Dr. Paula Richardson (Donna Winston) - Palaeontologist
Sgt. Charles Kinson (David Winston) - Former Soldier
Joanne ("Jonie") Williams (Kendall Scott) - Reporter
Wednesday, March 7th, 2007
Following Morris Carter, the player characters head for the location of the pick-up truck near the GCL survey campsite. Dr. Paula Richardson tells the character her plan: Since the hadrosaurs are herbivores, and they seem to adore the purple ferns, they will lure all of the hadrosaurs to the Shard. Since the predator dinosaurs (she's not sure what it is yet) came through the Shard to hunt down the hadrosaurs, the rush for the Shard will lure the predators as well, and they can get all of the dinosaurs back through the Shard. She hopes. Sgt. Charles Kinson tells her it's an ambitious plan, but she tells him that it will work. If she's right. "You do have a pessimistic approach to things, don't you, professor?" he tells her. "Only when I'm implementing madcap schemes," she says, "even if they're scientifically sound!" Morris wants nothing to do with this intended scheme, and tells them that he's heading back for civilisation. He gives them directions to where they need to go, but once they reach the GCL camp, they're on their own.
Following Morris's directions, the player characters find the pick-up truck, where it is parked at the end of an overgrown laneway near the GCL campsite. Joanne Williams asks Charles if he thinks Dr. Richardson's plan has a chance, and he's somewhat wishy-washy in his answer, knowing that he's talking to a reporter. But he does tell her that he trusts the palaeontologist. Charles meets up with two of his men, and grabs one of the rifles and some extra ammunition for it that the man brought with him. They see that the flatbed of the truck is half-full of ferns, but as they approach, the truck starts to rock back and forth, and a small herbivore dinosaur pokes its head out of the back, its duck-like beak crammed with ferns! Joanne has second thoughts about the plan, but seeing that Leslie Fierson and James White are having no hesitation about the plan, goes along with them.
The various characters pile into the 4x4 pick-up truck, Charles hanging on to the side lip of the vehicle, with Joanne driving. As soon as the vehicle starts moving, it dislodges spores from the ferns, leaving a trail of purple dust in its wake. Leslie and James excitedly point out of the vehicle, and Paula and the others can see groups of the herbivores, converging on the truck, attracted by the enticing scent of the spores. However, the excited squealing of the herbivores attracts a tremendous roar, similar to that heard in the GCL camp by Leslie, James, and Joanne, and a tremendous predator, similar to the one at the camp but much larger, explodes out of the forest and thunders after the herbivores! The hadrosaurs scatter, but the large carnivore fixates on the dinosaur in the back of the pick-up truck!
Joanne shouts for directions towards the Shard, which Charles and Paula give her, the latter's eyes unable to leave the carnivorous dinosaur, and the pick-up truck starts to race hell for leather, as Joanne tries to keep her distance from the pursuing theropod. However, it catches up, biting and headbutting the truck as it tries to get to the hadrosaur on board. With Joanne driving wildly and zig-zagging somewhat in the forest, despite some of the space between the trees, Charles's attempted shots at the theropod completely miss the target.
The rest of the drive to the Shard is made in a jumble of furious turns, attempted shots at the creature, Paula and James having to kick at the predator as it comes too close to them, Charles taking several shots at the theropod but it being seemingly immune to his rifle fire (or he's just plain missing it!), Joanne's increasingly erratic driving [she actually spends Story Points to keep driving the vehicle in such a hare-brained manner!], all the time the characters praying that they don't inhale any of the spores (Charles being the most susceptible).
As the player characters' pick-up truck reaches the Shard, the theropod dinosaur finally gets a good *Whack!* into the side of the truck, and Joanne completely loses control of the wheel. She manages to steer the vehicle into the Shard, and screams for everyone to jump for it! The various characters attempt to leap out of the pick-up truck with various success [and the use of plenty of Story Points], as the vehicle, pursued by the last of the hadrosaurs and the theropod dinosaurs, plunges through the Shard. The roaring and ruckus that accompanied them dies down to a silence that is almost deafening, marred only by the tinkling sound of crystal coming from the Shard.
Paula, Charles, Joanne, Leslie, and James take stock of themselves, and burst into laughter at the danger and excitement, but Joanne laments the fact that her camera had been destroyed when she landed after leaping from the vehicle. Leslie and Paula have twisted their ankles in landing [each taking 3 points of damage], but James and Charles treat them to the best of their capabilities, and Charles calls his men to get to the Shard as quickly as possible. Once the Project Tempus men arrive on the scene, Charles tells Joanne that she can't write a story about the truth of what happened in Leermont and its surroundings, and that the others can't really talk about it either; the public panic that it might cause, if it were revealed that prehistoric animals from the past are coming through the Shards, is something that needs to be avoided. Paula says she's *got* to write up something about this - it's the most important historical find of the century! However, he remains adamant. He also tells them that a scientist he works with, Professor Roderick Williams, says that if some of the animals that they've dealt with from the past were to be killed, the temporal consequences to the present could be catastrophic, though he's not inclined to believe that. In the meantime, Charles says that they'll need to make arrangements to deal with and contain the purple ferns, since they're not indigenous to the area.
As Paula, Joanne, Leslie, and James travel back to the Derrison hotel in Leermont with Charles and his men, the discussion about matters and what they're going to tell their superiors rages on... Even as the Shard ripples and shakes, as if one had flexed a funhouse mirror, and then collapses in on itself... And as a small, herbivorous dinosaur leaps away into the depths of the forest...
This game session of the Primeval RPG wrapped up the current scenario, and when it was all said and done, the players were breathless after the harried chase to the Anomaly, and loved the pure adventure feel of it. All three of the player characters got some roleplaying time and there was emotional stuff for all three as the adventure went on and came to its climax and then conclusion. (Even the players have not seen the totality of that last paragraph, by the way.) All three players told me that of all the games they've played to this point, Primeval was the most enjoyable (though they also liked Atlantis: The Second Age), and that the mechanics were simple enough to teach to folks who'd never played a game of this sort before.
For me, this adventure came to a satisfying close, and while I'm not sure what the players will want to play in two weeks time, I'm definitely looking forward to that game! :)