Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Night-Dimmed Day – Part II – Game Session 6



July 3rd 2000, Monday
2:00 am
Undisclosed Island in Michigan Lake

Despite the increasing difficulty of the mathematics involved to plot a course using the XDG, and the PCs involvement with solving them, the next gateway opens a mere four hours later. Once open  they can see that it leads to a swampy, desolate place that both Jon and Angel immediately recognize: the Desoul. At first, Jon refuses to go and when Angel tries to force him through, fights against it. Eventually, Jessie whispers something in to Jon’s ear and resigned, he crosses over.

July 3rd 2000, Monday
Unknown
Dreamlands, the Desoul

Once on the other side he leads the team through endless swamp-covered land. They ultimately make their way to “dry” land just as the sky grows dim. Unlike most of the Dreamlands, the Desoul actually has a nocturnal cycle, though it is skewed. There is a 4-hour window of light, followed by a 2-hour window of dark, then 8-hours of light followed by 10-hours of dark. They come across the Den1 and bunker down for the night there as Jon tells them part of how he came to be Dream-Stuck2 and how he escaped. Sergei, not needing to sleep, keeps watch all night. Many times, he feels that he is being watched, but cannot locate the watcher. When the PCs start off again, Jon takes a few things from his old home, but seals it back up with Angel’s help, leaving it there as a testament to his struggle as well as a place for others who may one day become trapped in the swampish hell. The PCs take advantage of the light and Jon leads them all the way to the edge of the swamp where the Lethe river serves as an impenetrable barrier. There, on the banks of the river, is what looks like a shrine made of bone, driftwood, shells, mud, and stone with the piece of the skull. The PCs quickly rush over to get their prize, but before they can a shape comes out of the woody swamp and grabs Noah trying to drag him off. While most of the PCs are surprised, Gelar fires a shot (and misses) at the creature distracting it enough so that Angel can use her TK to wrest Noah away from it. Hachiko and Far run forward to drag their injured teammate back into protection while the rest are still finding their feet. Far stops the bleeding, ignoring Noah’s screams. Through the look on Far’s face, Hachiko can tell that Noah isn’t going to make it. Before they can do anything else a dozen animated skeletal human remains pop up out of the ground and begin to attack the PCs. One even appears underneath Hachiko, though he summarily chops it in half with a hastily drawn blade. Jon begins to sing Alice In Chains “Dem Bones” and curses the undead beings. Angel moves towards her downed teammate and with an impressive show of power sets all but one of the undead creatures on fire, as well as a nearby tree as she tries to smoke out whatever it was that attacked them. Unfortunately, she hits a gas pocket and causes a methane explosion that levels the nearby area setting everything on fire and sending debris flying. The PCs manage to make it behind various areas with cover, but the explosion deafens them. Angel then puts out the fire in another impressive display of pyrokinetic prowess just as Alex cools down the area enough to cause frost and rime to form on every surface (he did this in hopes that he’d be able to at least hear whatever was attacking them before it actually attacked them). Only a few of the undead remain and are quickly dispatched by the others; that’s when the monster comes out to finish them off. The PCs can tell it’s some sort of werewolf3 and it moves so fast that they can barely see. Jon begins singing Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves Of Long” and curses it as well. In the span of a second, it grabs Far, disembowels him, and runs off into the charred swamp with him. Seconds later they hear their teammate scream and then it’s utterly silent. When it comes back again it tries to pounce Hachiko to the ground but fails, tries to attack Jon and Angel (though Angel sticks a boot-blade in its eye), but is blocked by the Russian and even attacks Gelar who has been watching it move the whole time, not firing his arrow once as he lined up his shot. Both Jon and Angel run after the creature, taking the fight to it. Angel then locates the creature’s mind with her own and shares that information with the others who act on it. Serge, using a ninja trick get’s up close to the monster and lodges several shuriken in its right eye (the same one that Angel stuck her bladed boot into). Before anyone can do anything else, Alex’s eyes turn completely white and the air begins to get so cold that the PCs can see their breath. The werewolf begins to freeze as Alex brings its body temperature down to absolute zero, freezing it solid. Gelar then launches an arrow at its hand and shattered the body. Inside is the pale blue corpse of a young boy with black hair: Linden Peters. When Jon sees who it is, he immediately breaks down and starts crying while Angel holds him. BFG and Alex follow the bloody trail of Far’s intestines into the swamp, but are unable to find a body, only viscera, an arm, and a leg. Alex eventually notices that the monster ripped their medic apart and then threw him into the Lethe. Angel uses a spell to heal Noah, aligning his chakras with a charm she made. They’ll never recover the body, though BFG brings back what they can bury. Angel, unable to take Jon’s tears draws deep from within her and does something forbidden: she brings the dead back to life. While Angel passes out, Linden gasps awake, but without a body they are unsure if Far was affected as well. Hachiko tries to perform a spell to bring Far back to them, even if its only his body. While the spell succeeds…it doesn’t produce the results Hachiko wants. They spend a time looking for him, but eventually head back to the Den, wait out the Little Dark and then head back to the spot where they came through. Angel, Noah, and Linden are all carried back by their teammates. Angel being carried by the Russian, Linden by BFG, and Ecks and Hachiko carrying Linden back in a stretcher. When the gateway opens up Jessie pops through to the other side, sensing Angel’s unconscious state.

July 3rd 2000, Monday
2:00 am
Undisclosed Island in Michigan Lake

The wounded are taken back to medical and Jessie chastises Angel for doing something she knows could have killed her. She wakes up an hour later and learns that only a half of a minute had passed while they were in the Desoul. Angel tries to help Jessie with the final equations, but he waves her off wanting her to rest. Instead she visits with the little boy and takes him to see Jon, who she knows is feeling guilty and depressed. Though Linden is not yet awake Jon is holding a vigil over his bedside; Hachiko is spending time with his family, trying to reconcile the death of one of his own; the rest of the PCs go about their own little tasks as they wait for the final equation to be finished so they can retrieve the last piece of the skull and end this nightmare.

July 3rd 2000, Monday
11:10 am
Undisclosed Island in Michigan Lake

1 The Den is a huge baobab tree that Jon and his fellow dream-stuck allies lived for many years. It’s been further hollowed out, had its cracks sealed up, and made otherwise both defensible and livable.
2 Being Dream-Stuck means that a person’s spirit has been separated from its body and become lost in the Dreamlands. It’s a form of dream projection but is usually a permanent state because the spirit has no way to reintegrate with his or her body. As long as their body is alive (which resembles a coma) the person can try to find a way back, but when their body dies they either become a wraith, die, or are reborn as a Dreamlander (a rare outcome).
3 There are many sorts of werewolves and origins for them in the Awakening. This particular werewolf was created by contact with a cursed article that turned Linden into a ravening monster. The curse was originally designed to deter grave robbers but has since become something else. When Linden died his curse ended so that when he came back to life he was no longer afflicted.

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