Campaign of the Month: December 2011
Dresden Files Dallas
Game 6 Transcript
Malignant Motorcycle Mayhem 3
Malignant Motorcycle Mayhem, Part 3
Actual start time, sometime after 16:16
Sat night, after Matthew and Elena have just returned, Ren and Jaime come back downstairs. They’ve finished whatever it is that people in the attic do.
Malzen demon of cancer. They can sometimes inflict cancer by touch. So don’t touch it if you can avoid it. Demon tricks, stronger faster tougher than regular humans. Demons come to the world in two ways, they possess someone or build themselves a body. Cancer demons always possess.
Jaime hooks people up with blankets, etc. Elena & Matthew record his sermon, then Matthew takes a long walk.
They all have a big drink of whiskey and discuss their plans.
J “So what’s the plan? How are we going to do this?”
M “Do you have an idea of the layout of her shop?”
J “I sort of know the layout… It’s one of those older houses, it has a porch. She uses the front as her store.”
M “So not much of a threshold?”
J “No, not much, if any. She uses it as a place of business. The one think I don’t know… they’ve got the house, but they also have some building out back for the motorcycle club. I’ve only been there once, as it’s good to know the other practitioners in the area.”
J “So in terms of tactics, we’ve got the demon. We’ve probably got Sarah Tyler.”
C “That demon causes cancer by touching.”
M “Since it’s in possession, does it have its supernatural strength and whatever? Or the strength of its host?”
J “Some demons imbue the host with their own physical powers.”
C “So multiply repeated application of firearms, then? Is that what you’re saying?”
E “Do we want to try to save the dude, or do you think he welcomed the demon in?”
M “Even if he welcomed it in, it can be pushed out.”
E “I don’t know if I’m comfortable with killing a guy just because he’s possessed.”
J “Are there any other potential problems?”
M “Well, the rest of the gang…”
J “Yeah, the motorcycle goons.”
M “What about the one that hit you, Conor? The one with the tire iron?”
C “I definitely don’t like him, if that’s what you mean.”
M “Didn’t we conclude that there is more to him than just a big mean guy with cold iron?”
C “Yeah, he was easily as strong as I am.”
M “So, another potential problem. If it has one goon, odds are it may have more.”
E “Yall already considered his wife, right? She’s in on it.”
J (dismissively) “She’s a light weight.”
E (not convinced) “Until she made a deal with a demon and got a sphere.”
J (reluctantly) “Right. She could have all sorts of… sponsored magic.”
M “If she’s the host, it could be even worse.”
J “I like to think I would have noticed that, at least.” (hesitates) “But maybe I didn’t.” (hesitates again) “There was something off about her, but I don’t think it’s demonic possession.”
J “So, it sounds like we’ve got Malzen, Sarah… do we have a name for Tire Iron?”
E (shakes her head) “Just Tire Iron.”
J “And potentially a group of goons.”
M “Armed with various implements such as tire irons, baseball bats, chains, guns.”
M (jokingly) “So, frontal assault, then?”
J (to Matthew) “Demons are your area of expertise…”
M “I wouldn’t go that far!”
E “Well, they’re weaker against you.”
M “Unfortunately, they didn’t offer me a course for exorcism at Seminary.”
E (laughs) “What? Isn’t that standard?”
C “Wasn’t there a movie about it? Oh, right! You’re not Catholic.”
J (to Conor) “Neither are you, exactly.”
C “I’m as Catholic as a vast bulk of my faith. I go twice a year!”
M “I’ll do what I can against it.”
E (deliberately) “Can you bless my bullets?”
M (laughs and rolls his eyes) “And here we go back to the blessed bullets!”
J (thoughtfully) “It’s not a bad idea…”
R “Can you bless my flask of water?”
M (pauses) “Yeah.”
C (laughs) “You know, the Catholic church has a ritual for this! Makes it easy to do.”
M (ironically) “I’m sure it does.”
((OOC discussion of the mechanics blessing stuff))
J “So you’ll try to take care of the demon. We’ll have assorted items that will hopefully facilitate our dealing with it and its goons.”
E “I say we try exorcism first.”
J “So, it sounds like the plan is: we wake up in the morning. Yall go in with your blessed stuff and just hope this works.”
Elena is going to go recon the house during the night. Elena drives her car over, parks it a mile or so away, and runs over to the house to observe it for a little while. THe house is a couple of blocks east of downtown Grapevine in a nice, older neighborhood. There is a porch, and on the porch are two younger guys (“prospects,” probably) just kind of sitting.
Elena sneaks around back to have a look. There are two buildings, a garage, which is more like an industrial building with two huge garage bay doors. Also in the back yard is what looks like a shotgun style bunk house or barracks. She listens for any chanting or oddness, but doesn’t hear anything. She peeks into a few windows. The shotgun style building is in fact a bunk house with people sleeping in it, with other bunk rooms empty. The garage has a small side door that may go to an office, but the one window is blacked out.
She watches the property for an hour or two, just to get a basic feel. The prospects out front are bored and start drinking beer. They’re supposed to be watching for something, but…. well, they get bored. Elena also notes all entry/exit points for each of the three buildings (house, bunk house, garage) for their assault in the morning. Things that might or might not be flamable near the buildings in case they need to burn the place down. She evaluates the exterior property as a tactical terrain.
Then she heads back to Jaime’s, does her work out, and goes to sleep.
Jaime is making breakfast. Pancakes, bacon, eggs.
J “So did yall sleep well?”
M (pensively) “Better than I have in a long time.” (looks around the table) “Ok, what’s everyone wanting me to bless?”
Conor plops down some smelly gloves.
M “These are your training gloves?”
C (shakes head) “These are my fight gloves.”
Jaime goes into another room and comes back with a Greek short sword and sets it on the table with Conor’s gloves.
C “You’re kidding me, right?”
C “Are ya bloody SCA or something?”
E (skeptically) “Do you know how to use it?”
J “A little, actually.”
R “Pointy end goes into the other guy.”
J (points at Ren) “Exactly!”
E (still skeptical) “Huh.”
Elena sets a box of .45 ACP on the table with the other things.
Matthew bows his head and sits silently for a while, then he gathers up the things and heads outside. After a while, he comes back in and redistributes the items.
J “So I guess the only question left is who’s driving?”
J (looks at Elena) “I’ll follow you. You know where to park.”
Jaime pulls out a knee length leather coat that has a sheath built into it, all “Highlander” style. Jokes about the Highlander movie ensue.
They pile into two cars. Elena driving herself, Matthew and Ren. Jaime driving himself and Conor.
E “It’s a bit of a hike from here.” As they stand there by the cars, Elena asks, “So, are we just going to walk up and knock on the door?”
J “I really don’t know what the plan is…. Where do you think they are?”
Elena describes the layout of the buildings. “It seems to me that the garage would be the ideal place to do that kind of thing. It’s isolated, with no windows, really. Maybe they sound proofed it, too. If it has a concrete floor, they can clean it up pretty easily.”
C “Give me a few minutes.” He wanders off and looks around for existing ways into the Never Never. The others wait near the cars.
He finds an entry in a small park down the street, then heads to the house to look at it from the “other side.” The house itself doesn’t seem weird or anything, but the garage is a Giant Dark Spot. There is also a barrier of some sort around the garage. The barracks has about five guys sleeping in it right now. In front of the house is Dan, the VP. He’s sitting on a chair on the porch. Near him, out of sight from the street, rests an AK47. Conor goes back to the group and recounts what he saw.
R “I might be able to do something to make the gun not work…”
C “What, with your sprinkes?”
R (smirks) “Yes.”
C “Right. Jaime, do you think there is something you can do to make the gun not work?”
J “Sounds like there’s a ward around the garage, too.”
C “I can tear a hole from that side into the building, but I don’t want to be doing that too much. I can get us in the house through the Never Never.”
J “All of us?”
C “Well, when I open the Way, the Way is open.” (silence) “We can enter in the park, that’ll minimize the damage to the barrier. But I can open a nice big one in the house.”
C “The guy with the gun probably deserves a nice big thumping on the head.”
J “So we want to start there? Knock him out?”
C “Yeah, because we have the other guys in the barracks to deal with.”
C “Or do we want her to sneak in?” (gestures at Elena) “I could go with her with a veil, but he may see me through that, although not her due to her sneaking.”
E “Do we want me to kill him? Because that’s what I do.”
C “Can’t ya do the karate chop thing?”
Elena shakes her head.
C “Isn’t that what they teach the cops on television?”
E (shrugs) “I can do some minor hand to hand, but not anything special. I have this thing called my size that’s not in my favor.” She looks up at Conor from her five feet, one inch.
R “Don’t even look at me. Just because I’m Asian does not mean I know martial arts.”
J “You’re Asian who doesn’t know martial arts?”
C “Is that even possible? What’s the point of cultural stereotypes if you don’t abide by them??”
J “That’s like a sober Irishman. It’s not possible.”
C (nods sagely) “Fair and true words.”
C “Ok, so what do you want me to do? Step out of the Never Never and punch him in the back of the head or something? Is that what we’re saying?”
M “Sounds like that’s the non-lethal solution.”
C “Aw, jeez.”
C “Right, so no Queensbury rules.”
M “Well, that’d be no hitting below the belt.”
C “Cold-cocking a guy in the back of the head coming from the Never Never, I’m pretty sure that the Marquis of Queensbury would not approve.”
M “He’d also have a problem with the other guy having a gun.”
C (mollified) “This is probably true.”
C “Well, it’s the only idea I’ve got, so if anyone else has a better one…”
M “We don’t know what else is there, so take out the obvious threat and then deal with whatever comes. Sounds like a plan to me.”
C (wryly) “One of these days I’m gonna have to pay the piper for opening up all these Ways. I’ve done it less than half a dozen times. We won’t be in that long. We should be ok.”
c “So we’ll go in through the park, that way I’ll only have to open up one. After I open up the way into the Never Never in that house, it’ll be a horrible place to live after this. Who ever is going to live in the house after this is gonna have to deal with strange noises in the night, that kind of thing.”
E “You’re not gonna close it?”
C “Oh, it’ll close, but it will always leave a scar. That’s why we don’t do it if we can avoid it.”
J “It’s property damage.”
J “Alright, well, let’s go.”
C “Right. Follow me.”
Conor guides them throught the Never Never. It’s not far. They come out inside the house, near the door. Elena plans to shoot if things look like they might get lethal for her friends.
So, Ren opens the door and Conor and Matthew and Jaime pop out. Dan glances at them, then back at the street, not moving at all, like he doesn’t care in the least. Everyone stops, kind of confused.
Dan (expressionlessly, staring at the empty street) “I was wondering when you guys were going to show up.”
C “So… you don’t mind that we’re here?”
D “I don’t know what to think.”
C “Well do ya mind setting down the AK, then?”
D (sets the gun down) “I hadn’t decided what I was going to do when yall showed up.”
C “So, why are you here?”
D (matter of fact) “It’s my club.”
C “How much do you know of what’s going on?”
Elena starts looking around for other people, in case this is a set up and he’s stalling for his backup. She gets the sense that he’s being straightforward, though.
D “So JT gets cancer. We get told this story by Sarah that there’s this doctor from Arizona that has some experimental treatment. We all think ‘great, sounds good.’ Then this doctor supposedly comes here. But none of us ever seen him. Sarah says he needs people to ‘work on’.”
C “The girls.”
D (ashamed) “Yeah. I feel bad about that.”
C “Where is the closest convenience store? A couple of blocks?”
D (blankly) “That’s not what I expected you to say.”
C “I think you should take a walk. Get a coke. Because there’s going to be some unpleasantness, you know?”
C “You already know the story they’re feeding you is BS. But it’s much worse than that.”
D “It’s always one more girl that we have to take. And I tried to go in there, but I can’t. I can’t open the door. I can’t…. go near the door. I know Sarah’s into some stuff, and I’ve seen some things that I can’t even explain.”
D “Who the hell are you guys, anyway?”
C “You won’t believe us if we tell ya.” (pauses) “Do ya want us to try ya?”
D “So what’s your intent?”
Elena tenses. Ren’s hand moves to her water pouch.
M “Our intent is to keep any girls from being harmed.”
C “Yeah. Sarah’s been hurting them pretty bad, those girls. Really bad. They may not really be coming back from it. If you know what I mean. So, we’re going to stop her.”
C “I’m not asking you to help us. Just… go get a coke.”
D “But Hanson’s in there. And maybe this gets JT back.”
C “The fella that hit me with the tire iron…”
C “Hanson. Is he pretty close to Sarah?”
D “He’s JT’s nephew.”
C “He’s probably involved in the bad stuff.”
D “He’s the only one besides Sarah that goes in there.”
C “Yeah, he’s involved, then.”
D “No one else really knows what’s going on.”
E (quietly from the door) “Then maybe you should get your guys who don’t know what’s going on and all of you go get a beer.”
M “Or go to church.”
D “Our version of church is having meetings. We don’t do that church thing.”
M “Give it a try. It can’t be any worse than what you’ve witnessed here, right? Might do you some good.”
C (Is he seriously trying to get a bunch of hardened biker types to go to church??)
D “Will yall give me five minutes to wake up the guys and go?”
C “Absolutely. And they won’t see us.”
They watch from inside as he goes to the bunk house and wakes everyone up. He roughly tells them to get up and follow him. They all hop on their bikes and leave.
M (sighs) “Can’t blame a guy for trying.”
C “I respect your sort. Always have. I just wear a different jersey, is all.”
E (internal musing) “I don’t like killing people that don’t need killing. Although the jury’s still out as to whether or not these men need it or not. They did kidnap these women, and then they turned away from what happened to them.”
C “That went a bit differently than what I was expecting.”
M “Purpose accomplished, violence avoided. I call that a win.”
J “I actually prefer those options, personally.”
C (flippantly) “Eh, whatever. I’m sure it will get violent in a minute.”
C “So what about the magical wards on the place back there?”
J “I’ll deal with that.”
C “So, I’m going to let you that can hit from range deal with cancer-boy. I have a score to settle with Mister Tire Iron.”
M “Remember that you’re equipped to mix it up with Mister Demon.”
C “Yeah, unless he touches me!”
They work their way out of the house into the back yard, about thirty feet from the garage. They stare at the garage. Matthew cross in one hand, rebar in the other. Elena positions herself near the house, crouched down and watchful for any threats.
J “I’ll try to blast through the ward. I wouldn’t suggest that yall stand too close to it, because if it doesn’t work, there might be an aftershock.”
As Jaime positions himself and starts chanting in Greek under his breath…
E “So, I say you try to exorcise it first.”
C “Wait, I saw that movie. That kind of thing takes weeks.”
M “I’ll see what I can do. If nothing else, I can distract it. I mean, I understand the theory of exorcism, but practical applications are few and far between. Thankfully!”
C “Ya know, the Catholic church has a ritual for that.”
M “Which we don’t have time for in this instance, so it wouldn’t do me any good. But I appreciate the sentiment.”
A shimmer of force comes from Jaime and ripples to the garage. When it arrives at the garage, it hits a green force field, and as it ripples, the field is completely shredded.
C (satisfied) “Industrial Light and Magic doesn’t have anything on my homeboy.”
R “So we didn’t just knock. We kicked the door in.”
M “Oh, yeah. They know we’re here.”
Jaime walks swiftly to the door. “Come on!” He opens the door into the office, followed closely by the others. Elena steps in and sweeps the office. It is empty. After realizing that her ‘team’ has no idea about the hand gesture she made to signify “clear,” she sighs and they trip over each other following her in. Amateurs. She reaches out with a gloved hand to test the door that leads into the garage. Not locked. She pushes the door open slightly and looks through the crack. She looks for a place in the garage that might provide cover. She doesn’t see anything extremely close, but she spots a huge red Craftsman tool chest on wheels that’s close to the big garage doors. She slips in and quickly and quietly moves behind it (Almost Too Fast To See, etc).
Conor & Ren pull up veils to cover the rest of them. Everyone moves into the room.
It’s a big, two bay garage. Most of the tools, etc, have been cleared to the side. In a circle are seven women who are all thrown on blankets and are hooked up to IV bags. They look like they’re in terrible shape, with sores on their bodies, etc. But they’re alive. In the center of the seven is floating the Shadesphere. It looks like black onyx, but about three quarters of it is a splotchy, glowing red. Next to it, chanting, is a woman who looked like she is in extremely advanced stages of cancer. Her hair has mostly fallen out and is patchy. She has sores all over her body, and she is emaciated. She is swaying as she chants, her eyes open, but rolled back into her head with only the whites of her eyes visible.
Next to the demon stand Hanson, holding an aluminum baseball bat, and Sarah Tyler. They’re looking around, wondering what caused the door to open, knowing something is going on. After all, they know the “door” got kicked in.
Another part of the sphere fills in with crimson, and the demon’s chanting stops. Its eyes roll back and they’re solid red. It looks around, and finally hisses with a menacing playfulness, “Come out, come out, where ever you are!”
Conor, veiled, walks right up to Hanson. Elena aims at the demon. Matthew steps up, holding his cross in front of him.
Elena aims at the demon.
The veil drops from Matthew. “The power of Christ compels you!”
Ren throws an ice lance at Sarah and it slices Sarah through the side, causing her to stagger.
Conor slugs Hanson.
The demon lunges for Matthew, trying to grab his arm, but misses. M (stands his ground) “Touch me not, demon!” There is a flash of light as the crucifix he is holding glows gold.
Elena has been aiming. She checks her trajectory to make sure that if the bullet blows through that it WON’T hit her friends or the Sphere. She watches to see if the demon is caught off guard by the Man of God. Her muffled .45 thwups softly and the blessed bullet pierces its target.
Jaime calls up a lightning bolt and strikes the demon with a blinding flash of power. There’s a bit of backlash that he absorbs and sends into his Coin. The demon staggers back.
“Begone, demon!” Matthew shouts as he takes a step back.
Ren lashes out with water, encasing Sarah in ice. Something goes awry with the spell, and although Sarah is covered in a thin sheet of ice, Ren staggers from the casting.
Hanson swings at Conor with an aluminum baseball bat, which Conor catches with one hand.
Conor then punches Hanson in the face.
Sarah shatters the ice around her with a spell of her own.
The demon steps up to punch Matthew, who yells, “I said back!” The punch misses.
Elena assesses the demon, seeing that it was badly shocked by Jaime’s lightning bolt. She aims carefully and fires again, hitting her target.
Jaime zaps the demon again with lightning.
Matthew studies the demon, and senses that it is still suffering from the lightning. He holds out his glowing cross and shouts, “The power of Christ compels you!” The demon staggers.
Ren slashes Sarah with a water whip.
Hanson swings the bat and connects with Conor’s shoulder.
Conor hits Hanson.
Sarah casts a spell at Ren, whose blood starts to thin to water. The fallout of the spell also hits everyone else, too, but no one is taken out by it.
The demon tries to punch Matthew again. Again Matthew repels the attack (he’s been using his Conviction). “You cannot touch a man of God!”
Elena thinks the demon looks shaken, takes her aim carefully, and fires again, hitting the demon.
Jaime draws his sword and goes after Sarah. He stabs her in the stomach.
Matthew yells, “You cannot stand before the might of God! Begone, before you are destroyed!” The demon is shaken again.
Ren flat out punches Sarah.
Hanson swings the bat and misses Conor.
Conor feints and hits Hanson with a powerful fist.
Sarah casts another spell, this time targeting Jaime. An ice lance scrapes his arm, and a shard hits Ren, too.
The demon finally reaches out to grab Matthew’s arm. Matthew shouts (a scripture) at it, but the demon finally grabs him, yanking his arm. He suddenly feels much weaker (-1 on ALL his stats) and has a Dislocated Shoulder.
Elena fires again. It’s what she does. The demon tries to interpose Matthew’s body between Elena and itself. Elena, however, is always aware of her bullets’ trajectory, and still hits her target in the leg, staggering the demon.
Jaime stabs Sarah again, this time in the chest. Sarah falls.
Matthew attacks her.
Elena studies the demon, looking for a weakness. She targets one of the prior injuries and fires, injuring it again.
Jaime casts a lightning bolt at the demon. The demon collapses into a charred corpse.
Elena promptly collects all her bullets and shells.
GM narrates the combat between Conor & Hanson. Hanson isn’t dead, but is unconscious. They leave Hanson there to take the fall for the kidnapped women.
The group wraps up the bodies of Sarah and the deomon in a tarp from the garage. They also wrap the Sphere up in a tarp, as well, not wanting to touch it.
R “I’ll take that!”
E “Why is she taking that??” ((pulls her gun))
J (placatingly) “Let her take it.”
M “She was sent to retrieve it.”
R “I’m going to make this disappear.”
J “With a promise.”
J “This is going to the White Council.”
R “Yeah, I don’t want it.”
J “They’ll make sure that thing doesn’t see the light of day.”
C “Swear on your Power.”
R (exasperated) “Yes, I swear on my Power.”
J “You will give this to the White Council.”
R “Yes. I will give this to the White Council, by my Power.”
M “Don’t take the Shadesphere through the Never Never. That’s just asking to be ambushed by something wanting it.”
So Ren veils and walks to the car with the Sphere. Conor glamours the voice of a scared sick lady, calling 911 from the phone in the office of the garage. In the call, they incriminate Hanson. They port the two bodies through the Never Never to the car, where they put them in Elena’s trunk.
J “Yeah. We’re putting them in your car.”
E (laughs) “No problem.”
R (to Jaime) “Then you’re driving me to Uncle’s.”
J (to Elena) “Where are you guys taking the bodies?”
E “Where do you want to meet? Cuz you’re the melter.”
J “You guys find a location. I’ll come to you. Let me know.”
Elena ‘has a system,’ so she finds a place. She, Conor, and Matthew take the bodies to an “unspecified location” where Jaime meets them and turns the bodies and tarp into goo and washes them away. At Elena’s suggestion, everyone melts their clothes, too. Jaime also melts his sword, except Elena, since she wasn’t in melee combat. Elena carefully checks her trunk to make sure there are no traces of evidence. Elena admires the view briefly (Conor, 6’2" nice view! He’s a fae lord, he looks good naked), until they all summon or glamour clothes for themselves.
Wrap up: The people who got cancer due to touch of the demon, the cancer fades. JT is better, as are all the women, and Matthew.