Guns of Telluria, Train Ride

vehicles_train_tracks_railroad_black_white_trees_forest_fog_haze_1920x1080

We had a brief outing with one player, who played Ferlin “Husk” Williams, an older veteran of the Tellurian War. Over the course of the war he got weirded so he could detect the presence of nearby arcana. He was promoted to sergeant in the cavalry, but after the Battle of New Orleans he fell in with a bad crowd and was part of a scheme to steal some arcana. Demoted and released, it was up to him to find his way in the world, with the assistance of his nephew Cuthbert Nevins. He heard of a field in Granada, MS that had a doorway to an abandoned fey outpost, so he signed on as a roof rider in the driving rain, and headed from New Orleans north.

They met the grouchy sergeant, Darmott, and headed up to the roof of the armory car. Husk assigned Nevins the gun; the teenager had not yet killed anyone or seen anyone die, and that needed fixing. Cpl. Nguyen was on roof patrol duty, and made sure they were settled in.

The trip was mostly uneventful. At one point a satyr mounted on an elk led a mass of deer and wolves on a wild ride at the train, trying to sweep aboard and make off with prisoners. Nevins trained his machine gun on the crowd and chopped a number of animals up, and Husk brought down the elk mount with the Redcapper gun. The satyr got on the roof and blew his horn at them, freaking Nevins out, but Husk finished him off with the big gun.

Cpl. Nguyen and her fire team provided backup once Nevins stopped shooting the machine gun down the length of the train roof. They found the satyr’s horn, and Husk was pleased to get it as booty (since the soldiers couldn’t claim a bounty, and he could.)

They arrived in Granada and got paid, and Husk shared some of the money with Nevins (but not his whole share.) Then it was a matter of waiting until morning, to sell the horn and find some other hopefuls interested in probing the farmer’s field for fey loot.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Silent Legions: As Above, So Below. Session 3

Silent Legions AASB Banner

Previous session. After their disquieting meeting with Brick, they headed back to the Havershaum Estate in Shroud Ridge. Emilia had some important homework to get done, and had to get ready for school, so she split. The others considered what they had learned so far, and next moves.

Off to See the Wizard

They figured if they had a real wizard to help them out, they could sabotage Fr. Silva’s spell. They talked about it aloud until they got a telephone call from a girl who said her name was Bought, and she worked for “The Boss.” She offered them the name of a wizard, but cautioned this was involving another Power, and suggested it would be better for them if they not mention they work with Brick (who doesn’t get along with them.) They agreed, and she gave them Danielle Sawyenta, in the Slaysor House, a mansion Downtown.

Terry looked up the number and called the house, even though it was after ten. A man answered, Mr. Sneed (the web site said he was the owner and curator, and the mansion was also an occult museum.) When Terry asked for Danielle Sawyenta, Sneed was taken aback, wondering where he got that name. Terry said he got it from the Havershaums, and Sneed suggested he might get a call back.

While they waited, Truc looked up plans for the cathedral, to plan possible intrusion points, reading up on information from a funding campaign 15 years ago that was scanned online.

Half an hour passed before Terry got a call from Danielle, who invited them to come to the mansion, around back. They piled into the SUV and headed Downtown. Upon arriving, they drove past the wrought iron with its sigils worked in, and between the massive stone posts with gargoyles perched on them, around the road inside down to the back, where Sneed waited for them with a lantern. He escorted them in through a back door in the foundation.

The Slaysor House

In the lounge with confusing light and strange fashions, they met Danielle. She was very friendly, as was Sneed. They enjoyed some light refreshments and Terry’s storytelling, where he shared a version of the story where he ran across these things through police contacts and Havershaum contacts, no Powers mentioned.

She wanted to look at the spell, and Truc was concerned because he saw that she was not human, she was playing a bigger game, risking autonomous action when her loyalty was in a bigger group… She found his caution late and misplaced, as they were in a room that only sometimes had exits. They chatted a bit more before Terry gave her the paper and she breathed deep its smell.

She told them she could make a spoiler, to break the spell so the summoned ghost could attack its summoner then leave the plane. It would take eight hours. They agreed to return in the morning. They returned to the Havershaum Estate for the night. Everyone but Truc went to bed, and he planned a break in based on the information on the cathedral he got online.

That night Truc had terrible dreams about blood and gears and wire and pain, and woke several times with a nosebleed. It was psychic runoff from looking too deeply at Danielle.

Loading Up

Jason got his morning run in, regardless of the humidity and mist. Truc and Terry pulled themselves together enough to make it to the Slaysor House more or less on time. Sneed greeted them brightly, giving them a scrimshawed half-sternum to put on the altar, a page with a sigil to change and a mark of how to change it, and a box of potions. He told them the potions would help protect them from supernatural influence, and also increase their senses, but they should not remove the potions from the box until they were going to drink them; they had to be kept fresh.

Taking a special shine to Truc, Sneed gave him a pebble on a string, so he could play “hot and cold” to find the corrupt altar.

Leaving the Slaysor House, they consulted Truc for his plan. Terry would rent a car and arrive separately, to keep an eye on Fr. Silva and alert them if things were going sideways, via text. Truc and Jason would infiltrate through the coal cellar, which was boarded up. They would find the altar and sabotage it, then escape.

Terry arrived first, finding a couple busloads of high school kids who would perform for the noon service. He saw Fr. Silva coordinating and smiling, and took a seat to keep an eye out. Then Truc and Jason arrived. They went around the side of the cathedral, only to find that the coal cellar entry had been covered by a community garden!

Plan B involved going in through the access in the parsonage basement. They entered the unlocked parsonage, and locked the doors behind themselves, wedging them with pennies and chair backs. Down in the basement, they found the shelves that normally hid the door were moved, the door open, and the lights on. They cautiously proceeded.

Under the Cathedral

At the end of the tunnel was an intersection room, with a couple guards listening to police band and playing cards. Truc and Jason leaped out and stunned them with stun guns, tying them with their belts and dragging them into the tunnel out of sight, taking their pistols and knives. The guards had Marine tattoos.

Following the less-cold direction of the pebble (which turned icy cold under the cathedral) the found a room with a canal and boats, and took a boat for a stretch, getting off on a landing by barrels. They found a sort of barracks area, and behind that, a sort of temple room. Jason snuck in, over the many symbols and lines painted on the floor (at that point Fr. Silva looked startled, and headed out fast, so Terry texted them to hurry up and moved to follow.)

Jason interrupted a man who was kneeling shirtless before the dark altar, praying and flagellating himself. The man detected him, and rose up ready to fight, only to get the stun gun to the ribs. Jason did notice the man had an impressive angel tattoo across the whole front of his torso.

Jason and Truc quickly sabotaged the altar with the bone and an alteration of one sigil, then retreated fast.

As they got to the landing where they first boarded a boat, they heard Fr. Silva berating the groggy and hurting guards they stunned. The guards came down to deal with the boats, and Silva stormed off to make sure the intruders wouldn’t get far.  As the guards were hauling the boat out of the water, Truc and Jason stunned them AGAIN and raced past them, up into the cathedral, where they strolled past a guard dressed as a priest who couldn’t do much as there were witnesses. The soggy men in suits strolled out with the high school choir, getting into the SUV and roaring off, Terry not far behind in his rental.

Now it was up to the sabotage–hoping the expertise was good enough, the placement was right, and Fr. Silva didn’t notice what they did or figure out why they came. No problem! Waiting for sundown is easy…

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Test Fire

The Tech Mark company hired three spacers to handle a little job for them.

  • Whiteout. Cyborg bounty hunter and scholar. (Jonathan)
  • Karnak. Armored regenerating mutant with blue skin and melee weapons. (Simon)
  • Vance Cross. Vampiric mutant gunslinger. (Vandel)

Heading Out

Director Phillip Chalmer told them they were to go to Argus 9 to find the Deva, a Tallymarker freighter captained by Jack Wentzler, with first mate Solomon Keller and mine expert Laura Smithson. They were to retrieve any survivors, find out what went wrong there, and if possible bring back the cargo module or the whole ship.

Karnak was a little distressing on the week long trip out, as he was incessantly moving and refused to take off his heavy armor, and he muttered to the voices in his head that were bloody gods of some kind.

Upon the approach, they got the transponder signal from the Deva, but no distress signal and no response to their hailing calls. A huge sandstorm was scouring the surface, and the Deva was parked in a crevasse. Whiteout modulated the shields to reduce wind interference, and Cross set the ship down neatly 30 meters from the Deva.

Shelled Monstrosities

Karnak trotted off the ship as soon as they landed. The toxicity in the air negated his regeneration, but he could function fine. As the other two scanned the atmosphere, donned light armor, and installed rebreathers, Karnak strode towards the Deva, then veered off course when a boulder cracked apart to reveal a camouflaged monster.

Cross hastily manned the ship’s nose gun from the cockpit as Whiteout rushed out to help. Between a blast from the ship gun and Karnak’s sword, the big monster went down fast. They redirected their attention to the Deva as Cross recalibrated the life scanner to look for the concealed crab things; he revealed dozens of them! One was near Whiteout, about to jump him. He rushed towards Karnak, who slew four or five of them in a hurricane of roaring violence. Cross used the nose gun to fry a few more, and the survivors took defensive positions away from the spacers.

Karnak was headed for the Deva again, as was Whiteout, when Whiteout noticed pustules on the slain rock creatures. Examining one, he found a chunk of green rock that faded to black when removed. He headed back to the ship to get a limb kit, used to store severed body parts until they could be microsutured back on, to get the rocks in isolation so they didn’t lose the green and fade to black when removed from the corpse.

Inspired by this discovery, Karnak stomped over to the huge critter he killed first, and tore a volley-ball sized chunk of the green stone out of it. It replaced the voices of the mad gods in his head and energized his blood, and whispered to him that a false champion was below and he must slay it to take its place. He stamped over to the mining shaft alone, the rock tucked under his arm.

The Deva

Whiteout climbed up the ruptured hull around the landing gear, thinking the crab things forced their way in. He saw a bloody human handprint, and as he got into the ship he realized based on the clues left behind that a humanoid climbed up in here, shrugged off blaster fire, tore someone apart, and chased someone else into the panic room, also ripping out part of the console so the ship couldn’t issue a distress beacon or call for help or respond to calls. Then the gangplank was left open, but the crab things didn’t come aboard.

Concerned about Karnak’s lone quest, the other two tried to fix the ship, with Whiteout under the console finding it was tragically shorted out and probably unfixable. So, Whiteout would have to fly the Persephone (the same kind of freighter, the ship they arrived in) and connect to the cargo module and at least fly that home.

While Whiteout busied himself with that, Cross grimly followed Karnak, wondering what he would find as he pursued the obsessed and insane warrior underground.

The Champion

Karnak found a mass of black stone, boiling from the earth and frozen in position, sliding down into a green bioluminescent lake where a woman sat in the foul waters. She rose to the presence of a challenger, spines as weapons sliding out of her forearms and into her grip. They slashed at each other, and Karnak slew her, then his stone demanded he crush her bones with it. He did so. The stone wanted to replace his weak heart of meat with itself, and it bled off some size and mass with liquid mutagen into his gauntlets, pleased with his sacrifice. Karnak managed to tear open his own chest, rip out his heart, and stuff the stone in its place. He survived.

At that moment the sandstorm abruptly stopped, as though a door had closed.

Meanwhile Whiteout had gotten to the Persephone’s controls and tried to maneuver it into position, but he bent the docking pylons, and would not be able to haul the module out. He saw Karnak’s self-surgery on the tactical helmet cam and relayed events to Cross, who was climbing down the elevator shaft. Cross reversed direction, climbing back out; clearly Karnak needed no help, and they might want to escape him.

However, Karnak caught up, and bragged that he slew a false champion and became one himself, and did not immediately act towards them. They worked to fix the bent pylons as seismic activity stepped up. They succeeded heroically and pulled out with the module, and the triggering event of the takeoff provoked the shudder that closed the ground as though the crevasse had never been.

They flew home and got 800 credits and leveled up.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Star Wars: Divide and Conquer

Star Wars Pool of Force Banner

Three rebel agents were sent on a difficult mission to damage the Republic’s grip on the Vydannis sector.

  • Nyla Anjek. A Miralukan jedi.
  • Gojang Bobo. A Gungan jedi.
  • Sledge Brightmouth. A Nosaurian pilot.

The jedi refugees were still padawan 15 years ago, but now it was time for them to use their training in a new context.

Captain Saylindi, a Gran, briefed them on their mission. They were to smuggle a disassembled R5-D5 unit aboard the Surabi station and put it in the supplies for the Tyndar Syndicate Republic Fleet that was coming to resupply. Then they were to somehow infiltrate the slave pen. When the ships arrived and loaded the slaves and equipment, they were to break out and find the R5-D5 unit, reassemble it, and connect it to a central trunk data line. The super-virus Nightmare would be uploaded to the brain of the droid army, knocking the ship out of commission.

In the confusion, they were to get aboard a second command ship that was known to have a weakness in its reconditioned navigation system. Spiking the system would mean the ship would jump randomly next time it entered hyperspace, instead of going on a safe path to its destination (and probably destroying the ship.) Then Sledge was to steal them a gunship and they were to jump to one of three preset rendezvous points. It was a very dangerous and ambitious mission, and carrying it out was left to their discretion.

BACKGROUND: THE TYNDAR SYNDICATE REPUBLIC FLEET

A Mandalorian army was hired to crush the Six Core, a Trandoshan government. There were years of brutal fighting, but the Trandoshan government was crushed. Predictably, many crime syndicates rose out of the wreckage. One was the Tyndar Syndicate, and they specialized in salvage. They reconditioned three Mandalorian capital ships, along with fighters and gunships, from the many battlegrounds of clashes in space.

A droid army was purchased to crew each of the ships. The Saytrx Droid Army has a leader, an Entel, looking like a crystal and metal tree. This figure is installed somewhere with good access to data, and remotely runs the army.

Commanders are Centaurx, up to a dozen per Entel. They have six limbs, and are equipped with ranged and melee weapons, impressive in combat and excellent tacticians. Each one has up to a hundred Faunx troops, light droid frames with recurve legs and weapons that combine a blaster and a stun rod. Their faceplates are muzzle-like with glowing green eyes, and they tend to be painted green and another color. Each ship had nearly a thousand droids under a single Entel commander.

The Trandoshan leader, Ghelberris, their admiral, cut a deal with the Republic Admiral Dravis that the Tyndar Syndicate could manage their crime and slaving without Republic interference, in exchange for suppressing resistance and providing more muscle to local Republic military efforts. This corruption is exactly the sort of thing that makes the Resistance furious.

Surabi Station

They dropped off the parts with the dismantled sabotage droid in them, without incident. After watching for a while, they decided to try and use the Force to subvert the will of the guard looking after the entry to the external cargo block that the station was loading in anticipation of the Tyndar Syndicate Republic Fleet.

He shook off Nyla’s effort, and Gojang’s effort, but was halted by the offer of a bribe. He jacked up the price on them, then accepted, cuffing them and putting on collars and putting them in the big open slave pen.

They were welcomed by Jub Jub, an ogre-sized slave, who told them he was in charge. He knocked down Gojang to prove his point, and wandered off. Undaunted, they used the Force to jimmy loose the ratty cuffs from all three of them.

Gojang found another Gungan, Flap-Flap. He had hair implants in a mane, and though he was in poor health, he bragged he was an excellent space captain because he had captained ten ships! Gojang also found out from him that there was a famous slicer in the hold, and the slavers likely didn’t even know they had him–code name Ant Lion, a terrorist famous for activating self destructs on space stations and disabling alarms.

Aboard the Sooboo

The Trandoshan fleet arrived, and a mass of droids shepherded the slaves into the pen aboard the modular cruiser, then left them alone. Soon they were headed through sublight space, with everything getting squared away before a jump to lightspeed.

Gojang told Jub Jub that someone said he wasn’t strong enough to bend back some of the loose hull plating, and Gojang of course beat that person up, but wants to show everyone he was right. Jub Jub (who had been ruthlessly stunned and dragged over to the ship) puffed up and on the second try bent the plating back. As slaves realized they could get into the back corridors of the ship, and got busy escaping, Sledge cornered Ant Lion and they agreed to escape together (since Ant Lion needed a pilot.) Ant Lion’s cybernetic arm had some razor wire and slicing (computer intrusion) gear, so they got out through a walled-over service tunnel in style. Ant Lion balked at adding two more to their escape, but they insisted, so he went along with it.

They defeated the two droids guarding the store room, and revealed they were jedi. Ant Lion was going to run at that point, he didn’t need the kind of heat that would bring (even though he was already wanted.) They offered him Nightmare when they were done using it, and he told them he was the one who sold it to Captain Saylendi. He was a fan of the Resistance, and agreed to continue working with them.

They got R5-D5 together as droids were chasing and suppressing slaves, and got to a data trunk. By now two squads of 5 droids were closing in. The jedi sorted one out while blaster bolts flew both ways and the droid did its downloading work. Then the jedi chased down the other group, and chopped them up.

They escaped to the hangar, where the centaurx on guard was reeling with the beginning of the nightmares, and the faunx were edgy and off too. The rebels tricked them into a couple random shooting sprees, and then charged them when they were off balance and hacked them down. They got to a gunship, and Ant Lion negated the interference from the dreaming ship so Sledge could guide them out into space.

Some of the turbolasers were still functioning, and they were shot at as they streaked away. They took one hit that blew the shields. Then, just as they were jumping to hyperspace, they took another jolt–

Unsure of where they’d exit hyperspace, they held on for the next adventure.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Silent Legions: As Above, So Below. Session 2

Silent Legions AASB Banner

Previous session. Stymied and suspicious about the arrival of the ancient spell at their doorstep, the investigators were rocked back on their heels for a moment, thinking about next moves. They decided to visit Drexel, one of Emilia’s weirdo friends. He specialized in how camera technology captures supernatural phenomenon. Emilia called him, finding him still awake and active, and got an invitation to visit.

Drexel

They got to his place, a massive building Downtown that used to be a dogfood factory that was rezoned and divided up to be apartments. He had the basement as his lair. He let them in through paranoid levels of security, to his tiki lounge oasis of sociability surrounded by the dim clutter of his audio visual equipment.

They waited, watching an episode of “I Dream of Genie” projected onto the treated glass of a fishtank, while he fiddled with the footage they brought him. Then he projected on a whitewashed wall the image that he put together from scraps that flickered across dozens of frames, unsettled; a smeary image of a man in a dark coat with a pale bald head, insubstantial and blurred.

He warned them that they were on the edge of something, and they assured him they were determined to proceed, so he locked his place down further and told them that they were looking at Brick, one of the Powers of the city. There were those with supernatural ability and an agenda, and they were called Powers. (Singleton was also a Power, as was Ghoulaxis.) When they pull in regular people in their spats, those people tend to get used up and destroyed like rodeo clowns at a demolition derby.Brick was a fantastic spy who could be invisible at will, and enlist the aid of animals, and he was a vampire. Sobered, they thanked him for his help, and they left.

The Day Jobs

They got back to the Havershaum estate, and everyone got some sleep but Truc, who stayed up late looking for weird news stories in Blakelee West that could provide context or clues. He read about a huge human trafficking operation that operated out of an old hardware store for years before the FBI busted it with no local help. He read about how a dogfighting operation was neglected three years ago, the dogs escaped, and formed the nucleus for dangerous people-eating dog packs that grew out of control. For charity, the city took the wealthy on safari with fully automatic weapons to get the dog population under control, in addition to putting out poison bait and other less severe but more typical measures. He eventually slept, his head swimming with what horrors might lurk in the silent neighborhoods of Blakelee West.

The next day, Jason went about his business including a charity luncheon on behalf of the family, mundane stuff. Emilia went to class, Truc worked out and managed guard duty, and Terry went to work for Singleton.

Singleton

Terry went to the head man’s office, and the receptionist asked him to wait; he actually got an appointment with Singleton with minimal waiting! They sat at one of the cozy chair in Singleton’s office, friendly like. Terry shared the brief, with its uneven detail and absence of any mention of the Powers. Singleton reviewed it with interest.

Then he talked to Terry about Brick, who he used to spy on Ghoulaxis for weeks (that’s how his intel was so solid. He had Brick watching the monster all the time.) He noted that Brick tried to bring him in on this, because Fr. Silva was trying to ascend to be one of the Powers of the city. Singleton has a soft spot for corrupt clergy and declined to help out, so it appears Brick went around him to one of his assets. Singleton explained Brick is so agitated because he thinks he has friends, and one of them is threatened, and necromatic magic (including murdered hounds twisted to only see and attack tainted blood) guard the massive cathedral. Singleton left it up to Terry and his investigators, whether they wanted to help Brick or not.

Dispatch

Truc took some time in the afternoon and visited an old friend Downtown. Her name was Dispatch. She was blind, but had a subscription service for criminals, she would give them heads-up with cell phones or ham radio if the law was looking their way, because she had a network of informants with the police. Truc asked her if she knew anything about these police deaths.

She did indeed. The first death was not Stanley, the beat cop. It was the victim’s mother, Isabel Sullivan. Nobody caught the connection because she went to a different morgue. And the cops are freaked out with the deaths in their ranks, it’s a dangerous time to get in their way or appear connected to these killings. Truc thanked the old woman with a foot rub and corn sanding, as per their agreement.

The Way Forward

Terry finished out his day’s work, but left early and got the stuff for a barbecue. Emilia was the first one back from school, and Truc noticed that they were onsite and joined them, with Jason trailing in after his business concluded. Terry made them kebabs and cocktails, and they had a strange summer feast on the golf-course trim lawn, under the flaring changing foliage that slowly drifted down a few leaves at a time all around them in the gathering darkness.

Terry opened with the admission that Truc was right (and that’s pretty much all Truc heard from there on.) So, Singleton had an idea of what was up, but wasn’t directly involved. They talked over some possible directions for the investigation. While the others were eating, Terry called over to the East Precinct of Downtown, where he still had some friends. He found out that the first cop to die, Stanley, didn’t have many friends or family and his effects were boxed up and waiting for pickup. Terry told her to hold them, and the investigators jumped in the SUV and headed over to the Downtown East precinct, where Terry went in to get the box.

They went to a nearby coffee shop and dumped out the box, rifling through the personal stuff, files, and his netbook. Apparently he was working on a terrible novel. He also had a thank you note from Isabel Sullivan for finding Addie Fowler, the only identified victim of the three. The netbook was signed into email, so they discovered an email from Debra Ayers with information on the case, including the names of Addie Fowler and Isabel Sullivan that would not be in the story. They saw that he had kids, and was estranged from their mothers.

Quoth the Raven, “Yo”

A white raven tapped on the glass with its beak. They knew it worked for Brick, so they settled up the tab, boxed up the clues, got a snack for the raven, and headed out. The raven led them down an alley with a big dark spot in the middle. There, they were finally accosted by Brick.

He explained they were out of time. The ritual could be cast every three days, and tomorrow would be the third day. He didn’t want his friend to die. His friend was in danger because she helped the police find the sacrificial victim, and the commissioner had a silver whistle he could use to contact her, and now Fr. Silva had it and would use it to send a ghost to kill her. Brick wasn’t sure she could fight off a super-charged focused assassin ghost, so he wanted them to help prevent the ritual from being cast.

He wanted the altar destroyed; maybe in the attic or basement, there would be a necromatic altar. Or, the silver whistle taken from Fr. Silva. Or, drag the priest out of his protected fortress so Brick could kill him (with some graphic suggestions of how that might go.) Or, they could kill him themselves. When all this was over, one way or another, Brick was determined to kill the priest before he could become a Power in the city.

Brick tossed them a file that the hero cop Bowman had compiled on the situation, before his untimely demise. Fr. Silva was working with a trigger man named Markos Drake, and they are connected to a Mexican cult. He also told them he bugged the cabana (but not the bathroom) so if they needed him, he’d know, as he would be monitoring the audio feed. Then he left. The light flickered back on.

They didn’t feel entirely illuminated.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Dead of Night: Party Crashing

Supernatural-Wallpaper-HD-Resolution-ChNwO

We continue from last time with Rex and Allen in the stands of the Famous Fandabulum watching Strazi’s incredible and unbelievable knife throwing performance for the matinee crowd.

They were joined by Jessica Starkweather, a martial artist and doctor. She had pretty much retired from hunting, inspired by her uncle, Dimitri Kylov. Kylov had a good job in the FBI that kept him engaged but out of the line of fire. When he died two months ago, she put her affairs in order, outfitted a black extended Jeep Wrangler, and hit the road to track down the traveling fair, noting the missing persons in the fair’s wake that could indicate vampires. When she saw Rex and Allen, she recognized them from “family barbecues” that traveling hunters would use as social occasions, so she joined them (but scared off the two honeys that Allen had been casually cultivating.)

Slippery

After Strazi’s show, Allen went to talk to the old blind man by the bleachers, but Strazi intercepted him and took him to get a turkey leg and chat. He invited Allen and friends to a party they were throwing that night at midnight, for good drinks and companionship and song. Allen agreed.

Rex followed the blind man instead, surprised when the confidently moving (if stiff) figure slid under an RV, popped up the other side, through an RV that had a front and back door, and once pursuit was likely lost, headed to the spooky RV that stood alone. The blind man gave his cane to the doorman, who didn’t even look up, and entered.

Jessica went after a funnel cake, but her wallet was gone; she bought the cake with tickets, and as Allen headed towards her, a kid handed him her wallet and said she dropped it. The three hunters had a brief discussion, observing they had probably been identified as hunters, and thinking over the possibilities of attending the party that night. But first things first. Time to deal with the spider witch.

Witch Attack

First they stopped off at the motel, and Rex started sneezing and vomiting masses of spiders. Recognizing a curse or spell, the other two rifled the room and quickly found a hex bag in the wall behind the light fixture, and burned it. Rex survived, shaken and distressed. He got fuzzy on tequila to take the edge off, and they headed out.

They got out to the DuMont estate. Jessica would go up to the front door and claim her car ran out of gas and she needed to use the phone, while Allen would use her rifle and snipe the witch at range if need be.

Rex and Allen infiltrated the woods, finding a spot that was light on spiders, hoping they had some time before they were detected. Jessica approached the house and was let in by the butler. Selene DuMont saw her, and was suspicious; Jessica’s excuses didn’t move her, and they quickly realized that everyone was up to speed on the hunter/witch relationship there.

Jessica whipped out a pistol and blasted away at the witch, who dove for cover as the butler tackled Jessica. She hurled him off and sprinted away, and as Selene glanced out of the doorway she narrowly missed a bullet from the woods. Selene retreated into the house as the fat old estate guard zoomed after Jessica on his golf cart.

Rex shot up the golf cart, and the guard tumbled off, but turned out to be a martial arts warrior. He charged Rex, dodging gracefully and hurling his tonfa to bang off Rex’s head. As the security guard moved in to finish him off, Allen shot him with the rifle.

Home Invasion

Now furious, the hunters ran up on the house and rushed inside. Allen’s tracker instinct suggested the witch would have gone to the basement, so they headed down through the spider webs and smashing all the spiders they saw that got close to them.

In the middle of the basement Selene stood resplendent, draped in webs, and told them if they acted against her they wouldn’t leave the basement alive–Rex shot her in the face with the shotgun. As she died, spiders boiled out of nowhere, swarming at them. The spiders dropping on silk lines covered Rex, and he died screaming as the other two scrambled out of the basement and slammed the door.

Jessica was slathering gasoline on things as they retreated towards the front door. They were interrupted by the niece, Kelly, who held a piece of wood to the back of the confused butler’s head as they stood on the stairs. Asked why she was holding her own servant hostage, she sneered that hunters found all lives precious, right? They didn’t want to deal with her, so Allen shot her and the butler with one shotgun blast, but not before Kelly unleashed a spider curse from the wood, filling Jessica’s skin with pustules of living spider larvae that began chewing their way out of her. She begged for death as Allen, horrified, recognized the curse that had produced the corpses that lured them here in the first place. He had dropped his lighter, and Jessica grabbed it and set fire to the growing pool of gasoline where she lay, immolating herself painfully.

Allen took an hour or so to do the arson right, and set the mansion on fire. Not sure how to deal with the greenhouse, he left it alone. As he left, he called Mikhail, in Maine, who backstopped their operations. Mikhail said two more hunters were in the area and closing in, and told him to shower and shave off his hair (in case of spider surprises) then meet them at a road house nearby.

Meet Up

Alexander Anderson (aka Max Redding) was a former Catholic clergyman. He had been around Starkweathers for many years, but grew increasingly restless at his inability to help them as they died from monsters or related trauma. The man radiated a trustworthy aura, but was always on the lookout for the downtrodden, unable to resist helping them.

Janice Moore (aka Joan Hammer) was a hunter’s brat. When she was a kid, her parents went on a hunt together and never came back, so she drifted around the clan hunting monsters and taking on odd jobs. She found the priest to be the first one she felt she could trust, and she was downtrodden enough he took an interest in helping her find a healthier life. Together they drove around in a beat-up old Suburban SUV.

They met up with Allen, and passed the time in the roadhouse getting up to speed with the current situation and preparing for the night assault. They would attend the carny party tonight, that was for sure–but the carnies wouldn’t see them coming.

The Bonfire

About midnight, they drove to the fairground. The man by the gate let them in when Allen said he had an invitation to the party. They drove around to where they saw a pallet fire surrounded by maybe 40 people, some with musical instruments. They idled in close, then Allen (who was at the wheel) gunned it and ran over a swathe of partiers, crashed through the bonfire and scattered it, then ran over the people on the other side.

In the screaming and smoke and confusion, they kept driving, right over to the spooky RV. The doorman protested, and Allen shot him with the shotgun. They got the door open, but it was weirdly dark inside, maybe magically dark. The whispering man inside said one could come in at a time, that’s all there was room for. Alexander stepped up as the other two waited uncomfortably outside, having lost momentum.

The old man in a wheelchair lived in a jam-packed trailer. He explained he was very old and protected some ancient secrets, and that he was always the target of evil, and all his powers were bent to creating this sanctuary and protecting secrets within it.

Alexander pressed about the vampires in the fair, and the blind men. The old man replied that the vampires were drawn to his power even if they didn’t understand it, and the carnies had an uneasy time managing that, but weren’t in league. And the blind man was drawn to the power, entered, and was destroyed by the old man’s magic. The old man was concerned about these blind men, and Alexander agreed to bring news to him if he discovered any more about them.

That all seemed very persuasive. Before Alexander left, the old man asked him to brush his shoulders with a towel and scrape his shoe soles off; he was ashamed of how the housekeeping deteriorated here, and Alexander reluctantly answered that the doorman was dead. The old man was confident Strazi would provide a new one.

Alexander stepped out and relayed the conversation to his fellow hunters as Strazi approached with a group that had torches and pitchforks. Alexander stepped forward and explained he had talked to the old man, and it was all a big misunderstanding. Strazi was swayed to his side, and helped sway the others. They spent an hour handing out medical supplies from the late Jessica’s stash to the people injured in the car attack.

House of Mirrors

Strazi agreed there were three vampires plaguing the fair, and they were laired in the house of mirrors. He could round up a dozen able fighters, and they assigned them to the perimeter while the three hunters and Strazi went into the house of mirrors.

Allen’s hunter instincts sensed one behind an ideal ambush point, and he fired through the mirror, knocking the vampire back. Janice leaped after it, and had a brutal tussle with the vampire in the dark, barely winning, staggering back out to the rest of the hunters.

Another vampire came out guns blazing, nicking hunters with some near misses. The vampire pulled knives to finish them off, when a shotgun blew most of his head off, and they finished him with machetes.

The last one might have escaped, but Strazi threw a knife through a mirror and tagged him, and the hunters made short work of him after that.

Victorious, the hunters shook hands with Strazi, then headed for the Suburban to get underway. The hunt here was finished.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Ghostbusters: Gotham. Road Warrior

Ghostbusters Gotham Banner

Previously, on Ghostbusters. Currently, Dr. Hunt was called out to the Arizona franchise to deal with something coyote related; details unavailable. Claire continued leading the Ghostbusters, with Max as the intern who lasted longer than six weeks and so earned the use of his name instead of a number.

They were joined by Harriet Morris, whose parents REALLY wanted her to be a Ghostbuster (though she didn’t find it terribly compelling.) They used their family connections, including Councilman Darren Hicks, who was instrumental in the mayor’s budget approval process. Congratulations, Harriet was hired on to the Ghostbusters!

She was sorting and bar coding ghosts in the containment grid while Max polished up the equipment and Claire worked the phone for collections.

It’s a Zoo Out There

Claire tried collecting an outstanding debt from Manny, a political wheeler-dealer who ran interference for a number of important people. He said he couldn’t possibly find the liquidated funds to pay the bill until next month–unless the Ghostbusters provided entertainment for a charity fundraiser the city was throwing at the zoo. Claire reluctantly agreed, only to find that it involved lots of children, and some of them were celebrating birthdays. Great.

They were to coordinate with the band, the Midnight Riders, so when the swing band played their theme they would “do their thing.” During setup, a kid ran up and kicked Max in the shins and yelled that ghosts aren’t real; Claire didn’t miss a beat yelling that Santa wasn’t either, tearing the child’s innocence beyond repair. Only Max was sad about that.

Eventually the band played the Ghostbusters theme, and Harriet danced the robot (“She’s new!” Max yelled) and they otherwise pressed on past the awful and awkward moment. As they were trying to figure out if they could leave now or had to stick around for autographs, a portly bureaucrat approached them.

Gene Weller worked for the transit authority. There were incidents at peak smog points in the Kilmer Chunnel where there was supernatural activity, the most recent one almost suffocating a number of people. He hired them on retainer for Memorial Day weekend, plus expenses, to protect the people of Gotham from the threat. They agreed.

Prep Montage

Harriet led the effort to get the gear together, assisted by Max, as Claire worked on the paperwork. They got dirt bikes, painted them up, fitted them with sirens and flashing lights (and Harriet retrofitted proper siren and light equipment on the bagel delivery truck too.) She put a rack in the back of the delivery truck for the bikes. She also got scuba-grade air tanks for the Ghostbusters.

The next day, they took piles of bagels to the dispirited traffic cops managing the exodus of Gothamites from the city for the three day weekend. Ever cheerful, Max got local lox and honey to go with the bagels, brightening their day. Some of the cops had heard of something going on in the tunnels that was Ghostbuster business, and were secretly relieved to see the experts on site.

They got in position, with Harriet at the north end of the tunnel, Max in the middle, and Claire at the south end. Traffic slowed to 20 mph. Exhaust built up.

The Threat Manifests

Harriet and Claire got readings that psychokinetic energy was rising in the tunnel, but Max was not getting readings he could trust–until he saw the massive ghost face made of smog right on top of him.

Harriet and Claire raced towards him on their dirt bikes, weaving through slowed traffic. He made a run for it, passing Claire, then trying to turn and get a shot off at the ghost. The bike dumped him, and he had to check the pack to make sure it wouldn’t explode before he got back in the fight.

Claire swooped to a halt and dismounted, drawing the ghost’s attention as Harriet skidded to a stop and opened up. With both Ghostbusters firing on the ghost, it writhed back, but then the streams crossed and both lost cohesion, spraying whip-like energy strands all around, like fiber-optic cables, scoring metal and shattering glass. The massive ghost escaped into a truck’s engine block. (“She’s new!” Max yelled.)

The truck peeled apart and the ghost ascended, terrifying, its chest a huge engine block. It made a liquid metal spear, and caught Claire’s stream, hurling it at Harriet, who barely dodged. Max and Harriet fired on it as it flipped a car at Claire. Max tried to use lore on golems or poltergiests to figure out how this thing was using the engine block, concluding it was connected to the source of the pollution and could use the metal as magical armor.

As Harriet’s pack redlined on empty, they combined efforts. Harriet’s stream pulled it mostly out of the engine block, Max managed the trap, and Claire pinned it in place long enough to be captured.

Conclusion

The Ghostbusters put down some road flares, then left the chaotic wreckage, nodding to the cops on the way home. They put the ghost in the containment grid, job well done.

Claire talked to Gene, who tried to weasel his way out of covering expenses in addition to the fee, citing the extensive damage to the tunnel. Claire pointed out that could damage the Ghostbuster incentive to be helpful in the future, and Gene folded, paying the agreed-upon fees.

That took about 2 hours, but we were having internet problems, so rather than doing another job we called it good for the night.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment