Stranger in the Dark

Chapter VI

Part 1
The Witch Hammer

Inside the Hospital Administration lobby, the group finds evidence of a shootout in which two men were killed and another lay dying. Derrick Johansson, wearing strange medieval armor embossed with a hammer sigil, looks to be bleeding to death from his wounds. His allies seemed to be under the same spell that effected the gang outside, though Derrick claimed it had been the work of a witch. When Kieth and Kyle came close to him to help stop the bleeding, Derrick recoiled and sneered, claiming to be able to sense magic on the two men. Seeming to prefer dying, the group was forced to leave, having found their artifact, though not before Kieth has a brief ghostly vision of fire.

Part 2
Viking Biker Blacksmith

(say that three times fast)

When the gang had discovered a cache of cold iron ingots, Kyle had sent some off to see if he could have a weapon made out of it. No stranger to wielding axes in his family’s business, Kyle had thought perhaps a weapon made of cold iron would help against any more creatures from Faerie, the realm from which the goblins and horrific Red Cap had been sent from .

The weapon is returned to him by the only man around who supposedly could work the magical metal into the form he wished. The blacksmith looks the part, weather worn leathery skin adorned with faded blue and green tattoos, many of nordic and celtic design, atop thickly muscled arms. Long stringy light blond-turning white hair pours out from underneath a typical black bikers bandanna and a blonde beard hangs proudly from his tan, line creased face. Sindri, as he introduces himself, offers to make
more weapons, should the gang want, provided he be able to set up shop on the property. Everyone agrees and Sindri sets to work, making mention in passing that he may call upon his cousins for help.

Part 3
Let’s Get Tattoos

(No Ragrets)

Harry plans a trip back to the city to speak with a contact about a possible lead. He doesn’t mention many details except that the contact is a member of the enigmatic organization known as The Harrowers.

Harry takes Ivan with him to introduce the Russian gunman to an old friend and tattoo artist known simply as Kaz. Kaz has mastered the art of magic tattoos and offers to do some work on Ivan.

Meanwhile, Harry tracks down his lead with Liam, though the two are not heard from for the rest of the night. Zed eventually reaches out to the rest of the team and asks if they can track Harry and Liam down, as the GPS device that Liam carries is no longer transmitting a signal. The last signal transmitted shows him and (hopefully) Harry in Jellico, TN …

Part 4
The Doctor is In

The team is flown to a nearby airport from NY and begins their search with very little to go on. When the team makes a pit stop at a gas station on the highway leading to Jellico, Cassandra manages to work her charms on one of the stations employees. Seemingly prepared to bend over backwards to help her, the station attendant proceeds to call everyone he knows in a 50 mile radius looking for information. The gang gets lucky when news arrives that the local police station recently had an event which shocked the town. They head into Jellico, and stop at the local diner across from the police station while they formulate a plan. The gang end up discovering that a young woman was found wandering near the highway and was picked up in a state of confusion. While holding her in a cell at the station while they try to find a contact that can come and get her, the young woman has a violent episode, biting a police officer on the hand and covering the walls of her cell with various bodily fluids, with which she manages to write a cryptic message in a strange language.

The gang learns from the police that the girl may have come from the Campbell County Behavioral Health Institute, run by a Dr Philip Channard, but no one at the Institute is answering the phone. Assuming that the doctor may know something about what happened to Harry and Liam, the gang heads to the Institute. A rented car parked in the lot arouses the teams suspicions, and a quick check on the paper work within it confirms that it is the car Harry rented (in Zedmore’s name).

Part 5
Group Therapy

The team wastes no time exploring the institute and immediately discovers the building is occupied with a host of deranged, seemingly possessed former patients that have certainly gone off their medication to say the very least. An office on the first floor boasts a large locked walk in safe and, in an upstairs bedroom, a nurse hides for her life from a terrifying trio of preternaturally strong and inhumanely savage lunatics. Once saved by the gang, the nurse informs them that Dr Channard has likely fled to his cabin in the woods, a favorite retreat of his, especially since the demise of his wife three years ago.

Part 6
The Cabin in the Woods

Following the nurse’s instructions, the gang heads for the doctors cabin. Channard’s retreat is located a few miles west down the road from the institute, and then further into the remote back country down a narrow dirt road which winds it’s way through the ever encroaching and oppressive forest.

Though the trees have long been cut back away from the cabin, the tiny home still sits in the darkening gloom of the surrounding copses of Blackgum, Red Maples, and ancient Ash trees. A late model Chevy truck sits near a small wooden walkway over a ditch, the remnants of a long dried stream which likely once babbled under it.

Suspecting the truck to be Channard’s, the troupe approach the shadowy cabin carefully. There are no lights or signs of life from within and the group soon turn their attention to a wooden shack near the cabin. As they approach, faint murmurings are heard from within, and after some apprehensive searching, a thinly veiled secret trap door is discovered.

Here they find the doctor and, it appears, his deceased wife. Channard has wrapped himself up in an arcane cloak of some kind and seems to be performing a sort of magical ritual. His wife, now a long dead monstrosity, leaps up from an alter and begins attacking the party with super natural strength and ferocity. The team vanquish the sorcerer and his wife, though not before Channard unleashes a final spell which nearly fatally wounds Kyle. Upon the doctors person, the gang find a strange puzzle box and a small key, worn around the doctor’s neck. They rush back to the Mental Institute, hoping the key will lead to some clue as to Harry and Liam’s whereabouts.

Part 7
Dead by Dawn

Now able to open the doctor’s mysterious walk in safe, a psychiatric records room is discovered as Cassandra helps herself to as many important files as she can. With the help of local authorities contacted and hurried to the scene by Zedmore, the team makes a grizzly discovery. The office safe room contains a stairwell down into a secret basement that Channard has apparently been using to house and offer strange occult treaments to his patients. A crude medical setup is found as well as several iron bar cells, two of which house our long lost Harry and Liam, both of which have been cruelly bound and gagged.

Soon the entire team is flown by helicopter to a local hospital and treated for their numerous wounds. Though regretful and apologetic for the danger he put his friends into, Harry thanks them and tells the gang that this has been all, unbelievably, worth the effort. Harry believes that a device found on Channard and retrieved by Keith may very well be the key to finally defeating the Morrigan.

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Chapter V
"Ok, so what the fuck just happened?"

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Part 1

“Abra Macabre!”

The party is introduced to Abby Blake. During the mid nineties, Abby was a stage magician partnering with a man named Donovan Neff. She explains that Donovan learned that Abby was performing real magic to help the show and wanted desperately for her to teach him magic. Though she did try to show him the ways, his education didn’t take and he grew jealous and impatient. Studying on his own, Donovan learned how to call and bind dark spirits to his service. What he didn’t know was that the dark spirits were allowing him to think he commanded them while they were busy claiming Donovan’s soul for themselves. The would be magician eventually lost control and Abby was forced to intervene. She attempted to exorcise the spirits, though they had become too powerful for her to control and Donovan died during the ritual. Briefly fending off the malicious energies, Abby fled to the hallowed ground of a local temple and has been running from the dark spirits ever since.

Part 2
“A Strange Case of Ignacio Villarosa”.

Through Harry and Abby we learn that the wizard the party met in the earthen basement of the the church was Ignacio Villarosa. According to D’amour, Ignacio would have been unlikely to have become as powerful as he seemed without some sort of intervention. There is also the question of where he would have come upon a device Abby called the "Calliope Catastrophique ", the device which seemed to turn the trailer park denizens into mindless zombies. These details point to the unsettling idea that Villarosa had been assisted by a powerful outside force. Exactly who or what remains to be seen…

Part 3
“Charon’s Story Time”

As the party recovers from their latest adventure at the newly secured safe house, they receive a visit from a very unusual guest. The elderly taxi driver once introduced as “Ron” at Silverhand’s Tavern, has arrived with Liam, who had been sent to the emergency room for burns. The taxi driver has finally been revealed to be Charon, a “Walker Between Worlds”, or usher for souls from the mortal world. Charon tells a story about a man who had lived in 1864 near the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota. David Hastings was found to be living with a native Dakota woman by some particularly violent enemies he had made during the US – Dakota War. Hastings had been beaten nearly to death and the cabin he and his lover, a young, native girl named Samaya, lived in was burned to the ground with Samaya trapped inside. Left to die in the wild, Hastings dragged his broken body through the forests where he was finally discovered by a local medicine man. According to legend, the medicine man (perhaps a God in disguise) offered Hastings a deal. He could live out the rest of his days with the spirit of his lost love in peace if he took up the mantel of “The Revenant”, a Walker Between Worlds.

Part 4
“The Guardian Spirit” or
“OF COURSE THERE’S AN ABANDONED INSANE ASYLUM.”

The ease with which Ignacio Villarosa’s men were able to break in and steal a valuable artifact from the Warrens’s upstate home troubled it’s resident, Abby Blake. This was, of course, before the Warren’s had invited Harry and his friends to stay there but the gang still felt it best if there was some physical protection for the house. Luckily, Abby discovered a powerful protection ritual, the key component for which could be found in a nearby ruin…

The Hudson River State Hospital for the Insane was once a psychiatric hospital run by New York state. Although it is a National Historic Landmark, it’s been in a serious state of decline since the early 2000s. As part of the treatment philosophy of the time, some of the country’s best architects were involved in the design of the hospital, including Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmstead, the duo who created Central Park and did the grounds here.

Vaux was said to have gargoyles and other Gothic statuary imported for the design aesthetic of the hospitals buildings. One of these, Abby believes, contains a long dormant guardian spirit which she can reactivate and use to protect the new Warren house. This of course means that the gang was forced into breaking into the abandoned hospital and find a sample of the stone…

The whole facility is gated off and is patrolled daily. The hospital consists of at least 15 different buildings with multiple patients wings, a criminally insane ward, a modern-style recreation center, morgue, powerhouse, chapel, theaters and its own railroad line.

After finding secret access to the grounds, the gang is forced to deal with small, invisible, malevolent creatures which attacked from the ruins and were able to fly. After chasing these creatures off, the group is beset upon by a whirlwind of confusion, causing Ivan to pull his gun on his allies and sends Liam wandering off. Clearly under the effect of some spell, the team breaks free of this mind altering power and finally makes it to their destination, an administration office. But as they enter, they come upon a gruesome scene of fresh blood, bullets, and bodies on the floor, one of which is still alive.

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Chapter IV
"Wait, what about chapters 1 through 3?"

Just so we’re caught up…

Our friends have gathered at the new safe house in upstate NY at the bequest of Mr. and Mrs. Warren and their old accomplice, Harry D’amour. The Warren’s famous stash of occult paraphernalia had been carted up here in a pair of moving vans, to be stored in the new safe house’s basement.

The house was a large three story stone colonial with a two story barn also on the property. The barn seems to have a converted loft living space built in and is wide enough to be a three car garage. The main house’s second floor boasted 5 spacious bedrooms and two full baths. The third floor had been converted into an apartment and library for one of the Warren’s guests.

Quickly upon arrival, the party met a mysterious woman named Abby who had apparently been staying at the house. After the visibly troubled woman spoke with the Warrens, our party was sent on a hasty mission.

With little preparation and less information, the crew departed down the street to investigate some very strange phenomena. A theft from the safe house and the disappearance of some locals led the party to a large trailer park adjacent to a decrepit church and graveyard.

After some poking around (and a very disgusting discovery), the party has made their way toward what they have to assume is the source of the area’s recent occurrences. A small church undergoing some sort of construction seems to have some activity within. The party makes their way to the back of the church and discovers a hatch leading down into an earthen basement. As they discover this, strange music begins to blare from somewhere in the basement. As the gang looks back to the trailer park, they see a mob of nearly one hundred trailer park dwellers shambling toward them, apparently in response to the horrid music. Leaping into certain doom, (and total darkness) the gang comes face to face (so to speak) awful flesh-less beasts brandishing rifles in the gloom! Beyond the monstrosities lie the source of the unholy music and the twisted wizard who has set this whole vile tableau into motion! Our heroes vanquish the magician, destroy the strange musical device built into the walls, and retrieve the stolen artifact.

As the music is cut out, the locals head back to their homes, shaking off the hypnotic trance and seemingly oblivious to what has transpired. With the artifact in hand, the gang heads back to the safe house, for some much needed rest and much needed answers!

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Welcome to the Campaign
The Blog

First Post. Nothing to see here. From now on, these blogs posts will recap the latest game details. If you want to know what happened in chapters I – III, you’re fucked because I can’t remember.
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