Monday, April 16, 2018

Chill: Stabbings

Last time, our intrepid group of envoys were out at the Loomis home, and a car had just lurched to life on its own, hitting several of them. Something is definitely Unknown-y around here.

(Side note: Anyone ever run a game of Chill where it was a hoax? I did that once - well, it wasn't a hoax per se, just a "mundane" serial killer - and it just felt kinda wrong.)

Anyway, Dee decides that she needs to go to the hospital, and Luther gets in the jeep and drives her (this is because Luther's player was out sick and Dee's player decided she'd rather bring in Annie, her new character).

So, the three remaining envoys decide to check out the house. They go up and knock - no answer, but the door's unlocked. The enter and start looking around the place; it's homey, clean but not tidy. There are pictures of Earl Loomis and his late wife, and some spoiled food - it looks like he's been gone for a while. The calendar in the kitchen hasn't been turned in three months.

Blake checks upstairs. The first couple of doors lead to a guest room and a sewing room, both untouched for a good long while, based on the dust. But then he opens the door to the master bedroom...

...and standing there is a man in jeans and a flannel, carrying a sickle, but with no flesh on his skull. He lunges for Blake, who backpedals, screaming, trying to bring up his rifle, but the man vanishes. The other envoys run to join him, but the creature is gone.

The envoys decide that this is bad - they're up against something they can't identify and they don't know how to fight it. They text Luther to tell him not to come back or bring anyone else, figuring they'll walk down to the road and get in Blake's truck, but then Annie pulls in.

She comes into the house and advises the envoys that they probably shouldn't be in here, but since she's here as an envoy, not a lawyer, that's life. She didn't get the message about not coming, obviously. The envoys decide to head out. They go to the door, but when Willa opens it, he's standing there. He lunges out with the sickle, and Willa jumps back to shut the door, but he catches her on the forearm with the blade and slices her arm open. She shuts the door and he's gone again; the other envoys try to patch her up as best they can, but no one has medical training (or Protective disciplines, or Restorative disciplines, for that matter). The wound isn't life-threatening, just painful and messy. They check again and no creature, so they decide to head out, carefully.

But when they walk out to the driveway, they're all terrified of Annie's car, to the point that Willa and Jeanie suffer Trauma and back away. They decide to go with the original plan, walk down to the truck and take that. They start walking through the woods, mindful of the birds on the roof...

...and then they're back at the house. Horrified, they try again, walking down the driveway...

...and then they're back at the house.

Realizing that they're being trapped here, they decide to search the garage, figuring maybe they can come up with something. After several unsuccessful attempts to kick the side door in, Jeanie uses the Skeleton Key discipline, which works, but saps her Willpower entirely, leaving her overwhelmed.

They search the garage, and find a shelf with a bunch of bird-watching books, a sketchbook (which Willa grabs and gives to Annie), and a rack of tools...including a conspicuous space where a sickle would fit. Annie looks through the book and sees that it's full of notes about bird-watching and other wildlife sightings, but towards the end it mentions altercations with loggers "being rude" and a sketch of a strange-looking humanoid creature with pale skin and a round, hairless head. An alien? Loomis isn't sure in his notes. The envoys take the book, and note that they're not afraid of the pickup-truck in the garage...and actually, they're not really afraid of the car anymore, either. They pile in and start heading down the road...but then he appears on the goddamn hood.

He draws back and plunges the sickle through the windshield, and Annie slams on the brakes. He goes flying off the hood, and Annie floors it, but does not hear a satisfying bump, so they figure he rolled or teleported out of the way. She starts driving like mad toward the road...

...but then realizes she's driving back toward the garage. She realizes that too late and plows into the pickup in the garage. The airbags deploy and everyone loses some Stamina, but the real problem is that the car shuts off. He appears next to the car, walks around to Willa, and gestures. The window rolls down, and he points to the sketchbook, on the floor by her seat. She attempts to bargain with him ("I give you this, you let us go?") and he nods. She hands it over and he looks up to the crows on the roof, and they fly straight down toward the open window.

Thinking quickly, Annie kicks out the damaged windshield and helps the others out. They run for the house, and Blake and Willa get pecked a bit, but everyone gets inside more or less OK.

The envoys decide to hole up for a while, maybe wait this out until dawn. Annie checks the kitchen and finds some oatmeal, and everyone eats, rests, and regains some Stamina and Willpower (which is especially useful for Jeanie because it makes her functional again). They build a fire (figuring it'll stop any errant birds). After they've done that, they take stock.

They can't leave, obviously, and they're facing a creature that's fast, mobile, and deadly (and is toying with them). They decide to check the master bedroom and the basement, since they didn't look in either place and there might have been something they missed.

The basement doesn't tell them much - it's not furnished per se, just some loose carpet and a folded-up ping pong table. The master bedroom has some pills on the nightstand, and a safe in the closet, which Jeanie opens. Inside, they find a pistol (which Blake takes) and paperwork, including the deed to the house, marriage license, death certificate from Loomis' wife, that kind of thing. Annie takes pictures of it all and then goes to put it back, and he appears in the closet behind her.

He slams the door shut, but Annie tackles him (Colossal success!), knocking him through the sliding doors and onto his back. She then tries to hit him, but gets a Botch, so winds up on him but with a sickle aimed at her head. The others step in, though, hitting him with various pieces of fireplace end-irons (Blake shoots at him, but misses). Willa grabs his sickle and wrenches it out of his hand, and he vanishes again. He reappears a moment later on the bed, carrying a pitchfork, and moves to throw it. Willa runs over and stabs him with the sickle, ripping his guts open. Blake promptly loses his lunch, but Jeanie and Annie keep it together and strike him with blunt instruments (Jeanie had grabbed a mop because she's proficient at staff-fighting).

The creature stabs Willa in the shoulder with the pitchfork, and she goes into shock, just registering that it's happening. Jeanie, in a moment of inspiration, grabs the deed and starts heading down the stairs to the fireplace. The creature appears on the stairs, and Jeanie jumps the bannister, but it stabs her through the ankle and she crashes to the floor (Major Injury). She starts picking her way over to the fireplace, but it appears in front of her.

The others head downstairs, of course. Willa charges and pins it up against the wall, and Annie grabs the pitchfork and drives it into the thing's chest. It slumps forward and goes limp, and Blake drivers a poker into its eye-socket (not wanting to take chances). But it stays inert. Everyone kind of calms down, and Jeanie and Willa, badly injured but in shock, start feeling the effects. They take painkillers that they found around, and Annie calls Darnell to get him out there.

They have an hour or so to wait, so while Willa and Jeanie sit on the couch feeling floating, Blake and Annie drag the corpse to the firepit outside and burn it. It goes up quickly, and the crows gradually fly off.

Darnell arrives and does the treatment that he can, but he tells them that Jeanie needs a hospital and probably some pins in her ankle. They head out, and send in another team to sweep the area.

Earl's binoculars are discovered in the woods, not far from the fence separating his land from the logging company. There's a bullet hole in them, and a bloodstain on the far side of the garage. It looks like he was shot, dragged himself back to the house, and slumped against the wall. The other SAVE envoys (like, the ones that didn't get played) note that the sketch in his book looks like the description they got of "xaxog," the creature responsible for the events on the University of Idaho campus.

Annie gives the police a story about going to check in on a former client (she helped Loomis handle the estate when his wife passed) and finding the place trashed. The police look into the matter, and that includes looking into an incident three months ago where five loggers were fired on the same day.

The envoys, meanwhile, get to rest. We'll see what the next case holds.