- Devin Broadhurst (played by Rob D.): There was a blurb here the entire time. But it disappears every time you look away from the screen. Tagline: “You saw it, but forgot it.”
- Gabriel MacAlister (played by Douglas Cole): Built like the natural athlete he is, he is tall, strong, and solidly good-looking, but deeply scarred from much combat. He’s missing his lower leg, which he lost fighting zombies. It is capped by a carbon fiber prosthetic that doesn’t seem to interfere much with his activities. A quiet and hard-working man, always ready to lend a hand with any work, which he will do without complaint or obligating the other person to respond. He is an expert martial arts teacher, and has been following in the footsteps of a carpenter for some time now. Emphatically not a pushover or weak personality, but also not one to purposefully show off. Has been in many horrible places and seen many horrible things; he’s a bit of a compulsive planner as a result, as well as always feeling that most folks don’t really know how lucky they are. He was cursed to carry a magical sword for a while, and gave into its Wrath before it was parted from him magically. He’s since given it up, in exchange for unknown burdens. Tagline: “To serve others is the highest calling; to protect the meek the noblest endeavor, and our works are judged by the effort that went into them”
- Kamali Blackshear (played by Merlin A.): Kamali is a young man in his late teens. He is healthy and is of mixed ethnicity of Caucasian South African and native South African. He is a determined youth who believes in a justice of his own, likening himself to the knight of the round table whom he has read deeply into. Just as they stood against the darkness of their age so too does Kamali seek to do the same. For his sister, for his friends, and for the world. Tagline: “A knight without a sword carrying a faith nobody believes.”
- Lorenzo DeModouco (played by Christian G.): A man with movie star looks and a voice that belongs on the radio. Slowly coming to grips with the fact that he isn’t exactly human, but a “Lupus Dei” – “Wolf of God” – otherwise known as a Benandanti. He’s still cheery and always trying to make others happy, but has become a shrewd student of human behavior, which he uses for the benefit of the rest of his team. Lorenzo’s recently joined the Boston Fire Department as a volunteer as a means to get access to places he normally shouldn’t be able to go as well as medical gear and information that might not be available to the public. He’s become a master of spear fighting and like the rest of his brothers is a highly capable combatant. Tagline: “You can take me to the gates of Hell, but I won’t back down and I won’t be turned around.”
- Markus Walker (played by Christopher D.): Only recently awakened to the world of Ceteri, Markus is a couple things. A survivor of Lorna Rd, an officer of the law, a physical mage. It’s hard to tell where each one leaves off and where the other comes into play. He tries his best to follow the law, but it’s hard when there’s no Massachusetts State laws on monster hunting. Tagline: “Honesta quam magna.”
Previously . . .
Back at Smolak Farms in North Andover, as Gabe reached out towards the tree with a flash full of holy water, Kamali stops him from doing something that could result in horror. Even worse is that Markus is also told not to collect maple syrup from the evil oak tree. The general consensus is that they want to contain it via some kind of containment ritual to keep anything more from getting out. Unfortunately, none of them has quite the magical talent that Amos has. Instead, the orphans try to figure out what sort of language the runes on the tree with Lorenzo managing to figure that it’s in Ogham.
Scarecrows, Pumpkins, and Slaughter Amidst The Murdercorn
Gabe, Kamali, Lorenzo, and Markus
Smolak Farms Pumpkin Patch
Friday, October 22nd, 2000, 6:00 pm
315 S Bradford St., North Andover, MA 01845
Looking around, the group locates a farmhouse while Gabe tries to contact his girlfriend. Kamali, in the meantime goes up to the house and tries to introduce himself to the resident. A quick look at the old man’s body language tells Kamali that there’s a gun pointed at him just behind the door. Trying to calm down the man, they explain that he’s not there to rob him, instead the old man tries to brandish a crucifix at Kamali. Telling him not to brandish Jesus against him, Kamali tells the old farmer that he’s there to investigate a little girl from the museum.
Hearing a piercing scream from within the house, it’s obvious now that the children at the museum weren’t the only ones affected and Kamali tries to convince the old man that they’re able to help. Telling him that he probably won’t want to see the effect that an exorcism may have on his daughter when Kamali and Gabriel hear the sounds of birds landing on the roof, moving off the porch they see corvids and bunches of black birds landing on the roof. Kamali asks the old man for salt and he points them towards the barn when flocks of birds attack everyone outside, in a horrible version of Hitchcock and they barely manage to dodge the strafing passes.
Lorenzo and Kamali make it into the barn while Gabe storms into the house to see what the young girl is screaming about. While Kamali provides cover, Lorenzo starts loading up 50 lb bags of salt into a convenient wheelbarrow. Markus, on the other hand, is trying to get the SUV away from the pumpkin field and closer to the house itself.
Gabe races up the stairs and finds the doorknob to be visibly chilled, frost forming on the metal itself. Pushing open the door, he finds no one within the room in any obvious location and he immediately invokes Protection from Evil. Scurrying comes from the ceiling and looking up, the young girl is in full Exorcist mode and trying to get away from Gabe.
Markus, on the other hand, is trying to drive up close to the house in case they need some way to get away from the flock as Gabe drives the girl into a corner while Gabriel starts trying to exorcise the demon in the girl. Lorenzo and Kamali finish the circle and Kamali turns to go into the house, giving Lorenzo the shotgun.
Kamali finds Gabe brandishing a cross against a girl stuck to the ceiling and jokes ensue. Kamali tries to grab the girl from the ceiling but misses. Trying again, he grabs her once more but unfortunately the move causes the girl to vomit all over Kamali. Outside the house, folks can see the birds circling all around. Kamali holds her in a lock to keep the possessed girl from moving. Markus is nearly enthralled by the birds going around outside the house.
It takes the boys nearly 90 minutes and the girl starts vomiting birds that immediately tries to flee but can’t get past the salt circle. Eventually the ritual ends and the girl passes out. There’s still a large amount of birds around and the orphans try to brainstorm on how to get rid of them. They decide to grab a garden hose and have Gabe hold his thumb over the end to spray the birds with holy water and try to smite them when they come in. The burning swarm is broken and trying to fly all around the place. A garden hose found, Kamali drags it back to Gabe, being careful not to break the salt line. The father seems to be almost to the breaking point, holding his daughter and rocking back and forth. Gabriel suggest that they lead a prayer circle around the girl and her father.
At about this time, Desiree is on her way over and the Orphans are debating about what to do with the tree. Kamali suggests that they end up salting the entire field to strike it barren and attempt to salt the field. The writing on the tree isn’t a summoning, it’s a binding to keep the Demon Lord sealed. The pumpkin vines poked holes in the binding which is why he was told not to plant in it. There was apparently a good reason for it. Unfortunately Kamali gives the old man a breakdown around the same time that Desiree shows up.
They try to explain what sort of help they need magically while Kamali pulls out some retrocognition to see what was done in the past. He gets a startlingly clear vision of what happened 30 years ago. A man dressed in black with black hair and blue eyes, accompanied by a somewhat short individual with red hair arguing with each other. A woman bound in silver chains where the tree would be. A sapling is pulled out carved with runes and the sky darkens as black birds fly around. The man in black chants unknown words and the tree sapling grows into the woman, enclosing them within the trunk.
Kamali determines that the tree is dying and they need to restore its vitality. Desiree, on the other hand, determines that the binding is being broken and the tree is dying with it. She suspects that it was hit by lightning at least once in the past while Kamali tries to convince her that they need help but Desiree isn’t sure what could be done. Kamali asks who might have the striking blue eyes, and Desiree says that he described “Murphy Eyes,” but the Murphys disappeared during the Battle of Dogtown.
Kamali suggests that they simply run a harvest tractor over the pumpkin patch to destroy all the afflicted pumpkins as well as debate what sort of plan they may need to destroy the tree and demon lord. A lot of discussion goes on as Markus sits in his SUV watching four crazy people gesticulate in the field as he tries to figure out how to write up the incidence reports. Gabe thinks about what could actually destroy a demon, something that is material and touched by god such as the holy grail, the spear of destiny, or the ark of the covenant. Either way, they need to temporarily contain it while they need to research more. They get the salt circle in place.
With it in place, Kamali turns to the family to see if there’s anything in place regarding the family. There’s no curse within in the family, but the small girl is special somehow. They’re not too certain what her future is. He also gets a vision of the night sky which he memorizes, but he’d have to take it to someone that could identify the constellations. When questioning where the mother is, the man tells them that she died in a car accident awhile back. The man, temporarily mollified by the orphans, decided to destroy the pumpkins while they’re gone. Kamali gets onto his computers and starts researching while Markus goes to the police department to file his paperwork for the night.
After Action Report (GM)
Lot of exposition this game – which isn’t a bad thing – lots of wild ideas being tossed around by folks. Also, this game saw both Christian and Christopher pretty silent – something I rather try to avoid. Next game I’m going to do my best to make sure they are both more involved.
“The Crow on the Cradle” by Lady Maisery (opening song)
“Haunt You” by The Pack A.D.
“Broken Bones” by Kaleo (closing song)