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Rocks fall, everyone dies

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Post  Quaetam on Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:18 pm

Team Q: Chapter 1 - Clarksdale
Part 2: Don't Get Jumanji’d

For a third (fourth?) time, the party agreed to split up: Tailed by Relmitos for protection, Leviwulf would deliver Stranger Sightings to Justin at the Lark Street Church, while the others went to meet Roland again. Without much ado, they quickly finished their lunch and parted ways.

On their way to the church, and absent the Europeans, Relmitos and Levi decided to check on the protest.

The crowd had swelled to about a hundred people, scattered throughout the park, waving signs and cheering loudly. The gazebo had been converted into a makeshift stage, where a red-faced farmer was shouting into a megaphone. While Levi and Relm looked on, he finished his speech, the crowd cheered, and another speaker stepped up to the gazebo: A well-kempt man, with a clean black polo-shirt tucked neatly into a set of khaki dress pants. His smooth blonde hair was combed over to the left, and his polished face sported a charming, white-toothed grin. Seizing the megaphone, this eccentric stranger spread his right arm outward, and began a rousing speech.

Levi and Relm didn’t stick around to hear what he had to say; moving on, they reached the Lark Street Church with a few minutes to spare - Relmitos staying about a block behind Levi, just out of sight. The same thugs that Spoon and Fed had run into about an hour earlier were still standing guard outside the church door, while Justin leaned impatiently against the lot entrance, a concerned look on his face. Recognizing Levi, he lit up with a smile: He’d begun to think Levi had bailed on him. Levi explained there was some trouble at the bookstore, and took Stranger Sightings out of his bag. Justin looked it over, nodded, and motioned Levi to follow him.

They were joined by three of the thugs from the church - the Daniels supporter, the girl, and the farmer - leaving behind two burly bikers, who continued to stand guard. For about twenty minutes, they strolled through the residential neighborhoods, past picket fences, sprawling green yards, and peaceful cul-de-sacs. Levi tried to spark conversation by asking where he was going, and Justin explained that the Sons of Odin required a simple test of will. If Levi was really one of them, it would be no problem for him.

Eventually, the group reached Clarksdale’s northern pine forest, where they proceeded up a long road, winding into the woods. After a few minutes of hiking, they reached a metal traffic gate set into a long brick wall. The wall was bordered on both sides by neatly-trimmed hedges, and to the right of the gate stood a keypad and a sign bearing the words: “Clarksdale Heights.”  

Justin stepped up to the keypad and pressed a few buttons, entering some kind of passcode. The gate swung open, and they entered. Before it could close, Relm sprang into action, making a Dexterity + Stealth roll to sneak through before the gate slammed shut. He achieved an astounding 5 successes - sprinting forward, slipping through the gap, and action-rolling into a hedge at the other side, where he lay quiet and out of sight.


The CVS didn’t take terribly long to find - it was only a few blocks away from the cafe, just off Main Street. Everyone could immediately see something was wrong: One of the storefront windows had been smashed, and the area was cordoned off with police tape. Just as Roland had anticipated, two squad cars idled on the street outside, and a quartet of officers were inspecting the area. Raya decided to stop inside and look around while Spoon and Fed spoke to the officer in charge.

They approached the policemen, and with a quick Wits + Politics roll, they were able to identify the ranking officer among the four. Spoon stepped up and politely asked what had happened. The police officer, identifying himself as Chief Frank Robinson, explained there had been a recent break in, and they had been called over to inspect the scene. Spoon attempted to press for information with Presence + Persuasion, but failed. Robinson politely refused: it was against protocol to disclose an ongoing investigation.

Stepping inside the shop, Raya noted that it was a standard CVS - part pharmacy, part convenience store, stocked with everything from food to OTC medicines. In the candy aisle, an old Mexican couple was speaking rapidly in Spanish, attempting to comfort a toddler who had burst into a fit of tears. At the pharmacy in the back, a pair of young women behind the counter were glaring at the family, clearly not happy with the disruption. Raya chose to speak to the cashier, a young teen zoning out and bobbing his head to music over a pair of headphones.  When she asked about the break-in, he shrugged - some addict had smashed the window and lifted drugs from the back; people can be surprisingly motivated when they need their fix.  

Back outside, Spoon tried to explain to Chief Robinson that they were with Roland, but Robinson wasn’t so easily convinced - Roland wouldn’t send a group of volunteers to handle matters of security. At this, Spoon smartly held out Roland’s business card, explaining they’d been sent to pick up Robinson’s dossier on the break-in, and they needed information to bring to Roland. Telling the truth and offering the business card gave him a +1 to Presence + Persuasion, and he succeeded. The Chief sighed, and explained that a thief had stolen their entire stock of narcotics. He wasn’t sure it was an addict, but they had begun to narrow down the list of suspects, and he would be able to email a full report to Roland tonight.

(GM Note: The pharmacists were actually on supporting opposite candidates; if someone had gotten them riled up they’d have revealed more info about the break in and the missing reporter.)


Clarksdale Heights was clearly an affluent community - the street was lined with brick mansions and beautiful white-wood houses. Cars had a noticeable polish, and lawns were immaculately manicured. Justin and Levi took a right at the first crossroads, continuing briefly down a side street before turning into a driveway that serviced a large, colonial home. Justin stepped up to the front door and unlocked it, directing two of the thugs to keep watch.

The inside was clean and well decorated - paintings covered the walls, and a crystal chandelier hung proudly in the expansive entrance hall. Justin brought Levi over to a side door where an extremely well-built man stood guard, and opened it, revealing an ominous stairwell that led toward a flickering light below.

Lined in black stone with an opulent marble floor, the basement was lit by a series of candles, creating an atmosphere of austerity and tradition. A series of benches were arrayed in rows with walking space to the center, and red banners inscribed with the Three Horns of Odin hung to either side. At the head of the room, Levi spotted Ellroy sitting expectantly at a wooden table - round, with a white tablecloth, and a long candle that burned low. To the right Levi could count seven men in robes - to the left a pair sat expectantly; one totally bald, with multiple swastikas tattooed on his head (the group affectionately named this guy Nazi Kid), the other with a comb-over and a tattered black shirt, looking angry and confident. These were the new recruits.

Levi was seated among them, as Justin and his remaining buddy joined their fellow Sons of Odin, and after a moment of silence, Ellroy spoke: “Good afternoon, Brothers and Sons of Odin. Today we gather here in judgement of three who would deem themselves worthy of the chosen race and the Father’s blessing.”

He beckoned with his left hand, and the first kid - comb-over guy - stepped up to the front, taking a seat in the empty chair across the table. Ellroy proceeded to ask him a series of questions, his tone of voice scathing and direct. As the boy answered each, he looked Ellroy in the eye - his conviction unwavering and his gaze unflinching:

“Why do we join together in this order?”
“I join to purify the world of the undeserving and secure a future for our people.”

“Do you believe yourself worthy of our cause?”
“Only if our father deems me worthy.”

“What will you do to earn your place among the chosen?”
“I will sacrifice every day and give my life for our future.”

For a moment, Ellroy stared at the teenager - then he smiled and roared: “He is worthy!”

The crowd burst out in cheers, everyone’s crude hooting and hollering breaking the solemn ritualistic atmosphere that had permeated the room. The new Son of Odin pumped his fist in the air and exclaimed loudly, before taking a seat among the robed figures to the right. Each of the cultists took a moment to shake his hand and pat him on the back. I asked Levi if he wanted to do something, but he declined, content to observe for now.  

As the calm settled back in, Ellroy beckoned for the next guest to come forward. Shaking and slightly nervous, Nazi Kid took a seat at the table, before entering the same line of questioning. He stammered through his responses, but still managed to keep Ellroy’s gaze:

“Why do we join together in this order?”
“I-I want to defend our race and our rights as children of the sun.”

“Do you believe yourself worthy of our cause?”
“I will prove myself worthy of our Father’s blessings.”

“What will you do to earn your place among the chosen?”
“I will do anything and everything it takes!”

Once more, Ellroy gave the aspiring recruit a long, brooding glare. Then, with a whipping motion and a flash of steel, he drew a knife and stabbed Nazi Kid in the hand: “YOU ARE UNWORTHY!”

Nazi Kid cried out in pain. Ellroy withdrew the knife - blood spurting all over the table - and punched the kid hard in the jaw. Nazi Kid fell backwards, clutching his hand, stammering, and at a signal from Ellroy two thugs took off their ritual robes, grabbed the kid’s arms, and dragged him, sobbing, up the stairs. Levi considered reaching for his concealed Glock, but decided to try remaining still - I had him roll Resolve + Composure to avoid looking startled. He succeeded, and joined everyone else in staring steadfastly and silently forward.

Ellroy turned to Levi: “Your turn.”


Relmitos stalked Levi down the side street and watched from afar as he was led into Justin’s house. Realizing he couldn’t do anything from outside, Relmitos decided to find some way to enter and be on hand in case Levi needed help. Spotting the guards standing out front, he took his time and snuck around back, where he spotted an open kitchen window. Another Dexterity + Stealth roll got him in the window quietly, and he alighted on the black-and-white tiled floor of a classic suburban kitchen.  

From further inside the house, Relmitos heard some muffled shouts and whimpers: He peeked around the counter to see two men dragging a whimpering Nazi Kid through the hall - blood dripping on the wood floor in their wake. They approached the kitchen and turned left into a side room. Relmitos, checking to make sure the coast was clear, followed behind them. He entered a private gym, with a handful of exercise machines against the right wall, a series of yoga mats and mirrors to his left, and several weights and dumbbells scattered about. As he crouched in the doorway, his quarry exited a pair of sliding doors that opened into a pool area.  Extremely concerned, Relm made another stealth roll to follow them without making a ruckus. Approaching the glass doors, he saw one thug force Nazi Kid to his knees by the poolside and pin his arms behind his back, while the other forced his head underwater and held it in place.  They were drowning him.  

Relmitos had a choice: Remain inside as effective back-up for Levi if things went wrong, or head outside to save Nazi Kid.  He chose to save Nazi Kid.

Relmitos picked up two heavy dumbbells, approached the thugs with a final stealth roll, and swung hard with both weights in a sneak attack. His Strength + Weaponry roll, aided by his Dual Wielding proficiency, yielded a whopping six successes: He smashed both of the thugs square in the back, sending them - and Nazi Kid - splashing into the pool with a surprised yelp.

Once more, Relmitos had a choice: Help Nazi Kid out of the pool, or get the hell out of there. He chose to help Nazi Kid.  

Relmitos grabbed the kid’s arm and pulled him up to the yard, where spurted and coughed, spitting up water. Relmitos attempted a Strength roll to lift the dazed teen over his shoulder - and failed, giving him an awkward half-hug in an attempt to lift him off the ground. Nazi Kid, still bleeding and coughing, pushed him away, angrily shouting “Get off me!”

Meanwhile, the thugs were not happy. After sputtering about for a minute in the pool, they pulled themselves to safety. One sprinted toward the house for reinforcements, the other shot Relmitos a murderous look. Nazi Kid still dazed, had a choice: Save his ass and get out of there, or help Relmitos. He did not choose to help Relmitos.  

Relm looked at the two thugs, glanced at the fleeing Nazi Kid, and decided to book it. He rolled Dexterity + Athletics to sprint away… and completely failed, slipping on the grass and falling face-first in the dirt. The thug who had stayed outside, overcoming his back pain from Relm’s sneak attack, quickly caught up to him - hastily aiming an angry kick at his head.  Fortunately for Relmitos, the thug - likely concussed - completely missed, giving Relmitos the opportunity to scramble to his feet and scamper away. Shouting angrily, his pursuer caught his balance and made chase.


As things were kicking off at Justin’s house, the others arrived at Clarksdale Heights to find the gate already open. Entering the neighborhood and continuing down the street, they noticed a clear commotion ahead: Ambulances, police cars, and news vans surrounded one of the large brick houses. A crowd of people milled about frantically, and from the sound of things, something was very wrong.

This was probably the place.  

Spoon rolled Wits + Investigation to recognize a face in the crowd, and spotted Michael, one of the volunteers who had been working at the school earlier. Michael appeared unsettled: Sitting on a stone wall next to the driveway, his face was pale and he was rubbing his neck with his right hand. Leaving the others for a moment, Spoon came forward, sat down, and asked the volunteer what was wrong, rolling Presence + Empathy to provide emotional support. Hilariously, Spoon once again totally failed his empathy check, and Michael rebuffed him, too shaken to talk about it.  

Meanwhile, Raya and Fed spotted a pair of paramedics talking to a police officer near the back of an ambulance. Taking the initiative, Raya dragged Fed along and approached, barging into their conversation by pointing out that her friend - Fedaykin - is a trained doctor. Rolling Manipulation+Persuasion, she insisted that he take a look at the bodies to attempt treatment.

With a nod from the police officer, one of the paramedics led the Europeans over to the ambulance. The medic explained that nobody had died, but two people were being prepared for intensive care in the back. He opened the ambulance door and beckoned for Fedaykin to step forward. Examining the first body with a Wits + Medicine roll, Fed declared he was probably in shock: His skin was cool and pale, his chest rose and fell quickly, and he appeared unconscious. The paramedic reinforced this assessment by explaining he’d fainted during the incident, and was receiving basic treatment.  Fed instructed the medic to elevate the victim’s head and fetch a blanket.

Spoon, meanwhile, insisted that he was trying to get to the bottom of this and he needed Michael’s help to do it. His Presence + Persuasion roll was successful where his empathy had failed, and Michael, still hesitant, described a horrific scene inside. They had been holding a meet and greet event with Steven Henderson - volunteers and major contributors were coming by to pay respects in advance of tonight’s rally - when something started to feel off. A bitter smell and a dizzying sensation compounded over the course of a few quick minutes, alarming and disabling everyone in the room. It felt like the whole world was spinning, and the air itself was vibrating with energy: People tripped and fell over, they started screaming, they vomited uncontrollably…  and then everything stopped.  

Michael had never seen anything like it.

Back at the ambulance, before the paramedic allowed Fedaykin to examine the other body, he warned him not to be alarmed: despite all appearances this man was still alive. He stepped aside, and Fed was greeted by a troubling display. The second victim lay spread-eagled on the gurney; his eyes were wide and bloodshot, his mouth hung haphazardly open. A torn volunteer shirt lay crumpled up on a shelf alongside the ambulance’s standard surgical equipment. Most notably, the skin on the center of his chest had been scarred with a dark red handprint. “We’ve already applied ice to the burn site,” said the medic, “but his mind seems to have gone; he hasn’t moved or said a word since we arrived.”

Fed made another Wits + Medicine roll, and correctly recalled one method of snapping people into awareness if they’re in shock, passed out, or fainted. Reaching forward, he gingerly leaned over the patient’s chest, raised a hand, and slapped the man hard across the face. The patient shook his head, sat up, looked around frantically, clutched a hand to the burn mark on his chest, and screamed incoherently.  

Fedaykin and Raya stepped back, surprised.  The stranger fell back onto the ambulance bed, as from every direction, paramedics and officers stopped what they were doing and ran over.

(GM Note: Depending on the party's actions earlier, they could have been sent to meet the candidate at his Clarksdale Heights home and experienced this event firsthand. More on that later.)


The candles flickered gently, and a metallic smell rose through the air as blood dripped from the ritual table and Ellroy beckoned Levi to join him at the head of the hall. Overtaken by a sudden trepidation, Levi slowly rose from the bench and came forward, rapidly considering his options: What had the nervous Nazi Kid done wrong? Could Levi avoid this mistake - or should he run while he still had the chance?  Should he pull out his Glock and try to defend himself?

He sat down across from Ellroy, who smiled briefly before meeting his eyes with a steely gaze.  Levi rolled Resolve + Composure to keep his cool, and he succeeded.  After a moment of silence, Ellroy nodded and began to question him:

“Why do you wish to join our order?” Ellroy inquired.
“I want to purify the world and create a better future for our people,” Levi replied. (GM Note: He had already made this argument to Ellroy in the 7/11 so I didn’t make him roll here.)

“Do you believe yourself worthy of our cause?” Ellroy pressured.
“Yeah, I’m worthy,” Levi said flippantly - almost sarcastically. I had him roll subterfuge to seem convincing, while Ellroy opposed him with an empathy check. They tied: Unsure what he was sensing from Levi, Ellroy remained suspicious.

“What will you do to earn your place among the chosen?” Ellroy challenged.
“I will do whatever it takes and whatever you need,” Levi replied. Still suspicious, Ellroy chose to stare Levi down, scanning his face for any sign of weakness, uncertainty, or contempt. Levi rolled to resist intimidation, and for a third consecutive time, he passed.

Ellroy rose to his feet, declaring the trial complete. He looked at Levi and informed him that his judgement was not complete: Levi would attend their meeting at the Lark Street Church in an hour, and prove his final devotion for all to see. The others rose in turn, discarding their ritual robes and packing them into a cardboard box on the side of the room - when a frantic, dripping wet redneck came stomping down the stairs, shouting at the top of his lungs: “CLEETUS!  HE’S GETTIN’ AWAY!”

Everybody burst into motion (and the party burst into laughter).  Led by Ellroy, the Sons of Odin stormed up the stairs, grabbing assorted objects - baseball bats, garden hoes, an axe - from a wall rack on their way out. Levi followed to maintain his cover and prove his loyalty. The thug who had come shouting for reinforcements gestured frantically toward the pool, and they all filed out through the kitchen, bursting through the back door and out onto the lawn.  

Levi could see three figures running a few yards down the block - but he failed his Wits + Composure check and was unable to recognize one of them as Relmitos.  Determined to prove his worth to the Sons of Odin and earn their trust, he set off in pursuit, and the group of armed thugs greedily followed.  

Glancing back over his shoulder, Relmitos now found himself pursued by an entire angry mob.  

Alarmed, he again rolled Strength + Athletics to continue his sprint away, but his pursuer was faster: The redneck caught up to Relmitos and attempted to tackle him to the ground, rolling Strength + Brawl. He achieved two successes and lunged for his target - but Relmitos managed three, shoving him aside with a powerful stiff-arm.

As the thug hit the ground and rolled, swearing, the mob caught up, and Levi helped him to his feet. Relmitos, emboldened, resumed his flight and finally managed to gain some distance: With another Strength+Athletics contest, Relm achieved 3 successes to Levi’s 1. Finding a second wind, he bolted out of the side street and onto the main road. Frantically searching the area, he spotted the open community gate to his left, and the cluster of emergency vehicles up the road to his right. Nazi Kid was nowhere to be seen. With only a moment’s hesitation, Relmitos took off toward the flashing lights in search of help.

(GM Note: There were two components to the Purity Test - the first was to give convincing answers via Manipulation+Subterfuge or another equivalent method; the second was to show conviction by resisting Ellroy's intimidation at the start and finish.)


Ahead, framed by those very lights, Spoon, Raya, and Fedaykin reconvened to share their discoveries. Their discussions were curtailed by a familiar voice, as Roland approached them with a friendly greeting and a look of concern. After exchanging brief pleasantries, he extended a hand and asked for the rundown. Spoon explained what the police chief had told them: the thief had stolen a stock of narcotics, and the cops were still narrowing down suspects. Roland frowned, visibly concerned that the report wasn’t ready on time, but acknowledged that investigations can’t be rushed, and thanked the party for their efforts.  

While the main party was speaking with Roland, Relmitos arrived on the scene, panting from his long run. He approached two officers and asked for immediate assistance: He was being chased by an angry foot mob that had tried to drown a teenager. Recognizing Relm’s clear distress, the police rightly sprung into action: One officer took out his walkie-talkie to radio in the incident, while the other told Relm to stay put. They hopped in their squad car, and took off down the street.  

Levi and his Sons of Odin buddies arrived at the intersection just in time to see the cops peel out and head their way. Ellroy swore loudly, two of the younger members bolted, and the angry man who had rallied the posse shouted for the group to scatter. Everyone bolted in different directions - some sprinting back towards the house, others climbing over the compound’s perimeter wall, and still more vanishing into the hedges and trees.

Levi decided to play it cool, and took off at a leisurely pace down the sidewalk.  After a few moments, the squad car pulled up next to him, and an officer began to question him about suspicious activity in the area. Levi, valuing his perceived loyalty to the Sons of Odin over the immediate risk of the situation, decided to lie to the cops. He rolled Wits + Subterfuge and explained that he was just out for a walk; he hadn’t seen anything unusual.

He failed.

The officer could immediately tell Levi was lying, and pressed for details, suspicious of his motive. Levi attempted to reinforce his lie and act indignant about their questioning with a Manipulation + Subterfuge roll, reinforced by willpower.  

He failed again.

Completely suspicious now, the officer opened the door to the back of the squad car. “Sir, I’m going to need you to step inside the car. We're gonna have to ask you a few questions”

Out of character, Levi had some pretty choice words about Relmitos setting the cops after him. In character, Levi smartly chose to ask if he was under arrest. After a brief moment of hesitation, the officer acknowledged that he was not - they’d just like to ask him a few questions. This emboldened Levi. who kept his composure and insisted that they don’t have just cause to detain him: They’d better move along or get a warrant. He received a significant bonus to the ensuing Manipulation + Persuasion roll, and finally succeeded. The cops shot him a dirty look, wished him a good afternoon, and drove off.  

Phwew. Relieved, Levi shot the others a quick (and probably angry) text, and set off toward the Church for his cult meeting.

Meanwhile, Relmitos rejoined the party, still deep in discussion with Roland, who asked if they had any information for him. This time, the party was more open: everyone provided details about the Sons of Odin, from the sigils they had discovered around town, to their fears that the group had something planned for tonight’s rally. Spoon asked if it would be possible to have them arrested, but a nearby officer chimed in and explained that without evidence or probable cause, all they could do is observe and watch for signs of trouble. The party protested, but didn’t gain any further ground with the police, who insisted on staying above-board. Nonetheless, Roland expressed his appreciation, and promised to keep in touch. He wasn’t limited by protocol: he would attend the rally tonight and take charge of the security team on their behalf.

(GM Note: To convince the police to get involved and help with the finale, the group would have needed to either convince Justin to abandon the SOO and testify about their plans, or bring in Nazi Kid, who was actually behind the break-in at the CVS earlier and could explain the intended use of the codeine sulfate. 2019 Edit: This is not how cops work)

As they wrapped up their conversation, the honk of a car horn caught their attention: A van had pulled up alongside the emergency blockade, driven by Ramona. She beckoned for the volunteers to hurry along and climb in: It was time for the rally.


Alone, Leviwulf retraced his steps away from Clarksdale Heights; back down the dirt road and through the suburbs toward the Church on Lark Street. The neighborhood was no longer quiet: The day was growing long, people were returning from work, and Henderson supporters had already started to flock toward the school for the rally. As Levi approached the Church, he could see a crowd milling around by the front doors, where the same two brutish-looking bikers still stood guard. Succeeding on a quick Wits + Composure roll, he caught a glimpse of Justin toward the back of the crowd, and hustled forward. Justin quickly vouched for Levi's status as a new recruit, allowing them to pass through the bouncers and into the main hall. The interior was at once foreboding and beautiful: Maroon curtains hung over the large side windows, limiting the exterior light to a small stained-glass porthole high above, and a series of candlesticks lined the walls, casting a dim pallor over the room. Dozens of people sat along a series of wooden pews, arranged in steady rows against either wall - facing the center, where a podium and a small table stood resolute.  

As Levi took his seat, someone stepped up to the podium, and the crowd began to politely clap.  The speaker smiled and waved; with another Wits + Composure check, Levi recognized him as the well-dressed blond-haired man who had captivated the crowd at the park protest earlier. Exuding charisma, he again rallied everyone with a speech, describing their vision of a world for their white children. This vision, he proclaimed, was inevitable, and they had been blessed by the Father with the sacrosanct power to seek it out and build it by their own hands. Today, he proclaimed, they would use that blessing to take one more step on the path towards a better world.

At this, two burly men emerged from an antechamber, carrying a chair onto the stage; on that chair sat a man with a bag on his head, writhing against his restraints.

“This is our time, children of the chosen, to claim our Kingdom,” the speaker concluded. He tore the bag off of the captive’s head, and Levi rolled Wits + Politics to attempt to realize who this was, but no luck. The crowd, however, cheered in recognition, and five men from the front row got to their feet, withdrawing wooden crosses from inside their robes. They spaced themselves equidistant around the podium, holding each crucifix at chest height. Levi gripped the gun he still carried, concealed, in his pants, but realized it would be useless to fire in a room full of at least a hundred hostiles: The best he could do was watch and try to gain information.

The speaker stepped back as another figure exited the antechamber: Something about his look made Levi’s hair stand on end - the longer he watched this man, the more he felt compelled to avert his gaze. Tall and middle-aged, black hair flecked with lines of silver, he dressed in a black robe with a white priest’s collar. His green eyes betrayed no emotion as he stepped up to the podium and began to chant, in a deep voice:

"Blessed be the children, for they shall receive the judgement of heaven."  

He shook his hand, sprinkling the captive with white powder - Levi correctly guessed this was crushed codeine sulfate. At once, there was a reaction: the five wooden crosses flashed gold and connected in a ring of energy, lighting up and floating in midair.

The crowd replied; “Blessed be the father, for he shall save us from our destitution.”

“Blessed be the chosen, for they are destined to inherit the Earth,” the pastor intoned. He grabbed a small vial of water, and dripped it over the captive’s head. At this, the air inside the ring formed by the crosses began to shimmer, as if distorted by heat and energy.

“Blessed be our kin, forever humbled with the mantle of God," the audience replied, Levi among them.

The preacher placed a hand on the shaking chest of his impending sacrifice, and said: "Blessed be the sinner, and may his sins be forgotten, or may he be purged in the light of the Lord.”

The circle flashed red, and the priest withdrew his hand, stepping back. The ground at their feet rippled, and liquefied. The captive began to scream in horror - but was swiftly silenced as an ethereal hand materialized out of the now-murky air and stuffed itself down his throat.

Levi watched in horror (rolling Resolve + Composure to keep his cool) as spectral hands emerged from the floor and gripped the captive’s legs, grasping him, tearing at him, dragging him into the unknown depths. He shook in his chair violently as the hands pulled him below the rippling floorboards - his screams muffled and silenced - until at last he had sunk completely into the ground.  

The ripples stopped, the air returned to normal, the crosses ceased to glow, and all was still.  

Levi glanced around, but the priest was nowhere to be found. The crowd - Levi among them - got to their feet and began to politely clap at the ritual’s conclusion, before shortly filing out of the church hall. Justin slapped Levi on the back and grinned, calling the scene a great show. He gestured for his companion to follow, and the two moved toward a group of SOO members dressed as Henderson volunteers. Together, they set off toward the school. (GM Note:Unfortunately, due to time constraints, we agreed to rush through this scene; it was designed as less of a cutscene, with a bunch of interactions before and after the ceremony, but we agreed to rush through it in order to save time for the grand finale!)


Ramona pulled up around the back of the school, avoiding the crowds that had massed in the front, and shouted instructions for the volunteers as they filed out of the van. As she led them into the entry hall (where Raya and Relm’s banner, conspicuously taped and glued back together, hung over the gym doors), she explained she needed volunteers in three distinct groups; Most people were needed inside, waving flags and directing people to their seats, but two would have to man sign-in, and one should handle basic security checks at the main entrance.  

The party quickly divvied up roles and got to work. Ramona dropped Relmitos and Michael off at the sign-in table, explaining that all campaign personnel were to be given a yellow credential, while all other guests and volunteers should sign in and receive a white credential.  Relmitos and his glum-looking buddy nodded their understanding.

She led the rest of the group to the nearby gym entrance, and handled Fedaykin a metal detector wand, telling him - in my attempt at maintaining her country charm - “Just wave that rod over their fannies and make sure nobody's packin heat.” (GM Note: The party took no expense of laughter at this; I had grabbed a drink of water before introducing this scene. During that time Raya led a discussion on US / UK cultural differences, one of which was the fact that “fanny” has a more intimate connotation across the pond.)

Raya rolled Resolve + Composure to keep from snickering. She failed, and Ramona shot her a look, before reaching into her bag and grabbing two Henderson flags for Raya and Spoon to carry. Ramona explained that she simply needed them in the gym, directing traffic toward empty seats. They acknowledged and stepped inside as Ramona went off to put her other volunteers into position around the area.  


Fedaykin immediately began scanning visitors; politely asking them to open their bags, before waving the detector wand up and down either side of their body. Several people passed without incident when Fed met the first unpleasant encounter of the night, as a trio of burly farmhands approached him with their arms crossed. A Wits + Composure roll sparked recognition: It was the group he’d pissed off in the park this morning. Ron had the same immediate recognition, and growled at Fed: “Ain't you the fella who had the gall to insult my momma? I thought I told you to get lost.”

The three rednecks immediately moved in close, and Ron rolled to intimidate Fed, assisted by his buddies.  

Five successes.

The party groaned - until Fed rolled Resolve + Composure to resist.

SIX successes. Fedaykin passed his dissertation in Thugonomics with flying colors.

Our very own Austrian Kicking Machine puffed himself up, crossed his arms, and told them to move along: he was doing his job and didn’t have time for their nonsense. Ron got a disgruntled look and opened his mouth in protest - when Ramona stepped up to Fed’s side, arms at her hips, with a serious look: “Is there a problem here? You best know that anyone who messes with my team is gonna answer to me.”

Ron looked around, and immediately realized he was not welcome here. Heads had turned in the crowd, and everyone’s eyes were on the fight about to break out, a fight he was no longer sure he wanted. Muttering incoherently, he backed off, turned around, and left in a hurry. Everyone cheered.


Inside, the gym was already packed: The tables Fed and Spoon had hauled against the side were manned by Democratic Party staff and local vendors who supported Henderson (including Darkwood Books and Unique Antiques, but they didn’t explore these to figure this out!). Several hundred people had filed into their seats, many of whom carried campaign signs, American flags, or other patriotic paraphernalia. There was a general hubbub and an air of excitement in the room as people eagerly awaited the moment their candidate, and his illustrious national sponsor, would take the stage.  

Spoon decided to search the crowd for any recognizable faces or any potential Sons of Odin members. His Wits + Investigation roll yielded 3 successes. Lynz was helping a few townspeople find their seats, Sam was chatting animatedly with some Henderson supporters toward the middle, and other assorted volunteers were scattered about. About two rows back from the stage, he spotted a row of bald guys sitting quiet and patient, without a hint of excitement. Suspicious, Spoon started to make his way toward them, keeping up his pretense as a flag-waver.

Raya, always genre savvy, knew this was not going to be good. People were being hemmed into a large area, and the Sons of Odin had a political agenda to prove. She decided there was a good chance that this rally was a deathtrap, and chose to search for any signs of people blocking the entrances. Her Wits + Investigation roll got 1 success, enough to catch a glimpse of a few volunteers standing around, suspiciously aloof, near one of the back doors. Raya decided to gradually approach and catch a glimpse of their conversation.  


Back in the entry hall, Relmitos continued his deft work at the check-in, briefly greeting volunteers and friendly townspeople - the Mexican couple from CVS, the barkeep from The Stranger, a series of reporters and journalists. Most were simple guests at the rally: Relmitos and Michael directed them to sign up on the sheet to his left, and handed them white credentials. After a few minutes, a blond man with a curiously charismatic smile approached: He explained he was with the security detail and asked for a credential. With no reason to suspect anything and no way to identify this man, Relmitos politely handed him a yellow card.

He had no trouble recognizing their next guest: Roland, still dressed in his black button-down, now with a security badge, a walkie-talkie, and a gun at his belt. Roland immediately recognized Relmitos, and asked if he had noticed anything odd. Recalling Levi’s text, Relmitos warned him that he suspected the Sons of Odin were on the move. Roland put a hand on his shoulder and thanked him. Relmitos gave him a yellow card, and he immediately took off to prepare the security team.  

Soon the line began to thin, and Relmitos kept his eyes peeled - as Fedaykin waved the last few guests through into the gym, several volunteers began moving the last few pieces of equipment into place, and the lights flashed, indicating the event was about to start. Relmitos, still suspicious and savvy, made one more Wits+Investigation roll to check the stragglers. Succeeding, he caught a glimpse of some volunteers moving boxes down a side corridor that led further into the school. Two of them bore the Horns of Odin on their left arms.  


Justin, Levi, and the other Sons of Odin - all in volunteer garb - fell in line with the regular rally guests, weaving their way through the crowd towards Clarksdale High. They came in through the double doors and mingled with the crowd awaiting registration and entry into the gym. Justin ducked to the side and beckoned Levi to follow; their group split off from the crowd and headed left, down a small corridor that encircled the site of the rally. On the way, they picked up a pair of boxes that had been stacked in a pile near some trash cans.  

Levi sized up his chances: There were five of them, and one of him. Not good.  He needed to find some way to alert the others and put a stop to what was about to happen - Could he set the building on fire, or pull an alarm? Could he whip out his gun and start shooting? He had worked hard for this cover, and he knew that he would only have one shot.  

Eventually they stopped at a small room containing an emergency exit for the building, and one of the gymnasium entrances that had been closed for the duration of the rally. Ten yards ahead were entrances to the men’s and women’s locker rooms; beyond, the hallway curved around the other side of the gym, continuing out of sight. Here, the Sons of Odin gently lowered their boxes to the floor. One grabbed a crowbar, and pried off the lid. Justin reached inside, and withdrew a large wooden cross.


The lights flickered, and volunteers directed everyone toward their seats. Spoon kept an eye on the stage, where campaign staff and well-dressed security agents milled about, preparing for their candidate’s big entry. After a few moments, Ramona stepped out onto the stage to wild applause, greeting the crowd with a grin and a sassy smile: “Good evening Clarksdale!”

She gave a brief introduction; thanking the volunteers (they smiled and waved), the campaign staff (they stood to polite audience applause), and the great people of Clarksdale (everyone shouted and cheered). The Henderson campaign - their campaign - could not be possible without everyone's help, so tonight would be a great celebration of their hard work. “Without further ado,” Ramona exclaimed, bravado and earnest pride resonant in her voice, “It is my pleasure to introduce tonight’s keynote speaker, the great visionary, senior Senator from Washington State - you all know him - Charles Bartlett!”

The lights dimmed, and the crowd got to their feet, cheering, clapping, and waving signs, obscuring Spoon’s view of the front of the room. The lights above the stage intensified, and Senator Bartlett stepped up to the podium, waving at the crowd, smiling, nodding.  As the applause died down, the Senator began an impassioned speech - lavishing Henderson’s work and campaign with earnest praise, and captivating the attention of everyone in the room...

Everyone except Spoon.

As the lighting shifted, drawing his focus to the stage, I had Spoon roll Wits + Composure to notice something - and he succeeded. High above, he glimpsed motion. Someone was milling about the tech catwalks, peering at the stage below. Spoon looked around; nobody else seemed to notice, their attention was on the Senator’s speech. He hurried forward, pressing through the crowd.  

At the other side of the gym, Raya reached the door to find the three volunteers she’d spotted earlier had ceased their conversation and now barred her path, arms crossed, looking at the stage. She tried to get their attention, motioning that she wanted to get through, and the one in the middle shook his head, smiling.  

Her way was shut.


The last few volunteers and guests left the entrance hall, closing the door behind them, as the lights were dimmed and the rally began inside. Through the rancour and thunderous applause, Relmitos approached Fed frantically, explaining that the Sons of Odin were here, disguised as volunteers. He pointed off in the direction they had gone. They faced a choice: Head inside to get Roland’s help and alert the others, or stay out in the hall and act now.  

Deciding not to wait, Fedaykin and Relmitos hustled down the corridor in pursuit.  As the noise from the gym faded - Senator Bartlett’s speech reduced to a steady beat, a distant rhetoric and cantor punctuated by occasional cheers - they passed open and empty classrooms, rounded a corner where a bulletin board announced upcoming athletic events, and at last came upon a grim scene.

Three volunteers lay unconscious on the floor, bruised and battered. Standing next to them were a menacing trio. One, muscular, rested a wooden baseball bat on his shoulder. To his left, a cocky-looking teenager crossed his arms.

Beside them, a third held aloft a large wooden cross.


The gymnasium was alive, electric. The Senator, fired up, shouted into the mic, continuing his rousing speech, and the crowd was eating it up. The volunteers and vendors were facing forward, watching the show. The crowd was on their feet, cheering and shouting. All the while, Raya’s nerves were shot. Survival instincts and alarm bells resounded in her head: She had to get out. With a Wits + Investigation roll, she looked around, scanning for anything that could shut this thing down. At last her eyes settled on a fire alarm only twenty yards away.

Spoon forged through the packed crowd, eyes trained on the man in the rafters. The hidden stranger reached into his coat, pulling out a lighter and a small object - a firecracker, Spoon realized, startled. He lit the fuse, aimed it at the stage below and let it fly.   

As the firecracker roared, Roland leapt forward, tackling the Senator from behind and knocking him to the floor. The explosive impacted them both and blossomed into a fiery display of color, smoke, and ash. Raya pulled the alarm, which immediately started blaring across the school. The sprinkler system went off, drenching the entire crowd. And the rousing cheers turned to screams of panic, confusion, and fear.

A man in a Henderson shrit leapt onto the stage amidst the turbulent screams and the gushing water, shedding his volunteer cap to reveal a bald head with the Three Horns of Odin tattooed above his left eye. A hard look on his face, he opened a book, and began to read:

“Blessed be the children, for they shall receive the judgement of heaven.”


Each of the crosses lit up a radiant gold and rose into the air, suspended by an unseen force. A ring of light shot through the halls, ensnaring the entire arena in an ethereal enclosure. Ellroy cheered, basking in the glow and the sounds of muffled chaos. Justin looked away, slightly disconcerted. Another of their companions picked up the crowbar and used it to pry open a second cardboard box. Reaching in, he withdrew a six-pack of beers.

Rather than crack open a cold one with his occult boys, Levi took the initiative. Recalling the speed and swiftness of the ritual at the church, and remembering the note he’d discovered in Darkwood, he used the cult’s crucial moment of distraction to step forward and grab the cross. Levi tugged at the crucifix, intending to snatch it out of the air and abscond, but it held fast - affixed to this spot by whatever unnatural force propelled the grisly ritual within its boundary line.

He tugged at it again; It would not budge. Levi turned around to see everyone looking at him, dead silent. Ellroy growled, “What the fuck are you doing?”

Levi: “Well, it was worth a shot.”

Seizing the moment of surprise and realization, Levi settled on the only remaining course of action - he reared back his fist and punched the cross right at its center.


Inside the gym, the atmosphere grew stale and acrid, the ground shook beneath them, and the speaker’s chants reverberated above the screams of the crowd.

“Blessed be the father, for he shall save us from our destitution.”

With each of the cantor’s words, the dizziness and chaos intensified. The air itself started vibrating, the water from the sprinklers stung like the bites from a thousand flies, and Raya felt the room spin around her. She made a Stamina + Composure roll to avoid vomiting; thankfully, she passed, holding it together and keeping her focus. Broadly, the crowd was less lucky: A grisly smell began to waft through the air as dozens retched, emptying the contents of their stomach on the hard gymnasium floor.

Raya rolled Wits + Composure - succeeding, she noticed the floor begin to ripple, the tiles reverberating like a pond recently disturbed. People fell over, trampling each other as they stumbled towards the exits, only to find those exits barred. She quickly sought the high ground, desperate to avoid getting overwhelmed by a crazed stampeding crowd. With a Dexterity + Athletics check, she leapt onto one of the tables Fedaykin and Spoon had arranged, and from there clambered up onto the bleachers.

Steadying herself, Raya surveyed the scene. This new vantage point gave her a clear view of the crowd, and the scene was one of horror. Volunteers, guests, mothers, fathers, children were lying on the vomit-covered floor, clutching each other, terror etched across their faces, unable to comprehend what was going on. Worse, the tile had acquired the consistency of a soft putty - clinging like slime to their clothes, sucking them down and holding them fast.

And from the deep, they rose: Ethereal hands, sifting through the floor, clutching at the scattered townspeople and attempting to drag the into the depths.

Levi: “Oh shit, everyone’s getting Jumanji’d!”


Relmitos and Fedaykin took one look at the cheering Sons of Odin and their growing cross, and bravely sprung into action.

Relmitos threw himself at the teenager, aiming for a quick knockout. Fedaykin, meanwhile, went straight for the heavy brute armed with the bat, striking at his shoulder with a hard kick. Each rolled Strength+Brawl. Relm swiveled his shoulder and struck the younger cultist straight in the back. The teen staggered forward, crying out in pain. Fed kicked off balance, his foot striking weak and off-mark.

The Sons of Odin moved to retaliate, and everyone rolled initiative. The speedy Relmitos came out on top: He attacked again before anyone was able to react, drawing back his elbow and smashing the teen hard in the chest. Relm crit. With the force of his blow, the assailant was sent sprawling toward the closed gym door, bumping his head against the wall and falling to the ground, unconscious.  

Fedaykin was slower to recover, and the other two cultists pounced: The brute swung his bat at full force, achieving 5 successes of his own on Strength + Weaponry to crack Fedaykin hard across the shoulder. As the Austrian reeled from the blow, their third opponent lunged forward, swinging his fist at Fedaykin’s jaw - but he missed, swinging wide, granting Fed an opportunity. This time, spending willpower, he succeeded: He whirled around, turning the momentum from his stagger into a roundhouse kick, smashing the thug in his right side with the heel of his foot.


Seeing no other option, Levi released the cross, pulled back his fist, and punched it square in the center. The glowing lights flickered, as if briefly disrupted, and a slight wind blew out from the point of impact.

Ellroy’s gang immediately got to their feet - two smashing empty beer bottles, the others raising their fists in shouts of protest - and rounded on Levi. However, with the luck of a Relmitos, Levi came up first in the initiative order: In an all-or-nothing move, he abandoned his defense to lash out at the glowing artifact - rolling Strength+Brawl twice to quickly strike with a pair of blows. His left fist dented the cross, splintering the wood and creating a small crack in the center. His right split the wood in two.

The cross splintered and disintegrated in a flash; the beam of light seemed to pulse and waver, and the entire room shook at its foundations. But the circle held strong.

There was a moment of shock - Justin stared at Levi in disbelief, Ellroy in a deep fury - and then five angry thugs leapt forward, shouting and swearing. Levi bolted back toward the lobby, burning his last willpower to book it out of there. His opponents weren't quite so quick: Levi slipped through their grasp, but they set off in a furious pursuit, their shouts and footsteps ringing out through the hall.


"Blessed be the chosen, for they are destined to inherit the Earth"

Water poured from the ceiling. The fire alarm continued to blare, deafening and shrill. Raya looked on in horror as hands rose from the floor, sifting through the crowd, grasping at the helpless and the incapacitated. Two volunteers sank slowly into the tiles, clutching desperately to the legs of one of the few tables left standing. A young daughter was buried up to her shoulder, crying in fear, clinging to her mother’s arm - even as hands grasped at her mother’s legs, her stomach, her hair, violently pulling her below.

Not content to stand and watch, Raya rolled Wits+Investigation to find anything useful - and succeeded. On the other side of the treacherous gym, across the rippling floor and the rising sea of hands, Raya spotted Roland Towson and Charles Bartlett, climbing the opposing bleachers toward a higher vantage point and a position of relative safety. Immediately Raya rolled Dexterity+Athletics, leaping onto the table below and attempting to parkour across the gym, dodging demonic hands and staggering townspeople in the world’s most disturbing game of “The Floor is Lava”.

Halfway across, Raya shouted Roland’s name over the screams, the cries, and the incessant ring of the alarm. As he reached the top of the bleachers, staring toward the stage, he heard her shout, and swiveled towards her. His eyes, alight with a fierceness she’d never seen before, widened, and he shouted: “What the hell are you doing? Get to high ground!”

As if on cue, the table wobbled beneath her, Raya caught a glimpse of several hands rising to meet her, and instantly she realized she’d made a terrible mistake. She made another athletics roll to desperately leap back to safety, but failed: As she jumped onto the table near the bleachers, it collapsed beneath her weight, spilling her out onto the floor. She landed on hands and knees - immediately the tile stuck to her clothes, and ethereal hands grasped at her ankles to hold her down.

There was a dim flash of light - as Levi shattered the first cross - and the hands retreated. For a moment, the air became still, and the burning of the water diminished. The effect was brief, but it was enough: Raya seized her opportunity with a Strength check, burning willpower. Succeeding, she broke free, and followed up with another athletics roll to clamber onto the bleachers and away from the hands’ reach.


Back outside, Levi was on the run, with Ellroy’s group hot on his tail. As he rounded into the lobby, he made a second Dexterity+Athletics check to continue his flight - and managed 4 successes, sprinting into the next corridor just as the gang rounded the corner behind him.

Ahead, Fedaykin and Relmitos were locked in a brawl. Recovering from the brute’s attack, the Austrian smashed the heel of his right foot into his opponent’s side. The skinhead swore, dropping his bat and clutching at his abdomen, and Relm rounded on him in a heartbeat, aiming a punch square at his chest. Relm failed his Strength+Brawl check, lashing out with feeble form and scant force. Angry, the brute retaliated, catching Relmitos in the shoulder with a meaty left hook.

Fedaykin was quick to reply: He reared back and kicked the man straight in the chest, sending him staggering again. Another punch from Relmitos did the trick: He clocked the thug in the jaw, and the burly man fell backwards to the ground, out cold.

While the party members were preoccupied with the big guy, his companion had grabbed the baseball bat, and came up behind Fed, ready to clobber some heads. At this moment, however, Levi rounded the corner, immediately spotting the impending ambush. He ran up and attacked from behind with a leaping punch. With 5 successes on his Strength+Brawl check - adding to the party’s remarkable number of critical hits for the day - Levi smashed the cultist in the back of his head. He too crumpled, down for the count.

Levi, Relm, and Fed now stood surrounded by six unconscious bodies, collecting themselves, panting and rubbing their respective injuries. Suspended against the interior wall, the cross glowed resolute. All they could hear were the sounds of horror echoing through the halls, and the sound of angry shouts and footsteps, rapidly approaching.


Spoon at last reached the stage, leaping onto the raised podium. For a moment, in the relative safety of the high ground, he looked behind him, and the situation appeared grim: Chairs had sunk most of the way into the floor; people were buried to their stomach, their chest, their neck. Hands dragged down women and children, farmers and businessmen - indiscriminate and unforgiving.

“Blessed be our kin, forever humbled with the mantle of God."

About ten feet ahead, the skinhead continued to read, slow and deliberate in his words. Spoon attempted to identify what had happened to Roland and the Senator with Wits+Occult but couldn’t make out how they’d disappeared. Surveying the scene, Spoon again felt a dizzying effect, and was forced to avoid vomiting for a second time with Stamina+Composure. As he succeeded and kept his wits together, his common sense triggered, and he pieced everything together: While the chant was triggering the ritual, the sprinklers and the water were the source of this incapacitating dizziness. If he could break them, maybe they could fight back.  

Spoon rushed backstage. Scanning the area with a Wits+Investigation roll, he quickly noticed two things: A large pipe that fed to the sprinklers overhead, and an axe in a breakable emergency case. Dashing over to a pile of audio equipment, he picked up a nearby mic stand and swung it hard at the glass with Strength+Weaponry. Still overcome by dizziness, he barely succeeded: Abrams smashed the glass with the mic stand's firm base, cracking it open. Another strike shattered it to bits.

Spoon reached into the case, grabbed the hatchet, and rounded on the water pipe. He swung once, but lost his balance: The hatchet blade glanced harmlessly off the iron pipe, and Spoon reeled, desperately collecting himself. Spoon swung again, spending willpower this time, and his aim was true.

In the hallways outside, Levi yelled for everyone to smash the cross, as Relmitos glanced nervously down the corridor, toward the sound of Ellroy’s approaching thugs. Fedaykin and Levi stepped forward, each taking a swing at the magically-suspended artifact. With each blow, the circle pulsed with light, and the crucifix began to splinter. Relmitos’ turn rolled around in the initiative order, and he stepped forward, giving the heavily damaged artifact an arrogant flick.

As Spoon’s hatchet cleaved a massive dent in the side of the water pipe, and as Ellroy’s thugs rounded the corner to face Fedaykin and Levi, Relmitos touched the glowing cross, and shattered it like glass.

Spoon's axe caved in the side of the pipe, spraying water all over Abrams and the backstage area.  Raya looked on as the sprinklers stopped, and the air in the gym began to clear. Another pulse of light reverberated through the area; the hands pulled away from the villagers, who began to slowly extricate themselves from the vomit-and-blood stained floor. For a moment, the screams stopped, and all that could be heard amidst the relative calm was the continued wailing of the fire alarm.

And then the cantor spoke: "Blessed be the sinner, and may his sins be forgotten, or may he be purged in the light of the Lord."

Emboldened by his words, the ethereal hands returned, tugging and pulling at the townspeople, who began to scream in earnest as their fleeting hope was crushed.  Spoon rushed out from backstage, ready to swing his axe at the skinhead at the podium, or to tackle him to the ground...

A gunshot rang out. The skinhead's body collapsed to the floor, blood spilling from a hole in his head. Spoon and Raya both turned to see Roland across the gym, standing on the bleachers, fire in his eyes. A golden pistol was smoking in his hand.

The shaking stopped; the hands dissolved into dust. At last, it was over.

The doors blew open, as the villagers who had managed to survive this long staggered out, crying and shaking. They were few - and they were lucky. As the ritual dissipated, the floor gradually hardened, and with one final ripple, returned to its natural, solid state. Dozens of villagers who were still trapped halfway through were instantly bifurcated; the tile was painted a gruesome red.

Both Spoon and Raya rolled Composure+Resolve at a serious penalty to keep it together amidst the horrific scene; remarkably, both succeeded. The room was again filled with despairing wails and cries of anguish, and rife with the smell of blood and bile, but it was over. They were safe.  

Outside the gym, Ellroy and his thugs rounded the corner of the hall, coming face to face with Levi, Relmitos, and Fedaykin. Counting their odds, rubbing their injuries, the party prepared to make a stand - Levi reaching for his concealed weapon, ready to open fire - when the door to the gym burst open, and injured villagers began to stagger out. Briefly distracted, Ellroy's eyes traced over the survivors, registering shock and disbelief at the ritual's failure, before coming to rest back on Leviwulf.  

Rage at Levi's betrayal etched on every corner of his face, Ellroy stepped forward - and five more gunshots rang out, expertly catching each of the Sons of Odin in the shoulders, the legs, the arms. The survivors of the massacre screamed, ducked, and scattered. The party members looked around in shock.

Each of the thugs fell to the ground, grasping at their wounds. From the corridor behind them, Roland stepped forth, golden gun at his side, Raya and Spoon at his heels.

"Let's go. I need to get you out of here before Valkyrie arrives."

Last edited by Quaetam on Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:48 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Rocks fall, everyone dies - Page 36 Empty Re: Rocks fall, everyone dies

Post  Raya on Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:07 pm

I loved this writeup Smile It's really interesting to be on the other side of it for a change! Some comments:

Firstly this session was hilarious with Relm, since he seemed to get either critical successes or nothing at all Razz He can Mission Impossible through a gate, but can he hang up a poster? Nooo....

Quaetam wrote:Everyone packed their bags, loaded up the Yankmobile, and gave a brief but earnest goodbye to the others before setting off, blasting their star-spangled horn on the way out.

Just so you know, I'm dying of embarrassment everytime we enter somewhere in the Yankmobile.

Quaetam wrote:Fed: “People like your mother?”

Dammit Fed, I was in the game for all of 10 minutes before you nearly get me killed!

Quaetam wrote: Nonetheless, Raya agreed to let Levi do his thing - but she gave him a warning: If he got in any trouble, she’d go full War of 1812 on the Yankmobile and paint it with the Union Jack.  As Raya backed off, the others relented and followed suit.

Specifically, if he died I was going to turn the Yankmobile into the Limeymobile. It was an attempt to motivate him to stay alive Razz

Quaetam wrote:
Relmitos picked up two heavy dumbbells, approached the thugs with a final stealth roll, and swung hard with both weights in a sneak attack. His Strength + Weaponry roll, aided by his Dual Wielding proficiency, yielded a whopping six successes: He smashed both of the thugs square in the back, sending them - and Nazi Kid - splashing into the pool with a surprised yelp.

As a note, I'd gone to get a drink when Levi entered the ritual, and when I rejoined the chat Relm was suddenly beating people over the head with gym equipment. That was confusing to say the least Laughing

Quaetam wrote:Fed made another Wits + Medicine roll, and correctly recalled one method of snapping people into awareness if they’re in shock, passed out, or fainted. Reaching forward, he gingerly leaned over the patient’s chest, raised a hand, and slapped the man hard across the face.  

Rocks fall, everyone dies - Page 36 Latest?cb=20141107075332

Quaetam wrote:She led the rest of the group to the nearby gym entrance, and handled Fedaykin a metal detector wand, telling him - in my attempt at maintaining her country charm - “Just wave that rod over their fannies and make sure nobody's packin heat.” (GM Note: The party took no expense of laughter at this; I had grabbed a drink of water before introducing this scene, you see, and during that time Raya led a discussion on US / UK cultural differences, one of which was the fact that “fanny” has a more intimate connotation across the pond.)

Again specifically, it's because fanny in British English is a childish word for a vagina, so you just coming out and telling Fed to wave his rod over them just cracked me up. Even more so when you just kept saying it. So immature, I know.

Quaetam wrote:The three rednecks immediately moved in close, and Ron rolled to intimidate Fed, assisted by his buddies.  

Five successes.

The party groaned - until Fed rolled Resolve + Composure to resist.

SIX successes. Fedaykin passed his dissertation in Thugonomics with flying colors.

Hands down the funniest and best roll of the game. We thought we were all screwed when the rednecks got a crit, and then Fed went and rolled himself a crit +1 Laughing

Thanks ever so much for running this and inviting me to play, I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed it!

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Rocks fall, everyone dies - Page 36 Empty Re: Rocks fall, everyone dies

Post  Raya on Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:44 am

TWBB WoD RP: Dude Where’s My Werewolf

Rocks fall, everyone dies - Page 36 Do_the_opposite_of_what_snake_says

I had the idea for this session bouncing around in my head for a while: the players wake up one morning in an odd situation, with no memory of the night before or how they got there. Following the clues, they would have to retrace their steps and work out what exactly happened to them. I bounced this idea off Stu, who immediately pointed out that this was the plot of Dude Where’s My Car. Bugger. When the game started the players immediately pointed out that this was also the plot of The Hangover. Oh well, part of being a GM is never letting a good plot go to waste Razz

With the group split- and me being in charge of Team Seals- this was the first session in a while with a smaller group. It was also the first ‘proper’ session Snake would have. It would be nice to see how he handled it, plus having things stripped back down to basics. One thing I was concerned about was that a lot of the elements of this session featured in Q’s first session: the politician, the angry voters, the investigation etc. Even though we came up with them independently, I was worried that things would be too similar, or even be seen as a rip-off. Thankfully it didn’t, but it did get some laughs from Q when I confessed!

Sadly Req couldn’t be here for this session, but as I was hoping for him to have a role, we NPC’d him for the duration.


Snake woke up to a sore head and a sticky face.

As his consciousness returned, he became aware that he was sitting upright. His head was pounding, his stomach churning and his limbs shaking from nervous exhaustion. In particular, his forehead was agony. Opening his eyes, he realised he was sitting in the driver’s seat of a car. The steering wheel was slick with blood. The windscreen had completely shattered, the view was filled with a tree trunk and a crumpled engine. It looked like Snake had crashed the car at some speed into the tree. The impact had smashed his head into the steering wheel, causing the forehead wound and the blood. He groggily looked round and found that the rest of the party were also in the car, all unconscious.

Oh shit.

He got out the car and passed his Strength roll to remain upright and not throw up. He took in their surroundings: they were in a field, at the far end was a raised embankment on which a freeway ran. It looked like the car had left the road and crashed into a tree.

Snake: How the fuck did I manage to hit the only tree in the field.

The other PCs each rolled Stamina to see if they came round, but only Q and TD did. Snake opened the passenger door to get Q out, and as he grabbed the handle pain shot through him. Checking his hands, he noticed that his palms were raw with friction burns. On the back of his left hand, in his own handwriting, was a message:

Rocks fall, everyone dies - Page 36 20170916_125042

TD meanwhile checked the others, making sure nobody was seriously injured before trying to move them.

TD: [rolls Medicine to examine Sah]
Me: He’s a bit battered, but otherwise seems okay.
Q: Do you mean he’s unhurt, or is this the British battered where he’s nearly dead.

Thankfully, aside from being knocked unconscious, nobody was seriously hurt except for some cuts and bruises…although, mysteriously, Req had a dressing pad on his cheek. TD requested Snake’s help to move everyone to safety, followed by a further clarification of don’t put the bodies into one big pile. As Sah came round, he noticed something odd: clutched tightly in his hands was a dreamcatcher. It was fairly well made, and decorated with feathers and small bones. Where had this come from?

With everyone now conscious, they examined their situation. They were all standing in the middle of a muddy field and, judging by the tyre tracks the car had left the road at high speed, skidding across the field, before Snake lost control and impacted the tree. The car was a complete writeoff. Also, they noted, it wasn’t even their car. They’d never seen this vehicle before in their life.

It was at this point they realised they all shared a big gap in their memories. They remember arriving in a town named Tateburg the day before and checking into a hotel, but after that…nothing. So the PCs had (presumably) stolen a car, driven it out of the nearby town and crashed into a tree. And now they had no recollection of what had caused the situation. Just what the hell had happened in those missing hours?

A search of the car turned up some membership cards, along with a sub card and a Starbucks card (identifying the owner as one ‘A Brown’), and some groceries, which Snake promptly stole.

Me: A French baguette, bag of apples, some cheap white bread rolls…
TD: A baguette AND some bread?!
Me: Dude really likes his carbs.

TD also checked the car to see if any petrol was leaking out. It looked like the fuel tank had split open, and by this point it had all soaked into the ground. It must have been some time since the crash then.

Checking their phones, they discovered that Tateburg was about 3 miles away, and after some debate decided to walk it.

(GM Note: I was wondering if the players would think about checking their phones for evidence of the previous day. They didn’t, but if they had, they would have found three photos: one of some scaffolding, one of someone they then didn’t recognise, and one of Snake attempting to fit an entire footlong hotdog in his mouth).

On the walk (and after some prompting), the party discovered they had various items in their pockets:

- Quaetam had two flyers folded up.
- TD had a receipt from the town record office, with a note in his own handwriting: ‘11am’.
- Req had a pack of matches, the cover of which said ‘Mad Dogz Biker Bar’, and some shards of broken glass.
- Sah had the dreamcatcher he’d been clutching so tightly when he woke up.
- Snake had nothing in his pockets, but was the only one with rope burns and the note on his hand.

Rocks fall, everyone dies - Page 36 Leaflet1
Rocks fall, everyone dies - Page 36 Leaflet2

There was discussion as to what the mysterious message on the back of Snake’s hand meant, and what the two leaflets were about (the date was 28th July, so the protests had happened the day before). Poor rolls gave them no good ideas, so all they were left with was theories and potentially concussion.

Sah: Isn’t it actually 2016?
TD: I think we’re on a rolling timeline.
Me: Also, technically I think it’s supposed to be 2015…

To Q’s alarm, they also realised they were without the Seals, but remembered leaving their behind in the hotel room. They decided to head there to make sure they were safe.

Eventually they got to town, at approximately 10am. As they entered the town square, they saw a large crowd and some kind of commotion kicking off. There were TV cameras, police vehicles, and a lot of angry voices. Approaching, they saw just what was making the crowd so riled.

Lying broken in the town square was a totem pole. It had obviously once stood proudly in the centre, but in the night someone had tied ropes around the top and pulled it down. The impact of hitting the ground had shattered it, and it now lay in multiple pieces. The immediate site had been cordoned off with police tape and the officers were trying to keep the crowds back. Plenty were taking photographs, and it was obvious they were unhappy with what had happened.

As they surveyed the scene, Snake immediately put two and two together regarding the rope and his burns, and shoved his hands into his pockets. I had everyone roll Wits/Composure. Q got zero, in what would soon turn out to be regular occurrence this session (concussion, obviously). For those that passed, they suddenly got a brief flash of memory: they remembered Snake yelling in pain, and darting to the side as something big and heavy smashed down between them. Snake also remembered the sensation of a rope being torn from his hands.

Had…had the party toppled the totem pole like a statue of Saddam Hussain?

TD, Req and Sah went back to the hotel to check on the Seals, whilst Q and Snake investigated the area and made enquiries. Q discovered from a woman the story of the totem pole: it had stood in the square for over 100 years, and was seen as the symbol of the town. The local politician, Max Carter, had arranged for it to be moved closer to the town hall for conservation work. This had angered The Friends, a local group of bikers who often campaigned to save the town’s heritage (but were generally looked on with the suspicion of being thugs). Two protests had happened the day before (the leaflets Q had in his pockets), and although things had been heated, no one knew who could have destroyed the beloved totem pole.

Also spotted in the crowd was a biker with a large dog, studying the crime scene, and a man putting up posters. The biker was ignored (this was actually one of the Friends), and Q went to chat with the poster man. Turns out he was the owner of the car they’d woken up in, and was putting up posters asking for information about his stolen car. When pressed, he revealed that the previous night he’d been chilling in his car, eating a McFlurry, when suddenly a gang on youths fell screaming on his car, yanked him out and drove away with it at high speed. The attack was so suddenly and surprising he didn’t get a good look at them. Q kept a perfectly straight face and thanked him for his time.

He didn’t return any of the cards.

Meanwhile, Snake was causing a scene by calling out Max Carter, demanding to know why he wasn’t there. Funnily enough, Max had been on his way, and pulled up in a car. Getting out he went through the crowds, talking and reassuring people: he seemed like a popular fellow. Q rolled to see if he knew the guy…and got zero. Max was not a big mover-and-shaker, more of a county commissioner.

Snake continued to trash-talk, and now Max had heard him. He refused to rise to Snake’s bait, and after a few curt words made his way to a podium, where he gave a press statement. He was shocked and appalled at the brazen act of vandalism on the town’s totem pole, and promised a full inquiry to catch the perpetrators.

Both Snake and Q though this was too by-the-numbers, and immediate got suspicious. As Max made to leave and get back into his car, Q fought his way through the crowd to speak to him. He asked him why he cared so much about the totem pole, and what he hoped to accomplish from all this. Max skirted the question by saying it was all about the bigger picture. Q pressed again, asking what exactly the bigger picture was. Max shot him a smile and pointed his finger at him like a gun.

“For America, for the future, for YOU.”

This promptly broke Snake who howled with laughter, and Max wound up his window and drove away.

After checking everything was okay in the hotel, Sah and TD decided to head to the town museum, leaving Req behind in the hotel. It was a small place, just a typical town museum telling the story of how the town came to be and how it grew. They looked closer at the Native American side of things; it seemed like Tateburg had had a peaceful existence with the native tribes, who had eventually become absorbed into the town (though it was suspected this may have been sanitised somewhat). They also checked out any prominent local legends/mythology. One was of a time in the distant past when a demon boar terrorised the area, eventually slain and sealed away by a mighty warrior. The warrior then became a star in the sky, specifically Lupus, the wolf constellation. All very interesting.

Since they’d exhausted their investigations at the square, Snake and Q went to the record office. Before the party had split, TD had given them his receipt. He didn’t know what had happened at 11am, but he was wary of showing his face there, so the plan was for the others to go. Their cover story was that TD had lost the documents and had asked them to get some more copies.

The record office was part of the town hall complex, used to conserve and catalogue the town records. They went up to the desk and ran their spiel, only to be told by the lady behind the desk that they’d gotten mixed up: the 11am was the time from which TD’s documents were available for collection. Feeling a bit sheepish, they collected the folder and sat down in the reception area, taking a look at what TD had ordered. There were five separate collections of documents:

- A printed out copy of the Wikipedia page on the constellation of Lupus.
- A page from an astronomy almanac, covered with dense numbers.
- An OS map of the town.
- A collection of newspaper articles about Max Carter.
- A collection of newspaper articles about the Friends biker gang.

They divided the documents between them and rolled to see what they could uncover…and rolled rubbish. So they swapped the documents…and rolled rubbish again. They couldn’t figure out anything with the map or astronomy documents, and all they got from the newspaper articles was that Max was big on local heritage, and at university had majored in Politics, with a minor in American Mythology. He had also set up a folklore society whilst at uni. Having spent the best part of an hour trying and failing to decipher the documents, they gave up and reconvened with the others (sans Req), deciding to take the half hour walk to the Mad Dogz Biker Bar, their next lead.

At this point Snake completely surprised me by pointing out that, according to the Wikipedia article, Lupus was known to the ancient Babylonians as the Mad Dog, and they were going to the Mad Dogz bar. Someone actually read the info I gave them?! Holy moley.

On the way to the bar, Q raised a valid point: why couldn’t they just bail? Whatever had screwed with their heads was obviously powerful, and they suspected they had been manipulated into destroying the totem pole. They could very well be hunted now. Why not just grab the Seals and leave?

Well, they could have done, but it would have resulted in a very derailed and short session. One of the big plot points was that the two rival groups had no idea the party were carrying the dreamcatcher, so if the party skipped town, there was technically no way they would know about it. There was only one way the session could have feasibly gone after that (spoiler tag because it spoils the reveal of the biker’s secret):

The uratha could have used a spirit to track down the players, and then the pack would go after them. Depending on what the players were doing, the uratha would have either attacked them in a motel, or laid a trap on the road for them. Unfortunately for the players, either of these would have likely resulted in serious or even fatal injury due to how powerful the uratha are (and their holy commandment of not leaving witnesses). Also, they would have missed out on gaining Max as an ally. It would have been, uh, interesting to have to improvise this hunt, but it was less preferable to the actual plot I had planned.

After some debate, the players settled on getting closure/revenge, so carried on with the game. Phew.

Seeing as they’d had no luck, Snake and Q handed the documents to TD and Sah to peruse.  Who promptly rolled decently to decode them (not that it was difficult to roll less Razz). The astronomy page still eluded them, but TD noticed that the OS map was divided in a grid sections, and that perhaps the box D3 corresponded to the message on Snake’s hand…and lo and behold, D3 on the map was the part by the town hall where the totem pole was supposed to be moved to. With the newspaper articles, Sah further found that Max had often campaigned to preserve local heritage and folklore, and a bit about his family history- his father had been a businessman, his grandfather a tradesman, and his great-grandfather an author who emigrated from the east coast (the article selling it as a family rising from rags to power due to hard work and graft). The articles on the Friends portrayed them as an unruly biker gang that were passionate about the area and fought hard against anything that threatened to change it, such as a new bypass. It was rumoured they were also involved with some acts of sabotage and eco-terrorism, but nothing had ever been proven. They were also known for keeping packs of large, ferocious dogs, much like the one they’d seen at the town square.

They wanted to continue to roll to try and decipher the astronomy page, but as time had passed and they were approaching the bar, they put it away to check out this new location.

The Mad Dogz biker bar was one of the last buildings on the way out of town. It stood separated from the nearby boarded up buildings by an alley with a chain link fence. It was not an attractive place, with an overgrown gravel car park and plastic lawn chairs outside. But the handwritten signs and the numerous numberplates from all over the States nailed to the walls showed that it certainly had a passionate clientele and a dedicated staff.

As they approached, they noticed a man-presumably the landlord- sweeping up shards of broken glass from the outside. The big front window of the bar had been completely shattered. An Intelligence/Science roll lead them to notice that the shards of glass were on the outside, meaning that something on the inside had been thrown outwards. As they went forward the landlord spotted Snake and started swearing at him, asking why he’d come back after the bar fight last night and where his friend was. Snake was completely bewildered, but TD leant in to Q and whispered what they’d both figured out: Req had a dressing on his face, so it was highly likely that he had been the one thrown through the window.

Snake tried to pass off his ignorance of the night’s events, saying that he too was trying to track down the mysterious trenchcoated man, since the guy had ~obviously~ slipped a roofie in his drink or something. The landlord was unconvinced, but Q stepped in to collaborate his story. After placating the landlord, Q offered to help him sweep up as the others went inside.

It was a fairly dingy place, with a bar on one side and tables on the other. The damage from the bar fight had been cleared up inside at least. Two groups of bikers were sitting at different tables (it was quiet this time in the day). Three doors were towards the back of the room: the toilets, the manager’s office, and the back door. Snake rolled Wits/Composure, and suddenly had a flashback: he remembered sitting at the bar, when suddenly Req and a huge dark shape hurtled past him, accompanied by shattering glass and a sensation of fear. Perturbed, he ordered a drink and began talking to the barman.

Outside, Q casually pressed the landlord for information. He asked about the rising tensions between Max and the Friends, and if they’d been any incidents like this bar fight before. He learnt that the Friends had a lodge just outside of town, and that although they were suspected of being behind some incidents, they generally kept out of trouble. He thought this whole totem pole moving incident was ridiculously overblown, but it was still a terrible thing for someone to destroy it like they had.

Sah meanwhile decided to socialise with one of the biker groups, rolled very well and made himself some new friends. Snake fished for information from the barman about what had happened at the bar fight. Showing that he’s a master of subterfuge, he specifically asked about “the five guys who robbed the place and knocked over the totem pole”, before realising what he’d said and hastily adding “Oh, and there’s only four of us in our group, by the way.” What a save!

The barman revealed that the fight had happened in the evening, and that Req had gone out the back door behind the bar. A few minutes later he came hurtling back in, pursued by what the barman thought might have been a big dog, the two crashing through the window. Snake ordered another stiff drink.

TD meanwhile decided to ask the other group of bikers (who were Native American), about what they knew about local Native American myths, pretending he was researching folklore. The bikers quite rightly pointed out it was pretty racist to assume they knew stuff like that. These guys were not nearly as friendly as the ones Sah had been bonding with, and TD frantically tried to play up his ‘clueless white and nerdy’ persona to deflect the upcoming asskicking.  He actually managed to beat them in the opposed roll, and the bikers calmed down sufficiently enough to answer a few questions. They expanded on the story of the mighty warrior who slew the giant boar and became the star of Lupus. As the bikers were getting restless TD decided not to push his luck and thanked them for their time.

GM note: Sah was actually in quite a bit of danger here, if he had chosen to speak to this group of bikers. The Friends wanted the dreamcatcher, and if he had revealed to them he had it, they would be gunning for him. Although they wouldn’t have made a scene in the bar, they would have mugged the group on the way back into town. And roughed them up for good measure, warning them to get the hell of out of Tateburg. Would the party have listened and fled, or would it have encouraged them to delve deeper?

After finishing sweeping Q entered the bar, and noticed some security cameras. Had they picked up what had happened the previous night? He persuaded the landlord to let him take a look, and began to search through the archaic machinery. Meanwhile, the others investigated the back of the bar.

The door lead out to an alley behind the bar, a chain link fence separating it from the outside world. It was filled with bins and cigarette butts, obviously used as a smoking spot. They investigated for clues, and noticed both human and dog prints in the dirt. The dog prints were above and below the human ones, indicating that the dog had likely been there at the same time as the humans, or at least wasn’t the last being there.

Q meanwhile had discovered something odd in the footage: he had seen Req and Snake enter the bar, and Req go outside. Suddenly the door flew open, Req re-entered, and almost immediately afterwards the footage went fuzzy and broken. When it snapped back a few seconds later, the bar was in disarray, and Snake was leaping to his feet and chasing after Req. He tried to pinpoint the exact moment before the footage fizzled out, and with a successful Computer roll managed it. Right as Req came crashing back into the bar, a large dark shape followed him, leaping and clearly attacking him. He froze the frame, and there, he could see it: it was a huge, ferocious canine.

Q called Snake in to take a look, and the Texan’s jocular demeanour instantly vanished as with a Wits/Composure he recognised the beast. All colour drained from his face as he was struck by a feeling of sheer terror, remembering that he had seen this monster attacking Req. This didn’t go unnoticed by Q, who asked if he was alright. Snake loudly stated- enough for the landlord to hear- that they needed to talk to Req about what happened. Realising that Snake had just put his foot in it, Q quickly dived in to cover his ass- “Requiem? Was that the guy who drugged you? That’s kinda a weird name.” Thankfully Q managed to bluff it and stop Snake from blowing his own cover story. Satisfied they’d exhausted what information they could gather, they decided to head back to town.

As they left the bar with more pieces of the puzzle, the players speculated that perhaps nothing had actually happened in the night, and that they were all jumping to massive conclusions.

Me: Yeah, there’s nothing suspicious at all going on this session, you’re all just suffering from brain injuries. That’ll teach you to complain that bad things happen every time you go somewhere new.

On the walk back to town they examined the documents again…and finally managed to crack the astronomy page! It was a list of dates and times, saying when and where certain stars would rise above the horizon. They cross-referenced Lupus…and lo and behold, it would rise today at 22:32, the time written on Snake’s hand!

It was all starting to add up now.

Back in town, the party made a detour to check out the town square again and the grid reference on the map. The crowds had dispersed from the totem pole, although the site was still cordoned off with police tape. As they took a closer look, they noticed something unusual. The totem pole had been smashed to bits by the impact, and the top section had broken in half.  Inside was a hollow cavity in the otherwise solid tree trunk. Next came the obvious query and answer: yes, the cavity was big enough for the dreamcatcher to have been hidden inside. So the party had wrecked the totem pole to get at the dreamcatcher- but why? And why had it been hidden there?

Next was the grid reference, the spot by the town hall where the totem pole was supposed to have been moved to. The area where it was due to be erected was covered on three sides by scaffolding three stories high. One side was open to allow the totem pole to be raised. The players queried if they could see the horizon from here: no dice, the surrounding buildings were blocking the view. From the top of the scaffolding though? Certainly. It looked like in order to see Lupus rise, they’d have to be on top of the scaffolding.

GM Note: For some reason when planning the session I had the image of the finale taking place on some scaffolding. I wanted the PCs to be elevated above the NPCs for dramatic effect, and scaffolding fitted the bill. Things were mainly worked out retrospectively from that image.

Returning to the hotel room, the players planned on their next course of action. TD checked Req’s facial dressing, and confirmed what he’s suspected at the bar: Req’s cheek injury was a long clean cut, such as from a shard of glass, meaning he did indeed get thrown through the window.

As they still had some time, the players debated on whether or not to check out the bikers’ lodge, eventually deciding against it as the schedule was tight, and if something bad happened they would miss the 22:32 appointment at the square. There was nothing critical at the lodge, so they didn’t miss out on anything vital by skipping it, apart from further details about the Friends. If they had visited it, they would have found a rundown shack off the road running out of the town, shielded by woodland, and described as “the sort of place where the residents would tell you that you have a right purdy mouth, boy.” The lodge was empty, so obviously the players would break in and take a look around. Depending on how they rolled, the players could have found the following:
- Lots of Native American paraphernalia, such as pipes, decorated animal skulls and dreamcatchers.
- No kennels or dog-related equipment, which was odd, for saying the Friends were strongly associated with breeding and keeping large dogs.
- A calendar with today’s date circled, and labelled ’22:32’.
- A wall of newspaper clippings, listing odd happenings in the area, missing people, sightings of ‘the Tatesburg Beast’, and a lot of stuff on Max Carter.

The bikers would have returned at some point, so the players would have had to figure out how to escape without being shot for trespassing/being asked to squeal like a pig.

Since there was some time to pass before 22:32, they elected to get some rest. Q expressed concern about going to sleep with suspect concussion, but I explained that that’s a myth: sleep is the best treatment for concussion, and it’s brain injuries you shouldn’t sleep on (it’s hard for most people to tell them apart though, hence the idea you shouldn’t sleep with concussion). This lead to TD jumping in and giving everyone a PSA on the signs and symptoms of brain injuries, and what you can do about it. Followed by looking directly into the camera and telling us that knowing is half the battle. Fantastic.

Eventually evening rolled around and the players headed out towards the town hall, taking Req with them. They scoped the place out, but nobody was around, and the scaffolding looked unguarded. So they planned their setup: Sah would take the dreamcatcher to the top floor of the scaffolding, TD and Snake would (respectively) be on the lower levels, and Q and Req would lurk in the bushes (Req armed with the Spooky Satan Shotgun) keeping an eye out for trouble.

At this point I realised that they had agreed to send the guy with a fear of heights 20ft up a set of scaffolding. Sah rolled Composure/Resolve and did well, so although he was scared he held it together and reached the top.

Standing on top of the scaffolding enabled Sah to see over the nearby building and to the horizon. It was a few minutes to go until Lupus rose, so he took hold of the dreamcatcher and waited. What exactly would happen when the star rose? Would he channel the spirit of this mighty warrior? Would he devolve into a mindless beast? Or would be become some sort of wolf!paladin? Speculations were rife, but they wouldn’t have long to wait.

Everyone on lookout duty rolled to see if they noticed anything. Q was oblivious, but Req had spotted something and hissed to get his attention: coming down the street towards them from the east was a man, collar pulled high and walking with urgent purpose- Max Carter! TD and Snake meanwhile spotted a group of three people and two large dogs heading their way from the west- the Friends biker gang!

Q hadn’t seen the gang, so moved to intercept Max. Max was startled to see him, and attempted to politely escape and be on his way. Q was having none of it, insisting that Max gave him answers. Max dodged giving a direct answer, just saying that it was bad things. Q refused to be accept such vague bullshit, and demanded to know they could do to help. He saw Max glance at something behind him, a look of fear crossed his face, and the politician hissed at him.

“If you want to help you need to leave, NOW!”

Max pushed past him and hurried to the scaffolding, and now everybody was aware of all three parties assembled in a Mexican standoff.

TD rolled Animal Ken, and realised that the two dogs the bikers had were ridiculously large, almost like dire wolves. It dawned on him that they may be wolfdogs- dogs deliberately bred with wild wolves to make them more ferocious/edgy, which raised a lot of questions about the Friends and their stability.

Both Max and the Friends were horrified/outraged at seeing each other there, and that Sah was holding the dreamcatcher. They both demanded and pleaded with him to give the artefact to them. Sah asked why he should, and they both gave conflicting answers: the Friends said that it was dangerous and they needed to keep it sealed to protect the town; Max said that the Friends were monsters, and that they planned to use it as a weapon.

This was intended to be a big important crossroads for the campaign: who the party sided with would have massive consequences for the game to come. Now, even though the players were presented with two options, I suspected they may take the third option (breaking the dreamcatcher). Instead, Sah took option #4.

Hugging it to his chest, stepping backwards and declaring he was going to keep it himself.

Every single person present stood stunned for a brief second, and then Max and the gang started sprinting towards the scaffolding, racing to be the first to get the artefact.

Roll initiative!

Sah rolled highest and elected to hold his action to see what unfolded. As Lupus had now risen behind him, he asked if anything was happening with the dreamcatcher: I replied that it felt warm to the touch and was thrumming weakly with some kind of power. Not much, but there was definitely something there.

Q- going at the same time as Max- demanded some answers from him…and got loads of successes! As he ran, Max yelled out that the dreamcatcher was imprisoning a powerful monster, and that the gang would use it to destroy the town. Q rolled to sense motive, and suspected that Max was actually telling the truth.

The gang (wolfdogs included) sprinted forward, the wolfdogs easily leaping onto the first floor of the scaffolding…right in front of Snake. For a guy with a phobia of dogs, having two very large and ferocious beasts appear right in front of him was extremely disconcerting. Not having the time to craft and throw a Molotov cocktail (though having the wolfdogs/scaffolding be on fire would have probably made the situation worse), he elected to parkour off the scaffolding onto the lawn below. And failed, landing flat on his face, but as it was only a short drop the only real injury was to his pride.

Sah then interjected, declaring how he was going to spend his action.

“I yell ‘CATCH!’ and throw the dreamcatcher to Q.”

Sah threw the dreamcatcher like a frisbee, but didn’t roll well so it was a bit off target, still in the air (if he’d rolled well it would have landed directly into Q’s hands, which from the GM’s view would have been hilarious, as both Max, the bikers and the wolfdogs would have dogpiled him). The bikers, Max and wolfdogs changed course to try and intercept the Frisbee, as Q made to catch it.

We then realised that it was Req’s turn.

Everyone debated whether or not he would skeet shoot the dreamcatcher out the air; it certainly wouldn’t be a difficult shot for a farm boy. On one hand, he wouldn’t because he wouldn’t trust a politician…but on the other, the biker gang had beat him up in the bar. Since Req would have visited the bar had the player been there, I let them make two memory rolls for him: one when they investigated the alley, one when they saw the gang at the scaffolding site. Both were passed, so Req had two flashes of memory: in the alley, someone hissing “Hithimu!” at him, and at the scaffolding, recognising one of the bikers as the man who attacked him.

So Req yelled “Fuck you guys!”, stood up and blasted the dreamcatcher out the air.

The dreamcatcher practically disintegrated, pieces of wood and bone showering down. A thick pale smoke bubbled outwards, congealing into the shape of an enormous boar-creature. Eyes and tendrils and vegetation covered its gigantic form, and with a scream it threw itself at the biker gang: and in an instant, they all vanished from sight. Silence reigned at the scaffolding site.

The players rounded on Max, demanding to know what had happened and what he knew about this. Max was reluctant, but rolls from Q and the fact he couldn’t pass off what had transpired as swamp gas made him relent.

“This may be hard for you to accept, but the world as you know it is not what it seems. There are dark forces at work, supernatural forces that operate a shadow war beyond the notice of mankind.”

TD: You mean like this is a WORLD of DARKNESS?!

The players gave Max a ‘are you fucking kidding me’ look. Sah helpfully called down “I’m a werewolf!”

Max revealed that he had been telling the truth about the dreamcatcher: the bikers had sealed the spirit inside it, and by letting it go, the enraged spirit had turned on its captors, freeing the town from their predations. The party asked what the bikers’ deal was.

“They’re monsters, pure and simple, masquerading as humans. In their own debased tongue, they call themselves uratha.”

The players’ reaction:

Rocks fall, everyone dies - Page 36 Giphy

GM note: I was a bit concerned that Sah would figure out the bikers were uratha long before the reveal, but asking him afterwards, he admitted he had been surprised as all the others. Yay.

Sharing their tale of memory loss, Max correctly deduced the reason for their amnesia: lunacy. In WoD, seeing an uratha inflicts lunacy on the viewer. The human mind cannot comprehend the sight of such an unnatural predator, and will try to rationalise it away, or alternatively block it out completely. This is what had happened to the party: they had encountered the uratha pack and got smacked with lunacy so hard it had forcibly erased most of their memories of the day.

The two parties realised that they could be of use to each other in this shadow war, and, although the others wanted to interrogate Max, he pointed out that he should leave; a fairly popular politician such as himself couldn’t be seen hanging round building sites with a bunch of strangers. But he gave them his card, and bade them to join him for a private meeting later.

And so, the game ended with the players gaining a brand new ally. What can they learn from him? We shall see next session…


So, GM review? I really enjoyed this session, and I think it went a lot better than the past few ones. The party do sometimes still struggle with investigation games, but they handled things a lot better than they had in New Orleans. All in all, I had a lot of fun, and it was great watching everyone slowly piece together the clues.

Also, as a note: the town was called Tateburg, ‘tate’ being a native American word for ‘wolf’. Because I enjoy putting my clues in plain sight Razz

The full explanation of what happened on their missing day:

The players had arrived in Tateburg and decided to see what the rallies were about. They became suspicious of what was going on about the totem pole, and did some investigations. TD, Sah and Q went to the record office for research, and ordered the documents with the information they needed. They concluded that the totem pole was hiding some kind of secret the two parties were warring over. When they shared the information, Snake wrote the shorthand details on his hand so they wouldn’t forget.

Req and Snake went to the bar to find out about the Friends. Unfortunately for Req, one of them was already there. Remember when Req became possessed by spirits back in the bunker? That sort of thing leaves a mark, and the uratha could smell it on him. When Req went out back he was followed, and the uratha called him a hithimu (the uratha word for a spirit-ridden person). Since uratha are spirit hunters obsessed with keeping their artificial balance, the uratha shifted into his dire wolf form and attacked Req. Req managed to get back into the bar, the uratha crashing after him, the two hurtling through the window. Everyone in the bar saw the dire wolf, but lunacy rationalised it as ‘a big dog’. Realising there were too many witnesses, the uratha fled. Req and Snake did too, not wanting to face any questions. The glass had cut open Req’s cheek, which was why it was bandaged.

Realising they had to uncover what was going on with the totem pole, the party snuck up in the middle of the night with ropes, intending to push it over and lower it to the ground. Unfortunately Snake lost his grip on the rope (causing the burns on his hands) and the totem toppled, smashing apart as it hit the ground. This did uncover the dreamcatcher though, which Sah picked up.

Unfortunately this disturbance of their sacred site had alerted the uratha pack, who were so angered they transformed in front of the party. This triggered a massive bout of lunacy that sent the entire party screaming in fear. In their flight they encountered Mr Brown chilling in his car, and in sheer blind panic tore him from his vehicle, jumped inside and sped off into the night. Due to the incoherent terror and high speeds, Snake lost control of the car as they fled the town, causing it to leave the road and smash into the tree in the field. The impact knocked everybody unconscious…which is how the party ended up at the start of the session.

The insanely high level of lunacy, combined with the car crash, was what had blotted out most of their memories from the day before. The Wits/Composure rolls as certain people encountered a familiar location or object was to see if it triggered one of the repressed memories.

Also, list of times Q managed to score zero success on his rolls:

> Waking up

> Persuading that person in the crowd

> Remembering what happened in the square

> Politics roll on Max Carter (to figure out what he's after and what his motives might be)

> Occult roll on Friends (to figure out what they're guarding and what the implications of their connection to Mad Dog are)

> Science roll on Astronomy (to find a connection between the map and the markings on Snake's hands)

> Looking at the map (to find other historical sites)

> Intelligence + Science to recognize broken window

> INT + COMP for third time to doublecheck footage

HG/SS Friends Code: 2364 8721 9695   B/W Friends Code: 2193 7770 9554   X/Y Friends Code:1805-2682-3033
"Foxes never lose their tricks, do they?" - Quaetman
"We'll be going about our business one day and then someone will be like "hm, where's Barda" and Raya will all suspiciously be like "WELL DON'T LOOK AT ME"..." - Rocket Admin Camilla
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Rocks fall, everyone dies - Page 36 Empty Re: Rocks fall, everyone dies

Post  Raya on Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:54 am

Five Nights At Jesusland AKA Don’t Bother Making GM Plans Because The Players Will Wreck The Plot Anyway

This session was another one that went through multiple incarnations. I’d always liked the idea of the players exploring a spooky abandoned theme park, and the original plan was them playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse with the cult. This later expanded into a three-way battle between the PCs, the cult, and a group of hunters. The problem was that I couldn’t come up with a convincing argument as to why the players couldn’t just leave the park. So the concept got shelved for a while. When the players chose to ally with Max, I finally had an excuse to trap the players in the park. The cult and hunter factions got scrapped, and instead we got…well, you’ll see. I honestly don’t know where that idea came from, but I thought it was cool, so it stayed Razz


After taking a few days to recover from the events of Tateburg, the players took up Max Carter’s invitation for a meeting, arriving at his house in the early evening. Max lived on the outskirts of the town; not exactly rural, but far enough away to not have close neighbours. His property was guarded by a rough boundary of conifers to keep prying eyes away, and an automated gate let their car through. The short journey up the gravel driveway revealed plain grounds with a few flower beds, and finally Max’s house. It wasn’t exactly grand, but certainly nicer than the average house. It looked around a century old, with a pleasantly weathered look.

Q rolled well and noticed that the house had quite a decent security system setup, such as cameras hidden out of sight from would-be thieves. Although this did arouse suspicion, they concluded that Max was a politician who dealt with supernatural threats, so he likely needed it. As they rang the doorbell, Snake took the opportunity to dive into the nearest bush, which turned out to be a very spiky rose bush because why not.

Max answered the door with a smile and bade everyone to enter (accepting a rose off Snake), leading them into the living room. It was fairly large, with three sofas arranged around a coffee table with associated books, in front of a large unlit fireplace. Above the fireplace was a widescreen TV, and the room was decorated with bookcases, framed pictures, and some decorative statues. It was clean and tidy, but the tidiness was that of someone who was never around to make a mess, instead of someone house proud.

As Max left to get drinks, the party had a few minutes to look around. Snake immediately decided to search the fireplace for clues/secret passages, but got nothing for his troubles save a sooty face (thankfully he’s never read House Of Leaves). Sah checked out the bookcases, but didn’t roll well enough to pick out any specific titles, just noting that Max had a lot of travel and occult books. Q and TD investigated the pictures. There were photos of Max in his younger days at various foreign locations (including the Pyramids), indicating he was quite well travelled. There were also numerous framed newspaper clippings of notable events in his life, such as winning his first election. The overall impression was that Max was hard working, a traveller, and well read.

Max returned with drinks, taking a seat and indicating they should do the same. He opened by saying that they all had much to discuss, and they could likely be of use to each other. But of course, they probably had many questions to ask him first.

The first enquiry was how exactly Max had got involved in the supernatural. He revealed that his great-grandfather had had some brushes with the World of Darkness, and he had long suspected his ancestor had gotten himself deeply involved, but the rest of his family had essentially hushed up the whole affair. This lead to asking what Max’s deal was: was he a hunter? No, he saw himself more as a scholar, happy to uncover the mysteries of the supernatural. He had no qualms with the beings who didn’t meddle in human affairs and kept to their own business, but when things started threatening humanity (such as the werewolf pack in Tateburg) he would take a stand.

As the two parties questioned each other to learn where each other stood, the conversation soon turned to that of the cult. The party shared what sketchy information they knew; that this cult had reach, members in positions of authority, that they intended to summon their master into this world, which would cause the apocalypse. This confirmed a lot of Max’s pre-existing fears; he’d seen evidence of the cult’s activities in his area, and it seemed they were all up against the same foe. As to the cult’s patron…Max knew who (or rather what) it was.

Throughout mankind’s history, the concept of a holy trinity has been a core of religious beliefs, three deities working as a harmonious whole. The Father, Son and Holy Ghost, the maiden, the mother and the crone…the list is nigh-on endless. Often this trinity is personified as being the Creator, the Maintainer and the Destructor: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva; Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos; the Weaver, the Wyld and the Wyrm. The cult- which Max now referred to as the Cult of the Beast- worshipped the Creator god, and sought to bring it into this reality. Now in theory this shouldn’t be a bad thing, a god that brings forth abundant life, but it would result in the end of existence as we knew it. Life would run rampant with no end, unrestrained by natural laws and boundaries. Flesh without death, eternally growing, mutating, absorbing and corrupting, unchecked and unrestrained. Existence would become a literal cancer, individuality and form lost forever in an endless ocean of mutation and growth.

But how exactly could the players stop a god with such a powerful cult? Max had an idea: invoke the Maintainer.  Having this god manifest would also probably be a Very Bad Idea, but if they could get it to intervene, perhaps it could tip the balance back. The players immediately suspected that Mr White may be the Maintainer god, though I did point out he claimed to just be an agent for higher powers. So how could they contact this being?

Max revealed he had long been searching for a grimoire named the Ars Aegyptiaca. The Maintainer had once had a prominent cult in Ancient Egypt, and Max hoped that the book contained further information or rituals to aid his search. However, the book had been lost for centuries: his research had revealed it had travelled to the US in the 19th century, but had seemingly vanished from the records. He believed that the grimoire still existed, but had reached an impasse in finding it. So he had elected to take some drastic measures in his search.

“What do you know of the Lesser Keys of Solomon?”

For Sah this definitely rang a bell, and Max elaborated. The Lesser Keys of Solomon was a guide, supposedly written by the legendary King Solomon, describing 72 daemons and how to summon/bind them. Daemons were different from demons in that they were not intrinsically malevolent creatures, but rather impassionate embodiments that presided over particular fields (geometry, hidden secrets, precious stones etc). As incredibly lawful beings, daemons loved to bargain, so it was possible to summon up and negotiate with such entities. As long as the deal was within their sphere of influence and the payment was met in kind, a daemon would hold up their end of the bargain.

Max’s plan was to summon up Eligos, one of the Great Dukes of Hell, who specialised in finding hidden things, to discover the location of the Ars Aegyptiaca. Since the daemon would be present the party would also be able to strike a deal with him (since the party travelled around, Max mentioned that Eligos can also grant access to Abigor, his infernal steed, created from the remains of a horse from the Garden of Eden). In Eligos’ case, his preferred method of payment was in the riches of the earth, particularly gold and precious stones. Max also admitted Eligos wouldn’t object to human sacrifices, but he’d rather avoid going down that path.

As for actually summoning Eligos, Max was a skilled ritualist and had a plan for that. From beneath the sofa he pulled out a heavy box and unlatched it. The room was immediately filled with a faint blue glow as he revealed what appeared to be a strange crystalline cluster, three blue crystals attached together and glimmering with its own light. But the more they studied it, the more unsettling it appeared; its lines hurt the eyes to follow, and inside were layers upon intersecting layers, like bismuth. This artefact was a construct, the three strange crystals manufactured and joined together by some unknown hand.

Max had never been able to determine the providence of such an alien artefact, although he knew it had originally been recovered from an ancient tomb. It was somehow attuned to whichever section of existence Eligos resided in, so with the right incantations he’d be able to summon Eligos into a binding circle. One peculiar factor was that the position of the stars and planets would be critical to the ritual, and in Eligos’ case, Pluto would need to in a certain place in the sky for the summoning to succeed. Max then presented a large map of the surrounding area, placing it over the coffee table for all to see. He’d done the calculations of where the relevant celestial bodies would be, which were reflected on the map by various coloured lines. The more lines that crossed, the stronger the effect on the ritual. He indicated the point of the map where the most lines bisected. The spot seemed to be in the middle of nowhere, but Max explained that it was an old map, and the spot had since been built on. What was in the location now? He pulled out a battered old tourist leaflet.

Rocks fall, everyone dies - Page 36 Jesuslandleaflet

I love making deliberately cheesy handouts. Razz

Max elaborated: Jesusland was a religious theme park that had been built by a wealthy businessman at great personal expense. The park enjoyed some moderate success, until a terrible accident in 2013 when a park-goer was killed (the players never enquired further, but he’d been decapitated on the roller coaster). The park shut, and was never reopened. It had been left to rot ever since. Due to its reputation it was rarely troubled by bored youths or thieves. Which meant that the party should be able to get in and out with no trouble.

What could possibly go wrong?

Max laid out the plan: they would meet inside the park, on the summit of Mount Sinai at 11pm the next night. There was a fox scrape under the fence by the creationist museum where they could slip in. They should park their car off the road in a dip to keep it hidden. They had the next day to prepare for the expedition; most of the lighting in the park was solar powered, so there would be some illumination in the main areas, but elsewhere it would still be pitch black. They would also need to keep an eye out for any homeless people, bored teenagers, or law enforcement that may disrupt the ritual. Knowing what their part in the plan was, the party left to make their preparations.

I always underestimate how much the party love planning things out (re: exploring the bunker). What was supposed to be a short discussion as to what equipment to bring turned into a full military level operation that lasted close to 45 minutes. Eventually, they gathered what they needed and made a move.

They drove down deserted highways into the darkness of the scrublands, and soon the twinkling solar lights of Jesusland came into view. They manoeuvred the car off the road, hiding it out of sight in a depression. As Req was absent, they had him guard the car/be the cavalry if needed. Gathering their supplies, they approached the park.

As Max had correctly said, there was an animal scrape under the fence, and they slipped inside. Their path took them initially by the creationist museum; it was a fairly large building with a glass front, pitch black inside. Standing in front was a very sad looking fibreglass Triceratops statue, very much worse for wear after years of being out in the elements. Next they entered Old Jerusalem, a reconstruction of a historic Middle Eastern street. The buildings were empty and dark, and littered about were broken market stalls, ripped awnings flapping in the low wind. It was a foreboding, creepy place indeed.

Ascending Mount Sinai, they found Max at the flattened plateau of the summit (if the players had questioned, this was a deliberate ‘stage’ area where grand speeches could be made when the park was open). He’d drawn out a complicated looking summoning circle, marked with dissecting lines and strange hieroglyphics.  The blue crystal was in the centre. Max explained their role in the ritual: they were to act like conduits to the unnatural energies that he would summon (nobody noticed, but this was how Ansem’s necromancy ritual worked in the DBtD RP). This would be a sanity-stretching experience, and Max stressed that no matter what they experienced, they must NOT break the circle. He bade everyone to take their places, and he begun.

Max chanted in a strange, guttural tongue, and the temperature of the area began to noticeably drop. Their skin crawled as they felt the power thrumming within the circle, amplifying itself as it passed through them, fuelled by Max’s incessant chanting. Reality began to slip and crack around them, and they found themselves within the black abyss of the Void Between The Stars, the unfathomable expanse of endless space crushing them from all directions, the perfect cold of absolute zero stealing the breath from their lungs. This sudden realisation of their own insignificance amongst the unknowable vastness of the void, that they were naught but placid islands of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, was enough to push the limits of their sanity. They rolled Composure/Resolve, and most managed to hold on, but for Snake it was too much. With a yelp he stumbled backwards, breaking the line of the circle. The ritual collapsed and the power contained erupted outwards, blowing everyone off their feet. The crystal exploded, two pieces of it screaming outwards into the night. Reality snapped back into focus with a horrid lurch.

Getting back onto his knees, Max surveyed the situation. The main part of the crystal was still intact, and the faint blue trails left by the other pieces in the air indicated that they had landed into other places of the park: the water arena and Old Jerusalem. Max wasn’t angry- not entirely surprised that someone’s will had broken- but now he was concerned about the completion of the ritual. He could redraw the circle, but the others would need to locate the missing pieces of the crystal. They had just over an hour before Pluto disappeared beneath the horizon, so they had to move quickly. The party decided to split up: TD and Sah went to the water park, and Snake/Q went to Old Jerusalem.

First to Q and Snake, who were searching Old Jerusalem. This area of the park was designed to look like a Middle Eastern town, with tightly packed buildings and colourful awnings spanning the street. Now though it was derelict; the wind howled through the open windows, abandoned market stalls were tipped over and rotting, shreds of cloth flapped fitfully in the breeze. As the buildings were pitch black inside, they used their flashlights to navigate the dark interiors.

As Q went into a set of buildings on one side of the road Snake searched the opposite side. He found little of interest before he heard a whirr and a click, followed by a singsong voice echoing in the darkness.

The animals went in two by two hurrah, hurrah…

Looking outside, Snake was surprised to see an animatronic lion standing in the middle of the street. It was in a sorry state indeed: the elements had rotted the fleecy fur it had once been covered in, reducing them to torn rags that draped its robotic form. The metal plates and wires that made up its body could clearly be seen. Its jaws opened with a whirr, closed with a click, and the singsong voice came from within.

The animals went in two by two hurrah, hurrah…

Although creeped out Snake determined that it wasn’t moving and didn’t pose a threat, so he left to find Q.

Q meanwhile had become aware of the sound of dripping in his own buildings. Investigating, he found a load of cables in the ceiling of one of the houses. A thick black sludge was oozing from them, splattering onto the floor below. Perturbed, he made sure not to touch it and carried on searching.

He bumped into Snake, who told him about the animatronic lion. And lo and behold...

The animals went in two by two hurrah, hurrah…

The lion had moved. They hadn’t seen it, but it had  definitely moved closer to them. The jaws whirred opened and clicked shut again.

The animals went in two by two hurrah, hurrah…

Something began to bubble up and seep from the lion’s eye sockets, running down its face and splattering on the floor below: the same black sludge Q had seen in the building. Deciding to err on the side of caution, Q pulled out a gun and blew its head off. The animatronic spasmed and collapsed in a shower of sparks.

GM note: This made me sad as I was intending the creepy lion to be a major opponent this session. Oh well.

Pressing onwards, they reached the amusement area towards the edge of the park. On the other side of the court yard they were on was a long flat building (the arcades). The area was teeming with strange figures, wearing Biblical clothes and moving about in a jerky fashion. They correctly deducted that these were the animatronics mentioned in the leaflet. Somehow, they had all activated and gotten loose from their displays. They appeared to be moving back and forth between the arcade and the rest of the park. On a successful roll, they noticed that the animatronics appeared to be ferrying things into the arcade- bits of machinery and other broken animatronics. Guessing that there was a high possibility of the crystal being inside, Snake decided to stealth his way into the arcade and investigate.

Unfortunately things didn’t go as planned, and bad rolls saw him getting spotted. The animatronic of John the Baptist turned towards him, and to Snake’s horror saw its eye sockets were empty, bleeding the same black sludge as the lion. With a howl John the Baptist lurched at Snake, grabbing him and biting with a distended jaw.

Q saved the day by getting another headshot, completely depriving me of making a recurring ‘head of John the Baptist’ joke. Dammit.

Between them they decided that the sludge was dangerous, and the best way of dealing with it was fire. They lit John the Baptist on fire, when they had the brainwave of using fire to lure the animatronics away from the arcade. So Q backtracked to Old Jerusalem and set fire to the sludge room, which eventually grew to consume the building. Snake- hiding by the court yard- saw that the distraction worked, and the animatronics started shambling towards the blaze. He took the opportunity to (successfully) stealth in the arcade.

GM note: If the players had searched any of the stores in the park they would have found vials of holy water, which would have also disabled the animatronics. When doused the holy water would act like acid on the sludge, making the animatronic cease to function.

The arcade was a classic one, filled to the brim with games and cabinets. On closer inspection, the games had names like Super Bible Adventures and most appeared to be probably-illegal religious reskins of other popular games. Snake ninja’d his way through the maze of cabinets, heading towards an odd blue glow towards the back. Pressing himself flat against a Noah’s Ark game, he peered round to see a truly bizarre scene.

The crystal piece had smashed through the ceiling of the arcade, burying itself into some equipment. And it had…grown. Pulsating wires were attached to the crystal, snaking outwards like thick metallic tentacles, slowly growing outwards and subsuming the cabinets around it. The black sludge was seeping outwards from the edifice like congealed blood. Animatronics were trudging back and forth in a steady stream, bringing pieces of electronics to the crystal. As he watched a pair of them dragged the body of a malfunctioning comrade, tossing it into the workings. The wires crawled outwards and grasped the broken body, pulling it into the mass. To Snake’s horror, he realised that the crystal was building itself with the electronics, consuming the technology to grow in size and power. Did the park have telephone lines connecting it to the outside world? And if it did, what would happen if the crystal was able to expand into them?

Outside Q had returned from his arson, intending to provide backup if Snake needed it. As there were still animatronics outside, he decided to draw their attention by shooting at them…and constantly kept rolling enough successes to headshot all of them. Pop pop watch em drop. The animatronics inside the arcade started to move out to investigate the commotion, and Snake took his chance. He grabbed the crystal and sawed off the connecting wires, pulling it free. This immediately alerted every animatronic in the area, who were not best pleased that their energy source was about to run out. With howls of rage they began to pursue the thieves, and the pair made a break for it, running northwards.

As this had been happening TD and Sah were searching the water arena, and what would soon turn out to be a massive clusterfuck. The water arena was a very large tank of water, much like Sea World. There were two blocks of stadium seating looking towards the arena, with the access pathway dividing them. Opposite the stands was the stage, with a backdrop of mountains. They didn’t need to see the water to know that it was stagnant and filthy; even with their poor light they could see it was nearly black, and probably swimming with cholera and other nasties. The whole area stank of stagnant rot and decay.

But amidst the foulness, they spotted the twinkling light of the crystal, bang in the middle of the tank (turns out that the crystal floated). Now they had a conundrum: how were they to retrieve the crystal?

They had the bright idea of checking the maintenance area and retrieving an inflatable dinghy, which they used to paddle out to the crystal. As Sah reached out to grab it the water around them began to churn violently. Sah lost his balance and fell in. Before TD could pull him back in a mass of filthy water rose before them and burst, revealing a massive, rotted animatronic whale (remember the Jonah and the Whale show on the leaflet?). The whale opened its jaws, the suction sucking in the water, the crystal included. Sah rolled to swim against the current pulling him into the whale, and failed. He rolled again, and failed once more.

TD, clinging to the boat against the sudden storm, witnessed his friend disappear into the maw of the whale, which promptly closed its mouth and sank.

Well, shit.

TD frantically made his way back to shore, sprinting to the backstage area to where he assumed the controls were. Realising Sah was in very real danger, he- against everyone’s advice- frantically called Mr White and screamed down the phone at him. White calmly told him to push some buttons.

Sah was indeed in Very Real Danger. He was trapped underwater in the pitch darkness, violently being thrown about and rapidly running out of air. I had him roll to see if he could find an air pocket. He failed. He rolled again. And failed again.

We were suddenly faced with the prospect of our very first death: poor Sah suffering a terrible end in the belly of a whale.

The players argued that at this point maybe his lycanthropy would trigger as a survival response, as quite frankly this was a very unusual and terrifying set of circumstances. With hindsight I should have refused, but the players were convincing, and everybody (Sah included) were okay with it.

So, in the midst of abject terror, something snapped inside of Sah.

TD meanwhile was slapping buttons, and finally found the one that caused the Parting of the Red Sea (again, on the leaflet!). With a grinding of neglected gears, two glass walls slid up from the base of the arena and moved apart, separating the lagoon into two separate sections. The whale, caught on the walls, flopped over and crunched into the now dry floor, flopping uselessly as water and black sludge poured out of it. TD went to move forward to rescue his friend when he became aware of the sound of growling emanating from within.

He wisely chose to run.

Inside the whale, a bedraggled and extremely angry wolf rose to its feet. Seeing an opening where the whale’s eye had rotted away, it clawed its way out and let loose a howl. Picking up the scent of prey on the wind, wolf!Sah began to hunt.

GM note: I’d originally planned for the whale to swallow the crystal, with the party having to figure out how to retrieve it. There were actually several methods they could have used. In no particular order, ones I had planned for:

-          Stranding the whale as TD did.
-          Using a forklift truck from the maintenance area to smash the walls of the arena, draining the water.
-          Toppling over the Jacob’s Ladder structure to smash the walls.
-          Electrocuting the water to fry the whale.
-          If things got completely insane, luring over the animatronic T rex and starting an epic battle between it and the whale.

Q and Snake at this point had sprinted past the creationist museum, and to my immense disappointment didn’t check out the ominous thumping noises coming from within the building. On their way they bumped in a very confused Req, who was carrying the suitcase containing the Hati/Skol formula. Req explained that he’d got a very frantic phonecall from TD, saying that Sah had wolfed out. Quickly they decided that Q should take the formula to TD, and Snake would take the crystal back to the ritual site. As they agreed to this there was an almighty crash as the glass front of the creationist museum exploded outwards, and with a devastating roar a rotten animatronic T rex charged through, bleeding sludge from its eyes.

Fuck you guys, I’m getting my possessed animatronic dinosaurs.

Volunteering Req to deal with this new problem, they split up. Req leapt up on a picnic table, pulled out the Spooky Satan Shotgun, and cocked it with a grin on his face.


Q and TD converged and headed towards the fairground area, theorising that it would be safer (they were right- although the Garden of Eden was closer, it was also full of animal animatronics, which was where the lion had originally come from). Checking the map they noticed that there was a freestanding toilet block (one of those prefab concrete buildings), and made a plan to trap Sah inside (I was hoping for people to be scrambling up old fairground rides and sprinting across the tracks, but I guess this was more practical). As they approached TD tripped over a pile of stinking rags, which promptly started swearing at them…and to their horror, realised they weren’t alone. A hobo had gotten himself into the park!

GM note: The hobo was entirely there to cause problems for the party. He could either disrupt their stealth missions, wander into the danger zone, be a complication, or generally just act like a liability. He could also be used as a sacrifice to Eligos or (now) bait for the werewolf. The party were not quite that heartless yet though.

Realising that the hobo was in great danger of being nommed, they urged him to flee, but this guy was incredibly confused and not willing to move. So TD completely bypassed the problem by offering him some of the gold they’d bought for Eligos. That was certainly a language the hobo understood; he took the gold and ran.

Now that problem had been neutralised, TD and Q sprung into action. Grabbing the hobo’s stinking blanket, they threw it into the toilet block and hid. Soon Sah caught up with them, and the smell of the blanket caught his attention. He followed it into the block, and the others slammed the door shut.

Realising he was trapped, Sah flew into a rage, but the concrete block refused to give. He threw himself at the door in a frenzy, and on the other side Q attempted to calm him down with a sun’s getting real low speech. Thankfully the combination of Q’s persuasion rolls and Sah’s insanely good Composure/Resolve were enough, and Sah calmed down enough for him to be injected and become human again.

Well, that was a completely unexpected plot derailment there.

The three collected the second crystal, with Sah being provided with a novelty tshirt to preserve his dignity ("I Went To Jesusland And All I Got Was SAVED!") and went back to the ritual site. Max had prepared the circle and, reassembling the crystal, they began again.

This time, knowing what to expect, the party better braced themselves for the unpleasant experience. Though the cold and the void gnawed on their sanity, they were all able to grit their teeth and push through. As the ritual reached its climax, in the centre of the circle a tear appeared in reality, a shape materialising from the inky blackness: Eligos emerged into this plane of existence.

The daemon was loathsome, looking like an abominable cross of beetle, man, and dog. Its head was a squat, tri-lobed mass that pulsated in colour, a cluster of thin tentacles were the mouth should have been. Its body was chitinous and oily, thin limbs tipped with arthropod claws. A pair of insect wings emerged from its back, yet despite their stillness it hung hovering in air. Its foulness hurt the eye, their minds struggling to comprehend this unnatural being in front of them.

Even Max was noticeably shaken by Eligos. Pulling himself together he prostrated himself, making his offerings of gold, and requesting that Eligos reveal to him the location of the Ars Aegyptica. The lobes on Eligos’ head flickered and swirled, but whether it was thinking or communicating was anybody’s guess. It glided towards Max, and the mass of tentacles extended outwards, running over his upper body and caressing his face. A single, long tentacle, tipped with a barbed edge, slid out, and in one deft movement rammed itself into Max’s ear. His eyes rolled into the back of his head, shaking as though he was seizuring, and after painful seconds the barb pulled itself out. Clutching his bleeding ear Max staggered backwards, eyes wide with the newfound knowledge implanted in his brain. Signalling to the others that he was okay, he motioned them to go forward.

It was TD who volunteered. Presenting the offering of gold, he requested for Eligos to teach him how to summon the infernal steed Abigor. Eligos drifted towards him, TD shuddering with revulsion as the tentacles ran over his body, Eligos’ cold and loathsome form looming over him. Quick as a flash the barbed tentacle pierced his brain, the song of summoning burning itself into his neurons. Eligos released him, pressing a bone flute into his hands, and TD now knew he had to play the daemonic music on it to summon Abigor.

No longer needed, Eligos gathered his offerings and Max dismissed it. Eligos blinked out of existence, and instantly everyone felt a pressure released from their from minds and chests. The area was still filled with creeping cold from the intrusion into this reality, and nobody had any desire to linger. Max erased the circle and cleared the site, and they all left the park.

Around this point Req (the player) had turned up, and asked what was happening. We explained he’d been left fighting a T rex with a shotgun. He was perplexed.

On the way, they went past the creationist museum to collect their aforementioned comrade, to find him standing with a smoking shotgun amidst the shattered remnants of an animatronic horde, including the T rex. They collected him and quickly made an exit.

Shaken and hurt from the night’s events, the party took time to have a rest and sort themselves out. Max shared with them what he had learnt from the daemon; the Ars Aegyptica was located in an antique book dealer’s store in a city about 50 miles away. Max couldn’t make the trip due to his political responsibilities, and requested that the party retrieve the book for him. They agreed, and thus the groundwork for the next session was set…


So, GM opinion? The session went completely and utterly off the rails. I’d intended for the session to be a creepy horror with the characters being stalked by the possessed animatronics, but instead we had the complete fuckup that was the water arena, Q getting constant headshots, and things being set on fire. Admittedly it bothers me somewhat that my intentions to run a horror get completely subverted, but at the end of the day if people are having fun, I can’t complain too much.

Next session: Students! Drinking! A cute lamb! Amazing rolls to bullshit and bypass a good third of the session! Stay tuned!

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"Foxes never lose their tricks, do they?" - Quaetman
"We'll be going about our business one day and then someone will be like "hm, where's Barda" and Raya will all suspiciously be like "WELL DON'T LOOK AT ME"..." - Rocket Admin Camilla
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Rocks fall, everyone dies - Page 36 Empty Re: Rocks fall, everyone dies

Post  SpoonMan Abrams X on Fri May 04, 2018 1:24 am

I unfortunately missed listening in to about the first 3/5ths of the session, but what I did hear was pretty spectacular. A few corrections I do recall;

  • They ended up not using the Skati forumla; Q persuasion was (of course) successful enough to, combined with Sah's exceptional composure+resolve rolls to negate needing it entirely
  • TD and Q split up, TD taking the second crystal to join Snake and Max to retry the ritual as time was wasting. Meanwhile Q (and Sah) went to provide backup for Req (who didn't end up needing it, lol)
  • There was also a third (attempt) at a bargain; Snake attempted to offer the daemon booze in exchange for [I don't remember for the life of me]. It didn't go over well and Snake took some sort of damage or something for being cheeky to the daemon lol

After that everyone regrouped and that was that; Req showed up just in time for the epilogue. Being an outside observer I have to say it was a good session; even missing a majority of it, still sounded like a lot of fun. Also had lots of fun filling in for the next session (HIEROPHANT ROLL, ACTIVATE! Laughing )
SpoonMan Abrams X
SpoonMan Abrams X
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Rocks fall, everyone dies - Page 36 Empty Re: Rocks fall, everyone dies

Post  Quaetam on Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:37 pm

Team Q: Chapter 2 - Arden Mill
Part 1: Always Happy to Business

The alarm bells blared through the haze, as the party forced its way through the crowded halls of Clarksdale High.

The lobby was a cacophony of blood, stench, sweat, and confusion. The Henderson banner assembled by Raya - and shredded by Relmitos - lay discarded, torn, and trampled on the floor. The campaign tables were overturned, scattering signup sheets and name tags across the tiles. And the gymnasium doors were flung open, relinquishing a stampede of the wounded and the damned. Townsfolk, reeking of bile and gore, sulfur and ozone, and all sorts of ungodly things stumbled past each other in an unfocused rush for the exits. Some leaned dazed against the walls, hyperventilating - others cried hysterically into clothes or handkerchiefs. A pair of teenage girls attended to a boy, limping along on the stubby remains of his left leg. A husband had collapsed into forlorn delirium, clutching the mangled remains of his wife. The scene was surreal.

Gunshots and screams clashed in the distance; the sounds of a distant brawl pierced the haze, and snapped the group to attention. Roland, beckoning once more, led the party out the front doors and into the dwindling sunset. In the parking circle, a black limousine idled impatiently, flanked by two nondescript black vans. A quartet of plainclothes security personnel surrounded the limousine, handguns out and at the ready; two more were hurriedly rushing Senator Charles Bartlett and candidate Steven Henderson into the backseat. Offering an affirmative nod to two of his team, Roland stepped toward the rear van, and threw open the back door.

“Get in the car,” Roland demanded, his tone measured but insistent, meeting each party member with a steely gaze. “I need to attend to the Senator. You’ll be taken to a safehouse for the night; I’ll be there in the morning to answer all of your questions.”

There was a moment of silence, of doubt. The crowd had begun to spill into the parking lot, their howls escaping the building with increasing volume and violence. From Clarksdale proper rose the ominous wail of approaching sirens; from overhead, the distinct thud-thud-thud of a helicopter blade. The moment passed: They didn’t have much of a choice.

The group packed themselves into the van. Roland jogged around to the front, where he shouted some indistinct instructions toward the driver before running off to join the Senator. After a short moment - sirens encroaching - petal met floor.  The van peeled out of the parking circle and away from the lot. Their driver was extremely reckless, but supremely competent: They wove through the streets, cutting in and out of lanes, mounting curbs, running red lights, and blasting through intersections. Police cruisers and swat vans sped past, lights flashing and sirens wailing, but paid no heed. After fifteen minutes at this breakneck pace, the van emerged onto the open road, the concrete buildings and the bustle of the city replaced by rolling fields and desert landscape.

In the growing dusk of the evening, cruising through the bucolic Colorado countryside, the party finally had a moment to breathe.

After taking a quiet moment to massage his head wound, Fedaykin grabbed handkerchief and a bottle of hand sanitizer from the seat-back pocket, and inspected the others for signs of serious injury or infection. As a whole, the party was in various degrees of shock. Levi and Relmitos – mildly injured and out of Willpower - were exhausted and battered, but lucid. Spoon looked dazed and ill; Fed offered him some water from the seatback pocket, and he gladly accepted. Raya was far worse for wear: The Brit was caked in congealed blood and gore all down her left side. Her eyes had a glazed look, and she was breathing a little haggardly. Fed asked if she was injured. Her reply?

“I’m okay, it’s not my blood.”

The sun had just dipped below the horizon when the van finally pulled to a stop. The driver made eye contact with the party through the rear-view mirror: “We’re here. Keep your head down, and go directly inside. Use the pager and enter the numbers 5-1-8. The Caretaker will process you and get you settled in.”

Everyone piled out, grabbing their scant belongings from the trunk. As they disembarked, Levi suddenly stopped, light bulbs flashing in his head: They had left the Yankmobile, and all of their assorted belongings, in Clarksdale. Unfortunately, all the driver could promise was that he'd alert the higher-ups so that someone could attempt to collect their vehicle. Not exactly promising. After a few more tense words, and a terse goodbye, the van peeled off into the dwindling daylight.

The party stood along a winding road in a copse of woods, beside a small apartment building and several nondescript brick and concrete structures. Sirens and light still flared in the distance, as red and blue lights dashed across the horizon against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. Here, however, there were no signs of life: The lights were out, and no sound could be heard from the inside.

Relmitos pulled up his GPS to ascertain their location, but his phone didn’t have any signal. The others went straight to the front door, and noticed a small dialer system set into the wall. After a brief moment of party planning and some hesitation, Levi stepped forward and pressed 5-1-8, as the driver instructed.

For a moment, all was quiet save the incessant humming of cicadas, the melodic chirping of birds, and the distant echo of sirens.

Then there was a click, and the door swung open. Two men in beige uniforms--assault rifles slung around their hip--stepped outside and surveyed the area, then beckoned for everyone to enter. The party complied, and the door was shut behind them.

The group found itself in a well-kept lobby, featuring comfortable couches, a coffee table, and a reception desk. Standing at the center of the room, flanked by three more armed men, was an imposing woman in a blue button-down suit. She had long brown hair and sharp, focused blue eyes; she wore thin glasses, and tucked a black notebook under her left forearm. Above her left breast was a lapel pin of the following design:

Rocks fall, everyone dies - Page 36 Towerf11

Arms crossed, she looked between the group, sizing them up. “Are you Roland’s group?”

Levi acknowledged, and she continued: “I am the Caretaker of this safehouse. You will stay here overnight. For the sake of the other occupants, I need you to hand over any weapons, cell phones, or extranormal materials you have on-hand. We will return them when you leave the safehouse.”

Raya and Levi expressed some skepticism, but ultimately acceded. The party handed over its phones, as well as a few assorted small arms and weaponry - limited to a pair of pistols and Relmitos’ broken bottle-shivs, as everything else, Hatti formula included, was stuck in the Yankmobile back in Clarksdale. Satisfied, the Caretaker beckoned for the party to follow. They fell into lockstep behind her as she made her way out of the room and up several flights of stairs. The safehouse had maintained its apartment building layout: Well-lit, beige-walled hallways criscrossed the building, lined with a wealth of guest suites. Reaching the top floor, the Caretaker led the party to a door marked 405, and opened the door. As the party filed inside, the Caretaker stood in the doorway behind them.

“I’m going to lock you in overnight. Do not attempt to leave, and do not attempt to broadcast your location to the outside world. If you need anything, there is an intercom in the kitchen.”

Raya asked if there was anything she could use to clean up, and the Caretaker gave her a knowing look, a slight twinge of pity in her voice: “Everything you need is in the closet across from the bathroom. Fresh clothes are already laid out on the beds.”

With that, she closed and locked the door behind them. At last, the party was alone.

They found themselves in a fairly pedestrian apartment suite: Two bedrooms, one bathroom, and a central area split into a kitchen and living room by a small countertop bar. Although the living room had a television, there were no windows, nor any alternate doors. This disquieted the party, but they weren't about to complain, exhausted as they were.

Raya immediately made a beeline for the shower, grabbing some disinfectant from the closet. (GM Note: Inside the closet the party could have found some serious survival rations and corresponding gear, indicating the safehouse was stocked for the long haul). Everyone else made a composure check as their adrenaline began to wear off, giving way to the trauma and exhaustion of the day’s events. Relm and Spoon had it the worst, and they coped in different ways. Relmitos got the munchies, and spent his time scrounging for food in the kitchen. The fridge held only an expired carton of milk and some bottled water, but the pantry was filled to the brim with pasta, canned goods, and non-perishable microwave food - all perfectly preserved. The cabinets were stocked with plasticware and red solo cups.

Spoon started wigging out. Spotting what looked like a 360 degree camera dome on the ceiling in the living room, he became convinced the entire place was bugged, and began taking apart couches, tables, and beds to search for cameras and microphones. He found the TV remote below the couch cushions, but didn’t find any surveillance equipment. He declined to turn on the TV, setting the remote on the coffee table.

Levi and Fedaykin, meanwhile, decided to search the bedrooms for a change of clothes, unsatisfied with those the Caretaker had initially provided. Levi, having rolled low on the composure check, was jumpy: As he checked one of the bedrooms, he caught a small flutter of movement under the bed. Bracing himself for the worst, he beckoned for Fed and Relm to join him. They approached the bedside, inching forward with grim anticipation, and gingerly lifted the sheet -- only to find a small ventilation shaft tucked into the wall, blowing air into the room.

Levi: “Come and get me, spirits!”
Relm: “There’s no such thing as ghosts.”
Levi: “There’s no such thing as Nazis, but I became one today.”

Around this time, Raya left the shower and went to go cook some food. Some shenanigans ensued - Fedaykin beat Levi in a race to the bathroom, and Levi covered the door in cellophane to knock Fed over - before the party ultimately found itself in the living room, eating some well-cooked pasta served courtesy of Raya and Relmitos.

As they settled into their meals, they began to consider their options. Raya was the first to speak. She was immediately skeptical of their situation – they were locked in a safehouse with no doors and no windows by an unknown group of obvious supernatural affiliation. Relmitos, by contrast, argued they should trust Roland and his group – he was their lead from Mr. White, and he'd saved them from the Sons of Odin and Valkyrie without any clear reason to do so. Where everyone could agree was that they did not like being kept in the dark. One way or another, they needed to learn more.

A thought struck Relmitos, and he flicked on the TV. Sure enough, coverage of Clarksdale was absolutely everywhere – CNN highlighted the attempt on Senator Bartlett’s life, MSNBC discussed the rise of the alt-right and domestic terrorism, and FOX called for thoughts and prayers and heralded the heroism of first responders. As Relmitos browsed the channels, something seemed off: Each station, with its own spin and flavor, depicted the incident as a bombing, with casualties surpassing one hundred.

Perhaps most striking, every channel had live footage captured directly at the scene. The video depicted Senator Bartlett giving the same speech the party had heard only hours ago. The crowd was cheering, the air was electric – and then, with a roar, the Senator was interrupted by a billowing torrent of light and flame, as an explosion ripped through the crowd. The camera shook as Henderson supporters screamed and scrambled over each other to escape – before the footage went dark.

Raya immediately called for the group to review this coverage for anything that seemed off, and Relmitos began to flick through the channels, pausing as the same footage replayed itself over and over. Prior to the explosion, everything depicted onscreen seemed perfectly accurate – with the notable exception that Spoon could not spot himself rushing the stage. As he continued to change stations, Relmitos (with a good roll) spotted something else: One local news station featured a haphazard interview with one of the survivors, describing the events in gruesome detail. Fed and Spoon, with a successful [int+empathy] check, immediately recognized him as Sam, the young volunteer who had helped them move tables around earlier in the day.

Raya checked the time. It was only about eleven - at most two hours after the rally. The extent of the coverup was comprehensive; its speed, overwhelming.  

Disquieted, the party decided to go to bed. Roland had promised them answers in the morning. Until then, the most they could do was stew and speculate.

Levi woke to the sound of a buzzer.

Disoriented, he slipped out of bed, pulled on some clothes, and gradually worked his way through the darkness of his bedroom. The noise was coming from the intercom system, in the kitchen – a small panel was set into the wall next to the refrigerator, illuminated by a small red LED. Pressing the button, Levi heard a crackling sound, followed by the Caretaker’s voice: “This is your wake-up call. Please collect your things. My men will arrive in one hour to escort you to the conference room for your briefing.”

Everyone steadily arose and got ready. Levi used the intercom to request some tea, as Raya cooked some (canned food) breakfast. Eventually there was a knock at the door, followed by the sound of a key in the lock. Seconds later, the door swung open. Outside was a man wearing a brown jacket, pistol at his waist, followed by two more beige-coated guards. “Let’s go.”

The guards led them down the beige-paneled hallway, into the stairwell, and down to the basement corridor. They proceeded along a hallway lined with personal offices and management quarters, as well as a small gym with a handful of machines. Eventually they entered a room labelled “Conference A.” Inside was a large wood and metal table with about a dozen rolling chairs. To one side was a large projector screen; to the other, a small wooden podium with a computer monitor. Across from the party, three people had taken their seats on the other side of the table: To the left was the Caretaker, dressed in her blue suit with her lapel pin, her hair in a bun and a cup of coffee steaming on the table in front of her. To the right sat Roland, clad in a well-ironed shirt and a dark vest, his expression sharp and attentive, his jacket on the chair behind him. Between them sat a man they couldn’t recognize, grey haired with a faint mustache and stubble, wearing a navy-blue suit and a bright-blue tie.  

Roland gave them a small smile as they took their seats: “I’m glad everyone is alright. I hope you were able to get some sleep. I know you have a lot of questions, so why don’t we get those out of the way first?” (GM Note: I can't provide much background insight on this meeting as Towerfall is a continuing player in the plot - but suffice it to say conceiving of all of the party's possible questions in advance and getting a sense of how they might respond to these characters was a very unique exercise, and an important step for my DMing).

What followed was an extensive grilling – led primarily by Raya and Leviwulf – about what the hell they’d just experienced in Clarksdale, who the Sons of Odin were, and how they were able to pull off their massacre. Roland acknowledged their confusion and the difficulty of the circumstances. He described the Sons of Odin as a white supremacist group that had been on their radar for several months. They were known to have a baseline affinity for the supernatural, but they had never been organized on this scale. From the best Roland could tell, Clarksdale was a sophisticated ritual triggered by enchanted artifacts and a complex alchemical reaction - but he had no idea from where, or from whom, the Odins had obtained the knowledge or equipment to pull it off.

Relmitos spoke up here and asked about the video: if this was an alchemical ritual, why did everyone in the (fake) news media think a bomb went off?

Roland and the Caretaker looked at each other. Roland nodded, and the Caretaker withdrew a remote from under the table, pressing a large button. With a light hum, the projector whirred to life, shining an image onto the left wall: It was a picture of a town labelled Fairview, Texas, with a date printed on the bottom. With a quick [Intelligence + Composure] roll, Raya and Fedaykin immediately recognized Fairview as a small Texas mining community with an unfortunate habit of sacrificing its prom kings to a fire spirit – and that this picture was taken on the day of their visit only a few months ago. The Caretaker pressed a button on the remote. The date on the screen increased by one, and the image changed; where the town once stood remained only a few scattered houses and a rough country road: “Gone, in the blink of an eye.”

The room went silent. She clicked the button six more times, rapidly cycling through a few other towns, and judiciously naming them all: “Granville, New York; Harrisburg, Virginia; Bellwether, California.” Each underwent the same sinister transformation: there one day, gone the next. With a seventh click, the projector played a video on the screen – the video of the bombing that had circulated the evening news. “Clarksdale,” she said simply.

Roland spoke up once more. “Task Force Valkyrie is the conspiracy everyone thinks they know about, the government agency that contains these supernatural events, and eliminates witnesses in the name of keeping everything quiet. We don’t know exactly how they do it, but they are very good at shutting people up.”
Disquieted, Raya asked the three speakers exactly who they were. Roland explained that they represent an organization called “Towerfall,” a group dedicated to protecting the public against paranormal threats, and rooting out exploitation of paranormal activity. Raya pointedly expressed her skepticism: How was this any different than Valkyrie? Roland flatly explained that the government is not an innocent player in these affairs; that there are better ways to protect the public than wiping entire towns off the map, and that a life tainted by the supernatural was still a life worth saving.

The party had a variety of reactions to this. Spoon settled for the whimsical approach. He asked why Roland was working with Towerfall, and what role he played in all of this. Roland explained that he was a Hunter. Everyone who understands the true nature of the world deals with it in their own way – some create havens to protect people from the unnatural, while others peer into the darkness and work to unravel its mysteries. His talents were more suited to an active role.

Where Spoon was inquisitive, Levi was entirely unconvinced. He asked why they were being kept at this safehouse like prisoners. The Caretaker spoke up sharply in response, emphasizing they were kept there for their own good – the party saw what really happened in Clarksdale, and would not last long if identified by Valkyrie. Levi reasonably retorted that it’s hard to trust a group that takes away their weapons and locks them in a windowless room. Nodding, the Caretaker raised a hand, and a guard stepped forward, dropping a large duffel bag on the table. “Here you go. You’re free to leave whenever you want.”

That put a pause on things. After a few moments, Fedaykin broke the silence. Tired of beating around the bush, he finally asked what was on everyone’s minds: What did Towerfall want with them?

The middle-aged man at the center straightened out his suit, sat upright, and smiled, "I suppose this is my turn."

He introduced himself as Jeremy Gray, a mid-level political director for Senator Bartlett and a high-level strategist for Towerfall. He explained that there was a proxy war being waged by two giants of the Senate: Washington Democrat Charles Bartlett, and Colorado Republican Benjamin Stone. Each had competing visions for the nation’s future. They were jockeying for influence in the House of Representatives through political battles in Congressional districts across the country. The race between Aaron Daniels and Steven Henderson – taking place in Clarksdale and its surrounding district - was both a temperature test for the viability of Bartlett’s movement and a proving ground for their platform in Stone's Colorado backyard.

Why should the party care about any of this? "There is a game being played in the shadows," Roland responded, "We're all a part of it; guilty and innocent, supernatural and mundane. Towerfall can see the pieces, but someone out there has the full board."

Jeremy explained that Senator Bartlett had become a principal sponsor of the Towerfall organization. They relied on him for protection, he was a strong supporter of their goals – and his opposition was driven by more than partisan politics. For a long time, Towerfall had been aware that Stone was connected to Valkyrie, but in the interests of laying low, they had been inclined to leave him alone; to oppose him at the ballot box, not in the field.

This changed when the Sons of Odin kidnapped Patrick Roberts, reporter for the Colorado Times. As the party knew from its last session, Roberts disappeared after uncovering a connection between the Sons of Odin and Aaron Daniels, Senator Stone’s dog in the local Congressional race. Now, less than two weeks later, the Odins had targeted Stone’s principal political opponent by attacking one of his rallies. With Stone tied to Valkyrie, Daniels backed by Stone, and the Odins targeting each of their opponents, there were too many connections to ignore. It was time to get to the bottom of everything going on here, and he wanted their help.

Practically everyone asked: “How?”

The Caretaker clicked the remote once more, revealing an image of a four-story, steel-and-concrete office building labeled “Alliance Business Centers.” Jeremy explained that Senator Stone keeps his Colorado campaign office in his hometown of Arden Mill. With Congress on its fall recess, Stone had been using the office for the past several weeks. His task for the party was simple: Find a way inside, dig around, and obtain whatever information they can without blowing their cover.

Raya expressed more than a little skepticism at the idea of digging up political dirt on Bartlett's rivals. Levi took things one step further, and angrily insisted that Towerfall was changing the deal: Roland had promised information on the pig, and it was time to pay up. Roland, in return, asked why this pig was so important, in light of everything they had experienced and after everything they had just learned. This gave the party some pause: They did not know these people, they did not trust these people, and they were not about to tell them about the Seals. Raya chose to lie, rolling [Manipulation + Subterfuge with willpower]. She explained that the pig was a dear friend and companion, and that he’d been taken by Valkyrie for unknown purposes.

Roland appeared to accept this, with a brief nod. He explained that their interests in exploring Valkyrie's activities appeared to be mutual: They could benefit from a long-term partnership. Nevertheless, before the party could be trusted with any substantive responsibilities, they needed to demonstrate that they are capable of handling a mission and following orders. In the more immediate future, their interests were aligned. As the pig had been taken recently, their search of Stone’s office was just as likely to yield information about the Ganon as it was about the Sons of Odin.

The party stepped aside for a moment to briefly huddle and consider their options in private. Levi didn’t trust these guys at all; he was ready to walk out on the mission altogether. Raya, by contrast, insisted that this was their only lead. The others agreed with Levi that the circumstances were sketchy - but concurred with Raya that they didn’t really have a better option. They returned to the table and agreed to go through with the mission. Jeremy smiled, and extended his hand: “Thank you, it’s a pleasure to have you on board.”

Nobody shook.

Jeremy reached into his pocket and pulled out three small items that would assist the party: (1) a debit card they could use to purchase equipment, with $400 in a temporary offshore account; (2) a USB stick with a dark orange toggle and the Towerfall logo, modified to leave no traceable system log, and therefore perfect for the storage of any sensitive files; and (3) a business card for Skybridge Consulting, a front organization – when they were ready for extraction, they were to call and ask about the Ivory Towers contract.

Rocks fall, everyone dies - Page 36 Skybri11

The Caretaker rose to her feet and flicked off the presentation with a touch of the remote. She explained that a driver was already outside, ready to take the party to Arden Mill. Roland wished the party good luck, and they departed for their mission.

At around 1:00 PM, after an hour on the country road, the party reached the outskirts of a small town. Much like Clarksdale, Arden Mill was a tourist destination, with a small but bustling business district. Unlike Clarksdale, which was ringed by forest and field, this burg was tucked gently into the side of a mountain, at the base of the Rockies. As the car snaked along the hillsides, the party was treated to a spectacular view of a mountain valley – its rocky, arid landscape dotted with desert ferns, sprinkled with grass and desert flora, and reflecting beautiful hues of tan in the midday sunlight.

The driver pulled to a stop next to the Alliance Business Centers (ABC), a four-story business complex built of grey steel and concrete that matched the image depicted in their briefing. Before departing, the driver explained that the party’s objective was on the fourth floor. According to Towerfall's limited intelligence, most workers would leave by 8 PM, leaving the party all afternoon to look around, case the objective, grab food, and prepare for an evening heist. He recommended stopping by the leasing office on the first floor to grab floor plans for Stone's suites, and visiting the business district in town to fetch anything they need.

As the driver left, the party surveyed the area. To the left was a fenced off lot containing a six-story building under active construction. Some men in hardhats milled about carrying heavy beams and equipment, and they could hear the dull roar of construction machinery. To the right was a parking garage, connected to the ABC by a catwalk on the third floor.

In a classic case of putting cart before horse, the party began to animatedly debate how they planned to tackle the heist. Everyone had different ideas. The most colorful involved stuffing Levi into a cardboard box, dressing up as delivery people, and pretending he was a package for the Senator. (GM note: As you peruse the next phase of this writeup, and the second half of the session, consider how well that plan might have panned out). Ultimately, they decided against this approach. There was too much of a risk that a curious staffer would open the box and find themselves face to face with a very guilty and very cornered Leviwulf.

Instead the party did what it does best: Split up!

Leviwulf: Entering the building, Levi decided to case the joint. The first floor was bifurcated by a long, wide lobby that ran completely from one end of the building to another, with doors at each end. Comfortable couches leaned against the walls, flanked by small ferns and small end tables hosting stacks of magazines and blue-shaded lamps. The walls were lined with frosted-glass doors leading to various hallways and administrative suites. About halfway across stood a bank of elevators.

Approaching the elevators, Levi spotted a room directory printed on the wall, scanned through it, and noticed suites 404 and 406 were marked “Friends of Benjamin Stone.” I had him roll [Wits+Composure]. Succeeding, he caught a sign above the elevator keypad that read “Warning: ABCID Required. Do not enter without identification.” As if on cue - or on Q - a crowd of businesspeople approached, and used their ID cards to open the elevator. A quick [Composure+Stealth] roll allowed Levi to play it cool and slip in and out alongside the crowd as if he belonged. Inside, the crowd pressed each of the four floors, touching their ID cards to an interior keypad with each button press.

The fourth floor was arranged like the number eight: A rectangular hallway cut into two squares, with the elevators arrayed along the median line. Briefly looking around, Levi noted that there were fire escapes in each corner. The floor featured several large businesses, including a Wells Fargo branch, a law firm, and a small investment company. Stone’s suites were located on the southeast side of the building. Suite 406 had a placard by the door, and the windows of Suite 404 were adorned with overly-patriotic red, white, and blue letters spelling “SENATOR BENJAMIN STONE.” Levi decided to discreetly peek through the windows. 406 was richly designed, featuring a wood paneled-room containing a secretary’s desk flanked by the American and Colorado flags; 404 was less formal, and a lot busier; several aides seemed to be milling about inside, working on whiteboards and navigating between cubicles. He then examined the locks, rolling [Intelligence+Larceny] to recognize their make. Succeeding, he noted that while both suites had keypads, either could be opened with a master key – or a lockpick, given sufficient patience and time. With additional successes, Levi noted that forcing either door would be unwise, as both locks appeared to be wired, almost certainly to silent alarms.

With a [Wits+Composure] check, Levi heard a door opening nearby. He immediately stepped away from the windows as a young black man left Suite 404. Rather than try to slip in, Levi figured this would be his best chance to make his way downstairs safely, and elected to follow the staffer to the elevators to hitch a ride.

Inside, Levi tried to strike up conversation. The staffer introduced himself as Jamal. He held a valuable role as a field organizer in the Stone campaign – he went where they told him, herded volunteers, ran canvasses, and appeared alongside the candidate at some events. With a quick [Wits+Empathy] check, Levi picked up some sarcasm in Jamal’s words. He chose to inquire further.

Entering into the lobby, Jamal explained to Levi that he was disillusioned with his role; lately he had begun to feel he might have been hired for something other than his talent, a feeling that had only been amplified by recent events. He’d been told that he was hired for his promising leadership ability – and his job description included “strategic advice on major campaign decisions” – but since he joined a few months ago, he was finding himself isolated from all of the major decisionmakers.

Recognizing Jamal’s clear aggravation, Levi decided to drop it there. Wishing Jamal a good evening, he parted ways to join the others. (GM Note: With the right conversation or enough persuasion, Jamal could have surrendered his ID card or been the party's inside man. He also had some interesting things to say about Clarksdale...).

Raya and Fedaykin: Entering with Leviwulf, the Europeans made their way over to the leasing office. The office was fairly small, dominated by a receptionist's desk with a computer at the center. There were a few filing cabinets stacked against a wall, a bookshelf in the back, and a back door leading to a mailroom behind the desk. As they opened the door to go inside, a jingle sounded, and a well-trimmed Chinese man looked up from the computer. He had short black hair, an athletic face, and wore a suit and a shiny steel nametag bearing the designation “Chang Li.” Thinking fast, Raya expressed interest in renting a suite for her new enterprise [passing a very lightweight subterfuge check in the process]. Chang smiled and leaned over his computer, typing frantically. He recited, mechanically and clearly from memory: “Here at ABC we offer premiere company suites for local, regional, and national organizations – we pride ourselves on providing the resources your business needs to get off the ground.”

He paused and looked up: “What business do you represent?”

What Raya and Fedaykin came up with wasn’t quite the Church of the Jedi Order, but it was pretty close. Raya explained that they represented “Phoenix Rising, Ltd.,” a Euro-punk recording studio with offices across the United Kingdom. Raya explained that they were hoping to expand to the United States, but they needed a large, secure, and stable location to meet their needs. Making clever use of the Towerfall business card, she said the Alliance Business Centers were given a top recommendation by Skybridge Consulting.

She received a small bonus to her subterfuge roll, passed with flying colors, and the guy totally ate it up. Chang smiled, and I gaffed, responding: “Always happy to business.” [Given Chang’s ethnicity, this got more than a few laughs. Whoops.]

They made some smalltalk, asking about the quality of the suites, the exact nature of the services offered at ABC -- and eventually, whether any suites currently on display were available for rent. Chang, completely bought into their lie, offered to give them a tour of the suites. He took them to the elevator bank, asking scattered questions about their business along the way. [Raya kept elaborating on the nature of their music and their European ventures, but given the extent of her earlier success, she wouldn't have had to roll again unless she said something extremely implausible or sufficiently disconnected from the initial falsehood]. Fedaykin finally spoke up when they were in the elevator, smartly asking about security. After all, Phoenix Rising was planning to record several platinum records; they needed assurance their intellectual property would be safe.

In full understanding, Chang took them to the second floor, and showed them the security room – introducing them to Jacob, a tall, buff, blonde-haired guard on duty. Jacob shook Raya’s hand and explained that the building had two guards on staff at all times. One roamed the halls to protect their clients’ assets, while another watched the security cameras and kept their eyes on the hallways from the guardroom. If anything went awry, they could communicate over their pagers, and the guard in the security room could call the police. Of course, Chang assured them there wouldn't be much risk: This was a remote, affluent town without a lot of crime. If the worst came to pass, the police had a pretty fast response time.

As Raya and Jacob spoke, Fed took a discrete look around. A [Wits+Stealth] roll revealed a box full of keyrings hanging on the back wall, and a DVR setup hooked up to the security camera feed. An [Intelligence+Stealth] roll revealed that the cameras were recorded passively – on a loop – rather than actively controlled by the person at the controls. This suggested that they wouldn't be heavily monitored. Moreover, this sort of system usually wrote to VHS, overwriting footage after forty-eight hours. That was a good sign. If the party could pull off the job without detection, they’d be scot free within two days.

Rather than push their luck, Raya and Fed decided to call it quits. They thanked Chang and Jacob for their assistance. Chang led them to the elevator bank, used his keycard to let them downstairs, and gave them his business card so they could follow up with any further questions or concerns before selecting an office for their enterprise.

Relmitos: While Phoenix Rising was making its American debut, Relmitos decided to search around outside of the building, scoping out the surroundings for entry points and interesting features. He first checked out the construction site. Everything was fairly ordinary. Men in hardhats moved around large equipment and operated heavy machinery, making unreasonable amounts of noise. The building’s steel and concrete scaffolding stretched about six stories high - well above the four-floor ABC building, and separated by an alley of only about fifteen feet. Moreover, construction on the first five floors was nearly complete, beyond the outside walls and some loose wiring. The floor foundations and cross-beams offered plenty of support for the construction crews as they ran around doing various constructiony things. Although this building could plausibly offer a way inside, Relm elected not to inquire further. (GM Note: I had a whole set of alternative scenarios here involving conversations with the workers, and was prepared in case the party wanted to go full Nathan Drake and parkour their way inside from the construction site!).

Instead, Relm made his way down the shaded alley, skirting aside a few dumpsters and scattered bits of detritus, and took his time to circle around the ABC. As he did so, he took note of a few additional features that caught his eye. In addition to the primary entrances along the north and south sides of the building, there was a small fire door on each corner, with a small window. Relmitos peered through the windows briefly, revealing unadorned interior stairwells. He tried the northwest door, jiggling the handle briefly, but it was locked – potentially alarmed, Relm reasoned, and almost certainly reserved for emergency use.

The parking garage was more interesting. The ground level was unguarded, save a blue-shirted parking attendant sitting uncomfortably in a small glass booth by the entrance, casually reading a magazine. Near the southern entrance to the garage, a concrete stairwell and a glass elevator afforded easy access to the other floors. Relmitos climbed the stairs and checked out each floor, getting a lay of the land. The garage was largely empty -- even the ground floor was at most half-full at midday –- and the second floor and third floors were remarkably sparse. Relmitos reasoned that the conditions would only improve as workers left in the evening, creating a low risk of detection. As he approached the catwalk connecting the garage to the ABC, he examined the glass door with an [Intelligence+Larceny] roll. This was a plausible entry point: Although the door had an electronic keypad, it was buttressed by a single-tumbler key lock that wouldn't be terribly difficult to pick.

Satisfied, Relmitos made his way downstairs and out the south entrance. He ran into Levi just outside the ABC, and together, they headed downtown to join Spoonman.

Spoonman: As the others cased the ABC, Spoon reasoned his abilities were best suited to performing some digital subterfuge. He wandered downtown, searching for a good internet café. In the middle of the afternoon on a late September day, Arden Mill was bustling with tourism: people had visited to hike, to travel, to sample the local beers, and to visit the local university. Among the crowds, it took Spoon some time to find a good space, but eventually he located a little coffee shop nestled into a cozy side street -- a cozy corner shop dominated by natural, woody colors, and warm smells. Ordering a beverage, Spoon set up his laptop at a corner table and texted the others his location.

Spoon first addressed an inquiry from Raya and Fed, who texted him immediately after speaking with Chang about their fictional Euro-punk venture: To cover their bases in case Chang became curious, Raya needed a website that was plausible enough to suggest Phoenix Rising might actually be a legitimate enterprise. Spoon hastily downloaded some HTML / javascript tools, purchased a .com domain, and got to work. Thanks to his programming specialty, his [Int+Computer] roll was quite successful, and he was able to develop a functional site after a few hours of work. (GM Note: Rather than brave an [Int+Crafts] roll to produce digital art for the website, Spoon elected to search online for stock images. This could have created some ramifications of its own. Fortunately, since Chang never became suspicious of the others, this never became an issue).

Next, Spoon came up with an intelligent way to use his abilities, and innovated an approach that caught me by surprise: He would try to obtain root access to Stone’s office directory using a phishing scam, baiting an employee into clicking a convincing link embedded in penis-enhancement advertisements legitimate mail from one of the campaign’s associate. The link would quietly install a rootkit on the machine of the hapless employee and allow Spoon to access Stone's network with the corresponding access level.

As life isn’t a hacker movie, and digital subterfuge is not a simple process, Spoon required a series of increasingly difficult rolls to pull this off. First, he located an employee directory and looked for the right person to email – selecting Sarah White, Stone’s Director of Outreach and Fundraising. Second, he searched online for the proper programs and instructions to set up a computer virus and rootkit that would give him the access levels he needed. Third, he attempted to follow said instructions and program the phishing scam. Finally, before sending the email, Spoon solicited Raya’s help to write it and ensure its authenticity, taking advantage of her writing specialty. (GM Note: To account for the uncertainty of whether an employee would actually open said email, I privately rolled a number of die to determine whether it had succeeded; the number I rolled depended on how well he had performed each of these tasks).

As the day wore on, everyone gradually convened at Spoon's café. Levi and Relmitos arrived first, making their way downtown after casing the ABC and speaking with Jamal. About an hour later, Raya and Fedaykin approached. By this point, the afternoon had worn on. Everyone was getting hungry – both for dinner, and for a successful start to their criminal endeavors. All that remained was to decide on their strategy and buy the right equipment.

As the party had only one Towerfall debit card, and nobody wanted their purchases tied to their personal accounts, everyone agreed to send Levi and Relmitos out to pick up equipment, while the rest remained back at the café to monitor Spoon’s phishing scheme and come up with a plan of attack. Working within their $400 budget, the group came up with a basic list of clothing and equipment that could reliably be found downtown. Their top priority was to avoid looking like thieves: Although the party insisted on buying large duffel bags, they eschewed ski masks, black outfits, and wool gloves in favor of business casual attire. This way, if they were caught, they’d at least have some opportunity to bluff their way out of trouble. Levi smartly suggested purchasing duct tape, chewing gum, and spray paint – useful for blocking security cameras and discretely holding doors open. Relmitos, remembering the importance of lockpicks, added a set of bobby pins to the list.

While Levi and Relmitos shopped, the others developed a plan of attack. As it was too late in the day to execute plan Trojan-Wulf, the party settled on a compromise approach to the heist. Fedaykin and Raya would approach the front doors directly, bluffing their way inside as someone inevitably left the building, and finding their way to the second floor through one of the stairwells. They would head to the security office, distract or incapacitate the guard inside, disable the security cameras, and obtain the master keys to Stone's suites from the keybox Raya spotted earlier. At the same time, Levi and Relmitos would reach the third floor through the relatively unguarded parking garage. Their job would be to pick the locks for each suite, apply duct tape to keep the doors open, and snoop around inside inside while Fedaykin and Raya took care of security. Spoon would remain outside, monitoring his rootkit scheme, attempting to access the network as necessary, and coordinating both teams on the ground.

Their plan solidified, and their equipment purchased, the team got together for a quick dinner before the big job. They had done their diligence, and they were fairly optimistic.

As long as everyone stuck to the plan, it would all be okay.

Posts : 2522
Join date : 2010-03-08
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