing change of appearance.
- It was at this moment that a massive, cylindrical craft appeared in the sky above the village projecting a column of bright blue light downward into the streets. Several of the villagers - ones with orange tags like the one on Piper's arm - seemed to think heading toward this light would be a good idea...
- Having successfully captured assets for NAR, Aralakh was finally released on so-so terms. Their most pressing concern was treating Drevan's injuries, so they took their chances staying in-system and going to the hospital. The company repaired what they could, but were short on supplies.
- A few months later, they jumped back into Free Worlds space to a more populous planet where they were hoping to repair and resupply. On their way in-system, however, they picked up a distress call from a merc dropship in orbit around one of the system's planet's moons.
- In exchange for the distressed company's remaining liquid assets, Aralakh agreed to get the company's surviving units out of trouble on the planet. They made a few low-passes in the target area before directing the survivors to a promising LZ northwest of their position.
- While the survivors continued to fight off the pursuit mechs that had been hunting them for the past few days, Aralakh attempted to clear the landing site - which, unfortunately, contained a hostile presence formidable in the face of Aralakh's severely-damaged condition...
|Sunday June 18, 2017 at 8:30pm||little fears, the dark spiral, game session notes, trogland||Comments (0) »|
- Dee Dee, Lexi, Sheri, Mandy (and her little brother Mace) made a new friend on their neighborhood playground - a boy about their age who was new in their part of town.
- While playing tag, they realized too late that this boy didn't know something: you do NOT go down the old, metal, spiral slide on the edge of the playground unless someone is waiting for you at the bottom - if you do, you don't come out. The slide takes you to the Bogeyman's dungeon - where you stay until he eats you.
- As the new kid dove into the slide while running from Mace, they saw dozens of gnarled claws reach out and snatch him out of this reality.
- Mandy's mother took the children back to her house for their sleepover, but something dark was following them, and stephen seemed to be calling to them from wherever he was taken. Shadows of goblins harassed and grabbed at them in the basement, and the girls ended up huddled in Mandy's room - slowly falling asleep.
- They found themselves next in a shared dream, at the base of the slide, before a yawning maw of a hole with a rickety wooden stairway. From its depths, they heard a muffled cry and a malicious laugh...
Adam is joining our game, and we spent this evening making two PCs for him to add to Tim's company: an experienced former House Regular who pilots a 45-ton Assassin, and a newbie Noble who has a 65-ton Crusader.
These characters will a fragment of a decimated merc unit looking to join up with someone else - and Aralakh will be the convenient choice. They will be bringing their 'mechs as well as a beat-up Union dropship into the company's assets.
- Drevan's strike team invaded the dropship. They sustained some casualties, but were ultimately successful in capturing the ship, as well as the damaged Hatchetman in contained, and the two incapacitated Jenners outside - making for a pretty respectable salvage haul.
Continued playtesting on personal scale combat this session. How I ran the session aside, the system behaved well and played out the way I would want. That said, it's a little bit too clunky and I think I'm going to make a few more tweaks to it.
- Piper and Ganthet found themselves amidst a murden raid on the village of Urnmoll, also involving a large, crab-like, mechanical contraption smashing its way through the village. The murden were eventually driven off, and the robot, after sustaining some damage, folded itself into a small sphere. The two considered making a break out of town, but decided to stay to see what they could learn.
- Ronin found his way out of the cave he and his friends had originally entered and decided to continue through the mountains toward the village. On his way, he began to perceive a beckoning presence which led him to a small, glowing cave. Upon seeing his reflection in a pool, he became aware that he was no longer alone in his head.
- Helios and Naran fought with the aquatic predators, attempting to drive them off. Naran found her way into one of the boats and was brought back to the town built on the ruins protruding from the lake, but Helios had dived back into the water in an attempt to find one of the missing villagers. About the time Naran realized Helios had not come back, she was grabbed from behind - and found a knife at her throat...
- NAR continued the defense of their compound, eventually destroying 3 out of 4 of the attacking units - unfortunately causing two of them to catastrophically explode, leaving no usable salvage for the Resistance. Hopefully Aralakh's attempts to capture the attackers' drop ship produces a more tangible gain...
Adam continued this encounter with us, and will likely be joining this game on an ongoing basis.
|Tuesday May 30, 2017 at 8:00pm||numenera, mysts of the ninth world, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Ronin awoke, alive but debilitated and surrounded by silver insectoid creatures. Over the next day or so, he made his way back out of the ruin, slowly recovering strength. During this time, he noticed that patches of his skin all over his body had been replaced by red scales.
- Ganthet spoke with the apparent leader of the village of Urnmoll, a woman Seluxii. Her suspicion of his activities in the region seemed to increase as he answered her questions with partial-truths.
- Piper spoke with the old woman for a while, learning that the town's water-producing artifact had recently ceased functioning, and that many in town were worried.
- Naran and Helios toppled from their perch above the rushing river when the bird-man from the previous world followed them through into this one, sending all three of them into the river and over a tremendous waterfall.
- Ronin reached the cave in which the group took shelter from the glass storm, and found himself attacked by a black puddle - apparently the remnants of the tentacled creature that had previously harassed them.
- The relative peace of Urnmoll was suddenly disturbed by shouts, screams, and mechanical pounding and whirring coming from one corner. Piper was ambushed by some form of avian humanoid, and Seluxii left Ganthet apparently trapped in a room with a vanishing doorway.
- Naran and Helios found what appeared to be a fishing town built on partiall-submerged ruins in the valley into which they'd been deposited. As they swam for the approaching boats, they were attacked by some sort of aquatic reptile...
- Using assets "borrowed" from Aralakh, NAR attempts to fight off the mercenary lance sent to destroy them while Aralakh furthers its efforts to capture the merc's Union. The Resistance managed to take out the crippled mercenary Clint and the enemy Whitworth has virtually no armor remaining, but Aralakh's Warhammer is severely battered and the Trebuchet is now out of missles...
Adam joined us for this session, so we decided to play out the latter half of the previously "off-camera" engagement of mercs vs. NAR in order to introduce him to the defining mech combat aspect of our Battletech campaign. After this encounter resolves, we will return to Aralakh's attempts to capture the dropship, which have now moved into the personal-scale boarding of the vessel.
- Naran and Helios continued fractured communication with the birdman, who seemed intent upon fixing some part of the inner workings of the tower and/or island, and reacted negatively toward any action they took that might even superficially damage it. Deciding there was nothing remaining for them in that place, they made their way back to the book Naran had previously found, using its viewport to travel to the world on the other side.
- Ganthet and Piper made their way through the ruin to the lowest exit they could find. Waiting till dark, they lowered the power core before descending themselves. Concerned over what the townfolk might say if they were found with the artifact, the two hid it in a cleft of rock nearby. As they approached the only way out of the rocky depression, Ganthet was spotted by the two guardsmen and taken down to the village - Piper followed along behind.
- Aralakh neutralized the mech defenses of the merc dropship and blew open one of the loading doors. The lance then called in their strike team, led by the temporarily dispossessed Drevan, who proceeded to board the vessel for capture.
- After Naran and Helios finished their rest, Helios suggested they investigate the bubbling pool which he found to be breathable while Naran did not. While Naran spent some more time investigating the machinery in the hollow of the island, Helios ventured down into the water-filled chambers below where he found what appeared to be a city populated by enormous frog-people. He also met up with the bird-man they'd first encountered, who returned to the chamber with him.
- Ronin, Ganthet, and Piper, meanwhile, attempted to cross the gravity-less chasm with their power-core while avoiding harassment and attack by the vanishing and re-appearing serpent. Unfortunately, their counter-attacks eventually agitated the creature to the point that it disrupted the null gravity field, sending objects plummeting into the chasm. Noticing the signs, Ronin managed to push Piper and the power core to the relative safety of the far wall, but in so doing failed to reach it himself - and fell into the darkness below...
- As NAR began engaging the mercenary force sent to take them out, Aralakh's partial lance emerged from their concealed location, making their way to the merc's LZ in an attempt to capture their Union-class dropship...
|Monday April 24, 2017 at 8:00pm||numenera, mysts of the ninth world, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Naran and Helios investigated the top of the tower, where they found an hive of bugs averse to bright lights and some control panels that seemed designed to operate the tower's machinery.
- Piper, Ganthet, and Ronin escaped from several pursuing monstrous centipedes and found some time to rest. Attempting to find their way back out of the ruin, they happened upon a vast chasm which seemed devoid of gravity - and also contained some form of ephemeral, shape-shifting serpent...
- NAR prompted Aralakh to go raid a Capellan noble's compound for much needed hardware and supplies. The group was only able to send a few mostly-repaired light mechs as the others were still in bad shape, but their target was not believed to possess mech forces. They engaged a trio of tanks, a pair of helicopers, and some turrets. As they finished loading up their plunder, however, they were pressed by a pair of aerotech fighters and a pair of approaching mechs. In the end, Aralalkh took significant damage but managed to escape with most of the desired equipment.
This session was the first to use my simplified Battletech vehicle rules mods. Tim and I both thought it went very well.
|Tuesday April 18, 2017 at 8:30pm||numenera, mysts of the ninth world, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Ronin, Piper, and Ganthet found their way up into a chamber containing what they believed to be the complex's power core - the device they had come to retrieve. As they approached it, however, they found themselves confronted by a monstrous, transdimensional, crustacean-like entity guarding and feeding off the power source.
- After Naran's discovery of the portal book, she and Helios decided they should find their way to the top of the tower to try to reactivate the dormant machinery. The managed to open the iris at the top of the underground chamber, granting them access to the tower once more. What they did not notice, however, were the two bird-men lying in wait. The ambush jolted them both with electricity, and caused Helios to fall back onto the platform at the top of the chamber, which began wrenching free of its supports due to the impact.
- The monstrous creature the group had found by the power core began attacking the intruders with its massive claws and spewing a burning, plasma-like substance from its dozen or so eyes. The group used several artifacts and cyphers they'd acquired since entering the complex to fight back, shattering bits of its thick armor and occassionally punching through. Ganthet decided to use the green detonation artifact Polious had given him, which caused a thick and animated forest to suddenly spring up in the area. The aggressive plant growth slowed the creature down, but proved to be more dangerous to the adventurers - especially to Ronin who was moving amongst them - as the group had to contend both with the hostile plants and with the fires set by the crustacean's dripping red-hot plasma.
- While Helios attempted (with some difficulty) to climb back into the tower from the failing support, Naran did her best to fight off the bird-men, trading bright blasts of forceful light with the electrical arcs firing from the avian's energized spears. After Helios managed to re-enter the tower and Naran had incinerated the last of their foes, they looked up at the large vine/tree structure and the crystals growing from it, suspecting that it could be used to gather energy from the world's hot suns if they could figure out how to reactivate it.
- Just as Ronin was stabbed by some sort of poisonous plant which rendered him unconscious, Ganthet's final shots against the monster managed to penetrate the armor under its head. Shrieking, the beast collapsed to the ground, spewing plasma from its eyes - which in turn further ignited the plant matter beneath it.
- Ganthet and Piper darted past the growing flames into the area beneath the power core. Ganthet made some efforts to revive Ronin, but seemed only to make his fallen friend's condition worsen. Acting quickly, Piper successfully connected a power regulator she had constructed to the conduits feeding the power core, and then began the delicate operation of detaching the core from the surrounding eqipment. Unfortunately, the group didn't have time for "delicate". Piper did what she could to prevent any instability due to the disconnect before slicing through the adjoining cables. She held her breath for several moments before the dim blue glow returned and stabilized in the core's interior.
- The group entered Under The Bed and met Lady Von Snoot, an old ghost who asked for their help entering her home (the cemetery called Dead Center). They also heard some strange, distant voices that turned out to be the mountains they were on asking for help finding their third twin.
- Upon arriving at the cemetery, the group found it to be the site of an ongoing investigation. Inspector Grumbles told(?) them that all the flowers had been stolen from the graves (this had upset Ms Schnauser horribly).
- When they looked around, they found some paperclips, thumbtacks, bent stables, and a post-it note that read: "Bob - Bob bob bobob bob bobobobob bob bob. - Bob"
- The inspector recognized this as the work of Bobgoblins. He asked(?) them to go to the goblins' corporate HQ to talk to Big Wig and get the flowers back.
- Then things turned ugly. An LRM volley from Riley's Trebuchet destroyed the Hunchback completely, but Steiner's Blackjack was too close to avoid damage from the reactor explosion it triggered and it fell when it lost its gyro. Aralakh then attempted to negotiate a mutual withdraw, but were unable to convince their attackers. The Banshee's continued press on the damaged Trebuchet took down the smaller mech with a kick that obliterated one of its legs and then charged over to finally incapacitate the fallen Warhammer - which was still firing PPC blasts - with a kick to the head.
- Seeing little alternative, Aralakh surrendered. It turns out that their attackers were self-described freedom-fighters attempting to liberate the planet and remove the nobles' predation on the world's resources at the expense of its atmosphere.
- The New Andrin Resistance press-ganged Aralakh into their service - promising that if they helped the rebels kick the Capellan nobles off-world, they would return them their mechs and the two could part ways.
- As the exchange continues, it becomes clear that neither side can keep this up for long - but neither side has a clear advantage either. The battle has moved away from the Warhammer such that it has some difficulty engaging, and the Blackjack is greviously wounded. On the other side, the Banshee is pretty beat up, but its toughness is keeping it at the top of the threat list. The Hunchback now has only a small laser, but the relatively-untouched Wolfhound has started to have an impact on the fight.
- The company continued to trade blows with their assailants. The Banshee's luck improved only briefly, and Aralakh's opponents may have been considering retreat before the Hunchback, its AC/20 now destroyed, got a lucky laser shot against the Warhammer's already badly-injured leg, taking it down. The Cicada has already met a similar fate, and the Hunchback and Banshee both have significant injuries that have greatly reduced their damage output. Unfortunately, Steiner's Blackjack isn't looking much better, Riley is only just starting to land some hits with her LRMs, and Jyun's injuries have made him less effective.
|Monday March 20, 2017 at 8:00pm||numenera, mysts of the ninth world, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Naran and Helios attempted to communicate with the earnest-seeming bird-man, but were ultimately less than successful. He did lead them to a hidden chamber full of devices he'd gathered but, apparently, had no particular knowledge of. He left by way of a bubbling pool, and the two decided to get some rest.
- Ronin, Piper, and Ganthet continued into the ruin they'd found, soon encountering a vast area overgrown with blue plant growth. The sweet smell of the plants seemed to affect the minds of the party, causing Piper and Ganthet to seek out and activate machinery with visible but indecipherable results. They also encountered several giant centipede-like creatures.
- The bird entities apparently gone, Naran and Helios spent some time exploring the interior of the island and its machinery, eventually finding that some of it seemed to "connect" to a 'portal book'.
- Attempting to outrun their insectoid pursuers, Ronin, Piper, and Ganthet ended up at the top of a large cylindrical vault, where they found another portal book, some arms and armor, and a room that simpily glowed for no obvious reason. At the bottom of the chamber, they found a passage leading deeper into the complex from which they could hear a dull hum, as well as one final vault door smeared with some kind black, pitch-like substance...
|Monday March 13, 2017 at 8:00pm||numenera, mysts of the ninth world, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- After some brief discussion, it was decided that Helios would follow Naran into the book and the others would continue into the ruin to locate the power core.
- Naran and Helios found themselves on top of a small island about 400 feet above the surface of an unknown ocean. Two suns blazed overhead, making it difficult to see through the brightness. The island contained a tower full of machinery and a strange vine-like plant growing crystals. As they investigated, they were attacked by some group of bird-people with spear-like weapons that projected arcs of electricity. They fled up the tower, but found themselves trapped until another one of the bird-people "flew" them to a large cave-like entrance at the base of the island where they discovered it to be mostly hollow and full of ancient non-functioning machinery.
- Ganthet, Ronin, and Piper continued up into the ruin above the overgrown library. As they made their way through its interior, they encountered some sort of automaton guarding a sealed doorway. Apparently they triggered some condition in its programming, and the machine attacked. The resulting battle battered, burned, and froze the three, but they were ultimately victorious.
- Aralakh engaged in combat with their assailants. Steiner in particular has been extremely fortunate that the Banshee's pilot is having a run of bad luck. He was less fortunate with regards to the Hunchback's AC/20. Riley has yet to prove herself, and Jyun is hurting enough from his near-death experience that it is severely hampering his performance. Still, the group has given at least as good as they've gotten thus far...
|Monday March 6, 2017 at 8:00pm||numenera, mysts of the ninth world, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Discerning that the tunnel of ferns proceeded in the direction they were attempting to travel before the glass storm hit, and believing that the ferns themselves may indicate the presence of a ruin similar to the one at their home, the group decided to leave the aneen in the cave and follow it.
- The picked their way through the winding tunnel for almost 9 miles, encountering a few caverns (including a large one with a tree and clouds) and several other passages. There was a faint, warm breeze blowing through the tunnel - all the tunnels proceeding southwest toward its source were overgrown with purple ferns whereas other passages were not.
- Having pursued these phenomena all the way to its source, the group found part of some kind of buried building, broken and overgrown with the purple ferns itself. One of the chambers had a large hole in the corner of the ceiling, through which various wires and conduits hung loosely which opened into a set over chambers and corridors reminiscent of the "B Dome" they'd explored.
The room they were in seemed to Piper to be some sort of library. Beneath the ferns were shelves containing the remains of many strange, rectangular books. She couldn't read them, but her ability to decipher suggested they described locations in great detail. A few of those in the best shape had window-like screens on their first pages, showing a specific, unfamiliar location. The glowing panels gave odd sensations when you touched them. While attempting to discern some sort of use or a way to "activate" the one of the books, Naran placed her palm over the glowing panel and suddenly vanished. Looking down at where the book fell, Ronin could see his friend standing in the scene depicted through the window...
- A few weeks after the processing plant sabotage, a group calling itself the "New Andrid Resistance" attempted to assassinate a couple of the members of Aralakh company. While the overall attempt failed, it was a miracle that Jyun survived.
- About two months later, the company gets an alert while on patrol: a lance of 'mechs is approaching the compound. They load up and head out, facing a Wolfhound, a Cicada, a Hunchback, and a Banshee...
This was the first session to feature my Mechwarrior Basic rules for personal-scale combat. It is very lethal (as I wanted it to), but it played very well.
|Monday February 27, 2017 at 8:00pm||numenera, mysts of the ninth world, game session notes||Comments (2) »|
- The group ran south behind the herd of aneen, fighting their way through the fleeing beasts and the larval worms pursuing them. When the adult worm caught up with them, Piper scarred it with a plasma cypher, but the monster killed one of their pack animals as they attempted to flee. It was Ganthet's "liquid air" artifact that enabled them to finally escape.
- Once in the mountains, the group was beset by a violent storm of glass. The group took shelter in a shallow cave, along with several dozen dog-sized beetles apparently native to the area. During this time, Ganthet fell deeper into the cave, where he found an underground stream, a tentacled monster, and a tunnel lined with the same purple ferns that grow around their home of Arable.
- Aralakh arrived on the mining planet and took up their garrison duty.
- One night about 5 months into the job, a few of the small security team Aralakh had subcontracted witnessed an odd exchange between one of the compound locals and some outsiders. Following them, one of the men saw the outsiders give the local a large backpack. The man then proceeded to his job in a refinery. About 20 minutes later, alarms sounded and the place was evacuated. While authorities were attempting to determine what had caused the alarm, there was a tremendous explosion and the building collapsed.
- The Baron who'd hired Aralakh was furious at the sabotage, but the company was able to maneuver around his accusations.
- With the help of the subcontracted team, Aralakh was able to track down and capture the saboteur, who had apparently been paid to place the explosives but knew little of his benefactors.
- Aralakh stepped up internal security in response to the incident.
|Monday February 13, 2017 at 8:00pm||numenera, mysts of the ninth world, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- After treating their wounded aneen as best they could, the group gathered the remainder of thier possessions and set out again. The animal slowed their progress significantly, however, and it was after dark before they reached their destination: the on oasis on their route through the desert.
- As they approached, they noticed two things. The first was a brilliantly-glowing, blue-purple, diamond-shaped object floating above the oasis. The second was the fact that the oasis was occupied by several different groups of people.
- As they refreshed their animals and made their camp for the evening, the group spoke with several of the others there and learned that each of them had a wildly disparate understanding of the surrounding world - to the extent that Naran and Ronin suspected that perhaps the area occupied some confluence of time and/or reality.
- Just before dawn, the diamond-shaped object began to pulse and vibrate. After a few minutes, the object collapsed in on itself - seeming to draw everyone and everything else occupying the oasis into itself before vanishing.
- Observing how much their wounded aneen had slowed their progress and believing speed to be essential, the group voted to use Helious' healing artifact on their injured animal.
- Packed up again, the group continued their westward journey for the next couple of days - approaching the gathering clouds near the looming black mountain range and fighting the oppressive heat.
- As they neared the foothills in the shadow of the jagged mountains of the Black Riage, they happened upon a sizable herd of wild aneen making its way north along the edge of the hills. The clouds above were beginning to arc with purple lightening. The group was still approaching, intending to pass the herd to the south, when an enourmous cragworm erupted from the earth ahead of them, bellowing its hunger...
|Monday February 6, 2017 at 8:00pm||numenera, mysts of the ninth world, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- The group set out to the west, crossing the northwestern region of the Gathmund Scrublands before exiting them into the wide, flat expanse of the desert flat that lie between them and their destination.
- On the second night, the group awoke to suddenly find themselves in a dense forest. Margr fled through their camp and something large was approaching from the north. As they attempted to calm the aneen, a massive bison-like creature emerged from the surrounding trees. It was gushing blood from a wound in its side, making thick red pools wherever it stepped, and the creature held a miniature-sun-like fireball in its mouth which licked flames out toward anything living.
- The group grabbed what supplies they could and attempted to flee, but the aneen Piper and Ronin were riding was panicked and uncooperative. It fell on its side, throwing Ronin off before bolting the opposite direction. Unfortunately, this took it right past one of the lingering margr, which put a nasty slice in its right leg - causing it to fall again and Piper to lose her tenuous grasp on the animal. The giant buffalo plodded onward, seemingly unaware of them.
- Piper and Ronin were able to make short work of the lingering margr still prowling the area, while the others rejoined when the beast had passed. As they gathered their now-blood-covered supplies, the group discussed what should be done with their injured animal.
- Aralakh took their payment and left world, deciding to jump into Capellan space to avoid potential political issues selling "acquired" Free Worlds' military hardware.
- A baron met with them under false pretenses - not interested in buying their mechandise, but wanted to hire them on retainer for guard duty on a secondary planet in-system.
- The group negotiated up to 500k for the year, plus the baron will cover all repairs and normal expenses. Additionally, the baron agreed to hire a broker to aid them in the sale of their unneeded merchandise. The group also has 50% salvage rights, but as there are no other mechs on their world, it seems unlikely they'll get much.
- Aralakh took the opportunity of having a benefactor to bring on a new mechwarrior: a woman called Riley who pilots a Trebuchet.
- Overall, while not especially lucrative (or exciting), it seems like a nice, easy contract...
|Monday January 30, 2017 at 8:00pm||numenera, mysts of the ninth world, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- The group continued their discussion with Polious about their upcoming journey and some of the potential difficulties they may encounter.
- The following day was the third day of the yearly Eves festival - the evening of the big feast and a time for making important announcements about the upcoming year. Among others of various kinds, Polious announced his assistants' journey to a far-away place in order to recover desperately-needed components for the town's faltering artifact. The group enjoyed the feast and spent some time talking to various townsfolk about their upcoming quest.
- After the Eves, the group spent a few days preparing for their journey before heading out. As they left the town, accompanied to its edge by various family, friends, and well-wishers, they noticed that the farmland looked noticeably parched...
- Both sides continued to pound each other for several rounds, severely damaging multiple units.
- Ultimately, the pirate leader proposed a deal: they would leave the system and not return - and would leave the merc a prize of valuable military equipment - in exchange for an end to hostilities.
- After considering the situation carefully, Aralakh agreed to their terms. The pirates proved true enough to their word.
- The company's employer was not completely satisfied with their results, though they had technically fulfilled the contract and the pirate threat was gone (at least for the time being). Compensation was renegotiated for half.
- After taking the contract, Aralakh headed out to the mine abandoned moon where the pirates were said to be hiding out. Not liking the hemmed-in approach from the main road to the south, they decided to put their dropship down on the plain to the north even though it meant more rugged terrain between them and their target.
- As they approached the mine from above, first contact was made with the Jagermech perched atop a hill. The Commando entered as the mercs engaged, with the Dervish and Stinger arriving after a couple of exchanges.
- Aralakh took some hard hits early in the confrontation, but have so far managed to avoid being crippled. The destruction of the Commando has evened the playing field somewhat, but they still have an uphill battle. If they don't get a break soon, they may need to pull out or risk more than their contract...
|Monday January 16, 2017 at 8:00pm||numenera, mysts of the ninth world, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Piper, Naran, and Ronin headed down into the guts of the Weathervane while Ganthet and Helios remained with Polious in the control room, attempting to keep things from getting out of hand.
- The three descended into the structure, noting more and more of a strange, acrid-smelling black oil as they made their way toward the inward. Outside the vault itself, a large stream of the stuff poured down the wall over wires and conduits - among which were dozens of eyeless rat-like creatures.
- A couple of townsfolk approached the Weathervane, looking for Polious to address an issue in town involving a strange device, and hostile spreading plant growth. As he was still unable to see and Helios had been more weakened by the day's events, Ganthet was sent to address the problem. He found some sort of artifact producing a thick fog and causing shrub-like plants to grow. When he activated it, the ground began to vibrate violently. He found himself outside of the town by several miles, and watched as large sections of earth some distance to the north rose out of the ground and floated above it.
- Once inside the vault, Piper found the Weathervane's power core and attempted to disconnect it. Unfortunately, this seemed to cause a runaway reaction resulting in the core's explosion. Piper somehow managed to escape the brunt of the blast.
- The explosion of the power core radiated energy throughout the town, instantly burned away the stormclouds, and ultimately resulted in a total blackout as all power drained from the ruin.
- Over the course of the next few weeks, Polious, the others, and the rest of the town attempted to pick up the pieces. Polious managed to cobble together a replacement power source for the Weathervane and once the rain cycle resumed - even though it was irregular and somewhat less than sufficient - the townsfolk began to relax. Polious and the others, however, know that the current arrangement is underpowered and anything but stable.
- A few days later, the Eves festival begins. This is marks the new year in Arable, as well as the first few days of the planting season. The group spends the first day of the celebration with their individual families, spending time together and exchanging gifts. Polious also visits each, giving them gifts of his own.
- The second day of the Eves is a time of planning for the new year. For most, that means talking about what crops to plant in which fields, which animals to breed, and other such things. For Polious and his associates, however, this conversation looks very different. Polious tells them he's learned of yet another ruin similar to Arable and the "B Dome" (which is now known to be a sphere, and is floating about a hundred feed above the ground along with some chunks of nearby landscape). This one is about 10 miles into the mountains of the Black Riage, near a village called Urnmoll. It, reportedly, even shows signs of continuing power. Arable needs a new power core. The Weathervane will not survive without one, and if the Weathervane doesn't survive, the town is doomed. Further, Polious is unable to leave the town - the artifact is too unstable. The others are going to have to do this on their own...
|Monday December 19, 2016 at 8:00pm||numenera, mysts of the ninth world, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- The group hurried toward town, only to find the north gate held closed by a massive mutated plant. When the group attempted to cut the struggling gate mechanism free, they found that deformed plant also possessed bladed tendrils and often emitted psychic shriek when injured. As the group fought with the plant creature, an errant shot from Ronin deactivated the gate completely and a massive tendril grappled with and ultimately once-more panicked Naran's aneen.
- As the others hacked and burned away at the plant, Helios worked on phasing through the door to assist from the other side. He successfully reached the other side, but not before sustaining further injury to his already battered body and mind. Though significantly debilitated and possessed of only a rudimentary knowledge of the Numenera, he somehow managed to reconfigure the gate's controls to bypass the circuit destroyed by Ronin's arrow and opened the gate.
- The group reunited and reached the malfunctioning Weathervane, but the situation was quickly worsening. Even with help, Polious was unable to stabilize the artifact. His blindness preventing him from doing himself what was quickly becoming obviously necessary, he handed Ronin the key to "the Vault" and sent the group into the guts of Weathervane to shut it down...
- Though their new recruit gave them an in-system raid target with a decent opportunity to steal a solid battlemech, the company commander decided the timing was wrong and instead ordered repairs to begin on their damaged mechs as they made their way back to the jump point to head out of system.
- Upon returning to their employer, they collected the rest of their pay, finished their repairs, and received two offers for new contracts from others: one involving eliminating a pirate lance in a nearby system, and another recruiting merc units for a larger campaign offensive assaulting an undisclosed Capellan world.
- After some discussion and weighing options, the company decided to go pirate hunting...
|Monday December 5, 2016 at 8:00pm||numenera, mysts of the ninth world, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- The group decided it would be best to recover the panicked aneen before heading back, but Polious and Helios were in no condition to assist. Being somewhat beat up himself, Ronin volunteered to stay with them while Ganthet, Naran, and Piper pursued the animal.
- The chase led them back up into the forested hills a couple of miles away, where they encountered a giant, fin-shaped ruin and some hostile, hovering automatons n addition to the few hounds pursuing their pack animal.
- Meanwhile, Polious, Helios, and Ronin encountered a strange being completely covered by thick robes except for its large, mechanical eye. The entity babbled in several different languages in addition to the Truth, and spoke seemingly random bits of information or observations before disintegrating before their eyes.
- Naran manged to grab the harness of the panicked aneen, climbed up onto it, and managed to calm it down while Piper and Ganthet fought off the remaining hounds - the automatons having apparently disengaged.
- The group rejoined at their camp - now with all of their animals - and made their way back to town. They were approaching the edge of Arable's farmland when the storm that had been gathering finally unleashed...
- +2 xp
|Monday November 28, 2016 at 8:00pm||numenera, mysts of the ninth world, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Seeing the growing agitation in the chance moths, the group began attempting to scramble up the rope. Outside they were confronted by a pack of broken hounds - one of which was massive and seemed to twist and distort as it growled.
- The moths triggered something in the chamber which began causing strange environmental effects. While Ronin climbed the rope, Piper investigated the surrounding machinery and found that shorts in the controls seemed to result in her ability to terraform the immediate area.
- As the group fought off the smaller hounds, the huge one closed and happened to pick out Polious as its first target, grabbing and flinging him aside.
- As the situation with the hounds outside worsened, Polious called for withdrawl. Piper had a more difficult time escaping the ruin as the rope which had been worn on the jagged edge of the hole finally snapped. Ronin threw a rope down to her but wasn't able to tie it off quickly enough and Piper would likely have pulled him in if Ganthet and Naran hadn't come to his aid.
- Polious recovered from his tumble and, seeing the severity of the situation and the massive hound threatening his companions, raised his damaged rifle. The weapon discharged but seemed to overload, radiating explosive energe outward. The great hound was severely burned, but so was Polious - badly enough on his face that he was blinded.
- The group left the site as the hounds fled. They returned to their camp to find that one of their aneen was about half a mile across the plain, being harrassed by a few other broken hounds.
- +2 xp
- After a few intense exchanges and significant damage to both sides, Aralakh succeeded in bringing down the Awesome. The pilot of the mech survived and turned out to be an exiled noble of some sort. He offered them information that would aid them in exchange for a place among their company. Aralakh agreed to this on a "trial basis".
- The company bribed and called in the strike team that had been sent with them to round of the remaining personnel at the base. The noble had warned them of fanaticism, but the team still took some losses while performing the task. The group stripped some supplies and equipment from the base and then returned to the primary objective at the R&D facility.
- The strike team recovered 3 experimental/prototype "pulse lasers" from the facility. The leader of the strike team, having been bribed already, offered to sell Aralakh up to two of the lasers recovered for the Duke.
- The company used its Warhammer to carefully (if inelegantly) salvage the fallen Panther for rebuild & refit.
- As they were preparing to leave the system, their new "recruit" informed them that there was another ripe target in-system...
|Monday November 14, 2016 at 8:00pm||numenera, mysts of the ninth world, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Polious activated his transmitter artifact, sending a message to Piper and her companions to join he, Ronin, Naran.
- On their way, Piper, Ganthet, and Helios were ambushed at the top of the descending shaft by abhumans of some sort, apparently living in the bowels of the structure. The creatures were savage, gaunt, and where their faces should have been was only the base of a writhing tentacle.
- While Polious began examining the glowing power-artifact, another trio of the abhumans attacked him, Naran, and Ronin.
- The insuing battles were chaotic, as their assailants attacked in an uncoordinated, frenzied fashion. One of the abhumans attacking Ganthet and his companions activated some sort of gravity cypher, which caused anyone and anything within the shaft itself to become weightless. Another assaulting Naran and the others in the room below activated a cobbled artifact which missed her, sending a bright, white beam into the surrounding structure, exploding several metallic "pods" the group assumed were capacitors of some sort. This seemed to adversely affect the power-artifact, increasing the instability of its already dangerously-overloaded state.
- At Ronin's insistence, Polious set to work attempting to stabilize the pulsing blue power source while the others fought off the remaining attackers. Just as the battle concluded, Polious released the power build-up in the device, sending power out into the ruin. To his dismay, however, the core itself burned out - the pulsing, blue-sun-like glow collapsing in on itself, leaving the cylinder an empty, glass shell.
- The group spent some time gathering components from this room, as they had specifically come for power-distribution parts. When they were finished, they made their way back toward the "entrance" area, noticing that many of the rooms and passages were now lit and active with various buttons, screens, panels, and other, more incomprehensible controls or interfaces. They noted much that could be salvaged and investigated, but time was against them as they suspected more abhumans may be emerging from the depths of the complex.
- At the entrance, they noticed the Chance Moth hive was now very active - flying around the room, feasting on the enegies provided by the newly-supplied power. As they made ready to ascend the rope back out of the complex, they heard the unfortunately-familiar keening of a pack of Broken Hounds from outside - and something very, very large slam into the top of the structure...
- +2 xp
- Aralakh pursued the fleeing light mechs back to the mostly-decommissioned military base. After a few brief exchanges, they managed to take out the Locust and the Hermes - but about that time, they detected an engine power-up in one of the hangers. After a few moments, sensors were able to determine it was an assault mech - an 80-ton Awesome. Despite - or maybe because of - the fact that they couldn't get much salvage from the Hermes after its ammo explosion, they decided to stay and see what they could do against this new foe, particularly when they noticed it didn't seem to be operating at peak performance...
|Monday November 7, 2016 at 7:45pm||numenera, mysts of the ninth world, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- The group journeyed with Polious to the "B Dome" - a secondary site which seems to be very similar to the structure around which their town of Arable is built. As such, it is a trove of spare parts. They were looking for "crystal fuze couplings" to replace some key components relating to the Weathervane's power distribution, but are always on the lookout for anything else that might either be of use or able to be made into something useful.
- Upon descending into the ruin, Ronin encountered a rather large hive of Chance Moths, attracted to a numenous light Naran had created. At Polious' instruction, the lights were put out and the group carefully moved away from the entrance further into the dark while Naran distracted the hive by illuminating a large metal panel in the opposite direction.
- After a brief discussion in the corridor, the group decided to split up to cover more ground: Helios, Piper, and Ganthet continued down in that direction, while Polious, Naran, and Ronin went back through entrance area and through a partially-open doorway.
- Helios, Piper, and Ganthet found a grassy area in the metal ruin which also contained a large tree with glowing geometric designs on its leaves. It seemed to interact with nearby machinery in some way - affecting the immediately-local plant life and/or weather/environment when they interacted with it. In addition, they discovered a stone chamber full of shelves and charred, rectangular books. Piper found 4 seemingly untouched and took them with her, and discovered at least one of the mostly-burned volumes seemed to have some kind of static charge within it. After investigating the area, Piper set to work disassembling sections of the machinery, salvaging several promising objects before she began inadvertently triggering it.
- Polious, Naran, and Ronin found a large laboratory area. Polious set to work scavenging the equipment for useable parts while Ronin and Naran looked around the room. Ronin found a bank of large, cylindrical, glass tanks (only one of which was still intact) and Naran soon discovered pools of liquid on the floor and ceiling which were dripping into each other. While she marveled over this, a pseudopod from the lower pool grabbed her, and pulled her up off the ground. Ronin worked to free her and Polious shot the creature with his powerful rifle-like Numenera weapon - which, instead of evaporating it, caused it to harden into a pink-white crystalline material (from which Ronin cut a section to take with them). From there, the three proceeded deeper into the complex. At the bottom of a 170ft shaft, they found a black door behind which hummed some sort of impressive, glowing artifact...
- Tim's company was hired by a Free Worlds League duke to hit a small Capellan military R&D facility on an otherwise-insignificant border world. Intelligence indicated the nearby military base was all but decommissioned and they expect no more than a few light mechs and a pair of turrets as in terms of resistance. Aralakh is to neutralize defenses and allow a strike team (they're transporting) to enter the facility and extract technology.
- Tim rolled rather poorly during contract negotiations and is only being compensated with a forward of 45,000 for operating costs, 25,000 for mission success, a potential 50,000 bounty on significant tech recovered - BUT, they do have full rights to any salvage they have time to pull out, which could pay off nicely.
- The jumpship transporting them says they will remain in-system for 17 days. At the standard jump points, the target world is about 8 days travel at 1G. Aralakh pays the captain an extra 5,000 to jump just a little closer to the ecliptic, shaving a day off the interplanetary travel. They should have up to 3 days on-world. Extra time comes at 10,000/day.
- Upon reaching the site, they found it defended by a Locust, a Panther, and a Hermes II - which is actually a medium mech. After a brief skirmish, they took the Panther down and the two remaining units retreated. Seeing no evidence of additional resistance, the unit held off on calling in the strike team and instead decided to pursue the fleeing units for more potential salvage.
|Monday October 24, 2016 at 8:00pm||new campaign, numenera, mysts of the ninth world, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
Finally starting a Numenera campaign! Been waiting for this for two years! Very excited!
The party is a group of young adults from a small town in the Beyond called Arable - a wasteland farming community based around a weather-control artifact. They will begin as assistants to an Aeon Priest called Polious, and tasked with assisting in the maintenance of the Weathervane, scavenging for parts, and generally discovering the Numenera.
- Helios [Tony] is a Stubborn Jack who Exists Partially out of Phase
- Narangerel [Sheri] is an Inquisitive Nano who Possesses a Shard of the Sun
- Piper [Keara] is a Manipulative Spark who Makes Something out of Nothing
- Ronin [Tim] is a Wasteland Jack who Explores Dark Places
- Ganthet [Adam] is a Weird Glaive who Rides the Lightening
|Tuesday October 18, 2016 at 8:00pm||new campaign, battletech, aralakh company, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
Aralakh Company will be a strategic-level Battletech RPG/playtest that Tim is helping me with. I loves me some Battletech and I haven't been able to get a full group together to start a game (not for lack of trying) - so, instead, Tim and I are playtesting a "Mechwarrior Basic" RPG companion ruleset I've developed as well as feeling out the logistics of a Succession Wars era mercenaries campaign. Since it's just me and Tim, it will be light on the RP and mostly focused on game mechanics, battletech map combat, and strategic level decision-making.
My version of the Battletech universe is about .5-1 steps removed from canon. I leave most things as-is, but there are a few minor alterations to "the way things are" that improve the setting in my view. In addition to using my own Mechwarrior ruleset, I've made a few minor mods to the tabletop wargame and have come up with my own simplified versions of some other game-relevant areas.
"Aralakh" was the name Tim gave his merc company, having stolen it from a video game.
- "Steiner", a guy born into a merc family who inherited and/or split off to form his own company; Pilots a Blackjack.
- "Drevan", a friend of Steiner's who comes from the family of a house regular; Pilots a Warhammer.
In addition to the two "PCs" and their mechs, Aralakh also has a leopard-class dropship owned by the hired captain, a few techs for upkeep on the mechs & vehicles, and some light support equipment. They're also starting with a small supply stockpile for repairs and reloading, but it won't last them forever.
Character creation rules seemed to work reasonably well, especially the random aspects. The "average" starting character might be *bit* too skilled out of the box, but we'll see how this develops.
|Monday October 10, 2016 at 8:00pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
There's a time to pray / and there's a time to fight / anything can be a weapon / if you're holding it right
- Emory, Carter, and Sara began heading north - back to the marina to get their cars and hurry to the train station Aaron had described. On their way, they encountered a deformed Leon Catch, obviously corrupted by some dark influence. Not wasting words, he immediately attacked them, proclaiming they must die. He had a fairly strong upper hand until Sara was able to find some manifestation of his corruptor lurking in the Twilight. That connection disrupted, Catch burst into flames and burned to ash in seconds.
- As Jordan hurried through the woods, he found himself running with deformed, ghostly wolves. Slowly converging on him, they somehow warped space around themselves, leaving Jordan in front of the train station.
- Aaron had a brief run-in with "Jason" - the supernaturally-influenced many Carter, Emory, and Sara had spoken with before. He criticized the groups interference in things over their heads and eventually headed off to the north as Aaron continued south to the nearest bridge over the river.
- Aaron and Jordan met up at the train station and sneaked inside. They spied several gang members hanging out - and one that had, apparently, been shot by the others on the platform. They found the main hall of the station covered in webs, and 11 skeletons suspended in them.
- When Aaron, Emory, and Sara arrived, the 3 gang members present became aware of the group's presence and a brief firefight insued. One gang member was gunned down, and the other two fled in short order.
- The group converged on the main chamber, where the massive, distorted spider appeared - clearly agitated. Some of the group engaged it with gunfire - Jordan's "blessed" bullets offering some aid - while others attempted to dislodge the skeletons. The spider's attentions seemed clearly divided. The group eventually killed it, but Sara warned them that it was only its physical form that was destroyed. To keep it dead, they would need to recover and bury the skeletons as they had done the other two.
- By this time, the police were arriving. Sgt Bryonson seemed interested on keeping most of them out of the way, however. The group was escorted to the station, where questions were asked and answered. After a long night, they were released, and they set about making sure the spider demon did not return.
Having rid the city of the beast at the heart of the drug problem and the spider transformations, they were, perhaps, surprised that their lives did not significantly improve. Most lost their jobs over the next few weeks or months, always on shaky reasoning, and they continued to observe hints of the supernatural haunting them. Also, the Man in the Pin-Striped Suit was still out there somewhere, with his inscrutable motives.
Eventually, they all received a letter:
"We have been observing your activities for some time, and you show some promise. Welcome. Stand by for further instructions."
The letter was "signed" only with the logo of a black bird with one, large, human-like eye - overlayed with the single word: SCARECROW
End Chapter 1
|Monday October 3, 2016 at 8:00pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- As the black clouds above began to pour cold rain on them, the group set to work attempting to quickly dig some sort of grave in which to bury the bones they'd recovered, believing the lack of a proper burial for them is contributing to the spiritual unrest in town.
- As they made progress, the storm picked up and 4 wolves emerged from the forest. Believing the wolves to be connected to other events, the group attempted to avoid fighting them even though they displayed hostile behavior. Aaron got some sort of message from the wolves suggesting that something the group was doing was weakening them. When he petitioned for more information, something in the wolves changed - three of them ran off to the northeast, the other turned and retreated to the south.
- While Aaron and Jordan pursued the wolves, Carter, Emory, and Sara buried the bones. The Man in the Pin-Striped Suit appeared again, asking if they were sure that's what they wanted to do. He told them their actions would make them powerful enemies. The group largely ignored him, but he didn't interfere - disappearing after giving a final warning that there was no "going back".
- Jordan pursued the wolf to the south and encountered the ghost native the group had seen several times previously. Attempting to commune with the spirit, he began to meditate. The action seemed to engage the ghost, who passed on several impressions of the past.
- Aaron followed the other three wolves north to a place in the most run-down area of town at the heart of the storm which had moved over New Auburn, watching the shadow in the clouds above descend into an abandoned train station.
|Monday September 19, 2016 at 8:00pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- The group met at the marina the next morning with the intention of locating and recovering bones/skeletons that believe have some connection to past events. Jordan had rented a pontoon boat for the day, and had brought a number of "supplies" designed to combat or subdue any supernatural dangers that might present themselves. Once the others arrived, they set out onto the lake in their boat. They quickly found themselves driving in and out of thick pockets of fog being driven by the wind.
- Near one of the deepest parts of the lake, they found a mostly-whole skeleton floating on the surface. It began to break apart as they gathered the bones into the boat. As they attempted to maneuver the boat to gather the remainder of the small bones, they noticed they were drifting toward a patch of lake water deep in the fog that seemed to be bubbling.
- As they drifted into the bubbling water, the boat's engine died and bone fragments began to fall from the sky like rain, gradually increasing in side. As Emory and Aaron worked to get the boat running and others attempted to gather more bones they found floating in the water and scattered around the deck, shadows began to appear in the distance around them and overhead. The boat began to corrode and fall apart around them. The depth-finder read 9999.
- Emory managed to get the boat running as the indistinct form of a massive, spider-like creature emerged from the fog above them. Its carapace writhed and dripped with some dark liquid. It's round maw shrieked behind monstrous fangs and the eight, translucent yellow eyes that hovered in a ring above its head seemed to burn with yellow flame.
- Aaron managed to force the boat backward out of the bubbling water and away from the creature even as it tore the canopy from the craft. More concerned with escape than direction, he ran the boat all the way up onto the shore - the same place Carter had found himself after his hospital blackout.
|Monday September 5, 2016 at 8:00pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (1) »|
- After taking a couple of weeks to recover, the group once more began investigations. Carter, Emory, and Sara went to the run-down lower-east side of town to ask questions of the guy that found Carter in the lakeside park and took him back to the hospital.
- Locating the man took some time and "negotiation". When they did found him, he at first seemed unimpressed and uniterested in the their conversation. After moving to a somewhat more isolated location, he began to talk to them a bit more openly.
- The group learned little from the man regarding the questions they had - they did learn, however, that he himself had something of a supernatural nature. He told them that he had laid low for decades, doing his best to avoid the supernatural darkness that seeped into various corners of the world. In his experience, engaging that sort of evil only made things worse - and he strongly advised the others to follow his lead.
- Meanwhile, Jordan did his best to obtain any useful objects or materials that research and folklore suggested might be helpful in confronting the perils of the supernatural - and rented a boat in preparation to attempt to recover the floating bones Carter had seen on the lake...
|Monday August 22, 2016 at 8:30pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Whle Sara, Jordan, Emory, and Carter were all receiving treatment, Aaron decided to go back to the West Tenements to speak with Bethany about buying some of her charms.
- Bethany was quite intoxicated and seemed to have been crying. She became fixated on Sara and the watch and pleaded with Aaron to convince Sara to give her the watch. While they were still talking, Aaron heard gunshots. He arrived outside in time to see a man hurled through a glass tile wall by a massive, glowing humanoid wolf. The creature did not give chase, but Aaron and the man - who turned out to be the fugitive Elijah Sims - decided to leave the area anyway.
- Back at Sims' hideout, they talked over the things that had been going on. Sims knew nothing about "spiders" or "Niatha", but did know the local gangs were up to something bad. He had been hunting a small werewolf pack in the city for some time - his success in killing three of them so far had earned him a reputation as a serial killer. Sims agreed to offer whatever help he could as long as Aaron didn't tip off the department as to his whereabouts and activities. He did stress, however, that he had his own problems.
- Aaron returned to the hospital and told the others about his early-morning adventure. The group took the next week or two to fully recover. Nothing major happened while they laid low, but small incidents which they felt were related to the "problem" continued to bubble to the surface. They needed to form a plan. They would have to act on something - anything - and soon...
|Tuesday August 16, 2016 at 8:30pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Carter dragged Emory back into the room and pulled out the gun she still had on her as the man burst in. As the nurses and doctors followed him in, Carter decided to engage the massive guy in hand-to-hand instead of shooting. They traded a couple of blows before Carter tossed the gun on the bed where Emory picked it up and shot the man and he collapsed.
- Things weren't going much better back in the alleyway where the giant spider had attacked Jordan, Sara, Aaron and the injured man. The group strugged to get away, and were cut off from the injured man in the alleyway. They had mixed results fending off the persistent spider, but eventually made it back to Aaron's patrol car - though Jordan had to be carried. The creature attempted to stop the car from driving off and nearly succeeded in prying the roof off the vehicle before Aaron was able to drive them all to safety.
- Back at the hospital, the group reunited - several of them in pretty rough shape. After some treatment, Sara got a phone call around 4am. It was Owen. He told her he'd found something - some clue about their situation. He told her the only way to free an individual or environment from a demon's influence - short of somehow destroying it - was to close the door it came through...
|Monday August 8, 2016 at 8:00pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Sara, Jordan, and Emory had an interesting conversation with the priest Owen and his sister Crista. They had experienced some odd things themselves, and Owen showed them some photocopied pages of some old, partiall-burned documents that his predecessor had left him - documents that seemed similar to the occultic 'book of prophesy' Sara had found references to.
- Meanwhile Carter was visited again by the man who'd given him a ride back to the hospital. He said he'd gone back to the shore where he thought Carter had come from - and he saw some of the same disturbing things. He cautioned Carter not to pursue any of that too far, only saying that it was 'bad stuff'.
- Aaron went to meet his mysterious caller later that night. He was picked up in a limo and driven around a bit while "Sam" talked to him. Apparently, this man was a rival of Leon Catch, and wanted the police to know whatever was going on with the new drug Leon had been selling, they weren't involved and wanted the cops concentrating on Catch's territory (the East side).
- When he returned, he re-joined Sara and Jordan who'd been watching from nearby. Sara had heard something in an alley and was making her way to investigate. She found an injured man who seemed strange in some way. As they approached asking if them man needed help, the group of them were ambushed from above by a large, spider-like creature.
- Carter and Emory were awakened at the hospital by some commotion in the hallway. Emory stepped outside and saw a crazed and massive man pushing his way down the hallway against the efforst of nurses, aids, and doctors to restrain him. When the man saw Emory, he became enrage, grabbing a nearby metal cart and hurling it at her.
|Monday July 25, 2016 at 8:45pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Jordan, Emory, and Sara made their way to the St Monessa Catholic Church at 8550 Newfield. After entering and looking around, Jordan and Emory decided to go up and talk with the priest while Sara hung back to observe. Jordan had been experiencing minor but worrying "reactions" since they entered, but these drastically intensified when he caught sight of a girl sweeping up in a corner of the sanctuary. At that moment, something seemed to trigger in the building resulting in the sound of a high-pitched, howling blowing through the building and the numerous candle flames becoming much taller and agitated. The young priest was momentarily shocked by this, exchanging a looking with the janitor, before pulling a gun on Jordan and demanding to know what he was. The two tried, now much more urgently, to explain some of what had been going on. The priest directed them out of the sanctuary, through the building, and into the crypt beneath it.
- Deep in the crypt, the priest was accompanied by two faintly-glowing men in white robes - one of whom was sent for the janitor. The other pushed Jordan into a small circular room and bound him to a worn wooden board with silver manicles. The janitor returned with two of the men in white robes and took up a position in the room, pulled out a small book from her clothing, and began singing. Emory demanded answers, eventually pulling her own gun on the priest who was now standing behind a sort of podium. When he began reading aloud in a strange language, Emory fired over his head. The priest remained focused on his task, but the shot did startle janitor who briefly faultered in her song. It was then that Sara, who had been stealthily observing from the shadows, emerged to place a hand on Emories arm. "It's an exorcism..."
|Monday July 18, 2016 at 8:30pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Jordan's call to Sara telling her he's on his way woke her from unconsciousness. She was soaked with lake water, but the building appeared intact. Sara took another look around the now-peaceful house. She didn't find the book she was looking for, but did locate some volumes on the Arapaho containing burial practices, and a scrap of paper mentioning Father Brogan at St Monessa Catholic Church.
- After Emory got off work, the group met at the hospital in Carter's room. They had a lengthy discussion on what to do next, during which Aaron received another call from the dispatch telling him that somone had just called from the same payphone. Aaron called the number back and, after identifying himself, was told "here, 2am". Jordan, Sara, and Emory decided to go to the Catholic Church, leaving Carter alone in his room to recover.
- As Carter slipped into sleep, some part of his subconscious nearly panicked, recalling that sleep in this hospital has rarely been peaceful. He woke up to find himself in a log cabin with an elderly native woman who asked if he would listen to her when his grandfather had not. She told him that the "demon" must be stopped; banished; destroyed. It had preyed upon the community for too long, and many of them could not rest peacefully in their deaths. He saw a brief glimpse of what must have been the past from his window before his hospital room light came on and the vision faded.
[new players Ken, Terri, Erica and Zach]
- Angel and some *other* new friends were summoned to Princess Strike's Castle Alley on account of a horrible noise keeping everyone awake. The terrible moaning sounds was coming from somewhere in the junkyard behind the castle.
- While investigating, some of them encountered large bug-like creatures that tried to steal things from them - one of them made off with Terri the robot's arm!
- The group followed the sound to a little cave house in one of the piles of junk, where they found an old, broken robot called Rus Tee sobbing and crying loudly. He told them that he was upset because one of his eyes was missing.
- Suspecting the bugs, the group followed them to their hive where they found a giant robot bug being powered by the sad robot's glowing eye. Erica the spy snatched the eye and made her escape while Zach "Fast-Speeder" wrestled one of the bugs for his toolbelt.
- After fending off the rest of the bugs, the group returned dthe eye to the robot, who stopped moaning so everyone could get some sleep.
[published NTYE adventure; new players Amanda and Jared]
- Angel and some new friends were invited Out the Window to Princess Strike's Bowling Ball. They arrived early to find Professor Wizbang demonstrating his time machine, only something went wrong and it summoned a dinosaur, a pirate, and a robot from different time periods - and each of them made off with a piece of the broken machine!
- The group tracked down the fugitives and the missing buttons and managed to put all to right before the ball.
- Angle, Maria, and Markus made it up to a room full of treasure chests, where they discovered a merfaerie had swiped the wand and was causing trouble with it - she animated the treasure chests even turned Markus into a giant crab!
- Stacking the treasure chests, they chased the sprite up into the top floor bedroom of the coral tower, where Maria grabbed her.
- The group returned the wand to the fish, called Marlin, who poofed his tower back to the sea and apologized to Woodlynn, who gave him some special honey to help with his cough.
|Monday June 20, 2016 at 7:30pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Carter took stock of his surroundings, noticing a partial(?) human skeleton on the shoreline amongst all the dead fish. His best guess placed him somewhere on the eastern shore of Lake Meijer, at least several miles from civilization and exposed to the elements. Seeing little option, he started on the hike back to the park where he talked his way into a ride back to the hospital.
- Sara took Carter's car and staretd on the drive out to his place. On the way there, she called Bethany who all but demanded the watch from Sara, but wouldn't exactly say why - only that it belonged to someone important to her. Sara wondered why she didn't seem to be so desparate when she'd first seen it. She made it the rest of the way to Carter's house, where she encountered the restless and angry spirit of a native american woman.
- Emory was called out to a house near the college, to what seemed to be the aftermath of a large house party. Kirk was already there talking with the landlord. The paramedics had been called to the scene for a young woman who was, by this time, lying dead in the kitchen of the house - her hands covered in black paint where she had drawn multiple, large eyes on the wall.
- Jordan made some phone calls to the others in the group, and then headed over to the house Sara had found in Kim's notes. The guy he met there seemed mostly interested in getting rid of him, but eventually divulged that he had once been a sort of middle-man in the employ of Leon Catch, taking money and arranging meetings between customers and Catch's dealers.
- Aaron remained in the hospital, still quite injured. He did get a phone call from the station, however, indicating someone called "Sam" was trying to get ahold of him...
Markus [Tim] :: An Astronaut
- Angel, Maria, and Markus are called by Queen Woodlynn to investigate a tower that suddenly appeared in the Honeypot Ballroom.
- They are teleported inside (with some minor side effects) and soon discover a fish-wizard with a cold. He didn't know his tower had been moved and asked them to fetch his wand so he could fix the problem.
- The wand was missing, and the kids suspect it might have been taken by mischievous hands.
- While searching for the wand (or whoever has it) in the laboratory, a giant octopus suddenly appeared - and it thought they were lollipops! They managed to escape up to the next floor with some bumps and bruises.
|Monday June 13, 2016 at 8:00pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Unaware of other events taking place around town, Jordan continued looking into his family history, finding record of a man named "Albert Fitzgerald", who was a turn-of-the-century newspaper editor in town, and perhaps something of a historian. Jordan wanted to look at some of the old papers, but had trouble finding them online. He did happen to know, however, the the Public Library had reproductions of the city's papers going back over 100 years.
- The situation Emory and Aaron found themselves involved in continued to deteriorate. Officer Tamara began to transform into a spider creature after having been attacked by the looming mass above them, and the original deformed man attacking Aaron continued his assault. They decided to withdraw, most of them making their escape in the ambulance. Back at the hospital, there seemed to be some discrepancies between what the others saw and what Aaron and Emory knew had happened.
- After seeing to her studies for a while, Sara got distracted. She decided to do some online research into whether events similar to those occuring in New Auburn had happened before. She eventually discovered some ravings by a german doctor speaking about "a Corruption" - a patient and "spider-like" demon that erodes the hearts of "men closest the edge of the abyss", and "changes them into itself". When she returned to her room, she found it was a wreck, and words written in what looked like blood on the wall read: "I have new friends now, Sara... ...and they are angry."
- Carter awoke once again in the hospital to find all of the lights out - this time to something pushing its way through the drop-ceiling over his bed: a massive spider was looming above him, emerging from the ceiling. He ran out of his room into the darkened hallway and found two grotesque beings hunched over what looked like the body of a nurse. As he ran away, he caught site of Kim Jones - a dead student from the college - and, turning around, found himself face-to-face with a native american woman who's skin was pitted and rotting and who's hair and clothing seemed to float unnaturally around her. She reached out, placing her hands around his throat and sqeezing. Carter lost consciousness and, when he awoke, found himself on the shores of a lake, hundreds of fish floating dead in the water before him...
|Monday June 6, 2016 at 8:30pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Aaron and Emory arrived at the scene they were called to, shortly discovering the situation was still quite volatile. Aaron, Bryonson, Kirk, and Tamara engaged several fleeing suspects. Aaron encountered a deformed, spiderlike person in the allyway as something large loomed overhead.
- Emory and her partner were attempting to keep some distance from the scene until it was secure, but when one of the officers was injured, Bryonson called for them to come over. Emory began to have odd emotional sensations with no apparent cause, and the wounds on her back began to burn. She noticed her partner wasn't in the truck anymore, and thought she saw him heading out to the back of it. When she got there, she found the Man in the Pin-Striped Suit instead. He only spoke to her briefly, but her sourceless sensations intensified. When she looked up again, her partner was where the man had been, and they made ready to go assist the officers.
- On the way back from the gym, Sara had a brief conversation with a floor-mate, who told her that someone matching Bethany's description had been banging on her door, looking for her.
- Carter was resting in the hospital, when he noticed all of the power in his room had gone out, and he heard a scratching sound coming from a dark corner. Shining the light from his phone over there, he caught a brief glance of something silvery and ethereal fade from existence, leaving behind a silvery web.
|Monday May 30, 2016 at 8:30pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- The group made it back to town. Carter spent some time recovering in the hospital, as he was pretty severely injured. Sara and Jordan spent some time researching SCUBA thinking they may need to check out some odd mentionings about the lake. Emory and Aaron, however, went back to work.
- Aaron was called in to Lt Gray's office, and was assigned to Sgt Bryonson's unit which was canvassing neighborhoods and talking to potential witnesses to gang activities. The police department is currently stretched very thin with the somewhat sudden increase in gang and drug related violence in town. On one call, they happen upon a domestic disturbance which Aaron suspects might be related to the drug they'd previously encountered.
- Sara met with a student who gave her a rundown on how basic SCUBA diving works, but didn't have any equipment to loan and admitted he was fairly inexperienced.
- An emergency call went out to both Aaron & Bryonson's car and Emory's ambulance, describing an active situation in east-central New Auburn: describing gunfire and at least one body in the street...
|Monday May 9, 2016 at 8:00pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Jordan awoke in his jail cell covered in sweat, as if from a horrifying dream he couldn't recall. He found the Man in the Pin-Striped Suit sitting in his cellmate's bunk with a newspaper. The man told Jordan that things were getting worse - that he should have accepted his offer. Jordan said he didn't believe him. The man's eyes glowed a vibrant yellow.
- As he dissolved into spider-like shadows and dissipated, Jordan heard his voice in his mind: "Will you save them, Fitzgerald? Can you do what must be done?" Jordan began to feel a tearing sensation in his forearms. Looking down, he saw strange, black writing gouged into his flesh: "The Hour Is Late" was on his left arm, and "8550 Newfield Lane" was on his right.
- Back at the hilltop cemetery, time seemed to freeze around Sara, and she began having a mental conversation with whom she believed to be the Man in the Pin-Striped Suit. He said he could tell her how to eliminate the monstrous spider creature that had nearly killed them if she would do something for him. The conversation got somewhat muddled, however, and Sara seemed less than cooperative. When time resumed, Sara grabbed the watch and ran away from the hilltop. The spider gave chase, but had some difficulty navigating the trees and undergrowth. As Sara pulled away, it returned to the others on the hill.
- Aaron and Emory were just barely able to "kill" the creature before it reached them and Carter, who'd be severely wounded and was unconscious. When they did, however, it seemed to explode into hundreds of cat-sized spiders that seemed to be quickly fleeing the area, but also striking out at anything they happened upon.
- When Sara reached the parking area the next day, she found that several days had actually passed. She called Kristine Cannon and convinced her to meet her and the two returned to the others in the woods. She seemed dubious of their claims of the events that had transpired, but did see the abundant webbing and the whole group noticed that some strange time distortion was happeneing in the area.
- The group headed back into town - most of them, to the hospital, though Emory went to meet Jordan to discuss recent events.
|Monday April 25, 2016 at 8:30pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (2) »|
- Aaron held out the pocketwatch for the ghost to take - asking if it wished to destroy it - but there seemed to be some sort of spiritual friction. The man held out a flickering, unnaturally-distorting hand toward Aaron and suddenly vanished. The watch began to burn Aaron's hand, and he dropped it.
- The watch burst "open", spewing something like blood and tar out across the clearing as a monstrous, spider-like creature pulled itself out of it. The creature seemed to grow larger and larger by the second, and the group opened fire at the unnatural creature.
- As it was injured, Sara found the pocketwatch and assessed it to be some sort of portal. She attempted to hold it closed, but it seemed to be pushing open against her and its surface burned her hands fairly severely. She and Emory finally managed to force it to stay closed.
- The now-massive demonic spider managed to thickly encase Aaron in webbing and mauled Carter before tossing him aside. Emory had sustained severe burns from the watch and was only semi-conscious. It was then that Sara saw the world seem to freeze in place and she heard a familiar voice just over her should: "So, this is interesting..."
|Monday April 11, 2016 at 8:00pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Fearing being arrested for murder, Jordan ran for it. Unfortunately, his car happened to be seen heading out of town. After a brief chase, he was apprehended.
- Aaron went to speak with Steve Carrol (the man who'd opened fire at the Sixth Street Bar some weeks earlier). He learned a little more about Leon Catch and the man in the pin-striped suit.
- While incarcerated, Jordan awoke in the middle of one night to find ghostly figures in his cell. The scenes seemed to have the flavor of an earlier time. Disturbed by the imagery, Jordan covered himself and attempted to blot out the wailing sounds - ultimately falling back to sleep.
- Aaron, Carter, Emory, and Sara went to find the place indicated by the map Carter had found on his grandfather's computer. It took them several hours to arrive, and while, they began to notice time seeming to slip away from them. At the site, which was said to be a cemetery, they found 13 stones bearing odd symbols with several smaller stones "connecting" them. Though only 4pm, darkness was falling, and they began to hear and see glimpses of wolves around the hilltop. It was here that a ghostly, half-wolf/half-man form appeared - distored, emaciated, twisted. It lashed out at the group, but Aaron, having pulled out the pocketwatch Sara had previously taken from the cave, called the beast to stand down - and this, shockingly, seemed to work. The ghostly wolf coalesced into the form of a native man - one they had seen before...
|Monday April 4, 2016 at 8:00pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Group further discussed what to do before splitting up.
- Carter found a pieces of information on his grandfather's computer network account at the college - an article about the New Tree Monument vandalism, a couple of emails relating to whatever project he was working on, and a map showing a mysterious location in the wilderness.
- Aaron and Jordan went to try to speak with Steve Carrol, the "Sixth Street Shooter", but he declined to see them. They sent him a letter the following day saying they wanted to talk about the man in the pin-striped suit.
- Sara and Emory went to speak with the witch, Bethany in the West Tenements, hoping she could point them toward Sims. Unfortunately, Bethany only had a brief encounter with the man a few weeks previous. She did seem interested in the pocketwatch Sara had found when it was mentioned, and later went to Sara's dorm room to search it for malevolent spirits.
- Sunday night, Aaron got a call from an officer buddy, Kirk Johnson, who wanted to meet him at the Saint Monessa Catholic Church. This seemed odd, so Aaron was wary. His friend told him that, while the police report said they didn't find anything in the cave, he saw something - a mutilated spider creature.
- Monday morning, Jordan was called into the radio station to talk with Cecil Perkins. This quickly took a turn for the worse when Perkins pulled a gun on him and insisted that he get "it" out of the station. As he got more and more agitated, a large bulbous shadow emerged from the walls just before the lights went out. Jordan could see eight glowing, yellow eyes and could feel Perkins struggling against him - and he was bitten. When he managed to get the door back open, a half-transformed Cecil collapsed onto the floor in time for Mark Wallace to see him laying motionless in a puddle of goo at Jordan's feet - and call the cops.
Lily [Pat] :: a Super-Smart Spy with Dino, the brontosaurus
- Angel, Maria, and Lily make their way to Hex Kitchen after receiving an invitation. Outside, Angel's fox, Ocean, was kidnapped by gingerbread men.
- The Kitchen Witch says they've been getting out of hand and also that her best mixing spoon, Max Mixer, is missing.
- The group tracked the gingerbread men to a melting caramel castle a short distance away. They were confronted by gingerbread guards, but fought there way inside where they found Ocean. The king of the gingerbread men appeared and the group noticed he had the mixing spoon.
- During the confrontation, a giant raccoon appeared and began eating the castle. They grabbed the spoon and tried to get away. Lily was climbing up on Dino when the raccoon knocked her down and took the shiny spoon.
- The group returned to Hex Kitchen and got a shiny fork. When they returned, they found the raccoon asleep nearby. The group was able to successfully swap the fork out for the spoon without waking it.
- The Kitchen Witch baked them some Marshmallow Chops and Mashed Lollipops as a reward, and passed on an invitation to Angel to attened Woodlynn's Birthbee Party.
|Monday March 7, 2016 at 8:00pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Aaron ambushed the radio station intruder, who ran for it after a brief scuffle. Aaron gave chase, but the guy - whom he recognized as one of the men from the park - was too quick. Aaron saw a black car nearby pull out and past the station before speeding down the road.
- Sara, meanwhile, had been further investigating the pocketwatch she'd taken from the cash box in the cave at the park as it had some odd properties. The jeweler she'd spoken with told her that it wasn't working, but she had noticed that it always seemed to have the correct time. The inscription inside turned out to be a passage from the book of Job. When she pried open the back, however, she found the object seemingly full of blood and viscera, which poured out from the opening she'd made, along with the hot smell of death. The room, which had been subtly darkening for the past hour, began to pulse red and just before her light went out, she saw the shadow of a man in an old-fashioned hat and suit near the door to her room. Sara grabbed her things and ran out through her suitemate's room, calling Emory to come and get her.
- The group convened at Emory's house to discuss what to do next.
Remmy [Tony] :: a Kind Creature (dog)
- While trying to find her friends again, Angel heard someone calling for help. She found a big dog (who was sort of like a kid) hanging upside down as some kind of carnivorous plant tried to eat him. Angel ran and jumped up onto the dog and, after a few attempts, managed to break the vine holding him and the two escaped.
- Unable to find their way to Maria and Edwin, Remmy (who had been in the wood hunting mushrooms for the Kitchen Witch) used his Witch-Way to find their way back to Hex Kitchen. Meanwhile, Edwin and Maria happened upong a whispered story about Angel and a dog going to the kitchen, so they all met up there.
- The group then proceeded to Mirror Mirror, spoke the rhyme, and entered the palace. Before they could get far, however, Maria and Remmy were detained by Mirror Men while Queen Me anxiously questioned them. Angel, having escaped, continued in, eventually finding the Princesses on the upper floor.
- Maria and Remmy eventually manged to distract the Queen and escape. They found Angel and the princesses, and the group of them fought their way back out of Mirror Mirror in time to get Edwin and Snow White to the Flower Petal Ball!
This is a loose campaign started for my 4-year-old daughter, Hannah. Sheri will be playing in it as well, and others may come and go occasionally.
- Angel [Hannah] :: a Powerful Princess with a stuffed fox
- Maria [Sheri] :: a Super-Smart Pirate with a stuffed rabbit
- Angel was awaked by her stuffed fox, Ocean, talking to her. He said her help was needed. Not sure what was happening, she hid at first, but eventually noticed the green light coming from under her closet door and, upon investigating, found that a gateway in her closet now led into a forest in a mystical land.
- Angel met with Maria and a teddy bear named Edwin and was told that the Princesses were trapped in a palace called Mirror Mirror, and that one of them had promised to go to the Flower Petal Ball with Edwin. Someone needed to get them out.
- After some discussion, the group decided to go to the Whispering Wood to see if it would tell them any stories about how to get into Mirror Mirror. Maria and Edwin discovered a rhyme that would open the way, but Angel saw something that frightened her, ran off into the wood, and got lost!
|Monday February 22, 2016 at 8:55pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Fearing the approach of sirens, the tow assailants fled the scene. Carter had made a valiant effort to detain them - or at least keep them off his friends - but the double-team ultimately proved too much and a serious blow to the back of his head all but removed him from the fight.
- Jordan pulled Emory's medical supplies from her trunk and, acting mostly on instinct, managed to stop her profuse bleeding. Seeing Carter still standing, Jordan decided to leave and get Emory to the hospital ASAP.
- Police and ambulances arrived next and, after questioning him, took Carter to the hospital as well.
- Sara fought with Damon's laptop a bit more - recovering no more information, but changing the password so as to keep others out. She then left the complex a reasonable distance, and quietly observed the aftermath of what was going on in the street where the shootout had taken place. She then walked to a nearby convenience store and, after distracting the owner, used the phone to leave some anonymous tips for the police about Damon and his drug ring.
- The group spent several days recovering. Aaron got hold of some copied police file info on Elijah Sims (whom Sara now recognizes as the man responsible for the shotgun damage to Emory's car) and Dakota Flores.
- Jordan went to plead his case to the station manager and, after a bit of persuading, managed to keep his job. Fearing that at least one of the gang knows who he is and where to find him, Jordan had Aaron accompany him on his first night back. At about the second commercial break, Aaron stepped outside the booth and noticed an approaching shadow in the hall...
|Monday February 8, 2016 at 8:00pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- The party disbanded for the evening - Sara stayed with Emory, Jordan went with Carter, and Aaron went back to his place.
- Aaron, being pretty beat up, decided he needed a day to recover. The others decided the next day to head over to an address for the gang member who'd run away from the cave which Sara had acquired from the registration for his yellow jeep.
- Upon reaching the run-down apartment complex and determining the man wasn't at home, the group engaged in some misdirection to cover Jordan's picking the lock on the door. Once inside, they noticed the interior was nicely furnished for a run-down place. Sara found a laptop, which she was busy searching for information on "Catch" or her friend Kim when Carter told them someone was coming.
- They hurred out, running - almost literally - into the man who's apartment they'd been searching. Recognizing them from the cave before and seeing he was outnumbered, he turned and ran.
- The resulting chase took them up an neighboring alley and on to the adjascent street where the yellow jeep was parked. When the man reached the jeep, he reached inside, pulled out a pistol and fired it at his pursuers - about the time a nearby black sedan started and peeled out onto the road. Carter, who'd gone back for the car they'd come in, came barrelling up the alleyway in it, expertly skidding out onto the street.
- Carter slammed the car into the back of the jeep, and leapt out into the fray, the man in black sedan pulled around the other side began spraying the area with submachine gun bullets, injuring Emory and Jordan, as the man they'd been chasing tried to fight them off.
|Monday February 1, 2016 at 8:00pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Made aware of the approaching vehicle and guessing it was probably the man who'd fled during the confrontation in the cave along with more companions, the group made to hide.
- Just before the gang arrived, Aaron turned to find a tall, Native-American-looking man standing behind him. Startled he went to tackle the man, but found he passed right through his target, tumbling some distance down the hill. During a brief interaction with Jordan and one of the prisoners (who were halfway up the hill), the rest of the group was alerted to the approaching vehicle. The rest of the party, at the bottom of the hill, heard the sound of howling int he distance.
- Due to some impressive and convincing half-truths (and outright falsehoods) by Jordan, the rest of the group managed to get their two prisoners to hide with them, convincing one of them that they're buddy had betrayed them and that the approaching men were from a rival gang.
- From his position, Aaron was able to see a dark man in a coat with a heavily-bandaged head in the vehicle the gang had arrived in. He seemed to be calling the shots. More disturbing, however, he kept hearing a rustling in the leaves and brush getting closer - eventually growling the word "Niatha" in his ear. When Aaron finally turned the flashlight behind him, though, he found nothing.
- Carter had sneaked around to get a view of this area as well, and was keeping an eye on the situation form a position across the pathway from Aaron. He heard the rustling around him, too - though nothing more.
- The group left one of their prisoners who was injured, irritated, and had become belligerently uncooperative. The other they took with them back up to the shelter house and continued to talk with him, ultimately letting him go - convinced, for the moment, that the group was actually working for his emplyer - a man they'd heard of, known as "Catch".
- After the gang had gone, Aaron and Emory went down to check on the abandoned prisoner. They caught sight of the tall Native-American, heading toward the cave - this time, he seemed to be licked with flames. Shockingly, they found that the man they'd left had been brutally mutilated in the few minutes of their absence - his body showing deep claw-like gashes and his chest having been torn open. They think his heart may have been missing.
- The group also pulled out, having found out what they could from the park. They returned to Emory's place (Jordan's place being compromised as he was recognized by the prisoner they'd be talking with). On their way out, they heard on the radio that the downtown courthouse was burning down...
|Monday January 25, 2016 at 8:00pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- The group got what information they could from their captives, who were less than cooperative - one, because he was cold and critical, and another, because he was pretty heavily drugged. Still, they managed to learn a couple of things about the drug operation and how it related to other things they'd been encountering. They weren't quite finished formulating their next move when Aaron, having hiked back up to the shelter house for cell reception, noticed the headlights of a vehicle heading that way...
|Monday December 21, 2015 at 8:30am||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Carter descended into the ravine to do some scouting, finding a cave from which a loud, motor-like noise and the strong smell of dead things were issuing. Seeing no sentries, he called the others down.
- The group proceeded into the cave one by one, but sticking fairly close together. They followed the sound and hints of light down through some steep and narrow passages.
- At the bottom, they found several tables full of marijuana plants with sun lamps powered by a lound gas generator. The three men they'd seen earlier where all at the far side of the room near what seemed to be a gaping crack in the floor of the large cavern - they were pulling something out of it with chains.
- The group entered the cavern and were spotted. One of the men pulled a pistol and began firing on them, but another seemed to be trying to stop the shooting. The thing they were dragging out of the pit at first seemed human, but as they got a better look at it, had obviously inhuman qualities. When it finally emerged entirely from the pit, they found it to have a massive, spider-like abdomen protruding from a humanoid torso. The three men seemed...surprised...by this.
- What insued was a collection of uncoordinated and conflicting attempts to control the situation. The spider creature attempted to free itself from its chains and set upon its captors, one of the three men seemed to be attempting to subdue the creature with a tranquilizer gun, another, panicked, grabed a submachine gun and began wildly spraying the room with bullets, while the third seemed intent on firing upon the interlopers. The party divided its efforts between keeping the creature at bay and subduing the three possible human assailants.
- Due to the latter's state of disarray combined with some good fortune, the group was actually able to come out ahead with little harm. Aaron subdued the man attempting to shoot at him - having successfully shot his gun arm and then bludgeoning him with his baton - his bulletproof vest doing a sufficient job of keeping him from mortal injury. With some additional fire support from Emory, Carter put several good shots into the spider creature with his hunting rifle as it attempted to free it self such that, by the time it had, it seemed to prefer retreat rather than combat. Jordan tackled the man wildly shooting an automatic weapon, which Sara relieved him of. The blonde man attempting to tranquilize the creature, seeing it about to free itself and his comrads subdued by the intruders, hesistated for a moment before dropping the gun and running. Sara pursued him, but he seemed to know the cave well and was much too quick. By the time she reached the base of the ravine up to the shelter, he was already in his jeep heading down the road. Sara was, however, able to prevent the other man - the one who'd panicked - from escaping when she intercepted him on his way out.
- The group was left with two "prisoners" and the remains of some kind of drug operation. It looked fairly standard at first glance, but upon closer inspection, they found that joints being manufacturered from the growing plants were additionally being soaked in a red-orange goo. They found a few more mason jars full of the stuff in a nearby safe. Before it had retreated, they had all seen the same substance oozing from the creature's mouth and abdomen...
|Monday December 14, 2015 at 8:00pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (1) »|
- The group packed up and headed out to Pine Rock State Park around noon. They noticed the road and shelter were not on the current maps given out by the park. They found the old road on their way to the campground - it was overgrown and had a rusted yellow gate barring vehiclular entrance.
- Once they set up at the campground, the drove back down to the gate and hiked up to the pavilion. When they were getting close, Sara sneaked ahead and found that there were three men - probably in their 20s - present with a grill, a cooler, some paper cups, and other such things.
- The group as a whole then emerged and greeted the three, and were subsequently told that there was about to be a bit of a private party in an hour or so - with a thinly veiled suggestion that the intruders leave. Being a bit suspicious, the group proceeded to pry a bit - both directly and indirectly - and examined the area. One of the men in particular seemed a bit more jumpy than the other two. Several behaviors from all three seemed odd, but there wasn't really any hard evidence that they were doing anything nefarious. Sara did notice a worn pathway leading down into the ravine behind the shelter.
- The situation almost turned ugly when Aaron, successfully baiting one of the men, attempted to open the cooler to get a beer and was met with a degree of aggression not quite in keeping with a minor social faux pas. Carter successfully difused the situation and the group ultimately withdrew amid lingering tensions.
- Deciding something was definitely up, the group decided to stage a stake-out. Carter, in full hunting camo, made his way to the hilltop above the shelter just before dusk. He wasn't able to see into the shelter much from his vantage point, but he was able to keep an eye on the area and could hear the general sounds of conversation. No one else ever arrived for the "party", and, just after dusk, the group of men left the shelter, heading down into the ravine...
|Monday December 7, 2015 at 7:30pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Jordan had been somehow abducted, apparently by a man in an odd, old suit who definitely did not have yellow eyes. They had a...pleasant...conversation wherein the man told Jordan he had been cursed and that the only way to remove the curse was the eliminate an old spiritual presence. Jordan, unsure of this man's motives, basically told him thanks but no thanks, and that he would address his...situation...himself. Upon leaving, he found himself outside a cabin deep in the forest north of the city. He fought his way through the forest and back to the city over the next 24 hours.
- The group took a couple of days to recover from injuries and collect some thoughts. During this time, Sara met with a friend of the missing sculptor of the New Tree Monument and acquired some of Kim's old school notes. Aaron received a call from Kristine cautioning him about being too vocal about his more "interesting" theories. Carter got a voicemail from the history chair at CSU Fort Collins who'd found out he'd previously tried to contact the late James Hannelbrock.
- The group met on friday night to discuss things again. They decided they were going to go and investigate the shelter house marked on the park map Aaron found in the abandoned apartment building. They're making ready to go on a "camping trip" - they'll check out the place during the day and, if they find nothing, head back at night...
|Monday October 26, 2015 at 7:30pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Sara was listening to Jordan's late-night radio show when it returned from commercial and went to dead air. Concerned, she called Carter and the two of them decided to head over to the station to see what was up. As they were arriving, they saw a young man break into the building. When they went in to investigate, they found themselves cornered by a werewolf. A brief encounter resulted, ending when the wolf creature fled the building. There was no sign of Jordan, but the radio booth was full of spider webs.
- Aaron got a call from Kristine saying that she thought their best bet for getting back into the basement of that abandoned building was to try sooner rather than later - and decided they were heading back right then. When they arrived, they found that the place was inhabited by one of the thugs from earlier. They set a bit of a trap to catch him, which didn't exactly work and he escaped. The two found their way into the basement where they found the remains of a drug operation that was no longer present. Aaron did notice some anchors in the walls and some dried orange-red goo. As they were leaving, he also found a map of Pine Rock State Park which had circled a remote shelter house. On their way back to the car, they were ambushed by a larger group of thugs with automatic weaponry, from which they narrowly escaped.
|Monday October 19, 2015 at 8:00pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (2) »|
- Emory and Jordan begin noticing increasing webbing in the closet they're hiding in, though they see no spiders. Emory is brushed by something a couple of times and ultimately "attacked", receiving two, painless puncture wounds coated with an orange-red goo - accompanied by sudden hallucinations of eyes, a strange warmth, and some senses. Jordan frantically re-jimmys the door to permit their escape, slamming it shut behind them.
- The group re-assembles back at Jordan's apartment, where Aaron and Sara try to assist in treating Emory's wounds under her direction. They turn out to be much worse than suspected, however, and the efforts cause Emory to weaken dramatically. They do manage to get her somewhat stabilized and decide it's time to go to the ER.
- While Sara and Aaron take Emory to the hospital, Carter and Jordan head to the City Square Park to look at the New Tree Monument. Carter notices that the negative spaces between the branches of the stylized tree form symbols associated with the tribes that once inhabited this area - and that one of them was slightly mis-formed: the sculpture had been vandalized about a year and a half ago and "restored" about six months later...though, apparently, not completely.
- Jordan heads to the studio around midnight to do his show, which he gives a spider theme for the evening. Several interesting stories are called in, including a china doll that wraps itself in webs, an abandoned building full of webs containing dead animals, webs appearing in hospital rooms seeming to indicate a sudden patient death, and a kid who said he saw a giant spider "belonging" to an old man in a suit. As the show is concluding, he notes a strange web in the corner of his studio and the reflection of a large shadow behind him...
|Monday October 12, 2015 at 8:00pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Aaron met detective Kristine Cannon to check out the address on the mysterious note with a killer's fingerprints he'd received. They found that, despite the building's 'abandoned' status, there were signs of recent passage and habitation. They found that the nails boarding up the door to the basement were new, but Kristine was accosted by some local thugs while retrieveing a crowbar from her vehicle. The thugs made a show of threatening them to leave the building, which they did. Someone is apparently watching it for some reason.
- Sara went to the Lake Meijer Marina and talked to Jennifer about the late Eric Riley. She told Sara that he was an avid outdoorsman, and they found a record of a cancelled pontoon and "extended guide services" reservation for Hector Hall originally made for the day after Riley's untimely death. There was nothing else on record indicating the purpose of the outing, though Jennifer did recall that his personal SCUBA gear was later found in one of the storage lockers.
- Carter went home after their meeting to look through his grandfather's things a bit more thoroughly. In doing so, he came across a bit of a shredded document to the Society for American Archeaology talking about a new site, some print-out bathymetry with some marks on the deepest places, a newspaper clipping talking about the delayed repairs to the New Tree Monument, and a note about the Algonquin word "mahigan" in the margin of an unusual book on Arapaho dialects.
- Jordan and Emory decided to take a look at the basement where Sara had encountered some apparition that resembled Kim Jones. They were accosted by one of the professors who, not recognizing them, asked what he could do to help. They played off their presence as looking for an old professor of Jordan's from when he took classes at the college - an effort which was partially successful. When the managed to make it to the basement, they found that it looked very different from what Sara described: namely cleaner, well-lit, and possessed of a completely different layout. Though they did notice one of the odd spider webs in a corner, it wasn't until Jordan picked the lock on a utility closet that they discovered anything that matched Sara's story: an old, beat-up classroom desk. Among the graffiti, they noticed the words "help me" gouged into one corner. They were trying to photograph the desk when the door at the top of the stair openened and Emory pulled Jordan inside.
|Monday September 28, 2015 at 7:30pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Aaron and Emory explained to the arriving authorities what had happened - leaving out certain details. They said that the dead druggie had attacked them in a frenzy and that they were forced to shoot him in self-defense. Their story was convincing, but they still spent most of the rest of the day at the Department. Aaron was placed on "administrative leave", though he still received a call from Kristine Cannon asking if he was still joining her at 1101 Harriet Avenue.
- Jordan took a walk down the street from the "General Store" and found some unusual evidence at the entrance to a boarded-up post office: bent window bars, large slash marks, and silvered buckshot embedded in the front door.
- The party met later in the day to discuss what they'd learned and to determine what to do next. They suggested visiting the Marina to see if they could determine for what Dr Hall had needed Eric Riley. Sara considered contacting Kim's parents to see if she could acquire any journals or notes. Carter is going to dig into his grandfather's artifacts. Jordan is planning to run a "spider themed" show tonight. Emory is sure there is some connection between some of what's going on to the drug problems in New Auburn, but isn't sure exactly how to pursue it.
|Monday September 7, 2015 at 7:30pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- The group headed to the "west tenements", a poor and isolated area of the city. After pulling off to take a look at a dead dog lying in the middle of the street, they decide to continue on foot.
- Most of the group move on to talk to an old man sitting on his front porch. He seems reluctant to talk to outsiders, but eventually tells them that "the witch" at the "general store" is responsible for the dreamcatcher-like charms hanging from many of the buildings - charms that bear a pattern identical to the strange spider web Jordan saw.
- The group then proceeds to the old general store, which is now full of strange charms, talismans and totems. They call for the proprietor - when she finally arrives, she seems most unhappy to see them, calling them outsiders and telling them their auras are "out-of-phase" with this locale.
- Aaron stays back, he notices another of the strange spider webs. This leads him to the basement of one of the buildings, covered in them. After calling out, he hears someone upstairs who seemed as though he might be in some trouble. Emory arrived to join him at this point, and they find a man collapsed upstairs injecting something into his arm. They start to call 911, when the man begins to convulse, sprouting spider legs, fangs, and 6 additional yellow eyes. The creature is hostile, but seems un-accustomed to its form. As it springs upon them (biting Aaron a few times), they fire on it, eventually bringing it down as it is stuck in the doorway - at which point, its monstrous appendages begin to dissolve into goo, leaving a man with multiple bullet wounds.
|Monday August 24, 2015 at 8:00pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- After having discussed the experiences themselves, the group moved on to examine the histories, contexts, and possible meanings and connections between them. After some consideration, they decided to follow Jordan's suggestion see what they could learn in the "west tenements", a poor corner of the city, which they plan to do in the late morning the following day.
|Monday August 17, 2015 at 7:30pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Jordan recieved a phone call from a strange woman asking to meet and talk to him about strange happenings, having heard about him through his radio show. They decided to meet at the Sixth Street Bar. While there, one of the guys at the bar cracks and pulls a gun on another man - a gentleman in an old-fashioned-looking pin-striped suit. Shots were fired, and chaos broke loose. Aaron had been walking his beat nearby and heard the disturbrance. He and Jordan eventually talked him down. The man seemed convinced the other gentleman was some kind of "monster".
- On the way to the "meeting", Sara and Emory had an encounter with a large man who ran into their car, and another guy who was chasing after him with a shotgun. They attempted to intervene in the scene, but after a brief exchange, the chase continued away from them. They called 911 to report the incident and continued to the meeting.
- The group convened at Jordan's place to discuss recent happenings including the break-in at Carter's office, "ghosts", hallucinations, transformations, dreams, unusual injuries, spiders, and some odd historical documents. They're now examining all of this for patterns or clues as to what to do about it.
|Monday August 10, 2015 at 7:30pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Jordan found his way into the room with the PC controlling the security cameras. Perkins apparently isn't especially tech-savvy, so gaining access to what he was searching for was pretty simple. The videos showed a strange man in the booth with him that night, and a black smoke pouring out of his headphones and eyes.
- Meanwhile, Carter Hall had arrived home after a days' work to find what appeared to be a journal belonging to his late grandfather sitting on the coffee table, a pen sitting next to it. Most of the entries were mundane and somewhat boring, but toward the end - about 6 months or so before his death - they became disorganized and unexplained. The last entry contained the current date with words scrawled across the lines in Hector's handwriting: "They're watching me. They've always been watching me."
- Aaron sent a text message to the others saying that he thought they ought to get together a bit sooner than originally planned. Most of them agreed.
- The following morning, Aaron talked with Kristine Cannon, New Auburn's homicide detective. She told him that they were going to look into the location described in the note he'd received, and Aaron asked to be involved. After a minute or two, Krisitine suggested that they go check it out the next evening.
- Sara saw Kim Jones - her ghost, or someone that looked just like her - going into the basement of the Richardson Building, and followed. Downstairs she found a dark and damp room containing pipes and conduits, with Kim sitting at a single desk in the middle of an opening. When Sara finally got close enough to get the girl's attention, the being turned on her with milky white eyes, distorted features and over-long limbs. Sara fought through the darkness back up to the first floor, where she found large spiders crawling on her.
|Monday July 27, 2015 at 7:30pm||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
- Aaron got a strange note indicating the address of an old, abandoned apartment building. He had someone at the station check it for finger prints and they found a partial match - that of a wanted serial killer in a case 10 years cold.
- Jordan got strange call on his radio show and now only remembers pieces of the rest of the night - though a co-worker said he saw him chased out of the building by a big guy.
- Sara looked up some info on Dr Hannelbrock - the colleague who'd sent the package to the late professor Hall - only to discover that he died in a car accident right around the time the package was postmarked. Later that night, she was awakened by sounds in her bathroom: the faucet & shower were on, and she heard talking. Sara recognized Kim's voice inside, speaking in an increasingly agitated tone, punctuated by the sounds of objects flying across the bathroom and slamming into the walls. The door was locked; by the time she got inside, whoever it was was gone.
- Carter contacted campus security in order to see if the cameras caught any images of the man Sara had seen coming from his office when they discovered it had been trashed. Only two cameras showed images of the man - it's as if he came from nowhere and disappeared when he left that one hallway.
- Emory and her partner got a call for a collapsed man in the middle of an east-side street and advised that he might be intoxicated. When they arrived the man looked deformed, had some odd injuries, and seemed terrified out of his mind. He pulled a gun and shot, winging the paramedic, but subsequently collapsed and stopped breathing. He was disarmed by Sgt Bryonson who was at the scene. The emergency responders tried to revive him, but it was too late.
- After being denied by Cecil Perkins, the station manager, Jordan and Aaron consider how to get access to the station's security camera footage.
|Monday July 20, 2015 at 8:00am||world of darkness, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
Finished character creation/tweaks, cooperatively devised scenario wherein the group met and began investigating these things together.
- Sara sees a strange man coming from Carter's office; the two of them find it trashed. Carter receives a package addressed to his late grandfather containing a fragment of an unusual 19th-century letter.
- Aaron and Emory are present at a gang-shootout aftermath, finding a mostly-dissolved body in addition to three men shot to death. While they give chase to a man fleeing the scene, someone lights the dissolved body on fire.
Game schedule has been decided as "most" mondays, looking at a start time between 7:30pm and 8pm.
|Monday July 13, 2015 at 8:00pm||new campaign, new auburn chronicle, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
The New Auburn Chronicle is a (New) World of Darkness campaign set in a small city called New Auburn, located in the foothills of the Rockies in Colorado. It is intended to be a short-to-medium length campaign.
The PCs are a group of people who have witnessed the supernatural to some small degree, and are on the lookout to protect the city of New Auburn from its influence.
We did character creation for this game tonight. There are still some lingering details to be filled in, but most of the mechanical creation has been done.
- Sara Cruise [Sheri] :: a history/literature student at New Auburn College
- Aaron Taggert [Tony] :: a local police officer with a minor reputation as a nut due to some supernatural reports
- Carter Hall [Adam] :: a history/archeaology professor at New Auburn College
- Jordan Fitzgerald [Tim] :: a local radio dj who hosts a late-night show on the paranormal
- Emory Tate [Keara] :: a local paramedic
The current plan is to play this game on monday ("crackle") nights. We'll see how it goes.
|Saturday June 27, 2015 at 9:00pm||little fears, simon's things, game session notes, trogland||Comments (0) »|
- A group of kids tries to contain a dark presence coming from a house at the edge of their neighborhood
- Several groups of NPCs present managed to hold off the demon hordes long enough for the group to engage and defeat the massive, half-demon hydra and close the portal in an epic battle. Taryn was slain in the fighting, however, and the number of other casualities is as yet unknown.
End Chapter Two
- While the group was still investigating the safehouse they'd found, a local street gang arrived and attempted to give them some trouble. They failed.
- The group learned from the gang's leader that a man called Dralt seemed to be behind a few recent incidents. Dralt told his gang to "take care of" anyone messing with this house.
- The group returned to the main part of the city and met with Respina, the Watch Prime. During the conversation, the group Many Eyes, Many Teeth came up. The Watch was aware of a gang that used that symbol (and that they'd been responsible for some festival vandalism in previous years), but didn't know anything that made this group any different than any other group of troublemakers.
- The next day, the final processions began with Tyrrox playing the part of Cyrus Thorn (an honor he'd won by winning the tournament). Lily found Gable Magnar at a table with Phicious Vallane and, having finally cornered him, found out a bit about his previous association with Many Eyes, Many Teeth.
- They were still talking when "Cyrus" and the illusory hydra representing Lockthuun arrived in the town circle. People were beginning to crowd the area, anxiously anticipating the final drama and the banquet to follow. When the hydra reached the top of the hill, however, it winked out of existence. There, a gate opened and out came a massive, demonic hyda - all too real.
- The group spent the evening partying and celebrating the victory, though Lily left a bit earlier than the others.
- The second day of the festival was a massive collection of street parties characterized by large amounts of inexpensive food and drink and accented by flashy illusions.
- During the festivities, the group noticed certain individuals contaminating the drinks of the party-goers. These seemed to coincide with unexplained bursts of anger and street brawls. The helped to break up the disturbances and relayed what they knew to the Watch.
- The group pursued a couple of the perpetrators, but failed to capture any. They did discover a chest and magic circle in a condemned building in the northwest area of town.
- The Festival of Thorns began. As the first day progressed, the street party became more and more active, but the main attraction was the Knight of Rolessi tournament held that evening.
- Tyrrox entered the tournament, which was an officiated series of duels that were more and more augmented by magical/illusory "special effects" as the rounds progressed. Tyrrox won the tournament, defeating a local half-orc bouncer by a narrow magrin. Due to his victory, he is to play the part of Cyrus Thorn in the upcoming reinactment on the third evening.
- The rest of the party spent most of the day relaxing and enjoying the festival.
|Saturday March 7, 2015 at 8:00pm||fate core, venus flytrap, game session notes, ruchtcon||Comments (1) »|
RuchtCon V, Retrograde, FATE Core
In which a team of explorers venture to the second planet to re-establish contact with a wayward botanical research station and discover a damaged satellite, energy-eating plants, violent lightening storms, a german u-boat, an enourmous predator, and hallucenogenic wasps.
- Lily and Tyrrox went to meet with high priestess Heldrith Gedra about recent events and to ask about the Marked Man (whom they'd learned had met with her). She told them that he'd been asking about the nature of 'godhood', specifically how gods ascend and/or fall from godhood.
- Taryn and Kael went to the Black Bottle & talked to a card shark about the fight (which had involved the Marked Man) that had happened a few months previous.
- The party learned from Phicious Vallane that, if they wanted to talke to Gable Magnar (a "black sheep" of House Magnar whom they believe may have had connections to the Marked Man and/or Many Eyes, Many Teeth), their best bet would be at the banquet held on the last night of the Festival of Thorns.
- The group fought off the wyverns and met a man called Xerxes Palias, who was apparently a griffin-rider associated with Rolessi's forces. He invited them back to a place called the Armsyard, which was something like a permanent army encampment / training ground outside the city.
- The group met Anthaan Vallane and Silas Wilhelm there, and the group talked about recent issues and current concerns.
- The party then continued into Rolessi. They met up with Ubrus Marc at the Temple of the Golden Sun. He hadn't seen the Marked Man, but his "friend" at the temple said he'd come to discuss some theological issues a few months back. The party also spoke to the Watch and learned that the Marked Man had been involved in a nasty fight at the Black Bottle, which resulted in three deaths.
- Kael visited the House Vallane Adventurers' Guild and has decided to join it.
- Feeling the time had come to follow their leads toward Rolessi, the group finished up with their immediate concerns in Igveston and set out, leaving some advice to a few in the now politically-unstable settlement.
- They had been following the road south into the night when they came upon a two-headed giant sifting through the remains of what was probably a caravan. They had a brief encounter with its "piggy", and ultimately circumvented the scene rejoining the road further south.
- The party continued travel for another day and a half when they came upon an injured griffon-rider trying to fight off a small group of wyverns...
- After pursuing a couple of individual goals, the party decided to return to Nephrim Keep the following evening, looking for the old man they'd met previously. They didn't find him, but they did find a black cat that turned out to be one of the bird people. She told them that House Meric had instructed her associates to kill all members of House Xerus. Taryn had reason to suspect that they might not all be dead, and the bird woman suggested that perhaps her sister had used "the artifact" to transport them to another plane instead. The party has no particular way to determine where that may have been, however.
- The next day, the group rescued a very intoxicated but alive William Xerus from the dungeons below the burned-out estate - doing so invisibly so as not to attract attention. He was brought to House Dyn'Talor at the Academy as well. After pastries.
- Feeling pressed for time on other fronts, the party decided to leave Igveston in a couple of days.
- Tyrrox was asked to help rebuild morale at House Briglau after the werewolf attack had resulted in the deaths of several important figures. He was later honored with a give from the founder's armory.
- Taryn had a somewhat awkward reuinion with Celia at The Corner House - a dining establishment for very private meetings. She continued to try to convince him to stay in Igveston and became fairly upset, but ultimately resigned to his departure and attempted to enjoy the evening.
- Lily was asked to perform at The Silver Stag (a social club of the nobility of Igveston). She managed to convince the performers' liason that she had very limited time, and he made some drastic cuts in the schedule to fit her in the following night. Lily performed amazingly well, and her fame in the city continues to grow.
- Lily and Tyrrox talk with Valthious who tells them of the difficulties in curing lycanthropy. While they're talking, a bell begins ringing and they go to investigate, seeing many of the guards heading back to House Briglau. They get there in time to stop a wounded werewolf from escaping from the estate - suspecting that it may be guard who was previously feverish.
- Kael and Taryn are with Miala Xerus at her estate, and find that it is on fire and crawling with fire elementals and assassins - one of which was a humaniod bird of some kind. As the three tried to escape the burning keep, the bird-woman managed to stab Miala in the back. There was a green flash and she burst into flames, leaving behind only a few ashes. After this happened, the attackers began to disperse, leaving the keep in flames.
- The party reassembled and discussed what to do next. Valthious is concerned about the political turmoil these recent events will cause. He suggests keeping Tievain's wereabouts and the existance of William a secret. Kael seeks vengeance, and Taryn seems inclined to agree. Lily and Tyrrox however, are still keen to follow the tenuous lead on the "marked man" that they recently discovered.
- The party arrived in Igveston, where they were greated by Alphast awaiting his report on the mine, as well as some of the House Briglau guards were informed Tyrrox that the captain needed his help. Tyrrox and Lily went with the guards, Taryn and Kael went with Alphast.
- Taryn and Kael reported what they knew of the mine, and enjoyed some hospitality at House Alphast
- Tyrrox and Lily learned of some problems at Nephrim Keep and some strange attacks elsewhere in the city - some creature which they were to hunt down.
- As the evening wound down at House Alphast, Miala Xerus interrupted and requested the presence of Taryn and Kael. Once at their estate, she told them that Lord Tievain had been missing.
- While investigating, Lily and Tyrrox were attacked by a beast, which Lily recognized as a werewolf. They eventually brought it down, and, realizing it was a "person", Lily suggested they take it to the Academy (which was nearby) to see about restoring it.
- At House Xerus, Taryn and Kael investigate a wrecked room where Tievain was last known to be. When the absence of signs of struggle prompted Kael to suggest that perhaps Tievain became something, Miala told them of the house's lycanthropic curse.
- Miala, Taryn and Kael were in the dungeons talking about William (who'd been comfortably confined there for his and others' protection). When the were heading back up, they found the house on fire...
- As the group surveyed the mine full of troglodytes, they encountered another trog hunting party returning to the caves. There was a brief skirmish during which one of the trogs yelled to the others that they were under attack.
- A dominant troglodyte figure appeared at the mine entrance telling whoever was out in the woods to leave or be hunted down and devoured by his tribe.
- There was brief, shouting exchange of questions between the party and the troglodypes, during which the tribe came under attack by a giant, black worm-like creature.
- The party decided to assist in killing the beast to aid in parlaying with the trogs.
- After killing the worm, a brief conversation ensued (mostly with a shaman of the tribe called Mikka). The trogs had been lead to the area by the dragon Mishveera and, while they weren't particuarly thrilled about it, they weren't in a position to make the long journey back to their homelands (even if they wanted to).
- The group told them of human interest in the mine and suggested some future bargain could be made, but got no commitment from the trogs who still seemed decidedly unfriendly if not outright hostile.
- The party decided to return to Igveston.
- Paks arrives in Velgrin and meets up with the rest of the party
- The group ties up loose ends in the village and then heads north through the dense, swampy forest toward the site of the mine Reynold Alphast had tasked Taryn with investigating.
- A few miles from the mine, they are attacked by a small troglodyte hunting/ambush party; the group fights them off without too much trouble. Lily spots one running away into the marsh.
- The party arrives at the mine and, from a distance, is able to see that it is now inhabited by an entire tribe of troglodytes.
- The party reunited in Velgrin, each glad to see the others were still alive.
- Lily organized a grand performance of the tale of their defeat of the dragon Mishveerra.
- The group examined the treasured they'd recovered from the dragon's hoard
- Taryn, Kael and Tyrrox were confronted by the leader of a tribe of some sort of amphibious creatures who seemed unhappy with their presence. The group agreed never to return if the creatures assisted them in returning to the surface, though that meant leaving some of the treasure behind.
- From the caverns, Lily found her way into the buried ruin of an ancient elven city. There she was confronted with some bitter elvish ghosts. Lily was able to talk her way out of any hostilities and told them of some recent events. Nearby, she met up with Voru - the great cat they had seen previously - who guided her out of the caverns by way of passages beneath the lake, and into the Charothi Forest to the south.
- On the shore of Lake Eire, Paks met up with Orvia and her force who were pursuing the kobolds, driving them away from the elvin settlement. She cast some blessings upon them and opted to wait at the shore that they may all return to the village once their work was done. When nightfall came, however, they still had not returned...
- Having fended off the kobolds, the party took some time to catch their breath and plotted to confront Mishveerra. Working with a druid and a cleric of the village, they made preparations the following morning to descend to the dragon's lair beneath the island.
- On their way into the depths, they encountered a giant eel-like creature which offered information in exchange for a strong magical item. The party gave it a magical dagger (the one that had been used to kill Elivius Morran) and it warned them of a "dark power" possessed by the human who was with the dragon.
- When they arrived at the bubble that encompassed the lair, they witnessed a gate opening to one of the lower planes and several vrocks came through. As they engaged the vrocks, the dragon attacked them from behind.
- Taryn decided now was the time to use his orb, and successfully dominated the dragon, directing it to enter the portal. When it crossed to the other side, however, his control over it was broken. She called back through to a man called Lurathi. The two agreed to some sort of deal, and the man appeared, shattering a black sphere on the ground just as Mishveerra leapt back through the portal.
- When it broke, the black sphere sent out a shockwave which created a massive anti-magic field.
- As Taryn, Tyrrox and Kael engaged the dragon - now all stripped of any magical or supernatural abilities - Lily chased after Lurathi, who left the bubble and began to swim. She wasn't sure how she did it, but she swam for a great distance, eventually catching up with and killing him in a cavern above the submerged ruins.
- The group just managed to kill Mishveerra, but they are now trapped beneath the lake with no magical aid. Curiously, the clearly supernatural bubble that they occupy has not collapsed, and is only very slowly leaking...
[Steve] Paks - Human Cleric of Pelor
- The party fought off kobolds while Mishveerra stalked Kael
- The dragon caught and attacked Kael, but by way of some considerably luck, he survived while the dragon believed him to be dead.
- Taryn had a brief altercation with the bard in the dragon's lair before swimming out to rejoin the others - with the dragon's crystal ball.
- The party talked with the people of Velgrin, trying to convince them to act against the dragon now that it was wounded. Some seemed to agree, others seemed to think it was too risky.
- Meanwhile, the dragon, knowing Taryn was a cleric, was demanding he heal her - suggesting that he owed her for sparing his life. After some stalling, Taryn did what he could, but when he was unable to repair her eye, she left in a rage.
- The party was preparing the town for an offense against the dragon when she suddenly arrived, demanding the town turn over the "hunter" that had shot her eye. About that time, another scout came running into the gathering circle, reporting that the kobold tribe was, once again, launching an attack against the settlement.
- Not wanting to abandon the town, the party discussed what they could do about the dragon. It seemed unwise to confront it directly. They considered trying to convince it to leave - perhaps with tales of the treasures they had been seeking themselves.
- The party spent the next day looking around the town. Unfortunately, spending so much time in the town, coupled with some particular things Taryn happened to say out loud gave away a certain secret. They had just met a girl called Sedine at a place in the village called the Well of Shadows when the dragon crashed through the canopy and demanded the artifact from Taryn.
- The encounter started with some uncertainty, but, seeing few other options with respect to protecting his companions, Tyrrox began attacking the beast.
- Mishveerra - the dragon - largely ignored all of the PCs except Taryn until a Kael put an arrow through her eye. Worn down, and now significantly injured, the creature decided the advantage was, surprisingly, no longer hers and remaining was a significant risk. She had pinned her quarry to the ground, and so simply took the the air with her prisoner, and soon was out of sight.
- Mishveera dove back into the lake, and swam to her lair beneath the elven village. When Taryn awoke there, he found himself in an air pocket within a large, ruined building with the dragon and two others: a sly-looking human musician, and a stern, elderly elven woman.
- The party left the city of Igveston, heading to the elven settlement Velgrin which is located on a lake bordering the Charothi Forest.
- In the forest, encountered a kobold hunting party which had partially trapped a large feline. Defeated the kobolds and freed the cat, which lead them to a kobold encampment on the lake shore. Bypassed encampment, group was able to activate the "way" to the elven village - a path which rose from the water
- Settlement showed signs of recent damage, and many of the townsfolk seemed nervous or wary. The group learned from a young priested named Sedine that only recently an odd, combined force of kobolds and troglodytes had attacked the village. The elves were overwhelmed, but were saved in the end by a huge green dragon - who has since all but declared herself ruler of the settlement.
- The dragon soon came looking for the party, demanded they present themselves to her, and proceeded to interrogate them as to who they were, where they came from, what they were doing, etc. The party told her they were looking for Kael's father (which wasn't untrue...). The dragon told them they were permitted to remain in the village "for now"...
- Kael found his wolf and a treent (who turned out to be a dwarven druid) fighting cultists in the Banshee's Wood.
- The group met an old, poor man claiming to own Nephrim's estate living in the sewers underneath the keep. The party agreed to, at least mention the case to the local magistrates.
- Once confident the city has itself in order, the group plans to leave Igveston.
- Taryn tried to salvage his date at Hilleston Hall, but was unsuccessful as he was called away.
- Lily exhausted herself fighting rogues and an illusory dragon at Nephrim Keep, holding them off just long enough for Taryn to arrive.
- Tyrrox patroled the Common Quarter for more basilisks, and rejoined the other two as they investigated a concealed passageway beneath the abandoned keep.
|Sunday June 22, 2014 at 8:00pm||little fears, happy valley, game session notes, trogland||Comments (0) »|
- party talked, spent a couple of days pursuing individual angles
- Taryn made preparations and took Celia Rynowen to the Hilleston Ball (as they had agreed). Toward the end of the night, Taryn gets stabbed by the vengeful doppleganger that had taken her place.
- Tyrrox and Kael are accosted by the House Briglau guard as they needed assistance. Found portion of common quarter that was too quiet and full of statues. Encountered a feindish basilisk and evidence that it may have been summoned by the ritual of a few imps.
- Lily totally rocks the house at the Laughing Jack and makes money before she, too, was found by the Briglau guards whereupon she went to investigate some commotion at the Nephrim Keep.
- The party regroups.
- Lily assists with rebuilding the civic district and pursues mysteries surrounding Many Eyes, Many Teeth and the marked man - which she learns is called Aulthust.
- Tyrrox assists House Briglau with training and bolstering their militia - which is now the main military presence in the city. His efforts result in the Caprinae, a sort of brotherhood within the house militia.
- Taryn boosts morale and his pockets, and impresses some locals.
- Kael unwinds and makes a "friend".
- The party talks to Celia - a psychometrist - about the unusual crossbow bolt that was shot at Tyrrox back in Ettaseph. They find out that it was owned by a man called Maff, who seems to be connected to Many Eyes, Many Teeth as well as a group of bandits.
- The group helps some insectoid formerly-human locals repel a Tetrani attack and learns about the bizarre history of the research installation.
The party helped re-establish order on the Defiant, set out to discover the fate of a military research site in a larger crater on the planet Nago II, and were unexpectedly attacked by aerial Tetrani forces as they made their approach.
RuchtCon IV Con Game
A varied group of 19th-century paranormal investigators discovers the causes behind fires and other mysteries in the gold-rush town of Placerville, CA.
The group deals with some aftermath on the ship after crossing the Zero Line, including an emergent biomorph, some twisted monstrousities, crazed crewmen and belligerent computer systems.
The group explores the derelict frieghter, discovers it comes from beyond the Zero Line, and reports to the captain of their ship, who, in turn, gives the unprecedented order to jump the Line.
|Friday February 7, 2014 at 7:00pm||new campaign, fate core, the zero line, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
The Zero Line is a sci-fi setting based around emergent psionics in the context of an impending galactic apocalypse.
Trya Bucchari (Sheri)
Malcolm Faulknen (Tony)
Kenneth Lockley (Adam)
Trenton Greaves (Tim)
Group is assembled by by the Galactica Humanus Navy, Delphi and the Periphery Initiative to explore a far-periphery system. As they were about to set out, the GHN informed them their mission has changed and they were instead directed to investigate a derelict freighter which recently appeared in a coreward system.
- The group decided to make their way up to the place where they believed the current head of the Academy was being held. When they found her, she suggested they should follow her to where Jekri had gone - to retrieve some kind of artifact that would help him use the Arch.
- The party decide instead to try to find the power source of the machinery, which now seemed to be operating out of control. They found what would have been the power source swarming with Formians, which seemed to be colonizing the upper levels of the Academy. A massive gear portruded from some sort of portal, but it didn't seem to be driving the machinery as much as the machinery was now pushing against it.
- Deducing that the machinery was now powering itself, they followed it back down to the Arch itself, where they found Jekri, the headmistress, and quite a few devils. The arch seemed to be partially powered, but Jekri clearly wasn't happy with its progress.
- The party shattered a kind of spiritual energy repository which was a part of the machinery as the devils and Jekri began to engage them. The portal deactivated and a massive and maddeningly deformed skeleton crashed through the wall of the Academy, collapsing around it.
- Seeing that his plan had failed, Jekri fled the Academy. Reinforcements from House Briglau arrived.
- The next couple of days were spent doing cleanup on the city from the aftermath of these events. Both the Academy and the Hall of Three were significantly damaged, and lost a number of notable leaders.
- Following, the party were guests of honor at a party held by Miala Xerus. The noble houses seem to be gaining prominence in the city.
End Chapter One
- Lily and the others guessed that the key impression in the cover of the book they'd found was made for the key the mephit had given them. When they put it into the book, an opalescent sphere enveloped them for a moment, but the only further effect was the sudden arrival of an ice devil.
- Certain this book was the key (ha!), Lily continued to try to activate it properly while the others held off the devil.
- The party eventually incapacitated the fiend, but, knowing it would soon revive, they decided to flee the library - taking the book with them.
- They eventually found themselves in a relatively secluded room with a large statue of a dragon holding a glass-like green orb. Lily and Kael continued to examine the book, but Taryn was interested in what they'd found. As he approached, the statue spoke, asking him if he desired the orb and warning him that, if he decided he did, it was a decision that could not be reversed. Feeling they needed every edge they could get to combat the current threat, Taryn took it.
- It took both Lily and Kael a few minutes to figure out the book's function, but, when they did, they discovered that placing the attached bookmark in one of the pages (each of which depicted a very specific locale), placing the key in the cover would transport the book and those nearby to the place indicated. Removing the key reversed the effect. In discovering this, they traveled to an ancient dwarven corridor with some sort of distorted or slowed time effect. Inscriptions suggested the place was "waiting" for some divine intervention.
- They studied the book for some time, trying to determine which place the professor they sought (an elf called Valthious) might be in. Ultimately, it was Taryns luck that lead them to him.
- When he realized the group was not sent by Jekri, Valthious was very happy to see them. He was being kept prisoner as and expert on cosomology and the interplay of the planes. Jekri wanted to know if and how the Arch could be weaponized - specifically, made to catasrophically implode.
- Valthious lead the group to a good place to rest - one of the more peaceful locales in the book - and gave them a scroll that could be used to allow their weapons to overcome the resistances of the fiends they faced.
- When the group returned to the Academy, the situation seemed to have worsened. The walls of the tower shook, and an unearthly shrieking could be heard echoing through the halls - over an above the relentless grinding and pounding sounds of infernal machinery...
GMs Note: I'm quite proud of the artifact I created and introduced in this session, dubbed the Book of Urzen'Tu. The book is a large leather and metal bound volume, covered with runes and with a carved resting place for a key in its cover. It has a large, finely-woven bookmark attached to its spine.
Inspired by Myst (one of my favorite cosmologies), the book contains detailed descriptions of hundreds of very specific places - each of which composes/occupies a (relatively) small pocket dimension. Placing the bookmark at one of the location descriptions, closing the book and placing the key in its place in the cover causes the book to instantly transport itself and those nearby to the location described. Removing the key reverses the effect, transporting the book and those with it back to the material plane.
- The party left Jekri's presence and had a brief meeting. While bringing others to "inspect" the premisis might be a good idea, they felt the situation was more urgent that that course of action (alone) suggested.
- The party decided to search for a person called Vex, who supposedly knew where to find a man called Valthious who was imprisoned.
- The group caught site of a person matching Vex's unusual description outside some sort of devilish counting house.
- Vex told them Valthious was being "kept" in a library of one of the other academy towers.
- The party found their way to said library, where they found a large book with a carved resting place for a bronze key...
[Brandon] Jekri - villain
- Deciding the machinery they saw was attempting to activate or power the Arch, they decided to try to hunt down its own power source. After a brief altercation with a formian taskmaster and its servitors, the group began ascending the tower, following the machinery.
- The party encountered several more unusual rooms where mortals were engaging in a variety of distorted behaviors, carefully watched by devils.
- Eventually, the party found themselves in a great hall-like room several floors up. It was populated with a number of well-dressed mortals, but no devils were seen. The hosts of the room flattered and begged the party to stay and socialze with them. Kael and Taryn seemed particularly persuaded, Kael by a man lauding his obvious leadership, and Taryn by a beautiful young woman who desired his company. In the end, it was Lily that all by dragged the others from the room.
- It was on the 15th floor that Taryn happened upon an ice devil standing guard outside a significant-looking room. He was accompanied by Jekri.
- Around this time, Lily had met a mephit who gave to her a key, asking her to "rescue" a professor by the name of Valthious. It mentioned that a person(?) called "Vex" would know where to find him.
- The group parlayed with Jekri for several minutes - at a safe distance of about 70 feet. Jekri told them he had no interested in Igveston itself, but that the Academy was rightfully his. He also promised them his activities would not affect the surrounding city, and that, if they truly could not be persuaded otherwise, they could bring a small contigent in to "inspect". Tomorrow.
- as the angel, called Ceria, had burst in, the meeting erupted with outbursts, which continued until a new figure appeared - some kind of fiend called 'Lavarent' - operating as an ambassador for Jekri.
- Ceria's cohorts began to assault the newcomer once his nature was revealed, but Miala demanded Taryn and the others stop it - which they managed to do, after a fashion. The fiend did little more besides warn those present that any attempt to interfere would be met with resistance. This did little to shake Ceria's resolve.
- At this point, the meeting began to fracture. Rothan, seeing little more he could do, departed after being confronted by Tyrrox. Reynold and Miala were still unhappy about the interlopers, but recognized they could do little. The PCs seemed inclined to, if not join the angel, at least operate in tandem.
- The angel informed them that she and her forces planned to march on the pit immediately. The party then decided to try to find their way into the academy from the underground.
- Ona called for volunteers at the Hall of Three to aid in the assault on the pit. It so happened the Batu, after being instructed to deliver a letter to the Hall, had managed to secure a room there for the night. Upon hearing the summons, he eagerly joined the cause to show his strength.
- Sensing some cunning in him, Ona discussed their strategy and the two decided a flanking maneuver would be most beneficial. Since Ceria and her forces were drawing most of the attention, Ona, Batu and their guard managed to scale to the bottom of the pit from the opposite side - where they encountered the barbed lord devil the party had previously encountered. He was standing near two, twisted bronze columns which had some sort of metal clamps fastened to them, with ropes trailing into some sort of mirror-like object.
- The party managed to break into the Academy from below. Inside they found that it had been completely infested with devils who seemed to have forced or enticed the mortals within to engage in all manner of unseemly behavior. In the main hallways, the encountered massive, infernal machinery into which some unlucky mortals had already been grafted. Beyond it, in a large open chamber, they could see the Galdzuri arch, a golden-purple aura pulsing around it...
[Kevin] Batu - Sylvan Elf Barbarian
- The party spent some time discussing what to do with Morran's body. They quickly decided they wanted to use 'speak with dead' to try to learn more, but they were considering certain logistics.
- The group ultimately decided they wanted to use the spell in the presence of the Hall of Three as well as some of the local nobles in an effort to unify them against whatever was going on.
- After some doing, they convinced Miala Xerus to arrange for a midnight council meeting.
- The party asked Morran about what was going on at the academy and what it could mean if the devils' efforts were successful. Most of this was stuff that the party had already learned, but they wanted the others to be able to hear it straight from Morran.
- While they were still talking, representatives from House Briglau burst in, lead by a wild and angelic figure - saying that if the local law would not cast out the devils, they would take matters into their own hands.
- Aside: An elf called Batu (Kevin) arrives in town, only to find the gates closed. He has a brief altercation with a racist bartender and meets up with a dwarven cleric.
Next Session Theory: Friday, Oct 18th.
- The party heard some hell hounds approaching and decided to split up and make their way back to the Laughing Jack
- Kael went to the temple to speak with Ona Macrath about what was going on in the Undercity (but not about Morran in particular). On the way there, he met a young woman who seemed interested in him.
- After discovering where Kael was staying, the woman - actually a doppleganger - took on Kael's form and went back to the Laughing Jack, where it killed Elivius Morran. Before it could escape, however, the party caught up and killed it as it fled.
- Tyrrox finished his community service and returned to the Hall of Three to retrieve his weapons that were being held. Upon arriving, he was challenged to a duel by Aegus Rothan, one of the more militant priests of the hall. After the fight, Tyrrox was invited to eat and drink with the hall soldiers. During the conversations, Rothan mentioned that he'd encountered an ibixian before - a man he called Kiveg, who was supposedly Tyrrox's uncle.
- When the group reassembled, Taryn told them he'd had a dream about Morran in the undercity and thought he knew where to go - a place called The Junk Room.
- Kael helped the group find the market that was near the place. When they arrived, they found the proprietor, and old woman, being harrased by a few armed thugs. Taryn managed to talk them down.
- The group found out from the woman that Morran had come to talk to her, and that he wanted some help healing a kind of magical wound. She didn't seem happy about the visit.
- Kael decided to see if he could find out where the thugs went. The group caught up with them near their hideout in the Undercity, and a fight ensued. After defeating the thugs, they found a familiar tattoo on their foes, and someone in an old cloak and fine robes tied up inside.
- The group shut themselves in the tavern, hoping they weren't seen by the hell hounds and bearded devils running by outside. In the back room, they found a crevince in the earth behind the loose wall paneling. They began to tear off the boards and squeeze through the narrow passage when one of the bearded devils burst into the building.
- They managed to fight off the devil and escape into a vacant alleyway and head back to the nicer section of town.
- The group went to the Hall of Three and spoke with Ona Macrath about the devil incursion. She says it will take a few days to prepare to march on the invaders.
- The group then dispersed. Lily wanted to study some about an ancient arch Ona had mentioned, Taryn decided to try to divine a course of action, Kael decided to return to the Undercity to gather more information about the devils, and Tyrrox still needed to finish his "community service".
- They met with Ona the next afternoon, and she told them that there were some in the hall that were a little less hurried to engage the devil forces - so there may be delay as powers-that-be decide on an "appropriate" course of action.
[Tim] Kael - Half-Elf Ranger
- The group catch sight of one of the men they'd overheard heading back to the Civic district. They followed him back to the Knight's Chamber, but didn't directly talk to him.
- The following day, the group encountered him talking to one of the local nobles, and they spent some time chatting with an elderly man of House Alphast.
- The group decided to return to the Undercity in search of information. They end up in a small hole-in-the-wall tavern, but find the patrons dispondent. They were still trying to get them to talk when they were attacked by a pair of imps and their lemure minions.
- Taryn had taken the bartender outside for some fresh air, and happened upon a giant hole in the middle of the undercity - filled with devils and enslaved commoners. The two hurried back to the tavern, but not before raising the alarm in the pit. Back at the tavern, they were met by Kael, an old acquaintence of Taryn's - just before they heard the baying of approaching hounds...
- The party met with Miala Xerus, who paid them some gold up front and offered a bounty on any particularly relevant information they could uncover. She wants to know what is going on in the city.
- Miala has heard some interesting rumours - including that Morran was seen heading into the poor quarter and that the Hall of Three might have set up the bombing on their temple themselves.
- The group is to perform for house Xerus in 7 days - and deliever their news to Miala.
- After meeting with Miala, the party decides to start by heading to the poor quarter to see if they can get some trace of the schoolmaster. They ended up at a run-down "inn" in the poor quarter called "Rest for the Weary"
- Lily overheard a meeting between two locals and someone from out of town mentioning Devric
- After hearing the Hall guard was entering the premesis, Devric ran out of the room downstairs; Lily and Tyrrox followed him.
- Taryn lingered behind long enough to encounter the ghost they'd previously seen. They had a brief conversation about the now-departing intruders, and it seemed to go well until Taryn mentioned a woman he'd seen in a painting downstairs. This upset the ghost terribly and caused it to wail uncontrollably.
- Downstairs, Devric used some sort of potion to activate the arcane circle, and images of rocky prominences jutting up from a fetid sea began to take shape in the mists above the floor, eventually revealing a massive hydra and a pair of disembodied voices. The barrier between the worlds seemed to weaken, and water began pouring onto the manor floor - along with several small demons.
- Meanwhile, the Hall guard arrived outside and were busy attempting to cross the courtyard while the keep's guardian seemed disinclined to allow them.
- Taryn caught up with the others downstairs in time to be mutated by corruptive energies which were now pouring from the circle. Lily tried to convince Devric to end the ritual, but the man seemed to be becoming more and more mad.
- When the ritual did finally end a couple of rounds later, Devric collapsed on the floor, chuckling madly to himself. The Hall guard finally gained entrance, searched the place and took all those present into custody.
- The party was taken to the holding cells in the basement of the Hall of Three, where they were held until trial. The trials were held individually, and involved each of the accused accounting for his/her actions to a group of assembled clergy whereupon one was called to make a final and swift judgement. In general, the judges agreed that the party's statements were basically true and that they were only guilty of breaking and entering.
- After the trials, the group encountered Miala, a noblewoman who had previously attempted to contact them, and they agreed to meet with her later that evening.
- The party followed the others' lead into the abandoned keep. They avoided the treant guardian in the courtyard and made their way to the large manorhouse between the two large towers.
- Inside they found the place had been disturbed recently, but only on certain places. A noteworthy feature of the entry/foyer area was the fact that the carpeting and furniture had been shoved to the edges of the room to make way for an arcane circle which had been painted in red on the floor. There was also a red eye painted on the wall in once corner.
- The group was making their way upstairs, when they were ambushed by some invisible rogues. They fought them off enough that the rogues retreated. Upstairs, they found a room that was strangely undisturbed, clean and in good order. Upon leaving the room, however, they were ambushed again, this time by a more coordinated attack. The ensuing fight proved difficult.
- As the encounter was wrapping up, another man arrived upstairs. He seemed startled to see them, but quickly regained his composure. He seemed to be the "leader" of whatever was going on, and he offered them a considerable sum just to walk away. While the party was still interrogating him, another man came running in, telling them that the Hall guard was coming..
- A message had been left for the party from Miala Xerus, a noble of the ruling House. She had something she wanted them to do and that they would be paid for the efforts. The message stated they were invited to the Xerus Estate, but the Hall guards outside insisted that Miala was no present and that they would not be allowed inside.
- Encountered a bit of a commotion outside the the Hall of Three, where a priest or paladin called Ona was irate - insisting on taking a contingent of armed guards to the Magus Academy, forcing entry and demanding answers from those who were clearly responsible for the previous night's attack. She was arguing with another priest she called Ivan, who insisted she should not act rashly.
- The party had written a letter to the Master about the magical crossbow bolt that had been shot at Tyrrox in Ettaseph - wanting to know more about it and if who had fired it could be tracked down magically. They decided they'd go and see if they could get anyone's attention from outside. They managed to attract the attention of an old priest called Occulous. He seemed a little crazy, but was generally conversive. He apparently had nothing to do with the sealing of the grounds and was interested in the crossbow bolt, though the wards on the grounds prevented them from passing it through to him. He did say he would try to get Master Morran their message, but he didn't expect it would be paid much attention.
- The party returned to the Xerus Estate to try again, but they were once more told Miala was not present and that they would not be granted entry. They then decided to take a closer look at the unoccupied keep Bradley Durn had told them about (and where they expected the ghost they'd encountered previously had come from). While looking around, Taryn witnessed some suspicious figures sneaking into the keep by way of the second floor of a neighboring house.
- The group entered the house and were attacked by some thugs with a tattoo of the symbol of the eye with the tooth they'd seen before.
- Spent some time at The Laughing Jack making friends with the proprietor.
- Did a little poking around town. Planned to go to the Magus Academy, but discovered it had been unexpectedly sealed off following a heated argument at a counsel meeting the previous night.
- Talked their way into the Keep District of the town. Escorted by a young guardsman by the name of Bradley Durn who seemed to be connected to House Briglau. He told them some basic info about the estates in the district, and about the nobles who live there.
- Lily talked to a priest called Salemnor at the Hall of Three (a temple to St. Cuthbert) about getting some historical info on the town and its nobility. He told her it would take a few days and told her of the fees required.
- Later that night, they witnessed a couple of large explosions at the Hall of Three. They rushed to the scene and attempted to help the efforts to contain the insuing chaos.
|Saturday March 23, 2013 at 12:00pm||mouse guard, thistle & thorns, game session notes, ruchtcon||Comments (0) »|
- A group of ferrets had been sighted north of Lockhaven near Thistledown, and a patrol was sent to expell them and to check up on Thistledown.
- As they entered the area and investigated the situation, they found that the town had had a rough year as unprecedented flooding had ruin much of their store, and a dramatic infestation of thorns which had grown quickly and relentlessly since early spring was interfering with life in the village. Their bad luck seemed to have started after they expelled a crazy old witch-mouse, and some believe she placed a curse on the town.
- The group ultimately discovered that the flooding and thorns had been the direct result of intentional acts, and suspected that the witch-mouse had somehow enlisted the help of the roaming ferrets.
- The group was finally able to track down the ferrets and drive them out of the region, but the witch-mouse was nowhere to be found...
- the party tied up some loose ends in Ettaseph after having aided in solving the treeant problem. they stayed for a couple of days to help with some aftermath and to talk to a few more locals.
- one man they met was Ulbrus Marc, a cleric of Fharlanghn, who was traveling through the area. By the end of their conversation, however, his jovial spirit had become worried and he informed them he was heading back to his homeland of Uldul Ferrik immediately.
- the party caught up with the cleric again the next day, whereupon he told them he was concerned about their description of the man with the two-headed-dragon tattoo. Apparently there was some lore in his town related to multi-headed serpent - regarding it as an ancient evil.
- the group, however, continued to Igveston to see if they could find out anything about a man they'd heard of with a different mark: an eye and tooth motif, as well as to, perhaps, seek information about the lost dungeon they're seeking.
- shortly after arriving the in the city (late that night), they were accosted by a ghost who behaved oddly and was complaining about intruders in his house and insisting the group do something about it.
- party returns to town and, with the help of a young woman called Relia, tells the tree lord what they had found, pleads that the humans are not responsible, and negotiates for the release of the remaining women the trees are holding captive.
- party enjoys and evening at Loreth's tavern, where they are harolded as heroes by the locals
- On the way back to their inn, Taryn and Tyrrox are attacked by a sniper using and explosive crossbow bolt and several shadowy goblinoid figures - all seeming to be orchestrated only to leave a message: "You have wandered into our midst; we are always watching"
- The party questioned some locals about some iconography they've encountered (an eye with a tooth), and also some involvement in recent events.
- The party learned from some of the townspeople that the bandits were suspected of having taken up residence in the exhausted silver mine a few miles outside of town. That didn't make much sense for what was known about the bandits, but if the dryads were being held anywhere nearby, it seemed the most likely.
- They headed out to the mine to investigate, and encountered kobold traps and a small band of the creatures as well as some malnurished wolves they seemed to have been keeping.
- As they were finishing up, a dryad came stumbling out of the cave, begging them to return her to her tree far to the north. They led her out of the canyon, but they became suspicious when she insisted on the group escorting her all the way to her home tree, refused to return to town and claimed to be too weak to use any of her own abilities. Lily cast Dispel Magic on her, and her dryad visage dissolved revealing a hideous hag, which shrieked and then vanished.
- The party returned to the mine. Inside, they were attacked by more kobolds before they stumbled into the mine's primary denizen - a massive, 6-headed hydra.
- The ensuing fight was viscious, but ultimately the massive beast was brought down, whereupon the hag came shrieking from one of the side tunnels, cursing the party for killing her pet. Knowing they were in no shape to continue fighting, Taryn offered the hag a deal - he would keep her pet from dying if she would give them the dryads.
- The hag told them she only had one dryad, and, after retrieving it, she and the newly-revived hydra disappeared into a deep pool of water. It wasn't until after they'd gone that the party saw pieces of finely-polished wood, punctured with massive teeth marks and oozing sap, scattered around the beast's lair...
|Saturday February 9, 2013 at 6:00pm||new campaign, d&d, cyrran reaches, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition (3.5)
Cyrran Reaches (homebrew, remote northeast region of large kingdom)
[Adam] Tyrrox - Ibixian Fighter
[Tony] Taryn - Human Cleric of Olidammara
[Sheri] Lily - Human Bard
- Party traveling with small caravan (lead by a man called Ruglan), is waylaid by bandits. After fighting them off, they arrive in the settlement Ettaseph
- Spend some time talking to people in town, learning some interesting things about the Old Oak Inn, Loreth's Tavern, the Orchard and the settlement in general.
- The town is attacked by treants, who seem intent only on capturing the women of the village.
- When the treants' leader comes to the village, it wants to speak with someone no knows. With the help of a local druid, they learn that the person in question was a centaur who helped establish the old "accords" between the humans and the fey of the Charothi forest. More pressingly, however, it seems that some dryads had been kidnapped and would soon die if they were not found...
- Concluded negotiations with goblins, humans granted right to settle on island under some conditions.
- After some time, talk resumes of continuing the expedition, to see what else is out there. In all likelihood, the Wind's Wings will be sailing forth soon, while most of the expedition remains for rest and repairs...
- Met Elistanna, agreed to aid her in exchange for help negotiating with the goblin ruler, as the expedition needed more time before it could possibly leave, and might even prefer to remain.
- Organized a meeting with the goblins, offered cooperation, trade and exchange of information in exchange for the right to settle part of the island.
- Back on the Wind's Wings, the deck hands were hailed by a group of men in long boats approaching the vessel. The approaching men claimed captain Collette had sent them to the ship to retrieve additional tools and blasting supplies from the ship's hold. Once some were on board, they turned on the Wind's Wings' crew. The ensuing battle was bloody and hard-fought, but the Wind's Wings' crew ultimately prevailed.
[.end auxilliary scene]
- meanwhile, the group in the goblin canyon decided to make a break for the surface. being stealthy was going to be difficult if not impossible and they really didn't want to engage an entire civilization in combat, but options seemed limited. As they darted down catwalks and through stone halls, they did their best to avoid groups of the goblins. They didn't realize until too late that they were being intentionally drive downward - deeper into the hive.
- ultimately, the group ended up cornered and driven into a large cavernous hall filled with dozens of goblins. These, however, had a very different appearance to those they had previously encountered. Their skin was more of a blue grey, and they wore nice though exceptionally worn robes and exotic jewelry tarnished with age. One sat on a large throne in the far corner of the room. When they entered, he began speaking to them.
- the goblin "king" informed them that they - and their fellow "creatures" - were encroaching upon his territory. He told them that they had three days to leave the island or else they would be annihalated. One of the other goblins seemed to want to say something, but the king quieted her. The group was then permitted to leave the hall through a tunnel that ultimately led them back to the forest on the surface.
- upon returning to the beach, they began telling the expedition leaders about the situation and that the island wasn't safe, when they were interrupted by some commotion further inland. Making its way through the encampment was a small, hooded figure. When it removed its hood, the group recognized the goblin from that had tried to speak in the king's hall.
- the creature that had emerged from the sunken city had only started speaking - in some language Zatara inexplicably understood - when skeletal figures began emerging from the water onto the building tops around the group. The conflict escalated until the first creature was dragged back into the pool and a bright burst of light swallowed the room. When it subsided, the skeletons were gone.
- the group followed the caverns and tunnels out of the city until they found themselves in a small cavern with a hole in the ceiling through which some light filtered - though it was occupied by a group of crazed goblin-like creatures.
- the group was eventually able to climb up and out of the hole, the wall near which seemed specifically designed to prevent it. Above they found themselves in a small, hewn stone room which apparently acted as a kind of jail. The room exited onto a wooden walkway attached to the cliff-side of a massive canyon wall.
- the canyon was honeycombed with hundreds of similar chambers, connected by catwalks, ladders, stairs and lifts. A river of magma flowed out of the far canyon wall and plunged down to the canyon floor somewhere below - and steam billowed up from those depths. Most concerning though, was that there were goblins everywhere.
Guest PC: [Pat] Delilah O'Mari - Artisan/Smith
- the group had finished their conversation with Kilmer on the beach, and were following him through the crowd to speak with the ship captains. Before they had made it off the beach, they ran into Caroline with a middle-aged woman - just as the ground shook with a tremendous earthquake. The ground beneath them collapsed inward, and a torrent of water from the sea washed them down into a massive cavern.
- it took the group some time to collect themselves. The opening above them had re-sealed itself in the cave-in, and it was completely dark. Breeze and Zatara managed to catch themselves on a higher ledge, but Lucas and the woman, called Delilah, were washed into a larger pool further in.
- Lucas and Delilah began planning a way to produce a light source, while Breeze and Zatara tried to feel their way down to the others. When Lucas called out for Caroline again, she answered him from some distance away, as a blue light began to emanate from her direction, illuminating a massive cavern - at the far side of which was the facade of a large, palacial building which had, apparently, been consumed by the cavern. The architecture and design were unrecognizable.
- As Lucas approached the building, a large, mangy wildcat emerged and pounced on him - though it's diseased state was apparently ill-suited to subduing the sailor, and he eventually put it down.
- Deciding they could not return to the surface the way they came, they headed through the palace, hoping there was a way out the other side. Breeze discovered a kind of workshop down one of the limestone-coated halls. In addition to some unusual objects, the workroom also contained the remains of a mural which depicted a building similar to the one they were in as well as the bow of a great ship.
- While they were investigating the palace, they were attacked by some large insect-like creatures, which they managed to fend off without significant injuries.
- When the group managed to work their way through the building, they emerged into another massive cavern complex, which contained the buildings of a sizable city. Near the center of the city was a large flooded area, which was bubbling and issuing steam. As they approached, a strange, morphing being emerged from the pool and began approaching them, speaking in a strange, nearly-subsonic voice...
- as the group settled into camp, Lucas noticed that Morgan, one of the men from his ship he'd brought along, wasn't around, and no one really seemed to know where he went. They were concerned that whoever had been watching the camp had captured him.
- the next morning, the three took Julia and began tracking the prints she'd found back to their origin. This lead them a considerable distance to the west where they entered a hilly region and eventually began to see signs of human(?) presence - namely, the stumps of some trees that had clearly been chopped down. When Julia did not return from scouting ahead, the group rounded a bend and found themselves in a kind of forest village, seemingly composed largely of lumber scavenged from wrecked ships.
- the village appeared empty, but the group got the clear impression people were present. Lucas decided to take a direct approach, walking to the center of town and calling out - saying they meant no harm to any of them, and that if they were castaways, their expedition could offer some assitance.
- the speech was responded to by a variety of individuals, several of which seemed to have differing motives. There were a series of half conversations, offers and threats before a man called Cerrick started hostilities and a brief skirmish erupted, during which Julia was freed. After the assailents were defeated, more talks insued. It turned out that the village was composed of a variety of castaways from at least three different ships. Most of them were much more inclined to negotiate than Cerrick had been, and were keenly interested in what this expedition could offer them (in one way or another). The group spent the rest of the day talking with the inhabitants, learning about who they were and about the island they now occupied - even looking at a rough map one of the villagers had drawn of the island. When Lucas asked about Morgan, he learned from a woman, Roxanne, that he had come to speak with Cerrick the night before.
- the next morning, they returned to the beach, where most of the expedition had now landed and land was being cleared for a more permanent, temporary camp. Many of the passengers and crew were enjoying the chance to be on land once again. The group informed Kilmer of what they had learned, and asked if Morgan had returned. Kilmer told them that Morgan had returned in the late morning, saying that he'd gotten lost in the forest the night before.
- the group met with the expedition leaders and formed a survey team to be lead jointly by Lucas and Kilmer. It was composed of Lucas, Breeze and Zatara as well as Kilmer, Josiah and Hal (two sailors from the Wind's Wings), Morgan and Alexander (two sailors from the New Legacy), and Van and Julia (two hunter/woodsman types who were passengers on the Grand Alexis). Their goals were to scout the immediate area so that the expedition proper could make a safe landing, and discern whatever was possible about the nature of the island in general.
- the survey team decided to land where Breeze had spotted a couple streams flowing into the harbor. They decided to split up and each hike a mile or two inland following the streams. The teams discovered that the streams joined a river which originated at the closest mountain. The edges of the forest were very dense with undergrowth, but the interior contained larger trees with a thicker canopy and the forest floor was remarkably open. They also discovered a marshland to the west where Van found some interesting tracks.
- when they met again on the beach, Van and Julia discussed the tracks and wanted to return to where they had been found - at the edge of the swamp. The three accompanied them. There they caught site of a small, grotesque but humanoid creature. When they pursued it, they found themselves ambushed by several more of the goblin-like creatures - two of them riding massive lizard-like beasts, the tracks of which Van had found earlier in the day. In the skirmish, Lucas was severely injured, though the others were able to drive off the remaining attakers.
- when they returned to the beach, it was well after dusk and Kilmer and the others were making camp for the night. Julia noticed several sets of boot-prints at the edge of the camp, behind a rise - a place where none of them had been...
- Lucas made his way back down to the Grand Arcadia, thinking he might grab some coin from one of the chests and make a run for it now that it seemed quiet. Once down at the ship however, he encountered a strange woman who was speaking enigmatically to a barely-conscious Julius who'd been pinned to something like a large red sofa with 4 large black spikes. The room was lit with a reddish glow by rows of paper lanterns hanging around the hold. She seemed to be interested in what Julius was looking for and whether he found it. When Lucas arrived, she turned her attention to him. Being around her seemed to cause his mind to call up random and vivid memories.
- meanwhile, Breeze, Zatara and Kilmer made their way further into the rock tunnel. They encountered a great snake in a bone-filled cavern. As they tried to escape, Breeze was bitten and flung across the room, collapsing in a bone pile on the other side. Kilmer tried to revive her - to no avail - while Zatara finally managed to drive off the snake after wounding it. Despite Kilmer's concerns about moving her, they didn't have much choice, and that since the snake retreated down the tunnel they'd come through, they decided to continue in hopes there was another way out.
- the tunnel continued to another cavern - this one covered with rune-like carvings - and eventually up and out onto and exterior cliffside that seemed to merge with old, carved ruins. There they encountered a young woman humming to herself and painting random designs on the stone around her. She seemed excited to see the newcomers, but their conversation had only started when another woman appeared from the tunnel behind them. This second woman was older and with features that seemed to blur when observed directly. She attempted to convince the young girl that these intruders must be destroyed and ordered her to do so, while Zatara and Kilmer made the case that they meant her no harm. Eventually the tense situation eroded as the girl ran sobbing from the room, and the other woman vanished in anger. The path continued to the summit of the rock where they found a kind of look-out post, but no way down to the shore. Frustrated and tired, they realized they'd have to go back. Fortunately, the descent was relatively unobstructed and they soon rejoined the two sailors they'd left outside the tunnel. Breeze had stabilized and was breathing, but could not be revived.
- Lucas spoke uneasily with the strange woman in the wrecked ship for some time, trying to discern who she was. Conversation with her seemed disjointed, however, and she tended to jump lines of inquiry unexpectly. She eventually became frustrated with him and returned to Julius. As the light from the lanters began to suddenly fade to darkness, Lucas, throughly disconcerted, made his way back outside and, upon locating one of the long boats that was still intact, returned to the New Legacy with news that the landing party had not gone as planned.
- Breeze was revived a couple of days later by a strange, old woman called Agatha who was a passenger on the Grand Alexis. There had been much talk, and it had been decided that the expedition would continue toward their original target island. The journey was not easy on anyone, however. Overall morale had been crumbling for some time, and an as-yet-unsolved murder (a man called Darren, apparently repeatedly stabbed by someone) that happened only a few days out from the rock-isle made matters worse - even with Breeze and another performer named Brooke doing their best to keep people optimistic. It was nearly a week past the time they "should have" reached the island on their heading, but when land was finally sighted, they found an island even larger than they had anticipated...
- The expedition set out toward the theoretical large, volcanic island. As they proceeded, their course veered northward near the rocky island they had previously discussed and, since the opportunity had presented itself, they decided a slight detour may be worthwhile.
- The expedition was caught in a sudden storm as they approached the island which threatened to capsize them or drive them into the rocky shore. Fortunately, the storm disappated as quickly as it had hit and, while the Winds Wing's sustained some minor damage, it seemed largely intact. The Grand Alexis was no longer visible, however, but Collette seemed to think the captain had chickened out and headed back east away from the storm.
- The captains of the two remaining ships met briefly and decided upon a plan of action until the expedition's leaders (largely on the Grand Alexis) rejoined them. The New Legacy would sail northward to circumvent the island and the Wind's Wings would send a survey team ashore. Breeze and Zatara were part of the survey team, but the leader, the first mate Kilmer, said he was unable to find Lucas before they cast off.
- Lucas had, in fact, returned to the New Legacy at the invitation of Julius Edmund, the first mate of that ship. He had made some mention of personal gain and Lucas suspected that Edmund had something up his sleeve. After a couple hours of sailing, the New Legacy spotted Edmund's target - the wreck of an enourmous ship on the island coast. Lucas recognized the ship as the Grand Arcadia - a sister ship of the Grand Alexis that was said to have disappeared with a large cargo of silver, jewels and other treasures.
- Julius led a contigent of crew ashore - along with Lucas. He seemed somewhat confused but unconcerned with the fact that the ground around the wreck was littered with the skeletons of sailors - most of whom showed obvious signs of violent death. Julius led the group into the bow hold of the great ship where they found more skeletons and dozens of chests full of treasure. They soon found themselves attacked by water-soaked zombie-like sailors who had come up and out of the sea. Seeing a losing battle, Lucas began to climb up and out of the hold, but the frantic Julius seemed unwilling or unable to join him. Outside, Lucas saw the wreck was beset by hundreds of zombie-like warriors, some of them pulling on glowing, spectral lines trying to drag the wreck into the ocean.
- Lucas jumped from the stern of the ship and fought the surf back to shore away from the onslaught. When he finally reached the outcropping above the ship, he was surprised to find that he could see no trace of the zombie horde - but neither could he see or hear any sign of the New Legacy crewmen.
- Meanwhile, Zatara and Breeze found themselves in the forest on the backside of the rock-mountain that was the island's prominent feature - and face to face with a giant. It was nearly 20 feet in height, even hunched over as it was. Its features were deformed and it seemed of primitive intellect as it did little besides howl and attempt to smash them with a great tree-trunk of a club. They had noticed a carved doorway in the cliffside behind the creature, but only they and Kilmer were able to avoid the giant's blows and reach it. The three of them saw the other two sailors (one of them injured) make their way northward away from the clearing as the giant howled and bludgeoned the cilff face outside.
- the ghostly woman began questioning Lucas in some unknown language, becoming more and more urgent until Lucas answered the question she seemed to be asking in the affirmative - at which point she relented and her form began to disappate.
- Zatara was approached by a young girl - perhaps 7 or 8 - and she asked him if he would take her to her mother. Upon reaching the temple room where Lucas and Breeze were still looking at each other as though unsure of what just happened, the girl directed her attention of Lucas, calling him "Mother", and asking if they would finally be going home.
- As eveing approached, the group left the mountain and headed back toward the village, where they noticed they could see no torchlights. Upon arriving in Basnet, they found the place deserted - apparently for some time.
- Lucas insisted he needed a drink, and made his way toward the Dockside tavern. It, too, appeared to have been unoccupied for at least a decade, though the bar was still stocked with untouched spirits (though they tasted a bit off). It wasn't until they were getting ready to leave that they noticed the woman who had told Lucas about "Old Caroline". She had been sitting at a table in the corner near the door, chuckling to herself. When the others saw her, she made her way to the exit telling them over her shoulder "This won't be the strangest thing you will encounter in these waters!", before pushing the door open and heading into the dark night. Breeze chased after her, bursting through the door just after it had closed behind the woman, but she could find no trace of the gossip outside.
- The group returned to the Wind's Wings and informed the captain of what had happened (and offered some explanation as to the girl that was accompanying them).
- The following day, the New Legacy and Grand Alexis arrived, but there was to be no landfall. The crew of the Wind's Wings scoured the abandoned village for anything of use, but thereafter the expedition decided to press on past Basnet. They decided to alter course to the north, however, when a lingering and forboding storm on the southwestern horizon refused to disappate.
- The expedition's cheif navigator presented some sea charts to a meeting of the expedition leaders and a few others gathered to discuss course. He mentioned three islands - a southern coral atoll closer to their original projected course, a rocky prominence to the north west and a rumoured large, volcanic island beyond it. The existence of none of these islands had been confirmed, but as part of the expedition's goals was exploration and since the stop at Basnet had not gone according to plan, investigating one or more seemed reasonable.
- There was some discussion as to what course should be taken, but the majority seemed to favor seeking out the large island as the other two seemed to have relatively little to offer...
- the party struggled with the "fish-man" until Breeze wounded it and it fled - crashing through a parlor window
- as it did, a man entered the house/inn and seemed to be asking where it had gone. Fredrick seemed to blame him.
- only moments later, they heard commotion outside and saw that a fire had started in the town.
- the group joined the firefighting efforts and ended up engaging two other "fish-men" at the periphery of the scene
- the following morning they met with the captain. Breeze was concerned that Lucas (and possibly herself) had become "infected"
- they talked with the local Chairman about the expedition as well as the previous night's adventure
- Lucas spoke with a local gossip about "Old Caroline", a witch who had "died" as a child, supposedly lived on the moutain and was "certainly" responsible for the fish-man curse
- the next day, the group decided to investigate the mountain and the rumors of the "witch". Near the top, they found a boulder, next to which was some sand, seashells and the skeleton of a small, humanoid figure wearing a gold necklace (which Lucas, who had been having some strange feelings about the place, decided to pick up and put on).
- behind the boulder was a cave entrance with carved steps leading down into a ruined temple-like chamber with a large bronze sun. They were still examining their surroundings when animated skeletons began attacking them.
- as the group was destroying the last of the skeletons, a ghost-like woman entered the temple. It stopped briefly to say something to Zatara - touching its finger to his forehead - but seemed to take a greater interest in Lucas. Specifically, the necklace he was now wearing...
|Saturday August 25, 2012 at 3:00pm||new campaign, savage worlds, savage seas, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
[Sheri] Clara "Breeze" - Wind's Wings crew, sea singer
[Tony] Lucas - Ex-priate, Wind's Wings conscript
[Adam] "Zatara" - Castaway, amnesiac
- the party aboard the Wind's Wings (captain William Collette) was ~3 days ahead of the rest of the expedition. The ship was just arriving at Basnet, an island fishing village and the western-most point of the commonly-travelled sea. This was the last stop in the known world before the expedition was to head into the western sea.
- it was a bit after sunset, and the captain sent the group ashore to ask get the harbormaster's permission to moore the next day, as well as to speak with the local authority about the arrival of the rest of the expedition and to ask about the availability of provisions for the expedition's resupply.
- on their way into the village, they encountered a nearly-capsized fishing ketch. They helped the three crewman right the vessel, though there seemed to be something more to the situation than the captain's explanation of a 'freak accident'.
- in the village, the group spoke with the harbormaster and the proprietor of the local tavern. The patrons of the dockside establishment seemed unusually dour, though the bartender explained that many were simply tired of their monotonous. He also steered them toward the town's "inn", which rarely saw customers. The innkeeper and his wife were indeed very happy to see them.
- it was some hours into the night when they were awakened by the sounds of a scuffle in the lobby area of the house-turned-inn. They arrived on the scene just in time to be nearly deafened by the report of a musket being fired indoors. Before the black-powder smoke obsured their vision, they caught a glimpse of a scaley, hunched creature with bat-like ears and a maw full of tiny, pointed teeth...
|Saturday July 7, 2012 at 5:00pm||new campaign, world of darkness, scarecrow, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
[Tony] Thomas Cain - Desert Storm veteran, former Mayor
[Adam] - Prize Fighter
[Sheri] - Private investigator
Characters belong to a quasi-secret organization called Scarecrow. The organization's nominal goals are to prevent the unhuman from gaining too much power, particularly where human administrative structures are involved. Scarecrow is, however, a self-serving entity and generally keeping an eye out for profit.
The PCs have been in a mid-sized, east-coast city called New Auburn for 3 to 6 months, going about their own business...
"It's just like the dream..."
"Hold it right there, partner!"
"I wanted to be a hero!"
"Batman has forsaken me..."
|Saturday June 30, 2012 at 9:00pm||little fears, happy valley, game session notes, trogland||Comments (0) »|
Dee Dee, Tommy, James, Suzie, [Reverent]
"I'm going to the retillary room..."
"What? My mommy said it means 'baby mice'..."
"I'm invisible...I'm invisible...I'm baby mice-ing invisible!"
"I've seen the counselors go up there. They always use the buddy system."
"Yeah, I just faint."
|Friday June 29, 2012 at 9:00pm||little fears, happy valley, game session notes, trogland||Comments (0) »|
Sheri, Scotty, Katie, 'Manda, Phil, Mason
"I'm squishing myself into the corner as tightly as I can."
"My sister's mean..."
"Then why are you scared?"
"We have to all hold hands in a circle, with one person in the middle, and sing the camp song..."
- The group arrives at Vic's old hideout, is attacked by spider-like bots - a number of tiny ones and one, giant spider bot.
- The group destroys the smaller spiders and Vic cuts the power to the hideout - which seemed to cause the giant spider bot to lose interest in the area.
- When the spider was gone, the group repaired themselves and made ready to return to the factory.
- The Administrator bot in the party convinced the eccentric door to the facility to let them in. The group wandered the facility until they found a room with TC, her toy, Bolt, and two factory bots.
- The subsequent encounter involved the two factory bots (armed with stun pistols) and some animate cages that attempted to trap the interlopers. TC and Bolt were already in cages of their own.
- After disabling the factory bots and the cages, the group learned from TC that the factory had actually be reactivated by one of the Mainframes to produce a kind of modified processor.
Bot (homebrew) version 0.2
[Tony] Pigeon - Small Messenger Bot
[Doug] Sloan - Repair Bot
[Patrick] Philmore - Administrative Logistics Bot
[Tim] Rusty - Heavy Mining Bot
- the group's home is destroyed by a demolition bot and two assassin bots
- after defeating the attackers, group decides the Cardinals must be expanding their area of enforcement. They decide to flee from their area of the Mid City at least a little further down.
- Group encounters an old processor factory in the lower sections of the Mid City that is actually operational - which should not happen. Witness another bot dart inside past a facility guard.
- Group meets another bot, Vic. Agrees to help rescue his rash friend (TC) if he can first provide them a place to affect some repairs.
- Vic leads them to an old hideout in the Old City.
- the party made their way across the tiny, blasted landing pad toward the mountainside entrance of the facility - which was still without power.
- after Jaylyn forced the door open, the group could smell death and ozone pouring out from the long-sealed hangar bay. They were examining the piles of scrap, the loose wires and cables that seemed to criss-cross the massive room, the dead storm troopers and the inert droids - many of which had had blasters welded onto them - when the power suddenly came back on.
- the party shortly found themselves face to face with a massive patched-together droid which declared them as intruders. As they began to engage this threat, several of the partially destroyed droids came to life and began their own efforts to remove the interlopers.
- the large droid was powered directly by the station, however, which proved to be its Achilles' heel. A couple of lucky shots to the power conduits deactivated it, causing it to collapse onto the the hangar floor. The other droids must have been controlled by it in some way, because when it went down, they all suddenly deactivated as well.
- having restored power to the installation, Aleya and Pyrak joined the group. After a brief adventure on the administration level (involving a rather large security cannon and some booby traps), the group managed to find a lift key to gain access to the control room level.
- the control room was not in any better condition than the hangar had been. Bare wiring was exposed everywhere and many of the computer terminals seemed to have been damaged. There was also a single damaged droid that nervously pointed a blaster pistol at them, telling them that they must not enter the control room.
- Jaylyn and Pike attempted to reason with the droid, who seemed senile and confused - only intent on keeping the "intruders" out of the area, but seeming to realize it lacked the capability to enforce this desire. Meanwhile, Ash began attempting to bring the computer systems online. After some discussion, the group learned that the orbital gun itself was damaged, and Jaylyn climbed up and out of an access hatch to repair it... ...about the time that tie fighters began making passes at the station.
- by the time Jaylyn was finished and had returned, Ash had managed to get the control room basically online - though quite a few systems were questionable and it seems communications with many of the global positioning statellites were down. Things might have been find had Magriv and Tooloo not burst into the room - followed almost immediately by a massive, 35-ft centipede.
- While Magriv, Tooloo and Jaylyn were fighting the centipede, Ash realized that the crippled star destroyer had drifted into the station's firing arc. He also noticed, however, that it seemed to be quickly losing elevation in a partially-controlled descent - it was attempting to land and would soon drop out of range again.
- Ash knew he would need help to aim and fire the gun, so he grabbed Pike and the two began working furiously while the others kept the giant creature busy. They were just getting started when Ash noticed a warning from another display - a proximity / target lock warming from an incoming battleship.
- the timing could not have been closer. Pike managed to key in the final commands and fire weapon mere seconds before the control room was rocked by the battleship's obliteration of the weapon overhead. The blast coordinates were perfect, though, and the crippled star destroyer exploded just after it had entered Duro's atmosphere.
- the group descended deeper into the facility and into the saftey of the mountain to wait out the aerial attack. When the coast was clear, Belussa returned to pick them up. The situation in space was much less dire. The CIO had finally been convinced to act (perhaps after the star destroyer was finished off) and, though the planet was certainly under Imperial control, they were effectively stranded there as the space around it was once again in Duro hands. Resistance forces had already begun arriving for the final offensive.
- when all perparations had been made, the newly-assembled resistance fleet made the short jump to Coruscant, where the immediately encountered some kind of astal storm between them and their objective.
- the storm turned out to be some Imperial device, however - generated by an array of small "cloud ships". As the rebels became aware of its nature and how it worked, they began altering their tactics to circumvent it to reach the Imperial fleet - which turned out to have been in less than perfect condition before the battle started. Still, the cloud served its purpose by catching the resistance off-guard and allowed the Imperials to score some early victories.
- the part decided to begin engaging the cloud ships and, after destroying a few and relaying their tactics to other rebel ships, they decided to attempt to slip by the Imperial fleet in order to obtain identifiable photos of Coruscant. They figured if they could get proof that the planet still existed and send it to one of the larger rebel ships to beam it out to the public, the Imperials' efforts here would be successfully undermined.
- as they approached the planet, the group discovered they were being shadowed by a small, stealth craft when it began firing orange blasts at them that seemed to short out their computer systems.
- the insuing duel lasted for some time before Ash realized that the ship was repairing itself as it took blaster damage. It was then that Pike decided to use one of the missiles they'd been given to try to take it out all at once. The ship proved to be difficult to lock onto, but the attack was ultimately successful and the ship exploded as it dove past them.
- the party was only starting to record their sensor information when they received word that the Imperial fleet was breaking up and jumping out of the system - some of the bigger ships, however, seemed to have jumped into hyperspace toward the Deep Core, which seemed very odd...
[end story arc]
- Almost immediately after the cannon fired, the installation found itself under attack. Fortunately, the armor of the facility insured the tie fighters' strafing did little damage, but the approaching AT-ATs were cause for more concern. The party decided it was a good time to be somewhere else.
- Along with the duro command crew, the group decided to climb back down through the internal machinery of the weapon - the way they'd originally ascended to the control room. Meanwhile, Imperial forces, unable to unjam the lifts, had begun climbing through from the bottom as well - leading to a series of very isolated personal encounters.
- Upon reaching the hanger bay at the base of the installation, they found the group of duro drivers they ahd encountered earlier holed up and attempting to fend off and Imperial scouting force. The troopers were gaining ground, but it was the AT-ST that was really giving them problems.
- The party joined the fray long enough to secure some speeder bikes and take out the AT-ST (by way a speeder car to the leg and a few rounds of serious turret fire) and a few of the remaining storm troopers.
- The group then made their way into the industrial complex in the valley below, and ultimately into the starfighter factor they'd originally infiltrated. Upon reaching the completion deck, they convinced the duros there to allow them to "borrow" a few of the fighters.
- The party regrouped with Belussa, Alea and Oorin. Now that most of the in-system Imperial fleet was regrouping around the crippled star destroyer, Alea and Oorin decided they could chance a trip to the pastoral moon where most of the system's nobility resided - including the Duro President/CIO they'd been attempting to convince to take action against the Imperial forces. The CIO was still reluctant to engage since the star destroyer was still partially operational, and they felt a personal visit might tip the scales.
- The group transported Alea and Oorin to the nobles' moon, and then decided to head to the other side of Duro to see if the other infiltration team might be able to complete their objective and finish off the star destroyer. When they arrived over the mining sector, however, they discovered (via com from Magriv) that the entire facility was offline and without power. Further, internal tensions between the duro miners and the imperial occupation came to a head when excavations disturbed a nest of previously-unknown insectoid creatures - the inner workings of the mines were all but a war-zone in a three-way conflict. Magriv and Tooloo were attempting to keep the conflict away from the abandoned station area while Pyrak and Aleya were attempting to restore power to the installation.
- Belussa guided the Verity in close to the station base among the vertical, jagged peaks and the party descended on cables from the open loading ramp in order to enter the station and attempt to end the conflict in space above them...
- As the group approached the hanger-bay entrance to the installation, they noticed an altercation between a squad of storm troopers and about a dozen or so Duro around a group of large delivery trucks. The conflict was about to erupt into violence when Pike (still in disguise as a trooper himself) stepped in and suggested that the Empire would be best served by the squad leader allowing the Duro workers to do their jobs.
- The party then proceeded to the third installation sub-level where they found the Duro mechanic staffing quarters. They took and interesting approach to making friends, but ultimately got some useful information about how to proceed upward to the control room without being questioned - this would involve climbing up through the maintenance access areas of the machinery itself. They also discovered that they would need an activation key in order to arm the weapon for firing. This key would certainly be in the possession of one of the Imperial officers in the installation.
- While their new Duro friends jammed the two primary access lifts, the party climbed up through the 4-story guts of the orbital gun and through a removable panel into the control level.
- The party took a quick survey of the rooms in their immediate area before proceeding to the control room itself. Their intending storming of the control room began a little awkwardly, but they were able to take out the squad of troopers within it with little difficulty - though the alarm was sounded during the effort.
- The alarm brought an officer and another squad of troopers in from the opposite side of the control level. After a brief by intense firefight, Pike recovered the access key from the officer.
- Jaylyn and Pike rallied the Duro technicians in the control room to take action against the Empire, and preparations for firing began in earnest. When everything was ready, they looked to Pike for the command to fire.
- Pike gave the order over the still-blaring alarm system, but when the orbital gun itself engaged everything went silence for a few moments before the entire complex vibrated with a pair of shots aimed toward space.
- On the satellite monitors, they could see the massive energy beams slice through the bow of the star destroyer in orbit. The Duros were still cheering when Pike noticed a flight of tie fighters and a pair of AT-ATs rapidly closing with the installation.
- Jaylyn and Pike continued their conversations with the resistance cell about sneaking down to the planet and attempting to commandeer one of the orbital defense guns just long enough to fire on the remaining star destroyer still in-system. They collectively decided sending two teams would be best - one toward each of the guns - to increase the odds that at least one contingent would be successful. Jaylyn and Pike decided they would head to the production sector and let the other group hit the mines.
- Ash returned to the ship to get some rest. Upon waking a few hours later, Belussa told him that garrison was in search of a rogue trooper and that 4 newly-arrived visitors (the party) were wanted for questioning. She expected an imperial detachment to arrive at the ship before midday.
- Ash and Belussa took C5 and some of the gear they thought the Imperials my confiscate and left the ship, hiding what they could in a nearby cave and then heading to the area Belussa said the others had gone to.
- Jaylyn and Pike were finally able to contact Ash and Belussa and meet up with them the next day. One of the resistance members was driving them to a shuttle contact in a neighboring settlement where Jaylyn, Pike and Ash could get a ride to the planets' surface posing as mechanics and labor personel for manufacturing.
- There were a few close-calls with Imperial inspections, but the group did make it down to the planet. They attracted some attention slipping into the manufacturing facilities, but managed to evade any sticky situations.
- After some investigation, the group discovered the location of the orbital defense installation and began making their way toward it.
- Jaylyn and Pike road in the speeder with their new "friends" until they reached the edge of the "outpost"
- The "outpost" turned out to be an old underground installation that, apparently, had fallen victim to massive arial bombardment, and now was mostly just a crater.
- As they approached the far edge where the small rebel group was hiding out, they noticed the power was not on as it should be.
- Meanwhile (or, actually, some time later), Ash continued infiltrating the Imperial garrison at the settlement. Disguised as a storm trooper, he made his way around to the garage where the speeder bikes were kept.
- He had marginal success talking his way past several people in the garrison - ultimately choosing to just deck the clerical worker in the munitions locker.
- After hacking his way through a couple of doorlocks, Ash rigged 9 satchel charges to a detonator and proceeded to attempt to leave the garrison. Before he was able to make it to an exit, however, he was conscripted by a fellow trooper to go on an assignment.
- The assignment took Ash to Drao's Hole where a large gungan named Nabrek was becoming a problem for the proprieter. A pair of Duros joined in the distubrance by firing upon the troopers.
- Ash helped the other storm troopers stun the assailants, but upon leaving the bar, peeled off into the back-alleys and detonated the charges. The resultant explosion shook the settlement and lit up the night sky.
- Back at the resistance hideout, Jaylyn, Pike and their new friends were engaged in combat with something they believed to be the bounty hunter Uziel Hash they'd met previously. He was employing a long-ranged stun rifle, booby traps, walking stun grenades and some form of hallucenogen that was making the fight tricky and uncertain.
- Eventually, Pike and two of the others charged in to the main open area where they believed their assailant while Jaylyn and one of the others made their way into an air vent that would lead them into the room from above.
- The group was at last able to overwhelm the attacker, but as they were finishing him off, Pike was becoming convinced that this was not the real Hash, only another decoy.
- Once the area was again secure and several of the stunned inhabitants revived, they group of them took a full day to rest.
- When they had recovered their strength, Jaylyn and Pike met with the rest of the group and its leaders. They told the two that Coruscant had not been destroyed in fact, though they couldn't offer any tangible proof. Instead, it had been effectively blockaded such that it seemed destroyed and the Empire was now using their forged "demonstation" as an intimidation tactic to get its hooks into the governments of many systems - sometimes by employing existing entities in the underworld. Soon, they would be in deep enough that the fact that Coruscant had survived wouldn't matter.
- They continued by saying that the resistance had been gathering in different parts of the galaxy and that they meant to launch a coordinated attack against the Imperial Fleet at Coruscant, but that Duro was needed as a staging and gathering ground - and with the Imperial presence here, that wouldn't be possible.
- The resistance had been in talks with the Chief Industial Officer - effectively the Government-Corporation leader - about using the Duro's not-insignificant forces to free their world, but the CIO is a bit of a coward. Still, the resistance believes he would launch the attack if the Star Destroyers could be first eliminated. One, it seems, had left the system earlier that day for reasons unknown, but there was still one in orbit.
- The option put forth as feesible to get rid of this threat was to use one of the orbital defense guns on the Duro surface. They were, of course, currently under Imperial control, but if one could be liberated and brought to bear on the remaining Star Destroyer, it would never see it coming...
- Jaylyn and Pike decided to check on Ash. When they'd talked their way through the red tape to enter the garrison, Tanor himself showed them to the temporary medical bay where their friend was being treated. The garrison, it seemed, was still under construction. Tanor told them that Ash should be released in approximately 36 hours - sometime the morning after next.
- The next day, the two decided to scout out the street intersection they'd been given, only to discover that the streets in question did not intersect. They were, in fact nearly parallel and among the straighter streets of the settlement.
- Jaylyn and Pike eventually decided that the shifty Rodian must have been implying the place where the streets would meet if they were to be extended into the wilderness - a point approximately 3 miles northeast of town. After returning to The Verity for some supplies, they made their way toward that location.
- The location, they discovered, was a large crater-like canyon. By the time they reached the place, however, it was well after sunset - and was getting dark.
- Meanwhile, Ash had been revived and was preparing to leave the garrision earlier than expected. Once he had been debriefed, he decided to head toward Drao's Hole where his companions had been intending to go.
- He'd only taken a few steps in that direction, however, when he noticed something in his jacket pocket. It was a small data pad. When Ash switched it on, it read: "I know your secret, Mr. Grayven. It is safe for now." The message went on to say that Ash should meet this person at the end of a street in one hour.
- The acidic rain was falling pretty hard by the time Ash arrived at the prescribed location. The shadowy figure standing at the edge of the area illuminated by the one street lamp was obviously waiting. When he approached, the figure told him he was glad he came. Ash recognized the voice as Tanor's. Tanor told him that he needed a favor. He needed someone to break into the Imperial garrison and dispose of some new speeder bikes that had just been shipped in. Since Ash didn't want his secret to get out, and since he generally didn't have qualms about sabotaging Imperial property, he agreed.
- As Pike and Jaylyn entered the canyon they'd found, it seemed as though no one was around. They were beginning to wonder if they'd been mistaken when the very dimmed headlights of a speeder began approaching. A young woman opened one of the rear doors, stepped out and hurriedly motioned them to join her.
- About that same time, a grenade rocked the speeder car from the other side, and an unknown group of assailants opened fire from the ledge above. Pike and Jaylyn made a run for it to the speeder, which was already turning around. They managed to get inside before it took off, rocketting into a tunnel in the canyon wall. It took only precursory conversation for Pike and Jaylyn to learn that the people they'd just joined were, at least in some way, part of the alliance.
- Back at the garrison, Ash had found a downed tree resting against the back wall of the installation beneath a guard tower. He had returned to The Verity for his storm trooper armor which was currently covered by a brown cloak. The external lights of the garrison apparently weren't functioning yet and the surroundings were dark, though the installation itself was well lit. Once the guard in the tower turned away, Ash made his break for it - leaping up the tree and throwing himself over the wall into a small courtyard between the tower and two other buildings - which, as luck would have it - was currently empty. That is, until Ash saw one of the doors opening...
- The party decided to follow their only lead to Drao's Hole, a bar located in one of the larger settlements on Ouro, a backwater moon of the system.
- Upon landing, they were greeted by a combined patrol of local and Imperial officers. The Imperial officer in charge seemed to recognize Ash. After they had been basically satisfied with the group's reason for visiting the planet ("to sell wares"), the patrol made to depart only to be attacked by a pair of giant lizard-like creatures.
- The group participated in the insuing chaos, which culminated with Belussa following Pike's instructions to turn the ships turret on the larger of the two creatures. Unfortunately, Belussa's gunnery skills were not particularly great, and the boulder that exploded from the weapon's fire managed to mortally wound Ash.
- The Imperial officer, perhaps grateful(?) for the aid, called for a medic. Against his wishes, Belussa attempted to stabalize Ash's condition - an effort that was partially successful.
- When the medic arrived, Ash was transported to the new Imperial garrison in the settlement for treatment. This was potentially problematic since Ash was currently AWOL from the Imperial army.
- The officer, whose name was Tanor, told Pike and Jaylyn that they could come to visit him if they wished and that mentioning his name should be sufficient to gain entrance.
- With their companion out of commission, the two decided to go ahead to Drao's Hole themselves. They spent some time talking with Drao and overhearing other conversations. They eventually noticed an uneasy-looking Rodian sitting by himself and Pike decided to buy him a drink. Pike subtley intimated that he was connected to the duro who'd been maintaining the signal they had traced and the Rodian seemed to respond to this with some urgency. He told Pike they should talk, but not there. Instead they would meet later - sunset the following day - at the intersection of two streets in town.
- The party arrived in the Duro system to find themselves in the path of an Imperial pursuit. They avoided any altercations by cooperating with the Imperial authorities and remaining uninvolved.
- When the coast was clear, they headed into one of Duro's orbital cities where they were looking for information. A local duro pub had little to offer them. They had already noticed the system was fairly heavily occupied by Imperials and no one here seemed to know why. They were also informed that transports were not allowed to leave the system without Imperial authorization.
- The group tuned into the com frequency indicated by the message they had deciphered to find only a simple tone on the channel. After some attempts to make more of it, they decided the only thing they could do was try to trace it to its origins.
- The signal lead them into the bowels of a duro residential station. When they finally reached its source, however, they found that someone had already done so. In a small corridor was a dead duro, having apparently been shot twice in the chest. Scattered around the area were the duro's possessions as well as a deck of sabac cards.
- Pike recognized what he was seeing and, upon finding and examining the 'Demise' card from the deck, was sure of it: this was the work of a bounty hunter called Uziel Hash, a man known for mystery and misdirection. Pike advised the others to be careful.
- The only thing the group found that they identified as useful or a potential clue was a card from Drao's Hole, a pub located on Ouro, one of Duro's moons known primarily as a slum. The card had the frequency scrawled on the back.
- On the way out, the party was waylaid by a group of identically-dressed individuals. They seemed intent on capturing the group - or at least Pike. Outgunned, the party decided to make a run for it, and they were able to avoid their pursuers until Imperial authorities arrived in the area.
- As the party watched the news broadcast, Pike noticed an unusual distortion layer over the clip of Coruscant being destroyed. It looked like it might have been an encoded message, but in order to discover what it meant, they would have to get the Verity's computer up and running again.
- the riots were still escalating when there was a loud, low rumbling sound and the group saw three large transport ships land in Imperial Circle outside. Off of the ships marched at least 200 armed troops, who began engaging the rioters and pushing them back.
- another individual approached the Plaza building with his own retinue of guards. He asked to speak to Eteska, saying he and his forces were there on behalf of Lord Mathis, a local nobleman. The man, called Golvan, intimated that Mathis would aid in the restoration of the city to a more permanent order in exchange for political power. Eteska didn't seem excited by this idea, but agreed to talk.
- the party, meanwhile, returned to the spaceport garrison when the riots had calmed and began to work on repairing the Verity. Belussa proved very helpful in this endeavor.
- the repairs were only interrupted by the arrival of a single storm trooper who threatened and then attacked them. The trooper was ultimately subdued and the group discovered it was, in fact a young woman. They kept her tied up in the cargo bay as they decided what they'd do with her.
- when the group got the computer systems back online, they were able to decode the distortion as a simple character sequence: Dour114.
- it took the group a lot of brainstorming, but they ultimately decided it probably referred to the core world of Duro and possibly a com frequency in use in that system.
- the party tied up some loose ends, talked with Eteska a bit more (some arrangement with Lord Mathis was seeming inevitable) and decided to let their pseudo-stormtrooper go.
- party received a call from Byron who told them of a way to get to Imperial Plaza from the spaceport by way of some old sub-basements and utility corridors running beneath the city.
- on their way to the underground access, the party rescued a sulustan named Belussa who had been trapped in an old transport ship by some thugs.
- the party wound around under the city for a while, encountering something in the form of a disturbing old man. they attempted to sneak past him, but noticed them passing. The old man began to cackle and laugh as red light began poured out from his bandaged eye. The group didn't stick around to see what happened next - opting instead to run for it.
- it was another couple of hours before they found what they believed to be the basement of the plaza building. They were still cutting their way in when they were attacked by a monstrous, tentacled creature. fortunately, the creature was fairly slow and they were able to hold it off long enough to get inside and out of reach.
- as the party headed up through the lower basements of the plaza, they encountered a group of sabateurs planting bombs in one of the lower utility rooms. The resultant running combat played out with Pike distracting and disorienting the bombers while Ash kept their attention and Jaylyn and Belussa disarmed the bombs.
- after dealing with the explosive threat, the group made their way up into the building proper, where they found Eteska, Mox and a crowd of refugees taking shelter. All of them were gathered around a series of screens where a staunch-looking imperial officer was delivering a report. The broadcast cut next to a video clip showing the capital Coruscant being destroyed by a massive laser blast.
- after the governor left, Byron also departed - mentioning that he needed to do something
- Jaylyn got a call from Dakan - it was short, but he mentioned something about some starship parts in a hauler that had been ditched in the Junk Pile
- The party made an attempt to descend through gorge, but by the time they'd reached the entrance to the old mines which would lead them to the Junk Pile on the canyon floor, they were running out of daylight.
- The group returned to Imperial Plaza, to dinner with the Governor and the newly-arrived Admiral. The admiral obviously thought himself "above" most of the company present, only speaking to the governor who seemed to not to wish to discuss matters.
- After dinner, the group adjourned to the rooms they'd been offered in the plaza and planned to go to bed. They happened upon Byron in the hallway saying he'd seen some figures skulking through and that the power to the lights had been mysteriously cut.
- The group and Byron pursued the figures up a couple of floors to the penthouse level, but they were outpaced. Byron and Jaylyn actually had to climb up the outside of the building on the highest floor to reach the governor's quarters before the assassins.
- The actual encounter was brief, but the governor was very thankful for their protection. She even offered to help them with their ship. The would-be attackers turned out to be employees of the plaza, hired separately around 6 months ago.
- The next day, the group was awakened to the star destroyer's thunderous takeoff. The party learned that the admiral had left Iveston with the entire garrison and about 90% of the local forces as well. They also learned that their ship had been moved - probably to the spaceport.
- The party made their way to the empty garrison and, with the help of a passkey the governor had given them, entered. They found The Verity in one of the bays, powered down and its damaged engine partially disassembed for repair.
- The group took stock of the place for a while and then decided to head back to the plaza. Upon leaving the spaceport, however, they discovered the streets were overrun with rioting mobs...
- the party awoke at the Grand Isle hotel the next morning, just in time to discover it was under some kind of attack
- the party attempted to waylay/escape-from groups of saboteurs as they made their way from the middle floors out of the hotel, which seemed to be losing stability.
- on their way, the encountered a woman called Dala (whom Jaylyn was trying to help to safety) and they ran into the card player they'd seen at Speeders the night before - his name was Byron.
- once outside, they found a great force of local police and imperial troups as well as the governor and her entourage making the rounds.
- the group was questioned a few times and strangely, the governor invited them (along with Dala and Byron) to a private luncheon at the Imperial Plaza (the capitol building in Iveston).
- The governor, a woman called Ephana Eteska, seemed particularly interested in the party as they had obviously arrived from off-planet - even offering them accomodations there in the plaza. She seemed eager to hear of events happening elsewhere in the galaxy, but the party was a little wary of her and the rest of the present company and so said little.
- As the afternoon progressed, the group adjorned to a neighboring lounge area where conversations naturally broke into smaller groups.
- These leisurely activities continued until about 3:30 when the governor's aid, a cerean called Tylynn returned to tell her something. The governor excused herself and, when Byron asked her for an explanation, she informed those remaining that Admiral Genneth's star destroyer was entering the atmosphere to make its landing...
- the party eventually regrouped at an abandoned mining installation where Dakan and his group had taken up residence. Pike had a near miss with an Imperial contingent on the way.
- Dakan and his companions had claimed a survey tower and a utility building at its base. The rest of the complex seemed to be uninhabited and in disrepair.
- the group learned that there were some vehicles approaching - but they weren't Imperial. The three vehicles were civilian luxury models. The group of well-dressed men who emerged from them were interested in Dakan - and decided to make him and "offer he couldn't refuse". He didn't seem too interested, however.
- the next day, the group headed down into the valley to Iveston. The city was fairly large and was situated on the valley plain above and around a canyon.
- the group spent some time looking around the city. they saw an unusually strong Imperial presence and could feel some tension between them and the local authorities. They saw the blasted storefront of a local cantina and a graffiti-covered statue of an Imperial officer - both being guarded as crime scenes.
- the party also decided to look for places they could get some help repairing their ship. They learned that there were a few speeder shops in town, but those places wouldn't have much for the larger repairs needed. They had been told, however, that there were a few entities in town that could probably help them: the spaceport would certainly have that capability, but it was Imperial-controlled. The governor of the planet, a woman called Eteska, would also probably have the means, but that would be a pretty big favor. An underworld lord called The Slug was a possible third, though accepting his aid would certainly have strings attached (his men where the ones who spoke to Dakan earlier).
- the group spent the evening at a club called Speeders, which was over-crowded since Solstar had been shot up. They talked to the waitress a bit about recent events and the local social climate.
- on their way back to the hotel they'd planned to stay at, a street gang attempted to rob them, but that attempt went poorly from the start. the group gunned two of the assailants down and the others were fleeing when Pike noticed some Imperial troops approaching quickly. Jaylyn then pursuaded an extremely unnerved speeder driver to give them a quick ride out of the area.
- their escort dropped them at a hotel back on the other side of The Gorge nearer to the capital square than they'd intended, but at least they were out of Imperial sights for the time being. On their way inside they ran into a Kel Dor in a local officer's uniform. He engaged them in a short conversation. He seemed a little suspicious of them, but he was polite. After asking to see their ids weapon permits, he bid them good evening and admonished them not to cause any trouble while they were in town.
- the smaller rebel fleet surrounded the death star above Endor. They were pretty heavily outgunned, but were making an all-or-nothing attack on the battle station.
- The Verity (the party's ship) was aiding in the defense of a frigate called The Obstinance when they received word that the station's reactor had been hit and it was about to explode. The insuing shockwave chewed through their ship's shields and battered it a bit.
- the Imperial fleet which had been holding at the emperor's command began engaging the rebels in earnest. Having accomplished their primary goal, the rebel commanders gave the command to scatter.
- As The Verity was entering hyperspace, Pike caught a reading on the sensors - something very large had entered space near where the death star had been. As they entered hyperspace, The Verity was hit hard by something, all but destroying the port engine and weakening the hull nearby.
- Jaylyn fought to retain control of her ship while Pike sealed off the cargo bay and evacuated the air in an attempt to prevent an explosive decompression. Ash, the gunner, wanted to do something to help but there wasn't much he could do in that situation.
- As an emergency procedure, Jaylyn dropped The Verity out of hyperspace early and found herself very near a large brown-green planet - and approaching it rapidly.
- The crash landing was rough on The Verity's occupants, but they all managed to survive.
- While they considered their situation, Pike noticed some figures approaching the wreck. the party remained hidden as they prowled about outside the ship, eventually knocking on the dorsal hatch.
- the group outside seemed to be scavengers or the like. They told the party they had landed on a planet called Gantorra VI and offered to give them a ride to the city of Iveston which was about 75k away - for a fee of course. Jaylyn wanted to get started on what she could do to repair parts of the ship before they left, so they asked it it could wait till the next day. The leader of the scavengers, Dakan, seemed mildly exasperated, but agreed.
- the next day, three of the four returned on their speeder bikes to give the party a ride back. The first half of the journey was uneventful, but shortly after that mark, they were attacked by Imperial troops.
- during the insuing fight, one of the scavengers, a female rodian Dakan called 'Dozy' was injured when she was pinned under her wrecked speeder bike. Jaylyn helped Dakan free her and he asked if she could get her to safety.
- Jaylyn was a little torn. She had received a call moments earlier from R2C5, her astrodroid, who informed her that someone was trying to get into the ship. Dakan told her not to worry about that, which seemed to Jaylyn easy for him to say. Still, she managed to get Dozy onto a speeder bike she's procured and the two of them got clear of the fight, heading to a place Dozy was indicating. After they'd been traveling for about 10 minutes, she got another call from C5 telling her whoever had been trying to get in had left without succeeding.
- The others caught up with them sometime later. They had traveled to an abandoned mining installation on a mountainside near the valley where Iveston resided.
|Friday September 9, 2011 at 6:00pm||new campaign, star wars, shards of endor, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
Star Wars Saga Edition | canon/story/feel = Original Trilogy (only)
[Tony] Pike - human scoundrel, former bounty hunter
[Adam] Ash - human soldier, former storm trooper
[Sheri] Jaylyn - human scout, pilot of transport The Verity
The Battle of Endor was not the resounding victory it might have first appeared. After the second Death Star was unexpectedly destroyed, the holding Imperial Fleet began to engage in earnest. Outgunned by a significant margin, the remaining Rebels were forced to flee.
The Emperor's death has created a power vacuum which many will try to fill. The Imperial Fleet now weilds a great deal of near-independent power, but the bureaucracy is failing even as rumors of an imperial successor begin to circulate. The Senate is attempting to reconvene, but they have little real power. De facto rule has fallen to regional governors, some of whom plan to remain autonomous, and, of course, there are other powerful entities and organizations that may be vying for a slice of the galaxy.
In many ways, matters are now worse...
- the party continued speaking with human resistance and specifically emeric
- Alina noticed Fae was tending to someone who was, presumably, injured in the next room and tried to convince Fae to allow her to see the patient. Fae seemed hesistant, but went to ask. When she returned, she told Alina she had been summoned.
- Emeric took Tisroc and Glitch to his mansion after they learned many of the lizard men had suddenly left it. Upon finding the proper room in the basement, Emeric began to adjust the summoning circle. He had told Tisroc that the only way to reverse his "condition" would involve speaking directly to the entity to which the vow was made.
- As they began the ritual, some of the lizard men found them and threatened to interrupt it. Glitch had found a shovel like his in a hole in the corner and, upon retrieving it, began to hold off the attackers.
- Tisroc finally managed to pull the demon to the surface of the circle - which was now something like an ice-covered pool. As he spoke his words to defiance to the being below however, Emeric stabbed him in the back, causing him to collapse into the circle. Glitch saw Tisroc fall, but not exactly what had happened.
- A moment later, the demon burst from the circle and, forcing its way thorugh the ceiling of the chamber, out into the streets above. Emeric told Glitch that if he didn't bury Tisroc, the demon would roam free and uncontrolled forever.
- Glitch put Tisroc in the hold he'd found, and covered his body with the soil which had been dug up - seemingly for this purpose specifically.
- Meanwhile, Alina was speaking to a mysterious figure lying on a darkened bed. Its voice was female and it asked Alina to perform the last rites. It wasn't until the ceremony was almost complete that the room began to lighten and Alina could see the figure's form lying on the bed - unmistakably that of Bast - before it disappeared in a burst of radiant light.
- There were tremors. Lava was beginning to well up from beneath the earth into the city, which was already nearly 1/3 engulfed. A chaotic battle was raging all over the city - gnolls, hobgoblins, kobolds, giants, humans and some jackal-like beings were all fighting each other. There were no clear sides.
- At the highest point in the city, the figure of Set stood surveying the chaos. Across town, another figure - a jackal-like humanoid was floating some feet off the ground, making its way toward the hill. Glitch and Alina were also heading that way.
- Tisroc awoke submerged in something like a strange, dark ocean - a tiny pinpoint of light lay far below him. Filled with the conviction that this light was important, he dove toward it only to encounter a massive squidlike creature which defiantly declared that "this world" belonged to it.
- Alina an Glitch engaged Set & the jackal figure on this hill just as a massive dragon burst through the ceiling above, adding to the chaos of an already unfathomable battle.
- Tisroc descended to touch the glowing sphere he had seen before.
- The world around Alina, Glitch and the other combatants began to shift. The mountain crumbled away revealing a vast plain surrounded by mountains - aspects of the landscape occasionally flickering through various states of health and decay. A solid black sphere appeared before them, immediately capturing the attention of Set and the jackal.
- Tisroc had engaged the squid-monster and had managed to move the globe away from it, but had grabbed ahold of him in the process. After some struggle, he managed to free himself.
- Alina began injecting light into the black sphere using her magic, and the sphere reacted violently. Set and the jackal were fighting each other over it and the jackal eventually gained it when Set was distracted by Alina - it was as though he recognized her. He even claimed to have killed her already.
- Wisdom's form began to grow uncontrollably in response to the darkness as Set bore down on Alina. She fired two more bursts of light: the first at the sphere and the second at her attacker, and suddenly the world ceased to exist.
- Tisroc finally made it to the surface with the globe to find himself standing in an open, grassy field which was, even as he saw it, dissolving into a blank, white nothingness. He stood there alone for a few minutes and then other figures began to appear - figures he knew. Alina and Glitch were there of course, but there were others. Emeric, A harpy that had tried to kill them, the massive dragon (now comical in size because it was no larger than they), as sphinx they had rescued, a wise-woman's granddaughter, a constable, a barmaid and others. They were the last remnants of a now-dead world.
- Tisroc looked down at the now crystal clear globe in his arms and understood: It was a new world. Void. Formless. Full of potential.
[end story arc]
- Party continued with their new lizard companions, though their relationship was a bit tenuous.
- the group was split by some kind of illusion as the lizard men began walking through the corridor walls and eventually even the party found themselves somewhere wildly improbable.
- the party continued through a variety of unusual locations including an outdoor(?) garden lined with worn deific statues, a massive library dedicated to esoteric demonology and the burial site of an ancient being responsible for the creation of Glitch and the other automatons.
- eventually, they ended up in a large bronze chamber filled with gold where a giant minotaur was waiting for them - promising only death at the labrynth's center. After the insuing battle, the group dove out through the opening behind the cracked, bronze throne as the chamber collapsed and found themselves once again in the Deep Road corridor. They were shortly joined by Kthkash, the lizardmen leader, and one other of his group.
- Kthkash began speaking of a dragon they had fought together and asked how the party managed to esacpe from it. The group was confused, but Kthkash seemed to be a bit warmer to them due to this "event", and they decided not to push it since they would need his help to enter the city. They also decided that perhaps not everything was as it seemed in the labrynth so little could be safely trusted or doubted.
- the group continued to Makarth where even Kthkash was surprised at the "security measures" being taken. The party was forced to surrender their weaponry before they would be granted entrance to the town and the number of armed reptiles on active duty was surprising.
- just inside, they were approached by a young boy selling apples. Tisroc found this odd since he clearly didn't have any apples on him and there was no realistic way for him to acquire them deep underground.
- After conversing with him further, the boy led them through some back alleys of the city to a hidden room where they encountered members of some kind of human resistance group - among them was a man called Emeric...
- once back in Belurn, the party quietly returned to First Light to get some rest.
- the next morning, Marl came to talk to Tisroc - the menacing army was approaching and he thought he knew a way to circumvent the Stone Door by going through the mines.
- Alina was troubled by some and the realization that Nephthys' power had left her. She insisted they go to speak with Danhon, a local priest of Anubis.
- While they were speaking with him, they heard a sudden roar as Perol's barrier gave way. Running outside, they saw the monstrous army pouring into the city.
- As they descended from the crypt entrance where they'd met Danhon, they saw Perol and a few of his mysterious followers running toward them.
- the Thoth-like figure they had seen before suddenly flickered into existence ahead them. Its presence seemed to surpress the light around them to a degree, and it seemed to be drowning in the thick, black sludge which was oozing from its eyes, mouth and various wounds.
- Perol's men began surrounding the figure and invoking some sort of ritual as it lashed out at them.
- When the encounter began to go poorly, Perol knelt and invoked another sort of rite, which seemed to dilate time as it called forth another being. The figure that appeared was tall and muscular with the head of a donkey. Like the Thoth-like being, it was surrounded by faint, glowing runes and it, too, oozed a black viscous liquid - though to a much lesser degree as it bled only from wounds in its forarms. As the figure approached, it didn't seem to walk so much as blur and fade from one position to the next.
- The new figure ignored Perol and his supplications, making some comment that he was of no more use. Instead, it approached Alina. It showed her the masses of people cowering in buildings all around them and told her that he cared nothing for them - but that he would save them if she would swear her allegiance to him.
- Alina skeptically asked who he was, a question to which he only responded "I am the only one left." Tisroc, however, recognized his form immediately as that of Set.
- After Alina's rejection, the figure departed suddenly and the roar of battle poured back into their senses. They ran with Marl toward the mines.
- At the mines they discovered most of the town taking refuge in this slightly-more-defensable area. Feeling there was nothing more they could do to help the citizens of Belurn, they followed Marl deep into the mine shafts. As they located the gap Marl was sure would lead them to the Deep Road, the party knew that whatever was to befall the poor people hundreds of feet above them was already happening.
- The group climbed up and through the hole into a hewn chamber, and collapsed the wall behind them. They then followed the corridor out to the Road.
- They traveled for some time before having to deviate into an adjoining natural cavern due to a cave-in. As they tried to circumvent the rubble, they encountered a group of reptilian humanoids fighting off some giant scorpions. The group decided to aid the lizard men.
- After the battle, they learned that their new "friends" were from a place called Makarth - a city deep under the ground. They'd been scouting when they were cut off by something that arrived in the tunnel and reshaped it into an impassible maze.
- It took only a little more conversation for the group to learn that Makarth had been Gullow - apparently "reclaimed" by a large tribe of these lizard men who felt their territory was rightly theirs. Humans still dwelled there, however, and the leader told them he would ensure they were granted entry if they could help he and his men return.
- As the rasping growling continued issuing from the new gash in the earth, a black mist began to rise from it, lit from within by flashes of white light and accompanied by a listless voice
- The party attempted to flee the area, but the ground beneath them began to break and collapse and it was only by some incredible good fortune that they survived.
- After some recovery, the party continued on their recon mission. The camp on the plateau seemed to be composed of several hundred hobgoblins, gnolls, some kobolds and even a few giants - all being directed by some jackal-like humanoids.
- They also found some oddities within the encampment - most notably a strange and supernatural form near the back of the camp. It hovered motionless above the ground, oozing a thick, black liquid from its eyes and down the long bird's beak which protruded from its head. Light seemed actively surpressed in the area, yet the being cast several unnatural shadows and seemed covered with subtlely shifting runes. It reminded Tisroc of some kind of avatar of a deity called Thoth, but Alina was quite certain it could not be an avatar - or, if it was, it was severely cursed or distorted by something.
- After gathering their information, the set out for Belurn once more. When they arrived, however, they found the city cavern sealed off by a prismatic force wall.
- Using Glitch's innate teleporting abilities and some of Tisroc's magic, they were able to get back inside where they discovered the city had been sealed and all but taken over by a man called Perol - a local tailor who, apparently, had some rather impressive magical talent as well.
- Alina heard some commotion outside the following morning, and went to investigate. She discovered a scout who'd returned to town with the tale of a massive army gathered about 1 day away from the city.
- The group reassembled and spoke with the scout and the Director of the settlement (who seemed intent on not causing a panic).
- With some convincing, the scout agreed to take the party out to a point near where the force was reportedly gathered.
- The going was difficult and in the dark among the rocks near the plateau, they got separated. Tisroc ended up falling through a thin rock shelf into the lair of a deceased dragon, now infested with tiny but aggressive lizards with and electrical affinity.
- The crash and the insuing chaos alerted the rest of the party to his location and predicament, but unfortunately also gained the attention of a nearby hobgoblin patrol which the party was forced to fight off.
- As the battle ended, the brief moment of silence was cut short by an echoing, hollow growling sound coming from the lair.
- with the help of the sphinxes, the party continued their journey over the Jagged Crown mountains toward the settlement called Belurn, the Stone Door. From there, they intended to take the tunnel road down to Gullow.
- during the journey, Alina realized she had contracted some kind of infection - probably as a result of her injuries from the rats of the Tanir tunnels. She was able to shake off the illness in a couple of days, however, and there was no real problem.
- they party did realize, however, that they would need to be more careful with their supplies of water from now on as Alina informed them that creating it magically was no longer easy.
- upon arriving at their destination, the sphinxes wished them well and thanked them again for their previous aid.
- as the group entered the settlement, they spoke with some sort of guardsman about the town and recent events.
- they learned that the structure which was being built outside the town was the work of "The Avatar" - a creature sent by Anubis - who had said the settlement needed a proper temple and that the temporary walls they had noticed were constructed to help fend off an attack by a force of hobgoblins and gnolls which they'd resisted a few weeks earlier.
- they also learned that the Stone Door itself had been sealed about 3 years ago. Apparently it was "no longer safe" and that some reptile-like savages had come out and attempted to raid the settlement.
- the group entered the town, heading toward an in called First Light. as they crossed an open marketplace, Glitch noticed another automaton standing motionless near its center.
- Glitch approached and examined the figure - it was in quite a state of disrepair.
- as he looked at it, the automaton seemed to wake up, and began talking with him. Glitch asked the other golem to come with them, and the group continued toward the inn.
- the group enjoyed some food, relaxed for the evening, and talked with one of the miners who had been present when the lizard-men attacked.
- Alina later went to see the mines and the Stone Door - listening to see if she could hear anything like what was described by the miner. She could not.
- Tisroc and Glitch went to the debris field outside town to scavenge for materials with which to repair the damaged automaton.
- party continued deeper into the tunnels, saw more bodies - some seeming to have been dead longer than they had been lying in their current location.
- found open are with zombies crawling out of a well. fought some, attempted to keep more from emerging.
- noticed approaching massive swarm of insects, took cover in a nearby building
- building contained a passage back to an altar room to some unidentifiable deity. a woman's body was lying at the foot of the altar in a pool of blood.
- the party was unable to keep part of the insect swarm out of the building, and Alina eventually fought it off by setting herself on fire - relying on her faith to save her from the flames.
- once the swarm had passed, party continued deeper into the tunnels.
- encountered a group of people attempting to fight off more zombies, aided
- continued into the deepest parts of the tunnels, found a long street that seemed to narrow as they went until rats burst out of adjacent buildings in a giant swarm.
- the party fought off some of the rats, but generally made a run for it in the direction they were heading - this took them to a place where the street narrowed into a more natural cave tunnel which terminated in a cracked opening into a large cavern.
- inside the cavern was a short man they'd seen before, when he noticed them the skeletons of the bodies that lay around him shrugged off their flesh and began shambling toward the party.
- in the midst of the resulting chaos, the party noticed the giant ooze-like demon clinging to the ceiling. It slid down, opening a huge jagged-toothed maw in an attempt to devour them.
- as they made their escape, the entrance to the cavern collapsed, sealing itself off from the rest of the tunnels.
- the party returned to the Sandstone Tower, discussed what they had encountered with each other, and made ready to leave the following morning.
- the next day, they saw to one or two errands in town, and then met the sphinxes to continue on their original journey.
Lord Verran had been summoned to a political meeting at a rival's estate, only to be involved in a sudden attack by a group of unknown assailants. The presence of Verran and his lance was probably all that prevented the entire place from being destroyed in the assault, but their victory explained nothing of the motives behind the attack...
Margaret Graham was always a little afraid of her grandmother and so was not particularly happy about the fact that she and her brother would be staying with her for a few days while their parents went on a little vacation to a neighboring state. Despite the fact that her 3 cousins were also to be staying with them, she didn't expect to have much fun - and it turned out to be even worse than she expected. As she slept in her grandparents' old bedroom the very first night, the ghost of her deceased grandfather appeared and pleaded with her about things she couldn't quite understand. Worse still, his visit was revealed to be disturbingly prophetic the following day as the farm itself began to take on nightmarish characteristics...
- The party calls for Rynbel and requests that she visit the Vigilants' HQ and attempt to find out what was going on.
- The rest of the party head down to the Temple of the Stars. After knocking on the door but getting no answer, Tisroc causes the sound of bells to erupt inside the temple until the door is finally opened.
- The high priestess denies any knowledge of anything occuring in the tunnels involving her brothers, sisters or followers.
- The party returned to the Sandstone Tower where Honch asked them what they would do about the giant. The group asked him to explain or elaborate on what the giant was or what he meant, but he didn't seem able to.
- The group gathered their gear and headed down through the city.
- About halfway down, the group encountered a rioting mob of individuals who seemed to be moving upward through the streets, burning structures as they went.
- The group avoided the mob as best they could until they encountered a group burning down a house and yelling angrily at the man inside.
- The group decided to intervene. Glitched battered some of the men with his shovel. Alina attempted to douse some of them with water, but found that conjuring it had become very difficult. Ultimately, they were driven off after Tisroc wandered into their midst and shot fire from his hands into the sky, which was more than sufficient to scatter them.
- The party continued and eventually encountered what Honch must have referred to as "the giant". It was a massive, 50-foot-tall woman. She glowed with a faint light and was blindfolded with a strip of cloth in the center of which was a glowing rune. She was gracefully but randomly weilding a massive halberd and wherever it struck a building, the stone and wood exploded in a shower of debris.
- The group decided the giant needed to be stopped.
- Tisroc and Alina decided that it might be some kind of summoned or conjured being and that perhaps the blindfold was some form of anchor. Tisroc gave Glitch the rapier they'd taken from Naglish's body, and he teleported up to the giant's shoulder. He started to fall, but as he did he managed to cut the blindfold which fell from the giant's face.
- The giant's eyes were glowing white orbs. Her expression became angry and her voice boomed "you are all guilty!" Beams of light seared from her eyes to the city streets and buildings, exploding stone and wood wherever she looked.
- Tisroc reacted by conjuring a blasting wave of sand which he directed at the giant. The sand pierced her glowing eyes. As she stumbled and attempted to wipe the grit from them, she began to fade into nothingness saying "you have all betrayed me; my people, my world, have forsaken me"
- The party continued to the Tunnels where they encountered the horror Tovi had told them about - the bodies of dozens of people littered the ground just inside. Among them were some wearing priestly robes and the purple capes of the Vigilants. However there was something strange about them - Alina was able to determine they had certainly been dead for weeks...
- Rynbel showed Tisroc The Array - a sensitive monitoring device showing shifts, trends and relationships between various aspects of magic.
- The wizards pointed out the erratic behavior of the representation of the Water aspect. Also, they have noticed some aberrations in Fire, Cold, Conjuration and Transmutation.
- A tremor shook the Tower; Honch (the butler) informed them that it was caused by an explosion in the Upper Halls. The blast had killed three prominent members of the Merchant Guild. He also told them that the cause of the explosion was fleeing the area, heading in this direction.
- Upon questioning, the wizards told the group that Honch is what they call a Puremind - a rare type of individual who can pull information from some aether of the cosmos, especially relating to partiularly consequential events.
- The party goes down to the street where they see a group of the Vigilants running downward; Alina also heard a voice call out for someone called "Garkov".
- In the street, two of the Vigilants were standing watch over the body of one of the men fleeing the scene of the explosion whom they'd shot in the back with a crossbow. Upon closer examination, it turned out to be Olin.
- The following morning, the group returned to the Ledge looking for Tovi, but the place was empty.
- Tisroc spent most of the day researching magic, attempting to expand his knowledge.
- Alina visited the Temple of the Stars where the priest presiding over the daily service was speaking about being watchful against the evil that had crept into the city and how the faithful must drive it out. It reminded Alina of the rhetoric she heard in Rynthis after the high priest's death.
- Alina and Glitch visited The Lodge where they spoke to a man about crafting a special bow for Glitch.
- Alina and Glitch returned to the Sandstone Tower where they attempted to occupy themselves while Tisroc studied.
- Honch came to tell them that they had a visitor just before there was a knock on the front door. Upon answering, they found Tovi, nearly in tears, pleading with them to do something about the Priests and Vigilants who were killing innocents down in the Tunnels.
|Monday February 28, 2011 at 5:30pm||world of darkness, london 1802, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
Upon entering the main hall of the cathedral, the group witnessed the heart of London's darkness. A shadowy, ragged cloak-like shape hovered beneath the dome in a vortex of swirling air currents. They also noticed a figure slumped over the altar at the front and could just make out another figure collapsed in a large chair in one of the antechambers.
Molly raised her pistol - the bronze one with the golden cross dangling from it's handle - to take aim at the floating shape above, and pulled the trigger.
The cloak-like shape swirled downward to engage the intruders - launching chapel benches, animating statues and even puppeting the body of Lord Caspar - dead figure in the chair antechamber. Robert and Gerald also seemed to experience some space/time anomalies which transported them to some other location, showing them bizarre scenes and events. Ultimately they were able to defeat the apparition - in large part thanks to Molly's effective use of Lance's spirit pistol - as the cathedral continued to crumble.
After the final wraith was banished back into the Shadow World, the storm ouside seemed to subside - but distant thunder continued to rumble - thunder they later discovered was actually gunfire. French soldiers had made a beachhead at the London docks and were attempting to move in and take the city, only to incounter unexpected and horrific resistance in the form of maddened sailors, goblin-like creatures and other unspeakable things - giving local soldiers enough time to mobilize to fend off the remains of the badly demoralized and retreating force. King George would later laud the "Spirit of the City" as being responsible for terrifying the witless French - a miracle from God which allowed the English to prevail. The Treaty of Amiens having been broken, plans for repelling further French attacks - and even the possibilites of a foreign offensive - are being discussed in the Hall of Lords.
The group returned to the bathhouse to recover. Over the successive weeks, things seemed to be calming down. Strangely, it was the city regaining its normalcy that made clear to them more than any other event just how far from the mundane world they had come - and they could not go back.
[end campaign arc]
The group slept through the rest of the night undisturbed. The next morning they discussed the nights' events with Olin and Tovi over breakfast. The tavern owners seemed very concerned at the existance of such a creature in their part of town.
Tisroc had heard about a place in the city called the Sandstone Tower. It was reputed to be home to a group of wizards, and Tisroc was interested in what he might be able to learn from them. After they finisehd their morning meal, they decided to head that direction.
The tower itself was a large, cliff-side structure. It was so massive, in fact, that the group wondered how its foundation supported it. They were greeted at the iron gates by an elderly caretaker called Honsh. He asked them why they had come and directed them inside.
The large entry hall was full of books and objects which could only be described as "wizard-y". They were, in fact, a little over-the-top and played to every myth or superstition about magic one might hear among the common people. Tisroc had even begun leafing through a book about "dangerous magical creatures" when Rynbel descended to meet them.
Rynbel was a young woman, perhaps in her early thirties, with dark features. She asked Tisroc what he thought of their wondrous hall and the artifacts in contained. Tisroc attempted to be diplomatic, but couldn't in good conscience endorse what he had found fully. He instead suggested that perhaps some of her materials weren't completely accurate. She frowned at this and asked him if he might elaborate on his criticisms. He did so. It wasn't until after 10 of 15 minutes of needling him that her expression softened, and she welcomed them into the tower. She explained to him that this room was a kind of competence test for would-be associates, and she looked around the room with some satisfaction at its tackiness. Anyone who embraced anything they found here was most likely not worth their time.
Rynbel and her colleagues Nalves and Oldesule explained their scholarly nature and their pursuit of knowledge - particularly knowledge of the arcane - and they showed him their massive libraries dedicated to all of these things. Tisroc realized the vast depth of what he could learn in a place like this, and they offered him access to everything they had if he would be willing to do something for them. What they wanted was for him to take some time to write down his experiences, adventures and observations. They explained that much of what they had learned had involved building and combining the experiences and observations of wizards who had come before them.
Tisroc agreed to write his experiences down for them, and he was directed to a small room with a single chair and a desk with a nice leather and iron bound book and a quill and ink well. The walls of the room were lined with bookshelves closed and locked behind glass doors. Tisroc sat down, picked up the quill and set it to the first blank page of the book and began to write - and he wrote uninterrupted for 8 hours. As he closed the back binding of the book after completing the last page, he felt as though he came out of a daze. Tisroc had no recollection of exactly what he wrote, only that it was the truth of his life and experiences - not down to the smallest detail, but surely everything that would be relevant from a scholarly perspective. Tisroc turned the book over and went to open it, only to discover that it would not open.
Rynbel then entered the room and thanked him for his contribution. He asked her about the book and its unwillingness to open, and she explained that the books would not open for just anyone, and that they were only used in certain circumstances. She explained that knowledge of the life and thoughts of a person should be private and not accessible to just anyone. She placed his book on one of the shelves and locked it.
The group spent what remained of the day at the tower. Tisroc began studying some magic that might make their travels easier. Alina, however, was worried about something else. She'd never had a chance to tell Tisroc about what Melna had told her back at the Crag. She hadn't figured out how to say it, but now was the time. She went to him and said he should send time in this vast repository of knowlegde looking for information about demons and the pact he'd made - specifically how the pact might be broken and, most importantly, what might happen if it was. Melna, she told him, seemed to think that if he undid the oath, it might effectively end his life.
That revelation made a terrible kind of sense to Tisroc. Of course Alina was right - he needed to concentrate on this. He needed to know all he could. Tisroc told the wizards of the Sandstone Tower about his problem, and asked where they might look. The wizards admitted they hadn't heard of a story such as his before, but they pointed him in the direction of similar things.
The reference they found the most closely tied however, wasn't where they were looking at all. It was in a historical reference from the world before it began to dry out. In the ancient forests of Kethir were said to dwell beings called Verdant Princes - fey creatures known for capriciousness and trickery would had some ability to bind fate into powerful oaths, holding both sides to the bargain. Assuming they did once exist, however, they had long since died out with the lush forests in which they dwelt...
It was just after nightfall when the group approached the gate of Tanir, The Summit. This settlement was built in a spiral around the one of the highest peaks of the Jagged Crown mountains and was all but inaccessible to the rest of the world. The forest they had landed in seemed very dry, but it was the largest stand of trees any of them had ever seen. As they walked across the bridge and toward the gates, it occured to them that this was more wood than they had ever seen in one place.
The guard in the gatehouse was a man called Hanley. He came down through the cutout door in the main gates to speak with them, asking them who they were, where they came from and why they had come to The Summit. Upon warning them not to cause any trouble, he saw no harm in letting them in. The party asked Hanley if he knew of a place they might find a meal and some shelter, and he directed them down toward the lower areas of the city - to Tovi's Place.
There were very few people on the streets at this time. They passed only a couple of pedestrians and a man pulling a large handcart. When they were about halfway down, however, they were hit from behind by a large man in a heavy cloak running through the street. He collided with Tisroc, and both of them fell to the ground. The large man regained his feet as quickly as possible and continued running. As Alina and Glitch helped Tisroc back to his feet, they listened and looked for any pursuers or anyone else, but saw nothing.
Near the bottom of the spiraling streets, they found one of the larger buildings of the area with a large wooden sign which read: Tovi's Ledge. The road continued downward a little ways, and then began to slope back upward for a few hundred feet before coming to and end. From a cliff-side alleyway near the lowest part, Tisroc noticed a small figure watching them. As he took a few steps toward it, the group saw the figure dart across the road into an alley adjoining the mountain. The group walked down to the place to discover a large, round hole into the mountain. Carved into the worn stone above were the words "Tanir - Lower Halls". Some dim torchlight flickered deeper inside, but the tunnels they stared into were very dark. As they contempated entering to find the spying figure, a voice called to them from further up the road - someone on the porch of Tovi's place.
The group returned to the tavern's entrance and met a man called Olin. He advised them not to enter The Tunnels - it was a dangerous place, especially to the uninitiated. After a brief conversation, he invited them inside the establishment.
There were perhaps a dozen people in the tavern - some card players, some people in deeper conversations, some people simply enjoying the evening. A young, red-haired woman sat at the far side of the bar - on the counter itself - idley strumming a lute. As they entered, Olin called to Tovi, who set down the instrument, slid off the counter to the floor behind it, and came around to ask what they all would like.
They party spent the rest of the evening talking with Olin and Tovi about themselves and the settlement, asnwering questions and asking some of their own. Alina in particular spoke with Tovi for some time, and later in the evening, eventually drew out of her something interesting about the local religious climate. Tovi (and apparently, Olin as well) didn't care too much for the local Pharonic clergy of The Temple of the Stars. They also mentioned another entity - called Skadi - who seemed to be a sort of legendary "hero of the people". They described this figure as local inspirational folklore, but Alina noted some rather religious undertones. By the time the conversation was over, Tovi had all but admitted (somewhat reluctantly) to the existance of a cult of Skadi in the city.
Before the conversation could come to a natural end, however, the sound of loudly peeling bells exploded in the tavern hall. By this time, most all of the patrons had left and Tisroc had gone to bed. Tovi exclaimed in surprise and Alina ran to the front door. Outside the sound seemed quieter, though like it was coming from somewhere above them. "Tisroc!"
Alina ran up the stairs with Glitch behind her and burst through Tisroc's door to find him grappling with a dark figure - the dark candlelight illuminated the room just enough for them to identify the harpy digging its claws and fangs into the struggling wizard. They had seen this one before.
The resulting combat was rather chaotic. The struggle between Tisroc and the creature in the darkness made targets difficult to discern and hit. Alina accidentally clubbed Tisroc on the back of the head as the harpy unexpectedly shifted. Tisroc was bleeding badly and when it raked its claws across his head, he lost consciousness and fell to the ground. As he collapsed, the harpy turned it's attention to Alina. Glitched noticed a strange, black smoke beginning to rise from Tisroc's form as Alina blasted the creature with a potent beam of searing light, hurling it back against the far wall. Winded and covered with viscious burns, the creature leapt through the broken window in which it had come and soared away into the night.
Alina quickly returned to Tisroc's side, manifesting further miracles to heal his injuries. When Tovi and Olin arrived, it was already all over. They were shocked that someone had broken in and attacked their guests. They offered the party a different room and went about boarding up the window.
As Molly was checking on her friends - all of which seemed to be unconscious but not mortally wounded - she saw some flashes of light coming from the common room downstairs. Upon descending to the first floor, she saw 6 or 7 people sprawled out on the floor as flashes of light from the center of the room illuminated the bathhouse like lightening. It was then that a strange and alien figure appeared floating above the ground at the room's center.
The figure was guant and oddly jointed and draped with a kind of sinuous clothing that seemed to end in tendrils which floated in a non-existent breeze - almost seeming to move with a volunatry motion. The figure's head was large and oval shaped, marked only by a single, massive human-like eye. It spoke to Molly in her head, and the others heard its imprint in their unconscious state:
"I appear from the court of Osiris to the one called Katherine, who has gained some note with us. Time is running out. They are even now awakening the Nameless One. London is lost."
After the figure disappeared, a final flash of light illuminated the darkness again and, though Molly didn't dare look into the impossible brightness, she saw that, as it shined, everything in the bathhouse was becoming brighter, sharper, clearer, and more perfect. The lamps ignited again.
Molly was on her way over to check on Gerald when there was a knock at the door. Gerald, who was awakening, yelled in that direction inquiring rather bluntly as to who it was and what they wanted. Robert and Katherine were awakening as well, and began making their way downstairs.
At the door were three of the Bow Street Runners. When the door was answered, they asked to come inside. They rather quickly got to the point: they wanted to know who the four were. They knew that the group had seen and interacted with things that weren't...normal. In doing so, the revealed that they, too, were able to perceive these things that most were unable to see. They called themselves Cerberus. They told the group that they were headed to St. Paul's Cathedral to get to the bottom of what was going on and had come to ask if the group had any useful information for them.
During the conversation, Katherine realized something about the three Runners: they were in every respect normal men. They were sleepwalkers. They didn't really understand the forces they were going up against, though they seemed relatively undaunted by the supernatural horrors they had seen. Katherine suggested that they should all go together, but Robert asked if they could possibly wait for a while. Fredrick, the Runner who seemed to be the leader, told them they'd wait as long as they could before descending into the pit. They would be making ready in the square at its edge. The group spent some time trying to rest and patch themselves up before getting the carriage and driving through the rain-soaked streets to the place where the cathedral had sunk.
The three Runners had not yet gone into the pit, and the group could see them through the downpour, waiting at the edge of the chasm as they pulled up. One of them was tied another rope to one of the trees and group descended into the pit, swan through the water that had flooded the depression, and entered the front doors of the Cathedral, wading through the knee-deep water.
Upon entering, they were immediately waylaid by a pack of formless, shadowy dogs and the woman whom they'd encountered earlier that day. Molly got off a couple of good shots before the woman began shrieking and spewing forth swarms of insects from her open maw. Something about the sound seemed to be exterting a force over the group, making movement very difficult, which Molly alone seemed to shake off. She fired a couple more times at the woman, finally landing a solid hit which caused her to drop the effect, at which point Robert leapt forward and, using Lance's sword, impaled her against the wall. As he pressed his attack, arcs of electricity seemed to shoot across and inside the woman's body and she seemed to sublimate into the air. She was gone, but Robert realized that the blade of Lance's sword had snapped about a foot above the hilt.
After the remnant of the kobold tribe had been driven out of the settlement, the party discussed what to do next. They had acquired some new information from Melna, but Gullow was a long way away and they were all but out of provisions. Further, Drakol was now in even worse shape than when they had arrived and it would be some time before they were back on their feet - much less had enough surplus to spare for their trip.
The group ultimately decided they would stay for a time and continue helping to restore the settlement. Almost a week later, a small contingent of the kobold tribe returned - this time under a banner of truce. They seemed interested only in Alina, asking her if she knew where Durtaxsteingakila had gone. Apparently they had come looking for this thing(?), but had found the human settlement instead. Tisroc told them later that he thought they may have been alluding to the legend of the Dragon.
Weeks went by. Between the party's magic and prodigious amounts of physical labor, The Crag was well on its way to recovery - though it had a long way to go yet. It was at dawn about 6 weeks later that the group was awakened by a nervous guard calling them to the bridge area.
Upon arriving, they found Radley waiting (rather uncomfortably) with two of the creatures Tisroc had identified as sphinxes. One of them was the creature they had rescued on their way to the settlement, the other looked very similar, but was slightly larger. It addressed them, asking for the feather they had been given. When Alina produced it, Thesaeya stepped forward, reached out and took hold of it, but kept it out-held toward the party. The larger sphinx spoke again, thanking them for their favor and asking what they would have the sisters do in repayment of this debt. After some questions and conferring, they asked if the sphinxes could take them to Belurn, the human settlement on the far side of the mountains. The sphinxes agreed and said they would appear at dawn the following day to depart.
The party then began making ready, saying their goodbye's and attempting to gather the provisions they could. Radley and the others were somewhat loathe to see them go, but seemed to understand.
At dawn the next day, they departed. They had been flying high above the mountains for a couple of days, stopping at night to rest, when the larger sphinx - called Marshalla told them that she and her sister required more rest than a simple sleep could provide. Below them was another human settlement which the party knew must be Tanir, The Summit. Marshalla asked if they would mind spending a couple of days there while she and her sister recovered.
It was after dark, so the group felt relatively safe with a close landing. They touched down in a dry but living forest on a plateau near the spiraling peak-city of Tanir. It was nearly midnight as they approached the large gates of the city's lowest level.
The general mood of the bathhouse was coming close to panic and Molly was busy trying to calm down some of the guests and girls. It was nearly an hour before her associate returned with Dr. Galton.
Gerald, he was happy to report, already seemed to be on the mend - moreso even than he would have expected. He praised Molly's first aid actions, which had apparently been quite effective.
Robert, however, was a different story. Dr. Galton reported that Robert was completely unresponsive and that he really needed to be at a hospital. Unfortunately, the Founding Hospital had recently burned to the ground (as they knew all too well) and the doctor doubted Robert would survive the trip to the Royal Hospital in Chelsea. If he makes it to morning, Galton said, he might have a chance - but he seemed to doubt that would happen.
After having done what he could, Dr. Galton informed them that he had to get home. Molly and Katherine thought he probably wouldn't be here at all if it wasn't as a personal favor for Gerald's sake.
Some time after the doctor had left, there was a knock on the front door. When Molly answered the door, she found a figure standing there, holding a bloody sabre and clutching an injury at his side. Lance stumbled into the bathhouse, dropping a pack from his shoulders as he did. Leaning on his sword, he made his way to the couch and sat down heavily. Several of the patrons nearby seemed horrified. Molly suggested he let them take him upstairs.
Up in the unconscious Robert's room, they conversed with him. He seemed distant and unconcerned - even saying in so many words that he was only there because he promised he would be. They asked him a number of questions, but he didn't seem to know the answers to many. What they did get was that the Wards on St. Paul's have failed, and that some entities he referred to as "wraiths" were either responsible or precipitatory. He once thought Sophia had something to do with it, but now he's not so sure.
They weren't able to learn much of anything else because as he was talking, he suddenly grimaced, turned to stone, and crumbled into dust.
Katherine and Molly examine Lance's sword (blade etched "Durandell") and the pack he had left downstairs. Inside they found two bronze flintlock pistols (one with a cross "charm" dangling from the handle) and a book entitled "The Witch".
Gerald joined the Molly and Katherine a while later. He seemed to be almost fully healed, and somewhat confused by the state. Checking on Robert, they found him sitting up in bed with no apparent injuries. He mentioned something about Diana.
As they were discussing things in Robert's upstairs room, they heard a scream from elsewhere in the house and the lamps suddenly dimmed drastically. They stood shocked as a glowing, spectral claw reached into the room through the wall. Outside in the hallway, a shadowy amorphous, tentacled, ooze-like mass was climbing up over the walkway rail toward them.
The ensuing combat was brutal, and the group was, overall, in no shape to fight supernatural terrors. Molly had grabbed the cross-bearing pistol and found that it could shoot bolts of light that seared into the spectral monster - but it was massive and seemed to shrug off most of the injuries. The tentacled mass had begun flailing at Katherine and tried to fling Gerald off the balcony, but managed only to drop him. By the time the dust settled, only Molly was left standing.
Second avalanche. Fought kobold tribe. Pushed an Umber Hulk into a river. Maybe demons.
|Monday December 13, 2010 at 3:00pm||world of darkness, london 1802, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
Gerald and Robert had been standing near the back of the crowd when the ground shuddered and the Cathedral disappeared from sight. Almost immediately after these incredible events, they noticed a rather violent disturbance to their right - in the area around where Ludgate street enters the church yard from the west. People where panicked, shoving each other out of the way trying to get away from the area. The two shortly saw the reason why: a massive black dog the size of a large horse was slowly moving into the square. It seemed like it was looking for something. Gerald and Robert decided it was a good time to be somewhere else. Robert tried to support Gerald (who was still quite weak with injury) as best he could as he pushed their way through the crowd toward the center of the square.
The center of the square was clearing out now, as people attempted to flee the area. Robert and Gerald pushed through the crowd to see Molly and George standing near the massive hole. After a moment George turned and began walking toward a shop at the edge of the square.
Katherine was standing in front of the Cathedral near the entrance, staring up through the rain, watching the growing number of swirling shapes in the clouds above. She had advised the others present to take shelter inside the church. There was another tremor and she heard the sound of cracking wood. Across from her, she saw the ornate coffin fall from the platform and split open. Inside, Proteus' lifeless form stared blankly out into the gloom. Katherine noticed something else as well: the staff the Bishop always carried had been buried with him. This struck Katherine as somewhat strange. As she looked at it more closely, she noticed something else: the staff was suspended in the Twilight, not in the material world. Katherine walked over to look more closely.
Molly decided to follow George over to the small shop. George was in search of a rope - something that they could use to help get Katherine out of the hole. As she followed him, she happened to look up and across the square to the east, where she saw and impossibly large, black dog parting the crowd and moving toward the center of the square. They needed to hurry.
George broken the shop window and climbed inside. Molly managed to unlatch the door through the broken window and followed him. It took a few moments for them to find a decent length of sturdy rope. By the time they were leaving the shop, Robert and Gerald had nearly reached their position.
Meanwhile, Katherine was looking at the body of the dead Bishop when she heard a hollow voice behind her. "Why do you come to confess, child? There will be no more forgiveness here!" Katherine turned slowly and only just in time to see the knife point being thrust at her head. She ducked out of the way just in time, emerging with only a small cut across her cheek - though she didn't think the injury had a physical manifestation. The spectral figure of a man floated before her. His skin had a strange discoloration to it. He wore obvious clerical vestments, though they seemed rotted, moth-eaten and very old. He held a knife in one hand and there was a sadistic smile on in face.
Katherine pushed her hand into the Twilight and took up Proteus' staff. Placing it between herself and her assailant, she commanded him, "Go back to where you came from!"
The ghostly being recoiled from the cross and his smile immediately shifted to a hateful scowl. His form seemed to distort and fold in on itself, and seemed to be sucked backward to a single pinpoint a few feet behind where it had floated. Katherine was glad to see the figure gone, but she had a feeling her actions had little to do with its departure.
The square above was all but empty at this point, save for Katherine's 4 companions. The two giant dogs had converged on the far side of the giant hole from them. As their paths crossed and they darted back and forth, a third figure appeared among them: a woman. She wore what would have been at one time a very fancy red dress, but time and decay seemed to have taken their toll on it. It was faded and rotten in many places, having large holes and torn seams. She spoke arrogantly to the nearly empty square. "Who are these few who do not run in terror?"
It was Gerald who turned to face her. "Who are you, woman? What evil lurks here?" The woman did not answer with words. Instead, she violently clenched her fist before her. Gerald pitched forward against his cane as excruciating pain coursed through his body. He gritted his teeth hard, he would not give her the satisfaction of seeing him succumb. When he would not collapse, she threw her hands into the air and shrieked "Kill them!"
From the depths of the hole, Katherine heard the shriek and looked up. She saw the dark shapes that had been gathering above in the clouds suddenly streak away in all directions. Above, Robert saw them descend into the street, causing screams to echo through the alleys and leaving dozens of people inexplicably collapsed in their wake.
The dogs leapt forward in order to tear the companions apart. One of the dogs barreled into Gerald, knocking him to the ground. Robert ran forward and began to stab at the huge beast with his knife. The other dog was also about to charge forward, but Molly reacted by sending a strong impulse of fear toward it, causing it to balk.
The woman held out her hands and spoke in some strange voice. As she did so, hundreds of the cobblestones around her feet became massive spiders that began crawling toward the group - but then something unexpected happened. The woman suddenly recoiled as if stung by something. Several of the spiders turned back and began moving toward her. A few others broke off and began leaping onto the dogs' legs.
Below, Katherine had affixed the spectral cross to herself and had been attempting to find a way out of the hole. George had tied off the rope and thrown it down to her, but its length didn't reach all the way to the ground. She was finally able to get a hold of it, but climbing was slow. Looking down, she noticed something else: the pouring rain seemed to be filling the basin the cathedral now occupied. There was already nearly a foot of standing water on the ground.
Robert was having a difficult time fighting off the dog, being driven backward as its vicious bites tore into his arms and legs. He was trying his best to return the injuries with his knife, but the thickness of the beast's hide made doing much real harm to it difficult. The massive dog finally managed to trip him, and, standing over him, dug its teeth into his shoulder. It was only then that Robert was able to jam his knife into the monster's underside, causing it to collapse atop him. Unfortunately, this final exertion was all he had left, and he too lost consciousness.
The other dog had begun to charge forward several times, but Molly had managed to keep it just unsure enough such that it stayed out of reach and only partially inclined to attack. The spiders, however, had begun swarming around them and it was virtually impossible to keep them all at bay.
Gerald looked up at the woman who was fighting off spiders herself. The woman shrieked again. An icy wind cut through the empty square, and all of the spiders withered and died. "Go away!" Gerald yelled at her, and watched in shock as her form folded in upon itself and was drawn backward into nothingness.
Almost immediately after her disappearance, there was a loud BLAM!, followed shortly by another, The dog that was still standing staggered slightly, turned and ran off toward a pair of figures standing near an alleyway across the square. There was another BLAM, and the beast staggered more, and then changed course and darted out into the fog of the city.
Molly ran over to Robert's motionless form and called for Gerald who hobbled over and, using some scraps of cloth torn from his own clothing managed to stop the bleeding. By this time, Katherine had managed to climb out of the hole. The group decided they needed to get back to the bathhouse.
The trip back was long, cold and painful. Gerald was able to tell Molly to call for a doctor before he collapsed himself. Katherine went up to her room and placed the spectral cross she was still carrying under the mattress of her bed.
The party began telling the man who had approached them - a guard captain called Radley - who they were and why they were there. He gave them a nominal welcome and began to suggest what they should do. Alina was sent to The Hall to aid in tending to the wounded and he asked Tisroc to have his guarding help with the digging effort - breaking up the rocks and moving them out of the settlement. Tisroc also alerted the captain to a particular shelf of rock above that looked as though it might break off soon.
Radley also lead Tisroc to a place above the settlement where he had seen a strange print and asked him if he'd seen anything like it before. In truth Tisroc had. He told the captain that he'd seen the print in the mud a few days ago, but wasn't sure what it was. The captain seemed concerned because the location of the print happened to be a perfect overlook of the settlement - almost as if whatever it was was watching them.
Later, as Glitch and some of the other men of the down are picking through some fallen rock, Tisroc notices a hissing sound that he alerts Radley to. Before they could return to the scene, however, a large section of rock crumbles and falls down into a hole and steam begins to bellow out, burning everything it touches. With it came strange partially-visible steam-like creatures that began attacking those present. Glitch fought them off fairly well, but could do little about the steam rushing out of the opening. It was nearly an hour before it stopped. Inside they could see the remains of a house which seemed to have collapsed through into and angled tunnel heading down into the mountain.
Meanwhile, Alina had been assisting in the Hall, tending to the wounded and using her miracle capability on the most gravely injured. During this time, she met a young girl called Senya who was also helping treat the injured. Senya was upset because she was concerned about her grandmother who lived near an old shrine inside the mountain. Unfortunately the tunnels leading in had partially collapsed, no one could get in and excavation priorities were elsewhere.
The group decided they should try to get in to help her - she may be someone they would want to talk to. Glitch was assisting with the primary excavation efforts during the day, but decided to begin clearing the tunnel at night - still, it was going to take some time. Tisroc used his gaseous form ability to float in through some of the cracks to bring food to the woman and to inform her of their intentions. Eventually, the whole party is able to meet with her.
The woman was called Melna. She was a short, broad woman and was a keeper of the shrine in the main chamber of the caves. The shrine was a statue of a large, winged, female figure holding a disc over her head. Well, not "holding" exactly -he disc was simply suspended in the air between the statue's raised hands. The shrine was dedicated to Nephthys.
Tisroc tells Melna of his problem and, after taking some time to think about it, offers him the following information:
Melna says she thinks there is hope for his future. The oath that was made was sort of "bent" or "stressed" on its binding. As such, it is perhaps more pliable. It may be possible for the oath to be "bent" again, or even completely undone. To do this, however, would require "unsaying" the words of the oath in the presence of the entity with which it was made.
She also told him she knows of a man called Emeric who resides in The Deep. He knows much about the denizens of the Hours of Night and she believes he has even had dealings with them. She warns them to be careful, however - he is not the type she would trust.
Melna then asks to speak with Alina privately. Tisroc begins to head down the tunnel with Glitch, pondering this new information. Melna and Alina meet up with them at the tunnel entrance just in time to hear the canyon in which the settlement resides fill with echoing sound of dozens of horns from the surrounding mountains.
The human population having left, the Party then set about deciding what to do about the gnolls. On the one hand, they wanted to show their sincerity by offering a little help but they weren't sure that another encounter with the tribe would be prudent...or safe. The group therefore decided to fill the spring pool with water and to leave a notice which would indicate its temporary nature.
The party decided to head north out of the Dead Forest as they had originally planned. Running low on provisions, they decided to risk travel across this area of the March but they decided they would avoid the oases where the gnolls, hobgoblins and whatever other power had arisen might gather - relying instead on their magic to produce the water they needed.
On the 5th day through the March, the group begins no notice a foul smell on the air - like something dead and rotting. As they continued, the stench grew stronger until they came upon a massive battlefield. Remains of hundreds of armor-clad figures littered the ground, picked at by desert carrion birds and other small scavengers. As they moved into the battlefield and began to look around, they noticed a group of jackals on the far side, moving in their general direction.
The figures turned out to be gnolls and another grotesque humanoid creature which Tisroc guesses are hobgoblins. Tisroc began to look through possessions - it seemed that nothing of note had been salvaged from any of the corpses. A few of the hobgoblins had some small packs with moldy but edible rations.
As they investigated the scene, they noticed the jackals moving closer and eventually noticed they were eyeless - they had seen jackals like this before. They were considering this when Tisroc happened to glance behind them and saw a blue-robed figure only 5 feet away. He was tall and dark, his head was like that of a jackal but he seemed well groomed and refined. He had a crimson scarf around his head covering his eyes. Before he could react, the figure spoke, asking them what had happened here.
The party, startled, responded that they didn't know what had happened or why. The figure seemed mystified. He told them that he had watched these tribes for many years and what he saw here was not consistent with his knowledge of them.
The group asked the figure who he was and he obliged them, informing the party that he was called Oorshal, and that he was "one of the last three". The party told them that they had heard a rumor that someone who looked like him was unifying the tribes of the March and that maybe this scene had something to do with it. This seemed shocking to the figure. He mentioned something about the others seeking to supplant him. He asked them many other questions about this rumor, but that was all they knew.
Oorshal seemed disturbed. He suggested that the party leave the area as quickly as they could and advised them not to linger in "cursed places" such as this.
The party continued north toward the Jagged Crown mountains of the north. When they reached the foothills, the turned east to head toward the Sula river that they would follow to The Crag. The foothills were rougher going, but offered a bit more cover and shelter. It had been a few weeks since they set out when they finally encountered the river and began the final leg of their journey.
The trip up into the mountains was arduous even when following the riverbank. They would often have to deviate from the river and head up into the rocky areas above before coming back down to rejoin it. In addition, they were running out of provisions and had been operating on half-rations for some time. Tisroc attempted some fishing with sparse results.
They were still a few days from Drakol when they were forced once more from the river side. Climbing a narrow path to a pass between rocky peaks, they began to hear an echoing screeching sound accompanied by a metallic rattling. They were still contemplating this when they were suddenly met by a huge creature that resembled a lion with a falcon's head and wings. "You are not welcome here!" it growled and began approaching. When they told it they only wanted to pass through, it asked them with what they would pay the "toll". When they could apparently offer nothing it wanted, it decided to attack them, but the group was able to drive it off.
Upon reaching the crest of the hill, they saw the source of the noise: There were 4 of these creatures (one of which they had already seen) in a basin below them. Leading down to this depression were rock ledges something like massive stairs. One of the creatures was bound with a metal collar connected to a chain which the largest of the group was holding, attempting to drag it along. The bound creature looked a bit different than the others - its head was humanoid instead of falcon-like. Its shrieking cry echoed through the canyon and, when it saw the party it cried out to them: "help me!"
The resultant combat was rather savage. The group did alright fending off two of the creatures, but the larger one proved to be quite powerful. It had all but shredded the metal plates from Glitch before Alina got its attention by attempting to heal and free the bound creature. After a brief standoff in which the party was able to regroup and Alina was able to restore a part of the bound creature's strength, it decided to flee as its companions had done.
The bound creature was called Thesaeya - one of the Sphinxes. She thanked them for rescuing her from her captors and rewarded them by giving them one of her feathers. She told them that they had the gratitude of her and her sister though they had certainly made enemies of the other detestable creatures.
The group asked Thesaeya a few questions, but she didn't seem to know much about anything that might be happening outside of the mountains - of Oorshal or any of the others. She was able to tell them that they could probably reach the mortal settlement in perhaps a couple of days.
The party continued on their journey and, sure enough, about 2 and a half days later come upon The Crag. As they looked out over the settlement, they could immediately tell something was not right. The movements of the people seemed rushed and there was an air of urgency and danger. They had only just moved into the settlement when they were approached by a man who began asking them who they were and all but ordering them in different directions - there had been a massive rock avalanche less than 24 hours ago and the town was still picking up the pieces. Anyone not injured was required to assist where needed.
|Monday November 29, 2010 at 5:30pm||world of darkness, london 1802, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
The crumpled scrap of paper Hannington had left on the bar contained only a few words which Robert was able to piece together as an address somewhere on the east end of the city. He and Gerald puzzled over this for a few minutes but they were certainly in no shape to go investigating anytime soon. They asked the bartender if they could have a place to stay on the premises. He responded that The Mitre generally didn't have rooms to let but that Hannington had been staying upstairs and his room was now obviously unoccupied. A little annoyed at the man's sudden departure, he told them that they could stay the night there given the circumstances.
Molly and Katherine stood still as the woman who had appeared glided down the stairway toward them. Ignoring her chastising, Lance began shouting at her: "Sophia! Have you lost your mind!?"
Sophia's response was elusive. "An interesting turn of phrase, Lancelot..." she began, but Lance cut across her again "I have no time for games, Sophia. Where is your consort? Where are your puppets? Don't you know what their actions have done to your city?".
"This city rejected me long ago, Lancelot." Sophia responded, her tone icy, then she added something to Lance that was too quiet for Katherine and Molly to hear clearly - but it seemed to have some effect on him. Raising her voice, she continued, "You seem to be laboring under the delusion that I appeared her upon your request..." Sophia turned toward the doorway where Katherine and Molly were standing and began floating idly in their direction, adding quietly, "I am much more interested in these....newly awakened..."
Lance stood stunned for only a moment as the woman passed him, but he seemed to recover his composure rather quickly. Reaching into his large coat, he produced a pistol which he pointed at her back. "No, I'm sorry Sophie, I'm quiet serious."
Sophia froze, a slight fear shot across her face for just a moment. "You are powerless against me, Lancelot..." She trailed off. Her words may have been strong, but her voice quivered with a slight uncertainty.
"Quite sure of that?" Lance said, a sly smile crossing his face as he pulled the flintlock back, letting it's click echo in empty room.
Sophia turned around to face him again. After a brief moment of deliberation, she spoke. "Proteus is dead, Lancelot." she stated firmly, as if this commonly-known fact would answer any questions he may have.
Lance's posture shifted slightly. He hesitated for a moment before suddenly striding swiftly toward the door. Upon reaching the threshold he stopped. Still holding his weapon, he spoke over his shoulder. "And where is your consort, Sophia?"
"Speaking with some old friends, Lancelot."
Lance then strode out into the pouring rain once more. After his departure, Sophia turned back to the two girls, seeming to examine them carefully. She had been about to speak to them directly when they decided further encounters with this ghostly woman would be unwise. They turned and hurried out through the rain after Lance.
Katherine and Molly caught up with him near St. Paul's square as he was watching for signs of Runners enforcing the curfew. When all was clear, he hurried across the square to the main entrance of the Cathedral but found it locked. He then hurried around the north side of the building toward a lower back entrance which was also locked. Producing something form his pocket which he uses to open the lock and proceeds inside, telling the two to remain silent.
Proceeding just inside, the three were stopped by the sound of voices echoing from somewhere above them. Three voices; two male, one female, discussing something. Something that had gone awry or contrary to some plan or expectation. The two male voices seemed to believe that the deviation was well within acceptable bounds, but the female voice was agitated and insistent that actions must be taken less all be lost. After the voices faded into the darkness, Lance ventured further inside, Molly and Katherine following him. He searched any room that was unlocked and also spent some time carefully examining several of the statues and carvings in the main hall. About an hour later, he told the girls that he was going home - there were some things he needed to see to. When Katherine and Molly demanded further explanation, he told them that he would return to their Bathhouse the next day. Molly and Katherine made their way back through the rain.
The following day, Robert and Gerald return to meed them at the bathhouse and George returns as well - bearing the swordcane Gerald had wanted. Apparently he won it in a game of chance from a strange peddler he'd not seen before. He also mentioned he'd been working a bit over the last couple of days and that a new ship had just arrived in port - a ship called the Great Maw. This was a legendary pirate ship, but strangely, no one around the docks seemed bothered. Perhaps they didn't buy into the legend. Apparently it checked out with the harbor master as George had seen him speaking rather sociably with the captain as a large number of crewmen disembarked.
It was now friday morning. The Bishop's funeral was to be held at noon in St. Paul's square. After discussing recent events and waiting a few hours to see if Lance would show up at the bathhouse that morning, they had the carriage brought around and they made their way to the square. The rain still poured down.
St. Paul's square was completely packed. Their carriage was only able to make it to a street about 3 blocks away before passage was impossible. Across the sea of people, they could see a raised platform in front of the Cathedral entrance on which stood the Archbishop of Canterbury and a few other officials. The clattering rain would make hearing difficult even at close range, so katherine and Molly decided to try to get as close as they could. After they'd left, George decided he would follow them. Robert and Gerald (both still quite injured) lingered near the back.
The service began in a usual and expected way. John Moore spoke at length about Beilby Proteus' service to the Anglican Church in London and how his tragic and sudden death would surely be a blow to the local congregations. He then of course proceeded to admonish his listeners to live up to the legacy the Bishop had left behind by keeping the faith, etc.
While this eulogy was being delivered, a new sound began to surface above the crowd - a high-pitched whistling sound which began very quiet, but grew in intensity. Katherine and Molly exchanged looks. The area around the square seemed to be getting darker. The clouds above were thick and dark - and something seemed to be moving within them.
A loud and sudden crash of thunder silenced the square. Even the Archbishop stopped and looked around for a moment. Katherine looked around in the Twilight. There seemed to be some discord or inconsistency between the spiritual aspects of the people around them and their physical forms. She could also see dozens of ghost-like shapes swirling in the air above the crowd. Molly began to sense a growing agitation in the emotional collective of those gathered.
They had little time to reflect on these impressions as another crash shook the ground around them. dozens of people around them lost their balance and began toppling into one another. Molly and Katherine managed to keep their feet, but the ground beneath them split open and created a widening gap between the rest of the square and the area around the stage and cathedral.
George had managed to push his way up to where the girls were standing. Katherine didn't completely realize it, but she needed to make a split-second decision. She could see the ground on the other side of the crack shifting - and she decided that the cathedral side was where she wanted to be. George tried to grab her to hold her back, but she managed to slip away from him, falling to the ground on the other side of the emerging chasm just before the cathedral and the ground around its base suddenly dropped perhaps 75 or more feet into the earth. Molly looked across what was now a massive pit. Near its center, the copper cross which crowned the Cathedral was now at ground level.
The group decided they would make their way to The Crag. Tisroc attempted his uber Locate Water spell again, and got a rather bizarre result - a water source indication which seemed to flicker a few days to the north. As they approached, they could smell cooking meat and near the peak of a slope between some piles of boulders, they were stopped by a man with a crossbow who asked them who they were and why they were there. The group told him and the other man present that they were travelers and, after a few questions, they were welcomed into the camp.
In the valley on the other side of the hill there was the remains of what was once a verdant oasis. Dessicated trees lined a scorched valley, amongst which there were about a dozen tents and about 35 people, some of which were children. They accepted the hospitality of the people there, and spoke with them for a while, learning several things.
The inhabitants of the valley were the remnant of a village further west called Rulloc. Rulloc's well had dried up and they were forced to leave. They were making their way toward Adther but had in mind to stop at this oasis and possibly settling here. Upon seeing its state, however, they decided that would be impossible. Unfortunately, before they were able to continue on their way, they were attacked by a group of gnolls. After that, many of their able-bodied men were injured, they'd used up more supplies and would be severely slowed down - so they were kind of stuck.
Alina spoke with the village's leader, a man called Gilad, and asked if they might want her to help with their wounded. He accepted her help, but didn't realize what she was about to do. Over the next couple of hours Alina healed all of the injured people in the camp and had become quite a bit of a local celebrity.
The group spent the next day at the camp as well, resting up a bit, enjoying some real food and waiting to see if the camp had any further trouble with the gnolls, who were thought to still be in there area. Alina also discovered that the spring - which was now little more than a trickle - seemed to have some sort of persistent, very faint magical aura. This was puzzling to herself and Tisroc.
That evening, they were approached by Gilad who wished to go out on a recon mission and asked if they might help fill in during their absence in the even of trouble. They agreed. When Gilad and his men returned, they seemed troubled. Come to find out, the gnoll camp in a nearby valley was much the same as theirs - containing a number of elderly, non-combatants and cubs as well as a number of injured adults. The majority of men present wanted to go attempt to wipe them out, but Gilad wasn't sure how he felt about killing the non-combatants - and killing their able-bodies would certainly doom them in much the same way.
At this point, the group interjected, suggesting that Tisroc try to go and talk to them, to see if some compromise could be made. Under some protest, the men present agreed to try it.
Accompanied part of the way to the gnoll camp by friends, Tisroc made his way to the camp. He was initially beset by a group of gnolls who, despite (or perhaps because of) his passive posture in approach, began pushing him around and growling incomprehensible questions at him before the "leader" approached. He was a massively huge gnoll who walked with a bit of a limp. He growled at Tisroc for a while and Tisroc began trying to communicate by drawing on the ground - trying to indicate where other water sources might be found. The leader however, lost patience, pushed him down, growled angrily at him and eventually stormed back into camp - only to return a few minutes later followed by a hunched figure in a ratty cloak that hobbled rather slowly up to him and asked him, in common, why he had come.
Tisroc was relieved to be able to actually communicate with one of them directly, and he began explaining the situation. The elderly gnoll, in return, proceeded to tell him of their troubles. They had been part of a tribe which had been at war with a rival tribe of hobgoblins for nearly a century, but now that war was over. A new power had risen - powerful beings resembling jackal-like men - and dominated the hobgoblins, insisting that the gnolls unite with them for some unstated purpose. Those that had refused were forced to flee the Salt March and were attempting to find a new life in the Dead Forest, but water was difficult to come by - the only meager source they'd found was possessed by the humans.
Tisroc returned and the group formed a plan: they would create enough water for the now-healed human village to continue on their journey to Adther, then the gnolls could come and occupy the dying oasis and the two need not wipe each other out.
The party passed this plan on to Gilad who agreed that it was a good idea now that he knew it was a possibility. The human tribe packed up and, after profusely thanking the group for all of their help, headed out into the waste once more.
|Monday November 15, 2010 at 5:30pm||world of darkness, london 1802, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
Molly and Katherine were still standing in the burned clearing when Katherine noticed a massive humanoid-bird, demon-like creature trying to enter the material world from the Shadow where they'd rescued Lance. It took Katherine a few seconds to shake off the terror that enveloped her before she was able to force the doorway closed, banishing the beat back into the shadow.
Robert and Gerald were in a room of a run-down apartment building adjacent to the clearing where they discovered a strange sculpture of a four-armed human figure with a canine head. While they were examining it, a massive, deformed figure burst in and began attacking them. In the insuing fight, Gerald was severely injured.
Molly was able to stop the bleeding and stabilize Gerald's injuries, but he would need hospital care. Meanwhile, Diana had appeared outside where Lance was and had asked Katherine what had happened. Katherine called for Elston and asked him to carry Lance's incorporeal form back to the bathhouse.
The group was able to get Gerald to the hospital where he and Robert would spend the night. Molly and Katherine returned to the bathhouse and spent some time talking to Diana and attempting to discover what was wrong with Lance. They learned that he was not actually dead, but rather somehow stuck in the Twilight. By touching his thoughts, Molly was also horrified to learn that his mind was locked in some kind of mental torture. It took her some time, but she was finally able to pull him free of it.
At the hospital, Robert was dozing in a chair next to Gerald's bed when he was startled by a loud slam which came from the far side of the room near the entrance. The lamps in the room began to flicker and go out and he noticed a sharp drop in temperature. He asked Gerald for candle and Gerald, half asleep, pulled a lit candle from the bag next to his bed. Before Robert had much time to inquire as to how or why he had a lit candle in his bag, he heard footsteps approaching. A figure stopped at the edge of the illuminated area and told Robert that he had something for him. The figure dropped something which clattered to the floor inside the lit area - it was a bone-handled knife still dripping with fresh blood. Robert looked up to ask what this meant, but the figure was already walking away. The sound of the footsteps continued until it reached the doorway and then stopped. Robert made his was to the doorway where he thought he saw some shadowy movement, but no one was there. The hallways were also dark and the building was utterly silent. On his way back to Gerald's bed, he noticed something else - the other beds in the ward, which had previously held other patients were empty.
Robert woke Gerald, told him about the situation, and, after finding a wheelchair for Gerald, the two decided they should leave. As they exited the building, the heard the sounds of breaking glass and found that several of the rooms had been set on fire. The two headed outside into the pouring rain and, shouting for someone and eventually encountered a couple of the Runners, whom they informed about the situation at the hospital. The two headed toward the Mitre, a pub which happened to be nearby.
The bartender was surprised to see two patrons enter, doubly so because there was currently a curfew in effect, and triply so because one of them seemed to be in need of hospital care. He was shocked to hear of the situation at the hospital. As they were talking, they saw a familiar man in a booth across the room slide out and begin skulking toward them. It was Hannington. Placing a crumpled paper on the bar next to Robert he whispered "I think someone was looking for you". He then walked out into the rain, despite the bartender's warnings about the curfew.
Back at the bathhouse, Lance finally woke up and stepped out of the Twilight. Seeming confused by his surroundings, he asked a few questions and then hurried out. Katherine and Molly tried to convince him to stay for a few minutes and managed to do so briefly by showing him the statues of Arthur, Gavin and Gwen, but ultimately he would not be detained. He told them if they had any other questions they'd have to come with him. Deciding the ignore the curfew, they did so.
They followed Lance to the Foley Manor, where he began shouting for someone called Sophia as he paced intensely around the entrance hall. When he got no response, he instead called for Diana, who appeared in a small wooden chair in the corner of the room. Without hesitating, he asked her where her grandmother was. She informed him that she hadn't seen her for at least a few weeks. He was about to storm out of the house when a tall, cold woman appeared from nowhere at the top of the stairway above them. "Lancelot, when will you stop meddling in matters which are so far above you?"
The group sat in the kitchen as the rains continued the afternoon of Thursday, April 19th. The group had been talking about the the murdered Bishop and had decided to attend the public funeral which was to be held in square of St. Paul's Cathedral the following morning when Robert returned to the bathhouse with some other news. He told them he'd spoken with Diana again, and that she was upset. Apparently the person called Lance was being held prisoner on the Isle of Dogs. She had tried to go to him, but had been driven away somehow. Despite the pouring rain, they decided they needed to return to the Isle, an action they'd been discussing for some time.
The group took the carraige as far as they could manage, but the east side was in shambles. Robert had also reported a significant increase in inter-gang conflicts that were remaining just below the public's consciousness due to certain factors. Carefully, they made their way through the docks.
There were very few people on the street. Recent events, the poor weather and the general sense of fear that permeated the city seemed to have caused certain aspects of city life to grind to a halt. Gerald noted several people peering suspiciously out their windows as they passed.
The Isle of Dogs itself was all but destroyed. Never a "nice" area of town, the fires and rampant crime had left it ravaged. It wasn't until they'd nearly reached the center of the Isle that they saw anything truly unusual.
At the very heart of the district there was a broad area that had been burned completely - to the point that it was nothing but ash and loose rubble. Even the cobblestones and foundations of now-destroyed buildings bore signs of melting by extreme heat. Katherine immediately got the sense that there was something else present.
Focusing her eyes into the twilight, Katherine beheld a massive stone obilisk and around it, some sort of swirling spiritual ephemera. Chained to the bottom of it was an unconscious man. She tried to approach it, but it seemed to always be some distance away. It was then that she remembered Elston mentioning something about a place called the Shadow - a world that was completely distinct from this one. Katherine closed her eyes and willed herself through the gap and into the realm of Shadow. Her companions were shocked to see her completely disappear.
It was dark on the other side, but less hazy and Katherine was able to see details much more clearly. She approached the man, who seemed to be faintly struggling in whatever state of unconsciousness he was in. She tried to rouse him, but he did not respond. Deciding this must be Lance, she tried to consider some way of freeing him, eventually deciding tor try pick the locks on the manacles that bound him there.
Back in the material world, something was happening. The other three watched as dozens of dogs began emerging from the alleys into the burned clearing. Apart from just their numbers, there was something else strange about their behavior that they couldn't quite quantify. As another group of dogs approached from the alleyway behind them, they discovered that the dogs seemed unnaturally aggressive and they did not hesitate to attack.
The resultant combat was chaotic The three attempted to batter or stab the dogs to keep them at bay. Gerald felt a strange muscle spasm that caused him to drop the medicine bag he'd been using to bludgeon a nearby dog whereupon several objects scattered out of it - a few of which Gerald didn't remember putting into his bag. Molly felt a strange piercing in her mind and the world became hazy and indistinct. Looking around, she saw Katherine at the base of a massive obilisk. She had only just thought that she wanted to be over where her friend was when she was suddenly there. Gerald and Robert were once again astounded to see their other friend vanish.
At this point, many of the other dogs, having wandered into the clearing and not finding anything, turned there attention to Robert and Gerald. Gerald looked around and noted the cracked door on the building next to which they stood. Bashing it open, the two dashed inside, scattering whatever furniture they encountered behind them in an attempt to block the way for the crazed dogs as they clamoured upstairs.
Katherine had managed to pick the locks and she and Molly attempted to extract Lance. When they were successful, the howling wind-like sound they'd heard stopped suddenly and it was eerily quiet. The two then willed themselves back across the Gauntlet.
By the time they reappeared in the clearing, the dogs had left. Gerald and Robert were looking out the window of the second floor of the shack into which they had fled. Katherine and Molly re-materialized but Lance, whom they'd been carrying, was not with them. Katherine peered once more into the Twilight and saw his translucent form lying on the ground.
Naglish, the ghost of an abandoned prisoner, had waylaid the party. He was threatening Tisroc with revenge for wrongs perpetrated against him by the noble house to which Tisroc was attached. As Alina attempted to talk him down, the ghost animated the chains of the dungeon to begin attacking and attempting to bind Tisroc and Glitch. Alina's line of reasoning was not able to satisfy the ghost, but it did convince him that his attack on the party wasn't worthwhile. He eventually ceased manifesting and disappeared into the ether, but not before piercing his ghostly sword through Tisroc's heart. The metaphysical attack seemed to affect Tisroc's mind and eventually caused him to fall unconscious.
After reviving Tisroc and taking a few moments to recover, the party headed up to exit the citadel. Alina decided to take Naglish's remains out of the citadel and bury them. Upon entering the great entry hall, they called up to Selkin that they were leaving. As they approached the exit, however, they were attacked by a group of hobgoblins who began firing upon them from the far side of the drawbridge.
Glitch immediately ran out to engage them and Alina followed shortly, but Tisroc (who was already worn down from previous encounters) decided to hang back in the entry hall. It was at this point that he was ambushed by Jask, one of the bandits. Putting a dagger to Tisroc's throat, he demanded the gem Selkin had given to the party. Tisroc willingly gave up the ruby, and Jask took off - running past the hobgoblins and out of the area. Not too long afterward, there was a great impact upon the citadel from some unseen source which caused the rotten drawbridge to give way, taking a few hobgoblins with it as it fell down into the gorge. After the hobgoblins had been completely routed, the party contemplated how to get down with the bridge missing, eventually deciding on the use of Tisroc's Feather Fall magic.
The party camped at the base of the citadel, recovered the rest of their strength and began discussing what to do next. Selkin and the remaining bandits bid them fairwell as they left the area. Alina was able to bury Naglish's remains and the group began planning what to do next. They contemplated traveling to Adther, The Dead Forest, to see what had become of the refugees from the abandonded settlement, but the information they had gained from the epitaph in the crypt mentioned the settlement called Drakol, known as The Crag. Perhaps more could be learned there...
party levels to 6
The rains continued as the group went about their day, more than a little bewildered by the events of the previous 24 hours. Robert told the others that he had some things he needed to take care of and headed out into the city just after noon. Molly was busy taking care of some housekeeping after the previous night's disturbance. Gerald had received word of some additional "strange cases" at the hospital and he decided he should go check on them. Katherine wanted to visit the cemetery on the north side of town. George decided he would go with them.
The three hired a coach to drive them to the area of town. Gerald and George got out near the hospital and let it take Katherine the rest of the way to the cemetery. Shortly after their parting, George decided they shouldn't have left Katherine alone with all the crime that'd been happening, so he split up with Gerald and began walking toward the cemetery to meet Katherine.
When Katherine arrived, she found a quiet spot under a couple of trees (which partially sheltered her from the rain), spread out an old blanket Molly had given her, and sat down. Closing her eyes and reaching out into the Twilight, Katherine called for Elston.
George happened upon Katherine as she was meditating there. He attempted to talk to her, but she repetatively told him she was concentrating and not to disturb her. At that, he took a few nips from his flask and settled down to nap.
Elston eventually responded to Katherine's summons. He seemed somehow less "healthy" than before - looking somewhat emaciated - and his ghostly clothing bore marks and tears where before it looked neat and well-groomed. During their conversation, Elston told Katherine that the city was becoming more dangerous - both in her world and his. He also told her that there was some malevolence inhabiting the far east side of the city. Katherine asked him directly about a name she'd heard - a person called Sophia. Elston told her he was unable to tell her much about this entity, but he did caution her saying - "What you must understand, Katherine, is that some spirits are very old, and very bitter."
At the hospital, Gerald was observing the 8 new patients. While they seemd "less far along" than the original 4, there was little different about them. All of the patients had some skin discoloration, a rather slow heartrate, and were inexplicably catatonic.
Back at the bathhouse, Molly was visited by one of the Bow Street Runners. The man seemed obviously exhausted. He informed Molly that there had been a rash of break-ins the previous night and he understood her establishment was one of the targets. He asked her a few questions about the incident. As he left, she noticed another man standing just inside the door. He was a nobleman, but the look of him. He was looking around the room with an expression of disgust. To noone in particular, but obviously intending Molly to hear it, he said "I can remember a time when the Malloy family was possessed of much more honor and dignity." He then turned to walk away. As he was in the doorway, he said to Molly over his shoulder: "You need to remember your name, Miss Malloy" Indignant, she demanded his name. He replied he was called Lord Caspar.
It was a few hours later when the group got back together at the bathhouse. They spent some time discussing their respective experiences that day and more about the day before. George, of course, continued to think that they were either putting him on about certain things, or potentially going mad.
The following day, George set out on an errand for something Gerald had requested, while the other three went to the hospital. Gerald wanted Katherine to look at the sick patients. Since she seemed to have some kind of second sight, he hoped perhaps she might be able to perceive something he could not. Unfortunately, however, apart from the fact that their souls seemed somehow fainter than normal, she could determine very little. Molly, however, decided to try something else.
Sitting down beside one of the beds, Molly took the hand of one of the patients - a young man. Stroking his hair, she began speaking to him very lowly - asking him to tell her what happened to him. Suddenly, jarringly, she began to see flashes of memories through his eyes. She saw unnatural shadows, glimpses of spirits and monsters, and scenes of dark terrors this individual had encountered. The suddenness of the images flooding into her mind from this man strained her physically. Katherine who had been watching through the Twilight saw her spirit shudder as she broke the connection with the man. Shaking, she turned to Gerald, "I know what happened to him."
The following day, the group was still trying to formulate some sort of plan of action. They all felt inextricably linked to the events of late, but the clues they had gathered seemed to link only to ghosts in the fog. One fact seemed sure: things were getting worse. As if further proof was needed, Molly dropped the day's print of the Register on the table. The headline read: "Bishop of London Murdered"!
The group spent the rest of the night speaking with Selkin, planning their assault on the occupied citadel the next day. Their plan involved an initial phase wherein after they were noticed by the flying creatures, they would lure them into the ruin of the village below the citadel, taking shelter under bits of rubble, forcing the creatures to land an engage them on the ground. Hoping to take out a decent percentage of them at this point, they would then take their chances on the spiraling ledge which led up to the citadel gate where they would make their final assault.
Selkin told them that the area that contained the ruins was about 3 hours to the north, so they would need to leave the following morning if they planned to being their assault after the midday rest. Upon approaching the shallow pass which lead into the village area, Selkin signaled to a scout he'd had posted. A slight creature descended from the cliffs above the village and joined the group. Her name was Mira. She was heavily cloaked and wore gloves and goggles. Tisroc seemed to get the impression that she wasn't human. Mira reported to Selkin that she'd heard some commotion the evening before last, but wasn't sure what it was about. Further, the prior morning, she had observed a band of hobgoblins enter the area and then move out of the far side of the valley. She suspected that they had some interest in the citadel, but she hadn't seen them since.
Selkin reviewed the plan with Mira and his men, and then they jumped into action. Sure enough, the flying humanoid creatures noticed them almost immediately and descended from the citadel. The group fled into the village and, by employing some geurilla techniques and with some considerable good fortune, they were able to kill several of them before the remaining ones fled. After a moment's regroup, they hurried to the pathway which led up to the gate of the citadel.
They'd made it about a third of the way up, when the second wave came out to meet them, this time somewhat more coordinated. An initial group began flying around near the pathways, pelting the groups with arrows while a couple others performed flyby maneuvers, attempting (and sometimes succeeding) to grab members of the party and throw them off the ledges. Finally, two of the creatures flew out a bit further away, and began to sing a haunting sort of song. The song pried open the minds of several of the bandits, causing them to walk off the ledges toward the source of the sound, ultimately falling to their deaths.
The group was finally able to make it to the top and enter the citadel. The inside of the citadel was very tall and hollow. There was a large statue of a robed man in the middle of this vast circular entry chamber, and there were many doors and balconies on multiple levels. Skirmishes inside were brief and somewhat sporadic. Selkin told his (remaining) men to spread out and find the statue with the rubies. The party began looking around also.
Tisroc found a barricaded door which he suspected led downward, but decided against opening it right away. The group ultimately ended up joining Selkin and his group on one of the higher floors - he had found his statue. It was a massive, brass carving of some demonic creature. It did, indeed, have two fist-sized ruby eyes. One of the bandits was attempting to pry them out when they all felt a brief pounding that caused them all to freeze. Tisroc began questioning Tisroc as to whether defacing the statue was wise, but he seemed rather unconcerned. When the bandit had actually pried the first gem loose, a terrific impact was felt by all present, nearly knocking some of them over. When nothing further happened, Selkin smiled. Tisroc asked if they would wait a while before prying the other gem loose - to give him and his friends time to find what they were searching for and leave. Selkin agreed.
The party descended into the sub-levels. The first one they found seemed to have been some kind of laboratory. It contained the remnants of rotted tables and broken glassware as well as several skeletons that had been bound to some of the larger tables. At least one of these skeletons was decidedly inhuman - being nearly 8 feet tall and possessed of a canine-like head.
The level beneath this was a dungeon area, full of crumbling stone walls and rusted metal gates. It was generally empty, but there was the remains of one skeleton still chained to the wall in one of the cells. This skeleton had rotted clothing and what looked like some kind of leather or hide armor and a rusted old rapier still in its scabbard fasted to its side.
Descending from the dungeon led into the crypts. They followed some winding passages around until they found their way to the newest graves - which were about 600 years old. It was here that Tisroc found the grave of Lord Artal Al'Kim that his mentor had mentioned:
"Here lie the mortal remains of Lord Artal Al'Kim - If only his spirit knew such rest."
Underneath this in smaller text was the following tale:
"Artal bargained for some favor with a demon called Acklex. Coming later to regret this decision, he sought the counsel of Makalo, the wisewoman of Drakol, and gifted of Nephthys. Unfortunately, she informed him that, since his oath had been made in full knowing and without hesitation, its binding would not fray. His soul would sadly overbalance Ma'at. Let his fate be a caution to all who seek unnatural gain."
Tisroc wanted to examine the remains of the body and, after some convincing of Alina, got Glitch to help him remove the nameplate and the stone sarcophagus. The remaining bones were frail and disjointed. The burial clothes were all but dust. The skeleton did bear a brass ring which Tisroc supposed to be a house seal and some rather unusual protrusions on its head above its eyes.
After having seen all they could find, the group began heading out. As they were crossing the dungeon, however, a glowing, incorporeal man appeared before him. Drawing a ghostly rapier from his side he proclaimed to Tisroc: "Allakim! I have much vengence to repay, and I'm afraid the responsibility falls to you!"
|Wednesday October 6, 2010 at 5:30pm||world of darkness, london 1802, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
Robert and Katherine moved forward to sit beside the girl on the sofa. Molly began closing curtains around the room while George escorted the other guests toward the kitchen. Gerald simply stared in frustrated confusion.
The girl continued to engage Robert in conversation while Katherine listened closely, trying to pick up any sound from the girl, but she was completely silent. The girl asked again where Lance might be and seemed surprised when Robert indicated that he didn't know this person. She mentioned that he hadn't called for her in several days. She then asked Robert about himself and how he'd been lately, inching closer to him on the sofa. Katherine, who'd finally managed to hear her, thought she was fairly obviously flirting with him. The girl was about to leave when Katherine addressed her. She seemed startled, almost as if she hadn't noticed anyone else in the room. She also seemed surprised the others could hear or even see her. Katherine asked her her name, and she replied that she was called Diana. They talked briefly about the strange happenings in the city, and Diana seemed to know something was wrong as well. She told them that there was something lurking in the east side of the city, driving other things away. She told them the east side didn't "feel" right anymore. They asked her how they could reach her if they heard from Lance, and she told them to go back to Allens Street. She then put a flower in Robert's hand, smiled, and stood up - vanishing as she did so. The flower Robert held wilted and dried immediately.
The group was still quite exhausted after their day spent on the fire brigades and, as they welcomed the guests back into the main area of the house, decided they would clean up and have a brief discussion before bed. The guests present seemed to have all but forgotten the events that had just transpired.
Katherine was awakened suddenly in the middle of the night to the sound of breaking glass. She roused Molly and the two of them crept down the hallway, hearin the sounds of someone moving about downstairs. Molly had grabbed a knife and Katherine had an unloaded pistol which, she thought, might be useful for bluffing if necessary. Robert had heard someone walking past and had emerged quietly from his room as well, also holding a knife. The three of them heard another crash come from the direction of Gerlad's room - it seemed as though more intruders were coming. The group ran down the stairs.
They found the intruders to be rather sloppy burlars, uncoordinated and thuggish. The fought with the brutes, Molly and Robert giving two of them rather significant knife wounds and Gerald knocking one out with his medicine bag. The encounter was nearing its end when Katherine felt a prickle creep up the back of her neck. Peering past the material realm into the twilight, she saw the hideous form of the spirit creature that had been possessing the large sailor they'd fought earlier in the day. She screamed. Robert came back around the corner and asked what was wrong, but he was unable to see anything. Katherine pushed her arm into the twilight and took a swing at the creature with the butt of her pistol, but it seemed to have little effect. It was at this moment that Robert felt something wash over him, and his eyes seemed to pierce the darkness as he saw the hideous beast before him. "What is that!?", he exclaimed. Katherine was moving backward up the stairs and was just about to bash its head again when it disappeared. Katherine and Robert looked at each other, relieved but still shaken.
After binding the unconscious intruder, calming some of the others in the house who were awakened by the commotion and making sure the house was relatively in order, they returned to their beds, still more exhausted than before.
The next morning was spent around the bathhouse. The rains continued to pour outside, and it was particularly cold for this time of year. There were an abnormally large number of chimney's spewing particularly dark smoke - especially from the east side of town - as well, adding to the fog and smog that seemed thick around the city. There were very few people on the streets.
The thug they'd subdued didn't seem to remember much about the previous night's activities. The Register reported that there'd been a large number of such break-ins and random crimes around the city and the source of the fires that had ravaged parts of the east side the day before was still to be determined. Parliament was scheduled to discuss these matters in a special session that day, and some governmental action was expected.
The party camped at the oasis and headed out the next day. During the late morning shortly before they were to make camp, they entered a large flat expanse of the eastern Salt March. The quality of the sand covering ground and the fact that the sun was directly ahead of them and low in the sky combined to produce a near blinding effect. They were unable to hold their eyes open for more than a second or two, and though the terrain was easily traveled, their pace was slowed. They decided to tie themselves together to keep from being separated.
They had been trudging through this dazzling field for about half an hour when their heard a strange howling sound coming from somewhere ahead of them. As they continued they heard the sounds of clawed feet tearing through the sands around them and they found themselves under attack by a pack of dog-like creatures.
The party was doing their best to fight off their attackers, but they found determining the creatures' locations to be difficult at best in the dazzling light and they were being pushed around by the continuously circling and attacking beasts. About half-way through the fighting, Glitch was pushed into a large, jagged crater he was unaware was in front of him. This had the side effect of dragging Alina to the edge of the pit and pulling Tisroc down into it by the ropes that bound them all together.
As Glitch righted himself at the bottom of the pit, a massive, purplish serpent-like creature emerged from the sand in front of him and let loose an echoing shriek which had the immediate effect of frightening the remaining dog-creatures away. Glitch began attacking it, but Tisroc and Alina decided to run for it. Cutting themselves loose and getting out of the pit, they called for Glitch who had, by this time, managed to anger the beast to the point that it had him in its mouth. He twitched and immediately disappeared from its jaws, appearing on the edge of the crater next to them. The group made a run for it as the creature began to slither up the edge of the crater after them.
The party traveled for a couple more days, entering the bounds of the Dead Forest. Tisroc discovered that there was no magically-discernable water source in the area where the village of Duront was supposed to have been, but after some travel, they did find a sign indicating it was nearby. The group proceded to the edge of the village. They didn't see much movement or any lights aside from a large bonfire on a terrace on the far side. This seemed strange, but they decided to check it out.
As they made their way across the village, Tisroc caught a glimpse of someone behind them - maybe a few people. As they approached, they noticed movement on the terrace and they could see several men holding crossbows at its edge. At this point, Tisroc stopped, turned around, and yelled for whoever was behind him to come out. There was a loud bellowing laugh from behind him on the terrace, "Well Jask, you seem to be losing your touch." it said as a man skulked out of the shadows, "leave these alone - they don't have anything good anyway." Then the voice addressed them, "Please, friends, come and speak with me." as it gestured toward a slope which led up to the terrace where he stood.
Upon entering the light of the bonfire, they could see the man who had called to them. He looked a little unusual - his skin had a golden hue and his eyes were a vibrant blue. Tisroc recognized him as having some genie ancestry. The man, called Selkin, asked them why they had come to this abandoned village. When they mentioned the citadel, he seemed to become suspicious until they told him their full motives. At this point, he disclosed to them a little more fully.
He too, was wanting to go to the citadel, but he and his company were after a pair of large rubies said to be set into the eyes of a statue in one of the upper halls. There was a problem, however. The site had become home to a nest of vicious, flying creatures that had some skill with bows. His group had tried to enter the citadel several times, but were driven off each time. Selkin suggested that they should ally their powers. This seemed like a good idea to the group, and they spent the rest of the evening strategizing how they might approach their common problem.
The party reunited the following day as the As'Kim estate. Elmnal had gone to the Hall of Sands for an emergency session due to the previous night's events. When he returned, they exchanged some information.
Elmnal told them of some surprising political events. It seems that Sasha Odala (acting head of House Odala) had resurrected a tabled motion put forth some years ago by one of the lesser houses to mandate government sanctioning of all magic - the reason cited was the "magical" mayhem that had just befallen the city. What was particularly surprising about the discussion that followed was Emir Revnii's support of this motion. House Revnii had long been on good terms with House As'Kim who was, for obvious reasons, vehemently opposed to such meddling. A vote on the issue was to be held the following dawn, and it looked as though this proposition may pass into law this time.
In turn, the party told Elmnal of the cloaked figures they'd seen in the alleyways around Tisroc's apartment where one of the fires started and of the abandoned house they'd tracked him to as well as the encounter with the man outside it. Elmnal seemed interested and decided that the three should take him to the place so that they could investigate it more fully in daylight. If they found anything, perhaps it could relieve the political panic and keep the sanctions from passing.
The group proceded across the city to the abandoned house and carefully entered and descended through the large hold in the floor into the basement. After some searching, they found an area of the stone floor which was actually disguised wooden floorboards, and they were loose. They had just pried them up to see nothing but packed earth beneath them when they heard an ominous laughing from above them. "So you did return", the voice said, "Jigav said you would. I personally though you wouldn't be so stupid." At this, several thugs jumped down through the hole in the floor/ceiling above them while others pelted them with drugged darts.
The resulting skirmish was intense, but rather brief. The party was able to hold their own against the thugs, but there were simply too many of them and they were only able to shake off the darts' effects for so long. Eventually, they were overwhelmed.
When they awoke, they found themselves in a shallow basin somewhere obviously outside the city. Night had passed. It was after dawn and the heat was picking up. Their hands were bound and around the edge of the basin were cloaked figures. They were then addressed by an uncloaked woman who basically simply threatened them to stay out of the way. She then seemed somewhat startled to see Elmnal's unconscious form among the group. She hissed to the man standing beside her that she wasn't informed that he was among them. Tisroc recognized the woman as Sasha Odala.
The woman then disbanded the gathering and, with another thinly-veiled threat to "stay out of it", she left them in the basin. Several of the cloaked figures around her seemed to protest at the abrupt and anti-climactic ending to the gathering - the party guessed that they wanted blood - but she silenced them. As they were walking away, Tisroc noticed one of the cloaked figures had a snout like that of an animal protruding from the shadows of its cloak. After the figures disappeared, Elmnal began to regain consciousness.
It took the group a little while to determine where they were, but eventually they were able to find their way back to the city. It was approaching mid-day, however, and the oppressive heat had all but caused them to pass out by the time they reached the As'Kim estate. They all needed rest. Elmnal pointed out that he had missed the vote and that it had almost certainly passed.
After they had rested, they learned that this was, in fact, true. The state of Alina's temple was also somewhat chaotic as the death of the high priest had left a man called Sulab in charge and he was taking it upon himself to begin a crusade against whoever had attacked the temple - going so far as to call for "holy warriors". These factors, combined with Elmnal's prior mentioning of a location to investigate far to the east, led the party to believe that now as a good time to leave The City.
They spent the rest of the day recovering and gathering supplies for their journey. The next day, they headed out. Before they left, Elmnal gave Tisroc a secret spell - something unique to House As'Kim. It was a sort of oasis-detecting spell, lasting all day, and constantly indicating the direction and distance to the nearest significant water source within a 180 degree arc.
Mere hours after they had left the city, they encountered what seemed to be the remains of a patrol of savage humanoids - probably gnolls. There was known to be a tribe of Gnolls in the Salt March, but they were thought to be far to the north and none of the party had ever seen one. The creatures had met with a violent end, and were probably killed by each other or some other force bearing weaponry.
They camped to wait out the midday heat and continued on that evening. It was a while after dark and they were very close to the oasis to which they were headed when they entered an area littered with bones. It seemed to get significantly colder as they traversed this area, and after a short time they began to hear strange, disembodied whispers: "Water...", they said, "Water..." At this, they began hearing footsteps around them, and skeletons began walked out of the darkness and into the shadowy light cast by their lantern.
The group began smashing the skeletons but they kept coming. Then Alina got the idea to try giving them what they wanted. Concentrating, she used her miracle-working abilities to create a deluge of water over a couple of the skeletons. There was a loud hissing sound and they collapsed into the sand. Tisroc, seeing this success, created a cloud of mist around the area and when the skeletons entered it, they became inert for a moment, before collapsing back into the sand.
After this encounter, the party continued on to the oasis. It was a very small area, possessed of only a little grass and a few trees. It was home to a small spring which slowly fed a pool of water which in tern flowed out into the waste and was swallowed by it perpetual dryness.
|Saturday September 18, 2010 at 12:00pm||new campaign, d&d, sandstorm, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
Game: Dungeons & Dragons 3.5e, Sandstorm, Unearthed Arcana
Characters: Alina [Sheri], Glitch [Adam], Tisroc [Tony]
It was an evening in late spring. Alina, an acolyte of the Temple of the Sun, was to meet Tisroc, a young, local wizard at an inn called Mavani's. She had told Tisroc she had a book that may be of some help to him.
Alina happened to know that Tisroc had a small problem - his soul had been inadvertently bargained away by his parents in exchange for his mortal life when he was very young, and since he learned of this he has been tireless searching for a way to undo what had been done. Alina herself had lost her mother some years ago and knows her to be living happily in the Offering Fields - and it troubles the acolyte to think that anyone's immortal soul could be stolen from them so unfairly.
Glitch was a guardian "assigned" to Tisroc by one of the few others who knew of Tisroc's dilemma: Elmnal, his mentor in house As'Kim. As the inn was only just down the street from Tisroc's second-floor apartment, and as he would likely simply stand outside anyway, Tisroc decided Glitch should remain at his residence. Tisroc made his way down the street to Mavani's Inn. It was mid-evening by this time - after dark - but it was still quite warm.
The inn was relatively empty at this time, so the innkeeper, Erik, noticed him as he entered, giving him a hearty wave and calling out his greeting. Both Erik and Loren (Erik's wife) were friends of Tisroc's and were almost always jovial and outgoing. Their 7-year-old daughter, Isha, however, was somewhat less so.
Tisroc had taken a seat at one of the many empty tables when Isha approached him. "Good evening," she said, her expression dour, "...so far. What would you like to eat tonight? I'm fairly certain none of it has been poisoned." Tisroc asked for some bread and cheese with some dates (meat being rather expensive), and Isha informed him that it was probably moldy, but she'd check.
Alina arrived sometime later with a large, leather-bound book. Its weight was such that it took some effort on her part not to slam it down onto the table. The book, she explained, was full of religious tales and fables - several of which contained instances where demons were out-witted by particularly clever or pious mortals. She had hoped something in its pages might be helpful to Tisroc.
Tisroc doubted that anything in the book would be relevant enough to his cause, but he agreed to look through it anyway. Isha returned a bit later with his food, remarking that it appeared he hadn't been "stood up" after all. by this time, the Inn was beginning to become more crowded and the environment was no longer conducive to their discussions. Tisroc and Alina decided to return to his residence to continue their discussion. The two were walking back down the street toward his apartment when they heard a loud pop from further north in the city and saw a strange, spiraling flame erupt into the sky. For a moment, they simply stared at it, unable to comprehend what they were witnessing - then they heard the sound again, from another place in the city. Then again in another.
Tisroc began sprinting down the street, Alina behind him, when there was a loud boom from the street in front of him, which sent tendrils of flame out to the surrounding buildings - including Tisroc's apartment building - and a spiraling column into the sky.
After the first pop, Glitch had moved to the apartment window and so when the flames erupted in front of him, the firelight illuminated a shadowy cloaked figure in an adjacent alleyway. Tisroc and Alina saw a pair of similar suspicious figures moving along a parallel street.
Glitch leaped out of the apartment's window into the street, causing several nearby people to gasp in shock. The cloaked figure took off running away down the alleyway. Tisroc heard some nearby shouts accusing Glitch of starting the fires and, subsequently, heard his name mentioned under suspicion.
The party took off down the alley after the cloaked figures, and saw a group of three of them gathered at a dark intersection. When they were spotted, however, the group took off. The party gave chase, but the figures eventually split up. Deciding to stay together, the party followed one of the three up to a large, abandoned mansion in a largely ruined part of town.
The group approached the building, climbed the front stairs and, when no conflict came, kicked the door in. Taking a look around, the dark and debris-filled room, Tisroc noted the rotted state of the floorboards. While he and Alina might possibly be able to negotiate it without falling through, Glitch almost certainly could not.
As they were discussing this, Tisroc suddenly exclaimed in pain. Looking around, a cloaked figure was holding a hollow reed which he had used to fire a poisoned dart into Tisroc's neck. Alina immediately leaped into action, jumping off the porch and clubbing him in the back of the head with her mace before he could get away. The figure collapsed, unconscious. Upon examination, he was an ordinary looking man in a dark cloak. He had a reed in his hand and a pouch of darts on his belt. He did have a strange tattoo on the back of his neck - an image of a black serpent. Alina recognised this as the symbol of a demon lord called Set. As she looked over the unconscious body, she told the others, "I don't think this is the one that went into the house."
Tisroc decided to put his magic to use. He assumed a gaseous form and began floating around the house. He found no trace of the cloaked figure, but he did find two other automatons - very similar to Glitch, in fact - standing in the basement. When he returned as assumed his solid form, he and Alina decided to move over to a large hole in the floor to look into the basement with the help of a magical light Alina had manifested.
This plan may have been helpful if the floor hadn't given way, dumping the two into the basement. The automatons called out: "Why have you come into the darkness?" Tisroc gave them an answer, but it did not seem to satisfy them. "You are not welcome here!" they shouted, raising swords and beginning to attack.
At first, Tisroc thought to flee and ran for the stairs, but Glitch had jumped down into the basement and engaged one of the automatons in combat with his large shovel. Alina had pulled out her mace and attempted to bash the other with it.
The three fought off the robotic beings as best they could, Tisroc providing some magical support to the physical combat the other two were engaging in. When both automatons had collapsed, they looked around at each other. Before they could suggest a further course of action however, they heard footsteps on the stairs outside.
Tisroc began running up the stairs into the house. Alina and Glitch stood and waited. The dark prevented them from making out more than the silhouette of the figure that appeared. They could see a tall, thin form, unhooded and with long hair. The figure seemed to stair into the house and then down through the (now larger) hole in the floor before simply turning to walk away. By the time Tisroc reached the entry hall, the figure had gone.
Confused, the party left the building. The unconscious man they had tied up and left outside was gone. Looking out over the city to the east, they could see the dim glow of fires.
They hurried back east to aid the firefighting effort. Tisroc's apartment, however, had burned to the ground - along with several other buildings. By the time the fires were brought under control, dawn was approaching.
Alina returned to the temple to find that it had been attacked and several of the priests killed. The attackers sounded like the cloaked figures they had seen earlier. The high priest himself was gravely injured and his wounds seemed to resist the miracle healing.
Tisroc returned to the As'Kim estate to speak with his mentor and ask if he could stay there for a day or two. Elmnal obliged, also mentioning something else to him: Elmnal had found an old genealogy record of a man called Lord Artal Al'Kim. The record mentioned that he had "come to regret a deal he'd made with an evil power". The record comes from a time when the house resided in a citadel in what is now the Dead Forest - and his grave is certainly located in the catacombs beneath it. Elmnal isn't sure if there would be anything helpful there, and certainly a journey into the Dead Forest would be very hazardous, but it's the best lead he could find.
Later, after the fires were out, Glitch returned to what had been their apartment building. He had been staying out of sight during the firefighting efforts, trying not to draw attention to himself. In the wreckage of the building, he was able to find Tisroc's spellbook - damaged, but mostly intact.
|Monday September 13, 2010 at 5:30pm||world of darkness, london 1802, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
The group spent the rest of the evening discussing what Katherine may or may not have "seen" in the alleyway on the Isle of Dogs. Afterward, they all decided to call it a night.
The next morning, they discussed what they should do next. Eventually, they decided to revisit the site in daylight. When they walked out the front door, however, their plans were amended.
Looking eastward across the city, they saw several large columns of smoke rising from the vague area of the docks district into the overcast sky. Deciding time was now of the essence, they called for Molly's carriage and drove quickly toward the source of the problem.
As they made their way further east, the chaos in the streets became more and more intense and the driver had some difficulty maneuvering the carriage through some intersections. At last, it could go no further with any degree of safety, so the group decided to continue on foot.
They were hurrying through a narrow street when they saw a large, burly sailor run up to a shop window and heave a large chunk of cobblestone through its front window. Two other sailors were running up the street behind him. All three of them looked completely maddened, their bloodshot eyes wide but largely un-seeing. Shouts rang out from inside the shop and there was a loud CRACK as a musket shot blew a hole in the large man's side. He stumbled backward momentarily, but the grievous wound did not seem to deter him and he smashed through the front door and into the shop.
George, Gerald and Robert all moved forward, pulling weapons and trying to get the sailors' attention. As the others engaged, Katherine sensed something odd about the sailors. She unfocused her eyes to peer into the realm of the spirit and what she saw startled her. Grotesque, demon-like, ephemeral beings were clinging to the sailors, wrapping their skeletal arms around the sailors' chests while their mouths of sharp, jagged teeth whispered incomprehensible horrors into the sailors' ears.
Katherine shouted to Gerald that the sailors were possessed. After a further moment's thought, she took the pistol Molly had pulled from her purse. Concentrating hard, she "pushed" her arm into the spirit realm. Molly gasped and the sailor's eyes momentarily widened with incredulity: Katherine's forearm - and the pistol she held - had become and eerie skeletal green.
Katherine pulled the trigger. There was a bright green flash and a muted popping sound, but only Katherine could see the bright streak which hit the demon-like spirit, blasting it backward off the sailor's back - a gaping wound in its shoulder now oozing a thick, silvery liquid. The being stared coldly at Katherine.
Inside the shop, George had run up on the large man, leaped onto his back and pulled a crowbar backward into his neck. The large man struggled briefly, but began to give in very quickly. Rage had overcome George and even as the man collapsed, George took his crowbar and began bashing the unconscious man's head into a bloody mess.
Katherine saw the spirit detach itself from the massive sailor's back and reach its incorporeal, clawed hands into George's chest, closing them around his heart. George sudden grabbed his chest, gasped, and collapsed on the shop floor next to the dead sailor. Katherine saw the demon-spirits disappear. The shop-keeper was horrified. Gerald hurriedly approached George's unconscious form. He turned him over and began trying to ascertain his condition. Gerald reflexively began shouting demands for medical equipment, none of which was available. Finally, he looked up at the others. "He's dead."
The others of the group stared at him in disbelief. The shopkeeper gave a little whimper. Time seemed to slow a little as they each looked to one another for what they should do next. Then, George sat up. He didn't gasp for breath, nor did he seem particularly agitated - in fact, he was quite calm. He looked around at the group staring at him questioningly.
"You...you were dead, George.", Katherine said, "I saw...it reach into you and crush your heart..."
George chuckled, "You are quite the story-teller, miss Katherine..."
As they were re-composing themselves, one of the Bow Street Runners appeared in the shop doorway. "Is everything alright in here?" Even as he was asking, he was able to see the answer to his question. The Runner grimaced. "Ok," he continued, "You, you and you - come with me." He pointed to George, Robert and Gerald, "The fires are spreading..." The group hurried on toward the east with the Runner.
The men were conscripted into the various fire brigades attempting to contain the unexplained blazes. Molly and Katherine were asked to return to their homes and let the men take care of the problem several times, but in the chaos, the gender separation was somewhat trumped by necessity.
The rest of the day was spent trying with little success to fight the blazes. Much of the effort was simply to keep it from spreading to new areas. In the early evening, the slate sky finally decided to begin to rain and it was only then that the fire-fighting efforts began to succeed.
It was after nightfall when the group finally walked back toward the bathhouse in the pouring rain. As they opened they entered the front door, they noted an eerie silence. Moving into the large living area of the house, they found all of the occupants crowded against the walls at the edges of the room, staring with a mix of horror and curiosity at the center of the room.
On one of the couches near the middle of the room sat a young girl with dark hair wearing a long, simple white dress. She was exceptionally pale - in fact, it seemed as though her form contained no color at all. except for a brilliant red flower in her hair above her right ear. She was holding a saucer and sipping a small cup of tea.
When the group cautiously moved into the room, the girl looked up. Seeing, Robert, she smiled. She seemed to speak, but her mouth moved without creating any sound. Several of the others in the room gasped. Robert, however, heard her voice clearly: "Oh, you're back. They told me I'd find you here. I was wondering, have you seen Lance?"
A few days passed, and the group members focused on some personal pursuits.
Kathrine, Gerald and Molly discussed what recently transpired and what they might do about it. Gerald and Kathrine had spent some considerable time in the library. There, Gerald was reminded of where he'd seen the word "Excalibur" before - it was a the name of a sword belonging to a legendary English king called Arthur.
It was the following monday when George finally met up with them again. He'd been busy at the docks for quite some time, but work was drying up. He told the others that a lot of ships had been coming into port lately, but that almost none were leaving. The dispositions of a lot of the sailors and captains were inexplicably edgy and defiant. Many of the ships in the London and India docks were marked as being "in violation" by the harbor masters, but the captains still refuse to sail out - to that point that there are a large number of boats anchored in the Pool. George had also seen more than the usual number of fist fights, and they tend to get brutally violent much more quickly. There have been a number of gruesome murders on the Isle of Dogs, and the docks district as a whole has a desperate and dangerous feel to it. The others exchanged looks and some short comments and then decided to tell George about what had occurred the previous week.
George, predictably, didn't really believe them. He seemed to assume that they were either telling him a good story, trying to pull some sort of prank, or they were losing their grip on their sanity. They showed him the statues they had covered in a locked room, but he wasn't impressed by much more than their artistry.
The others weren't entirely surprised by the difficulty in convincing him, but it was still a bit frustrating. They asked George if he knew any of the locations of the strange murders and he told them he did know where one of them happened. Sure of what they'd witnessed so far and confident that these strange new events at the docks must be somehow related, they decided they would go take a look around the scene. Tonight. And George was coming with them.
The Isle of Dogs is a peninsula in the far east of London made into an "island" by the canals that run into the India docks near where its base. Being on the far east side of the city, it is also about the seediest area in London. It is all but a shanty-town, composed of one and two-story, wooden buildings - run down inns, taverns and apartments - crowded along narrow, winding streets - and the further inland one gets, the worse it is. As George guided them through the docks district, they noticed a lot of people in the area, mostly sailors, and the social atmosphere was very tense.
They arrived at the narrow alleyway where George had heard one of the murders had occurred. About halfway down the alley, there was a step up to a broken door. On the wall next to it, there seemed to be some scrapes through something that might have once been a drawing or writing of some kind. On the ground next to the steps, a splotchy, dark discoloration that was probably a large quantity of blood.
The group was still looking around the area when Kathrine felt a strange chill descend upon the area. Kathrine defocused her eyes. She'd found that, with some concentration, she was able to see things that were there, but intangible - spirits and ghosts. When she did this, she saw a very tall, translucent man standing over Gerald's shoulder.
When she spoke to him, he seemed startled. Her friends who were examining the scene also seemed somewhat taken aback, as she was staring into space, talking to herself. Kathrine asked the man, who was called Elston, about what was going on here. He told her that a few days ago, he'd seen two men murdered here, and the strangeness of their deaths kept him here. They had come down this alleyway and banged on the door. It was answered by a woman. They exchanged some heated words, and then the woman did something which caused two monstrous dog-like creatures to appear which proceeded to tear the two men apart and then disappear. The woman smirked and closed the door. Kathrine also asked him about the mark on the wall. He told her he remembered seeing it. He traced the outline of a symbol on the wall where Gerald and George were looking, but he told her there was more to it than that.
Kathrine's conversation with an imperceptible entity was beginning unnerve her companions before she "snapped out of it". When her senses returned to the material realm, she found them all staring at her. Gerald said "When we get back, we need to talk."
It was after nightfall on Tuesday, April 13th, 1802 before the group reached London Bridge. They were planning to meet an associate of Sir Barnabas who was to give them a kind of relic that was to help their intended purge of the demonic forces haunting the crypts beneath Southwark Cathedral.
The lamps had been lit, but as they crossed toward south shore they noticed an area near the middle of the bridge where the lamps were out. Beneath a lit lamp on the other side of the darkened area was a figure leaning up against its post. As they approached he moved out to the middle of the bridge, held up his hand, palm out, and told them "Sorry, friends, this end of the bridge is closed tonight."
In truth, the man was stalling as 5 of his buddies attempted to creep up into position behind the group. Unfortunately (for them), they were spotted. When the man saw that the intended sneak attack had failed, he raised a pistol, pointed it at them, and continued with a smirk. "Of course, we'd be willing to let you pass for a toll..."
Gerald took a step or two forward toward the man, checking his watch and saying "There's no toll on the bridge at this hour". The man took a couple steps back and told him to stop and drop his bag. A couple of the others tried to keep a couple of the other thugs distracted. Robert simply stood by, but his size and presence was making the thugs uneasy.
Gerald set his bag down, opened it and began rummaging around in it saying he was looking for money. The man, not buying his reasoning threatened him further to step away and, when he didn't, moved a step forward and kicked Gerald back. When he did so, however, Gerald had managed to grab one of his pistols from the bag and brought it up to point at his assailant. Then he narrowed his eyes and said "Boy, these medical supplies were intended for others' injuries, but if I have to treat you, I will." Despite the Doctor's usual social bumbling, his presence and intimidation were impressive.
The young man began backing away, somewhat frightened. A couple of the thugs tried to grab the ladies' purses, but failed and, between Gerald's pistol and Robert's menacing stance, decided the situation was no longer worth it and ran. The young man who was the lead turned and fled as well.
After recovering their composure from this brief altercation, they continued on to the south shore of the Thames. There they met man in dark clothing wearing a thick blindfold. He didn't look very old, but he was hunched over and his movements were slow and methodical. "You must be the ones Balthazar told me about."
The man handed them a large iron cross. It was about 2 feet long, and a foot and a half across. When Gerald took it, he found that it weighed considerably more even than it looked. With some labor, he handed it over to Robert. After handing it to them, the man simply turned and walked away.
The party continued on to Southwark Cathedral and, after some searching, found a small sub-street-level back door which probably led down to the crypts. As they were examining the door, Robert happened to look up into the bushes where he made eye contact with a startled young boy, who immediately took off running down the street into the dark. The group looked at each other, shrugged, and returned to their task.
Kathrine pulled the key they were given from her purse, put it into the lock and turned it. When she did, the golden key momentarily glowed. It was a dim effect, but it was definitely there. After another moment, she turned it back, removed it, and opened the door.
On the other side of the door the stairway continued downward and, to their surprise, they could see lamplight and could hear voices in quiet conversation.
The group cautiously began making their way down the stairs when a familiar voice called out "Lance? Is that you? What kept you so long?"
Kathrine, believing the small boy they saw might be "Lance", she tried to imitate a young boy's voice, "Yes, It's me." Gerald, who was right behind her, didn't think she sounded convincing. The voices stopped and they heard steps approaching. Gerald decided it was time to act and barreled down the stairs and into the room. Robert immediately followed him.
The crypt below looked anything like but what they could have expected. The most prominent feature of the room was a large, circular table which was surrounded by chairs. Around this, between columns of the arches of the crypt were large bookcases full of books, scrolls, glassware and other eclectic, strange and sometimes unidentifiable objects. In addition, there were several free-standing doors - in frames only, not set into any wall, simply standing between the bookcases.
Standing about 15 feet in front of Gerald was a tall man with long brown hair. Behind him, on the right side of the table was the woman they had seen speaking with Hannington in the Mitre, and across the table from her, now getting to his feet, was Gavin.
The man in front of them spoke, clearly bewildered "What...Who...", but before he was able to say much more, the iron cross Robert was carrying seemed to somehow activate, instantly tripling in weight. In addition, the lower portion of the cross lengthened a few feet, made a sharp, downward point, and jammed it self into the stone floor of the crypt. The man who had approached them took a couple steps back, looking horrified. "Is that... No... It can't be...", but before anyone could react further, blue bolts of electricity burst forth from it, blasting at the three of them as well as the bookcases, the table, and the doors.
The man in front, who had been pushed backward by the blast of lightening, drew a silver sword, and the electricity seemed to arc directly to it. "Gwen!", he shouted, "It's an Axis - get out of here!". He arched his sword forward and a couple of the bolts of electricity redirected from his sword and leapt out toward Gerald and Kathrine, but missed.
"No! I'm not leaving!", the woman shouted back in earnest. She seemed to be somehow "catching" the lightening that was arcing toward her and, with some great effort, was keeping it at bay.
Gavin had drawn a pistol but then was hit with a lightening bolt and stumbled backward off his feet behind the table. The bolt that had been linked to him, tracked downward across one of the large chairs which splintered instantly. Taking this to be a symbol that these were the demons they were supposed to purge, the four moved into the room and opened fire on the three.
Their bullets found their marks and, with the help of the lightening artifact, the fight seemed to be going decidedly in their favor when something unexpected happened. The man with the sword stumbled forward, raised his sword, there was a flash of light and he had turned to stone. The woman began waving her arms and flames erupted around her form, but then burned out in a puff of smoke and she, too, had been turned to stone. Gavin had just managed to get up from behind the table at this point, saw the two statues and, full of rage raised his pistol and pulled the trigger. The sparks from the the power pan turned to stone as they ignited and fell to the ground. The bullet never made it out of the gun, and Gavin made the third statue in the room. The lightening then blasted out at the furnishings in earnest and splintered nearly everything in the room before the electricity stopped, the iron cross itself turned to stone, and then crumbled to the floor. The room was eerily silent.
The party took a look around the room, but found very little. Gerald did find a couple of the strange books that were partially intact and put them in his bag. They were still looking around when they heard another, nervous voice from the top of the stairs. "Who...Who's down there?"
It was a priest, father Garrus, associated with the cathedral, along with the boy who'd run away earlier. The group told him that they found trespassers in the crypt, but they kept their details vague. Father Garrus didn't seem to ask too many questions; he just really seemed to want them to leave. They did arrange to return the next day to talk.
The party then returned to Foley Manor to talk to Barnabas. On their arrival, however, they found the manor completely empty. Well, most of them did. Gerald, Molly and Robert walked in and began looking around bewildered, searching for some clue as to what happened to Barnabas - but Kathrine had stopped in the doorway. She had suddenly been hit with the sensation that there were people present - many people. She couldn't see anyone, but she could hear whispered voices coming from the corners of the room and from behind the walls. Eventually, she was able to make out some of the bit of the conversations:
[male voice, blase]
"The Pawns have returned to the Queen’s Bishop row"
[female voice, blase]
"Yes, but the Bishop is not here, he has moved to his next position."
[2nd female voice, interested]
"Balthazar was more successful than even he had hoped, but it has proved to be his undoing."
[2nd male voice, uncertain]
"Circumstances were fortunate....for some"
[2nd female voice, disdainful]
"Indeed, there are no Heretics left to profane this cursed city"
[2nd male voice, uncertain]
"Sophia... some would say there are darker beings than the Heretics"
[2nd female voice, darkly]
"Yes, Philip - things against which the city now has no remaining defense..."
[2nd female voice, closer / moving past, prophetic]
"The last of the candles have burned out and night approaches"
[separate collective of voices (not previous entities), indistinguishable gender, rises from the underlying babble]
"London will fall to the darkness"
The voices then fell silent.
Kathrine shared this with the others. They didn't really understand what she was talking about, but it didn't sound good.
The following day, the group returned to the Cathedral to speak with Father Garrus. He tells them that Ralph, the boy, claimed to have seen someone entering the crypt some nights before, but no one really believed him because they found no evidence. He had been camping out near the crypt entrance in hopes of catching the trespassers at it again.
They talked with Father Garrus for a while about what might have happened and how they did or did not fit into it. Molly asked if they could take the statues and, since Garrus knew they weren't part of the crypt, he agreed to let them. As they further investigated the aftermath of the previous night in the crypt that night, they noticed something etched into the sword held by the first statue, a single word, "Excalibur".
The group sat on the bathhouse veranda having afternoon tea for a while before Gerald finally decided he'd better go to the hospital to have his burns treated. As he was leaving, another figure came wandering in - a man called George, a harbor pilot and friend of Molly's. He took a seat at the table and began telling them about how busy the docks have been lately. After some hesitation and some exchanged looks between the other three, they began filling him in on their recent...adventures.
This conversation hadn't been underway too long when they were interrupted by another visitor. A somewhat oddly-dressed young man was shown in and offered Molly a proposition. He wanted to buy the bathhouse property and was willing to pay an amount which was probably three times what it was actually worth. They had a brief conversation about why he would want to buy the property, but none of his answers seemed to fully explain his exorbitant offer. By the time Gerald returned from the hospital, Kathrine had returned to her aunt's house, and Molly and Robert were searching the bathhouse inside and out for any clue as to what the man, called Gavin, would have wanted with it.
The following day (Monday, April 12th, 1802) the group decided to return to Allens Street - this time in daylight. They were able to find the alleyway they had wandered down two nights past rather easily, where they found a couple of things out-of-place.
First, there was a large, leafless tree which seemed to be growing up out of the cobblestone street directly in front of the doorway with the smashed wooden door leading into the basement room they had ventured into previously.
Second, the inside of that room *did* bear scorch marks, ash and other expected evidence of fire, but there was still a large amount of living, growing vegetation. Also, a mostly-intact skeleton buried among the vegetation which they had seen in the room the first time was still present and untouched.
Gerald entered the room and began taking some samples of the vegetation, the ash, some chips of bone from the skeleton and anything else that seemed removable. Kathrine climbed up the tree looking for the gaping maw she and Molly had seen in the large tree-like shadow that had chased them away, but she was unable to find it.
After a while, the group decided they had seen all that was there to observe. After a moments thought and discussion, the decided the only one who could give them more answers was Sir Barnabas.
The group returned to Foley Manor. It was dark and the door was closed, but, after no one answered their knocks, they found that it was unlocked.
They cautiously entered the darkened entryway - which was lit only by the evening light streaming in from the now-open door. Gerald walked over to the door to the West Parlor and opened it. Inside he could see a dark room with a large table, some chairs and couches and a fireplace. Robert walked over to the small table which contained a now-bent candelabra and lit it. Molly walked over to the stairway.
It was Kathrine, however, that returned to the door of the East Parlor, found it unlocked and cracked it open. Inside she saw the room - which seemed a little unnaturally dark - with its fireplace lit. Sitting in a high-backed chair next to it was Sir Barnabas. "Come in.", he said "I knew you would be the first..."
The group gathered in the East Parlor; Gerald wasted very little time before demanding answers. Sir Barnabas didn't answer right away, instead asking his own questions about what they found and what they saw. Once they had told him what they knew, he began to explain.
He told them that what they had seen where echoes of a banished evil. That he (and some organization or society he alluded to) were tasked with ridding the world of the supernatural evils that dwell in the shadows unbeknownst to the Sleeping world. He also told them that, now that they were aware of this world - of what lurks out of site - not only would they be unable to "go back", but they had now made themselves targets by virtue of this knowledge. He told them that if they were not one of the warriors on his side, they would certainly become victims of evil. It was then that they asked him what his motives were - why he had obviously led them along so that they might reach this end - and he told them. There was something he wanted them to do.
The crypts beneath Southwark Cathedral have a reputation for being haunted. He told them a powerful evil resides there and he wants them to destroy it. He possesses a weapon capable of severely weakening or possibly destroying this presence entirely, but he is unable to wield it. Something about himself - which he described as a "taint" - makes it toxic to him in the same way it will affect the evil he wishes to vanquish. He would have one of his contacts meet them on the south side of London Bridge at nightfall the next day to give it to them. It was for this purpose alone that Sir Barnabas had led them here.
The moments immediately following Robert's disappearance were filled with chaos. Kathrine screamed and Gerald reached into his bag for a pistol. As he did so, a gunshot rang out from the room, accompanied by the expected flash of light. Gerald leapt into the doorway and immediately that end of the room erupted into flames. This was followed by a loud cracking/splitting sound which echoed down the alleyway in the direction from which they'd come, which was followed by a steady, loud pounding/crumbling sound which shook the ground as it got closer. The rain and wind picked up and began blowing with increasing force down the alleyway toward them.
Disregarding the flames, Gerald jumped into the room, burning himself and igniting his coat in the process. On the other side of the fire, which was burning the vegetation which had somehow been growing around the room, he saw Robert collapsed on the far side of the room. Kneeling over him was a young girl, perhaps in her mid teens, who looked up at Gerald's entrance with an expression of pure contempt. She was very pale and dressed in grayish men's clothing which was noticeably too large for her slight frame. The only obvious sign of color on her came from a deep red flower which had been placed in her hair above her right ear.
There was a third figure in the room as well - a darkly dressed man who immediately leapt onto the rickety wooden stairway and scrambled up to the floor above, breaking a couple of the rotted wooden steps in the process. Noticing he was on fire, Gerald dropped to the ground to try to extinguish himself and managed to do so - and then immediately approached Robert.
Robert seemed to be severely dazed and showed signs of a mild concussion, but he was regaining a sense of his surroundings and trying to get to his feet. Gerald stood up and addressed the girl, asking her what had happened. The girl began replying to him, but no sound came from her lips as she spoke. It was then that Gerald noticed something painted on the floor in the center of the room - a circular symbol composed of a curved-bladed sword through a ring with a stylized splatter pattern, probably meant to be blood. Gerald was sure he'd seen this symbol somewhere before, but couldn't quite place it.
The pounding was continuing outside - and getting louder. Kathrine and Molly had scrambled to the top of the 8ft wall at the end of the alleyway and called in to Gerald, asking if they were alright and telling them that something big was approaching the end of the alleyway.
Robert had managed to find his feet by this time, and looked up to see Gerald in the center of the room, but the girl with the flower was mysteriously gone. He looked up to the broken staircase at the darkness of the landing above. Gerald called back to Molly that Robert was ok and that they were going to try to get upstairs.
Just as Molly and Kathrine were hearing these words, a large, looming being emerged from the darkness. A bipedal tree, perhaps 15 feet tall, was lumbering down the alleyway - bringing with it a whipping wind and driving rain. It had no further discernible features but for a gaping hole in its trunk near the top which resembled nothing so much as a massive, toothed maw.
Kathrine screamed again and, in a panic jumped down from the wall on the other side and began moving quickly down the alley on the other side - only barely restraining herself from a full run so as not to lose Molly in the darkness. Molly climbed down the other side of the wall as quickly as she could and followed Kathrine down the alley. By the time the two reached a point 50 or so feet away where the alley made a right-angle turn to the east, the pounding had stopped, but they were too far away to see if the walking tree was still there.
After finally managing to reach the top of the rotten stairway, Robert and Gerald made their way through what seemed to be an abandoned tenant building of some sort. They found the main entrance, but the wooden stairways that once provided entrance and exit were long gone. The two half jumped, half fell to the stone ground in the alley below and decided to head back to Allens Street.
Meanwhile, Kathrine and Molly were attempting the same thing. Having made it back to the lit street, they had calmed a little. Looking ahead to a point just beyond the entrance to the alley they had originally gone down, they saw a man in a dark coat speaking with a young girl with a red flower in her hair. They were too far away to hear anything that may have been said however, and very shortly afterward, the young girl went skipping down Allens street away from them, and the man crossed the street to an alley on the other side and disappeared from view.
Shortly thereafter, the four met up with each other again and they all decided they wanted nothing more than to be home. The group returned to Molly's bathhouse and arranged for a carriage to return Kathrine to her aunt's residence. The next day they met again - which seemed to be becoming a habit - and began to discuss aspects of the previous night's adventure.
Gerald, Robert, Molly and Kathrine made their way to The Mitre around 6 o'clock on the evening of Saturday, April the 10th. Their plan was to talk to a man called Hannington.
By the time they arrived at the pub, it was starting to cool a bit and the overcast sky was beginning to drizzle. The other patrons of the establishment were somewhat surprised to see the two women enter with Gerald and Robert, but, apart from some occasional glances - particularly at Molly - nothing seemed to come of it.
The group took seats at the only empty table - which happened to be near the center of the room. They spent some time discussing what they should do, looking around for anyone who stood out or who may get inebriated to the point of spouting nonsense. They also spoke to the bartender who said he knew the man they were looking for, but at the time said he wasn't present. Some time later, and after pressing the point a bit Molly was able to learn that the man known as Hannington was seated in a booth on the far side of the room.
When Molly walked over to where he was sitting, she interrupted a conversation he was having with another person - a woman in a hooded cloak whom, unlike herself and Kathrine, the room had not seemed to notice. She gave Molly an icy stare before sliding out of the booth and walking out of the establishment. Hannington seemed somewhat relieved by her departure, but quickly became wary of this overly outspoken new woman who'd joined him.
Molly talked with him for a while, trying to subtly prompt him into volunteering some of the information they had come for, but he didn't seem to take the bait, and anytime she became too direct, he seemed to get very uncomfortable. She did learn that he lived on Allens Street, but he wouldn't say anything about his area of town beyond the fact that he didn't like to walk around it at night.
After a while, they were joined by Robert who slipped a sedative provided by Gerald into Hannington's drink and he passed out. They were about to carry him out when the bartender told them he'd take care of it and he and some friends took the unconscious man to a room upstairs.
Having been unsuccessful in their attempt to get Hannington to talk about his experiences, they had a brief discussions as to what they should do next. Kathrine said she probably needed to be heading back to her aunt's house before too long, but the group decided to take a look around Allens Street since the note had referred to that area.
Allens Street was not a major thoroughfare, but it was lit - which was good because the overcast sky was letting almost no moon or starlight through. The area contained a fair number of trees and bushes along the houses and sides of the streets. This was a little uncommon, but not unheard of. They decided to take a quick look around some of the darker alleyways looking for anything unusual.
After 10 or 20 minutes of wandering, they happened upon an alleyway which seemed to have still more trees and bushes up against the buildings. Gerald decided that someone must have planted them there because it seemed unlikely for them to have grown there on their own.
They followed this alleyway until Gerald, who had been leading the group in the dark, ran into a wall at its end. When this sudden stop occurred, Molly lost her balance and fell into a small hole to her left and her right foot stuck into something very sticky on the floor.
Gerald fished around in his bag and eventually found a candle and some matches while Robert helped Molly out of the hole. Once Gerald got the candle lit, they examined the area. Molly had fallen into a small, partial stairwell that provided access to a door that was sunk slightly below street level. The floor of the stairwell was covered with some sticky, golden substance which Gerald eventually identified as sap.
Robert decided he was going to take a look. He stepped down part way into the stairwell and kicked in the door where Molly had cracked it. Trying to avoid stepping in the sap as much as possible, he took the candle from Gerald and leaned inside.
The cellar-like lower floor into which he looked was overgrown with bushes, vines and grass. There was some sort of red mark painted on the floor, but it was obscured by the vegetation. The sap "stream" continued to the middle of the room. Once or twice he thought he saw something move but closer examination revealed nothing.
Robert turned back around to the other three and stated rather matter-of-factly "the room's full of plants". He had barely finished this statement when he was suddenly yanked backward into the darkness...
The group stood in the dimly-lit entrance hall of Foley Manor. There was light coming from beneath the doors to the left and right but the stairway ahead of them was darkened. Figuring that the room on the left - the one to which they had been directed - was where the "other guests" were gathered, they decided to investigate the door on the right - the one to the East Parlor.
The door to the East Parlor, however, was locked. The entrance hall in which they stood was rather bare of furniture, containing only a small table on which a candelabra stood. The table contained a small drawer in which they found a tarnished gold key, but it did not fit the lock on the East Parlor door. The key had been wrapped in a fragment of old parchment which contained a few line fragments from a letter:
est fear is
discovery would shatter
more important. nothing
my love, Sophia
After a few moments consideration, Robert pulled out a lockpick, which he was able to use to force the lock open.
Upon opening the door, whatever light had been shining from inside was suddenly gone. The room inside was dark, illuminated only by the candelabra they had retrieved from the small table in the hall and a faint bluish glow coming from the two windows in the room. The sheer curtain in front of the window on the left fluttered a little in a gentle breeze coming through the window which must have been open.
The room contained some large pieces of furniture which were covered by canvas cloths as well as a number of smaller end-tables, chairs and stools which were scattered haphazardly around the room. The north wall contained some displays of archaic weaponry and some free-standing suits of plate armor on display. Opposite the door between the two windows was a large fireplace with a mantle which contained a long, rectangular display case. A coffee table in the center of the room contained a single large book.
The group hesitated a moment before entering the room, examining its contents. They found the display case on the mantle housed a long, glass rod with a ball at one end. The book turned out to have been hollowed and contained a wilted flower and a scrap of newsprint. The newsprint had a printed address, next to which were handwritten words which read "Miss Diana is no longer there". The silence of the room was broken when Kathrine screamed - having seen a large rat near a corner of the room. It was only a moment later when a strong gust of wind blew in through the open window, extinguishing the candles and causing the door across the room to slam shut. Molly screamed. The chair on which Kathrine had been standing after seeing the rat was suddenly jerked from beneath her and she fell backwards, hitting her head on the floor. Gerald felt something slam into the side of his knee, sending pain shooting through his leg.
What ensued can be looked back upon only as chaos and confusion. There was some malevolent force present in the room - and more than a single hostile entity - but for some reason, the four were unable to perceive exactly what it was. For a few dramatic moments, the group alternately took cover from and lashed out at their shadowy assailants, continuing until the door to the entrance hall suddenly opened.
In the doorway stood a well-dressed man with a curious and confused look on his face. He introduced himself as Sir Barnabas and recommended that the group proceed over to the West Parlor, suggesting that plenty of food from the banquet would be left still. When the group hesitated, he began walking around the room - examining it and making idle conversation with the group until one of them mentioned the hidden message and the "secrets" he seemed to wish to discuss. At that point, he invited them all into the and addressed them.
The next morning, the group awoke in their own beds. Their memories of the past evening were curiously fragmented. They remembered discussions of strange histories and mythologies taking place - often including as facts things they would have chalked up to legend or superstition - but they couldn't remember exactly what was said. They also felt that they had witnessed inexplicable things - even things that shouldn't have been possible - but they couldn't remember any real specifics on those either. At some point during the evening's discussions, Sir Barnabas had seemed to become more sullen and disappointed. He had suggested that the group return to the Manor at a later time and had handed them each an invitation envelope, similar to the first one they'd been given, then showed them out of the manor.
The group met up at Molly's bathhouse over breakfast. The "invitations" they had been given contained a rather strange message:
Perhaps your dreams are not as lucid as I suspected. You should see this as a merciful blessing - your eyes being closed to the darkness as tightly as they are.
If you are still intent on prying them open, I've heard a man called Hannington can tell some interesting stories about the streets near his residence. Most evenings he can be found in The Mitre. I would be very interested to know what you find.
In addition, Robert pointed out that the address they'd found on the newsprint in the hollow book was that of an old cemetery in the north of town near the Foundling Hospital. The doctor was deep in thought over what chemical effect they must have been under to account for the previous evening's hallucinations and fogginess, but the other three decided to travel to the cemetery and have a look around, planning to meet up and head to The Mitre that evening.
The cemetery in question was old, disused and only occasionally cared for. There were a few people in the general area, but it was fairly deserted. After some time wandering amongst the scattered stones, they were able to determine that the cemetery was probably around 100 years old, but had been in regular use up until the last 5 or 10 years. They also happened upon a particular stone which caught their attention as relevant to the message they'd found:
1775 - 1791
As they were looking at this stone, a young boy (perhaps 14 years) wandered up to them with a handful of wilted flowers, which he placed carefully on Diana's grave. Then, he looked up and asked them "Were you friends of Diana's?" When they admitted they hadn't known Diana, he mumbled "I was her friend, I miss her...". His voice trailed off and he began to wander away toward a small copse of trees. They called after him, but he didn't seem to pay any attention and slipped into the grove before they could catch him.
Robert followed him into the trees and shortly called for the others to join him. There was no sign of the boy, but within the trees there was an odd clearing overgrown with red and yellow flowers. After looking around for a few moments, they found a simple well-worn gravestone buried in the grass:
1675 - 1689
Game: World Of Darkness
Characters: George [Curtis], Gerald [Robb], Katherine [Sheri], Molly [Edie], Robert [Chuck]
Kathrine, Robert, Molly and Gerald had met before, but - apart from Gerald and Molly - were not well-acquainted. However, they all happened to be in Saint Paul's Churchyard on the evening of April 7th 1802, just after the last service of the day.
The square was crowded and people were beginning to disperse to their respective residences for the evening when an unnatural stillness settled over the square. The people all seemed to turn to look as two figures entered from the east - a well dressed man who was briskly walking through the churchyard and was being pursued by an overweight, staggering and obviously intoxicated sailor spouting slurred curses and threats.
The altercation between the two escalated when the sailor, obviously consumed with a burning rage, shoved the man into an unattended cart hauling barrels of pickles - sending one of the barrels through a nearby shop window and caused another to fall to the cobblestone street beside them. The distraction of the pickle barrels allowed the gentleman to escape to a reasonable distance, he pulled a pistol from his jacket and pointed threateningly at the his assailant. The sailor balked for a moment, but ultimately decided the man was bluffing and lunged at his target. The gentleman then shot him and the large sailor fell limply to the ground, unmoving.
The crowd didn't seem to respond to these events in any way apart from simply looking on, and the man did nothing further beyond looking around the square until a few of the Runners arrived and took the man and the body from the square. After they left the scene, the people in the square slowly began talking, moving and going about their daily lives again.
The four went back to their respective residences, finished their evening rituals and went to bed - falling into a hard, dreamless sleep.
When they awakened, they had one thought at the forefront of their minds - the events that transpired outside St. Paul's the night before. Something was wrong with what they had witnessed. None of them could put a finger on it, but something didn't add up. They each felt absolutely compelled to find out why. As they pulled on clothes and headed out they noticed something else - it was dusk. They had slept through an entire day. The concerns about commitments they may have missed, however, faded strangely into the backs of their minds almost immediately - there was something inexplicably more important.
They each made their way back to St. Paul's square independently, but on arriving they noticed each other. Apart from them however, there were unusually few people in the square that evening. As they took in their surroundings and thought back on what they had witnessed 24 hours before, a few strange inconsistencies started to bubble into their thoughts. They didn't remember hearing a rage-filled shriek and yet they got the feeling it was there - and that it filled the square. Conversely, they remembered seeing the gentleman shoot the sailor - and hearing the crack of the shot - and yet, they felt convinced that the pistol made no sound. In addition, some recalled seeing some odd, moving shadows cast about the square as the events unfolded. None of them could make any sense of this, however.
Their investigation of the scene only turned up more mysteries. They took a look at the area around the shop where the cart had been and where the sailor was shot. They found no evidence of blood or vinegar solution from the pickles on the ground. What they did find was some blood on the broken glass outside the now-boarded shop window and some strange white shell fragments scattered in a vague line in the square some distance away.
As they were discussing these oddities, they were approached by a well-dressed man who had the bearing and manner of a butler in every way. He approached them, bowed, reached into the satchel he was carrying and produced 4 heavy parchment envelopes. As he distributed them to the group, he told them "Sir Barnabas would be honored if you would accept his invitation".
The envelopes contained a letter written in fine, neat script which read:
To the Bearer,
You are formally invited to 1 Queen Ann Street for a delicious evening meal and polite conversation tomorrow, the 9th of April. Present this letter to the doorman at the entrance to the manor. Arrive at dusk.
Sincerely, Sir Barnabas
After a few moments, they noticed something else to the letter. Beneath the handwritten script, there was a watermark that contained something written in what looked like Latin or Greek. It took some time to locate appropriate reference materials to translate the strange message, but by lunchtime the following day, the group reconvened and Gerald read to them what the hidden message contained:
So, you like secrets then - and you have the wit to find them. If pleasant ignorance is not enough for you, you must dig deeper. I would caution you in this pursuit, however, as few survive such dark curiosity. I advise you to join the other guests and forget you found this message. If you are deaf to my warnings however, arrive at nightfall. The doorman will not enforce his instructions.
The group discussed for a while what they should do, but ultimately decided that accepting the bizarre invitation may be informative. Following the second set of instructions, they arrived just after nightfall. The doorman - who was the man who had delivered the letters - took their invitations and directed them to the west parlor on the left side of the entry hall.
The hall was dark apart from the dim light afforded by a candelabra sitting on a small stand opposite the doorway. Directly ahead of them was a dark stairway going up to a balcony overlooking the entrance hall. There was no light coming from the second floor and the chandeliers overhead were unlit.
The door to which they were directed, that lead to the west parlor, had closed about the time they were walking in, and they could now only hear muffled conversation coming from the other side and could see only a small strip of golden light issuing from the crack beneath it. Directly opposite the west parlor was another closed door, the gap beneath which also leaked a strip of light. No obvious sounds came from the other side of this door...