Thursday, June 25th, 2009, 10 PM – Danvers Asylum (Basement Tunnels)
- Beginning in media res: As the Bulwark of Shadow cabal steps through the open Portal, they look back just in time to see Okazo’s VGA projector sputter and spark, giving it’s short life to the task at hand. They emerge through the tunnel in space to enter another more mundane passageway. It leads from a power generating plant at the bottom of the hill to the hospital. The tunnels that run underneath the asylum branch off like spokes from the main building and lead to the various wards of the hospital. They press on to the main hub, beneath the Kirkbride building. From there they begin their investigation.
- They reflect on their preparedness:
- Arachne has ritually animated a corpse she retrieved from the Obsidian Palace after spending 12 hours of study learning the rote for Quicken Corpse while in the Library of the Dead:
Matilda the Zombie
Duration: 6 Days
- Arachne also has Entropic Shield (Death 3 Armour) and Ghost Shield (extra defense against Ghost Numen) active for 24 hours, and Places of Power up at Hathorne Manor.
- Kronate has ritually cast a potency 12 Superlative Luck spell with a 12 hour duration. He also has Fortune’s Protection (Fate 3 Armour) active for 24 hours.
- Okazo has ritually cast Augment the Mind (+ 3 Wits), Mind Shield, and Untouchable (Space 3 Armour) with a 24 hour duration, and has a Ward up at Hathorne Manor.
- Otsuchi has cast Honing the Form (+3 Strength) ritually, along with Magic Shield and Force Field, all with a 24 hour duration.
- Kronate has the Abedju Cipher.
- Otsuchi leads the way. Upon exiting the portal he immediately casts Supernal Vision.
- The Resonance of the asylum is dark and heavy. The weight of suffering and misery is still present. Many atrocities were committed here.
- Arachne warns the group that they will likely encounter ghosts along the way and that she plans to help them resolve their difficulties in order to allow the souls they tether to pass on to Summerland in the Supernal Realms; a central tenet of her wiccan beliefs.
- The group arrives at a maintenance area next to the large boiler room underneath the Kirkbride building. It is lit with red emergency-like lighting.
- At the base of the stairs leading up to the main level Arachne notices the ghost of a little girl in Twilight, skipping along while looking for something. Her head is permanently skewed at an angle from her broken spine. The snapped vertebrae bulge grotesquely at the back of her neck. Despite this, she’d be a cute kid, if it weren’t for how eerie she now looks, with a wan, wasted complexion that was clearly once healthy and rosy. Her blonde curls have faded to ivory, while her lips are dark and her eyes, shadowed. She’s still wearing the Sunday best that she had on when she died, though it too is faded. Despite being a ghost, the girl has a cheerful demeanor and is prone to giggling like the six-year-old she was when she died. Her voice and laughter echo distantly as she skips along, heard even by those who cannot look into Twilight.
- Arachne steps up next to Otsuchi, holds her wand aloft and utters the High Speech and casts Ectoplasm [Vulgar, but no Paradox]. She opens her mouth and vomits forth a large volume of Ectoplasm [Size 3]. The little girl is now visible through the liquid grey substance that coats her and drips from her tiny ephemeral form.
- Otsuchi sees that she is carrying a small solid jar. She is holding it close as though it is comforting to her.
- She notices them now, giggling and scurrying to hide next to the maintenance lockers at the base of the stairs, almost like she is playing a game of Hide and Seek. She leaves grey ectoplasmic footprints behind as she moves.
- Arachne approaches her.
- The girl looks up at her, smiling: “Mama told me to give you this.”
- She unscrews the lid on the jar she is carrying. The group hears the moaning and groaning of zombies as Otsuchi and Kronate [Prime 2] notice a high potency Vulgar spell unfurling from the receptacle. Three inch vicious looking black worms are streaming out of the container. [36 dice → 13 successes worth of Lethal damage to everyone in a 5 meter radius].
- Otsuchi [1 Mana, 8 dice → 4 successes] and Kronate [1 Mana, 10 dice → 11 successes] successfully use Counterspell to disintegrate the worms as they are manifesting.
- The child throws the empty jar in the corner and it smashes to pieces against the wall next to the lockers and continues to hop around, amusing herself as if nothing had happened.
- Feeling that the girl is no longer a threat, Arachne continues to approach her grey ectoplasmic form.
Arachne: That was a nasty trick. Mommy told you to do that?
Little Girl: Yeah. Mama told me that if I gave that to the sparkly people, that she would find Teddy for me. I can’t find him anywhere…
Arachne: Where was the last place you had him?
Little Girl (pausing): I don’t remember. Why? Do you know where he is?
Arachne: No, but I’ll let you know if I find him.
Little Girl: That’s good. I really miss Teddy…
Kronate: Maybe we could look for Teddy.
Arachne: Where’s Mommy right now?
Little Girl: I don’t know. Mommy’s been gone a long, long time…
- Arachne reminds everyone that all ghosts have anchors that bind them to the Fallen World. The anchors might offer a clue to helping them pass on.
- Kronate suggests that Teddy might be the little girl’s anchor.
- Arachne also indicates that knowing the manner in which a person dies can often lead to useful information on how to help their ghost.
- Arachne successfully casts an improvised unveiling Death spell she calls Analyze Ghost to determine that the girl died in 1987 from a broken neck.
- Kronate steps forward.
Kronate: Hey little girl, what was your Teddy’s name?
Little Girl (smiling): His name was Teddy, silly!
Kronate: What’s your name, sweetheart?
Little Girl: Lily.
Kronate: Lily, what kind of bear was Teddy?
Lily: A brown bear.
Kronate: Lily, what’s your last name?
Lily: I’m Lily Kenzie.
- Kronate takes his favorite coin out of his pocket and flips it absently between a thumb and two fingers as he casts Postcognition to the moment of Lily’s death [9 + 2 High Speech – 6 (Acquainted Sympathy) = 5 dice w/Superlative Luck → 1 success = 1 minute of Postcog].
- It’s 1987. Kronate hears the warning from Lily’s mother as the little girl opens a door marked “authorized personnel only”. It’s too late as Lily loses her footing on the greasy metal stairs and tumbles into the darkness. Lily Jennifer Kenzie was six years old when she fell down this flight of stairs and broke her neck. She was dead the very moment she hit the stone floor. As she fell, her favorite teddy bear flew up into the duct work. She landed at the bottom of the stairs looking up at Teddy with dead eyes.
- Kronate looks up into the duct work and notices Teddy still wedged there, obscured mostly by shadows.
Kronate (pointing): Lily, look! It’s Teddy.
- She tries to look up, but can’t because of her injuries.
- Kronate seems determined to get the bear. Okazo looks on with amusement as Kronate hauls a heavy bench over so that he can reach the bear. He waits until Kronate climbs up and goes to reach for it before casting Apportation [Vulgar, but no Paradox] to open a small portal in space, reaching his hand through to grab Teddy before Kronate is able [Envy, Okazo regains 1 Willpower].
- Lily notices the bear and moves toward Okazo. “Teddy!”
- Okazo, shrugs his shoulders and holds the Teddy out for Lily to grab.
- She takes the Teddy bear in her arms, smothering it in an ectoplasmic embrace, and rocks back and worth until she fades from the Fallen World.
- The slime covered Teddy falls harmlessly to the basement floor.
- Arachne briefly explains that Lily’s ghost has resolved her anchor and that she and the rest of the Coven of the Summer Ash believe that this should allow her soul to pass on into Summerland in the Supernal for eventual reincarnation.
- Otsuchi warns everyone to be on their guard for future attacks. “Those worms were pretty nasty.”
- The group presses on, climbing the stairs to the main level of the Kirkbride building, careful not to lose their footing…