Dec 252009

Greetings to those of you in the Sunset World. I was hoping to have another Diaspora writeup, but circumstance conspires against us. (Doesn’t it always?)

But, no matter. Our next Spirit of the Century adventure followed some reading I did about San Francisco and its Barbary Coast district. I highly recommend The Secrets of San Francisco by Chaosium for details of this peculiar era of Old Frisco’s history.

Again, my littlest player came through for me. What would I do without her?

Union Jane – UJ

The Hunter – H

Suddenly UJ and H find themselves in San Francisco in 1927. There’s going to be a memorial service on Thursday for the first victims of the Petrifying Wind, in which there will be an official unveiling of commemorative statues. UJ and H are to represent the Century Club. But since H took the silver coins from the ship in the last adventure, he and UJ decide to get them appraised and sold. So they go to a coin appraiser, who tells them they’re worth twenty dollars apiece. He can’t buy them (he can’t afford to), but he knows someone who will, so he sets up an appointment for them with this guy in a few days. Outside the building UJ and H hear a commotion and see that there’s a man beating up an old woman, and they’re surrounded by a crowd of women. H dramatically jumps out a window to save her (he lands stylishly on top of a car, blowing out all its windows), while UJ runs down some stairs and out of the building to help. H attacks the man, who is tattooed, strangely. Eventually the man decides to run, and H chases him. The women carry the old woman to a building marked “The Gray Swan,” (turns out to be a brothel) and UJ follows them. In the meantime, H attacks and kills the guy. He searches the body and finds some papers written in Chinese. Also of note was that the guy had tattoos on his hands. One hand with a sunrise and the other with a sunset. H heads to the Gray Swan to find UJ. When UJ enters “The Swan” she sees the old woman being tended to by a white woman (all the other women are Asian). They’re all naturally suspicious of UJ and H, but UJ convinces them that they don’t mean any harm and want to help. Turns out the white woman is their madam. She implies that the old woman (Mama Han) was targeted by a tong, and that the tongs have become increasingly hostile to anyone who defies them. She also said that the Asian women were “slaves” who’d been brought from China. There are three tongs: Dawn Fist, Axe Gang, and One Thousand Fists. Mama Han (a former “slave”) has “the sight,” says the madam, and she keeps murmuring that “The hunter is coming.” She has also said that a “Doctor Jin” (Dr J) is coming. UJ and H take “the hunter” to be H. Dr J is apparently a very evil person from China that no one likes to speak of. The madam gets one of the Asian women who can speak English (named Rosie, because why the hell not?) to tell UJ and H about him. She said that Dr J makes “demons,” (think she was also the one who mentioned that he traveled with “the Seven”) and that when he comes, something bad is going to happen. She also thinks that maybe one of the tongs has insulted Dr J, and that’s why he’s on his way. The Axe Gang has heavily fortified their headquarters. The madam also took UJ and H down into a secret room to show us a bunch of women sewing, who she said would be in danger when Dr J came. H wanted to find the Axe Gang’s headquarters, but the women wouldn’t tell us. (They might not have known, actually.) Turned out that a union acquaintance of UJ’s had mentioned the Axe Gang, so UJ and H went to talk to him. He said he’d met a coolie who knew about the Axe Gang, and told us where to reach him. The coolie was found in a bakery, where UJ and H were first greeted by a Chinese woman. UJ had to bribe her to get her to let them see the coolie, and then UJ had to bribe the coolie to get him to talk, since he was afraid of the Axe Gang and Dr J. Of Dr J, he said that a tong in China had killed Dr J’s “grocer boy,” who was actually an old man (even though it was said that Dr J doesn’t eat like normal people, among other horrible things), and that afterward the tong’s hideouts started getting destroyed. The coolie wouldn’t tell us how to get to the Axe Gang’s headquarters, so UJ asked if there was a back way or secret entrance. He mentioned a sewer, and said that the leader here of the Axe Gang was fond of mussels and noodles. The coolie mentioned Pier 9. (This pier happened to be in the same location as the Petrifying Wind memorial statues.) He mentioned more than once something along the lines of “When they torture you to find out who told you about them, don’t mention me!” In gratitude for his help, H bought a cake. As he carried the cake through the city streets, urchins started following him. He gave the cake to them to get them to stop following him. As UJ and H headed to the pier at night (H said to look for noodles and mussels as a gift), they were confronted by five guys. One seemed to ask for beer money, and UJ said, “What?” He said “Screw it,” and they attacked. UJ and H killed them, after which they went to the beach where the pier was, but it was high tide and they couldn’t detect anything that looked like some kind of entranceway. They decided to hang out on a park bench. H didn’t have to sleep, but UJ rested on the bench. A policeman named O’Houlihan (O’H) confronted them and told them that they weren’t supposed to be there, and did they know anything about these five guys who’d just been killed nearby? UJ and H said they didn’t, but O’H continued to harass them, so they showed him their Century Club membership cards, which finally caused him to let them go about their business. Since it was almost daylight but too early to find noodles and mussels, and it was almost time for the appointment with the coin buyer, UJ and H went to a coffee vendor and UJ had some coffee. They eventually met the buyer. H and the buyer haggled a bit, and eventually the price of ten dollars per coin was agreed upon (because he couldn’t afford to buy them all for twenty dollars each, he said.) They all went to a bank nearby so he could pay H, which he did. There were one thousand coins, by the way. All of a sudden there was a really loud noise outside. The buyer left in the opposite direction of the noise. H jumped out a window, again, to see what was going on. UJ rolled 4 pluses and impressively jumped off a fire escape after him. Turned out that a boat had plowed into the pier (Pier 9, of course). There was fire, debris and screaming people. Firefighters started arriving. UJ and H went to help, and heard a woman screaming, “My baby!” Turned out to be a kid in the water, hanging on to a piece of debris. H and UJ swam out and H grabbed the kid. Somehow UJ helped him swim and/or hang onto the kid as they tried to get back to shore. ( I nearly accidentally killed the entire party here, oops.) They actually got pretty burned before they got back onto the beach, but the kid was safe. They approached the boat, which was flying a Greek flag. O’H came up to them and “asked” if they wanted to board the ship. So they did, followed by O’H and a few of his men. (H jumped onto the ship, UJ nearly fell trying to get on but was pulled up by H, then the total dork policemen went up on a ladder.) First thing that was noticed was the two Chinese symbols probably painted in blood on this door of a cabin on deck. O’H got an elderly Chinese man who was their translator, and this guy said the symbols meant “Dr J arrives” or something like that. Two of O’H’s men opened the cabin door, which was unlocked, went in and then ran out in a state of almost-puking. UJ and H went in and saw that the “steering wheel” or whatever it’s called on a ship had been mostly torn out and replaced by something that was partly made out of human muscles. UJ and H searched the rest of the ship. All they found of note (other than that there was no one and no bodies on board) was that the galley was bloody and appeared to have been used as an operating room. Wait a minute, there was something else, which was that there seemed to have been cushioned pod-like areas that looked like they were meant to protect seven things that were now no longer in evidence. At some point UJ and H left the ship and O’H and his men, and found these kids on the beach, who said that one of their number (named Billy) said that he saw monsters leaving the ship. The other kids thought Billy was lying, but UJ and H questioned him, and he said he saw flying creatures and “a lady with one red eye,” and that (at least some) of them had entered this hole, which UJ and H hadn’t seen before because of the high tide (uh-oh). The kids said they weren’t supposed to go in there because of high tide. H bought the kids some noodles and mussels from a beach stand. Then he and UJ entered the hole, which was a tunnel with burn marks (with the magic of Fate points, they miraculously found that they had flashlights, which they needed to see in the dark tunnel). Eventually they found (a) room(s) with bodies and more burn marks. At some point, they found a door, inside of which were the remains of some damaged stairs, which they had difficulty climbing. They then entered a room that was on fire, and there they were attacked by 25 tong members with axes. At the start, fifteen attacked H and ten attacked UJ. Eventually UJ and H killed them all, although they sustained quite a bit of damage. They then reached a room where they saw a “man” wearing strange, Asian-looking armor who had fire instead of eyes and who was killing the leader of the Axe Gang. The creature jumped out of a window. H attacked and did so well that he severed one of the creature’s arms. Some other people showed up–firemen? But they didn’t stay long. UJ and H kept attacking the creature, and were doing very well, in sharp contrast to when they had to fight the 25 tong members. At one point the creature had trouble turning its head. Eventually H got the idea to attack the creature’s armor. He rolled so well that he clawed off a piece of its chestpiece, revealing a clockwork mixed in with human organs, including two eye stalks. The thing then burst into flames, and some fluid spilled out of it, and it was no more. Later it was determined that if UJ and H could understand Mandarin, they would have known that the creature said “Thank you” when it died. It turned out that that wasn’t Dr J (as H thought earlier), but one of Dr J’s “Seven.” And then that annoyance O’H showed up, accused UJ and H of being suspicious and tried to handcuff them, but UJ intimidated him into not doing so.

And the session ended there.

’till next time. Enjoy the Holidays.

Posted by Lodger Tagged with: , , , ,
Dec 062009

This was our next adventure. Again, it is written by my best player. :) It is offered here in its mostly unedited raw form. There was a no-show on the player side so I thought I’d run a sidebar to tie together the arcs. I needn’t have bothered, since one of the players changed characters yet again. This would become a theme for him. SOTC supports this, so the story changes slightly to match his new priorities.

Enjoy.

After destruction of the sky city of Etheropia, UJ and the Hunter (H) began hunting down various rogue cultists who had to find new hideouts. Turns out also that Etheropia’s destruction created an “asteroid field” of floating debris that occasionally rains down on “mostly” Europe in sharp, destructive particles in showers called the Petrifying Winds. Also, this debris field causes problems for heavier-than-air aircraft, so now dirigibles are relied upon for air transport. UJ and H are tooling around in a boat piloted by a crew loyal to Doctor Tigre-Morte. Their mission was to, in disguise, buy some nasty supernatural weapons (“demonbound” weapons) from these smugglers with cult ties. UJ was forewoman of twenty longshoremen who were there to load and unload the weapons. She and H arrived somewhere on the coast of Africa at a small village, and were met by a Spanish guy named Diego. He took H off to a saloon, and UJ got directed to a warehouse with her men. H got to meet this nasty leader guy called Atwon (full name: The Great Atwon) who offered him cheap alcohol. The saloon had a bunch of guys and a serving woman lounging in it. Atwon demanded payment, but asked for 20k instead of the agreed-on 10k. H refused to pay extra and Atwon offered to take the 10k, plus all the longshoremen to use in the unspeakable rituals involved in constructing the demonbound weapons. (He also complained about the quality of victims in the area, and how UJ and H had healthy men who’d make good sacrifices). Atwon killed poor Diego after Diego mentioned taking a cut of the 10k. He used a demonbound dagger on Diego, and the dagger drank his blood. Atwon mentioned something about how hard his business was, and H said, “Maybe you should get out of it.” Atwon offered H a position in his organization as a slave. H refused, and said, “I bet my friend has killed all your men and is heading this way.” Atwon said he’d take that bet. In the meantime, at the warehouse UJ and the longshoremen were met by an attractive, out-of-place, squeaky-voiced guy (later dubbed “the accountant”). He asked for the foreman and was surprised when UJ got pushed forward. There was this tattooed guy there who thought he recognized UJ, but UJ didn’t recognize him, and managed to convince him that he didn’t know her (out of character: he was a cultist who’d managed to escape our (meaning Jolly Rogers, the Crimson Specter and UJ) destruction of the sky fortress that contained the sky ash drug manufacturing facility in an earlier adventure. This was the game where Jolly dropped the building on CS and UJ). Tattoo Guy (TG) complained to the accountant that he and his guys hadn’t been paid, and so he sent one of his guys (called Sylvan) to the saloon to get a receipt of payment, and then we’d be allowed to take the shipment out of the warehouse. Sylvan made two trips. On the second one, Atwon told him to bring back UJ’s ear. Back at the warehouse, TG’s men started setting up the small boxes in preparation for them to be moved out. There were big boxes in the warehouse. One of them had the sound of someone sobbing inside it. UJ sidled up secretly to it and tried to look in. A finger popped out and touched her, and a voice said, “Help! They’re going to kill us!” UJ whispered, “Hang on.” TG started yelling at an underling, threatening him for poorly handling the boxes. They then grinned unsavorily at UJ and her guys. UJ went to TG and said something like, “I don’t trust you. I think you’re up to something.” He laughed and said , “Shut up, we’re in charge here, girlie,” whereupon UJ attacked and put some of his guys out of commission. Sylvan came back and failed to cut off UJ’s ear. The longshoremen found some rum and started drinking and cheering UJ on. UJ left the building in order to draw the baddies out into the street to get H’s attention (the saloon was only a few blocks away). Originally when UJ arrived at the warehouse, the street had contained people, but now the street was deserted. At the saloon someone commented, “She’s making a lot of noise for someone with no ear,” and someone looked out a window and said, “She’s coming this way!” At some point, H said the following things or thereabouts to Atwon: “I can kill you fast, or I can kill you slow,” and “I should let you run into the jungle. It’d be fun to hunt you down.” Eventually Atwon said to his men, “Seize him,” and his minions tried, but at this point H attacked. Atwon had a nasty magical spear, which was probably demonbound. He hurt H with it pretty badly. Oh yes, you weren’t supposed to touch or even really be near any of these weapons, because they would try to inspire in you homicidal rage. The longshoremen joined in on the fight, using shovels. So we got a bonus because they acted as our minions. A few of them even attacked Atwon. Eventually, Atwon found himself alone, and when he was about to die, he broke the spear, causing forces of evil or hatred or something to flow out and make UJ and H make Resolve checks (which failed). The longshoremen began burying the dead bad guys. Frightened villagers began peeking out of windows, and then an old man who turned out to be Diego Sr. approached. He asked if we’d bury his son, which the longshoremen did. He offered us food, even though the villagers didn’t have much. H said, “Oh, no, we couldn’t possibly..ooh, mangoes!” Diego Sr. said the cultists killed all the young men in the village and took all the weapons, and did their rituals out in the open. UJ freed the people in the boxes, who were women and children from other villages. They were welcomed by the villagers, but some or all of them decided to try to make it back to their own villages. The longshoremen started to fix buildings, etc. UJ and H wondered what to do about the demonbound weapons, since it was up to us. Could have dropped them in the ocean and the water would eventually destroy them because they were made of ordinary materials that had been enchanted; they were assassin weapons, meant to basically only be used once, but H was worried that doing that would adversely affect the ocean (there was mention of producing “demon fish”), so it was decided, thru H’s Contacting skill, that we would have the weapons unenchanted because there was a story of a holy man on an island somewhere who could do this. H thought the longshoremen should stay at the village to help out, which they did. UJ said we could pick the longshoremen up later. We headed off to find the island, after locating a Santeria priest named Carlos who knew where the island was. Actually, Carlos performed a ritual involving a rattle and an executed chicken and an arcane symbol drawn on the deck to find out how to get to the island. Because of that sort of thing, the crew were initially wary of Carlos. UJ tied the boxes down securely with some rope. We approached the island, due to Carlos standing on deck and pointing in various directions. There were actually two islands. One was big, and the other was small and ugly, with a volcano. Suddenly there was a big storm; UJ and H rescued a sailor who was almost washed off the ship. Carlos, who was standing on the deck, was swept away by a wave. After more Athletics rolls to avoid giant waves, the ship capsized onto the volcanic island (dubbed island “A” by H). The weapon boxes broke and the weapons were scattered on the beach, and UJ yelled to the crewmen not to touch them. The storm stopped. We went inland, following a “hidden path” and found a clearing with a graveyard filled with 25 small, extremely old and weathered crosses. What was weirder was that the graves were empty depressions. Upon leaving we got attacked by rather large poisonous spiders. They sort of almost poisoned UJ. We killed them, but further along on this trip we were attacked by more spiders; don’t remember how many times. They killed at least three of the sailors, one of whom said something like, “Tell my wife I love her,” and another said, “I love you, Jane” before dying. One of the guys who died did so in UJ’s arms as she was trying ineffectually to save him. She did save at least one guy (but possibly from a killer snake; see below). Anyway, eventually we trekked on down the path and found a lagoon with a partially sunken ship (note: some of the following stuff about the ship was adapted from a GURPS Horror adventure). It was anchored there, and only the (mossy) deck was above water. H, who had the higher Survival skill, surmised that it was salt water. He decided to jump onto the ship to check it out. UJ said to yell if he needed any help, and he told her to yell if she needed any help. There was an open window in the raised structure on the deck (structure called the poop deck, for horrible reasons), and a hatch in the middle of the deck. H entered the poop deck, which contained a galley. Below the galley was the captain’s quarters, which H eventually broke down (it was pretty hard to break open). Inside was the corpse of a guy in seventeenth-century garb. The open window mentioned above led into this room. The room also had a strongbox, which H opened. It contained some silver and a journal, both of which H took, although the journal partially crumbled in his hands. From what he could read (he’d had to fashion a torch, since no one had any sort of a light source), this had been a trading vessel called the Eliza, from the seventeenth century. It had made it into this lagoon after being forced onto the island by a storm. A foraging party was sent out but didn’t come back. They were then attacked by mysterious beings, who were later determined to be the reanimated dead foragers. Eventually, they killed everyone but the captain, who holed up in his quarters, ending his journal with the words “I am in God’s hands now.” He ended up with a huge hole in his chest. There was a “spare” room next to the captain’s room, which was empty. H also explored the gun deck. The gun deck had a hatch right below the above-deck hatch. H opened it and found a partially flooded hold with debris floating around. He decided to leave. While he was on board, UJ could hear some cussing coming from the ship as H struggled to open things and then six red-eyed snakes attacked her and the sailors. Eventually, she killed the snakes. (By the end of the game we’d lost six sailors; we were supposed to keep at least six or we wouldn’t be able to leave because UJ and H couldn’t repair the boat.) It was getting dark, so we decided to spend the night there on the beach. H took watch because he doesn’t need sleep. He didn’t notice (until it was too late) three guys come out of nowhere and attack him. They just started biting him. H killed two and UJ killed one. Right afterward one of the sailors got his heart somehow ripped out of his chest. The heart vanished upon leaving his body. They turned out to be zombies made from the three sailors who’d been killed. Next day we continued on the path, which ended at the volcano. There was a treacherous-looking path up the volcano, and at the end of that path (about midway up the volcano) was an entranceway that had columns with evil-looking statues. Not surprisingly, the sailors elected to not go on the path. H and UJ did, however (having to make Athletics rolls), and found a room, at the end of which was a hallway, which was filled with a bunch of corpses of long-dead, probably-dead-when-the-Eliza-got-to-the-island priestly-looking guys suspended by ropes. There was another entranceway at the end of this hall Through that entranceway was a room with an altar with hideous creatures carved on it, and six hearts, a few of them fresh and one of them extremely fresh, sitting on it. There was a light shining in through a hole in the ceiling, shining down onto the altar. H decided to climb the rather slippery walls to see what was through the hole (he has the Human Spider stunt).Turned out to be the sky. While he was up there an undead priest tried to pull his heart out, causing him to fall (but he didn’t get hurt because he has Safe Fall).This priest’s heart-removing ability was due to this magical mace. He also had a ritual knife that was one of those enhancement weapons (forgot the name; Rare Artifact or Gadget or something) and a cape made out of human (at least partly face) skin. A big old fight ensued. He was one bad-ass mofo who managed to cause us to use up all our Fate points. UJ set him on fire with the torch, but he eventually beat out the fire. She then proceeded to try to bash him on the head, which she managed, except he had a very durable head for a dead guy. She disarmed him of his mace and knife. She decided to do that after finding out that the knife could do that attacking-your-shadow thing that Eric Somebody the evil proto-Nazi wizard guy from way back could do. It pinned her shadow down, so she couldn’t move. Dead Priest (DP) tried to do that to H, but failed. DP waved part of his cape at us, which was so hideous we had to make Resolve rolls to avoid being paralyzed with fear. UJ succeeded, but H was paralyzed momentarily. UJ tore the cape off DP, revealing a thong-wearing, burned zombie. She continued to wail away on his head. Eventually H chopped DP’s head off, thus finishing him off. We decided to visit the other island, in the hopes of finding the holy man. He was indeed on the other island, along with Carlos, who had somehow survived and had a bowl of chicken for us. He said he could unenchant the weapons for us, which he did. He warned us to stay away from the other island, because there was evilness there. We told him we knew that already.

Remember to have fun.

Posted by Lodger Tagged with: , , , ,
Dec 012009

Hello Lodgers,

Here is another installment of SOTC. Someone tied to the previous adventure in that consequences from previous episode actions continue to haunt our heroes.  Basically, these APs become the continuing adventures of Union Jane (UJ) as she is the only protagonist to stick with the same character. She provides an interesting tie-in for the many (seriously) guest stars who would grace my game throughout its various arcs.

Two new characters: Juju Man and Death, respectively. Death (D) is a thin vampire with claws made out of solidified blood. He came from the underside/underworld of Etheropia. These eight or nine or so ghouls (Minions of a rival vampire) started following him. They wanted to kill him (because when the party splits up, call in the ninjas!).  He ended up taking refuge on the surface and found Juju Man (JJM) outside. JJM, who is a gaunt voodoo master (a “bokor”), intimidated the ghouls and they fled. While this was happening, UJ was still on the Sky’s Mistress dirigible, which was flying out of control towards Etheropia due to Petra (see last session) having vengefully fired a Pneumagun at it. A loa called Papa Legba (a real fun scene for me. Papa pulls rank and tells JJM one of his daughters needs help. This becomes a running gag through the adventure. Out of character, there was much speculation as to why UJ was a worker’s rights advocate for a voodoo spirit) appeared to JJM and Death (by this time they were in the city proper, and they saw a big shadow over the city) and told them that basically there was an out-of-control ship on its way containing a woman with a piece of paper, and they had to do something about it. UJ headed to the cockpit to try and keep the dirigible from hitting an orphanage. She managed to miss it but began heading for another building. D managed to jump onto the bottom of the cockpit, hanging on by digging his claws into the hull. He was able to open a door and come in. UJ asked if he could pilot a dirigible. He said no but that he could grab her and safely jump out of the dirigible. (He was a Human Spider and acrobatics expert.) UJ agreed with his plan. After they jumped out, the dirigible crashed into the building and caught on fire. People began jumping out of the building. Two firemen came to try to put out the fire. JJM got on top of a building, and more ghouls pursued him. UJ and D went up to help. Fighting ensued, and eventually the ghouls were no longer a problem. JJM was the first to notice that these ghostly moths had appeared on people’s shoulders and were saying to them, “Fight, fight, fear, fear” over and over. Eventually, UJ and D noticed them too. They had their own moths, as it turned out. Meanwhile, the fire in/on the dirigible and building unnerved D (he had an aversion to fire), and UJ gently dragged him away from the dirigible and told him to ignore the bug on his shoulder. JJM’s Mysteries knowledge told him that the moths were Shadow Moths and that the “Queen of Night” would be a harbinger of their appearance (ha ha, horrors from previous adventures), and that they would lead to the doom of all civilizations. UJ was able to confirm that this Queen was the Night Mother from a previous adventure. Almost everyone the party saw had the moths; some were frightened of them, and others were listening to them and going off to get weapons. The only people who had no moths were children. UJ spoke to one, and ended up being followed by a group of children, who she fortunately was able to persuade to go home. At this time the party was heading to an occult library, at the behest of JJM. This library was one of the tallest buildings in the city, except for the lab of Dr. Tigre-Morte (who was apparently staying pretty secluded in there, experimenting and not caring too much about what was going on among the populace, like a typical mad scientist). UJ’s contacts showed where to find the library, because she knew union people who had delivered furniture to such a place (teamsters are everywhere.). This attendant there wouldn’t let the party in at first, but JJM and D intimidated him into changing his mind.  (JJM’s Intimidation ability allows him to, well, among other things, unhinge his jaw and widen his ribs.) (Short pause in game while we regain control of the laughter. The store probably sold two more copies based on the laughing alone.) The party found a giant book in a dark area of the library that had a cool name: Book of the Forgotten Poets. It contained references to a pre-Atlantean people called the Poets, who could speak words that created objects. What seemed to have happened was that they created the moths, and the moths ultimately made them destroy themselves. It also said the moths would require a pool, sacrifices and servants (in order to create a hive of them). Once out of the library, on top of a tenement, JJM summoned a female entity (Erzulie, “she who would speak the secret words”) who was related to Papa Legba to ask where the moths could be found. This was the reason the party at some point needed some herbs, including what turned out to be the white flower UJ had been carrying around in a pocket since she pulled it out of the ground it was growing in in front of the gate the Nazis had activated through which the Night Mother came in an earlier adventure with the Hunter, Jolly Roger and the Crimson Specter. The summoning actually was the reason those items were needed; they were necessary for the summoning ritual. One of the other things necessary was a sacrifice, for which a pigeon would do. So D killed a pigeon. Afterwards JJM reanimated it. Then D killed the resulting zombie pigeon. JJM asked Erzulie where the problems were coming from. She pointed to the moths on the party’s shoulders. JJM clarified his question to mean their source. She indicated the House of Tenshuro. UJ knew this to be a Yakuza HQ (where else would I get my ninjas?) that union people avoided (their specialties were drugs and something else). Etheropia had two other organized crime HQs: the House of Finn (headed by an Irish guy. This wasn’t a yakuza group. They specialized in prostitution and drugs) and the House of Henzo  (who specialized in drugs and gambling). They all were having problems with the drug side of things because UJ, Jolly and the Hunter and the Musician in the previous adventure had disrupted the supply of the sky ash drug by ultimately destroying the fortress where it was being made, and causing this huge mess at the same time). The party headed to the House of Tenshuro. JJM hung back while D decided to just go up to the entrance, accompanied by UJ. D asked to come in, and a head guard type guy (there were about fifteen or so samurai out front) said he’d ask his lord. He left and didn’t come back for a long time, then told D and UJ that they couldn’t see the lord. D said something like, “I’ll have to kill you then.” The head guard guy was about to attack when UJ bashed him. In the ensuing fight, UJ rolled really well and killed a bunch of them. JJM reanimated seven of them. Afterwards, he went in with his new retinue. UJ followed, but D was temporarily delayed because he couldn’t help drinking some of all the blood. Inside JJM entered a courtyard and surprised three engineer types who were laying dynamite around a pool. JJM intimidated them; he tied up at least two of them. He took (some of) the explosives and secured them to some/all of the zombies. Oh yeah, turned out all/some of the dead samurais had living moths hiding inside them, which climbed out of their mouths upon death and flew up into an upstairs window. The party came upon this eight-foot-tall guy in a robe. He took off the robe to reveal himself to be a human(oid) with the head of a hyena (sewn on). D attacked him and got stuck to him by his claws. Hyena Guy (HG) flung D across the room. JJM used an artifact, the Ankh of Osiris. It caused a light to burn Hyena Guy, and the “Light of Osiris” to flood into the courtyard. Hyena Guy was stunned and gave a look of newfound respect to JJM. UJ bashed HG’s kneecaps so eventually he couldn’t walk and fell to his knees and burst into flames (but continued to attack). Sometime during the battle, HG summoned a giant spider, which D attacked. D pulled off two of its legs and beat it with them. It turned out that HG was a form of undead. JJM ordered some zombies to go and get blown up by the spider and HG. UJ got caught in (one of) the resulting blast(s) and took a lot of hits to her Health. JJM also somehow gave some blood to D to give him extra fighting power (D’s Weapon of Destiny was his blood–yes, his blood). Eventually the party killed HG and the spider. Oh yeah, during this fight and also the one with Goodwin (see below) the party had Resolve problems due to magic being used against them: JJM saw images from his Horrific Past (an Aspect) and UJ saw and heard her dead friend Arturo (another Aspect), which caused JJM and UJ to be temporarily distracted. The party then headed to this other pool that was about ten feet deep and had a brown gemlike object about the size of a human head at the bottom. D and JJM didn’t want to enter the water. (They were all sporting multiple consequences and full tracks.) JJM surmised that this thing was the hive. UJ swam down and brought it up. JJM determined that it was indeed the hive, but not finished. At this point, Officer Goodwin(main antagonist) arrived on the scene. His eyes were like shadows. JJM destroyed the hive and Goodwin said, “Do you know how long it took to make that?” or something. He then attacked, but with magic. He spoke words of power. He attacked the party’s Resolves. He also formed a shield of tentacles (Block with Mysteries). JJM ordered some of this zombies to shield UJ as she attacked Goodwin (Counterblock – mysteries). She faked him out with a feint (because he formed the shield only in the direction in which he was being attacked. Now, the party worked as a team and started placing aspects and free tags for the fighters), causing him to be off guard for a moment and giving him a taggable Aspect. Eventually D tore him open. He had moths inside his chest, which dissolved. He had been the deranged spirit of the last remaining Poet. At this point, the city began to crack into four pieces. D saved UJ again by catching her as she fell toward the part of the city that was starting to tumble away, because she rolled so crappy on Athletics but he rolled well. Some or all of the zombies guarding UJ, had, moments before, managed to save her from falling debris by shielding her. That was where the session ended.

Post any questions you may have in the comments. This was a while ago and our memory of it is pretty faint. I remember a lot of fun and the priceless expressions on the heroes’ faces when they realized that the big bad had just arrived and they were sucking wind on fate points. Classic terror. I believe one player summed it up like this: “We gotta take this guy down in the first exchange or we’re &%^^%$!”

One piece of critique here: SOTC makes this sort of timing very difficult but well worth it. The kind of fight it takes to wear down a full party is epic and players love that. When it’s done there will be dozens of bodies on the ground and the heroes will have no fate points left.  They leave the game drained so I usually aim this sort of thing for every third adventure. This fits my triptych adventure arc style.

My next adventure to post is a filler adventure because a player went missing: “The Hunt for Red Eliza.”  (Just kidding.)

Posted by Lodger Tagged with: , , , ,