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 Post Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 12:18 am 
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Location: Praise be to the sticky elastic bands of the Healing Gauze
Felix steps up with his shotgun.

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 Post Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:04 am 
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Nate checks the chamber on his pistol.

"Sounds like a party. I'm in."


*Edit. Now in glorious Technicolor!*


Last edited by balthazar on Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:42 am 
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"No," says Piper in response to Arkady's query; but she doesn't meet his eyes as she says so.

Arkady: Skeptic's Ear: It seems that Piper is not exactly being truthful.

Arkady: Empathy:+5 Roll: -2 Total: +3 Failure

...though Arkady can't tell whether the real answer is "Yes", "Maybe", or "No, but..." or something else entirely.


The group enters the room, with Ivan staying outside to keep an eye on Talen. On entering, everyone can immediately feel a strong sense of oppression, as if the air is thick and heavy; and despite the aromatic herbs in the corridor, the room is filled with the stench of blood. Half-heard screams echo in their ears.

"Gentlemen," says Piper, "none of you will need to watch what will be going on in the centre of the room. Theresa and the Minstrel will need to, because in order to break the hold that the spell has on them, they will need to face the true nature of the power trying to force their cooperation."

"I don't know what sentries there are in this room. I do know that when I begin there will be a reaction, but I don't know the nature of that reaction, or the types of sentries that have been left to guard this place. Be prepared for things that cannot be harmed by normal weapons."

Sir Ulath mutters a few words, and the edge of his axe takes on a slight blue sheen.

"I'm going to be bringing back images of the past," says Piper, "showing Theresa and the Minstrel the nature of some things they need to understand to break the spell." She takes a deep breath, raises her pipes, and starts playing; clear, pure notes that contrast against the atmosphere of the room they are in...

Quick question. The door is on the easternmost end of the room; the bloodstained stone block is to the west of you, with the strange idol west of that; the burning brazier is south-west of the door. Which direction is everyone facing?

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 Post Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:31 am 
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Felix will face the burning brazier.

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 Post Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:32 am 
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Nate is standing next to Piper, keeping watch.

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 Post Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:07 am 
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Arkady take out his bible and holy water, makes sure his pistol is ready to grab in a hurry, and stands next to the door (where he's not immediately obvious to anyone running in) facing the altar. He starts to pray, just on general principles. Having God's attention doesn't strike him as a bad thing right now, even if he knows that's not how it works.

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 Post Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:58 pm 
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Felix keeps a close eye on the burning brazier. The flames - if you can call them that, when they are black as the darkest night even as they twist and dance - move within the brazier, but apart from the colour and the lack of temperature, they act much the same as any other flame.

Nate looks about, in all directions, wary of approaching threats. Arkady keeps an eye on the altar. This means that the two of them get a close look at what happens when Piper's spell begins to have an effect; and images of the past appear. The body of the small child, strapped down to the altar. The woman, beautiful in face and form but with insanity in her eyes, who held the knife. For a moment, both of them expected her to merely kill the child upon the altar, to commit nothing more than the murder of an innocent. It quickly becomes clear that the lady with the knife has no such quick death in mind for the silently screaming child. Instead, she tortures the child, carefully keeping her alive so as to extend to the maximum the child's pain and suffering; her expression of sadistic glee mirroring that of the idol in the alcove.

Fortunately, Piper's spell does not bring back the sounds of the past, merely the images. Nonetheless, the activities visible in the centre of the room would unsettle the strongest stomachs.

Arkady: Resolve: +3 Roll: +1 Total: +4
Mental stress track: XOOOO OO

Nate: Resolve: +3 Roll: +1 Total: +4
Mental stress track: XOOOO OO

The scenes around the altar are disturbing enough that if you keep watching them, you might very well end up depositing your supper all over the floor (or, if you manage to leave the room in time, in one of Ivan's buckets, thus saving him some cleanup). You can avoid taking any further mental stress by simply not looking in the direction of the altar - however, if everyone does this, it will naturally leave a gap in your defenses.

Fortunately, nothing has leapt out to attack you - yet.

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 Post Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:08 pm 
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Arkady prays for the soul of the child, then says "Nate, I will take first watch. I will be letting you know when it is your turn."

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 Post Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:55 pm 
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Felix keeps his eyes on the brazier.

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 Post Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:08 am 
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Nate grunts and turns away from the altar, but otherwise stays alert.

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 Post Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:25 am 
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Felix keeps a close watch on the brazier, while Sir Ulath keeps an eye on the door, in case something comes in that way.

Arkady takes care to watch in the direction of the altar, to be sure that there is nothing sneaking up from that way, offering up prayers as he sees more and more victims fall to the same blade, one by disquieting one.

Nathan tries to keep watching in all directions but the altar. Every now and then, the hand-shaped mark on his arm twinges.

Theresa and the minstrel protest, trying to turn away, trying not to watch the scene in front of them, but the ropes prevent them from doing so.

For a while, nothing else happens...

Arkady: Resolve: +3 Roll: +1 Total: +4
Mental stress track: XXOOO OO

--------------

Arkady: Resolve: +3 Roll: +0 Total: +3
Mental stress track: XXXOO OO


...and then, abruptly, a ghostly humanoid shape drops out of the ceiling, screaming like a banshee! She drops almost exactly on top of Piper's head, mouth open to bite - but a moment before she hits, Piper is abruptly about a metre to the left, without so much as an interruption in her tune.

The ghostly figure reorients itself upright and takes a moment to look around the room. Arkady and Nate recognise her immediately - it's the same woman that they have just seen doing unspeakable things to innocent people (not all of them children) in the middle of the room, only she looks somewhat less human. She's humanoid, translucent, and hovering; her teeth are now fangs and at the ends of her fingers are now claws.

Nathan: Investigation: +0 Roll: +0 Total: +0
Arkady: Investigation: +2 Roll: -1 Total: +1
Felix: Investigation: +0 Roll: +0 Total: +0
Sir Ulath: Investigation +0 Roll: +1 Total: +1


She doesn't seem particularly worried by the fact that she is now surrounded by the four of you.

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 Post Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:32 am 
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During the silent film, Roger was glancing back and forth between the altar and pretty much anything else.

When the "banshee" appears, Roger focuses his attention on it. Since he feels that he has nothing to harm it, he prepares himself to get out of the way should it attack.

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 Post Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:45 am 
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Staying silent and trying to remain under the radar, Roger tries to keep an eye on everything in the room. The images playing out around the altar are very disturbing...

Roger: Resolve: +2 Roll: +3 Total: 5
Resolve: Resolve: +2 Roll: -2 Total: 0
Roger: Resolve: +2 Roll: -1 Total: 1
Mental stress: OOOXX O


He manages to keep his lunch on the inside of his stomach. And then the banshee (or whatever it is) appears...

Roger: Investigation: +1 Roll: +0 Total: +1

The fact that she seems immaterial leads him to worry that she might turn out immune to anything he's carrying, and so he prepares to dodge...

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 Post Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:50 am 
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Nate steps between the specter and Piper, hoping this won't hurt too much.

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 Post Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:51 am 
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Felix loads his shotgun with rock salt and hopes that proves effective. He takes a shot at the creature.

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