Haunted Oklahoma

Athenaeum
There's a place where knowledge goes to die.

Gabriel, the leader of the Dead Valley Krewe, elaborated on the situation after the party had an opportunity to sleep for the night. The dead member was Susan, and she was found on the edge of town with no obvious cause of death. They had since destroyed the body, since they didn’t have any leads anyway. Mort and Carl, Gabriel continued, were to return shortly with a more complete map of the domain.

Mort and Carl, on their return, talked to the group for a short time about the local geography; in particular, they spoke of the Devil’s Fingers, a natural set of chasms that formed a border for Boomtown on one side. At the bottom, there are pools of liquid that appear similar to the liquids that make up the Dead Rivers – just like the Bone-Meal River they found the previous day. They reach the bottom of on chasm, and find a collection of Gregory’s things. The contents of his journal are worrying.

After some work, the group make a set of breathing apparatuses that allow them to travel the length of the Bone-Meal cavern, and they reach a further domain: the Athenaeum. They each sacrifice a unique piece of knowledge to enter the domain, and from there they search it for Gregory. Silver Fang gets lost for a time, but they regroup as they find Gregory, who is poring over books written in some unknown tongue. They confront him, and he acts very strangely. He is oddly frank in his answers, and even offers related information. He is the one who murdered Susan, and he admits that he is reading Atlantean history to find out how to create another cataclysm. He wishes to reunite the worlds.

Cast

  • Gabriel
  • Mort
  • Carl
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Eurydice and Orpheus
Go ahead and lay the blame.

Having tracked the Lost Minister to his domain, the party was attacked almost immediately. The Minister had mastery over the cathedral, which was composed of his own body. As the fight wore on, and they damaged his main body, the cathedral itself began to collapse. They barely made it out with their lives. At Gregory’s behest, they continued their journey deeper into the Underworld, leading them to Dead Man’s Hand after crossing a river composed of bone dust and tasting of chocolate.

Once they were in town, the party headed first to the bazaar. They met a set of bizarre characters: among them, a VCR collector who traded some priceless book for one of his own devices. Hector, meanwhile, encountered a sex toy that pulsated with necromantic energy and battery power, alternatively. The party finally encountered Crazy Hassan’s Camel Sundries, which contained a camel that could produce a myriad of products, and a man named Crazy Hassan. Hassan tried to sell them many goods, but as it came to pass, he suddenly passed away, leaving the shop in possession of the party.

Amid these events, Gregory disappeared, running off to do his own thing. The party then relocated to Aces and Eights, the large tavern in the center of Boomtown. There, they met a krewe of Sin-Eaters who could no longer leave the domain. They were told that something was killing their members, and the krewe requested that the party assist them.

Cast

  • Uriah Long
  • The Lost Minister
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The Black Gate, part 2
Can you hear the horses?

Happiness, it hurt like a train on a track
Coming towards her, stuck still no turning back
She hid around corners and she hid under beds
She killed it with kisses and from it she fled
With every bubble she sank with a drink
And washed it away down the kitchen sink

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
The horses are coming
So you better run

- Florence + The Machine, Dog Days are Over

The party regrouped at Darius Fitzgerald’s house, to have some early evening drinks and process the events of the day. Interviewing Marci, they found she tried to stonewall on the Glorious Church of the Unified Spirit… until Silver Fang decided enough was enough, and if he was going to get nearly murdered twice in a single day, he ought to know what’s going on.

Marci finally elaborated that the Church itself was in OKC, in the Paseo district. She relayed the church’s teachings, and revealed that the Minister, Uriah Long, had found out that a near-death experience can bond a human and a ghost into a perfect spiritual state – a Shining One. She had come to believe that all of the new people she had met that day were Shining Ones, so she was definitely okay with leading them to the building.

Just before they left, Dr. Black and Eufemia ducked out to work on their school activities, and another Sin-Eater knocked on the door: Gregory, a student of Dr. Fitzpatrick. He had apparently run into some trouble, judging from his Glasgow grin – his mouth was expanded by knife blade nearly from ear to ear. He elected to accompany them to the Church. There was no resistance, as the party seemed to innately trust him.

The drive up was silent – except for the Tejano station that Hector’s truck was always blaring – until they got to the Paseo, and Marci navigated the party to the church itself. The building was unassuming, and only possessed a single floor. There was a smallish guard detail outside, though: a human who was very clearly tweaking, and five ghosts. The battle went by fairly quickly: Darius opened by using his Tear-Stained Shroud to gain a tactical advantage, while the others went all-out. One ghost had a sticky webbing it could use to trap opponents: it missed more often than not, but it was quite bothersome. Another could pull people’s blood out of their pores, dealing small amounts of damage as it did so. Also annoying, but ultimately not very threatening to the group.

The end was near when Jack doused one of the ghosts in alcohol, and Darius switched to the Pyre-Flame Shroud to ignite it. Within a few rounds, it spiraled out of control, exploding into ectoplasm and destroying another ghost. Reinvigorated, the party went on to forcefully dispel two more ghosts before the last one finally fled. Meanwhile, Silver Fang was experiencing the exhilaration of hand-to-hand combat. After ducking and weaving, not even trading blows with the tweaker, Silver Fang finally got in a body-destroying haymaker, reducing the tweaker to a meaty gelatin smeared across the Church’s front porch.

Gregory, the new guy, jumped out of the back of the truck, seeing the problem adequately dealt with. Upon noticing that the door was locked, he delivered an ironclad kick to the door, blasting it inward and completely freeing it from its hinges. Entering the building, the party discovered that the auditorium was set up just like any other modern congregation would have it. A single door was lit from inside, which they homed in on.

They burst in, interrupting some obscene communion that involved a pentacle composed of some white substance (assumed to be goat semen), candles, and a portal to the Underworld. Darius immediately opened fire on Uriah, who was performing the ritual. After bandaging up the unconscious, bleeding man, the party moved to explore the cavern that was inexplicably opened from the back of the room, hoping to track the Church to its source.

Cast

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The Black Gate, part 1
Fear is your only god.

Merge on tha networks, slangin’ nerve gas
Up jump tha boogie then bang, let ‘em hang
While tha paraniod try ta stuff tha void
Let’s capture this AM mayhem
Undressed, and blessed by tha Lord
Tha power pendulum swings by tha umbilical cord
Shock around tha clock, from noon ‘til noon
Men grabbin’ they mics, and stuff ‘em into tha womb
Terror’s tha product ya push
Well I’m a truth addict, oh shit I gotta headrush
Sheep tremble an here come tha votes
Thrown from tha throat, new cages an scapegoats
Undressed and blessed by tha Lord
Tha same devil that ran around Managua wit a sword
Check out tha new style that Ollie found
I tune in wit a bullet ta shut down tha devil sound
Shut down tha devil sound
Tha program of Vietnow
Shut down tha devil sound

- Rage Against the Machine, Vietnow

The scene opened on Hector eating in the Union, when suddenly people started falling unconscious. A panic broke out, and Silver Fang was drawn into the crisis. Between Hector and Jack (who showed up a short time later), a few score were brought out of the building. The paramedics who arrived also started falling ill… they ended up stealing an ambulance and carrying a number of people (including Silver Fang, who steadfastly refused to die) to the hospital. Once there, they discovered that a new Bound had formed in the back of the ambulance, and Hector and Dr. Fitzpatrick overheard some nurse whispering about a “Shining One”’s birth.

After meeting at the bar (with new fake IDs for Silver and Hector), discussing the events, and searching out some clues, they discovered a connection to an organization called the Glorious Church of the Unified Spirit. Before they could investigate further, Dr. Black calls them and needs their urgent attention. He found a YouTube video, depicting a member of the Church about to jump off a bridge into rush hour traffic.

Once on the scene, Jack recognized her as Marci Palmer, one of his old students. They try to talk her down, arguing that she has plenty to live for, that she can do more for her church alive, and so on. Her answer shocks them:

I’m not doing this for the church. I need to see Mateo and Father again.

After some fumbling about, Dr. Fitzpatrick tells her that they can talk to ghosts, and they can help her find them, and talk to them. She seems calmed by this. After carefully moving Marci to their vehicles, Dr. Black is able to remove her bomb jacket and move it away. Jack calls the police, who arrive to investigate. The police start to tamper with Marci’s bomb, which explodes, nearly killing Jack. Eufemia arrives, and demonstrates a healing ceremony for them. Marci is stunned. She follows them in silence to the vehicle, after which she finally asks, quietly:

You’re all Shining Ones, aren’t you?

Cast

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The Ghost of Tom Jones
Hey, could you run an errand for me?

Cherie Wilding wanted a fetter, but Sigma Kappa was going on a retreat. Between Eufemia, Cherie, and Mitzi (and their respective interests), they recruit Dr. Fitzpatrick, Dr. Black, Hector, and Jack. Silver Fang tags along, just to see what they’re up to.

Cherie finally found Mr. Wei in his office. She confronts him about his geist, which he claimed to not notice or know about. She called him out on it, and he eventually agreed to help capture the ghost. The process was similar for Hector and Darius; Eufemia and Mitzi were honest and straightforward about the issue, and were able to recruit the two (with Silver Fang sneaking around) without much trouble. After arranging a meeting place, the group (The PCs plus Dr. Black) headed to the sub-basement to deal with the ghost. Immediately before arriving, someone finally explained the situation to Jack and Silver Fang, who asked of the exorcism procedure:

So we have to destroy the room?

So it was written, so it shall be. Or something. The goal was to actually perform an extended exorcism ceremony while holding the ghost at bay, but when the group excels at smooth talking and persuasion (as well as direct emotional control), things don’t play out like that.

Right off the bat, the ghost let out a fearsome shriek. It sent all but Darius fleeing back up the stairs, but the others rejoined shortly. Using its abilities to control emotion, it sent Darius into a rage, who then let off a shot with his revolver, blowing open the lockers. Silver Fang finally sacked up enough to come back in, and grabbed the toolbox from one of the open lockers. Around this time, Jack Wei tainted the room with a mood of mellow happiness, which calmed the ghost down enough for him to explain that they were in imminent danger. The boiler exploded, nearly killing Dr. Black, who was held together by threads of ectoplasm. After the escape, they booked it to Dr. Fitzpatrick’s house.

The group brought the toolbox to Dr. Fitzpatrick’s house, and Dr. Black started to set up the ceremony. Through a combination of subterfuge, persuasion, and socializing, they talked Tom (the ghost) into going along with the ceremony. As they told him, it would keep him in the world, but keep him from losing his mind. The ceremony took quite a while, (on a hilarious note, the police finally responded to the boiler room explosion around 15 minutes into the ceremony, nearly half an hour after they got the call), but eventually Tom was bound to his wrench.

Cast

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