Friday, March 30th, 2007 AD
Christine takes David's (Nick) call, and brings him up-to-date on what the four women have found. David tells her that he's going to come out to join her, and that they should take extra care, as whatever killed Hiram White also may have killed the man they found in the copse. After David hangs up, Christine brings Amanda (Kathy), Jessica (Angela), and Jenny (Joanne) up to speed on what's happened. Amanda begins to move off, regardless of the dangers, as she tracks the animal that killed the man in the copse, and Christine goes with them, as she doesn't want to be left on her own.
Harrison Williams (David) is chatting up Dr. Margaret Hunter when he is approached by Porter, one of the men Alexander (Tom) sent to find the wilderness guide, and asks him to accompany him to see Captain Taylor on a matter of some importance. He's rather annoyed by the whole business, as he really had taken a shine to Margaret, but accompanies the soldier after bidding Margaret adieu and telling her that he'll catch up with her later. He leaves with Porter, after paying the bar tab.
David tells Alexander about what Christine told him, and Alexander realises the danger the women could be in. He tells Hennessy to bring one of the land rovers around, as he says that they need to go after the women. Harrison is brought into the room by Porter at that moment, and Alexander quickly goes over the situation with him. Harrison looks at the body of Hiram White, and says that he doesn't know what kind of animal killed the man, as it's nothing he's ever seen before, but adds that the claws of the creature that killed him must have been quite large, around 18mm, for a creature that was agile and quick. Alexander asks David and Harrison to go with him after the girls, and taking Porter and Thomas, the group heads to where Hennessy has got the land rover waiting for them. Once at the land rover, Hennessy guns the vehicle and they take off after the female characters.
Out near the forest, Amanda leads Jenny, Christine, and Jessica on the trail of the creature that attacked the man at the copse, and the group comes upon a large herd of what appear to be herbivores. Rhinoceros-like with a large flattened boss over the nose and a smaller one over the eyes, with several pairs of horns growing seeming at random from the frills of the various individuals, the creatures are some 7 metres long, 2 metres high, and quite massive. Amanda says that they must be some prehistoric rhinos or some such, but Jessica says that whatever they are, they could be quite dangerous. Several of the rhino-like creatures scent the player characters, and begin to stomp, eyeing them somewhat evilly. Amanda, Jessica, and Christine manage to cautiously move around without aggravating the creatures too much, but when Jenny stumbles over a root, and falls with an audible thump and a crack of wood, one of the rhino-like creature charges towards her!
Alexander, David, Harrison, and the SAS soldiers arrive at the scene of the copse of woods described by Christine, and find the body of the gardener. Harrison is unable to identify the man's attacker, but he says that the wounds are similar, if not identical, to those of Hiram White. Given Amanda's interest in animals, Alexander suggests that she may have gone after the creature(s) that did this to the gardener, and the group immediately looks around for tracks. Harrison finds the tracks easily enough, and tells the others. He casually mentions that they seem to lead towards the forest in the distance.
As the herd of rhino-like creatures follows its lead and charges towards them, Amanda realises they are heading towards another copse of trees, presumably to feed on the vegetation there. She tells the others to stop moving, but to keep out of the creatures' path. Needless to say, Jessica stumbles into one of the creature's path, and is brushed aside like flotsam (she takes 6 points of damage). As the herd pounds past them, the other women converge on her, and find her semi-conscious on the ground. Christine says that she's got a twisted arm, but is able to fix that relatively easily, and some contusions and lacerations, but she'll be okay. Jenny comments on her coolness in the face of the herd, to which Christine replies that she's seen a lot in her time in the Ambulance Service; while she wasn't expecting the rhino-like creatures, she knows when to be scared and when not to. They hear the sound of a motor, and turning see the land rover pulling up to their location, as the rhino-like creatures graze on some greenish-purple plants at the nearby copse.
As Christine continues to tend to Jessica's wounds, David, Alexander, and Harrison approach them, the SAS soldiers remaining with the land rover. Seeing that Jessica's wounds are well in hand, Alexander and the others ask what happened, and are brought up to speed. David is fascinated by the creatures, and he and Amanda confer about the animals. As they talk, while Alexander sets up the SAS men in a perimeter watch around the land rover, one of the adolescent rhino-like beasts approaches the group. Amanda confirms that it is curious about them, and she offers it some of the grass from the meadowy area they find themselves in. The adolescent declines, but is much quieter around the characters, as it begins munching at the grasses nearby. Two of the SAS soldiers, Porter and Weston, eye the creatures warily, but Amanda reassures them that they're herbivores, and won't harm them.
Amanda and David notice that the creatures appear to be agitated by something, and alert the others as the herd starts to move. A pack of what appear to be raptors that are as large as a man savagely attacks one of the herd of rhino-like creatures, as mad panic surges among the herd. Even as they watch the vicious attack by the creatures, both Amanda and David realise that these creatures were responsible for the death of the gardener. The herd of creatures tramples through the area occupied by the characters, one of the larger animals brutally knocking over the land rover, tumbling it onto its side. Porter and Weston are eager to fire at the fleeing herbivores, but Alexander exerts his leadership, and the two obey his orders not to fire on them.
As quickly as the attack on the rhino-like creatures happened, it is over, the characters struggling to maintain their composure, even as the herd begins to calm down in a new location further westward, towards the forest at another copse of woods. Alexander takes stock and makes sure that everyone is all right, even as as a harsh, shrill lowing sound comes from the sight of the savage attack. One of the rhino-like creatures is seriously hurt, even as the raptors that attacked them ignore it to savagely feast on another one of its kind. Without even thinking about it, Amanda snatches up Christine's first aid kit, and rushes towards the injured rhino-like beast, even as two of the raptor creatures start to lumber towards her, their jaws opening in anticipation!
The players enjoyed themselves immensely in this Primeval RPG session, as they found the puzzle about what had killed the people from the Manderley area interesting and quite alluring. Kathy and Joanne expressed a bit of worry when the party was being split up to cover all sorts of stuff, but Nick reassured them by saying, "Don't worry, they do this in Primeval all the time!". Kathy's look said it all. :) The adventure is moving along quite nicely, the players have a good grasp on what stuff they're doing and how their characters treat each other, and overall, a good time was had by all. I'm certainly enjoying myself running this game! And I loved leaving them on the cliffhanger that I did! :)