Saturday, March 22, 2014

Norwin Game Knights Event - Deadlands: Reloaded - Investigative Tract

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Deadlands: Reloaded - Investigative Tract

Journal Date:  August 15th, 1879

Cast:  

- Andy as The Padre, a Catholic Priest
- Michael as Pedro, the town Muckraker
- Melinda as  Mademoiselle Magdalena, the Voodoo Mambo
- Dodie as Ghost, a Dodge City Paranormal Investigator
- Tiffany as Carlos, the local Mad Scientist
- Serai as Luna, just some Kid who decided to tag along

Summary:  

Amanda Plinkett had a problem.  Her farmhouse located about twenty or so miles from downtown Dodge city had been in the Plinkett family for years.  When her husband died while prospecting up in Deadwood, Amanda and her three children returned to Kansas to start their life anew on the farm that her uncle had left her in a will.  Every morning Amanda cared for the animals, and helped manage both the busy life of a homemaker as well as the rigors of operating a farming operation.  It was a tough life but it was improving, day by day.  But one morning, when Amanda awoke from a well-deserved slumber, she looked into her fields and noticed something quite peculiar.  At some point in the evening a three story townhouse erupted from the ground right in the middle of one of her cornfields.  To cause more of a stir, this townhouse just happened to make low groaning noises and emit strange odors.

Ghost, a Paranormal Investigator from Dodge City took on Amanda's plight with a  small posse of teammates and hangers-on that bore skills capable of aiding just this kind of investigation.  The Padre was a Catholic Priest who just happened to be quite handy with a knife.  Pedro was a Muckraker, a pesky journalist looking to make a name for himself in the West.  Mademoiselle Magdalena was a Mambo, a female Voodoo practitioner who feared nothing and chewed a cigar.  Carlos the Mad Scientist packed up his giant glue blaster and left his lab to give his friend Ghost a hand, and didn't notice that the local Kid Luna decided to tag along as well.

The six investigators began their investigation by searching the front door. Carlos used his supernatural goggles to check the house but was almost blinded when he realized that the entire house was supernatural in some way.  Pedro and Ghost checked the handle and lock to see if they could just enter.  The door handle was warm and moist with some kind of greasy liquid and the keyhole appeared to be covered over by some kind of skin-like membrane.  Observing the rest of the door, even the hinges looked "off", as they had just been solid blocks of brass rather than joints capable of moving.  This door was not designed to open.  The windows on the front and back of the house were opaque and seemed to be made of some kind of sturdy material that would not break or shatter… but it wasn't glass.  When the door wouldn't open by conventional techniques, and the brute force of Pedro wasn't effective [the character had a d4 Strength], Ghost's curiosity got the better of her and she blasted away at one of the hinges with her LeMat.  The shard of the hinge that broke away was not brass, but looked more like a piece of a shell.  Luna tried her axe on the door, but only succeeded in breaking the head away from the shaft.  Something strange was going on with this house… and then the voice started.  It was a cry for help by a young child from within the home.  The voice said he wanted to leave, that he snuck in the house through an open third story window, and he was injured and couldn't move.  Pedro stepped back and put a bullet through the front door, hoping to blast his way through, but when he looked inside the exceptionally tiny hole that his gun created all he saw was darkness and he smelled a sickeningly sweet smell of decay coming from within.

Needing another way in, especially if they were going to rescue whoever was trapped inside, the party circled the house until they found that the 3rd story window was in fact open.  Please note reader that it was the only window in the entire house that was open, and so the party accepted that they just had to enter through that particular portal.   Borrowing a ladder from Ms. Plinkett, Pedro set up the 20 foot ladder only to reach the second story, but the party was also able to borrow some rope.  Luna passed the rope through the axe-head that she still had and made a makeshift grappling hook that helped get the party up and over the ledge.  This third floor room had a stairwell down to the second story, a gambling table, a bear skin rug, and a pair of lanterns that weren't lit.  Ghost went to light one of these, but there, but there were no wicks or oil.  Strange.  It was very dark in the room below so The Padre pulled out his cross and called upon a blessed light to cast away the darkness.  Glancing downstairs to the next room it appeared to be a bedroom.

While the Padre illuminated the next chamber, Luna the Kid tried to climb down the stairs.  But halfway down one of the steps just happened to disappear, causing Luna to fall down end over end and injure her arm.  The rest of the party came downstairs into the next chamber, which was in fact a bedroom with a doorway to the south that lacked any kind of door.  Luna's arm was badly injured, and even with his blessed might, The Padre was not able to heal the damage done by the stairwell.  Pedro looked through the doorless doorway and saw a long hallway with a red carpet on the floor.  At the end of the hallway as another open doorway without a door, but to the left was a closed door.  Moving up to the closed door Pedro noticed that the door was just ajar.  But as he started to open the door it began to fight back!  The door pushed against Pedro with incredible force.  But the rest of the team came to his rescue and helped force the door open long enough for Carlos the Mad Scientist to pull out his glue gun (which looked like something out of a Ghostbusters movie), and spray down the entire door, entangling it with stickiness.  This particular room consisted of another bedroom with another stairwell going down.  It was humid and there was a heat in the air that was unnatural.

The Padre and Ghost went to the end of the hallway and saw another window that was quite opaque and made of strange material.  There was a barrel in a small storage chamber along with a few crates.  The barrel appeared to be full of bile, and it let off a horrific stench that filled the room.  At the end of the storage room were the crates, and while one appeared to be false, with no way to open it, when Ghost reached her hand into another, she found a loose organ.  It was a stomach, possibly of a human, that appeared to be turned inside-out.  Horrified Ghost scampered back and away, but the inspirational words of the Padre kept her fear abated.  When they returned to the bedroom that Pedro had found, a noise came from down the stairs.

It was the voice of the child!  It was calling out for the party to come downstairs.  Despite being curious, Ghost looked down and told the voice to make itself seen.  From the side of the stairwell a pair of hands appeared, and looked as if they were desperately trying to pull the rest of the body forward, but the face could not be seen.  It continued to call for help, and said it was stuck and couldn't move.  Luna carefully snuck down the stairs so that the person attached to the voice wouldn't be able to see her and she was successful in her attempts to be stealthy.  That was until she saw that the lower floor of the house… was ALIVE!  The floor of this chamber was covered in a pink tissue, and had both some give and a slight coating of mucous.  There were eight bodies attached to the floor, including the child's, each one appearing to be one with the floor.  Horrified, Luna couldn't move.  Pedro went down the stairs to see the same sight, and the child turned it's head around for a complete 180 to face the Muckraker.  "Help me!"  And then the bodies all started to move as the flesh on the outside peeled away allowing the skeletons to pull up and away.  From each body a deadly and vicious skeleton appeared, and they slowly moved towards the party.  Knowing that he had to act quickly, Carlos kicked his glue gun into overdrive and started climbing down the stairs.  But the house was now fighting back, and the stairs all turned flat, creating a sliding board.  But Carlos was quick and agile, and caught himself as he fell, stood up, and started spraying glue all over the skeletons.  While Pedro and the Padre started shooting pistols into the fray, Ghost decided to do some cooking.  The Paranormal Investigator slid down the stairs and tossed her oil and lantern into the room, lighting up both the skeletons, but also the glue that covered the room.

And the house screamed!

An inferno was created and the posse knew that they had to get out, and get out fast.  The home was shaking and moving at this point, making it difficult for the team to move about in any capacity.  Luna climbed back up the flat staircase and lowered her satchel to help the other party members climb up.  But due to her oil attack, Ghost became the prime target of the house, and the membrane below her feet started to pull her down into the floor itself.  Ghost shot her shotgun into the floor to no effect, and was almost resigned to be digested by the home when Pedro pulled the trigger of his pistol twice, blasting the floor below the investigator into slimy and bloody bits.  Ghost was free and came upstairs.  Luna was now back to the central hallway, but saw that the carpet was now covering the doorway that had previously lacked any kind of door.  She pulled her knife and chopped away at the carpet, but she couldn't get through.  When the rest of the party appeared by her side, they each started firing away with their guns cutting a hole in the carpet in which Luna was able to dive through.  The house continued to shake, and the party kept moving.

The Padre climbed up the last stairwell to the third floor without problem, but found himself face to face with the bear-skin rug at the top of the building, which was now animated!  The house was using everything in it's arsenal to strike at the posse, and this bear was a beast!  It's claws crippled the Padre, tearing at his flesh and rending his skin from his bones.  The priest just barely kept himself from falling unconscious and started pulling his knife while the other teammates tried their tactics.  Luna tried gagging the beast with her satchel, but it was just too strong.  Bullets were somewhat effective, but when the team realized they were running out of time, the Padre turned back to the bear and using his knife, cut the arm off the construct and sliced through it's neck in one stroke.  How a priest had that skill no one in the team knew!  But they had no time to consider the Padre's past, as it was clear that the house was sinking into the ground.  Quickly Luna, Carlos, and Mademoiselle Magdalena jumped through the window, which was now adjacent to the ground despite being the third floor of the home.  The Padre thought about staying behind at first with Ghost who was looking to continue her exploration but even he darted out the window just in time.  Pedro wasn't far behind the Padre, and he continued to call for Ghost, who turned around and jumped but at the very last minute.  She was almost stuck too, as her first leap only landed her half in and half out of the house, but with one last pull, and the aid of the rest of the team, Ghost the Paranormal Investigator was yanked from certain death.