Friday, April 27th, 2007
The player characters reach the zipline area, to find an impressive sight. The tower is approximately some 30 metres high, and the ziplines are approximately 350 metres long, though the active zipline itself is some 150-250 metres. They meet Jose Rosario, a Hispanic counselor in his late 20s, wearing a safety harness. Timothy (SteveR) inquires if he can speak with April Wilson, but is told she's in the middle of her lesson. Looking up, they observe her lesson on the zipline and that she seems adequate. She gestures at the trees, and is allowed to descend after finishing up for the morning. The characters see her engage with another of the counselors, Frank Baldwin, who says that April says she saw some birds in the trees. He asks Jose to go and check out the situation. Gwendolyn (Tammy) looks up and sees more than one bird in the area. She realises they are possibly scouts for the flock, and talks to Jennifer about the matter.
Tim asks Jose if he minds if he accompanies him into the woods, and when asked why, says that he had talked to the Bickford sisters and heard about the bird attacks on children. He wants to make sure his own child isn't in danger if she attends the adventure camp. Jose corrects him, saying that the Bickford sisters are actually sisters-in-law, and that you can't pay much attention to their gossip. Several of the nearby children hear this and become worried and/or panicky. One of them, Alex, questions Tim about why he would endanger himself, and Tim says that he would rather put himself in jeopardy than his daughter. Tim and Jose set off into the forest.
Moving off from the other characters, Jennifer heads into the forest, giving a nod to Alex as she leaves the others. Cautiously making her way to the edge of the forest, Jennifer scouts around and finds a few prints that strike her as odd. Making her way a bit deeper into the forest, Jennifer finds a pair of the air piranhas dead on the ground, with what seem to be small bullets in them. She encounters a man, presumably one of the groundskeepers, and talks with him, discovering that he is Douglas Parsons, the groundskeeper who killed one of the creatures when April and Jeremy were under attack. She learns from him that there was a third child present, Abigail Turner, who was killed by aa group of the creatures that swooped down on her. He was too late to save her. The girl's death has been hushed up by the camp manager and owners, at tremendous cost, but several of the dead air piranha and the girl's body were given over to a group of people wearing a stylized triangular symbol with what might have been a comet burst coming out of it. With Douglas's help, she finds several large leaves [actually ferns], and wraps the birds up, and then tells him to get the air piranhas to Doctor Lakeson at the infirmary. Jennifer stays in the area a bit longer, and scouts around some but finds no more trace of any of the creatures, though there are some odd footprints here and there she cannot identify.
Gwen and Alex move over to April. She tells her mother, Candace, that she's not going on the zipline again - she knows what she saw. Gwen has a chat with April and her mom, Alex interjecting at the appropriate moments. April tells her about the attack on her and Jeremy somewhat, and Gwen learns of the landmarks they used to orient themselves, the gnarly trees, a garbage can (?), going off-trail, and leaving footprints so they could follow them back. Gwen tries to encourage April to get the courage to face her forest fears again, armed with her saucepan. She learns that April will be going on the early afternoon survival and orienteering hike. Gwen says she might go on that hike as well. Saying that she and Gwen will see her and Alex later on the hike being led by Georgia Reed, Candace reassures Gwen and Alex that the camp is safe for her daughter, "Melissa", and his son, "Gabriel". As they leave, Gwen thinks about the map of the trail that they saw in the camp office and remembers there was no garbage can, but there are two water stations 5 klicks apart.
Tim and Jose find themselves walking through the woods. They don't spot all that much, and Tim is unable to see the forest through the trees. Jose is suspicious of Tim ever since they entered the forest proper. Both of them note that it is quiet; there is no birdsong. The geologist and the camp counselor find two dead squirrels with slashes made by hook-like claws. "Hooooks!" exclaims Jose. Before the two can react otherwise, Jose is dive-bombed by something, and Tim recognises it as an air piranha. Tim is also attacked by one of the creatures, and it draws blood. Several more creatures attack, and Tim is seriously hurt [he takes 4 damage points] as the two of them attempt to flee. They emerge from the forest into a clearing, and a voice shouts, "Halt! Who goes there!?"
Gwen asks Alex if they should go and talk to the groundskeeper, Douglas Parsons. He says that's a good idea, and asks if there is anyone else they should talk to. They go by the main camp office, and find that the latest Hexham Courant has mention of the hang glider bird and a picture. The characters see the story was filed by Daniel Hayden. They worry about the story itself and about the familiarity they have with the reporter's name. As they exit the office, they receive a nasty surprise - Daniel Hayden is there! He teases the two characters about future events (a Daeodon attack, and Gwen being careful and remembering to zig when she should have zagged), and he brings up Jimmy Black ("Miss him?"). When asked how he knew Jimmy would die, Hayden says he read about the ex-con's death in an old newspaper. He tells them they need to get back to their "birdie problem", and before he leaves, he touches his nose twice, saying "tweet, tweet" to Alex. The PR man has no idea what it means. The confused Gwen and Alex head off to find and talk to the groundskeeper. Gwen asks Alex where Jennifer has gotten to, and he says he has no idea, but that she went off to take care of something.
Tim and Jose find themselves confronting Corporal Jacobs and three of the other SAS soldiers that Sergeant Denby brought along on the stealth exercises. Jacobs lets the bird out of the cage, and asks Tim to report in. Tim says that the children at the adventure camp were indeed attacked. At the revelations of the presence of the soldiers and Tim's words and deeds, Jose is confused and dismayed. He wants to know what the soldiers (and Tim for that matter!) are doing in Dukeshouse Wood. However, Jacobs says they're not there - they're in Halfmile Wood! Jose replies that's impossible and refuses to believe this, and Tim is also confused at that news. Given what he knows, Jacobs orders Hawkins and Harper to take the counselor into custody. Before they can do so, there is a raucous "SQWAAK!!", and the hang glider bird swoops down on them. Jose screams, and runs back into the forest, and Tim sees a shimmery, curtain-like field "part" around him. The hang glider bird [a Pteranodon] almost grabs Jacobs in its beak [and for just a moment, Tim feels "different"]. He tells the SAS soldiers to take cover, and he dashes for the forest.
Tim finds himself back in the section of forest where the air piranhas had attacked him and Jose. He finds Jose collapsed on the ground, panting. Tim attempts to calm the counselor down by explaining away what had and is happening. Jose doesn't believe him, and this triggers a flashback to 10 years earlier, when Jose saw the ferns and "a creature". It triggers a series of convulsions in the man. Tim helps Jose ride it out, but the counselor lapses into unconsciousness. Tim attempts to call Alex and the others on his mobile phone, but it is out of range it seems. In his own injured state, Tim starts to build a travois, which will take some three hours...
Sunday's gaming session is done for the day, and I have to say that I had a pretty good time.
The two players, spross and Tammy, had a pretty good time of it, I think, and the game session of Primeval RPG went pretty well. The player and their characters were engrossed in the action they were involved with. Both players were confused by some of the events that happened to Tim and Jose out in the woods. hehe
Nothing more to add to this, other than the fact that I'm looking forward to the next game session. :)