The Plural of Apocalypse


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.

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 …


… 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.


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:

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.”


3/9 - 3/10/16

Right as they’re about to go into the house, Philix and Terrwyn both have a vision.

In Philix’s vision, Philix sees himself angrily pounding a door that is apparently barred from the inside. His skin looks damaged, his hair is a mess, and a thin steam or smoke is rising from his clothes. Wet footprints are tracked behind him. He can hear feminine screams from the other side of the door. He turns and looks behind him and there is his familiar/staff in it’s cat form, holding a human hand in it’s mouth.

In Terwyn’s Premonition she sees herself standing in front of a tattered, half naked young woman (the ME) who is covered in blood and mud and leaves. The woman’s eyes are wild and desperate, and she has a gun aimed at Terwyn in shaking hands. Suddenly, her perspective shifts, such that she is behind the woman, and the woman shoots Mason.

After Terrwyn and Philix enter, they open the room to the left. Inside, there’s a large meal that has been left out for some time. Giving the food closer inspection, Philix realized that the meat that is included in the meal, along with veggies and such, is actually human flesh (very rare).

They open an organ room as well as an enclosed porch that they originally saw Janice from. They then opened the kitchen across the hall. When Philix stepped into the room, he started becoming electrocuted, and Terrwyn tried to pull Philix from the room (inadvertently using her new angel wings power). It doesn’t go to plan, and they ultimately end up in some sort of alternate dimension.
Philix removes this I.D. and it is indeed a P.I. license, licensed to him from Los Angeles County, CA. It is the ID for one Oswald Adamson. We ask him to explain himself, and in noir detective style, he tells his story.

“It all started in the classic way; I heard her before I saw her, stiletto heels stalking a purposeful rhythm in the hall outside my door. Coming straight for my office, inevitable as death. She was blonde and classy of course, and she had the expected tale. Her younger sister had vanished and the circumstances didn’t look good.

I found myself following an animal that walked like a man. Like most animals he left a tale behind him. Tales of darkness and woe, of violence and disapperances. But what was interesting about this particular trail was that it ended at a cage. Steven Bark had been picked up on a bench warrant and was going to spend a year cooling his heels in the state pen. I was patient and my client was loaded. I kept an eye on him.

Turns out I wasn’t the only one. A certain ME had a prisoner fetish, and that wasn’t her only loose screw. She was an apocalypse survivalist, zombie flavor. I guess she lost it once her pet got himself turned into dog food. She whipped the city into a zombie frenzy and faked her own disappearance. Now she’s at the center of a compound that’s probably got enough food for years and traps for an army.

I take my faithful pooch Atlas and load for bear, but I am ambushed by a group of strangers, including a giant cat and a guy who can shoot ice out of his hands. This is going to be a long, dark night.”

We have him remove his glasses, and disarm him of both his pistol and dagger, and his eyes are definitely off-putting. There just isn’t a “light” in his eyes, they are quite dead-like. Drake asks him, “what are you?” To which he replies, “I hoped you could tell me.”

We decide to trust him for the time being, and move into the house. Oddly enough, we don’t see Terrwyn or Philix in the house, but we do find Philix’s staff, Fawx, laying in the pool of water that blankets the floor of the kitchen. Mason spots the fact that a wire has been frayed and put into the water. Drake freezes the water in that area of the floor and then they’re able to get the staff without issue.

Not long after, two women come down the stairs with a gun pointed at us. Mason intimidates them into dropping the gun. As we deliberate on where to go next, and what might have happenned to our compatriots, we hear shattering glass upstairs. Mason goes upstairs to investigate, while Drake goes outide to prevent them from escaping.

Drake succcessfully guessed the side of the home they were trying to escape out of, then barred their path with ice walls. Mason then catches up, but before we can really interrogate them, the house begins to burn.

Drake surrounds the house in an ice dome, starving the fire, and putting out the blaze.
Now that things have calmed down some, we have a chance to talk with the women at greater length. We find out that the man we encountered came to them, thinking that they really had been working with a man raised from the dead, and that he could learn things from him about his own “condition”.

He questioned them at length about the man, how he came back, how he subsisted, and other such things. Despite insisting that it was all a hoax, he just didn’t believe him. Two of the women were Janice and her assistant, while the third was some other woman that the man had kidnapped separately.

This third woman, who is now missing an arm and a leg, is the one that he was carving pieces off of in order to eat her slowly.

In summary, it all becomes clear that The Undead Killer was in fact a hoax, but it attracted an actual undead to the area. Who, in the chaos that erupted when the women fled through the window, slipped away unnoticed into the swamp.
We are able to track him down to a New York hotel, where we bust in on him, prevent his escape, and ultimately kill him. After which he dissolves into a pile of dust. Terrwyn gathers up a couple small jars of the dust (in case there’s any sort of spell or ritual that would call for it).

Already being in the New York area, we decide to investigate the supernatural occurrence that was on our radar for the area.



As we are leaving the hotel where we found & killed the zombie, Philix and Terrwyn have visions.

Philix sees himself pointing accusingly at an apparently Hindu woman dressed in fine robes, lounging beneath a skylight that is bathing her body in a bright radiance. He says, “The child is a divine gift in the manner of all children. But you have always been a monster.”

Terwyn sees herself lying trapped in the wreckage of an overturned car. Water is beginning to rush in, threatening to drown her. She concentrates, but nothing happens, and a voice whispers through the rushing torrent, “Not until you pay the price…”

It’s not yet biblical, but it is fair to say that New York is beginning to look a bit Spielbergian. A hurricane has nestled itself above the city, pounding it with torrential rain, and crowning it with a halo of flickering lightning. Immediately beyond the confines of Manhattan Island, the air is clear, with glittering stars gracing a velvet sky.

About half of the bridges into the city are closed due to the weather, with the other half clogged with gridlocked traffic. The news is stating emergency travel only, but the New Yorkers are having none of that. Tempers are flaring, and more than one fist fight has broken out. No shots fired… yet.

Normally, the Big Apple would not shut down to due a “mere” Category 1 Hurricane, but this one has been around for more than a week. Due to the positioning and unusual longevity, some news pundits are connecting it to the kidnapping of the so-called “Kali Baby”, a Hindu child born with 4 arms. However, most news services dismiss this as a coincidence. Flooding is severe in some parts of the city, as in ‘well over your head’.

We try to make our way to the home of the family that the baby was kidnapped from, but our way is blocked when we come to a section of the city where water has risen as high as two stories above the street.

Our way blocked, we decide to instead go to the nearest police station and try to gather information there. When we arrive, we try to pass ourselves off as FBI but this inadvertently backfires; earning some ill will from the officers. Apparently, the real FBI has already stepped in on the investigation, taken it over, and the NYPD are effectively shut out of the investigation.

We still probe for some information and learn that the first NYPD detective on the case was one a man named Chandra Salim. He is not there at the police station. Additionally, we learn that FBI agent Spencer forest is spearheading the investigation. Lastly we’re able to learn that one of the four-armed baby’s parents, Nadira, has returned to Iraq since their baby was kidnapped; apparently with plans to divorce their spouse.

Philix, on a hunch, searched for temples in the city. Cross referencing that with the current placement of the storm, we realize that there is a temple right in the middle of the eye of the hurricane.

Assuming this to be no coincidence, we get a boat from down by the docks and start making our way inland. It’s a treacherous journey, the scale of damage and debris we encounter becoming greater the farther we go, but we ultimately get into the eye of the storm unscathed.

Once in the eye, things become almost tranquil. We see the temple in question, on top of a hill, and start making our way towards it. As we land, a variety of people apparently in some sort of daze start to come towards us. As we start making our way to the temple, they outright block our path.

At first, we can’t get any response out of them besides “you are not expected”, but we soon find that if we ask them “how do we make an appointment?” they then go inside to find out. Doing this to the rest of the people, we’re then able to get into the temple.

There, we find a woman feeding the four-armed baby as well as a variety of people in a similar daze to the people we found before. She orders them to stop us, calmly at first; but when Mason starts being violent, things escalate quickly. Her instruction to her drones becomes “kill them”. We fight off the first wave of them, avoid them entirely, or get buried by them. She starts to try and retreat from the room, but Drake bars the door with magic and Jack paralyzes her with magic.

She then starts to emit some sort of strange tone that caused Mason to fall under her spell. Then, instead of seeing regular people under a spell, he saw zombies. Having a fervent hatred of zombies, he immediately started killing them.

Terrwyn had escaped that first wave by taking flight, and then landed near the woman and the baby. Not knowing her intent with the baby, she took it from her, and then used her Angel Wings power taking her and the baby back to the police station we went to earlier. She turned over the baby and dodged/answered their questions.

As soon as she finds a moment that she isn’t under direct supervision, she again used her Angel Wings power to disappear and suddenly and mysteriously as she appeared there in the first place.

The baby out of harm’s way, but not themselves, the rest of the team started a tactical retreat; or cleansing in the case of Mason. We managed to make our way outside, and after Mason had dealt with the last of the “zombies”, he then started to turn on us. We promptly knocked him out at about the same time that a helicopter descended on the hill and unloaded a small team of men in black suits. They enter the mosque and then quickly exit carrying the woman, bound thoroughly, and get back into their helicopter. Before they leave, one of them stops and tells that “the ‘IS’ thanks you.”



We return to the yacht, drenched and exhausted, but relatively unharmed. Not long after, we all gather in the usual place to have one of our conference calls with Tbell. We soon realize this is going to be an especially serious and strange call, even for us.

“A year ago, something happened. What exactly it was, I have not yet discovered, but most certainly whatever it was changed the world.”

“Most medical sources have reported that some disease has spread randomly throughout the world, originating in India, that causes people to die by profuse vomiting of blood. This is not in the least bit true. What has caused these reports is an even stranger phenomenon. All humans who die, from whatever source, vomit blood upon the moment of their death. This occurs even if there is no wound that would cause such vomiting. It seems to simply be something like a new law of nature.”

“The strangeness does not end there. Some beings, many of which seem to be human at first glance, show their deaths by other means. Turning to dust. Burning to ash. Exhaling white vapor. Shattering into glassy shards. So far, the incidences of these other deaths are rare, but they are on the rise. More importantly, they are almost invariably associated with attacks by what can only be described as monsters.”

“For months after the pattern emerged, I believed the truth of this change was a mere illusion. But thanks to your efforts, it has now been confirmed. Thanks to the software backdoor installed in the IS network, we have learned that they are a conglomeration of rich people who believe as I do; that the world is under assault from strange creatures that would change the very nature of society if they were merely known about, let alone became dominant.”

“The IS is determined to preserve the world as it currently is. Or destroy it so that the monsters don’t take it from us.”

“The IS categorize 4 factions of monsters. The Devourers, who call themselves the Farmers; those who must feed upon humanity to survive. The Dark Divine, who call themselves the Ivory Tower; those who use religion and faith to control humanity. The Magus, who call themselves the Library; those who have sought ways to trade their humanity for power. And the Nihil, who call themselves the Maelstrom; those who simply seek destruction and pain.”

“I know one thing that the IS does not. I know of an expedition to a place in Africa rumored to have been the cradle of humanity, the garden of Eden. I know that a year ago, an american occultist and archaeologist travelled there in search of a powerful artifact believed to date to the earliest of human civilizations. Or even earlier. I know that just before the Zero Date, when the Blood Death began, there were reports of an unusual shaft of light splitting the sky, that then was surrounded by an unseasonable thunderstorm. Since that night and that storm, nothing has been the same.”

“I have three assignments for you. You can complete them in any order, but all three are critical to the future of the world.”

“You must locate the professor. You must locate the artifact. You must examine the location where the professor found the artifact, to learn any clues you can about what it is, and what it has done.”

We decide to investigate regarding the missing professor. We learn that he was last seen entering a men’s room in the LAX airport; but not coming back out.

Tbell provides access to the airport security footage, and after careful scrutiny, we realize that the man did exit the bathroom but disguised so thoroughly we actually didn’t recognize him as much as recognized that the man was not one of the people that first entered the bathroom.

We track his path out of the airport and see where he finally left the overview of the airport’s surveillance system.

Jack realizes that he has a crime contact in the area and he decides to hit them up. Through a stroke of luck, Jason happens to know exactly who we’re talking about and knows that the police have been staking out a house in the high desert. We decide to go there.

We arrive and try to scope out the place, but after being unable to learn anything from the outside, seeing as all windows are shuttered and heavily tinted, we go to the front door and knock. No one answers and after a few tense moments, we open the door. Skewered to the door by a knife, we find the first of several dead policemen.

As we move through the house, we find several more policemen, each killed by blades; one was hidden in the fridge, another in a chest freezer, and the final stuffed into a closet. Each shows that they vomited blood directly where they lay or nearby. Grisly though it may be, we haven’t learned much.

To try and get an image of exactly what happened and who killed these men, Drake decides to try and peer back to the time of their deaths. However, instead of conjuring images from the past, he is instead greeted through his looking glass by the professor they’re looking for. The professor tells him that “you’re in the right place, but you need to look harder.” Unsuccessfully looking through time, he decides to try and look through the walls and other materials of the home. After some searching, he realizes that there is a woman hiding under a bed. He calls her out to the rest of the team.

Terrwyn crawls under the bed, and after some gentle coaxing, she gets her to answer a question; who did this. She answers that it was “Black Daggers”. She shuts down a lot at that point, but Terrwyn manages to get her out of the house and out to the van along with Mason and Jack.

Drake and Philix lagged behind, and at the encouragement of Philix, Drake tried once more to peer back to the time of death for these men. This time, he is able to successfully conjure the images. He sees the woman they’ve found walking up to the door, knocking, the policeman who answers being annoyed to see her at the door, and then surprised & horrified when she stabs him with so much force that he is pinned to the wall.

Her nature revealed, Drake teleports into the van and freeze the woman. Surprisingly, she breaks free of the first volley of ice for the most part and starts to lunge for Drake with a hidden knife. Mason stops her but the blade cuts through his cheek. A cramped melee ensues, but then Jack casts a paralysis spell and we’re able to subdue her, remove her from the van, and then Philix knocks her out.

As we’re about to load her back into the van, so we can interrogate her somewhere more private, a black and unmarked helicopter comes into view in the distance. Philix then receives a phone call from the IS, who inform him that they would like to take the woman off our hands. After a brief parley, we agree to let them have her after we’ve had a chance to question her.

Drake surrounds the party in an ice fortress, securing the woman’s ice prison to its foundations, and we rouse her from her slumber. Terrwyn took the lead with the interrogation. She asked who the woman had come to kill, to which she replied that she “didn’t come to kill anyone; they came here to be killed by me.”

Meanwhile, Jack dug into his experiences to try and identify what kind of monster she is and how to deal with her; everything he knows lending to the action of killing her and immediately. He passed this information along to Terrwyn, who then used her shadow powers to, with a fair amount of effort, remove the woman’s head from her body.

Our erstwhile truce surely about to end, Jack then went outside and shot a tracking dart onto the IS chopper. Basically immediately, the chopper then lost control and and started to plummet to the earth. Drake managed to create a ramp of ice, and cushion of snow, in order to catch the helicopter. In the process of doing so, Drake sensed another hand at work; his own magic, or hand, “brushing” against this other force.

Almost immediately two things happen. First, Philix calls TBell to give her a status update and advise she can maybe collect the helicopter wreckage to learn more about The IS. Secondly, the professor shows up; just walking down the street.

We pick him up in the van and talk for a short while. The man has an otherworldly and very cryptic nature to him. Each answer raising more questions than they answer; obviously layered in meaning. As we talk, we realize that the last year has taken quite the toll on the man. He seems to be 10 years older compared to photographs we had of him from just a year ago.

It takes some prodding, and a little interpretation, but we learn some important thing about the nature of things and the state of the world today.

For example, as we had already seen in general, the occurrence of monsters has increased greatly. Most recently, people that are dying and vomiting blood are actually unwitting participants in a type of ritual. See, in order to become a monster you must die. At the crucial moment, you make a choice, though it may not be a conscious one: to live on as a monster or to die. Most people choose to simply die; but enough, however small a fraction, choose to live and are growing the ranks of monsters around the world daily.

We then go on to question him about the artifact he found in Africa. To which he gives us a series of pictures of different objects that, if he is to be believed, are in fact the same object and the artifact in question. The artifact has at least 5 different forms, that the professor has observed, and he has pictures of each form. The professor also says it must take different forms to perform different functions.

We talk briefly about some of the same classifications of monsters that we talked about with Tbell; which prompts him to try and classify us. He struggles with it for a short time, as we are neither monsters nor normal humans. However, he decides to classify us as ‘heroes’ for now. The fate of the world in the balance, the professor says he will help us and accompany us to where he found the artifact.

The agents in the chopper not having extracted themselves already, we go over to the crashed helicopter. A pull on the door reveals that it is frozen shut. Drake, with some difficulty and delay, manages to unfreeze the door. Upon which we discover that the entire interior of the helicopter is frozen solid with a smoky essence throughout. With similar difficulty and delay, Drake manages to melt this ice too and remove the occupants. They aren’t dead and Drake is able to revive them to conciousness.

During the melting process, that smoky essence we saw in the ice, seeming to be darkness itself, sublimates and disappears. Before the melting process is done, Terrwyn used magic to gather a jar of the blackness. Thus growing her collection of exotic spell components.

We then talk with The IS agents a short while, confirming that we have a tentative truce and that, as much as we may question their methods, they do seem to be on the side of humanity. We talk briefly about the monster we encountered, a Damned as they called it. They ask to borrow Drake’s phone, to which he instead gives them a blank burner phone that the team has. The agents thank him, and when asked how we might contact them, they simply tell us to call any given 555 number; they’ll be listening.

We part ways with the professor and start making our way back to the yacht; the professor in tow.



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