Campaign of the Month: November 2012

THE EMERALD CITY

BOOK 03: THE CAULDRON OF MURDER: CHAPTER 09

James

ENDGAME

Ec cauldron09
GM: James
Transcribed by James
In Game Date: September 27, 2006
Episode: 21

The course set and strategies agreed upon the supernatural community of Seattle gathered in the parking lot near Buel Hall and prepared for a full frontal assault. They hoped the attack would distract SAWNEY BEAN and his army of CANNIBAL THRALLS enough to allow the Wardens and their allies to stop the ritual that would release LEVIATHAN on the world. They saw DETECTIVE ROY MULLENIX organizing the assault along with DELILAH MONTAGUE who was noticed watching him with a gleam in her eye. She seemed very taken with him indeed.

CRAIG BIGEAGLE and a small group of young men and women, including BRUNO WALSH, were gathered together and he led them in prayer to the Spirits. ZEBADIAH EINAR consulted with Craig gaining some insight on some Native American magic that was used to fight Wendigo who were also spirits of hunger. He hoped that Sawney Bean would have had little or no experience with Bigeagle’s brand of magic which would give him an edge.

Just to the side of them ANDREW MARSHAL was in deep concentration and around him birds of all shapes and sizes gathered in a huge flock. Hundreds if not thousands of them. What was most disconcerting was that when Andrew gave his attention to something all the birds would turn as one to regard it as well. As unnerving as this was SILVIO KHLORES asked Andrew to send one of his birds carrying his First Rose (a ring of Spring that carried all of Silvio’s hopes of reviving that court) to Zeb’s daughter LUCY SMITH-EINAR for safe keeping. He did not want it to fall into the wrong hands in case he was slain in the coming conflict.

DOZER roared up on his Harley along with a dozen members of THE PACK in tow. He immediately started barking out orders to his men and then went over and consulted with Roy. He spotted Craig and it was obvious that they knew each other when he went over and clasped hands with him fondly. Zeb was able to speculate that maybe the magic that allowed him to become a mighty wolf was related to Craig’s own totem based magic. MATHEWWOOFRILEY was able to barter with the werewolf biker for some military grade explosives to add to his limited arsenal.

Meanwhile OSAMU NISHIMURA (西村修) and TOSHIRO WATANABE were warming up with a little sparring session. Osamu was doing quite well until he spotted GYPSY who winked at him causing him to miss a block. She noted that and gave him a big smile, turned and swaggered away doing interesting things with her hips which caused Osamu to falter again. Disgusted Toshiro ended the sparring match.

ODIANNA OF WINTER along with MR. SQUIRE and many white wolves and a half dozen OGRES arrived shortly afterward. She looked savagely gleeful and was decked out in elaborate armor and carried a long spear with wicked barbs made of ice. SILVIO KHLORES approached her and traded a secret with her for a sword of ice made with her own savage magics. He told her that his allegiances weren’t what they seemed.

The Handmaiden then spotted Osamu and gave him her attention. He responded with a great respect and some furious blushing which prompted her to remark that maybe she should travel to the East where the people were familiar with the courtesy that befit her station.

SINGARD JARLSON was decked out in full armor that was a bit too small for his gut carrying a HUGE battle ax. He argued with ERIC LAUFEY who obviously didn’t want to be there. After bickering back and forth Jarlson demanded that Eric make up for his part in the current mess they were in by helping to clean it up. Eric finally conceded the point.

TREY WELLINGTON swaggered up to Zeb and said that he didn’t appreciate having to clean up an old man’s mess. Zeb’s reply was witty and put the upstart young vampire in his place. Violence was in the air until a commanding voice thick with a French accent interceded. FRANCIOS DU’MONDE was as young looking as Wellington but the aura of power that surrounded him and his commanding gaze belied his youthful appearance. He apologized to the Warden for Trey’s behavior. Wellington offered a parting threat and left with the older vampire.

LORD MONTAGUE and Roy both gave rousing speeches to the assembled defenders of Seattle and a plan for attack was agreed upon. The distraction would start promptly at 11:30pm. The PCs would need to be in position by then to take advantage of the attack. After synchronizing their watches Oaths were made to forgo all hostilities between the various factions until the current crisis was over. VITALY KULIKOVAthen led the small party to the morgue of a medical research building and opened a passage to the NeverNever.

At first they were in a corridor that looked and felt like a modern sewer but they quickly passed through an elaborate series of tunnels that varied from looking like Roman era tombs to something out of a Lord of the Rings movie. They came to a cavern that Zeb realized was a natural lava shoot and Vitaly signaled for them all to be cautious. The heat in the passage was unbearable and immediately got worse as they approached an opening that glowed with a furious heat.

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They exited the cave and beheld a scene from Dante’s Inferno. To the right of them was an impossibly tall wall of smooth stone several hundred feet high. Lava flowed all around them on a plain filled with lakes of fire and volcanoes that spewed smoke and fire high into the air. Over the horizon they saw a huge tree that must have been miles in diameter that towered over the entire plain its trunk going up out of sight into the clouds. The ground began to shake and they saw a huge 30 foot tall figure make its way toward them carrying a massive sword over his shoulder.

Zeb recognized that they were in Muspelheim immediately. He had worked with FIRE GIANTS in his youth and recognized the clan of the towering figure that approached. Sadly he didn’t know that particular giant. Silvio managed to veil the party from the giant’s sight and he marched by without noticing them.

They scrambled to make it across the plain of fire before the guard came back on his rounds. The terrain was immensely treacherous and Zeb in particular found it very difficult to navigate. In fact he nearly fell off a cliff into the lava but Osamu seemingly appeared out of nowhere to casually save him from the flames. The resulting noise of stones falling into the lava alerted the giant who approached the area suspiciously. The veil kept them from his sight and after an inordinately long time the giant moved on. Zeb decided to cast his own spell and dampened all noise around the party which allowed them to make their way securely to a new series of caves. The heat was even worse here and just when they couldn’t take it anymore they passed through the Veil.

They arrived in the basement of Buel Hall from Muspelheim 7 feet off the floor. Vitaly was not surprised and landed on his feet lightly. All the others, except for Osamu, sprawled on the floor in a tangled mass of limbs. Vitaly chuckled under his breath and pulled out a bottle of water and drank from it. After an exchange with Osamu he tossed them another bottle to assuage their thirst. He then explained this was as far as he could go. Ghouls, he had discovered, were particularly susceptible to Sawney Bean’s hunger based madness. With that he opened the furnace that was in the room and stepped through it back to Muspelheim.

As the group explored the room they found an old abandoned bath tub that was obviously used for electroshock therapy along with a bunch of other clutter that was placed here in storage. The sense of despair and madness that permeated the place was palpable. Ec com27Osamu and Riley crept out into the hall to scout the place out. They were nearly spotted by a pair of RED CAPS who seemed to be making a sweep of the basement. Following the two they made their way down a long hall to a stairway remaining undetected. They creeped quietly up the stairs and found hundreds of Thralls packed in shoulder to shoulder in the hallway all chanting in unison words that were strangely painful to hear. On their way back they found a map on the wall that showed the proper fire escape routes from that part of the building. They took the map with them.

After a little consulting they sent Osamu ahead to further scout the building. He channeled his Ki and was able to cloak himself in shadows and climbed the walls like a spider. He made his way up the stairs into a huge hall and was able to view Sawney Bean in the vestibule where CYRUS GREY hung over the floor with glowing green manacles restraining him. Behind him was a menacing glowing gate with six locks surrounded by an elaborate magic circle inscribed on the floor in the middle of the massive room.

Scouting done the party settled on their final plans. Riley planted the plastique he had acquired from Dozer on the basement ceiling right beneath the magic circle and rigged it to blow with a trigger mechanism backed up by a timer in case the worst happened and they should all fall. Osamu positioned himself to drop down through a skylight.

They then waited until the appointed time for the attack. It started right on schedule and the group could hear the gunfire and explosions along with the shriek of hundreds of birds, the howls of wolves and the loud, eerie, savage cry of an enraged Fae Handmaiden that rose above them all. The response was immediate. The long hallways emptied of the Thralls as they rushed out to meet the assault leaving an open way up the stairs and onto the second story balcony.

From the balcony the party saw Bean absorb the spirits of a whole swath of thralls causing them to be consumed by a sickly green fire and then used the energies to open one of the 6 locks on the gate. Cyrus Grey to bellowed in agony as the unnatural energies coursed through his body.

After positioning themselves they began the attack with Zeb and Stacy raining down lightning and fire upon the 100 thralls and 30 Red Caps who remained behind to protect Bean. More and more thralls fell as the party attacked with everything they had.Ec com28 Osamu landed amongst them and began dropping them with precision and power both. He had used his Ki to fortify his body and the attacking thrall’s blows were repelled from him like water. Riley began to blast away with his assault rifle dropping his targets left and right. Silvio used his abilities to create a vine that he used to clamber down to the ground floor and began set about him with the ice sword slaying Thralls and wicked Fae alike.

Madness roiled off of Bean in never ending waves and their minds were assailed by unmatched fury. The only thing that saved them from that savage hunger and insanity was Odiana’s Winterrose. They felt a cool shell of protective energy surround their minds but it quickly became clear that it wouldn’t last long under the relentless invasion. Bean absorbed more of the Thralls unlocking two more gates as the party desperately tried to stop him. Riley blew the C4 underneath the floor and it caused the circle that contained Bean’s spell to break. Desperately Bean channeled the resultant backlash of energies into Cyrus Grey who bellowed so loudly that all the windows in the building shattered.

Riley was barely holding onto his sanity as his mind was battered with images of all the war and strife he had experienced as a Special Forces Operative leaving him shell shocked and suffering from flashbacks. Silvio was strangled by the madness as well. His psyche nearly shattered, he fled the building while Osamu was forced into a catatonic state by the bedlam.

At this point the party had decimated Bean’s forces and only 2 Red Caps remained. They then turned their attentions to the cannibal alone. He had been hit hard by the combined attacks from magic, martial arts and gunfire but it didn’t cause him to break his concentration. He was determined to unleash his master into our reality. Another lock was broken and Grey writhed around in agony his body glowed with an inner fire. The Warden’s efforts intensified causing Bean to turn on one of the remaining Red Caps. His mouth opened to impossible dimensions and he bit down on the hapless Fae’s head tearing it off at the neck absorbing both flesh and spirit healing him of his wounds. He then returned his attention to breaking more of the locks.

Realizing that they were on the verge of collapse both STACY KEENE and Zeb threw everything they had left at Bean. In a titanic flood of power the monstrous cannibal was consumed by the two Warden’s unfettered might. Stacy was nearly destroyed by the effort as she poured everything she had into it. Outside the sounds of conflict immediately ceased as Bean’s Thralls all collapsed or were consumed by his passing. The silence was deafening.

Zeb then turned his attentions to the gate that was barely held close by the remaining two locks. After some consideration he realized that the only way he could close it was to send Cyrus Grey through it to the Other side. The old monster had simply absorbed too much of the energies of the Leviathan and as long as he remained on this Earth he would be a anchor for the Mad God. Grey knew it too and screamed at the old warden to do his duty and close the gate. He knew that the horrors he would face there would be beyond his ken but he never flinched in the face of it as Zeb forced the gate closed with a mighty explosion of energy. It was done. The threat was contained. Sawney Bean was destroyed and his master would not threaten the Earth this night. But many had fallen in the conflict and it would take a long time for the wounds to heal.


THE AFTERMATH
The fallout from the CAULDRON OF MURDER is quite extensive. Around 3000 are confirmed dead with another 1000+ still unaccounted for. The National Guard has been called in and order has been reestablished. But it will take time to rebuild after such tragedy.

  • CYRUS GREY is lost leaving the SEATTLE UNDERGROUND in the hands of VITALY KULIKOVA. Vitaly lost over half of his Clan Kulikova ghouls in the battles with the forces of SAWNEY BEAN. It is likely that they will have a difficult time at best keeping the NeverNever passages of the Underground protected. Especially since the Veil between worlds was heavily taxed by Sawney Bean’s ritual leaving the city open to much potential danger.
  • DOZER and his Pack gave a powerful showing in the final battle but he too had heavy casualties. The mighty werewolf was responsible for holding the left flank of the battle line almost single-handily and accounted for numerous slain enemies. The only one who stood with him was FRANCIOS DU’MONDE.
  • TREY WELLINGTON and his Scourge fought well. At first. When he realized that he was holding the flank with Dozer’s PACK he abandoned them in a mad charge that left the werewolves defenseless. Only Dozer’s heroics and Du’Monde’s actions saved them and prevented all of the Allies from being overwhelmed. There is little question his betrayal will further fuel the hatred Dozer carries for vampires.
  • The only warrior on the field of battle that was perhaps more impressive than Dozer was ODIANNA OF WINTER. She led the charge against the enemy and was always to be found in the thick of things with a savage gleam in her eyes and MR. SQUIRE at her side. Mr. Squire lost many of his Ogres in the fight and was seriously wounded himself.
  • SINGARD JARLSON was mortally wounded in the battle taking a blow for ERIC LAUFEY. The Son of Loki went mad with anger over the assault and destroyed many of his opponents in his rage. Jarlson’s life was spared only because of the heroic actions of CLAIRE REDWOOD who pulled him off the field of battle to the makeshift hospital AUNT B had established. Many more casualties would have been suffered if it wasn’t for the two of them and their skills at biomancy.
  • BRUNO WALSH and the fellow disciples of CRAIG BIGEAGLE along with TOSHIRO WATANABE saved many of the wounded after a large force of RED CAPS poured in at them from the failing left flank. Bruno and Toshiro fought valiantly but it was ANDREW MARSHAL who halted the charge of the brutal faerie killers sacrificing many of the birds he had summoned in doing so. He was devastated by the death of so many of his friends and left the battle in a near catatonic state.
  • LORD MONTAGUE fought alongside his daughter, DELILAH MONTAGUE, some of his other White Court children and a small contingent of Police Officers led by DETECTIVE ROY MULLENIX. Together they formed the core of Seattle’s forces and despite being made up of mostly pure mortals they fought bravely. Especially Detective Mullenix. Many officers gave their lives to protect and serve their city.
  • Most of the CANNIBAL THRALLS were consumed by a sickly burst of green energy when SAWNEY BEAN fell. But over 200 were left as violence prone shells of their former selves. Lord Montague gathered them up and promised he would do his best to take care of them.

  • ZEBADIAH EINAR must now repay his promise to Odiana of Winter. He owes her a day of pain. She, being a Fae, will take him to her demense where she controls the passage of time completely. He will be tortured for a full year before he is returned to Seattle a subjective day later.
  • Montague also explained to Zeb that he and his allies were expressly forbidden to go after TREVOR RADCLIFFE without any real proof of guilt. The White Court Lord explained that Radcliffe was under his protection by Oath and if they moved on him he would have to deal with them appropriately.
  • STACY KEENE nearly killed herself bringing down fire on Sawney Bean. It will take her a very long time to recover from her efforts. She and Osamu both owe Odianna 2 favors with a right of refusal. SILVIO KHLORES has a much more pleasant time of it owing Odiana a night of pleasure in her bed. MATHEWWOOFRILEY will face a nightmarish time dealing the flashbacks and PTSD that will haunt him after his mind was nearly destroyed by Bean’s madness.

END OF CAULDRON OF MURDER

NEXT

Comments

Heck of a battle! Nice work!

 

Thank you!!! It was one helluva fight and I loved the fact that it came down to the wire and my players we’re able to defeat Sawney Bean without me fudging it at all.

 

Wow… just … wow! This was one hell of an epic scenario. Awesome stuff.

 

Thanks Elkhorn. It was one helluva wild ride to run it that is for sure. Luckily I had great players to keep the story’s fever pitch up.

 

Late to reading this, but I really liked this adventure. It was a nice blend of lore, dresdenverse stuff and local stuff. Good work! I liked the recap at the end and the leverage you established with various deals. The GMs and the players sound pretty creative.

 

Thank you! It was a blast to run as well. The next game I GM’ed was Legacy of Blood. You migjt want to check it out.

HumAnnoyd

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