Dr. Paula Richardson (Donna Winston) - Palaeontologist
Sgt. Charles Kinson (David Winston) - Former Soldier
Joanne ("Jonie") Williams (Kendall Scott) - Reporter
Wednesday, March 7th, 2007
Dr. Paula Richardson and Sgt. Charles Kinson back off from the direction of whatever's charging at them through the woods, though Charles's two men raise their weapons defensively. A creatures lunges into the immediate vicinity, and they see a medium-sized animal, obviously a herbivore dinosaur that Paula immediately categorises as some sort of hadrosaur. It charges in a panic straight at them. The player characters and Charles's security men are taken aback, and barely manage to dive for cover, as the creature races past them into the woods - and then they hear a loud gunshot, and an animal scream.
Elsewhere in the wood, Joanne Williams and Paula's two friends, Leslie Fierson and James White, move in the direction of the unearthly screaming, very much afraid. They emerge into a small clearing, where they find a scene of carnage and destruction. The shredded remains of an orange tent, toppled containers, a smashed laptop, and other debris are scattered around the area. Leslie comments that it looks like a scientific camp site of some sort, and James says he thinks there was some sort of woodland ecology survey going on here. The three notice several purplish fern plants in styrofoam containers. Joanne notices something, and going closer to the ferns sees that one of the containers has come open and some of the ferns have been chewed. The characters search the campsite, and find various sets of animal tracks (some of which match the prints of the trail they'd been following), and human prints - one set of which leads off from the clearing, seemingly at a run, as Joanne ascertains. Joanne and Leslie decide to follow the tracks, and James remains at the camp to see what else he can learn.
Paula and Charles race in the direction the hadrosaur went, and come upon the creature wounded on the ground, keening and thrashing in obvious pain, and a local hunter type with a shotgun standing over it. The approach alerts him, and he turns on them. He demands to know who they are, but brandishing his own weapon, Charles tells the man to back off. He tells them that he's Roger Smith, Mary Johnson's brother, and it's only Charles's commanding presence that gets him to back off. Paula approaches the creature warily, and determines that it's in need of medical attention. Ripping off part of her blouse, and using some of the forest vegetation around her, she does what she can for it. She gets slightly covered in some of the creature's arterial blood, spurting from the wound. Roger starts ranting at Charles about the Leermont Monster, and claiming that it needs to be killed, but Charles manages to convince him otherwise [he uses several Story Points to do so]. Roger is convinced to go back to the small community, and do other things. He sets off into the woods, as he needs to meet up with his two hunting buddies. Charles is alarmed at this thought, but he's interrupted. Paula also notices there are fresh scrape marks, that look like tooth marks, on the hadrosaur's flank, and she brings these to Charles's attention. The forest is abruptly shaken by a massive roar, deep, gutteral, that resounds with the sound of triumph and savagery. Both Paula and Charles are shaken by it, but the former military man doesn't let her see his fear.
Back near the ravaged camp site, Joanne and Leslie continue to follow the man-made tracks, and come across a man clinging to the upper branches of a large oak, his arms tightly wrapped around the tree and his eyes tightly closed shut. Joanne manages to calm the man down, and he descends the tree. He tells them he's Morris Carter, a biological research assistant, and explains what happened - he was chased by a rampaging dinosaur, and convinced that he was going to be eaten! He explains that he's part of a two-man research team from GCL, an agricultural and pharmaceutical corporation, and tells them what happened - the survey, finding the purple ferns, gathering samples of them, one of the researchers acting strangely and wandering off, seeing the camp being ravaged by some "giant lizards", and then this *thing* attacked and the next thing he knew he was up the tree. "It looked like a Tyrannosaur, you know, out of Jurassic Park, but had a red horn on its snout and large spines on its back," he tells them. At that moment, the same roar heard by Paul, Charles, and his men echoes throughout the area...much closer...
Meanwhile, as Paula examines her patient some more, Charles tells one of his two men in the field to get in touch with Project Tempus and to dispatch a retrieval team to get the dinosaur; they need to be fast and discrete. Paula tells Charles there's nothing more they can do here for the creature, but he says it's well in hand. They both notice more of the odd purple ferns in the area... Paula tells him that she's also found more tracks of what is obviously other hadrosaurs, and she tells Charles that she thinks they should follow them. The two head off in that direction, Charles leaving both of his men to supposedly keep an eye on the hadrosaur. As the two head deeper into the woods, Charles spots what appears to be flickering, golden white light in the distance. He draws Paula's attention to it, and the two head in that direction, both excited and cautiously. Charles mentions to her that the tracks they are following seem to lead in that direction...
Near the camp site, Joanne and Leslie have convinced Morris Carter to return to the camp with them, the three having been terrified of the roaring, Carter telling them "it's" out to get him again. The three head back, the two women scoffing at him, but they are greeted by a panicked, out of breath James White, who tells Joanne and Leslie they'd better come, as they won't believe their eyes. Urging caution, the four characters move towards the clearing - where a huge dinosaur, some 1-1/2 metres tall, 4 metres long, with massive jaws caked with fresh blood and a swollen, slightly distended belly is making its presence felt, roaring every so often. Leslie says that the creature has just...eaten...and that it's a bit lethargic, so it won't attack. Joanne snaps a couple of quick photos of the creature, much to Leslie's consternation. She suggests they make their way out of the area, and as they attempt to do so, Morris's clumsiness snaps several twigs, the huge dinosaur's attention being drawn to them, and a slavering look enters it's eyes. "Perhaps it hasn't eaten as much as we thought..." mutters Leslie, voicing the other two's fears.
Out in the dense woods, Charles and Paula reach the sources of the light, a massive, flickering light display in oranges, golds, white with shards of crystal floating lazily in it. Paula wanders around the mysterious light source, both in awe and totally fascinated by it, not noticing that Charles doesn't seem all that surprised at seeing the swirling light source, though she hears him mildly curse out loud. As Paula murmurs and theorises to herself about what the structure is, though she doesn't touch it, she fails to hear the rumbling sound that is coming from nearby. The light source flickers for just a moment, and then three *somethings* come rushing, out of the darkness, heading straight for Paula and the running Charles...
As the players commented to me afterwards, this was a thoroughly enjoyable game session of the Primeval RPG, and I totally agree with them. This game session had a bit of something for everyone - character discussion and roleplaying aspects, some discoveries and even a bit of good, old-fashioned fear in the woods, and of course - dinosaurs! This was the first time that the players actually got to see the Threat mechanics in action, and all three players loved the intimidation factor that the mechanics gave out, and found the game mechanics in the situation to work perfectly. Donna was totally surprised that David was holding stuff back from her, and loved that his character has some sort of secret that he's hiding. Kendall didn't get to interact as much with her two fellow players this session, but she rather enjoyed the rapport that she's developed with the two NPCs.
Overall, a wonderful session of the Primeval game, and I can't wait to run the next session in a couple of weeks.