Here is the next session of the Primeval RPG campaign featuring the Friday night gaming group. This session dates back to November 30th, 2012. You can read about the previous session of the game in this journal entry. This post is somewhat long, and I've put it behind a cut so that folks who don't want to read any detailed rpg posts don't have to.
Sunday, April 15th, 2007
The day begins simply enough for a group of characters. Harrison Williams (David) is on a romantic afternoon date with his new love interest, Tammy Dobson, whom he met during the incident that led him to the Feldenham Retirement Home (see the previous scenario). He's taken Tammy and her young son, 8-year-old Ricky, to the London Zoo, the place where they first met.
Amanda Tarrascon (Kathy) is visiting the London Zoo as part of a field trip for several of her promising students, and her assistant Kathy Blaine has decided to come along, as it sounds promising. There's an oddness to the relationship between the two since the incident at Feldenham, and Kathy has been demanding that she be allowed to be involved more in matters. She tells Amanda that she owes her that much.
Jenny Hansford (Joanne) has also come to the London Zoo on this bright and clear Sunday to get away from her friends and everything to do with her job for the moment. She's enjoying looking at some of the plains exhibits on display when she spots Harrison and his girlfriend. She decides not to get in their way, but she hears her name called from elsewhere on the second floor of the Gardens.
Olivia Hamilton (Ellie), the precocious girl that Jenny and the others met at Feldenham, is with her mother, Eileen, and enjoying a day at the Gardens. She's fascinated by the animal exhibits, but doesn't see any real interesting animals, not like the ones that she saw at Feldenham. Her mother chides her for her interest in dinosaurs, but Olivia is delighted when she spots Jenny Hansford wandering the exhibits, and calls out to her.
Jenny goes over to the girl and her mother, and introductions are made all around. Olivia starts asking Jenny questions about the ramifications of the matter at Feldenham, but her mother saves the computer geek from having to answer, as she tells Olivia that they have to go as they're on a tight schedule. Seeing Jenny, Amanda and Kathy come over to join them, and the little girl is delighted to see the "animal lady" again. And then the lights go out.
Harrison tells Tammy and her son that there's nothing to be afraid of. The Zoo domes are still bringing in plenty of light, and he produces a torch (he always carries one with him), causing Ricky to smile. As Harrison leads Tammy and her son towards the exits, following the directions of the tannoy voice, he spots something shadowy moving among the elephant exhibit. He tells Tammy that he's got to go back, as he left his mobile phone at one of the video screen booths. Handing Tammy and her son over to the Zoo security guards to escort out safely, he tells her that he'll catch up with her.
While Olivia is somewhat scared, her sharp eyes catch movement of an animal in one of the exhibit enclosures. She whispers this to Jenny as the group walks towards the exit, and Jenny passes that information on to Amanda. Amanda tells her students that it's dangerous for them to stay at this point, and she convinces them to leave the Zoo building and wait outside for her and Kathy. She manages to persuade one of the guards who knows her that she can help with securing the animals, and Jenny and Kathy follow her back towards the exhibits while Olivia and her mom continue to be escorted by a security guard for the exit; Olivia gives Amanda an evil glare when the zoologist smiles at her.
The three women meet Harrison, and compare notes. They head for the elephant enclosure, a special exhibit on at the Zoo for only two weeks. At the elephant enclosure, Amanda's sharp eyes catch sight of what appears to be marks of some sort indicating a creature climbed some of the trees in the enclosure - something outside the purview of an elephant. Kathy gives a little scream as she spots a pair of yellow eyes in the upper foliage, regarding her and the others, but when she points in the direction she was looking, the others see nothing, though there is a stirring of the foliage, as if something moved around in it.
Olivia is acting peeved and annoyed as her mother and the security guard lead her towards the main exit. With a "I'm sorry" to her mom, Olivia races back into the exhibit area atria, as the guard is slow to react, but comes after her. Something hits the guard in passing, moving quite fast, knocking him flat to the ground. Olivia perceives something that is quite large and looks like a tawny-furred lemur. She screams.
Hearing the scream, Jenny recognises Olivia's voice immediately, and urges Harrison to go back and see what's going on. He agrees, gives Amanda his torch, while the three women go on without him. Jenny, Amanda, and Kathy cautiously enter the enclosure through the entrance off to the side, and move stealthily around. The elephants appear to be somewhat spooked, but aren't reacting with fear (yet). Jenny asks Amanda where the exit and doors for the staff are at the back of the enclosure, and tells the other two women that she'll go back and see what she can find.
Harrison reaches the quivering Olivia, and sees the guard lying on the ground, unconscious. He checks on the guard, and then manages to calm the girl down with his best tour guide mannerism. Olivia giggles. With a bit of coaxing, she tells him what she saw, and Harrison immediately finds a set of odd tracks in the parquet floor. He sets off in pursuit, and the precocious child follows him.
Several of the Zoo guards and keepers approach Amanda and Kathy as they search through the elephant enclosure for the creature(s) in the trees. Amanda uses her zoo connections to allay their suspicions, and one of the Zoo guards, Eric Rose, offers them his services. Amanda gladly accepts. They catch another glimpse of movement in the trees, and Amanda leads them on in their pursuit.
Jenny finds the staff entrance to the enclosure at the back of the elephant enclosure, and sees that the large doors are somewhat off their hinges. She moves closer, and sees that there is light coming from the hallway beyond. Levering the door open with her meagre strength, she sees the cause of the light - an Anomaly! As Jenny emerges from the corridor, heading back to the others, she is greeted by a large, 1-1/2 metre tall, large lemur that weighs at least 150 kilos. Jenny squeaks out loud, and is frozen with fear.
Harrison and Olivia continue to follow the trail of the creature, which seems to be leading them to the elephant enclosure. The trail seems to lead to the back of the enclosure, though Harrison is a bit muddled by the various tracks of elephants and the creatures. He collects himself [spending a Story Point], and regains the track pattern. He and Olivia move on, Harrison pointing out some features of the tracks as they go. They arrive at the staff entrance to the enclosure, just in time to see Jenny facing the lemur-like creature.
Amanda, Kathy, and Eric Rose finally manage to track the creature down, seeing it in a large tree near a pair of elephants that don't seem to be all that disturbed by its presence. Amanda determines that it's a Archaeoindris, called a "sloth lemur", native to the Pleistocene and the early Holocene, and somewhat dangerous if irritated. The sloth lemur roars at them, attempting to scare them, and the elephants react by moving off. Eric draws his weapon, but Amanda says that they can't shoot the creature. She says if they don't anger the creature they can deal with it, and she attempts to calm the animal down.
Sensing the presence of Harrison and Olivia behind it, the sloth lemur confronting the frozen Jenny dashes past her for the safety of the Anomaly and home. Quickly moving forward, Harrison and Olivia check on her, just as Jenny starts to recover. She tells them of the Anomaly that she found in the hallway, and Harrison prepares to call the Home Office for back-up. He is interrupted by the roar of the creature confronting Amanda and Kathy.
Amanda is able to calm the creature down [she spends a handful of Story Points for two consecutive Actions!], and coaxes the giant lemur to the ground. Eric loses his cool, and takes a shot at it. Barely wounded, the sloth lemur takes off very fast, heading for the rear of the enclosure. Amanda severely chastises Eric for his actions, but Kathy tells her to quit berating him; he did what he thought needed to be done.
As Harrison, Jenny, and Olivia head in the direction of the roar, they hear a gunshot. Moments later, a different sloth lemur comes charging at them, and they are barely able to dive out of the way. As they pick themselves up off the ground, with Jenny slightly worse for wear, Amanda, Kathy, and Eric come racing up to them. The six characters pursue the fleeing Archaeoindris, and see its tail as it goes through the Anomaly. With a whooshing sound, the Anomlay undulates, then folds in on itself, and disappears.
Several hours later, with Archibald Lowrie and the SAS troops from the Home Office on the scene, the business at the Zoo is resolved with few problems, the public excuse being that the player characters were civilians with animal interests who helped zoo officials get the situation under control. The Director of the Zoo, Harold Walton, is satisfied that no harm was done to the Zoo's reputation or the animals contained therein, although he does question the story given to him about the power failure (which was due to the Anomaly opening).
Olivia is very pleased with her "Sunday adventure", and it is obvious to everyone except Harrison that she's developed a bit of a crush on him. Her mother scolds her for going back into the Zoo building, given all that has happened, but knows that the girl has a wild side. Amanda, Jenny, and Harrison all tell Olivia that she was a real help to them on their Zoo adventure, and that she should consider taking a course or two in biology and zoology when she gets older. The girl preens somewhat at the characters' words, and casts them a backward smile as she's led off by Eileen Hamilton.
Harrison and Tammy Dobson are reunited outside the building; she has waited for him, and wants to know everything. Quite satisfied with himself and a little bit enamoured at Tammy's devotion, Harrison invites her and Ricky to dinner. Tammy is a bit surprised, but gladly accepts the invitation.
Once the hubbub dies down, Amanda tells her students that it's time to continue their tour; she's received a special dispensation from the director of the London Zoo to continue her teaching assignment. Kathy Blaine accompanies her, and as they continue the tour with a trip to the Meet the Monkeys enclosure. As she talks somewhat about lemurs, Amanda looks at Kathy, then the students, and asks, "So, what can you tell me about sloths?"
The players had a pretty good time of it in this one-session scenario of the Primeval RPG. While I had planned to start a multi-session storyline, several of the players - Nick (who plays David Bannister), Tom (who plays Captain Alexander Taylor), Angela (who plays Jessica Ransome) - couldn't make the game, so rather than do something else, the three players - Kathy (who plays Amanda Tarrascon), Joanne (who plays Jenny Hansford), and David (who plays Harrison Williams) - decided to play the game. Ellie, who usually plays various NPCs and sometimes a lead character, decided to unleash her precocious young girl, Olivia Hamilton, on the group, and so played a regular role (and got to stay up somewhat late!). Ellie relished getting more attention paid to her character, and wants too play the character on a regular basis, so we'll see how that goes down the road. I started the session off with some playtesting of a few new beasties I had statted out (including a couple from the Primeval: New World tv series, and the ran the scenario for about four hours. A good evening was had by all.
Can't wait for the next game session. :)