Darkened Thresholds - Gemstones

Game Master D_Var_Stars

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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 |

"Such as the tale of Thomas the Rhymer?" Amelia shrugged slightly as she started to head up the hill. "The fey are a strange culture. It might be wise to avoid being underhill, and keeping an eye out for illusions and glamours."


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

"I'll try, but I'm not sure what to look for," Charly admits as she follows Amelia up the hill.


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

No signs of fairy rings or anything odd as Amelia and Charly head up the hill. The stream turns slightly and to the left the forest seems to have been cleared a bit for a small group of houses with very tall fences facing the woodlands. Birds can be heard in the summer afternoon light. No signs of ground animals yet that can be seen in the undergrowth. There is a patch with two semi-clear paths - one alongside the stream and one far to the right, and denser undergrowth between them that can still be walked through if so desired.


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

"Pretty soon," Dot says. "You want me to try to get you some extras?"

She speaks to him quietly, trying not to draw the attention of the adults.

"You seem to have gotten the worst of it. What the heck happened out there--don't worry, I'm not a reporter. I'm just... well, I'm in danger of running into the same thing. Really. I know it's a little weird. Believe me, it's something I've learned over the years, but it's really important that you tell me how you got into this situation."

Manipulate Someone: 2d6 + 1 ⇒ (6, 4) + 1 = 11


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

After Cindy storms off, Jerry finds something to occupy his attention so as not to interrupt Zeke and the man behind the counter.

Zeke Bjarnessen wrote:
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.

Jerry picks up a Dr. Pepper and a bag of sunflower seeds. On an afterthought, he also picks up a roll of twine, yarn, or string if he sees anything available. He pays for his things and walks out to Zeke.

Zeke Bjarnessen wrote:
"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?"

"I wouldn't say it's a bust. We learned where the kids start from," he indicates the road leading up to the residential area, "and since we already know where the kids come out from, we can try to backtrack their path. We also learned why some of them go into the woods in the first place. The 'why' doesn't matter too much, but maybe some of the missing kids are turning up with extra abilities they didn't have before.

"But yeah, let's head to the freight yard and see what we can find."

Jerry gets in and turns on the engine. Once Zeke gets in, Jerry stares at him until he fastens his seat belt, and then he backs out and heads to the freight yard.


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

Dot saw the boys look at each other for a few moments before laughing. The one with the bandaged head said, "Some of the girls had it way worse - stuck in bed on rehydration IVs or something like that. I just slipped down a hill and hit my head. I grabbed him on the way down and he got stuck between two trees, was funny until the snapping." while pointing to the boy in the sling. "I'm just cut up in a few places, it looks worse than it is though doctors keep going on and on about how they can't rule out a concussion and all the things that might happen...no sports or hiking trips for me for a while..."

The boy in the sling said, "Would suck if you scrambling your brain gets you kicked out of the program. Mom said she saw Dovie on campus already, weird how hiking there was her idea but she's not stuck here. I know her dad wouldn't allow it which is messed up but the sophomore gets to go to college before us..."

The two boys get distracted talking about college before they finish answering Dot. It doesn't seem to be intentional. The third boy seems amused by what his friends are doing, but makes no effort to join in. The adults make no move to disrupt the conversation, they look very tired.

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

Jerry easily found twine balls near the stationery.

The road towards the freight yard that the cashier had mentioned goes up hill past some houses before reading the top of a hill. The hilltop has a large park. As it wind back down another hill, it becomes more woodlands with a house here and there.

Nearing the bottom, there are four routes to take.
-- There is a large church with an equally large mostly empty parking lot that has a clear entrance to the forest.
-- There is a residential road that leads uphill with forest beyond the homes on either side.
-- There is a bridge over a canal that separates the forest from the more industrial area that has a road going along it.
-- Going straight on over the railroad tracks into the industrial area.


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

Do we know if the freight yard is train freight or truck freight?


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

It is a train freight yard, but I'm not sure if the characters would know that as it hasn't been mentioned as anything but the town freight yard.


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

Okay, how about this (tell me if it's stepping over the line):

Spotting the train tracks, Jerry assumes they're nearby. He pulls over and checks the map app on his phone to locate an area that looks like a train yard. Then he takes the route that leads 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

Being that we're looking for a freight yard in general, heading to an industrial area makes the most sense to me.

Zeke shrugs and gets in the truck. "True. Like as said, it's something, at least. Just hope poking around a bit will give us more to work with."

When Jerry pointedly waits for him to fix his seat belt, the scarred man sighs and buckles up. "Land of the free," he grumbles, rolling the window down and leaning back in his seat.


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

The church parking lot is the quickest and safest place to park and check the map app.

*The app seems slow to load and once loaded the buttons to zoom don't appear and attempting to move the map to your location doesn't work - it just moves what you can already see around rather than loading in new areas. Refreshing the app and everything pops up quickly including the prevously missing zoom button, but moving to your location makes the map area of the screen go black. Another refresh and it loads zoomed in right over the closest section of the forest.

Zooming out, lines appears to go through the forest. 3 of them. It's hard to tell if it's a loading error, a limit of the technology, or if those lines are actually there. Zooming further, it's easy to see why it's hard to find anyone lost in there - the forest keeps going for a good few miles out beyond the city lines, wrapping around the residential area. The train freight yard is visible just beyond one part. Or, what is left of it. There are outlines of what could be guessed as buildings that have been knocked down. The papermill is labelled, but the two smaller remaining buildings by the railroad tracks are not. The roads are also labelled, this church is just off of S Elm Street, the road that leads upword is Maple Hill Drive and it extends all the way and connects to roads going around the forest.

Three more entry point are easy to spot - one near what looks like a water tower, one in a gap in a residential area, and one at a small playground.

*these are what happened when I looked up the area this is inspired by in a map to help me describe the scene which is kinda creepy so now Jerry gets the weird tech


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

”Kicked out of the program?” Dot says, wondering what program. ”Do you think they really would? I’m no expert. I don’t know much. Like about Dovie. I don’t know her. What’s her last name? You said this was her idea? What was the idea—I mean, did she have a particular plan?”

If nothing else Dot now had a name, or at least part of one to go on. It was weird that the one who these boys said started it all was unscathed.

I don’t really mean this to come across as a barrage of questions. It’s tricky with PBP, and I wanted to make sure I got them all in.


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 to the clearer path. "I cannot imagine people in those dainty modern shoes would struggle through the undergrowth, so let us try the path of least resistance." It seemed like the most sensible approach.


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

"Maybe, but it'd still be a good idea to check for any signs of passage before we take the easy way," Charly says as she gives the underbrush a quick check for broken twigs and other signs of recent passage.

Not sure what to roll here. Investigate a Mystery?


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 |

Sounds like a plan.

Amelia nodded, and check around as well.

Investigate A Mystery: 2d6 + 1 ⇒ (1, 3) + 1 = 5


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

Welp, not sure if I should roll or see what complications ensue. Two women alone in a forest. This sounds like the beginnings of a Dateline special.

Investigate a Mystery (+Sharp) (Just in case): 2d6 + 1 ⇒ (3, 6) + 1 = 10 Holding 2

Charly looks over the brush, calling on her training to not disturb the evidence.


Sharp +1 | Tough +2 | Luck 6/7 | Exp. 1/5 | Harm 7/7 | Unstable? N
D_Var_Stars wrote:
*these are what happened when I looked up the area this is inspired by in a map to help me describe the scene which is kinda creepy so now Jerry gets the weird tech

Diabolical.

D_Var_Stars wrote:
Three more entry point are easy to spot - one near what looks like a water tower, one in a gap in a residential area, and one at a small playground.

I'm assuming you mean entry points to the freight yard, here.

After a frustrating minute of trying to get his bearings via his phone, Jerry opts for the entrance to the freight yard that takes them past the water tower.


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

Neither Charly or Amelia see any evidence that any person went up or down that area recently. There are some old mostly faded animal tracks in a muddier patch.

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

The boy in the sling considers, "Well, it's college - even if it's a community college, I can't imagine they'll keep him if his brain's full of holes. We had to test in to be allowed to take classes and get the scholarship..." He's clearly not sure but thinks his guess makes sense so is sticking to it.

His friend piped up to answer, "I don't know her last name...actually, I think Dovie's a nickname, I've heard people calling her a few things...I think her name begins with a D or maybe B 'cause some guys call her 'not-a-...' "

"Cody..." came a warning from an adult looking at their phone who was obviously listening more than he appeared.

"Yeah, let's not...."

"Not me, Micah - other guys! gross jock guys! ...I don't know, she's just transferred in last semester so I didn't really talk to her until all this. I'd seen her around and heard some things... Anyways, when we were getting our picture for the paper and discussing things to do before classes started, she told us her grandparents live right by the forest and she knew some cool weird things that had been left in there as she'd been in there a lot. I thought we'd get some cool photos, maybe plan out a video. She started us following the stream from the top of the hill where the fence is all weird, but Abeni thought she saw deer and one thing led to another..." Cody seemed to go unfocused like the details were fuzzy to him as Micah spoke up.

"Yeah, getting lost wasn't her fault. Dovie told us she didn't know that way and we kinda...ignored her and...yeah...she didn't seem to mind going off her plan, but we didn't really give her much a choice since she didn't want to leave us alone in there which was good cause we almost did other stupid things like drink from a well with all this rust contamination and grossness..."

~~~~~~

I meant additional entries to the forest - as I'd given some before - but can do a water tower at the freight yard

The guys head down S. Elm and find a large parking lot behind a large industrial building near a water tower. There are a few cars and a couple freight trucks parked up alongside a few railroad tracks. It's pretty quiet, nothing is being loaded or unloaded at the minute and by the look of things, isn't going to happen for while. It's certainly an area that has seen better, busier days. From the car it's easy to see across the industrial area to the forest beyond. It's also easy to see that why anyone walking across there as the teens had would be easily seen.


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 drive to the yard, Zeke hums along to the actual classic rock, cusses the DJ a couple times for the not-so-classic tunes, and idly works his way through the bag of jerky. He gives Jerry a confused look when he checks his phone's map, then a knowing, alert nod as he realizes there's something strange going on. It could well be just technology doing its usual thing... but it could well not be. The big man drums fingers on his knife's sheath as they pull into the lot.

Swinging his feet to the ground, Zeke looks around. "Guess it's not rush hour. Maybe everyone's on break." His gaze turns to the forest and he frowns, shrugging his shoulders to adjust his jacket. "Don't suppose hunting season's in, is it?" He glances to the floor of the truck's cabin, where his rifle and shotgun lie in their cases. "How much trouble you think we'd get in, I go walking up there with a Remington over my shoulder?"


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 |

Without any hints of others going down the other path, Amelia began to follow the path of least resistance. "I admit, this is far more like home than the cities and townships of this time. It is startling the changes time and distance can make, although I should think that my home looks little like how I left it."


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

Dot has gotten to a point where she doubts she's going to get anything more our of these boys. The way they are trailing off of topic whenever the questions get too close to what actually happened is suspicious, but it also means that there's little point questioning them further.

"All right, thanks guys," she says. "Stay safe."

She makes her way back down to the hospital lobby and out to her car, and tries to figure out what to do next.

They boys said they had their picture taken for the paper. 'Dovie''s picture might be labeled, putting an actual name to her. It's not a sure bet, but it's likely.

Dot decides to start with the local library and a look at recent editions of the local paper.

While she's waiting for the librarian, she also checks out a map of the area, specifically a topographic map of the woods that backs on to the old freight yard, if she can find one.

Cody had talked about "following the stream from the top of the hill where the fence is all weird." There can't be that many places that fit the bill around the woods.


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

"What was your home like," Charly asks as she falls in beside Amelia, "If you lived in some old manor home, it might not have been changed all that much."


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

Amelia and Charly follow the well-worn path near the stream. Tall wooden yard fences are still visible now and then through the forest to the left...but the pair hear the sound of a metal chainlink fence rattling coming through the forest.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Looking at a map, Dot sees why it would be very difficult to find anyone in the forest - it's huge and winds around many residential and industrial areas, so many places where people could not be seen. She can almost picture how the forest used to look before the roads were carved through it.

One road, Maple Hill Drive, goes far up the hill through the forest. Two small roads come off of it and there are two gaps in the housing right against the forest, one with a water tower and one that would likely be fenced off as the map shows a very steep downward incline there. There were several other possible entrances, but those two plus one at a playground were the only ones Dot could see at the top of the hill. No streams are marked, but that's not unusual for something small.

There were a few local newspaper articles about the teens when they were missing. The first couple just has them as 'local teens' with no name, but one published two days before they were found has the photo, captioned as a photo for the school paper taken a week before the kids went missing. All seven kids Dot has met so far are there. Only two people she hasn't met are in the photo - the guidance counselor and one student.

Even if Dot hadn't met the other kids yet, this child sticks out like a sore thumb - a lot smaller, head tilted, forced smile, tired eyes with large dark circles, her hair and appearance disheveled compared to the polished look of everyone else. It's easy to spot her name in the caption as all the others are 17 and 18, she is listed as 'D. Beag, 15'. The guidance counselor, Mr Heizz, is quoted discussing all the students and his hopes and concerns for them. He calls Miss Beag the youngest student to attempt testing and how proud he was that she had overcome many difficult challenges to earn her place. There are also quotes in the article from all the other kids' families with their first names, but there only seems to be hastily added sentence that Miss Beag's family was not available for comment.

~~~~~~~~~~~

While a couple of old surveillance cameras seem to be barely clinging on to their posts, there are no people in sight in the freight yard.


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

As they approach the freight yard, Jerry gives his best guess as to which direction the residential area that the kids entered the woods was, and then drives across the freight yard in that direction to the edge of the woods. If there's an obvious trail or other egress into the woods, he'll park near that.

Zeke Bjarnessen wrote:
Swinging his feet to the ground, Zeke looks around. "Guess it's not rush hour. Maybe everyone's on break." His gaze turns to the forest and he frowns, shrugging his shoulders to adjust his jacket. "Don't suppose hunting season's in, is it?" He glances to the floor of the truck's cabin, where his rifle and shotgun lie in their cases. "How much trouble you think we'd get in, I go walking up there with a Remington over my shoulder?"

Jerry picks up his tonfa-style nightstick, gives it an unnecessary twirl, and stows it in a braided leather loop hanging from his belt. "You've been doing this longer than me," he answers Zeke as he picks up his own shotgun and checks to make sure it's loaded.


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 |

"An estate, yes." Amelia frowned, looking for the odd clinky noise. Metal was metal and usually the works of an intelligent creature, although the noise was not always so. It didn't take much of a mind to make metal go clink.

Still, it was more of a lead than they currently had, and so Amelia headed towards it. "It was not large, as such things went, but was enough for our needs. We did not exactly host social events as a general rule. Mother often despaired at the lack of chances for us to find a good match, although it didn't make much difference to me."


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

Charly follows, trying to judge what might be causing the noise as she replies.

"Sorry, I guess I shouldn't have brought it up. I... I know a little something about not meeting expectations," she apologizes. "Do you hear a dog or a cat? The wind's not blowing enough to cause a fence to make this kind of racket."


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

Dot checks one more thing. Nobody thinks much about them any more, but they still print phone books, and they still have addresses in them. If there’s a Beag listed anywhere along Maple Hill Drive and it’s tributaries, that’s where she’ll start looking. Otherwise, she’ll start at the water tower and look for a weird bit of fencing.

Dot debates parking in the middle of downtown and using an app to call a ride, but decides it’s probably better not to attract attention. She parks in a likely place, and begins her search.

Before setting off, Dot opens up the trunk of her car. She puts her paper and laptop inside and gets a few things out.

The first is a pair of sneakers, which, while not ideal, are better than her dress shoes for tromping around in the woods. The second is a heavy leather jacket, which has proved to be decent protection in the past.

The third is what can pass for an ornate walking stick. It’s carved all over with symbols that Dot has been told provide mystical protection and reinforcement. More practically, from Dot’s perspective, it provides protection by being a big chunk of solid hardwood.


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
Jerry Harris Jr. wrote:
Jerry picks up his tonfa-style nightstick, gives it an unnecessary twirl, and stows it in a braided leather loop hanging from his belt. "You've been doing this longer than me," he answers Zeke as he picks up his own shotgun and checks to make sure it's loaded.

Zeke nods and looks around. Seeing no one, turns back and unzips one gun bag with a shrug. "F*ck it, I'm not about getting clawed over local statutes." He loads the shotgun and slings it over one shoulder, shoving a handful of extra shells in his jacket's breast pocket. "No time like the present, then."

With that, Zeke sets off up the lot, keeping an eye and ear out for anything, and making for the path up towards the woods.


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

It was hard to tell the size of what rattled the metal fence, but best guess due to no metal fence being in sight and the amount of noise, whatever was at least the size of a large dog and/or a particularly persistent creature.

As Amelia and Charly climbed the hill, they could hear the faint sounds of a party coming from one the nearby houses, some people taking advantage of the good weather. Laughter and music could be heard. A country twang repeating the phrase 'we can leave the night on' is just about clear. The stream seems to broaden, the smooth path closer bathed in the afternoon light coming through the trees and alongside the undergrowth in shadow.

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

While none on or near Maple Hill Drive, Dot saw that there are 5 Beag households listed in the local phonebook.

At the water tower, there is a small bare patch that a few cars can park on. No one else is currently parked there. The only fence is a tall metal fence around the water tower that looks in good condition. This part of the forest looks quite flat. There is an open patch of grass with multiple paths going into the forest through what looks like tunnels of foliage purposefully trimmed to give access. One straight on that hooks around to the left behind the water tower, one next to it turning right and one right by the entrance that goes right behind the houses.

One of the other entrances, the one in the gap in the housing, is a few minutes walk away in this quiet residential area and Dot could likely reach the playground entrance by going through the forest on the path that goes left behind the water tower fencing.

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

No one stops the guys walking to the forest. There is a small metal barrier in front of a drainage canal, likely to keep cars or people from falling into it by accident. The road near the canal has a few cars parked near a small shop and one car that looks like it was parked in a hurry near the barrier. It looks easy enough to hop the barrier and climb up the other side into the forest.


Sharp +1 | Tough +2 | Luck 6/7 | Exp. 1/5 | Harm 7/7 | Unstable? N
D_Var_Stars wrote:
No one stops the guys walking to the forest. There is a small metal barrier in front of a drainage canal, likely to keep cars or people from falling into it by accident. The road near the canal has a few cars parked near a small shop and one car that looks like it was parked in a hurry near the barrier. It looks easy enough to hop the barrier and climb up the other side into the forest.

Jerry (and presumably Zeke) hop the barrier and start walking in the direction of where they know the kids be coming into the forest, hoping to backtrack their journey, searching for clues along the way.

I feel like we don't have enough information to do the Investigate a Mystery move. None of the resulting questions seem to fit the situation. I'm thinking we just wander around until we find something appropriate to one of the Investigate a Mystery questions, and then we could roll. But let me know if you disagree.

We probably could have rolled back when we were questioning the people in the convenience store, I realize now. We still got results out of just basic role-playing, though. :)


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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

I did roll it once while we were there, and still have 1 Hold from my success. Not sure if I needed to spend it immediately, but it felt fitting to save it for now since we weren't getting too much from the clerk (which made sense). Maybe we'll stumble on something here that makes spending it worthwhile. Alternatively, maybe we'll stumble on the other pair!

Zeke keeps a close eye on the cars and the shop, and takes note of the one parked hastily in front of the barrier. He elbows Jerry and nods to it, his eyebrows raising. Might not be alone out here.

Hopping the barrier, Zeke moves at Jerry's side a few feet apart, constantly looking around. Once he feels they've moved out of sight of the shop, he swings his shotgun off his shoulder and into his hands. The whole thing feels off to him...

Read a Bad Situation: 2d6 + 1 ⇒ (2, 2) + 1 = 5 Failure

...but he can't put a finger on why. So instead, he puts a finger on the trigger guard, ready to slip in and apply pressure if things get worse.


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

Just a note, if the hastily parked car was Charly's, it's not a car, but a 1950's pickup.

Charly looks around and gives a small chuckle.

"Well, this is rather nice, if you overlook the random disappearances," she says as she follows the path, keeping an eye out for anything unusual or out of place all while listening out for the rattling of a chainlink fence.


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 |

"Do not fear that you will insult me. The past is the past. I came to this time willingly, knowing the many risks, and hoping for the small chance of finding my foe." Amelia shrugged a shoulder as she also hunted for the fence. "It is a pleasant little woodland, it is true."


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

"Foe? Are we talking a monster or something else?"


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

Dot checks around the water tower, then moves on to the gap between the houses, looking for where "the fence is all weird." If she can find the way they went, she'll be bound to get to the heart of this mess sooner or later. The day is still nice, but that uncanny feeling is getting worse.

Read a Bad Situation: 2d6 + 1 ⇒ (4, 6) + 1 = 11 Hold 3. One to ask "What's the best way in?" and I'll keep holding the other two for the moment, if I can.


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 |

"A monster, yes, a true one." Amelia pushed aside a branch as she moved along the path. "A succubus. She toyed with my older brother before devouring him, leaving him a weeping madman who screamed for her touch even as he died, broken. My family hunted her to the ends of the Empire, and so she fled beyond even those. I arranged to follow her." The words were delivered in a calm, measured tone that contained more than a hint or ice cold hatred and rage.


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

The sounds of the party grew louder. It was hard to tell if the sounds of the fence had stopped or was just being covered by the music. Amelia and Charly hear a sudden loud burst of laughter - at least a couple of voices - that sounds like it is coming from upstream.

If continuing uphill, I need to know which part of the stream path Amelia and Charly are walking on - the smooth part of the path closer to the stream that is bright in the afternoon light coming through the trees or the farther from the stream part of the path covered in undergrowth and more in shadow. The path is wide enough that both could walk either.

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

Dot reached the gap in the housing and certainly saw how this fence could be called weird. It was a metal chainlink fence and while the ends were upright, it bowed in the middle like a boulder had come run through the fence and no one had ever bothered to replace or attempt to repair it. It was possible, if done carefully, for someone to just walk straight over the fence and hop down from it into the forest.

Beyond the flattened fence, the ground went sharply downhill. Dot could see tracks that in the dirt that people entered the trees and used those to slowly walk down to the small valley where a stream was visible. While it is possible to walk along the incline, and there is evidence some have done so before, it was probably best to follow the example from most of the tracks down to the stream.

Dot hears a loud sudden burst of laughter through the forest, at least two people, coming from downstream and can faintly hear the sound of music playing. Next to the stream at this point the path alongside is wide, the smooth part of the path is in dappled sunlight and the undergrowth part of the path more in shadow. If taking this path, I'll need you to say which part Dot is walking along.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~#
You're all free to keep your holds and spend them as you will, just make sure to say when spending holds from before that it's one you got from <whatever> and how many you have left to help us keep track

The guys walk into the forest, it's not particularly dense and the undergrowth is easy to walk through. There is no particularly marked or used path at this point. It's uphill to the left and forward and downhill to the right. Zeke had seen the parked truck near the barricade to the left.


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

My vote is for the sunny path.

Charly pauses as she hears the voices and laughter up ahead. Deciding that showing looking like a vampire would not be a good idea, she tries to get her glamour back up.


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

Jerry opts for uphill, for a better vantage point. As he walks, he'll occasionally cut off a piece of twine from the roll that he bought at the convenience store, tying the pieces around branches at eye height. If there's some maze or confusion voodoo going on in these woods, maybe marking the trail back will help.


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 maintains his step at Jerry's side, keeping his shotgun ready but pointed at the ground in an alert carry. As they start uphill in the woods proper, he at one point reaches for his knife, but then sees Jerry already marking their way with string. He nods silently and continues on, keeping his focus on his surroundings, staying alert for trouble.

"So how've you been, outside of the usual business?" he asks after a brief silence. "Y'ever get that stuff cleared up in... Where was it, Santa Fe?"

Just offering some RP and chatter while we explore, not referencing anything in particular. I'm assuming Jerry and Zeke haven't been together 24/7 since they met, just regular partners when they're in the same area or need backup. Of course, Santa Fe (or wherever) could also be the exception to them usually being together, instead.


Sharp +1 | Tough +2 | Luck 6/7 | Exp. 1/5 | Harm 7/7 | Unstable? N
Zeke Bjarnessen wrote:
Just offering some RP and chatter while we explore, not referencing anything in particular. I'm assuming Jerry and Zeke haven't been together 24/7 since they met, just regular partners when they're in the same area or need backup. Of course, Santa Fe (or wherever) could also be the exception to them usually being together, instead.

Makes sense to me.

"Oh yeah. That. Crazy magic chumps fighting over a tattoo of a map to a griffin egg.

"I can't go back into the penal system after that job, though. Probably not law enforcement, either. Not for a while, anyway. I've gotta find a new way to pay auto insurance and ammo, now.

"You ever make it to Tallahassee?"


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 also took the sunny path, looking around curiously for the source of all the noises.


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

Dot follows the sound of laughter, keeping to the smooth part of the track, moving in the dappled sunlight.


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

"At least the sun's nice and warm," Charly says after the glamour fails to come back once more. She keeps an eye out, wondering what the source of the voices was.

Spending one of the Holds from this roll.
What is being concealed here?


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

As Dot walks down the warm sunny path by the stream, and Charly and Amelia walk up it. They all hear the radio - and two young female voices laughing and singing emphatically along with it.

The unmistakable sound, to those of this century, of a phone alarm goes off for a moment, followed quickly by swearing familiar to anyone. The three hunters overhear a conversation. The speakers don't seem to be making any attempts to hide what they are saying, where they are is concealed in the forest.

"I have to go, if I'm not back in time, my mother will kill me...oh, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean..."

"Don't apologize for an expression. Buuuuut, for that, you have to tell me if the deep forest and I are as weird and scary as they say..." the tone comes across as trying for smug accomplishment but obvious to any adult of someone seeking approval. A chain link fence clinks.

A laugh, "Nah, I knew Micah was full of it before, always has been, I'm not sure who he thought he was impressing with his stories. He couldn't even remember half his lies later...it was like he was selling a script: a deep night that went on for days and glowing monsters. Even the well, he had to make something up - make it sound all gross when it's quite pretty. And what he said about you..."

"He wants to impress, I guess...Sooo...you like the well?

"It's very nice looking for some ancient thing...much prefer that flat stone plinth thing, more worn, but far more useful and fun...

An awkward laugh rings as the hunters get closer, though the voices turn to murmurs.

Charly and Amelia move beyond some overhanging foliage to see a chainlink fence in their path. The ground under the stream has worn down and the bulge in the fence at that point shows how people have been walking up and down this blocked path for some time. The fence extends to the houseline fences and goes on a distance into the forest.

Charly:
Through the fence, Charly sees a large grouping of trees and plants - and what looks like a bony-thin young teen. Messy short red hair, Dark circles under her eyes, baggy jeans and a t-shirt that looks 3 or 4 sizes too big that doesn't help hide how small she looks or cover the large jagged red scar going down her upper left arm. Her appearance is disheveled and she makes no move to correct that at the moment. She looks very unhappy at the interruption, but she shows no fear. There is someone standing behind her. Another person comes out from behind the clump of plants on the other side of the fence. You'll need to decide how Charly is going to look here

Amelia:
Amelia recognizes the face from a photo she had seen in the newspaper, though can't recall a name. She's certainly one of the teens that had been missing, back in the forest. To Amelia, she looks more like a 15-year-old from her time than any 'teen' or whatever she had seen here - a tired underfed child that looks like she's both seen hard times and might snap in half from a strong breeze from lack of more than a few good meals. The large scar on her upper left arm looked like it had been made with a large knife and about 6 months old - old enough that it was healed but new enough that it hadn't faded and likely still uncomfortable at that size. This girl is blocking to protect someone standing behind her, the bit Amelia can make out, the unseen girl in crouching down a bit to hide behind the smaller girl. Another person comes out from behind the clump of trees and plants on the other side of the fence.

Dot:
Dot comes around a cluster of trees and plants and the stream path branches out on flat ground in the shadows of those trees. She sees a chainlink fence with a bulging gap over the stream and two familar people standing on the other side of that fence. Not far on the open ground on this side of the fence, blocking the path and looking between Dot and two other adults standing on the other side of chainlink fence, is unmistakably the last no-longer-missing teen - Miss Beag/Dovie. Dot recalls the paper photos had had her in a long sleeve shirt but in her current large shirt, she looks even smaller and more disheveled though doesn't seem to care. There is a very large red scar on her upper left arm, though the teen doesn't seem to be paying attention to it or trying to hide it, only to watching Dot and the other people and staying in front of the person standing behind her.

The small girl with messy short red hair stands looking between the three hunters, one hand on the fence and the other on one of the tree that overhangs it. She looks on edge, not hostile but certainly disapproving and ready to run if she wasn't standing between three adults and the girl behind her. The three hunters hear the other girl talking, "If my parents find...I was here...

"Take that path behind you uphill, it's marked all the way to the Grantwood Park, stay to the left, you'll be there in a few minutes. Go around the hedging at the entrance and no one will know you were here... or with me. Go." the girl said quietly in an even methodical tone over her shoulder. After a moment she moves the hand off the chainlink fence behind her and repeats the "go" and a flash of dark hair can be seen, running footsteps can be heard as the small girl standing there returns her hand to the fence. Throughout this, her eyes continue to be on the three hunters, watching and waiting.

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

As Jerry and Zeke walk uphill, the twine markers remain clear behind them. After a few minutes, the very faintly hear the sound of a phone alarm going off from the left, deeper in the forest.

As they come over the top of the first hill, a marked path is visible and clear in the dappled afternoon light to one side. Following the way they're currently walking leads into a darker part of the forest.


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

"Went that bad, huh? What'd you do, try cracking one of your jokes?" Zeke grins and claps Jerry's shoulder, clearly joking himself. "As for me, yeah, Tallahassee was a blast. Sun, swamps, and it turned out it wasn't werewolves like I figured. Never knew gator lycans were actually a thing, but you learn something new every job, right?" He shakes his head and taps a finger on his gun. "Like, never leave home without something that'll blow a hole in whatever you--"

Zeke's proverb is cut off as he hears a phone alarm off to one side, distant, but unmistakable. His shotgun twitches up on his shoulder to point that way, his finger hovering just over the trigger. After several tense seconds, he glances to Jerry without shifting the gun. His eyes ask the silent question: Check it out?


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

Hearing the voices, Charly stops and focuses on some spark within her that she could feel from time to time. She closes her eyes and reaches out for it in her mind. When she opens her eyes, her skin looks like it did before the failure of her glamour, fair, but healthy and alive, and her eyes are no longer red, but the grey they were before she'd been turned. Breathing a sigh of relief, she hustles to catch up to Amelia.

Glamour's back up. Charly looks like a human.

Seeing the girl with the scar, Charly begins to wonder if she should be investigating something else as well.

"We won't say a word about your friend being here," Charly says as she steps up. "My partner and I just want to ask some questions, and if she's running late, we don't mind walking and talking."

Manipulate Someone: 2d6 ⇒ (6, 6) = 12 Woo! Nailed it!


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

Jerry silently nods at Zeke, and they head off in the direction of the phone alarm.


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

The sun is glaringly bright as Charly moves up through the gap in the fence onto the flat land. Odd for this time in the afternoon, but it is a struggle not to squint under the light.

The girl shakes her head at Charly's approach, her glare still disapproving - especially when Charly says 'your friend'. "You're not bothering her. She's none of your business... if your 'questions' are about this place, she doesn't know anything true about the forest she didn't hear from me. I'll answer about the forest until she's out of the woods..." This girl says with complete confidence even though it appears anyone could knock right through her and no way you can see that she will know when that is. She stands as she is under the shade of tree, one arm outstretched to rest a hand on the fence and the other on the tree. The other girl's running footsteps fade in the distance hidden under the music and the wind that starts to whistle through the forest.

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

The phone alarm sounded like it came from the dark part of the forest. The guys follow, walking away from the lit path. The foliage protecting them under the fading light. The evening wind starts to pick up. Some street noise can be heard at times but they get quieter as they continue. Occasional small creatures are heard though none come into view.


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

"It's okay, you can relax a bit. We're not going to go interrogate your friend. I just thought you'd like to have a little more time to say bye," Charly says with a laugh as she walks up to the tiny redhead with the too large t-shirt. Charly herself was about the same size, thought Charly looked almost stout next to the frail girl.

"Tell you what. I'll buy you dinner if you tell us about this place. Anywhere you want to go, it'll be my treat," she says as she grins. "Me and my friend here would love to know where some good eats are. We just got in town and I'm not really feeling fast food."

Seeing the girl isn't relaxing, Charly sighs and looks her in the eyes.

"Listen. We just want to make sure that whatever is here isn't malicious. I'm just trying to help, as is my friend and the woman over there." At least I hope so! "If you don't mind, tell us what's up with this place. It's too late in the day for it to be this bright."

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