Friday, April 27th, 2007
Once the player characters have returned to the adventure camp, Jennifer uses the walkie-talkie to contact Sergeant Denby, and informs him of all that's happened. She tells him that the player characters intend to check out the two Anomaly sites the next morning. Denby says that he'll send Jacobs and two other SAS soldiers to accompany them the next day.
The player characters go to clean themselves off while Alex goes to have a chat with Wendy Johnson about what's happened. Later on, over dinner, the player characters update each other on everything that has occurred and what they've learned. Alex tells the others of his visit to see Wendy Johnson. They learn from him that Camp Beaumont's parent company that owns the adventure camps is Coriolis Works. He tells them that Wendy Johnson knows of the Anomalies, and that she works for Coriolis. He tried to convince her to close down the adventure camp, but was told that she wouldn't do so.
Gwen asks Alex what Wendy knew about the incident at Dukeshouse Wood ten years ago. The Anomaly opened and the Anurognathus came through at that time. Coriolis took care of the problem, captured 20 of the Anurognathus, and is keeping them under control. They also have a palaeontologist working for them. For the incident three days ago, Coriolis paid off the parents of Abigail Turner to the sum of 1 million pounds. When Gwen questions how the parents could accept that blood money, Alex says that Wendy told him that "Abigail is not dead, she's just growing." The player characters discuss the matter and its ramifications. Alex says they have to tell James Lester about Coriolis's involvment and what's happened. However, for the moment they have other concerns.
Saturday, April 28th... The player characters wake up, and after washing up, go to breakfast. The adventure camp is operating like nothing is out of the ordinary. The player characters pack up their gear, and head for the site of the current Anomaly. As they leave the hiking trail 1.3 klicks into Dukeshouse Wood, Corporal Jacobs and his two men, Howard Wells and Kerry Jones, emerge from the forest. They're dressed in full gear. Gwen makes the introductions all around. Tim checks his compass; there's nothing unusual. Gwen asks if Tim can manipulate the Anurognathus using magnetics, but he points out several problems with the process, and it's not viable at the moment in the field.
Gwen leads the way at Jacob's indication, and Wells joins her on point. The travel through the dense woods is arduous, and they make about 3 klicks in 1.5 hours. The group stops and Gwen checks her map again. She hears a *sqwakkk!* sound from the trees, but neither she nor Wells can see what might have made the sound. The player characters and the SAS soldiers cautiously continue on their way. Jennifer is worried, as there's no animal noises or birdsong. Gwen hears a fluttering of wings, but sees nothing other than the rustling of several nearby trees (the wind, perhaps?). Jennifer sees what appears to be bird scat on the ground, and Gwen says that it has to be the anurognathus shit.
The group abruptly emerges into a meadowy clearing. Gwen is attacked by an anurognathus, but her senses warn her and she dodges just in time. Tim checks his compass again; there's no sign of an Anomaly. Gwen, Tim, and Jennifer pick up some stout branches off the ground. Gwen sees a trail on the far side of the meadow [she spends a Story Point] that looks to lead in the direction where the Anomaly should lie. She points this out to the other chaaracters.
The Anurognathus attack. The player characters start to run for the trail on the other side of the meadow. Jennifer puts on a burst of speed, and makes it over to the other side of the meadow without being attacked. Tim and Gwen make good progress, though Tim is struck and attacked [hit for 2 points]. Alex is barely able to make any progress at first, but with Gwen's encouragement manages to catch up with her [spends a Story Point] though he takes a nasty cut [2 points of damage] from an attack. The three SAS soldiers run and avoid being hit. Jennifer attacks one of the anurognathus [takes 2 points of damage] as she waits for the others to cross. The rest of the player characters make it safely to the edge of the clearing without being hit. Jones is not so lucky; she trips, and is swarmed and devoured by the anurognathus. The player characters and soldiers stare in shock, before running up the trail and back into shelter of the forest canopy. Gwen and Jennifer are teary-eyed, and Gwen mutters under her breath. Jacobs says that Jones was a good soldier and a fine woman, and that she'll be missed.
As the player characters move down this unmarked trail, Jennifer and Gwen note that it is man-made. Tim is taken by surprise and falls down a 2 metre pit trap (though he takes no damage). A small swarm of the creatures attacks, but Gwen is able to duck out of the way. Jennifer swings at it with the tree branch, but misses. The creatures move off, and she takes out 5 metres of rope, and the two soldiers lower it into the pit. Tim sees a large shadow over the canopy as he looks up, and assumes it is the pteranodon. Jacobs and Wells pull Tim out of the pit. He asks if the others saw it, but no one saw the shadow. Jacobs coils up the rope and hands it to Jennifer, who slings it over her shoulder.
Gwen checks her map again, and sees that there's a woodsman's shed approximately a klick distant. She sees sunlight touch the map, blinks, and looks up. There are gaps in the thinning out canopy, through some of which the sunlight is streaming. Before she can say anything, a massive swarm of anurognathus dive through the gaps in the canopy and overwhelm and rapidly devour Wells.
Jennifer is horrified and takes off at a run, and Alex follows after her. Tim yells to the others to run as well. Gwen sees a glint in the nearby brush, and as she starts to run she grabs it - a small flamethrower! An anurognathus attacks her out of the bushes, and she interposes the flamethrower. It clangs against the device, being knocked unconscious, but Gwen ignores it as she gets up and runs. She catches sight of another swarm of anurognathus above the canopy of trees. Jacobs fires his assault rifle into the swarm, but does minimal damage. Gwen shouts at him to run.
The two of them hare up the trail, and see Alex, Jennifer, and Tim looking into the woods to the left of the trail. Stopping, Gwen and Jacobs see the flickering orange glow of an Anomaly. Gwen tells the others they have to run, as there's another swarm. Alex says they have to go into the forest, as the creatures may not be able to get to them through the dense woods. He leads the way, but Jennifer overtakes him. Jacobs tells Gwen to get going, quickly.
***** The flashforward at the beginning of the adventure occurs here. See the beginning notes*****
As the anurognathus continue to try and get into the place, the player characters, panting from their exertions, find themselves looking around the woodsman's cottage. There's a central living room-cum-bedroom that has a large fireplace, with a small kitchen with a back door, and a bathroom. The characters assess their wounds, and are concerned about Tim who can't get up off the floor [he's got Strength 0]. Gwen asks if the anurognathus can get in. Tim sees the fireplace, and tells her to make sure the flue is closed. She does so. Searching around, Gwen finds a first aid kit. Gwen and Jennifer administer first aid to the best of their ability to the others, and once that's done, the characters rest somewhat and discuss their options.
Jennifer tries the walkie-talkie, but there's just static on it. Gwen notices the landline phone, but Alex asks if they really want to bring any more SAS men into this (or anyone else for that matter), as they've already gotten three people killed. He says they need to handle this themselves. Jennifer points out the window, saying that the Anomaly is starting to dissipate, and when it implodes on itself, she says that their discussion was moot; the Anomaly is gone. They decide to blow up the cabin, after luring the anurognathus inside, using "Helen" as bait, the frequency having irritated the creatures earlier; they'll pull the gas line free in the kitchen, flooding the place with gas and setting the microwave on a timer to be the spark. Hopefully, they'll all get out the back door of the cottage in time before it all blows up.
The player characters make their preparations. Tim sets up "Helen" in the middle of the living/bed room while the gas starts to build up in the house. Jennifer opens the flue. She and Alex chat about things, and talk about their pasts a bit. Tim sets the microwave on the timer, and tells the others it's time to leave.
Before they can do so, several anurognathus emerge from the flue. The player characters make a dash for the back door, but see anurognathus are swarming it. They open the door, and allow the swarms of agitated anurognathus to flood into the structure, seeking the source of the noise and magnetic field, while they hide behind the door. Jennifer is struck by an attacking anurognathus, but Tim, Gwen, and Alex are missed. The characters all dash out of the building and make it to the edge of the forest, unscathed. Turning back, they see the anurognathus swarm the cottage. Both swarms enter the structure. The building goes up like a firebomb, and the characters are blown backward by the blast. Jennifer is slammed into a tree [takes 3 damage, Strength 0], Gwen is knocked to the ground [takes 1 damage], Alex is forcefully slammed to the ground [takes 2 damage], and Tim is lifted through the air into a tree, and then falls to the ground [takes 3 damage, 0 Coordination, 0 Strength].
The player characters recover their senses, and take stock of each other and their condition. As Gwen bends down over Jennifer, the latter says, "I guess the holiday's over, huh?" Gwen chuckles, and taking the walkie-talkie from Jennifer, calls Sgt. Denby.
Cut To: A tree in the forest, where two Anurognathus start sqwaaking at each other...
spross and Tammy wrapped up the latest Primeval RPG scenario this afternoon, and brought the running of the game on my part to an end for a while (other than my running Primeval RPG at the upcoming HammerCon in Hamilton in about 3-1/2 weeks).
The session went pretty well, I thought, and had a modicum of action this time out (something that was missing in most of the early sessions of this adventure). The scenario went six (6) game sessions, rather long I thought, as I was figuring on three or four game sessions, but for some reason with the Sunday gaming group, this extension/dragging out of the scenario seems to happen on a regular basis. Since I knew that this would be the last gaming session of Primeval for a bit, I wanted to end this game session on a cliffhanger note, but I ended up screwing that completely (and I'm not going to go into that here). I was happy how I ended the session well enough, and brought a conspiracy that will be a major focus of the campaign as it goes on into the picture, but the game session and the scenario ended somewhat...roughly.
Tammy didn't like the way I ended the scenario, feeling that there was too much out-of-play discussion about a couple of elements, and this is something that I know was partially my own fault and has crept into the game during the last three or four sessions. spross considered killing off/disposing of his character towards the end of this one, but neither Tammy nor I was having any of that. In retrospect, I should have just ended the scenario the way I had planned to, and made it a proper Primeval RPG cliffhanger, but that's not the way it worked out.
Hopefully, both players had a good time with the scenario's end (even if they didn't enjoy it all that much), and are looking forward to the next time that I get back into the Primeval RPG, likely some time in 2014, depending on how long they play some of the other systems that we get into.