Peter Granger (SteveR) - Artist (Painter)
Aislinn Drohan (Tammy) - Auction House Providencer
Brian Hartigan (GM/NPC) - Courier Deliveryman
March 14th, 2014 (Friday)
The player envoys and Hailey Clands arrive near the Seven Steps trail, Hailey having driven Brian's SUV there. They reach the trail and then hike towards the site of Steve Mason's death, keeping an eye out. Aislinn Drohan catches sight of several animals that are normal for the area (according to Hailey). As the player characters and Hailey reach the location where Steve Mason was killed, they are somewhat worried that there is no sign or sound of animals in the immediate area.
Aislinn uses her ability to Sense the Unknown [she flips a Token from Light to Dark], and she senses a deadly miasma in the area, along with three "hot spots", and an otherworldly presence. The central hot spot is the area where Steve Mason was killed. They move to check out said spot, but Aislinn and Brian Hartigan are muddled [through the use of an Evil Way Discipline (EWD), 1 Light Token -> Dark], and they move off to a different, somewhat isolated spot. Peter Granger is confused as to why they've not gone to the spot where Steve Mason was killed, and believing them to be under a malign influence, uses his Disrupt ability [turns a Light Token Dark] on Aislinn, momentarily frightening her but she regains her senses for a few seconds, realising that she's not at the first hot spot, before the EWD takes effect again. Hailey tries to reason with and convince her but to no effect, although eventually the EWD's effects end. Peter locates a 10' deep pit that has been concealed over with vegetation, at the bottom of which are spears that turn out to be sharpened human bones. While they ponder this, Aislinn remembers about Native Indian spirit traps, and Hailey tells them more about them and that some of them are found in Algonquin Park from time to time.
At the third hot spot, Hailey finds a set of fresh tracks of the creatures that are less than 5 hours old. Meanwhile, Aislinn examines the second hot spot, and discovers that something has been buried beneath the disturbed earth, but they have no shovel to dig whatever-it-is out, and Peter doesn't want to go back to the SUV to get the shovel. They go to the third hot spot, and see that several edges of bones are sticking out through the freshly moved earth here. Peter partially uncovers the bones, and sees a wetness that somewhat distresses him. Brian realises that it is muscle tissue. Hailey jumps to the conclusion that it's the remains of Becky Lynch, but Aislinn tells her that it's more likely to be the remains of Richard Fitzpatrick, who disappeared the day before. Hailey comes close to panicking, but regains her senses when Aislinn slaps her hard across the face. Hailey asks what they do now, and the others tell her that they stop this from happening again. They obviously need some fire and some light sources. Brian tells them that he's come prepared, and shows him what he's got in his backpack.
Several hours later, Hailey leads the other characters through the forest, and they stop as they see up ahead through a break in the trees a cliff face. She stops, saying that this is where the tracks end, but that there's a *lot* of tracks in this area. Seeing that Peter is the other outdoorsman in the group, it's decided that he'll sneak around and scout out the caves and see what he can learn. He has several close calls, and is attacked by one of the creatures as it throws a large rock at him [using an EWD]. Peter returns to the others and tells them that there are three cavern entrances on the cliff face, somewhat higher up, the central of which appears to be the largest, but the westernmost of which is the only one that is somewhat shaded during the day, which he saw the creatures using to exit the caverns.
The player characters discuss what their plan of attack is to be, and it's decided that Hailey will stay back and use her rifle any creatures trying to hit Peter. Peter will be in the meantime attempting to climb to the westernmost cave entrance and use his Art to block it, preventing the creatures from using it to go in or out. He'll use the one of the spotlight flashlights that Brian purchased to take care of or drive away any Bogeys that come close to him. Meanwhile, Aislinn and Peter will take the concussion/smoke grenades to the other two cave entrances, and toss them in (hopefully). This should drive all the creatures out of the caves... The player characters and Hailey head out to perform their tasks.
Peter heads for the westernmost cave entrance, but forgets to check the shadows. Hailey tries to shoot one of the creatures that attacks him but misses, and it drives its claws into his back/shoulder, mortally wounding him. [He diverts it to Shock, and carries on as best he can.] He manages to make it up the cliff face to the ledge, but Hailey is forced to fire again and this time hits one of the Bogeys that screams, and then vanishes. Peter starts to draw the chalk line that activates the Line of Defense Art Discipline. And then day in the area turns to night [as the Bogeys spend a lot of Dark Tokens converted to Light, and use the Darken Discipline]...
The player characters, minus Hailey, bring out the spotlight flashlights. In the light of the flashlights, Brian and Aislinn spot the Bogeys emerging from the cavern network and - they're flying! The player characters use the flashlights like guns to battle the Bogeys, and the skirmish that ensues is one that is a flurry of action, Bogeys flying back and forth, dodging the spotlight beams, as the player characters attempt to dodge the attacks of the Bogeys. During the fight, both Aislinn and Brian take several injuries, Aislinn taking a Serious Injury [-20 STA].
And then it's over. The artificial darkness comes to an end, and the Bogeys exposed to it are burned to a crisp, falling to the ground as ashes. Aislinn and Brian believe that two of the creatures are unaccounted for. With Peter lying on the cavern ledge, dying, Hailey refuses to let this happen; she rushes up to him, frantically trying to do something...and her Restorative Art activates, uncontrollably, healing Peter's wounds [he heals 15 STA and 10 WPR]. Concerned about the two missing Bogeys, Aislinn and Brian hurl their concussion/smoke grenades into the caves, and after some time there is a "THRUMP!" sound and shaking of the earth, and as smoke billows out of the two cavern entrances, two Bogeys emerge into the sunlight, swaying somewhat drunkenly, and burst into flames and turn to ash...
Three days later, back in Ottawa, the player characters meet up with Halle Whadjat for a debriefing at one of the local offices that SAVE uses for these purposes. Halle talks to them about their performance in the field, chastising them for some of their actions, praising them for not involving a retired SAVE field agent, but also rather pleased that they were able to find a potential new SAVE operative in Hailey Clands. She's not pleased at some of the actions they took, as per their reports of the case, but says that given the creatures of the Unknown that were involved were not what they were expecting, they handled themselves well, though she admits that they beat the Bogeys through sheer luck. Halle questions Peter about whether he feels that he should be in the field, which the recovering artist says that he wants to be. She tells him that there needs to be improvement in his performance, and that he's to consider himself under probationary review. Halle tells the player characters to rest and heal up a bit, but to remember they may be called into the field again at short notice...
Sunday afternoon's game session of Chill 3rd Edition was the conclusion and wrap-up of the first case involving the player envoys, and while the afternoon went well enough, it was dissatisfying on a few levels for me. The main problem I had with the session was the somewhat deus ex machina way that I used to bring spross's character back from the dead, since I had no intention of the NPC actually becoming a member of SAVE, and the fact that once more, spross played the character without any personality and didn't seem to care whether Peter Granger lived or died, taking two terrible risks and making a couple of serious decision errors. That said, I wasn't about to kill the character off and let the player off the hook (so he could create another character!), so things went as well as could be expected at the end of it all. Tammy told me that she rather enjoyed the game and liked the game rules, and spross was his usual, non-commital self.
I'm not sure yet if I'll be running the continuation of the Chill 3rd Edition campaign next weekend, or whether I'll run a special, Halloween one-shot. Whatever I'm running next weekend, I'm looking forward to it.