Darkened Thresholds - Gemstones

Game Master D_Var_Stars

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Mixed Humanoid Commoner 34y GM-Player-Writer-Babbler.

The last few notes are cut off by Kara Louise's smooth voice, "In this mixed up world, let's enjoy this happy news update. The missing Carollburg students have been found. Word from official sources is that they're recovering well in hospital after several days spent in the forests in the northwest of Mutton County. While the area had been combed thoroughly the evening of the day they went missing with no sign of them, the group was found stumbling out and onto the tangle of town freight yard thankfully during a slow period this morning. Police would like to remind people that while there are no records of predators in those forests, that there are still dangers and that while many of us have enjoyed them from time to time, large portions of them are private property not meant or proven to state standards to be safe for the public. Let's hope for more good news soon..."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Carrollburg is a small hilly town penned in by an old highway, lingering industries, and the untamed wilderness. The local community college is seen by many as a great first step to getting out of here, though fewer get out than the high schoolers seem to think. Most stay here or just leave the closest big city.

There is mixed opinion on the latest good news in town. Many senior locals laugh it off with their own stories of getting lost, or high, or other misadventures in the woods, parents have concerned that not enough is being done to keep their little angels, demons, whatever-mini-thems safe and the kids...

Well, mostly local kids and some teens and college students and sprinkling of others under 30 are even more mixed. Most have heard the rumours and rural legends about those forests their whole lives. They're unsure if it's pranks gone wrong or what, but this isn't the first group to go in, disappear without a trace, to come out one of the various ways out far too many days later with odd stories. Whenever the 'good news' comes, the previous ones are never mentioned, just more rambling about whether or not the woods are 'safe' and who each part belongs to when no one has maintained any of it for decades that anyone can tell.


The Exile | Harm: 5/7 | Luck: 7/7 | Status: OK | Charm: -1 | Cool: 1 | Sharp:1 | Tough: 1 | Weird: 2| Armour: 2 | Experience: 0/5 |

Time was strange, Amelia noted as she looked around this...place. In her time she felt that it would have been a lot more alive. It smelled barely there, for a start, all chemicals and soot like the factories that were being set up everywhere. And there were no animals! Every decent estate had animals. Horses for transport, of course. And somewhere nearby there would be a dairy for the milk and eggs and cheese.

Even in a city, and she'd seen her share of the great cities as she'd travelled about her 'buisness', people would have kept goats and sheep that nibbled at the grass on the commons. A few people would have pigs or cows, although those both seemed quite monstrous now in comparison to her town - what did people feed there beasts now, to make them so huge? Allotments would have chickens and pigeons, rabbits and the like.

Nowadays people only seemed to still keep hounds. And cats, of course, because cats went everywhere, although even they seemed to be more often pampered things than working mousers. All in all this time period felt like it barely existed.

Of course, somethings remained the same. Monsters were monsters and people were people. You killed the beasts hunting the people, saved the people from the monsters, and all was right in Heaven and on Earth. She'd been really looking forward to killing whatever was causing problems.

As a result of all this, Amelia was very much put out by the fact that these people (apparently they had invented something being a teenager while she'd been...away, but Amelia didn't really understand why they weren't adults) had returned, and that this was not the first time such had happened.

"So here's what I don't understand," she mutters as she hunkers down in the heavy coat she wore. "These people vanished, and now they've returned. And this is not the first time this has occurred. Do none of the town's elder fear bewitchment? Why has no one been sent for 'ere now, to seek whatever is in the woods and put an end to its wickedness?" Something like that could hardly be innocent. Surely it wasn't taking people to play dolls and tea parties with them.


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 1/5 | Holds:

A few hours before in Boisville
The truck rumbles to life as Charly lets out a sigh. It isn't that she disagrees with the assignment she's been handed by her boss, Ambrose Finnegan O'Shaughnessy. She thought it'd be a good thing to find out what was causing the oddness in Carollburg. She doesn't even mind how–lacking in detail her instructions are all that much.

But did she have to wear a skirt?

She had thought about just packing the suit in a garment bag and putting it on when she thought she needed it, but that idea had been shot down when she'd been told that she would have to begin her investigation as soon as possible. The Committee of Concerned Citizens and Parents are paying good money, after all, and who knows if the next disappearance will have a happy ending.

So, in a charcoal-black suit with a baby blue blouse and a tie that matched, she will drive up to Carollburg and see what is going on. Her overnight bag is packed with a couple of changes of clothes and she has been given some money for a room to stay in. She is as ready as she is ever going to be, even if she feels a little chilly around her legs.

A few minutes later she's slowing to a stop at the last light before hitting the highway to Carollburg when she sees a man (Amelia Oliver) a few years older than her with a sign asking for a ride to Carollburg. A few seconds of mental debate later, and Charly's opening the passenger side door of the cab and calls out over the trucks grumbling engine.

"Excuse me! Do you need a lift?"

Current Appearance:

Charly is wearing a charcoal-black suit with a baby-blue button-down shirt, a charcoal-black tie with angled baby-blue pinstripes, black hose and simple, black heels. Her hair is black and pulled back in a stylish updo that leaves her face framed with her bangs. Her eyes are large and gray, and her skin is fair with the glow of youth. Other than a slightly exotic air about her features, she looks pretty normal.

A conversation with a stranger
"You... aren't from around here, are you," Charly asks as she drives through the streets of Carollburg. "They probably think it's just a bunch of teens getting high out in the woods, then stumbling back to civilization once it wears off. If they are looking for anything, they're looking for the guys dealing with drugs. Trust me, folks like that can be downright mean when they feel cornered or that their territory's threatened. One of the cases we had to study in my classes gave me nightmares for a few weeks."

She shrugs as she pulls into a parking lot in front of a hotel.

"So, got a place to stay?"

Casing Carollburg
Charly takes in a deep breath as she walks up to the door of the house that sits at the first address on her list. There is nothing to be nervous about, she knows, but that is in her heard. Her heart was telling her to fly like Gandalf had told the Fellowship of the Ring. She wants to, but she is nothing if not dutiful, and she hopes this will be the first step in "finding out what is going on in the woods near Carollburg and ascertain if it is a threat."

That and a list of addresses where the families of the most recently vanished and returned high schoolers live are all she has.

Guess it's better than nothing, she thinks as she rings the doorbell. Okay, showtime!

"Hi! I'm Charlotte Takahashi with Finnegan's Investigative Agency. We've been hired to look into the recent disappearances and reappearances that have been going on. Would you mind if I ask your son a few questions about what happened the day he disappeared?"


Chosen | Harm 7/7 | Luck 7/7 | Exp 1/5

"Thank you for coming all the way out here," Joy Naylor told Dorothy Brenner.

"It's no problem, really," Dot said.

It wasn't a problem. Joy had been one of her first clients when Dot first moved to Boisville. Normally, she'd just come into the office, but with a broken leg, she couldn't drive. On top of that, her daughter had gone missing for several days.

Which meant that it really wasn't even out of the way for Dot Brenner. She was absolutely sure with something as odd as multiple people dissapearing for days, she'd inevitably be dragged in.

"Is Shawna all right?" Dot asks as she sets up her laptop on Joy Naylor's dining room table.

"She seemed fine," Joy says, then adds. "The doctors want her to stay one more night."

Dot hopes the woman is right about her daughter, but there's that nagging feeling again that this is going to get weirder, and that Dot will be in over her head soon--again.

Start of Adventure Move: Destiny's Plaything: 2d6 - 1 ⇒ (4, 3) - 1 = 6


Sharp +1 | Tough +2 | Luck 6/7 | Exp. 1/5 | Harm 7/7 | Unstable? N

Jerry eased back off the gas of his old pick-up. He'd like a new truck, but monster hunting doesn't exactly provide yearly bonuses. He points out the "Welcome to Carrollburg" sign to Zeke as they drove past, the glow from the small town visible even in the fading daylight.

They'd been listening to a local classic rock station on the radio. It was apparently run by the Communications program of the local community college. Even had fumbling student DJs. If Zeke didn't like classic rock, he hadn't mentioned it to Jerry.

Jerry turned down the radio a bit.

"I figure we can't just go stomping around a campus asking kids about their missing friends. But maybe we can figure out where the kids hang out after school. Start asking around there. If worse comes to worse, we can always go to church on Sunday and see what gossip's spreading.

"Have enough money for a hotel room?"

Apologies to Zeke if he had something different in mind for his character. It looks like he hasn't had a chance to post in this game, yet.


Mixed Humanoid Commoner 34y GM-Player-Writer-Babbler.

Dot's bad feeling got worse for a few moments but no clarity on the situation came.Also get a point of experience.

~~~

The student DJ was doing pretty well for a first year, only a bit of rambling and awkward pauses, the usual low budget tech errors, and the occasional very much not classic song slipping in the list. Raging On A Sunday by Bohnes was the next track up...

~~~

The woman who answered the door seemed a little amused and a lot annoyed. She gave an unsubtle up and down appraisal before responding in a clipped tone, "My grandson is still in the hospital. All those kids are, except that little one whose father refused treatment. Poor soul. Whether Ryan talks to you after he comes home is up to him, he's a grown lad, I won't stop him or encourage him..."


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 1/5 | Holds:

Why do they always look at me like I'm a kid skipping school?

"Sorry for the trouble. I hope your grandson gets better soon," Charly replies before walking back to her truck and hoping that her glamour hasn't slipped. The first time it had happened was unpleasant and she is not eager to relive the memory.

"Guess it's to the hospital now. Hopefully, I can get in without too much of a fuss," she mutters as she heads for the Carollburg Medical Park and Walthrope General Hospital. The trip isn't all that long, and soon she is walking through the front doors and up to the nurse's desk.

Manipulate Someone (+Charm): 2d6 + 0 ⇒ (4, 1) + 0 = 5 Oh, that's 1 XP. She might be needing to make an Act Under Pressure roll soon to keep her glamour from failing on her if things go south during this conversation.

"H-hi. I'm Charlotte Takahashi with Finnegan's Investigative Agency. Would it be okay for me to talk to some of the students that recently disappeared and reappeared?"

Stay calm. Stay cool. You have this. Just speak clearly and confidently and you'll be able to get through.


The Exile | Harm: 5/7 | Luck: 7/7 | Status: OK | Charm: -1 | Cool: 1 | Sharp:1 | Tough: 1 | Weird: 2| Armour: 2 | Experience: 0/5 |

Following along with Charlotte seemed a wise plan. She was nice, if nothing else.

Certainly, the first lead was a bust. Apparently, grandmothers were no less feisty in this day and age. An old woman got old because they were too fearsome for the angels to collect, her mother had always said. Given the old dame had lived into her sixties Amelia assumed she knew of what she spoke.

Still, going to a house of illness seemed like a poor plan, but Amelia was relatively robust.

Even she winced at Charlotte's nervousness. "Or perhaps if such is not possible you would know of whom we could speak. Certainly, someone in town must be keeping track of such oddities?" There was always one odd little duck who'd keep track of the birds that flew over the ships in harbour, after all.

Manipulate Somone (Charm): 2d6 - 1 ⇒ (2, 6) - 1 = 7 - Partial success. She might tell us something, but I have to do something to prove mygood will. Yay?


Male Human Hard Case | Harm: 0/7 | Luck: 6/7 | Status: OK | Charm: -1 | Cool: 1 | Sharp: 1 | Tough: 2 | Weird: 0 | Experience: 1/5

That's a perfect intro, actually, so thanks! Ties in nicely with the character link I suggested in Discussion, too.

Zeke is leaning back in the passenger seat of Jerry's truck, the window down to let in some fresh summer air. His beaten denim jacket is slung over the headrest, and his button-up Hawaiian shirt has the top buttons undone, letting him soak in the weather. He does like classic rock, and even hums along with some of the songs. When Jerry points out the sign, he nods and rolls his window up halfway, twisting in his seat to pull out his wallet and talk with his friend.

"Yeah, you're probably right. I don't imagine they'd take too kindly to our ugly mugs just waltzing in and raising hell. Guess we gotta figure out a Plan B, huh?" He grins and thumbs through the folded leather. There's mostly free membership cards to various gas stations and restaurants, and more than a few buy-ten-sandwiches-get-one-free type punch cards. The main pocket is filled with bills, but there isn't a credit card to be seen. As far as Jerry knows, Zeke doesn't even have one.

With a grunt, he reaches into a pocket and pulls out a chapstick container. Pulling off the cap reveals a tight roll of more bills. Zeke thumbs a few separate and grins at Jerry again. "I think we're covered for right now. Might have to see if the local bar needs a bouncer or two, though."

As the new song comes on, he frowns and slides the chapstick-money-roll away. "This can't be classic rock. Maybe we oughta start by talking with whoever's on air right now."


Sharp +1 | Tough +2 | Luck 6/7 | Exp. 1/5 | Harm 7/7 | Unstable? N

Jerry's laugh at Zeke's comment is nothing more than a burst of air through his nostrils and a quick hunch of his shoulders.

"Two other thoughts, actually. One, we could investigate these freight yards the kids turned up in. Two, the authorities keep on about how people should be careful in the woods. We can ask at a hunting supply store to see which areas are safe for hunting and which ones aren't. Then we check out the woods that aren't."


Mixed Humanoid Commoner 34y GM-Player-Writer-Babbler.

The busy young nurse at the desk sighs, "Patients on that ward can only be visited by or with immediate family..." she starts sharply. After a moment, she seems to consider adding something else, but her thoughts are interrupted by a belligerent man in the waiting area who had decided in his intoxication to turn over one of the tables, sending leaflets and papers everywhere. The nurse rushes off, calling in the security guard as the man gets in another older man's face...

~~~

On the road into Carollsburg, it's easy to see a few hotels, shops, bars, and a gas station before a residential area in the distance.


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 1/5 | Holds:

"Er, right sorry," Charly mutters just before a bang and the slithering of paper all over the place echoes through the reception area.

"C'mon. We'd better go help and see if she'll give you a lead," she says to Amelia as she sees the cause of the ruckus.

I'm assuming that Amelia would have told Charly some of why she was heading to Carollburg by this point. What does she share with our rookie cop turned Vampire/Demigod of Thunderstorms?
---
@GM: How belligerent is the man? Can Charly see any nearby security coming to help? How stout is the table?


The Exile | Harm: 5/7 | Luck: 7/7 | Status: OK | Charm: -1 | Cool: 1 | Sharp:1 | Tough: 1 | Weird: 2| Armour: 2 | Experience: 0/5 |

Oh yes, Amelia isn't shy about sharing. You'll likely have worked out she's actually a lady by now too - she doesn't take many pains to hide it in this day and age, she just prefers the clothes.

Nodding, Amelia headed over. "Desist in this drunken tomfoolery at once." She reached out one hand to try and stop the man.

Kick Some Ass: 2d6 + 1 ⇒ (2, 3) + 1 = 6

Welp, that's Experience.


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 1/5 | Holds:

Let the hijinks begin! :P
Help Out (+Cool): 2d6 + 1 ⇒ (3, 5) + 1 = 9 I dunno if that will apply to this roll or the next one. but you have a +1 for a success.

As Amelia reaches out to restrain the drunkard, he pulls back to send a haymaker straight at the woman's face. Charly abandons any plans she has of just trying to clean up and grabs the mans arm to keep him from laying the other woman out.

Unfortunately, she's all of five feet tall and 100 pounds soaking weight. The man shakes her off and grabs the front of her clothes before hoisting her up off the ground.

"Yoush thinksh you can beatsh me? I'm shhhhhtill da CHAMP," he roars in her face before tossing her into the nurse that they had been talking to before she had come over to talk him down. One of Charly's shoes flies off to some corner of the lobby as she and the young nurse who could only have a few years on her at most fall to the floor in a tangle.

"Ugh. Today's not a good day for either of us, huh," She asks the nurse as she starts to get up.

I think the trouble here is Charly and Amelia are both going to wind up in hot water. Optionally, the danger could be that Charly's now prone and tangled up with the nurse while a drunken brute is coming after them since his attention's now on her. Charly can either save herself or take one for the nurse. Does that sound good?


Male Human Hard Case | Harm: 0/7 | Luck: 6/7 | Status: OK | Charm: -1 | Cool: 1 | Sharp: 1 | Tough: 2 | Weird: 0 | Experience: 1/5

Zeke grins again, cracking his knuckles. He pats his thigh, where a large--well, large doesn't quite cut it. The knife that's strapped there is gods-damned unnecessary in its size, patterned after an old Norse-style seax and at least a foot long. Fortunately, most states don't have many restrictions against fixed-blade weapons like Zeke's favorite tool--certainly not rural counties like Mutton--but even so, it's a tad beyond what most would consider a hunting knife.

"You know me, Jerry. I'm always a fan of going where it isn't safe." He leans back in the seat and closes his eyes. "But, we should probably start by actually poking around in town, asking questions. The freight yards aren't a bad choice. Neither is just asking around to try talking with the kids, or their parents."


Chosen | Harm 7/7 | Luck 7/7 | Exp 1/5

Dot's conversation with Joy Naylor turned to financial matters. There were a few papers to sign, and some reports to go over. The woman seemed a little distracted, which struck Dot as an opportunity.

"Hey," she said. "We're almost done here. If you want, I can give you a ride to the hospital to see Shawna. It's not out of the way. I can carry stuff, if you want to take her anything."

Manipulate Someone: 2d6 + 1 ⇒ (5, 3) + 1 = 9 So, that's success with cost. Not sure exactly how this works, but I'm going to play the scene out more. Let me know if I'm screwing it up.

Joy seemed somewhat reluctant, but after phoning her husband, took Dot's offer of a ride. Joy didn't say much during the trip, and Dot didn't press. The woman looked fragile, and Dot wanted to keep her as uninvolved in this as she could--it's just that her daughter already was involved, and Dot was hoping to at least see the girl. It might give her a clue of what she was up against.

Dot parked as close as she could to the hospital entrance, and helped her client out of the car. As they walked through the sliding doors, Dot tensed as she heard sounds of a fight within.


Sharp +1 | Tough +2 | Luck 6/7 | Exp. 1/5 | Harm 7/7 | Unstable? N
Zeke Bjarnessen wrote:
"But, we should probably start by actually poking around in town, asking questions. The freight yards aren't a bad choice. Neither is just asking around to try talking with the kids, or their parents."
D_Var_Stars wrote:
On the road into Carollsburg, it's easy to see a few hotels, shops, bars, and a gas station before a residential area in the distance.

"Neither of us are exactly smooth talkers," Jerry mumbles. But as they approach the town proper, Jerry pulls into the first public place where he sees a bunch of people gathered or a bunch of cars parked out front.


Mixed Humanoid Commoner 34y GM-Player-Writer-Babbler.

Amelia lands hard on the side on the upturned table and ends up sitting in a pile of papers from that hit.

The nurse just sighs as she asks you two to step aside so that the two security guards can handle it. The very much intoxicated on likely a few things man, who also had signs of a head injury, is quickly moved by the woman and man into a side room while the nurse follows to the door. She makes a call for assistance on a handset though the details aren't clear from this distance.

~~

Dot walks in with Joy to see the guards removing a shouting man with a gash on the back of his head being taken by security guards to a side room, a nurse following close behind. There are several people throughout the waiting room, including one unusually dressed woman in a pile of papers, a few others standing around, but most either were or have moved as far away from the incident as possible.

Joy walked with her small bag to the other side of the room, away from the mess, checking one of the wall signs that gave directions to various wards. There was a notice next to the sign, a reminder that some wards required visitors to be buzzed in and to please be patient as staff can be busy.

~~

Jerry pulls into a small l-shaped strip of shops with a gas station at the end. It's pretty busy with people of all ages, including a group of young teens just entering the convenience store.


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 1/5 | Holds:

Sorry if I overstepped there.

Charly, looking more than a little frazzled, helps Amelia to her feet and sighs.

"Are you okay? It looked like you hit the table pretty hard," she asks as she offers her hand.

"Looks like we're not going to be getting anything by talking to the victims. I guess we'll try the freight yard where they reappeared and work backwards from there," she says just loud enough to be heard as they pass Dot.

Once they are back in Charly's truck, she headdesks the steering wheel with a groan.

"I'm such an idiot. I don't know what I'm doing," she complains. "I'm sorry, Amelia. You probably would have had better luck on your own."

Plan is to head back to the hotel so Charly can change into something more practical and then head over to the freight yard, unless Amelia has other ideas.


The Exile | Harm: 5/7 | Luck: 7/7 | Status: OK | Charm: -1 | Cool: 1 | Sharp:1 | Tough: 1 | Weird: 2| Armour: 2 | Experience: 0/5 |

Amerlia shook her head as Charly helped her up, rolling her shoulders and hoping that the guard man had not noticed she'd hit the table with a noticible 'bang' of metal striking another surface. She bent down and picked up the papers, perhaps in an attempt to hide her embarrasement as she - a trained warrior - had been sent flying but some plain drunkard.

But news sheets had often printed useful information in her day, and sometimes more truth could be picked up from them. As she picked up the papers and prepared to follow her new friend out to the car she selected any of the pile that might have information to take with her.

Act Under Preasure?: 2d6 + 1 ⇒ (3, 3) + 1 = 7

Taking her prizes with her while the nurse and guard were hopefully busy, Amelia headed for the truck. "Nonsense. This world has many problems within it, and simply not having the right skills to tackle one does not mean you do not have the skills to tackle any."


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 1/5 | Holds:

"Yeah, but I'm supposed to be an investigator. This kind of thing is part of the job," Charly replies as she starts the truck. "Maybe if I still worked for the BPD, I'd be able to interview some of the victims."

As they pull out onto the main road, Amelia can hear Charly mumbling just over the growl of the engine.

"I just hope it turns out better than last time."

A few minutes later, they are pulling into the parking lot of the motel and park near the room they were renting for their stay.

"Do you have someplace to stay after we're done here," she asks suddenly.


Chosen | Harm 7/7 | Luck 7/7 | Exp 1/5

Dot looks after Charly as the younger woman leaves, thinking about her words, and trying to remember where she's seen her before.

Once the chaos has calmed down, she goes over to the desk.

"Hi, Shawna Naylor's mother is here to see her," she says to the receptionist. To Joy, she says "Here, let me carry the bag. You've got enough to deal with with the crutches."


The Exile | Harm: 5/7 | Luck: 7/7 | Status: OK | Charm: -1 | Cool: 1 | Sharp:1 | Tough: 1 | Weird: 2| Armour: 2 | Experience: 0/5 |

Amelia paused, and looked up. "I must admit, while we did consider the issues of money with my...transfer...but housing was not as difficult to obtain in my days. There seems to be a great need for bank statements - although why they would care what the bank thinks of me I am unclear - and identification and lots of other documents I do not have."


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 1/5 | Holds:

Charly looks at Amelia for a moment as if she'd sprouted a second head.

"Uh, wow. I think I might know more about how banks work than you do, and that's scary," she laughs, cheering up a little from the fiasco at the hospital.

"Well, the short version is banks lend money and most banks like to know you're not just going to take the money and not pay it back. There's a whole mess of laws and regulations around loans and how houses are built. Luckily, part of my signing bonus was a really nice penthouse condo that's entirely too big for just me. I wouldn't mind having a roommate and I could help you get up to speed on all of the things you don't know. Does that sound good?"

After Charly's gotten changed...
Now dressed in a pair of cargo work pants and a long-sleeved t-shirt, Charly drives to the freight yard, hoping that they'd have better luck finding something out. She stops and gets something for her and Amelia to eat along the way. Her truck rumbles into one of the visitor spaces as she gets out and looks for an office or someone that might be able to guide them to where they could get permission to look around. despite the heat of the day, Charly looks comfortable and is even carrying a light jacket with a heavy leather jacket sitting in her truck in a garment back under the seat.

What do Charly and Amelia see?


Sharp +1 | Tough +2 | Luck 6/7 | Exp. 1/5 | Harm 7/7 | Unstable? N
D_Var_Stars wrote:
Jerry pulls into a small l-shaped strip of shops with a gas station at the end. It's pretty busy with people of all ages, including a group of young teens just entering the convenience store.

"Youths," Jerry mutters warily to Zeke as they pull in. He tucks his 9mm into the back of his jeans and pulls his shirt out so it hangs over before he gets out of his truck. He approaches the group of kids with purpose, mentally reminding himself over and over that they can sense fear.

"Hey, guys. What's up. Do any of you know any of those missing kids who were rescued, recently? Sounds pretty scary."

Manipulate someone(?): 2d6 ⇒ (6, 5) = 11


Male Human Hard Case | Harm: 0/7 | Luck: 6/7 | Status: OK | Charm: -1 | Cool: 1 | Sharp: 1 | Tough: 2 | Weird: 0 | Experience: 1/5

Zeke nods to Jerry as he parks the truck. His own firearms are far too large to conceal--Zeke does tend toward a go big or go home mentality when it comes to his weaponry--so they stay on the truck cabin's floor as he gets out, sliding his jacket on less for comfort and more for obscuring his knife--not to mention his scars and tattoos--just that little bit.

Knowing it might not do well to have two strange men immediately approach a bunch of kids, Zeke splits off slightly from his partner, swinging directly into the convenience store. He grabs a few items while listening in to the conversation, keeping an eye on things while Jerry does the talking. He's better at that kind of thing.


Mixed Humanoid Commoner 34y GM-Player-Writer-Babbler.

The papers Amelia grabbed were a couple national papers and the local paper from the last week, a college newspaper from last month, a high school paper from earlier this month, and a leaflet from a domestic violence charity.

While travelling or waiting for Charly to change, Amelia looks over the papers. Most of the papers are very unfamiliar to her but she notices the local newspaper has a map of part of the town marking special events that happened last weekend and the high school newspaper has a congratulatory article about those who had tested into the early college program. It includes a picture of 8 teens with the school guidance counselor and their names. Amelia notices one of those names appears again on a byline on the next page.

With only a small footpath between the parking lot and one of the train tracks on one side, the parking lot was across the road from the large industrial buildings. There was a small booth that seems like it would normally have a guard in it, but the barrier was up and no guard was in site at the moment and the parking lot wasn't very full. You can see from the parking lot that one direction was just one set of tracks going off while the other way seemed to lead up to more tracks.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The older receptionist who had taken over during the disruption looks over with a sympathetic smile and pushes a few buttons on her computer. "Head down there, the porter can get you there faster with his door card..."

Joy thanks Dot and the receptionist for the help and starts moving. An older man wearing a lanyard identifying him as a porter. While walking along, he makes awkward small talk. His ID gets you in without having to wait, which is good as the staff you can see are very busy. No emergencies seem to be going on, just lots of normal little things taking their attention.

Down the hall at the end, there are two rooms across from the other. The room Joy follows the porter into has four beds, each with a teen girl patient. Joy briefly greets the other girls - Alexis, Abeni, and Olivine who each have a family member or two with them - before going to sit in the chair next to her daughter's bed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The gas station convenience store is obvious a typical place to grab snacks and daily items for those going in and out of town. There is a square booth near the door - currently with two cashiers - and aisles of stuff in the other three directions. The kids are one aisle to the right.

The middle school kids seem surprised, a couple of the smaller ones a bit nervous. Whether because a strange man is talking to them or talking to them about that other than a general warning away from the forests is unclear. They all look at each other. Two run off and of the three left, one of the boys leans forwards and says, pointing to one of the cashiers, "Kinda scary. We don't know them, but Cindy was saying that her boyfriend's sister was one of this last group. She was going on about how she should get to leave work early for being ~so upset~ about her being missing or something, but she actually hates..."

The boy is interrupted by the two who ran off making a racket and shouting at a tall, large young woman behind the counter. "CINDY CINDY, HAVE YOU SEEN JACOB'S SISTER SINCE SHE CAME BACK? DID THEY GET WISHES OR POWERS OR SEE..."

They were cut off were by a blue streak coming from Cindy who was obviously angered by what the kids had said. They all laughed, even her co-worker - it seemed that was an easy button to push. She shouted at the kids to get out and "Don't give any of those attention seekers the drama they want. She's the same up-herself know it all scrawny b..."

"Told you" the boy said as he ran off with his friends.


The Exile | Harm: 5/7 | Luck: 7/7 | Status: OK | Charm: -1 | Cool: 1 | Sharp:1 | Tough: 1 | Weird: 2| Armour: 2 | Experience: 0/5 |

Amelia noted the name. "I do believe we have someone who might know more, once we have searched this place." Hoping out the truck, she added, "Such a living arrangement would be...preferable if you would not object. The streets can be cold."

Glancing at the guard booth, Amelia frowned. "There should be an attendant there, should there not? I wonder why he has left this place." She began to move around the place, trying to understand why it wasn't being guarded...and more importantly why the people kept ending up at this place.

Read a Bad Situation: 2d6 + 1 ⇒ (1, 6) + 1 = 8


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 1/5 | Holds:

Investigate a Mystery (+Sharp): 2d6 + 1 ⇒ (3, 2) + 1 = 6 That's a fail. Time for some fun!

"Yeah. These places are dangerous even at the best of times," Charly replies as she hops out as well. Her boots, simple ones made more for ruggedness than looks, crunch on the gravel as she follows Amelia. One hand hovers near where her pistol is hidden by her shirt. Her mind tries to process what she's seeing, but her nerves get the better of her. Something was wrong here, she knew it. Despite the warm summer breeze, she shivers and has to pull the jacket she is carrying on as she approaches the guard booth.

"Do you see anyth–" Charly begins to say but stops short as she catches the reflection of red eyes and deathly pale skin in the window of the guard station. Her eyes and her skin to be specific. For one endless moment, Charly's mind blanks and she freezes as she realizes her glamour is gone.

No. No. This isn't happening. I... I need to... C'mon! Please! Please work again! The thoughts run rampantly as she looks at her hands and tries desperately to pull the illusion back over herself.


Chosen | Harm 7/7 | Luck 7/7 | Exp 1/5

Dot hands Joy the bag she carried, says hello to Shawna, then steps back, trying to stay unobtrusive.

Despite being sure that something strange happened to these girls, Dot doesn't really have any excuse to ask questions, especially not with their relatives around. If nothing else, being tagged as a weirdo who asks weird questions isn't good for business--for the part of her life she actually wants to live.

So the best option is to listen. She stands over by the window, nearer Joy and her daughter than any of the others, trying to appear as if she's just waiting for Joy. If she's positioned right, she'll be able to hear the other conversations, provided the people aren't deliberately whispering.

If she can, she's going to catch a moment to talk quietly with one of the girls, but for now she intends to stand back and try and catch something significant from the conversation in the room.

Despite there being no immediate threat, it looks like Read A Bad Situation: 2d6 + 1 ⇒ (3, 5) + 1 = 9 is the most appropriate here.
"What's the best way to protect the victims?"


Male Human Hard Case | Harm: 0/7 | Luck: 6/7 | Status: OK | Charm: -1 | Cool: 1 | Sharp: 1 | Tough: 2 | Weird: 0 | Experience: 1/5

During the conversation and the clerk's ensuing outburst, Zeke raises an eyebrow at Jerry. No love lost there, I guess, but it sounds like a lead. Once the gaggle of youths has moved on, the scarred man sidles up the counter, smiling as he sets down jerky, a bottle of iced tea, and two of those prepackaged mini pies. As he pulls out his wallet, he makes a show of chuckling and looking after the kids.

"Take it they're not your favorite customers, huh? What's got them so riled up? Something about people coming back with powers?" He leans forward slightly, his voice dropping to a conspiratorial stage whisper. "That sorta thing regular around here?"

Investigate A Mystery: 2d6 + 1 ⇒ (6, 3) + 1 = 10
I think from reading the rules that this is the roll to use for questioning people, but if Manipulating is more appropriate, subtract 2 from the total.


The Exile | Harm: 5/7 | Luck: 7/7 | Status: OK | Charm: -1 | Cool: 1 | Sharp:1 | Tough: 1 | Weird: 2| Armour: 2 | Experience: 0/5 |

Ooop, didn't notice I succeeded on that roll. I'll ask 'what's the best way in?' Once I know that I'll update on Charlie's...issue.


Sharp +1 | Tough +2 | Luck 6/7 | Exp. 1/5 | Harm 7/7 | Unstable? N

Jerry relaxes as the threat(s) scampers out of the store. He ignores his impulse to readjust the gun tucked into his pants. He'll pretend to peruse the shelves while listening to Cindy and Zeke's conversation.


Mixed Humanoid Commoner 34y GM-Player-Writer-Babbler.

From where Amelia stands, she can see part of the forest on the hill that rises beyond the freight yard. Best way depends on criteria - most direct moving along the industrial buildings until you can get across the track closer to the forest, safest would be cross at the single crossing and move further down the road to one that meets the forest.

Thankfully no one other than Amelia is in the parking lot when the glamour breaks, but this is a heavy traffic road. There are more than a few cars to hide behind to figure out what to do next or how Amelia will react. There are also large buildings across the street.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As Dot stands near the window near Shawna's bed that has a lovely view overlooking one of the hospital parking lots, she can also see the whole room as all the curtains are open as the girls and their family chat together. All the girls looks generally well barring some scraps and bandages, though two - Alexis and Abeni - still have an IVs and certainly look more tired.

Shawna gives a polite nod before happily enjoying the snacks Joy has brought, placing the book to one side for now. The conversation seems to return to what it was before -- what they'll be doing once they get out of the hospital. Mostly, it's about starting a summer program that allows high schoolers who test in to take college classes and what they'll take.

Dot's fate senses tingle a bit. These victims seemed fine and safe with each other and their families now and that seemed to be for the best. Their connection seemed to be the best protection at the moment, though Dot couldn't know whether that would be true for any of the other victims.

It felt like destiny had just played a little game but wasn't interested anymore in them. Destiny might change their mind - Dot knew better than most how it can seem done and then pull a playmate back in. Keeping them safe might involve figuring out what game had been played in that forest.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cindy sneers as she scans Zeke's items, seeming both annoyed at those kids still and at Zeke, "Just some stupid kid story that some stupid but think they're smart brats..."

Her co-worker cuts her off, "Didn't you get "lost" in those woods a few years back? Oh wait, no, you tried but you and your friends just got really wasted, were found the next morning. They'd probably poke you less if you didn't act jealous of a 15-year-old for getting lost in the woods for a couple weeks and coming out sober, tinier, and pushed back into a full class workload right away..."

Cindy stormed off to the back and the man took over to finish the transactions quite cheerfully, "There are a lot of legends about the forest you can see if you drive along that road to the left. Some have to do with being 'spirited away' and if somehow proven or judged worthy, a wish will be granted or things like that - that's what those kids were talking about. It's actually great for hiking but it's deceptively big from any of the entry paths and hard to tell the private parts from the rest. Some companies have left things there - fences and equipment and other hazards. That and not much going on around here probably has more to do with kids getting lost in there, even ones like Dovie who practically raised walking those woods..."


The Exile | Harm: 5/7 | Luck: 7/7 | Status: OK | Charm: -1 | Cool: 1 | Sharp:1 | Tough: 1 | Weird: 2| Armour: 2 | Experience: 0/5 |

Amelia gestured over to the forest. "I believe that is where the young people came from. Once we are ready we should goooo...?" As she pointed she turned and looked at Charley, and her words elongated at the view of the glamourless vampire. "I am aware there is a certain irony with myself saying this, but I feel there is something that we missed during our introductions."


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 1/5 | Holds:

At least she didn't pull a weapon out. That's good.

Charly tries one more time to get the glamour working again, but the attempt fails as her heart races. She looks around quickly to see if there were any witnesses, then breathes a sigh of relief that there aren't. She walks quickly to where Amelia is and grabs her hand. Her skin is cool to the touch, too cool for someone human.

"P-please not out here. The woods. The woods should give me enough cover," she begs. Her eyes dart to and fro and it is very clear that she's frightened.

Assuming Amelia agrees...
Charly follows Amelia's lead into the woods. She keeps her head down, and her hands hidden in her jacket. Once they are across the tracks and among the trees, Charly leans against the trunk of an old oak and slides down until she's sitting between two of the roots.

"How long have you been around Mutton County," Charly asks as she focuses on the ground clutter and tries to keep calm by identifying the leaves she sees.


Chosen | Harm 7/7 | Luck 7/7 | Exp 1/5

If these kids are safe, there’s nothing to be done here, at least not in this room. Dot isn’t ready to abandon the hospital just yet, though.

“Hey, Joy, I think I should probably get going. Mike should be here in an hour, but you’ve got my number, if you need anything else.”

”Yes, I’ll be fine. Thank you for the ride,” Joy Naylor replies.

Dot says goodbye to Shawna, but she doesn’t leave the hospital—not just yet. She still hopes she can get a little time alone to ask one of these kids some questions. The staff seems busy, and there are other visitors coming and going.

Dot takes a quick glance at the charts hanging by the door of the room Shawna is in. She’s no expert in reading medical charts, but she can figure out enough to confirm that all of them have the same admission time and date. With that, she can find some of the other victims, and hopefully have a talk with them before anyone notices.

Act Under Pressure: 2d6 + 2 ⇒ (1, 5) + 2 = 8

After one nurse stops her and asks what she’s looking for (answer: the women’s room), Dot realizes she doesn’t have much time to pull this off. Hopefully she won’t get thrown out.


Sharp +1 | Tough +2 | Luck 6/7 | Exp. 1/5 | Harm 7/7 | Unstable? N

Jerry tries to catch Cindy on her way to the back.

"Listen, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to dig up anything to set anybody off. I just want to know what... happens to the kids out there."


Male Human Hard Case | Harm: 0/7 | Luck: 6/7 | Status: OK | Charm: -1 | Cool: 1 | Sharp: 1 | Tough: 2 | Weird: 0 | Experience: 1/5

"Huh, how about that. And here I wasn't sure if I'd get any of the local flavor." Zeke grins and drops his change in the tip jar. "So there's spirits in the woods grant wishes or something like that, and kids wander out there trying to get rich quick? Sounds kinda dangerous. Anybody been hurt, come back scratched up or anything like that?" Zeke leans in again, his voice dropping, his eyebrows raised high. "Any of 'em come back with their wishes granted?"

Spending 1 hold from my Investigating to ask "What can this thing do?" Quite understandable if the answer is vague or even impossible from this guy.


Mixed Humanoid Commoner 34y GM-Player-Writer-Babbler.

Amelia and Charly, there are two entrances in that section beyond the freight yard. Both would require either walking or driving over the railroad tracks and heading either up a road by a canal that you need to cross to get the woods or over a bridge and up hill to a cul de sac with open access. Please pick an entry point, I would guess canal as it is closer with easier and more concealed parking but I want to give you two the options before further shenanighans

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Joy and Shawna say their thanks to Dot before she leaves. At the medical charts, Dot can see that there were hours between admission times -- and that the similar four bed room across the hall had three boys who were being very loud to the point the nurse who stopped you went in to ask them to stop rough-housing. Dot can see one had has a bandage on his head, another has his arm in a sling. Neither seems to be stopping these teenagers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cindy's sneer was still firmly in place as she glared at Jeff, her body language pretty much screaming 'get lost creep' and her mouth seemed not far behind, "Nothing. happens. Don't know why you care, but don't be so stupid to listen to those stories, most old folks like you know that's what they are. Stories. They just somehow dodge the search parties and do whatever for days and come out banged up and needin' a meal. Scrawny brat needed a few before she went in...in a few weeks no one will care." If looks could kill, Jeff would be in trouble as she stormed to the back

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The cashier chuckles, "Lots of different flavours around here. Most of the stories say they only accept the worthy so that might leave out those lookin' for riches, but whichever version - spirits, old gods, ancestors walking, I don't think any kids' come out with anything a few days without food in hilly wood doesn't explain - which is pretty good for when they're gone much longer. I've only seen one of this bunch, she was lookin' a little rough and out of it, but her family's always been trouble." he tilts his head in the direction Cindy went, "and I'm not sure even Jesus could fix that lot..."

Bad Example by the Pistol Annies starts playing over the tinny overhead radio speakers.


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 1/5 | Holds:

Thanks. That does help. I was picturing something different. Charly will head towards the canal entrance. If it's more than a few hundred feet away, she'll drive to keep her exposure down.


The Exile | Harm: 5/7 | Luck: 7/7 | Status: OK | Charm: -1 | Cool: 1 | Sharp:1 | Tough: 1 | Weird: 2| Armour: 2 | Experience: 0/5 |

Down the canal we go!

"I'm afraid I lack a calendar. I would think about two months or so. It has been something of a shock, this world, and I did not consider that I might need to track the passing of days." She gave Charly a Look. "I do believe someone would have mentioned if the vampyr had joined polite society, however, even in a mere two months. Given you were quite nervous when your glamour spell collapsed I assume that your kin are still somewhat predatory?"


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 1/5 | Holds:

"I was told that if someone like, well, us saw me like this, they'd kill me," Charly says quietly. "I guess I should start at the beginning since you were a little late for the hullabaloo after I got turned."

Charly looks away for a moment, gathering her thoughts, then turns and motions for Amelia to have a seat in front of her.

"My name is Charlotte Takahashi, and about six months ago, I graduated from college and joined the Boisville Police Department as an investigator. My first night on the job, I and the two senior investigators I was to shadow to learn how things worked in the real world arrived at the cathedral where the priest had been murdered. We were looking in his office when the vampire that had killed him jumped us," she says, her voice steady, almost coldly clinical until the last few words. Remembered fear closes her throat and her shoulders tremble as she hugs herself.

"H-henderson was first. It just latched onto him like a limpet and drained him dry before we could even react. Sanchez managed to squeeze off a couple of shots before he was killed."

Charly closes her eyes and curls up tight as she relives the memory of that horrible night. Tears, not tears of blood but honest tears of pain, fear, and sorrow, well up and trickle down her cheeks.

"I still wake up from nightmares about how quick and brutal it was. One moment we were just doing our jobs, the next I was alone. I tried to get away. I did, but..."

For a long moment, Charly is silent. The only sound is the rustling of the leaves.

"It toyed with me. It knew I couldn't get away. I wasn't strong nor fast enough. It told me of everything it was going to do to me. It bit me, and there was a flash. After that, I woke up in a private room at the hospital and I'm being interviewed by some of the investigators at Finnegan's. They gave me the keys to the apartment I live in and told me to never show my true self in public if I wanted to live."

She looks up, her eyes wet with tears.

"I promise. I haven't... I'd never drink someone's blood! I...I just want some semblance of normal. I just want to help people. I'm... I'm terrified. I haven't had much luck making friends since that day and my own father won't even speak to me."

She closes her eyes again, taking a deep breath before resting her head on her knees.

"Please, if you're going to kill me, just make it quick."


Chosen | Harm 7/7 | Luck 7/7 | Exp 1/5

Dot waits until the nurse has turned the corner, then slips into the room with the rambunctious boys.

"Hi there," she says, making sure nobody else is in the room.

I want to see what reaction I get before I try making a move.


The Exile | Harm: 5/7 | Luck: 7/7 | Status: OK | Charm: -1 | Cool: 1 | Sharp:1 | Tough: 1 | Weird: 2| Armour: 2 | Experience: 0/5 |

Considering for a moment, Amelia thought about it. She was a vampyr, and a lot of them didn't control there hunger - it controlled them, and they made no effort to change that. They were beasts who wore the ways of men to allow them to revel in debauchery and blood.

That...did not describe the girl before her. Amelia wasn't sure what a normal vampire was like, but the one's she had met had been trouble causers. They hadn't acted like this. She remembered the look in their eye - the hunger, and little else. If she ever saw that in this girls eye then maybe things would change, but for now...

Sighing, she said, "I have no interest in killing you." She reached out her hand. "This is a simple truth I have learned - there are monsters out there. They are not human, but that does not mean they lack humanity. Then there are the monstrous. Those who revel in destruction, decay and the taking of a life. One does not need to be the other."

Her eyes took on a distant look. "I have certainly seen those who were human entire who would not be able to say the same - that they had not partaken of human blood - and monsters who lay bleeding because they dived before a human child. So I will say simple this - if you take a human life to slake the thirst, I will end you. So I would suggest finding a butcher and making an arrangement." She considered. "Or taking a lover who enjoys such. I understand it is not unpleasant for those being drunk, so long as you maintain control. I understand that is how several of the kindred in my time survived."


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 1/5 | Holds:

Charly takes the offered hand and stands up as she wipes away the last of her tears.

"Thank you," she meekly tells Amelia with a sniff. "Sorry about being such a mess."

After taking a moment to gather her composure, Charly looks around at the trees.

"It doesn't feel like my glamour's coming back soon. Do you think we can find where those kids went?"


Male Human Hard Case | Harm: 0/7 | Luck: 6/7 | Status: OK | Charm: -1 | Cool: 1 | Sharp: 1 | Tough: 2 | Weird: 0 | Experience: 1/5

Zeke laughs along with the cashier, and nods as he finishes his summary of events. "Well, sounds to me like the local kids just know where they can smoke and drink in the woods until they figure out home isn't as bad as they thought." He picks up his spoils and winks. "Too bad we can't do the same thing, huh? I could use a little R-and-R in the woods without it taking up my 'vacation days' every now and again." He chuckles again and makes for the exit. "You have a good day, sir." He pauses at the door to make eye contact with Jerry, nods his head for the other man to join him outside, and goes out to lean on the truck.

"Well, unless the young lady had a lot to say after storming off, that wasn't much. Enough to know it's something, but not nearly enough to know what." The man tears open the bag of jerky and offers it to Jerry. "Talking friendly went bust. What say we head to the freight yard and do some digging?"


The Exile | Harm: 5/7 | Luck: 7/7 | Status: OK | Charm: -1 | Cool: 1 | Sharp:1 | Tough: 1 | Weird: 2| Armour: 2 | Experience: 0/5 |

"They came from these woods," Amelia mused. "While more information as to what is happening would have narrowed the search, I would imagine we should be able to find some clues as to what is happening. The young people managed to get lost clearly found something, although they might have had the advantage of local legends."

Amelia looked around for anything that might lead them to the heart of this problem, or at least a major artery to take them on the way.

Act Under Preasure: 2d6 + 1 ⇒ (3, 4) + 1 = 8


Mixed Humanoid Commoner 34y GM-Player-Writer-Babbler.

Amelia can see that these woods aren't particularly dense, it's pretty easy to look and walk around where she and Charly are standing. There is a small stream that can be seen going up the hill that feeds into the canal. While some of the area around where the pair standing is flat, most routes go uphill though there is no clear path to be seen at the moment.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two boys were standing in the middle between all the beds, a third boy laid in one of the nearer beds. Neither of the two adults in the room seems to stop you, they've seen people in and out all week.

The boy in the sling sits at the end of the other nearby bed. He asks Dot, "Hey, is the snack cart lady coming soon?". Dot can see down the hall an older woman wearing a volunteer vest slowly making her way between two rooms. It's hard to tell how long she will be.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Outside the gas station store, things are as busy as they were before. The intersection that's just beyond the gas station, there are three routes forward...

-- left goes uphill into a residential area, trees can be seen at the top. This was the road the cashier has gestured to when talking about the road that goes near the forest.
-- forward goes downhill, the continuation of the state highway, it looks like a mix of residential and business areas.
-- right goes flat into a residential area, it quickly turns and hard to see much beyond that, but some construction can be seen.

...and the route back.


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 1/5 | Holds:

"Maybe we can get some of the local color once I don't, y'know, look like a vampire?"

Charly looks around, feeling a little better. Amelia had surprised her by believing her and trusting her.

"Hey, just a thought, but what if those kids stumbled into a fairy realm or something? That might be why they couldn't find them."

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