Abilene Session Notes – 25 April 2015

Abilene Session Notes – 25 April 2015

November 19th, 1878

For those keeping score: the Marshall was on the take of the guy who ran all the crime, the brothel was a den of soul-sucking demons, and the missing preacher had an injun zombie chained up the basement chanting the name of a Very Bad Man.  Heh.  But wait…there’s more…

 

The party debates the zombie briefly, including taking note that it seems to shuffle vaguely East by Northeast, which incidentally is the direction of Detroit, KS.  The blood on the floor appears to be several days old, the zombie at least a week or longer dead.  Finally, Onesimus shoots the thing in the head, (re)killing it.

By that point, Seri had grown restless and left the church.  Ahiga and Ed following behind.  Seri scouts out The Duchess, going so far as to turn herself into a housefly and scout the interior.  She returns to where Ahiga is hiding at about the same point that the rest of the party catches up.  They debate for a few minutes longer before Seri heads into The Duchess, plops down a load cash at the bar to convince the bartender to serve whiskey to a young girl, and starts drinking.  The rest of the party piles in after her.

They’re met by Rita, one of the doves of the house, who everyone in the party finds strikingly, even unnaturally beautiful.  They are served drinks and are made as comfortable as any of them are willing to get.  It isn’t long, however, before Holden and Jacob are, quite uncharacteristically, giving up on their theories about The Duchess and wanting to leave, and Ed, even more uncharacteristically, has Rita in his lap.

Onesimus, recognizing that all is not right, attempts to get the party to leave, and Olivia says a prayer to dispel magics on Rita.  Rita shies away from Olivia’s cross, and the three men snap to from the thrall they were under.  With Rita demanding they leave, Onesimus ushers the party out the door.  As Seri leaves, she lights a large bundle of dynamite and chucks it into the bar.

The Duchess bar explodes, setting fire to the remainder of the building, killing the bartender and two local patrons instantly.  Onesimus races in the building to look for survivors.  He finds one on the ground floor and gets him out of the building.  He sees Rita unharmed, standing in the flames, looking at him accusingly.  He then races up to the second floor where he finds another survivor and tosses him off the veranda to relative safety.  He discovers a final body in one of the bedrooms, mummified as Farley and the man Ed found in the alley, and escapes out the window before succumbing to the smoke.

The few townsfolk brave enough to come out in the night make a half-hearted effort to fight the fire, but disperse when it proves to be ineffective.  The Duchess burns to the ground, thankfully not catching any neighboring building on fire.  The two survivors that Onesimus rescued give him their thanks and go their separate ways.

The party makes it back to the church.  As Onesimus closes the doors behind him, he sees the figures of three women in the dark at the edge of the church property.

 

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Abilene Session Notes – 11 April 2015

Abilene Session Notes – 11 April 2015

November 19th, 1878

I don’t think we expected to get anything out of Madame Chen, and we were right.  She was a cool customer, guilty as sin, but we weren’t going to get anywhere with her by talkin’.  We were definitely ruffling feathers though – you generally don’t send a ninja hit squad to be neighborly.

The grieving widow, introduced as Margaret Barnes, relayed the story that her husband Leroy often visited The Duchess on Tuesdays and recently his health has been degrading little by little every week.  She found his mummified body that afternoon in front of their house.

Beth Farley takes Margaret to the rectory to calm her down while the party examines the body.  Holden identifies that the body’s life-force has been extracted, and Onesimus identifies the corpse as having been drained by a succubus.  He also notes that a single succubus could conceivably go unnoticed in a town the size of Abilene, but more than one would likely produce bodies.

Olivia covers and moves the body to the dais and touches holy water to it and the body immediately catches fire and burns to ash.

Holden opens the doors to the sanctuary to let the smoke out, and gets a glimpse of a man under a tree in the church yard, roughly the same silhouette of the demon who has been answering his calls for power consistently since he woke, but at second glance he’s gone.

Olivia entreats the party to help her find Father Patrick O’Connor, who has not returned from a hurried trip to Detroit, KS.  The party debates the merits of searching for the priest, versus The Duchess, versus heading to Salina in their pursuit to find Johnny Wu.

Holden leaves the building and attempts to draw power to cast his Hunch, once again he is met after a disconcerting wait in a parlor that seemed more…real…than usual by Mr. Perkins, who deals the cards.  Holden notices a plain ring with a black onyx stone on Perkins’ finger that looked exactly like one that Holden had won in a card game in Atlanta some five years before.  He realized that he had lost the ring, but couldn’t put his finger on exactly when.  He asked Mr. Perkins about the ring, to which he replied, “I won it in a card game…”.

Holden returns to the present and attempts to get a Hunch about The Duchess – he gets the distinct impression that the Duchess isn’t a human place, but more of a den, or perhaps a hive.  He turns around immediately and tries to get a Hunch about Father O’Connor – he’s met with the stench of decay and rot, and a stylized image of a coyote, in the Anasazi style.

Re-entering the sanctuary, he relays his experience, and Ahiga immediately becomes agitated upon seeing the drawing of the coyote – she informs the party that it is the symbol of the Drowned Coyotes, a gang from out West, who she is hunting.

As the party discusses their next move, several of them hear the clatter of metal from the church’s cellar.  There, they find an indian man, chained by the wrists in an earthen back room.  The man is revealed to be a zombie, a gaping wound across his neck, eyes cloudy.  The man is muttering “Je’ she’a”, a native word for “whisper”, though used as a proper name.  He is whispering it very rapidly, and it sounds very much like “Joshua”.

On the floor is the symbol of the Drowned Coyotes, drawn in the dirt in dried blood.

 

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