OK, first, dinner!
|Rockfish, Frank's Hot Sauce, orzo, baby carrots.|
I swear to god, I'm so sick of carrots.
Anyway, I made a batter out of some (gluten-free) flour, some orange pop I had left over, and the hot sauce. I batter-fried the fish. I cooked off the orzo and made a lemon-basil butter for it. And then I wrap the baby carrots in foil with some grapeseed oil, some bourbon, salt and pepper and put 'em in the over.
Good stuff. The rockfish wasn't universally loved, but that was more down to individual tastes, I think.
OK, so, the characters went to the junkyard. They got there in the middle of night, and Matt and Grimm walked the perimeter. Big fence, guard dogs, a house in one corner, a tower of cars stacked in a circle, and a big mobile crane with a magnet. They'd brought along some butcher bones, and Feather figured she'd climb the fence, and toss the bones to the dogs, maybe make friends.
She climbed the fence to land on the kennel...and went right through the roof of it. The dogs came running in from the junkyard. She tossed a bone, and one of them went for it, but the other attacked.
The other characters started heading over the fence. Skip jumped up to the roof of the garage (I can't believe I didn't take a picture of the junkyard, I just forgot. Maybe next time, since I still have it drawn on my map). Enoch climbed the fence, as did Matt and Grim. Skip went to the other dog and tried to make friends, but it snapped at him. Enoch tried to touch the dog with his poisoned hand, but missed and touched Skip instead, giving him the Poisoned Tilt (off a failure converted to a dramatic failure for the Beat, and that was not the last time). Grimm came over and tried to pistol-whip the dog, but missed and broke Enoch's nose (see?). The dog snapped at them, but Skip punched it and broke something, and it ran, yelping, into the junkyard.
Avalon, meanwhile, stayed on the other side of the fence, watching the house, making sure they weren't going to get jumped.
Feather grappled the remaining dog and tried to established dominance, but failed, and it bit her up pretty good. Enoch walked over and touched it, killing it.
That bit of excitement over, the characters spread out, looking for whatever it was they were supposed to find. Nergal wasn't being forthcoming (or maybe he just wasn't asked). Skip heard something behind him, but didn't see anything. Matt looked at the crane - it was well-used and maintained.
Feather and Enoch popped the hoods on some of the cars there from towing (rather than being junked) and drained their batteries to heal up. That made some sparks and noise. Avalon used Transformation to turn a window in the garage to water, and then pushed over the object blocking it...which crashed to the ground and made a lot of noise. The lights on the house went on. Avalon approached, and a boy of about 15 opened the back door, armed with a rifle. Avalon told him she'd lost her keys (a milestone for her: Tell a Lie), and he told her to come in while he got a metal detector. He opened the basement door, and Avalon, Trusting and Optimistic (her Vice and Virtue, respectively), didn't realize what was happening until he'd thrown her downstairs and slammed and bolted the door. In the dark, she heard "Hello?"
Out in the yard, things were going about as well. Skip searched for the source of the noise, and found a man hiding in the stacks of cars...who promptly shot him with a shotgun. Skip tried to strike back, but didn't manage to do much. Grimm and the others sprinted over, and Grimm shot at the man, but he shot Skip again (nearly killing him) and retreated back into the yard. Matt, standing on the crane's cab (to get a better look), jumped off the crane toward the fight, and something shot at him, but missed. The Prometheans rounded the stack (not Skip, who was taking over and heading for the untouched car batteries, because he had no desire to die again), and the man shot at them...but Grimm shot him down. And then the sniper on the house roof shot Grimm, and Feather, grievously wounded them both.
They ran between the stacks to get cover. Matt, figuring he could use the crane to do some good, here, started it up and tried to drive it. However, the roll failed, and (again) the player took the dramatic failure.
The magnet swung low, knocking over a stack of cars. Grimm jumped clear. Feather did not.
In the basement, Avalon felt Feather's Azoth vanish. She also found four people down there - two men, two women - some of whom had been there months. They told her that they'd been thrown down and then giving the choice to chain themselves to the wall, or letting the others starve. Avalon, able to maneuver somewhat in the dark by using the people's auras, touched the chains and rusted them with Transformation, and had the people pull themselves free. They started up the stairs, and Avalon realized the door was reinforced with metal. She could destroy it, of course, but then they heard gunfire outside. "We'll be fine," said Avalon. "My friends are coming."
Outside, Matt saw what he had done and entered Torment (as it happens, Succumb to Torment is a milestone for him). His Torment consisted of his Azoth inverting itself, growing cold and dark, and drinking in Pyros around him.
The sniper shot Grimm again, and he entered Torment, becoming horribly and viciously spiteful. He was going to kill that fucker. He picked his way around the house, using the cars as cover, and shot out the lights on the house.
Meanwhile, Enoch, Skip and Matt approached from the other side. Skip ran behind the crane, but failed a Perception roll and took the Beat, and fell into a hole, concealed, up to then, by the crane. He found himself in a steel "cauldron." Nergal woke up, gleeful, and told him to wet his finger and touch the edge. He did...blood. This thing had been filled with blood. The others helped him out, and they continued around the yard toward the house.
Matt charged the door, and the boy stepped out and shot at him (but missed). Enoch grabbed the dead dog and used his Chimera Transmutation to take its form, though he kept his frog-like coloration (Feather's player: "Damn, that's a striped-ass collie.").
Grimm, meanwhile, managed to draw a bead on the sniper and shoot him in the head. He fell off the roof and smashed onto a car.
The Prometheans entered the kitchen, and the boy was there, with a gun. But he gave up when they entered. Matt used Nameless Dread on him (which he'd learned from the milestone) and Enoch approached him in dog form, and changed up to human form as he did, which well and truly broke the boy. They opened the basement and let Avalon and the prisoners out. The boy said that his father (Red Odell) kept people in the basement, and then once a year he took them out into the yard. Grimm, still in Torment, informed the boy that his father and brother were both dead.
But...is dead, dead?
In the Underworld, Feather appeared on the banks of a river. Next to her was Red Odell. They talked a little, but he made it clear that he was going back; this wasn't the end for him. He wouldn't say how that worked, though, nor was he the least bit apologetic. The only thing that seemed to get to him was when Feather reminded him that he had kids, and what he did hurt them, too (she wasn't aware that his son was dead, of course). But at that moment, he started bleeding from the eyes, ears and nose, and said, "Well, here I go."
Feather, not one to be fucked with, kicked him into the River of Woe. His face turned from rage to regret and despair, and he floated away. She made a milestone (Win a Fight By Herself), and then, just out of curiosity, tasted the water. We'll get to that.
Back at the house, Skip searched Red's room and found a leather-bound book, obviously not written by him, in which the construction of the steel cauldron and the principle of immortality was described. Once a year, "on the eve of your greatest woe," the bather had to immerse himself in pure blood. If he did, "death shall have no hold on him." Enoch, reading this (Skip hadn't), asked the boy what night the ritual took place. "May 16."
"What happened that night?"
"That was night my mom died."
The boy asked the characters to just kill him, but they refused. What they did do was put him in the basement, and give the prisoners medical attention. They weren't quite ready to call the cops just yet, though. They still needed to figure this place out.
Grimm used Sense Pyros and felt a tingle from inside the ring of cars. He, Enoch, Matt and Skip wriggled in, and Grimm found a Pilgrim Mark - enlightenment. There was a hole below a car, leading to a cavern - small, but Enoch used Procrustean Shape and slipped in. What he saw made his jaw drop...but we'll see it next time.
Up in the ring, the others felt a massive flare of Azoth from the pileup of cars Matt had caused. Feather was back from the dead.