Session 3 – Mariner of the Stars

Monica Gabrielli is the security chief that we will be working with on the Mariner of the Stars. She escorts us down to the engine room, and there are two security guards posted here. We go further down to the energy flow regulation system which is between two of the main transit drives.

After checking the scene, we are positive that he was struck from behind with a very heavy object, splattering his brains all over the place. The control unit was also struck, as there are cracking and dents on the machine.

Jeff sees from the computer that the the flow control went off at 1:32am Standard Earth Time. On the surveillance feed he sees a figure running wearing a dark cloak which obscures their characteristics.

Dr. Reilly checks the body and doesn’t find anything strange. Gabrielli tells us that Maria Mayamoto found the body, but was too emotionally unstable to give any information.

There is a UWC political delegation led by Rep. Helen Falk also on the ship, and they have taken an interest in the murder and keep badgering the captain and security personnel about it.

We speak to the cruise director, Petra Mendoza. Hardy, the man who was murdered, was pretty old school and called the Mariner “his ship.” He was regarded highly as one of the best engineers, but was short tempered and didn’t have much time for others. Hardy’s behavior has been strange of late — he was arguing with several people before launch. He was seen arguing with Dr. Sebastian Wells and also Helen Falk before launch. Petra Mendoza, the cruise director, may know more about Dr. Wells.

The ship was headed toward Saturn when it was sabotaged. Jeff checks out the damage to the engine and he sees that it would not be fixed easily — it will take time, but he can do it.

We head to the infirmary and Thomas asks Maria about what happened. She found out about the problem and woke up the head engineer from hypersleep. He was very grumpy and went to go fix the problem when he was murdered. A very large wrench which was used for opening a housing on the engine is missing — this was likely the murder weapon.

Then we head to Petra Mendoza’s office and ask her about Dr. Wells and Rep. Helen Falk. Hardy was getting along with Gunther Eichman — a politician from Saturn — Falk approached them and started an argument with them. She says that Hardy was having a conversation with a colleague of Dr. Wells — a research assistant named Nate Carkinson. Dr. Wells is part of a research team heading to Titan, and they were part of an archaeological study on Mars. We notice that when she mentions Miyamoto, her voice softens a bit. The last person she saw Hardy with was an actress named Zarina Bahar.

Mendoza says that Maria and Hardy were having an affair, and that she was far too good for him.

Thomas does background checks on all of the people on the ship. We decide to interview Gunther Eichman first. He says that Hardy’s brother Samuel is part of the Saturn delegation; there is a play to reduce tarriff’s so they can build an industrial facility on Rhea. Eichman says that he is opposed to an industrial yard being built since it is UWC encroaching on them. Hardy told Falk to piss off. We toss his apartment while he is being interviewed but we don’t find anything — he was signed in to his gravity couch during the time of the murder.

We interview Nate Carstinsen. He says that he went to live on Mars a few years ago with his wife, Mattie, and worked for Dr. Wells. He says that Wells had found information on an ancient manuscript that he thought would lead to the discovery of another race living on Mars before man. He says that he regrets taking the job, because he has since lost his wife. Wells found an alien burial chamber and inside, a large object with concentric circles inscribed on it. He thought it was like a sarcophagus, and his plan was to have it removed and studied at the University. They put it in their warehouse, and soon afterward strange occurrences began. Equipment was malfunctioning, and shortly Mattie passed away for unknown reasons. He says that the sarcophagus is on board, in the cargo hold. This is what Wells got into the argument with the Chief about, since Wells was asking for additional security around the sarcophagus. Hardy told him no, and Wells was furious. He is obsessed with it, and doesn’t eat or sleep, he just watches over it. Carstinen says that he was at the casino during the murder, but the cameras don’t see him. We also check his bank account and he did not go to the casino that day. Katya cold cocks him and then steps on his neck until he admits that he was down in the cargo hold…he has been trying to get the doctor away from the sarcophagus. However we check the feed on the cameras, and he wasn’t there either.

We head down to the cargo area and speak with Dr. Wells. He seems disoriented, but when we introduce ourselves as Wardens he responds with excitement, telling us all about his discovery in a manic fashion.

Dr. Wells, we’ve determined, is crazy. In interviewing him, Thomas recognizes the symptoms of a Nyphelous, otherwise known as a “night terror”. These things float through space until they detect a mind up to 10,000 miles away. Once they detect something, they fly towards it and control minds. They are telepathic and can search through memories for phobias and fears, driving them crazy and living off of the fear that they generate. Eventually once they are completely crazy, they feed off of the body. They can appear as other people, alter perceptions, coercion, etc. They however can only affect one mind at a time.

Now that we know what is going on, we decide to lock the doctor in the conference room. As we are doing this, we see on the security cameras that there is a riot going on on the promenade. Security Chief Gabrielli and Zarina Bahar are about to get swallowed by an angry mob.

We rush down to the promenade and save the two women and the security guards who weren’t already killed. We look out and we see Nate heading toward the Captain’s quarters, and assume that he was responsible for the murder. We catch up to him and Katya and Jeff shoot him and he drops the weapon that he was about to brain the Captain with. Just before Katya puts him down for good, he starts speaking in a cult dialect saying “The bringer of terror has awoken!”

We decide that we need to find this thing and kill it, so we head back down to the engineering department.

Session 2 – Veronica

Jeff fixes his suit and we head over to the other ship to see if we can open the door. With the device that we found, the door does open and we are able to search the ship. We find basic survival gear, some space suits and ammunition. Jeff swaps out his damaged space suit for a new one, though the new one is not armored.

Jeff checks out the operation of this ship and it seems operable. He accesses the logs and finds that this was not the original ship that was sent to check on the security of the base. This ship intercepted a communique from the base concerning a monolith they found in the mine, destroyed the Wesley Corp. ship and docked here.

The monolith is holding up the cavern roof inside the mine, and has strange markings on it. We decide to head into the mine to investigate.

We enter the warehouse and see several crumpled corpses laying around. One of them is wearing a backpack with a hose attached to it. Toward the back of the room we see a black creature about twice as big as a person, partially frozen to the back wall. Katya immediately fires a grenade launcher at the beast, and it wounds him.

The beast breaks free of the ice and starts shambling towards us. The rest of us take shots at him as well. As he moves in closer, Katya draws her chainswords and rushes the creature.

As the creature is occupied, Thomas runs into the mine and examines the monolith. There is strange writing on here that is consistent with other weird languages that have popped up recently. As soon as he does so, however, the creature turns around from where it was standing and runs at top speed into the monolith, missing Thomas by inches and cracking the monolith. The room shakes and rocks start raining down on him. We can’t see him anymore behind all of the rubble.

Dr. Reilly checks the Engineering and Supply areas of the base and we don’t find anything else. We gather what information we had and head back to the hangar. We take the equipment out of our shuttle and put it into the other shuttle, then take off toward Puck. Katya gives Dr. Reilly some of the gross monster chunks from her chainswords as samples.

We return to base and are debriefed by Captain Dearborn. He says that we should get some rest because our next mission is imminent, and it will be our first outing with our new ship, a Knight Errant class Corvette. We will be traveling to Warden Prime, with orbits Earth. Before he leaves, Dr. Reilly gives the monster samples to the lab for analysis.

We board the ship and enter cryo-sleep for the long journey. After we come up out of our cryo couches, our readouts show that it is 7:32 PM Earth time, but we have woken up 2 weeks early. We hear the female synthesized computer telling us that the ship has received a distress call and has automatically slowed the ship and changed course to intercept. We will be there in 13 minutes.

We suit up and prepare to board the other ship, then head to the bridge. The distress signal is coming from a ship called the Mariner of the Stars. It is a space cruise ship. We check the scanners and we see that there is power and life support on board, but the vessel is drifting.

Communications are opened between us and we speak with Captain Andre Martel. He says that there was an accident and the engines have been knocked out.

We are greeted by a young woman who says that she is in charge of security. Dr. Reilly stifles a guffaw upon seeing her. She leads us to the promenade area with all of the shops where we see patrons who are trying to enjoy themselves.

We make it to the bridge and meet the captain. He says that their drives have been sabotaged. They sent their engineering officer Miyamoto to check on things and she later reported that their engineering Chief Hardy had been murdered — bludgeoned to death. Their security forces have been overwhelmed. We ask to see the body, and he agrees, and says that the amenities of the ship will be available to us while we are working the case.

Session 1 – Veronica

We are a newly formed group of Wardens stationed on Puck, a moon of Uranus. The Warden base, Warden 5, is currently under construction. The closest existing stations are in the Kuiper Belt, Warden 4 (The Lighthouse) and Warden 2 (The Umbrella) orbiting Saturn.

Our team has been getting the lay of the land for the last couple of days. We are summoned by Captain Roland Deerborn to the briefing room. He is broadcasting from Warden Prime, stationed above Earth.

The Captain explains that though we just finished training, we have a situation that needs our attention Veronica Station (on the moon of Miranda, also orbiting Uranus). The ice mining colony sent out a broadcast which was a scream and some creature growling, and then nothing. We need to investigate.

We have a roster and schematics of the base, and will be taking an orbital shuttle (not our main ship) to check things out. There are 32 miners, 10 mechanics, 4 doctors, 3 administrators and 2 security officers. The commander on the base is John Levirit.

The team gears up and deploys. We take the shuttle to Miranda and descend into a deep canyon to reach the dock entrance. Strangely, there is a mist surrounding this area. Since it is a vacuum, we are at a loss as to why this can happen.

As we approach, we see that the docking bay doors have been left open. There is another ship in here, with the Wesley Corporation logo on the side. The ship seems fully functional but there are no hot spots where living things may be.

Jeff manages to hack into the base’s security cameras, and he sees that the supply area, engineering and the packing area do not have functioning cameras. The rest of the areas show piles of bodies, but no living beings.

He also finds communications that were attempted to be sent out from the last 18 hours, more recently than the 3 days that the Warden Captain told us. There are also video recordings of the security detail arriving 13 hours ago. There is grainy video showing the people in the base going about their business. Without any warning or alarm, objects are being thrown around and people being hurled into walls so hard that they are killed instantly. We see a black blur on the film that is darting between the people and tossing them around. There seems to be only one of them in the base.

The second recording is of the security shuttle landing. The team of 8 mercs pile off of the ship and set up a defensive perimeter around a single person who is not wearing combat armor. That person is taking some readings using an unknown device. They are moving toward the mine entrance, near where the three video feeds are out. As the video continues, we see them enter a set of doors and the feed goes out, but a few minutes later the person with the scanning device and two of the mercenaries run out of that area, and they run to the docking bay but we are not sure by the video if they made it out.

Dr. Reilly consults his information on creatures to try and determine what the assailant is, but to no avail.

We determine that the life support and gravity are all intact in the station, so we disembark and start looking around. We take a look at a fallen set of armor and it appears to be a highly advanced set of armor. His helmet seems to have been smashed in by severe blunt force trauma. Dr. Reilly checks the damage and takes samples.

Jeff tries to open the door of the shuttle but to no avail; it seems to be the most complicated door lock known to man. Also, strangely the Wesley Corp logo seems to be recently attached. This is perhaps a mercenary vessel.

We head into the base and just see bodies lying everywhere. On the security feed of our ship, we see the same person with the scanning device approaching our ship. He plants a device on our ship and enters. We race back to the ship and have to hack our way in. Katya runs to the cockpit and sees the man at the helm. She puts him in a headlock but he cackles wildly and throws down a grenade. Jeff is caught in the blast and takes some damage.

Session 20 – Final Rest

We see some elderly people and others, probably the orphans, in the tall grass. It seems like they have gotten out of the city and are leaving.

We are bringing the necromancer’s body into the down to take it to its final resting place, near the moat. We hear the cries of a young girl. The houses crumble to dust and there are now no building features here. The curse has been broken.

Session 19 – Skeleton Dojo

We climb down the wall into the graveyard and see that the skull woman is meditating, probably working on a spell as she is lying on the corpse of a dragon. There is a small cauldron in front of her that contains a brain. She seems to be pulling it apart with her magic. There are skeletons roaming the graveyard.

It is decided that the best tactic is to rush her. We go full speed for all out attack. However there are just too many skeletons and zombies roaming around, and whenever we attack them they explode. Zanne strikes a zombie with his spear and he detonates, nearly spraying goo on those nearby.

Fianna charges through the fray and savagely attacks the necromancer, striking her with a life-ending blow. She manages to knock her mask off to reveal a beautiful face and flowing red hair.

Suddenly a pool of blood rises up from the ground and creates a menacing form, then moves to attack us, spraying crystallized blood.

The dragon, seemingly dead until now, rises up and coughs a huge amount of black phlegm onto Zanne. He falls and seems nearly dead, as the phlegm is flowing into his mouth.

Fianna strikes the dragon and it seems to be causing the necromancer pain. She tells the rest of the party to attack the dragon.

Lennon uses healing magic on Zanne, but it doesn’t seem to help much.

Miri uses his bear familiar to dump over the cauldron with the brain in it.

The necromancer climbs up onto the wing of the dragon and it takes flight.

The pool of blood suddenly forms into flying pools of blood that looks like birds.

A lone skeleton continues to try to attack us, but is unsuccessful and no one seems to pay attention to him. It is suggested that we do not kill him and let him wander after us for eternity.

Zanne finally succumbs to his wounds and dies.

Miri’s bear spirit manages to push the necromancer off of her dragon and she falls to the ground. She finally seems to be slowing down from our strikes.

The gate coming from the city into the cemetery opens and a legion of fighters pour into the yard, led by a heavily armored woman on a horse. They are coming closer, but dozens of undead are in between us.

The group finally fells the necromancer. We find a telepathic ring that can allow one to converse with dragons. It also can create an illusory dragon and notify evil dragons within a certain range of its existence. Obviously she used the ring to call the dragon in the first place.

We also find a chunk of gold in the bottom of the cauldron. It is the missing piece of the crown!

The woman, Thia, quickly introduces herself and says that she hails from Mirabar. She has heard of the legend of the sacrifice, which this woman clearly is, and offers to help return her body to the fishing village.

As Miri looks at Thia, he sees the flag of Allegondor in front of her face. He lets the other group members know about it.

Since there is clearly danger still present here, we try to beat a hasty retreat.

Session 18 – Three of Nine

We speak with the barbarians and formulate a plan to attack the Wolf Clan from behind. However, they must cross the river to do so. They begin building a bridge across the river while we tend to other business.

We sneak inside the city. Approaching the place where we hid the shard of the crown, we do a perimeter search to find tracks of the invisible assailants that attached us last time we were here. We do find some tracks, but they are strange — as if someone had rolled a large ball in a circle around the outhouse pit. The magic users try and find out what this is, but initially aren’t able to find anything out.

After some thought, we think that this may be a ritual that someone is performing to pinpoint the shard, and we should study it further to figure out what it is. A couple of hours go by, and eventually they see that three ghosts are circling. Miri uses himself as a vessel and allows them to speak through him to the other magic users. They tell us that they are “three of the nine.” To us this means that they are probably three of the Neverwinter Nine, a group of wraiths.

Speaking to the ghosts, they say that they are guarding the pieces of the crown. We ask them where the others are, and they say that some are in the graveyard, and some are in the city. We take this to mean that the lost shard of the crown is with the witch, so we think we should confront her.

Belgha asks them if they know where the true heir to the crown is, and they say that the bloodline has not been broken and the heir still lives. He asks where they are, and before answering the vision fades away. As it does, a magical metal circlet emerges from Miri’s head, an apparent parting gift from the three ghosts.

Belgha takes the shard of the crown, and we head toward the city. As we get closer we hear combat, but no dragon. The frozen river has allowed the armies to reach each other so they are going at it pretty hard.

We come to the barbarian clan and advise them to attack. We sneak in alongside them to try and get by and get to the graveyard, but end up in the full battle to get through.

Making our way past the battle, we go stealthy and sneak past all of the combatants and arrive at the gate. Climbing over the wall, we get into the courtyard and see the remains of a white dragon, its dead flesh dropping off of it. Curled inside is the witch, beckoning us to come and face her.

Session 17 – Suicide Squad

We have cleared some of the towers of loot in the castle, and have found some magical arrows and a magical quiver.

After taking some time to figure out what to do, we decide to kill two birds with one stone — we will incite the orcs to attack the tower, and when they come in, trap them with the dragon.

Gadai goes up to a perch on the tower and starts firing arrows into the crowd of orcs to the north of us, but they don’t seem to be able to tell where the arrow came from. Belgha starts a fire on the wall to make it easier to see where we are, and Gadai starts using flaming arrows to shoot the orcs.

Zanne and Fianna descend from the tower, but the orcs are still quite a ways away so we lie in wait until they get closer. They do seem to be interested in what is going on at the tower, but are moving toward it slowly.

We wait until they get closer and start heading back toward the tower, making a lot of noise as we go so they are sure to follow us. They shoot arrows and Zanne takes a hit in his side but continues running.

As the orcs approach, they unlock a box that they were carrying and two blind ogres emerge. They lure the ogres inside and though they stumble around for a while, they eventually go to the bottom of the staircase where the dragon awaits. The orcs wait and see what happens.

Now that the orcs are inside the courtyard, Gadai sneaks over the wall towards the controls for the portcullis. After a while, the ogres emerge half-frozen from the steps, pursued by several drakes. Gadai slams the portcullis closed, and mass chaos ensues. The larger orc smashes the skull of one of the drakes with his two-handed maul. He then tells the other orcs to charge down the stairs toward the dragon and charges down himself, bellowing a mighty war cry.

Zanne and Fianna come down from their perch to the main courtyard and begin their attack. Fianna runs toward the unconscious ogre and quickly dispatches him, and Zanne hurls his spear which pins one of the drakes to the ground. We then dispatch the rest of the remaining drakes and ogres.

Suddenly the dragon emerges from the keep and, flying right past us, starts laying waste to the city. She doesn’t seem to be particular about who or where she is attacking.

While she is occupied, we slide down the icy stairs into the keep and into the lair where her hoard was. The huge orc who we saw, now missing an arm, is still down here and attacks us, missing Lennon only because he misjudged his size. We regroup and take him down.

We see before us piles of gold, the orc’s maul and a horn that was sliced off of the dragon. The rest of the loot is frozen solid in the ice, so we decide to simply have Lennon thaw a bit of it with his magical fire and take a sack of gold with us. We hurry back up the stairwell to the tower.

As we come up, the dragon breathes ice toward us and we narrowly dive out of the way. We head up to the wall and onto the parapet and look out on the city, which is almost completely frozen. The river is completely covered with ice, and there is mass chaos as people are trying to avoid the frost. We also see dozens of skeletons, zombie hulks and other undead laying waste to the wall from our vantage point, as well.

We hurry down from the tower and rush toward the forest and the barbarian clan.

Session 14 – Gathering Forces

The barbarians, Fianna’s people, are itching for a fight with the insurgent wolf clan members who have invaded part of Neverwinter, but we have convinced them to wait until we figure out a plan. Some of our group members are working on a bridge over the river as an escape or supply route for the spellscarred refugees that we’ve been taking care of. We note that the group of orphans we ran across previously are nowhere to be found (we never did discover their true base of operations).

During this time some others from the group see orks coming from the north. Belgha comes in and warns the rest of us. We decide to flee out of the front of the city to avoid the oncoming army. We take the spellscarred people with us and lead them to the barbarian tribe. The barbarians are wary about the spellscarred but Fianna vouches for them.

Gadai is scouting and comes across a group of orks, but they are suddenly and brutally cut down by a team of Harper’s Agents that seem to come from nowhere. Gadais does not know them, but Belgha recognizes their symbol.

We try and track the agents, and find some spots of ork blood from the corpses they are carrying. We find the corpses neatly tucked away under a log.

Suddenly a rope net grabs onto us (Zanne, Miri and Lennon). A woman introduces herself as Cimril, one of the agents. She says that their goal is to disrupt the ork’s supply line. They are moving on the city now and we should stay here so we remain safe. Also she casually mentions that we should fill our waterskins now; we figure that they might try and contaminate the river with corpses. We decide to rest for the night and set up camp and a watch.

The next morning we sneak back into the castle. As we come in, it looks like Jarlaxle has packed up and left. We look out from our vantage point on the tall tower and see that all the bridges in the city are on fire.

We begin to formulate a plan — we will kill some orks and plant wolf clan articles on them to incite fighting between the two groups, and perhaps our problem with both of these hostile forces will resolve itself.

Session 13 – Maze of the Illusionist

We have just gotten through the maze of the illusionist and are bathing in his healing spring. The Illusionist tells us that there is one more piece of the crown unaccounted for. Our group has one piece and Neverember has the rest.

Lennon has had a lobster claw grafted to his arm. We have found a book that is all about the art of grafting; this may help us remedy his situation.

Session 11 – Into the Scar

We discuss what to do next, and it seems like our only option is to descend into the scar and see what we can find down there. We’re thinking that the other pieces of the crown must be there.

We visit Jarlaxle and let him know that we cleared out the necromancer’s house, and also about the refugees that we saved and set up nearby. He tells us that far north of here there is a caravan of people who are on their way to settle in Neverwinter. They will likely take over some of the wealthier homes and try to fix them up. They are northmen who are farmers and hunters.

We set off, heading across the river in one of the boats and moving toward the scar. We find an opening and descend through a tunnel that has been dug through. We run into a dead end and have to find our way down. It is descending slightly.

Eventually we start descending quite quickly, more than 500 feet down, and it appears that we are directly underneath the river. We see a bit of a glow ahead and hear some sounds like a snake or insect.

Now we are far to the other side of the river, and we see what was making the glow and sound — there are piles of dead insects here and three crescent shaped spirits feeding on them. Lennon says that the Moon Wraiths are the spirits of dead werewolves, and they are strongest under the full moon but may not be as strong here.

We defeat them but are heavily damaged. We rest here for a bit and then look around, seeing that we’ve reached a dead end. We will continue looking through the other caverns.

Session 10 – The Wolves

We have the folks who we saved build some boats out of scrap metal. They tell us that they have been pursued by monsters.

At dusk we search the area around our new haunts. There are large mansions here. Most have been picked over, but in one we find a painting that will not come off the walls. The mages in the group determine that it is mystical — a “safe” of sorts. Belgha changes shape to match the person in the painting and is able to get in. There are 3 sacks of gold and silver in here.

We search the other houses and find clothes for the people we saved.

In a bureau we find a pair of gloves that are magical.

We head back and dump everything off, then go to sleep.

At our lair we are attacked by a pack of dire wolves and a sorcerer and his minions.

Session 9 – House of Horror

It is now two days since the spellplague. We are resting up around a campfire, when Jarlaxle shows up at the edge of our camp. He approaches Lennon and gives him a piece of parchment and tells him to gather everyone. Miri takes a look at the parchment and it seems like a magic scroll to open a door of some kind.

We gather and Jarlaxle shows us a map that shows a collection of buildings. Gadai identifies it as a building across the river. Jarlaxle asks us to go and check it out, as he has to check in with his superiors. As he is leaving he turns and says that the scroll is to open the door to the building.

We turn in and sleep for an entire night with Gadai keeping watch, while he is meditating.

The next day we make our way across the bridge and see lots of people leaving the city. As they get closer, we see that some of them are glowing blue like Fianna. Belgha goes to try and help them, and they say that because of their condition they have been cast out. He offers to help relocate them to vacant housing on the other side of the river, but they say that some are set on leaving. Belgha tries to convince them to stay since there are gnolls and other creatures outside the city. After some discussion, all of them decide to come with us.

We try and figure out where to put them, and do some coordination. Belgha gives their leader 100 gold pieces to help everyone, and he is visibly moved.

The group goes to the building we were asked to check out and through the windows it looks very dark. Belgha throws a small rock at the window and sees a hand or something. Lennon and Miri read the scroll and the door opens. We venture in, but it is still very dark in here even with Gadai’s low light vision. We see that we are wading through gore. Gadai sees something slide by on the ceiling, something small like a spider.

We find a door and Fianna yanks it open and we go into another unnaturally dark room. There are hand and finger prints everywhere in the gore. Down another tunnel and through another room, we pry open a door and smell a terribly rotten odor. There is a creature in here that is part flesh and bone. It slides past us but Zanne hurls his spear at it and it sticks to the ceiling. Miri summons his bear spirit who attacks him, and the rest of us try to beat him down. Fianna slices it mightily and Lennon sets it aflame, finally killing it.

Down the hall and in the next room, through the piles of gore animated hands rise and attack us, swarming around several of us. After some fighting, Gadai notices that one of them is wearing a black ring around its middle finger. With an expertly targeted arrow, he skewers it and we hear a screech and the hands skitter off.

In another room, a dwarf awakens as the animated hands slide off of him. He is naked and only remembers coming to the city. The rest of the group comes in and initially we think that he is the necromancer who is harrying us, but he is not wearing a matching black ring. He introduces himself as Dzaqovie (or Dzaq) and tells the group about his plight. We tell him that he should come with us.

As we make our way upstairs we see that the the darkness has lifted. We head outside and clean off in the river to get the dead goo off of us.

We ask Dzaq about where he came from and he says that he was at a monastery that burned down, and was looking for a new path. He asks about work in the area, and we tell him about Neverember and the situation in the city, as well as the Spellplague.

Cattle Call, Session 5

Bo goes to the ranch and gets a job as a groundskeeper. He looks around the grounds and sees a pool, a hedge maze, and a tent set up for the ball that will be held in a few days. He now has a pass to get in to the grounds whenever he wants.

Eli finds out which caterer they are using for the event. Adelle, Leafwalker and Blake all get a job with the catering company; Adelle as a server, and the guys as loaders & unloaders.

Eli finds a book in the library, written in the twenties, that references a book with magical properties that the South gained during the Civil War that allowed them to win battles, including at Antietam, despite their lesser supplies and manpower. The book was originally from the ancient Aztecs or Mayans, and was later lost by the South.

Eli goes to visit Glen Maclanahan, the religious studies professor at the University. He recalls studying about a book of Dark Secrets. He heard rumors that it has resurfaced since the Civil War, but he does not know where it is.

Leafwalker goes to talk with Manny about the rift between Jerry McGovern and the Mayor. He says that the Mayor is more measured and is taking his time planning, whereas Jerry is a hothead and says that they should secede from the rest of the US right now. He does not have an idea where the book is. The charity ball is just a business meeting that is under the cover of a charity event.

We find out from Manny that during these types of events, usually there is a dinner and then all the doors to the dining room are closed during the meeting.

Leafwalker thinks about what we could use to disrupt the party; he decided that he will put hallucinogenic mushrooms in everyone’s food. Homer floats the idea of using Ex-lax to further complicate things.

We get our supplies together including Ex-lax and hallucinogenic mushrooms. Leafwalker cuts up the mushrooms and smuggles them into the caterer’s truck to be added later. Homer is dropped off and sneaks through the golf course to the hedge maze.

The event starts and everybody eats, except we notice that Jerry is not present. Later the dining room is closed and everyone told to get out. Everyone does seem to be starting to feel the effects of the drugs and laxatives, but no one has left yet. Homer walks up to the tennis courts.  Suddenly Jerry pulls up with three of his friends, and they walk in intimidatingly. Homer cuts the fuel line on their car and then goes into the kitchen with the rest of the group.

The Mayor says that he doesn’t want any trouble, but Jerry is approaching and being verbally abusive. The Mayor pulls out the book from underneath his podium and plunks it on the table. He summons a huge demon who crashes through the wall. Blake is horrified and runs out of the building.

Homer and Adelle run out of the kitchen around the dining room to get behind the mayor. Bo takes a couple of shots at him and he shoots back but misses. Bo drops him and the demon seems to be paralyzed briefly, but then continues attacking Jerry. Adelle knocks down one of his fleeing friends.

Jerry attacks him but to no avail, and the demon takes his head off. Bo hands the book to Leafwalker, dusts his prints off of the gun and puts it in Jerry’s dead hand (and fires off a shot so he has powder residue on him). He books it away from the demon before it kills him. As we leave, we see the demon rend apart the Mayor.

We escape successfully and make it back to our dorm. We immediately take the book to the Witch, and she already seems like she knows something has happened. She asks us and we tell her that the Mayor summoned a demon with the evil book. She says that we must destroy the book, and we can help her.

In the ceremony, she begins chanting and sprinkles some powder on it. Then she strikes some flint and steel on it, and a strange blue flame starts on it and it shrinks away. When the fire finally burns out, the book is gone.

The next day, the paper says that the Mayor and three other people were mauled by a bear, and many people at the event were exposed to a hallucinogen that caused them to think it was a huge demon. The caterer is being questioned about it.

The Militia is investigated, although it is by the somewhat corrupt sheriff. However the racist elements of the city now go underground and are not heard of anymore. The new Mayor is elected ends up being James Flowers.

We recover and try to enjoy the rest of our summer.

Cattle Call, Session 4

Adelle looks further into the relationships of Manny Travis, the mayor and the Texas Militia group. Manny was a former football star, being scouted by the Cowboys before he blew his knee out. He moved back home and has owned a few businesses locally. He had been dating a girl, Concha Gonzalez, for several years but a year and a half ago she was found murdered in a ditch. He was the prime suspect but had an alibi, so he could not be charged and was set free.

Adelle finds records of Manny and the mayor being seen together at the local Timberland Country Club, but curiously those records dry up a couple of months before Manny’s girlfriend’s murder. There are no records of the Mayor having any contact with Concha, and he had no comments about her murder investigation, curiously.

Bo goes to visit “The Witch” who lives not too far from the edge of campus. She is a local curiosity who seems to know a lot about local history. Bo knows her because she sometimes comes in to do lectures sometimes for Bo’s history classes. She confirms that the mayor is part of the Texas National Militia and that they are all about seeing the South rise again. They are actually more militant than the KKK. There have been bloody skirmishes between members in the past which have been passed off as hunting accidents — this is how they get rid of people. She says that there are at least two people buried under the front pillars of the town hall, which were Militia murders.

Concerning Manny, he always seemed to be living in the past of his football days, with several failed businesses, but years later he was getting more successful locally. After his girlfriend’s death, he has not been as successful.

We get a call from the cops and are told to come in for questioning. We are brought into a lineup room where we see #4, Hank McCleary. We identify him as the driver in yesterday’s shooting, and are able to exit the room. We ask Deputy McCann about the second shooting, and he says the cops tracked the shooters to the west side of town and they would not go quietly. The shooter, Kerry McGovern, blew his own brains out instead of being captured. The cops found them there as this was a known hideout of theirs. They did not find the truck.

Jerry McGovern, Kerry’s identical twin brother, seems to be an upstanding citizen. He is the VP of Lending at the First Bank of Pinebox, does charity and is an avid hunter. He seems to have been the “good” brother who never got into trouble. He visits the local Pizza Barn, a place where we’ve always hung out.

We decide to head there, and sure enough Jerry shows up. Eli and Leafwalker go up to him, and Leafwalker tells Jerry that what he is doing with the kids charities is great. Eli says that he has paid for Jerry’s meal and he is sorry about what happened to his brother. Jerry says that his brother has caused trouble for him since the moment he was born. Eli and Leafwalker go back to our table, but Jerry glares in our direction after this.

A few minutes later, as Leafwalker is going out for a smoke, six rednecks are blocking the door and will not let him out. They encroach on all of us and a fight starts. Adelle knees one in the groin and Bo kicks another one in the leg. Eli throws a pizza at someone and yells “Food fight!” and chaos breaks out. Among the fighting we are able to take out the rednecks and make an escape.

Outside in the parking lot, Leafwalker goes after Jerry but he pulls away in his car. However he sees something glinting next to his car as he goes — it is an invitation written to Jerry to an event a week from today at the Southern Gentlemen’s Charitable Society, hosted by the Mayor, at the Timberland Country Club. There are doodles on the card, several of them swastikas and other symbols, and the words “Die already you old coot” next to the mayor’s name.

We go back to our dorm, luckily getting away without being followed.

Homer does a search on Jerry McGovern and finds pictures of Jerry with the mayor; he always seems to be a couple steps behind him and to the right, like he is guarding him, until the last few photos, where he is on opposite sides of the room as the mayor.

Adelle goes to Terry’s house to see what she can find. Clearly the cops have been here, but she does find a pamphlet for the Texas National Militia. She finds a loose board that the cops missed. There is a thick book in here that lists all of the Texas Militia members, with a code for the higher-ups but she is able to determine that it is the mayor, and his first lieutenant is Jerry McGovern. There is a note on here that references that Jerry is wanting to take over the role as the top dog. The Sheriff’s name is here too. Manny’s name was in the book, but has been crossed out.

She also finds another book that is a series of meeting minutes. There are symbols scribbled in the margins that are religious; Eli determines that they are using these symbols in their rituals.

The next morning Eli goes to see Manny and he says that he is no longer part of the group; it has gotten too crazy after his girlfriend was murdered. Jerry is trying to take over the group, but the Mayor has something up his sleeve — a book that supposedly has magical powers. The Mayor has used the book to speak with Robert E. Lee and witness the Battle of Antietam firsthand. The Mayor has kept him at bay so far.

Cattle Call, Session 3

A few weeks go by after the chicken incident, and things have quieted down. We are getting to the end of our junior year at school and it is now finals week.

We run across an article in the local paper about some cow mutilations that have happened nearby. A farmer in Golan County, Nathan Bowers, has discovered two of his blue ribbon cattle butchered in the middle of his two hundred acre ranch. The assailants didn’t take any of the meat, but staked pieces of the cows in a small circular area. There were no tracks leading into the field or out of it.

The local sheriff, Butch Anderson, investigated and thought it was a teenage prank. There have been many reports of cow mutilations in the county since the late 1970s, though most of them find the cows drained of blood and their bodies precisely cut as if by scalpel or laser.

Professor Glen Maclanahan of East Texas University said that this one is different because of the “savage butchery”. He has written a number of books on the subject of modern mythologies, and says that this is likely the work of a cult and not aliens.

We start to do some investigations but don’t learn much during finals week.

The next week we hear of another cow mutilation nearby, but this one was further south of us. We decide that it would be best to investigate ourselves. We drive together to the farm and meet the farmer, asking if we can hunt near here. He mentions the incident and Bo seems to track with him; he invites us inside to see what happened. We take a look around and Bo gets permission for us to visit his land “for hunting coyotes and wolves.”

We look for clues but it seems like the scene has been trampled by the cops. There is a circle of flattened grass like a helicopter was hovering over it, and there is a ring of blood with somewhat of a pattern but it has been mushed by footprints. Homer takes his helicopter up a hundred feet and takes a picture of the scene, and Bo does videos of the area.

A week later Blake hears from the local cops that they are concerned about these mutilations and they are under pressure to figure it out. The mayor has also taken some interest in this case. We research the mayor’s background; apparently he had an illegitimate child with another woman. He may also have ties with white supremecist groups. Once when he was drunk he was overheard saying that “northern occupiers” are preventing decent folk from getting what they deserve, and is hoping to return the south to its former glory.

In a few days they have a press conference. The sheriff is there and also the mayor, who looks a lot like Colonel Sanders. Manny Travis, one of the council members, local business owner and a former chicken fight attendee. The mayor starts out by saying that this is a grave matter and is being investigated. When pressed, he just says that there are a few deputies looking into it.

Suddenly an F-150 pickup drives up and a barrel emerges from the window. Bo sees it and yells “GUN!” and throws his slurpee at the truck. A shot is fired and the cameraman filming the press conference, Neil Franks, is shot in the head. Everyone hits the deck. The truck peels off and a cop car rolls out and pursues him.

Adelle hears Manny turn to the mayor as they are both laying on the ground, and he says “If I find out you were behind this, I’ll open up a can of whoop ass like you’ve never seen.” The mayor stands up and runs into the city hall building. The police pursue the truck but he gets away.

Manny yells about “white supremecists” and “they are trying to do me like they did my girlfriend.” Adelle gets this on tape with her smartphone.

In checking the video of the event, the face of the assassin and their accomplice can be seen. Manny seems okay but is going on about how white supremacists are after him. Afterward, when being interviewed he seems to have changed his story and says that he doesn’t even know what happened.

Blake finds a shell casing on the ground and tells the authorities about it.

While this is happening, Leafwalker is in the religious studies department and has found professor Glen McClanahan who spoke out about the attacks. He brushes Leafwalker off, unfortunately.

A few hours later, we have been released from questioning. Homer runs the plate and finds out that the truck is owned by Hank Cleary, and we see find his address.

The next day in the Pinebox Newspaper, it says that Kerry McGovern was the shooter, driving Hank Cleary’s truck. They reportedly both have ties to the Texas National Militia, a pseudo-military, racist organization.

Blake looks up Kerry McGovern’s records and he has a record for battery, disorderly conduct, and chicken fighting. He also looks up the Texas National Militia, and it seems that they feel that the Civil War has never truly ended and they are waiting for the south to rise again.

Chicken Run, Session 2

Blake, our friend the Law Enforcement major (Stacy) joins us, as he was asleep in the back of the truck on the way here.

It looks like the chickens were all devoured by something. Adelle notices that the chicken cages are also busted in. There are feathers everywhere and large scratches on the cages, and the big feed bags are torn apart. There is also a human footprint among all of the carnage.

In the truck Leaf finds some blood on the floor, and the keys are still in the ignition. There is a shotgun under the seat, which we give to Blake. We decide to take the big truck up the hill to the house, but the conditions are terrible. After a few turns we hit a patch of water and the truck slides sideways, but the people in the back of the truck manages to hang on.

As we approach the house we realize why the road is so winding; the road goes around the nearby stream. There is an old farmhouse and the back door has been smashed open. The kitchen is destroyed and any containers of food have been busted open and emptied. There are no feathers here, but a large claw mark that looks like an immense chicken claw, nine inches to a foot long.

There is a computer in the adjacent room and a gun cabinet with a 12-gauge shotgun and a 30-30 rifle. We take the guns and Eli starts looking through the computer files. Blake finds a bad performance review that references an experiment that went awry at Grendel Faust and how he is a bad scientist. Bo finds a stack of paychecks; it looks like in the last year his pay was cut almost in half.

We move to the bedroom and find it in disarray but probably just because he is a slob. There are pictures on the wall of chickens and some framed photos of Artie holding prize chickens and trophies, but not from any official event.

In the next room we find some scientific papers and Adelle takes some photos.

We check the kitchen again and see that the creature only came in here and was interested in the food and nothing else.

We head to just north and find a pump house, which is not interesting except that there is a large pipe going to a building just to our south.

We head there, and Homer thinks that he hears something but it goes away. It is hard to walk through the woods in the rain and dense foliage. The rain does start to let up as we approach. The front doors are open (not smashed) and there are cages strewn around outside here. They have similarly been broken open and the chickens inside eaten. We find some huge feathers here, and Homer in particular is scared stiff.

We head inside the building and there is a large cage in the center with lawn chairs all around; this must be the cock fighting ring. Further back in the next room we find lots of cages, successively larger towards the back. The biggest one is a few meters square. In the back there is a giant contraption that according to Homer is a huge incubator.

Next to the back cage we find a dog collar and a human jawbone. Bo finds what he thinks is an egg and it is a human eyeball. Homer finds Charlie’s wallet and inside he finds a folded up document referencing a Grendel Faust project to genetically engineer eggs. This must be his body, and he must have stolen these eggs from Grendel Faust.

Adelle takes photos of the carnage and all of the equipment, and we head out as quickly as we can.

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On the road, suddenly we are surrounded by giant chickens from the front and behind. Blake takes a shot with his shotgun at the closest one and it explodes disgustingly into green goo which stinks to high heaven. Bo kills another one with a shotgun blast.

We continue fighting and Homer jumps out of the woods to attack a nearby chicken that is stunned with his leatherman, but he slips and accidentally stabs it on his way down and gets some of the goo on himself. Bo shoots him with a shotgun and it explodes, covering Homer even worse with goo.

Leaf throws a can of creamed corn at the last remaining chicken and it is stunned momentarily. Adelle stabs it with her replica sword (Sting), and kills it. We look around and we are surrounded by dead, stinking chickens, and it appears that they are decomposing as we watch. Adelle takes as many pictures as she can.

We head back to the truck but as we come into the clearing we see four huge chickens, bigger than the last group, on the bed of the truck and trying to get into the cab. Unwittingly Blake wanders into the clearing.

We take care of a couple of the chickens with more shotgun blasts but the last two come towards us. Homer sends his mini helicopter flying toward them to try and distract them. Leaf tosses some food and they are momentarily occupied. With a couple more well placed shotgun blasts we take care of the rest.

All of us head back to the Durango and we high tail it out of there. We see ahead of us on the road four more chickens. Leaf throws a food can at them and they start fighting over it. Blake runs them over and then backs over them again to make sure they are dead. Again, Adelle is filming everything.

Around the next bend we find the biggest cock we have ever seen. He is at least 8 1/2 or 9 feet tall and probably somewhere around 450 pounds. He stares down the car and is ready to charge. Blake slides it sideways and slams into the chicken, killing it instantly. However, he fails to notice that there is a washout just ahead. He manages to correct and jump over the washout, but Eli flies out of the bed of the truck and lands hard on the ground. Nothing is broken, thankfully, and he gets back in.

There are more chickens ahead and Leaf tries to kick one in the head as we pass, but he ends up falling out of the truck and hurts himself lying next to the chicken. Blake stops the truck and Bo takes him out with a shotgun blast.

As we are rounding the last corner (after 16 or so), two more giant chickens come at us from the sides and one sticks its head into the cab of the truck.

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Leaf lassos one of the chickens around the neck with a rope and yanks it. The other one is shot by “Bullseye” Bo. We pull ahead and snap the first one’s neck and now he is dragging behind us.

We get out and Bullseye starts the car on fire. We jump in the Durango and get out of there.

The next day, after thorough cleaning of ourselves and the truck, we meet to determine what to do about the whole situation. We decide that the local authorities might give us some trouble. Adelle will write an a story and hold on to it, and Eli will ask around to people who may have been interested in the ring what else they may be in to the area, so we can keep tabs on the degenerates in the council.

On Monday the local paper says that both brothers were mauled and kills by bears. People driving by reported the incident, and they thought the bear was sick as there were strange decaying flesh everywhere.

Pine Box, Session 1

We are a group of college students living in the city of Pinebox, TX. Bo (Paul) is a history and archaeology major; Leafwalker (Matt) is a College of Natural Resources student, a hippie former camp counselor; Eli (Cary) is a Religious Studies student, a sixty-some year old Jewish man; Homer (Jon) is a Science major with a background in electronics, robotics and lasers; Adelle (Brad) is a Journalism major, a young female who is also an aspiring horror writer.

We are all good friends, and are in a book club together. Adelle hears that there is an illegal cock fighting ring somewhere in the county, and we go to investigate. She finds that it is at a nearby farm, and the next match is perhaps two weeks away. Artie O’Connor and his brother Charlie own the chicken farm, after a series of accidents killed the previous owners. (His wife and her parents, from a family he recently married in to.)

We find more information about Artie; he has previously been busted for participating in cock fights but they could not prove that the birds were his. His mother-in-law was a well-known figure locally, she was killed in a fireworks accident. Artie was not charged as he had a good alibi.

Artie’s brother Charlie went to school for genetics and biology. Leafwalker finds a paper that he wrote years ago, on how to genetically modify plants, that was widely panned. He was working for Grendel Faust, a genetic and biological engineering company. After this, he fell off the map completely and hasn’t had any activity in years in the world of science.

The closest branch of Grendel Faust is the next county over, a breeding farm. Their mission statement is all about feeding the world. There are references to the company doing breeding with livestock as well. Charlie is listed as a lab assistant (a much lower role) in later papers. There is no reference to Artie O’Connor with the company.

Leafwalker talks with the university’s Dr. Krystal Manning, a specialist in microbiology and chemistry. She knows of a Grendel Faust project called Turkey Sandwich, where they was studying large birds to genetically engineer them. Adelle realizes that Dr. Manning has been driving to the local army base, Area 12, which has a very Area 51-like vibe, and she previously had worked for Homeland Security.

We decide to set a deer camera nearby to surveil the farm. A few vehicles come and go, and one of them is a really nice red sports car — this is Charlie’s car. We occasionally see a blue Ford F-350 with Artie driving it as well. Once he has a bunch of burlap sacks with chicken feed. On Saturday we notice that several really nice cars pull in. We see that one of the cars is owned by James Flowers, a local businessman. We also see Jimmy Vann, another businessman who is on the city council. They go in and come out a few hours later. There is no traffic on Sunday.

Adelle hears on Monday that a cock fight had happened over the weekend, but not the big one we’ve heard about.

James Flowers owns a body shop and is a member of the wolf hunters club, and is serving on the city council. Jimmy Vann owns rental properties nearby.

Bo does a Google Maps search of the farm area and sees the layout of the area.

We are pretty certain that the big fight is going to be this Saturday.

On Thursday evening we get together for dinner and decide what to do. We will go to the farm again on Friday and investigate to see if we can find the genetically modified chickens. We head out there on Friday and park the truck about a mile away and hike there. Homer brings bolt cutters, wire cutters and his R/C helicopters. We get to the big gate and go around through the nearby woods. We go in to the chicken coops but they seem like normal chickens. Leafwalker checks the feed and he recognizes it as the feed they use on campus, so it is not modified.

The chickens start making noise so we bail, and hide in the woods. We hear a truck approaching, and Artie jumps out with a shotgun looking around. We hear sirens approaching and the sheriff emerges with two deputies. They find all of us, and attempt to take us to jail for trespassing. One of the deputies feels sorry for us and tells us all to get out of here. We run out and at the gate, two pickup trucks pull up behind us with some angry locals yelling about the noise. We are able to make our escape.

At campus the next day we try and figure out what to do. Eli goes to a local establishment and gets an invite to the cock fight.

It is pouring this evening and the wind is gusting hard. We head back up to the farm in Bo’s Durango and see some cars driving in the other direction, quickly. One of them is a local businessman and council member, Manuel “The Man” Travis. We get to the gate and it is wide open. The blue truck is here and is left running, but the windows are smashed. The red sports car is here too. There are feathers everywhere, blood and bones, and the chicken coops were busted open from outside in.

Session 21 – Under Siege

Westmore tries to recap what has happened in the past few years. Gao Fang, Emperor of China, has invaded Pearl Harbor with a flight of dragons, and annexed Japan. They have formed a “Pact of Steel” with Italy and Germany, which has taken over Russia.  The allies against them are America, Canada, Great Britain and Romania (which is lead by a vampire).  Stalin was killed but has been brought back as a Frankenstein-like monster.

We do not have any mystical forces or artifacts on our side, unfortunately, but we do know that the Spear of Destiny is in the Vatican.  The Vatican, along with the rest of Italy, is in the “Pact of Steel”, but the Catholics have been unwilling to share the actual Spear.

Britain is under constant aerial assault. The Chinese are using dragons and mystical solders to fight.

While we figure out what to do, Goodwin creates a spark pistol.  The rest of us arm up with flak jackets, Tommy guns, and

We decide to speak with the Atlanteans about the situation. We bring them up to speed with the history of the world and the status of the war.

 

Session 20 – Jormungundar

We take the raft toward the Viking battleground. On the way Tom senses that we might be being watched by something, but nothing appears.

Thinking about what motivate the vikings to help us defeat the guardian of the volcano, Slate mentions that in Norse mythology there is a giant serpent, Jormungundar, who is Thor’s arch-enemy. Thor defeated him and walked 10 steps before dying himself, from the serpent’s venom. If we mention that this is the world-serpent, they may help us in our effort to kill the beast.

We come to the battleground and see weapons, armor and skeletons lying about. Slate notices a huge skeleton sticking out of the ground, it looks like a large serpent or dinosaur.

Gabriel finds armor, a helmet and two maces in the rubble and starts to descend into the crater. As he does this, some of the spectral viking warriors start swirling towards him. The giants, ogres and trolls do not seem to care about him. He sees something towards the center of the crater and climbs over the rubble to get it.

Finally getting to the bottom, he sees that the shiny object is a weapon — a hammer. He tries as hard as he can, but can’t lift it. Slate thinks that this may be Thor’s hammer, and it’s possible that we may not be able to lift it because according to myth, only Thor could do so.

We all head down into the crater to check it out. Whitmore reads the runes on the hammer and it indeed says “Mjolnir”, which is the name of Thor’s hammer. Whitmore is able to translate to the Vikings. We ask them for their help in defeating Jormungundar, but they say that he has already been defeated. We attempt to explain that we have all been trapped here and they think that this is in fact Valhalla, so are disinclined to try and leave.

Whitmore suggests that we try and talk to the spectral Thor, who is very prideful — we may be able to exploit his character flaw. He coaches Gabriel, who then approaches Thor and says that he is a weak fool (in Norse).

Thor hurls the hammer at his head and Gabriel narrowly dodges. Thor asks him why he thinks he is so easily defeated, and Gabriel says that if he had a hammer like Thor’s he could defeat him. Thor obliges, gesturing, and the physical hammer floats towards Gabriel and he finds that he can lift and use it. He moves to attack Thor, and they fight it out for several moments. Gabriel strikes and actually knocks Thor off of his feet. He starts pounding on Thor as he is flat on his back, and Thor pushes him off with little effort. He asks how he was defeated by a mere mortal.

We change the subject and ask him if he will help us defeat the fire serpent to free us from here. He agrees, but he says that the Atlanteans must help us in our task so we will all fight for our freedom. He gives Gabriel a less powerful version of his hammer to use in the battle. We go to the Atlantean city and talk to them, and they decide to join us. We all journey to the volcano and ascend to a cave, and sure enough we find the lair of a giant red tyranosaur and some of his dinosaur friends. His eyes glow as if they are on fire.

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Goodwin hits the T-rex severely with his flying machete, and then Slate and Whitmore take shots with their firearms unsuccessfully. Gabriel flings his hammer at him and slams him for more damage. After quite a long battle, Gabriel slams him with the hammer and a jet of flame courses out of it, narrowly missing him. There is a white light and everything disappears.

We wake up on a beach, and we see pillars like we saw when we first arrived to Atlantis. We also see our zeppelin in the distance. Professor Westmore is waiting near the zeppelin and he has food for us.

The cat people and Atlanteans are here. The Norsemen are here, but they are being picked up by valkyries and carried away. The t-rex that we defeated is here, dead, but we hear other dinosaurs in the distance.

Westmore tells us that we have been gone a while, and he heard that an island popped up in the middle of nowhere so he thought that he would check it out. He shows us a newspaper and it says May, 1944…which is 8 years after we left! There is a war in Europe, and it is not going well for the Allies. He suggests that we discuss what to do.

Session 19 – Wrath of the Juice Monkey

We start building the raft, and Goodwin builds a headgear device for Gabriel so that it is difficult to mind control him. We cast off and only a few minutes or so later we arrive.

As we approach we see that the island goes up a hill and we see a city in the distance. We come up and suddenly see several velociraptors approaching, and they attack. After a moment, though, we hear a roaring sound coming from the woods behind them and one is tossed out toward us. A huge ape comes from the bushes and is thrashing around. He seems to be attacking just the raptors, and is covered with dirt, wires and test tubes.

After the raptors have been taken care of, the gorilla attacks Gabriel. We all pile on him and take him down. Slate gives him a couple of shotgun blasts and he falls. He has some tech that Goodwin takes for future use.

We head further up the hill and it looks like the gorilla had taken out dozens of them in a path of destruction.

Soon the land drops away and we see ahead of us the city, all made of stone buildings. Some strange energies are at work to light things up. Strange alien-looking creatures are walking around here, some with high-tech sticks that look like weapons, and holsters with small guns. There is a stockade with some cat-creatures and an arena for combat. The technology and architecture seems to be making use of orichalcum.

When they see us, they lower their sticks at us. Goodwin speaks in Latin and tells them that we found their gorilla. They say that the gorilla was theirs and they sent it after the velociraptors. They ask him what we are doing here and he says that we arrived here out of our time and we are trying to figure out what is going on. They will not let us into the city gates.

The guards fetch an older man named The Seer and he asks about us. Goodwin asks him if they are aware of any of the ancient cultures, and if they know of Gao Fang. The Seer says that Gao Fang predates even them, he is an old evil. He is one of the beings who are trying to control the whole world, and is systematically getting rid of any threats, the Atlanteans being one and the lizards and tiger-men another.

The Seer says that they have a theory of how to leave, but they cannot do it themselves. They believe that the nucleus of the dimension is inside the volcano, but they cannot destroy the creature that is inside. There is a large lizard creature, bright red, who guards it and has his own minions as well.

He also describes the viking ghosts, fighting an unending war to the north, and asks about them. Goodwin says that they are also from our history, about a thousand years before us, and they are from the north part of Europe. The Seer asks if we might be able to sway them over to our cause. We think that if we defeat their enemies, the giants, they might be looking to fight someone else. We ask to take some of the Atlantean weapons with us to see if they can damage the ghostly giants.

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Session 18 – Land of the Lost

We check the area to which we’ve awoken and find that our former compatriot Clayton Whitmore is also here, and he is with someone we haven’t met before, a man in an iron suit who introduces himself as Howard.

We start looking around and find that this is a jungle setting with a large lake, huge cliffs that go up into the clouds and a smoking volcano in the distance. We go walking for quite a while and realize that the sun hasn’t moved, and there are no birds or other small animals here. There are strange tracks that look like large cat feet as well. We see a pterodactyl fly above us. There is an island off in the distance. This place seems unnatural.

After walking for what seems like a whole day, the sun hasn’t changed position and we decide that it’s time to rest. We set up camp and Tom volunteers for the first watch. After a short while we are approached by a cat creature with a spear. Howard uses his suit to punch the cat and takes him out. On him we find some bits of metal that Goodwin recognizes as orichalcum, a rare metal with magical properties.

We discuss and eventually surmise that this must be a pocket universe consisting of all the “lost” things from our world, which explains the eclectic mix of animals and terrain. We realize that the cliffs surround us on all sides and this is a fairly small area.

We make our way toward one of the small cat-people villages, and they let us in but ask for our weapons. We are shown to their leader, a tiger-looking man named Chaakkra. He asks us where we came from and we describe Gao Fang and tell of how we were transported here. Chaakkra says that his people were removed from their home many thousand years ago, from what they can tell. They have not aged in the time that they have been put here.

He says that they do not go to the rock fields to the north; strange pale-skinned fair-haired spirits / bad magic are there, and they look human. They war with strange hairless creatures there. Also there are more people, who also have magic, who previously enslaved the cat-people who live on the island near here.

We head out and begin work on building a raft to visit the island.

Session 17 – On the Waterfront

We decide to team up with Ran Goon and go to take out Gao Fang at one of his waterfront warehouses. Initially we think about putting explosives under one of the docks but opt for infiltration. We cut through the fence and climb through, but then we see that most of the workers here are dead.

We head into the warehouse and find a ton of guys here. Gabriel jumps through the window, ripping it from its frame. Ran follows and leaps to a nearby crate, and uses his staff to crack a ninja in the face. Ahead we see Gao Fang!

Gabe throws the window at Gao Fang’s face which proves ineffectual. After a battle, Gabe, Ran and Goodwin take out all of the ninjas and gangsters here, but Gao Fang manages to take over Ran’s mind then casts 3 green skulls at Gabe.

Before he can be defeated, Gao Fang holds aloft the two ruby eyes (ours was obviously a fake!) and there is a blinding white light.

An undetermined amount of time later, we awake with the sweet taste of grass in our mouths. We have been transported somewhere strange and deserted.

Session 16 – Shanghaid

At the Dragon of the Black Pool Restaurant, Egg Foo Chow tells us that Lao Che runs a shipping business at the docks of Shanghai. The contact that can help us with more information is named Ran Goon; he can be found in a bar near the docks.

We depart, taking the zeppelin from San Francisco through to Hawaii, Japan and then finally Shanghai. On the trip, Goodwin works in the lab for most of the time; Gabriel sleeps; Slate reads.

The group’s pilot, Tom “Tailspin” Kennedy, tells us a bit about his history and his plane that we previously didn’t know. He was a pilot in World War I, and was shot down over Germany. He was held prisoner in a hole for several months, but eventually was able to break out and stole a plane, flying himself to safety. The plane was an experimental aircraft that had several enhancements, one of which was night vision. This is the plane that Tom still has and is attached to the zeppelin.

When we are within hours of Shanghai, suddenly several planes fly by us. Slate and Gabriel run to man the ship’s guns, and Tom launches off in his plane to fight them off. Goodwin uses a gadget he created, the Fantasmic Pulser, to create an obfuscating cloud around one of the planes. The pilot, blinded, loses control and crashes his plane. We shoot down the other two planes, and Tom notices that the planes have the upside-down pyramid symbol on them.

We land and look for the bar that Ran Goon frequents. After a while of searching and unsuccessful attempts at talking with the local folk, we see several people being tossed out of the front door of a nearby bar. They are all nursing their wounds on the sidewalk. The guy who manhandled them saunters back in the bar, laughing; he is a short, stocky man with a red face and permanent grin. He looks just like the photo we have of our contact.

We walk in and find him back at the bar, drinking. We ask if he is Ran Goon, and he says that he is; apparently he speaks English. Gabriel immediately challenges him to a fight, and he laughs and agrees. Goodwin, who speaks Mandarin, tells Gabriel how to insult him properly in his own language. Slate tells Ran that if he beats Gabriel, he will drink for free for the rest of the night.

Gabriel takes the first shot and knocks Ran down hard. He gets back up but misses Gabriel badly, smashing through a table and falls down. Gabriel picks him up by the scruff of his clothes, and Ran doesn’t seem to be fighting any longer. Goodwin notices that he might have some internal bleeding.

Slate tells Gabriel that we need to take him back to the zeppelin. Goodwin uses his medical machine on him; after a moment he is healed and is sober, which is very disorienting to him. We begin asking him about Lao Che, and he explains that he runs an import/export business which is legit, but he also runs opium. Ran also knows the layout of Lao’s facility. He has been doing work for Egg Foo Shen who will send him money to do miscellaneous tasks, and after he does them he blows all of it on liquor.

Lao has two docks on the water, and two gates that are large enough for trucks. The warehouse has a high fence, and a two-story office building attached. There is a secondary warehouse and a crane for loading cargo onto his ships. He also owns a hangar at the airport.

We ask Ran about the upside down yellow triangle symbol, but he is not aware of any group with the symbol.

Session 5 – Spiders

We get further into the affected area and see abandoned areas. Finally we see a large room with lots of webs and radioactive barrels. They seem to have a company name on them — we snap a photo.

Moving along we come to a small body of water. A behemoth, a hippo-like creature, emerges and attacks us. We shoot at it with little effect but two well-placed manabolts by Skaale bring him down.

Alamos 20k, a humanis policlub seems to be behind the radioactive waste.