Peter Granger (SteveR) - Artist (Painter)
Aislinn Drohan (Tammy) - Auction House Providencer
Brian Hartigan (GM/NPC) - Courier Deliveryman
March 27th, 2014 (Thursday)
Before Aislinn Drohan can answer Peter Granger wanting to know what they need to do, as she doesn't want to involve Connie or Clarence in SAVE business, both Connie and Clarence ask where the "Firehawk at the Falls" painting is. Peter tells them it's been stolen. They want to know who took it and why, but Peter hems and haws about the matter, until Clarence tells Aislinn that she should go and call the police. Peter can't think of a reason for why Aislinn shouldn't call the police. He examines where the painting was, and spots was appears to be dust. Checking closer with a magnifying glass, he sees they are actually ice crystals, but they melt into water before the police arrive.
Aislinn has a talk with Connie before she calls the police. Connie wants to know what's really going on, but Aislinn deflects her suppositions; she knows that Connie is suspicious. Once the police arrive, and the situation becomes clear, all four characters are taken down to the local precinct. They are questioned and released. On the way down the steps from the police station, the group are caught by CTV Ottawa reporter Roberta Black and her cameraman, Rory. Aislinn has no comment, but then offers the reporter a few choice words; Connie revels in the attention and talks too much; and Peter flails somewhat helplessly in the spotlight. As Roberta Black leaves, her story promising to cast Peter in a bad light, Aislinn notices that Derek Stoneheart is watching them, leaning on a lamppost across the street. She blinks, and he is gone.
Aislinn calls Brian Hartigan, and he agrees to meet her that night. Aislinn, Peter, and Brian meet up at their local coffee shoppe watering hole. [Add 1 Light Token to the table.] Peter and Aislinn update Brian on what's happened, and then they discuss what to do next. They decide that they'll start by checking out the sacred site. And Brian says he'll look into portable steamatic devices.
The next morning (Friday, March 28th), Aislinn calls Halle Whadjat to find out what SAVE knows of the sacred burial ground. She finds out that the site was established some time before 1685, and that the incident that SAVE knows as "The Beast of Bytown" occurred nearby in 1850, involving something called a Stoneclad and creatures called Wailing Spirits; the records are somewhat spotty, as SAVE had only been established some 5 years earlier. According to their information, there is now a warehouse owned by Stoneheart Enterprises on the site. Aislinn swears. Halle tells her that Stoneheart disappeared for a decade; when he returned, "he was different somehow". She tells Aislinn that if a Native American ritual is going to be conducted at the site, it will have to be conducted on earth, and in a section of the warehouse directly in contact with the earth of the burial site. Of course, Halle tells her, Stoneheart might be all-powerful on that ground, due to its being desecrated earth. Doing her own research, Aislinn finds out that the warehouse is in a small warehouse district some 2 miles west of Bell's Corners. She also lucks out and finds an old surveyor's map from the 1880s of the area that she superimposes over the warehouse map: it shows the western edge of the warehouse and the sacred burial ground overlap. She can also see in a Google photo that there is a reddish hue to the soil there.
Saturday, March 29th comes around, and Brian shows up at the meeting with Peter and Aislinn with a pair of modified, somewhat heavy, curtain steamers. He says it's the best he can do, but he's also brandishing his small pistol. Peter has a revolver that Brian gives him, a baseball bat, and his bow with arrows. Aislinn has the pistol that Brian gives her, and a baseball bat. Brian's also managed to obtain a huge steammatic machine as well, but doesn't see the viability of lugging it around. The player envoys arrive at the warehouse around 10:00 pm at night, and scout the place out. It is a typical warehouse structure - long, rectangular with entry bays for cargo on the north front at the rear where there is also vehicle parking enclosed by a large fence and gates, with the main entrance at the east end and a small parking lot. There are also some side doors at the west end as well. The evening lights for the building are on, and there are several vehicles in the freight parking lot, more than there should be. The group notices there are no trees or other cover of any kind at the west end, other than what appear as large boulders made of a reddish rock and soil. Peter notices there are a pair of guards (!!) at the western entrance, but they don't appear to be armed.
Aislinn attempts to sneak up and check out the two guards, but she is almost caught. She manages to hide behind one of the large boulders in the area. The two guards question if someone is there, but hearing no other sounds, go back to duty. Brian tells Peter to stay in the van. He sneaks up to where Aislinn is, startling her. She distracts one of the guards, and Brian takes down the guard at the door using simple fisticuffs. Aislinn leads the other guard on a merry chase around the boulder, culminating in Brian's arrival. He and Aislinn take out the guard, Aislinn achieving a Colossal Success [turns a Token Light] one strike with her bat. Peter joins the two of them.
Aislinn goes to look in one of the west end area's entrances, and peers through the window. Some of the glass animates [2 Tokens turn Light], turning to claws, and she is seriously injured [takes a Serious Injury, -20 to STA], and she screams. Peter comes over quickly to treat her wounds. Brian attempts a Sense the Unknown check [turning a Token Dark], and there is a malevolence of the Unknown in the area, but he also senses a second power at work related to alarms. Peter manages to pull some of the glass shards from Aislinn's arm and shoulder, and binds her wounds as best he can. Brian tells them they have to get out of there. Aislinn peers cautiously through the window, and sees several guards rushing inside towards the double-handled doors [turns a Token Dark, and gains +10 to the TN]. Brian tells Aislinn and Peter to get back to the van, and as they start to run, he uses the baton of the guard he took down near the entrance, sticking it through the door handles. He starts to run toward the east, away from Aislinn and Peter, and behind him the doors twist and writhe, bursting open [flip a Token Light]. Back at the van, Peter attempts to take more shards of glass out of Aislinn's wounds.
As Brian runs around to the east, Aislinn starts the van and hurtles around the west side to intercept Brian at the east end of the building. As she passes the freight area parking lot, she sees a dark limo pulling into the rear lot. Racing around the building, she squeals to a halt, and Brian leaps into the vehicle, the sound of gun fire close to him. Aislinn drives off to the southeast, away from the warehouse, but Brian tells her to stop about a mile away, and that she should head back for the warehouse. He tells them of the fire escape that he saw on the north side when they first checked out the warehouse. Peter worries about how they're going to get in, but Brian merely smiles.
After getting the player characters into the north parking lot by using a pair of wire cutters, Brian stealthily leads the others up the fire escape to the second floor of the warehouse. Emerging on the main floor area, with light coming from below, Brian carefully shimmies down one of the cargo chains to the catwalk below, and surveys the area. Aislinn uses her ability to Sense the Unknown, and sees massive amounts of Unknown energy in the area, and four large, 3-1/2' long aethereal spiders hanging from the ceiling [she succeeds at a Colossal Success on the Revulsion Resolve check, and turns a Token Light]. Turning to what's below, she sees three sacrificial victims tied to large, spear-like poles, eleven cultists wearing what looks like traditional clothes, though they have pistols at their belts, and an altar on which rest the goblet stolen from the Fowlkes Estate and the spider skin vest. After she and Peter descend to the catwalk, she asks them if they see the spiders, but both say they don't, other than the large [tesellae] spiders down at ground level. [All three characters succeed at their Revulsion checks.] They have a whispered argument about what to do, but are a bit loud. The cultists all look up at them...
It turns out one of the cultists is Stoneheart, and as he dons the spider silk vest, he taunts them about their inability to stop his plans, and he knows of SAVE. A miasma and lethargy come over the characters [2 Tokens turn Light]. Peter and Brian are able to fight it off (though the latter is drowsy and sluggish for some time), but Aislinn succumbs and slides off the catwalk. She is caught by one of the cultists, much to Brian and Peter's horror, and tied to one of the spear posts. One of the cultists rends Aislinn's clothes, and dabs her with occult symbols on her arms and chest. Peter attempts to ready his bow, but Stoneheart gestures, and the bow reshapes itself into manacles that capture his wrists, tight [turn a Token Light].
As Peter and Aislinn attempt to escape their bonds and Brian tries to focus again, the first male victim is taken to the altar, and the draining of his blood begins, the blood running down into the goblet. As Aislinn breaks free of her bonds, Brian heroically leaps down with the warehouse freight chain swinging to hit Stoneheart [he turns 4 Tokens Dark, for a +20 to the TN of each of the two actions]. He misses Stoneheart, as the villain rolls away. Aislinn lunges for the goblet, and snatches it from the altar; she is covered in blood, and can't see clearly enough to smash it on the altar, missing by a foot or so. Her sixth sense warns her, and she dodges a thrown spear, barely rolling away. (The spear was tipped with tesellae venom.) Brian physically battles several of the cultists, taking a couple of bad wounds [two Serious Injuries, -20 STA on each, though he negates one by turning 2 Tokens Dark for a +20 to the TN of the Resistance rolls].
Abandoning trying to free his hands, Peter manages to grab his pistol, and gets a shot off at Stoneheart; he misses. Seeing the blood spilling from the goblet and the ritual is now interrupted and cannot be completed, Stoneheart loses his cool and unleashes the most feared Evil Way Discipline of them all [turns all Tokens Light]. As the deepest freeze ever starts to manifest through the warehouse, the player characters resist the cold as best they can. Aislinn attempts to smash the goblet before she succumbs, and believes she's succeeded.
Several minutes later, the player envoys awake to a freezing, icy, brittle warehouse that creaks ominously. They see that several of cultists are dead, one of the victims has bled out (the one who was sacrificed), but the other two victims are alive. Derek Stoneheart [and the spider silk vest] are missing. As the warehouse groans and starts to collapse, Brian and Aislinn help take the two surviving victims out of the warehouse, as the sound of sirens starts up. Brian asks Aislinn where Peter is. He's actually on the catwalk, trapped under some of the rubble. Peter manages to get free, and barely escapes the building as the upper floors start to collapse downwards.
As the police and fire department arrive on the scene, the player characters watch as the warehouse building collapses, seeming to implode on itself. Peter thinks about the goblet, and wonders if it was destroyed. Aislinn says that she thinks she destroyed it. [The camera cuts into the ruined building, deep inside, where the goblet rests intact nestled in darkness.]
Sunday afternoon's game session of the Chill 3rd Edition campaign was a pretty enjoyable one, though somewhat long. This was the final chapter of this particular case (adventure), and I wanted to wrap this one up and get the year off to a "clean" start gaming-wise. This game session went a little over 5 hours, a bit longer than the usual Sunday game. This game session hit all the highs and lows that I've seen with the Sunday group over the years, but it was one that I felt pretty good about when the session ended. I was disappointed that spross chose to watch and be an observer from the catwalk in the warehouse, as there was plenty that he could have done, but he seemingly gave up any hope of *doing* something (one of the game behaviours that he really has to break out of).
As I noted, this wrapped up this adventure/case for the Sunday Chill 3rd Edition RPG campaign, and though I don't know what game system SteveR and Tammy will be doing next Sunday, I'm certainly looking forward to it.