The Plural of Apocalypse

Life
3/9/16

The morning before we disembark, Philix has a vision. In the vision, Philix sees himself on his knees in front of Mason, clutching a bleeding wound in his arm. Mason, his face filled with anguish and determination, is holding Philix’s wrist with his knife at inside of the elbow, saying, “I have to do this, it’s for the best.” He then hears himself scream as Mason begins to cut into his arm.

Terrwyn also had a vision. In her vision she sees herself standing in front of a tattered, half naked young woman who is covered in blood, mud, and leaves. The woman’s eyes are wild and desperate, and she has a gun aimed at Terrwyn in shaking hands. Behind the woman, a very familiar Shadow leans out and points at the frightened woman, nodding, with her blank silhouette somehow carrying the hint of a smile. Terrywn hears her own voice saying, “No… not her, not now.”

First thing we do when we get into town is select a hotel. We opt for a Country Inn that’s roughly halfway between the everglades and the part of Miami where the killer was shot down.

Country Inn: https://goo.gl/maps/sHEJuieLB6N2

We park outside the hotel and use the Van’s Wi-Fi to do some general & initial research. Through this we learn of some people we may want to interview which include Joe Spain, Phillip Nan, and Frank Chang. All are people whose relatives were killed by the serial killer, and in turn, the remains of their loved ones are currently missing. Bodies went missing from a funeral home, a morgue, and a graveyard respectively. The one that went missing from the morgue was killed just a day before the killer’s showdown with the police and his “resurrection”. Which was about two weeks previous to the current date.

We learn that the killer, Steven Bark, was a relatively nondescript man before his “resurrection”. The killer was gunned down by cops when he tried to flee police custody after being confronted outside a singles bar/bowling alley, Strike Miami. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Since then, he has become known as The Undead Killer.

We decide to eat at a local, relatively classy, seafood restaurant. We each order different dishes, and in different ways, each dish doesn’t quite taste right to us. For Terrwyn, her salad tastes like there’s ash in it. While Mason’s food tastes coppery, Philix’s tasted spoiled, and Drake’s just didn’t quite taste right. We asked our waitress over about it, but she hasn’t received complaints from any of their other patrons. While we’re talkin, we ask her about what she may know about the killer and the events surrounding them; but she doesn’t know anything we didn’t also find online. She does however give us directions to Strike Miami; which we decide will be our next stop.

We drive there and mingle with the crowd that has gathered at the bar, nightclub, and bowling alley combo. It’s no hole in the wall, but it isn’t an upscale place either. It’s very obviously a decent bar & grill that, as somewhat of a gimmick, also has several bowling lanes it supports. We split up and each interview guests and/or staff to find people that witnessed the gunfight that happened between the police and the killer in the parking lot outside.

We don’t learn much other than the fact that the killer was shot several times in quick succession and dropped inanimately; showing that the killer may very well have been dead before he hit the ground. The officers approached with some caution, disarmed the corpse for good measure, but were then largely unconcerned with the body from that point. An ambulance arrived, inspected the body relatively quickly, packed it up into a body bag, loaded it into the ambulance, and left the scene without using their lights or siren. Every witness we talk with just doesn’t believe that the same man they saw shot could be alive today.

Having learned nothing new, we decide to impersonate law officials and try to learn more at the local police station. We arrive and pose as FBI agents. We’re allowed to see the files in question, but when it came time to make a digital copy, our fake identities were challenged; the admin asking to verify us with our home office. We managed to dodge the verification, but did not get a copy of the files.

We learn that the ME responsible for his autopsy, Janice Kent, is under investigation, she has gone missing. Interviewing the pronouncing paramedic, Theodore Wayne, we learn that she and him were friends. Additionally, we learn the ME has a cabin out in the everglades.

Theodore claims that the whole thing started off as a joke, that has just gotten out of hand. The man never came back from the dead, they simply removed his body to make it look that way, but he was actually dead. It’s some other guy that is pretending to be the same man.

Even though it is already evening, we decide to head out to the everglades. We bribe one of the tour boat owners to let us take out one of his fan boats even though it’s pitch black out. We manage to navigate our way through the swamp.

As we arrive at the cabin, we’re assaulted by a strange man and his black dog. A melee ensues, the dog is taken down, the man frozen in place, and the man surrenders.

During the momentary calm, Terrwyn and Philix approach the cabin. The woman inside shoots at them, but after a little assuring, allows them inside.

In the meantime, Drake has gotten the mysterious man to stand down and talk. So, being a sucker for animals, Drake heals the dog. As he’s reaching into the man’s jacket, to pull out his “detective” identification, he whispers to Drake, “I am ready to do your bidding, Master.”

END OF GAME

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Just Desserts
3/1 - 3/2/16

As we bed down for the night, Philix has a vision where he is in front of several plates of uncooked meats. A mysterious military man speaks to him explaining that it will be painful, but the process will make him stronger and safer than he was before.

Terrwyn also has a vision where she was lying on a table, unable to move, and the creature approached. Then the creature spoke to her and said “Now I’m going to eat you, just like in the story, or is that the other way round.”

She then took a shower, and while she was in there, the receptionist (Ellen Ruben) knocked on Terrwyn’s door. While it took a while before she was welcomed into her room, along with her plate of cookies, she then gossiped with Terrwyn about some of the eventful things that have happening in town lately (i.e. the shenanigans that the team has been getting up to during the day).

One event that the team wasn’t responsible for is a local, Robert Janice, who lost his assistance animal, a spider monkey, named Bieber recently. Additionally, scratched in the wall were the words: “Monkey Bananas”.

Ellen then asks Terrwyn to join her as she leaves the room. Terrwyn follows her to the local bar and among the memorabilia of the (somewhat) famous people that have visited, there is a portrait of her from many years past; back when she was part of a traveling act and was the mind reader of the group.

One of the last things she talks about is that she thinks the happenings bear a lot of similarity to old native American lore where a man would take on the attributes of animals and increase their power.

Overnight, Philix studies the materials we gathered the day before and learns that it was an extended process leading up to Gunnar’s current form. When he was first brought in, he had a wiry frame, but became much more muscular over time. There were also complications with extreme pain, allergic reactions, and one of the three subjects even died. It was only recently that Gunnar started mutating more severely and taking on animal-like traits. We were able to learn the following people’s names:

Animal owner victims: Robert Janice, Wilton Cushing, Henry Carl, and Peter Price.

Gunnar has grudges against: Todd Brown, William Logos, and Helen Candlewick. All scientists that experimented on him.

We visit Robert Janice’s home, and find that he is a morbidly obese man. As we learn from the woman who first answered the door, a nurse/caretaker, the monkey was apparently his only caregiver before today. Terrwyn distracts & questions Robert while the rest of the team investigate around his home. In the garage, where the monkey’s habitat was kept, we find the words …

Monkey?
Bananas!

… scratched into the drywall. The team investigates traditionally but doesn’t learn much of use. Robert was beginning to get wise of our activity elsewhere in his home, and causing damage, but before he had a chance to kick us out Drake used magic to look back to when the creature was there. Most of the drama he was able to perceive was actually Gunnar ranting at Robert about what a waste of skin he is and how he should be ashamed for having a monkey that does what a human staff member could more reasonably do.

We then leave Robert’s home and regroup at the van. Uncertain where to go, Drake then focused his sight into the future this time while looking at a television, tuned to the local news channel, and saw that William Logos’ home was burning down at the time of the local news (10 pm) and saw the location of the home. This shorted out the television, but we did ultimately learn information. (Drake agreed to replace Mason’s television.)

We went to William’s home and tried to pose as I.S. agents that had been hired to protect him, but it was pretty obvious that he didn’t buy it. So, we broke in before he could close the door, wrestled him to the ground, and kidnapped him.

We all got back into the van and made our way to Bear River State Park to wait until sundown and use Mr. Lagos as bait. While we were waiting, a pick-up truck containing several male and one female redneck came up the same road that we had come in on. The female redneck pointed out the van and they all then drove up, and got out to confront us. As they approached, Drake used magic to block their path, the team regrouped, and drove deeper into the park.

We proceeded off of the available roads and trails, and went off road deeper into the woods until we could no longer proceed in the van. We then waited until dusk when we noticed a mysteriously out-of-place fog rolling in towards us, as well as noiseless chopper overhead. We then got out of the van in order to confront the force coming towards us under the cover of the fog.

Once the fog had enveloped, the agents (assumedly I.S.?) jumped the team trying to tackle, sedate, and otherwise subdue the team. Using magic, brawn, and teamwork we dispatched most of our assailants. However, when a spell went wrong, intended to trap one foe in a sinkhole, a large sinkhole roughly 30 feet wide and 15 feet deep swallowed everyone except Terrwyn (who had taken flight as the ground began to rumble).

While the team members in the pit collected themselves, and started to climb their way out, Gunnar came up to the pit out of the woods. Terrwyn came up to him and conversed with him for a short time, offering to try and help him, but ultimately learned that he wouldn’t accept her help; thinking it to be more experiments. Additionally, she learned that he was seeking out Logos to eat his brains. The hope being that he would be able to halt the deterioration of his own human thought, reasoning, and general faculties.

As soon as Philix was out of the pit, he attacked Gunnar, and the fight with the beast began in earnest. Drake was able to force Gunnar off-balance and into the pit. We then continued to fire at him and do damage, but Gunnar turned his attention to Logos now that he was in the pit with him. Thankfully, Drake was able to encapsulate Logos in ice before he could.

Jack again mis-cast and plunged the entire sinkhole into flames. Gunnar tried to climb out, but was knocked back in with the combined efforts of Philix and Terrwyn. Where Gunnar then screamed in agony, thrashed, but ultimately fell silent & still. Using Magic, Drake lifted up the ice cocoon containing Logos out of the inferno, andwhile he was worse for wear, the scientist was alive.

The team then gathered up into the van, along with Logos, dropped off Logos on a bus bench, left him with a burner to phone to call 911, and got the hell out of Dodge.

As we drove, we called Tbell and reported our progress & success. That we were making our way back to San Francisco to board the ship, and then make our way to Miami, Florida. To investigate the mystery surrounding a serial killer that has claimed to be immortal and is taunting the authorities. Especially after being pronounced dead after a showdown with local police, being shipped to the morgue, and then escaping from there. Moreover, his victims have vanished from the morgue and local graves.

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Food
3/1/16

TBell, our benefactor, laid out a variety of strange occurrences that have been happening around the U.S. We select the one that has occurred in Evanston, WY as our first mission together.

A variety of animal mutilations and pet slayings have been happening there. Those that have organized to hunt the cause of the mutilations report bouts of amnesia and nightmares.
On our drive there Philix and Terrwyn have disturbing dreams. Philix dreamt of being on a table while a large looming figure walked up to him. While Terrwyn dreamt of a man playing fetch with his dog before something in the woods beheaded it and tossed the head to its owner.

We check into the local Day’s Inn, where Jack speaks with the receptionist there and she tells him a little about what has been going down.

Terrwyn visits the local psychiatrist and sets up a dinner through the receptionist for around 6; posing as a reporter for The Atlantic (a tabloid).

While we wait the roughly 6 hours for dinner time, Terrwyn and Drake go to Bear River State Park.

Meanwhile, Philix, Jack, and Mason go to the local eatery where everyone is eating some manner of beef. On their way in, a group of people were leaving and one of their group, in some manner of military uniform (not clear what branch/country/etc.) approached Philix and asked him to look up. Philix asked why, Jack went ahead and looked up, then Philix looked up, but neither see anything besides the sky. Then, the strange man said thank you, got into a black town car, and drove away.

In the park, Terrwyn and Drake happen across two mysterious black vans with heavily tinted windows. Terrwyn knocks on one but no one answers. Drake tried to unlock one of the doors with magic but inadvertently froze it shut. Then, the van started and drove away.
The party meet together there in the park and travel to the ranger station where they get a lay of the land and Terrwyn speaks with the ranger. She learns that everyone thinks that it is a mangy bear and pointed out a few places where pets have gone missing or have been mauled. Examining the three points the ranger gives us, we notice that the park is in the center of all three.

We decide to venture off the trails towards the center of the three points as they converge. As we go along, a strange voice yells at us to stop where we are. Most of us freeze but Jack takes a few steps back and inadvertently steps into a bear trap.

Turns out it was a park ranger that yelled at us and, when told we were looking for the bear, he tells us to quit; because we are liable to get shot by or shoot another hunter instead. He refers us to Peter Price, owner of the local Diamond X Ranch, because he is organizing a posse to hunt the bear. He advises us to work with the posse so that we’re coordinating, won’t get shot by or shoot a person, and hunt responsibly.

We call this Peter Price, but the call is ducked with an empty promise of getting a call back.
We travel back to town so that Terrwyn can go to the dinner she scheduled.

She meets with the doctor for a while, learning that the amnesia events that happened to affect young women are being blamed on date rape drugs. However, hunters have also had amnesia events and nightmares. All are, strangely enough, being prescribed drugs by the Wyoming Health Department that is headquartered there in Evanston.

Shortly after the dinner was concluded, Terrwyn called Peter again; but this time under the guise of being from the Psychiatrist’s office. In turn, she was able to get Peter to open up about what happens in his nightmares.

The nightmares all involve a mangy bear, that is somehow more than just a bear, and he also remembers a man with dark glasses standing over him.

We then meet back up all together and travel out to the ranch again. There we talk with some of the ranch hands a bit and learn that the death of Price’s prize bull was the catalyst that got him involved. One of the ranch hands even volunteered to show them a picture of the bull (alive); Terrwyn quickly (without permission) browsed the other pictures and finds one of the bull having been mutilated.

The bull’s “prize” was the only part of the bull that was damaged and removed, with surgical precision; definitely not an animal attack.

We then traveled to the nearby farm where a man’s dog was killed, investigated around the property, and Terrwyn recognizes it as the location from her dream.

In the area where the dog was killed, we find that a tree has had a message clawed into it, which reads: “I nose where you live.”

Drake uses magic to peer back in time to the time of the incident and sees the creature, which definitely isn’t a bear, and even has some human features. Looking around, he sees a man running away at full tilt.

Terrwyn tried to go and talk to the farmer, but immmediately offended him and he called the police.

While we waited, Drake used magic again (if less successfully, creating a large plume of steam) to peer into the past and follow the creature. To which he found that the creature went up to the road, crammed itself into an RV, and drove away.

We then went to the DMV, paid to pull up registrations of similar RVs, and highlighted one that had been reported stolen.

We then traveled to the Wyoming Department of Health where Jack, along with Drake and Philix, convinced the front desk that he needed to work on their servers and he needed a badge. They issue us badges and give us directions.

In the wing we travel through we find that there are a lot of laboratories that have small animals in them that are obviously being experimented on; rabbits, mice, rats, and small monkeys.

We then traveled to the server room and installed a piece of malware, provided by a hacker contact of Jack, in order to gain remote access to their systems. It will take less than a day for the hacker to complete their portal into the network.

We then tried the elevator but weren’t able to go to the basement initially. Jack had hoped to get past the card reader conventionally, but didn’t have the gear he needed. So, Drake used magic and successfully got the elevator to go down to the basement.

There we find a retrofitted basement that now has laboratories that could accommodate up to three human subjects; which is evidenced by the size of the tables, positioning of restraints, and man sized cages.

Drake again peers into the past and sees the same creature that he did before; which can now be distinguished as a man but deformed with animal-like appendages in several places. He is cooperating, begrudgingly, and the various doctors in the room are taking a variety of samples, running tests, and entering data into computers and onto documents.

Drake uses his vision into the past in order to find out the login credentials of one of the scientists. They use this access to download files and browse through things. We learn that the subject of the project is a Dr. Gunnar Flair. Who was convicted for illegal euthanization of humans.

We know that there is a surveillance system in the lab, which has undoubtedly been recording us, but we install a copy of the same malware on the computer we used.
After approximately 30 minutes Philix also gathers up some files, we split them between us for carrying unobtrusively, and then trip the fire escape; because Drake’s magic broke the elevator.

Back at the hotel, we learn that the organization behind the experiments is called:
The I.S.

We learn nothing more about their organization.

We do learn that the creature is actually a convict that had been convicted to a life sentence and agreed to the experiments as part of a deal on their sentence. Through a series of genetic treatments, he is able to ingest the DNA of creatures and then gain the attributes of the animal he ingested. He eventually escaped, and they then shut down the lab, so that they could completely devote their resources to recapturing him.

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