session report

The Cup of the Monkey God

Tresa“Better luck next time,” sneers Tresa, holding the cup up to the light. An eerie sheen gleams on its surface.

“It is a pretty thing, is it not?” she says.

Jake eyes the half-dozen gun-barrels levelled at his chest. “You don’t understand what you’ve got there,” he says.

Tresa hands the cup to one of the soldiers. “Put this in the plane and prepare for take-off,” she says. The soldier clicks his heels and runs off.

She turns back to Jake.

“You were a worthy opponent,” she says, “How do you Americans say, a jolly good sport?”

Jake winces.

“No, that’s the Brits,” he says through gritted teeth, “but I’ve got another saying for you.”

Tresa laughs, “I expect you do. However, I do not have time to stay and listen.”

The cargo plane’s engines start up with a roar. Birds scatter from the nearby trees. Tresa starts towards the plane.

“I have an appointment with some armour in Peru,” she calls over her shoulder, “Sadly, I do not think you are invited!”


It’s a trap!

The world falls away. Momentary vertigo lurches in his stomach as his senses adjust, the adrenaline spike riding on the rush of the ‘phettes.

Orienting himself, Noise aims for the clonefarmocology district. His mouth is dry and sweat beads on his neck, but here in cyberspace none of that matters. He hits the GoTo and the sensation of speed thrills down his spine.

This will be the biggest run of his career. The target is a new datafort on the outskirts of the Jinteki infrastructure. Newly-installed, its defences are incomplete. Trashing its storage and corrupting its data will bleed back into the rest of their corporate datamines, teaching Jinteki a well-deserved lesson.


The classic story of power and the press


Day job over, Kate exits her office building and walks toward the subway. She angles her head and checks the reflection in a shop window. A dark-windowed SUV is cruising down the street. It is the same one as this morning.

She keeps walking, flips open her wrist-terminal and starts a timer. It counts up in thousandths of a second as she quickly enters a series of commands. There is a pause and then behind her she hears the airbags in the SUV suddenly deploy.

Kate smiles. 3.009 seconds. A new record.


Scorched earth policy

Swift Eddie’s feet scrabble for purchase in the alley puddle. Gabriel’s prosthetic hand holds him by the neck.

“Someone ordered the hit,” Gabriel hisses, “Who was it?”

“All I… urgh,” gasps Eddie, “All I know is someone from Weyland’s space exploration division was throwing his credits around in Wyldside last Tuesday. Everyone knows that’s where you go for…”

“…for a contract,” finishes Gabriel. His eyes follow the smoke still rising from the ruined city-block.

Eddie swallows. “I didn’t know they would go that far,” he pleads, “No-one could have known.”

Gabriel lets him go. Eddie slumps into the muddy water.

“No-one could have known,” he whimpers.

Gabriel looks up and down the alleyway.

“Where’s the nearest terminal?” he asks.

Eddie gestures at some neon flickering in the gloom. Gabriel hefts his go-bag on his shoulder and stalks towards it.

Eddie calls after him, “Make them pay!”

Gabriel pauses and looks back. The neon shines in his eye.

“I always do,” he says.


The Crusaders: The big clock

The Crusaders hand Ironbriar over to the city guard. As he is dragged away he shouts over his shoulder.

‘She will come for me!’ he cries, ‘My Angel watches over all of us. She will come for me!’

Lini looks up at the tower of the Shadow Clock. The moon looms behind the spire. ‘”Watches over all of us”,’ she muses, ‘An actual Angel?’

Seelah shakes her head. ‘The Skinsaw Cult brought a legion of undead to this land,’ she says, ‘Whoever is controlling them is in that tower. I suspect they are the very opposite.’

Amiri leans on her greatsword. ‘Angel or Demon, I do not relish such a climb before a battle,’ she says.

Sajan starts doing stretching exercises.


The Crusaders: We must be cautious

The mood in Sandpoint is brighter. The murders have stopped and there have been no undead sightings. There is talk of another Swallowtail Festival.

“It has been a tough time for this town these last few months,” says Lini, “Goblins, zombies, ghosts and murderers. The townsfolk deserve a celebration.”

Seelah has been examining the letters they found in the Manor.

“It is a shame we shall not be here to join them.” she says.

“What?” says Amiri, “I was looking forward to the festival.”

Seelah gathers the papers into a pile.

“Aldern Foxglove was receiving letters from the Cult of Norgorber.” she explains, “We are going to Magnimar.”

“Magnimar?” says Amiri, perking up, “I know a good tavern in Magnimar.”

Lini strokes her tiger behind his ear and looks out at the town.

“I shall miss this place.” she says.

Sajan is in the square doing one last magic trick for the children.


The Crusaders: Who you gonna call?

Sheriff Hemlock orders the town guard to hold back the crowd.

“This is the fifth one,” he says, “People are getting scared.”

The Crusaders stand around the gruesome remains. They have seen many things in their travels, but this is something new.

“This was not done by an animal,” says Lini.

Seelah eyes the crowd, “No-one saw anything?”

Hemlock shrugs, “Some people keep to themselves, some people are nosey. Either way, no one is talking.”

Sajan is examining the corpse. Amiri crouches beside him. She lifts a flap of skin and breathes out softly.

“Bite marks,” she says, “and the smell of rot.” Sajan nods in agreement.

Hemlock asks the question, “What does that mean?”

Amiri stands and wipes her fingers on her leggings. Her face is grim.

“Undead cannibal serial killer,” she says.

Seelah takes Hemlock to one side.

“If the murderer is now undead, then they must have changed shortly before the murders started. Is there anyone who hasn’t been seen recently?” she asks.

Hemlock thinks. “It has been quiet out at the haunted hou-, er, I mean, out at Foxglove Manor,” he says. “Neither Aldern or Iesha Foxglove have been into town for a while.”

“Haunted, eh?” says Lini.

Amiri hefts her warhammer, “I am not afraid of any ghosts.”


Crow Bait

The Crusaders: I’ll miss you most of all

The Necromancer is chained up in gaol but is giving nothing away. All that the Crusaders have been able to glean from him is that there is an undead plague spreading across the Lost Coast, and Sandpoint is in its way.

“We need to know more about these undead,” says Seelah, “if we are to prepare for an attack.”

“Leave me alone with him for a minute,” says Amiri.

“That is not the way we do things,” says Seelah, frowning.

Lini sighs. “It seems we are left with legwork,” she says, “We shall need to scout outside the town.” Her tiger perks up at the thought of a trek.

At that moment, Sajan runs up carrying a small girl crying in his arms. He sets the child down and gestures for her to speak.

“Walky stick-men took my mommy!” she wails. “I want my mommy!”

The others look at Sajan. He stands upright, sticks his arms out sideways then flops his head to one side.

“Scarecrows?!” says Seelah.

They gaze out across the surrounding farmlands. The faint sound of cawing can be heard…


The Crusaders: There ain’t no sanity clause

“Sanatorium?” says Amiri the Barbarian, gesturing with her tankard, “Huh, you city-folk put way too much store by sanity. A bit of madness is good for you!”

Seelah the Paladin straightens her back. “Clarity of mind and purpose is how things get done!” she insists, “It is how civilizations are built! If we do not…”

Lini the Druid snorts mead out of her nose.

Seelah looks at her, finger frozen in mid-air. Is that a smirk on Sajan the Monk’s stony face?

Amiri laughs, “Sorry, Seel. You’re way too easy!”


Nualia defeated again

I resumed my original PACG party’s adventures and took them through the final two scenarios in the Burnt Offerings adventure.

The party is Valeros the Fighter, Seoni the Sorceress, Kyra the Cleric, and Merisiel the Rogue.

They were making their way down into the catacombs below the mountain in the final scenario, Thistletop Delve, and had cleared out five locations before finding Nualia the evil priestess in her Throne Room as the last card of the last location.