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 |

Amelia listened and added things together. The first was the clinking fence, the fact it was two girls and the obvious panic of the other. The second was the fading scar and the wording earlier. It was was hard not to jump to conclusions, but there was certainly enough evidence to have some ideas.

"I imagine she can feed herself, if she wills it." Amelia felt a certain...kinship with the ragged child, and remembered how certain she would be able to cope with all life had to throw at her when she had been of a similar age. Suggesting she couldn't manage, even if she was hungry and skinny, would be an insult.

Not that she didn't agree with Charly - this child would snap if made to do a day's hard work on a farm without some food - but that was not the problem. They could see about food when some trust had been established.

"We seek to find why people vanish. I saw the paper. You are, it is said, one of those who vanished. Our fervent desire is to be sure that no harm shall come to those in this place. As you know the place, its intricacies, and have experienced the events we seek to learn of, we would ask for your aid."


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

The girl shook her head, face looking like she was trying to figure you three out, "What I'd like is not your business. I already offered to answer your questions, you're wasting your own time with this...whatever you're doing. As far as maliciousness goes, an unknown adult offering or attempting to bribe a minor to a second location is pretty much red flag number one. This place is a forest. There are trees. Some of the trees are on public land and some are not. Some know the paths to take to fully enjoy the forest and some don't and take the paths that have consequences. You've obviously done the latter. You can either take marked paths out of here safely and not go off them again until you know the forest or not. Up to you. It looks shady to me." The girl does appear to be fully covered in the shade, there is no squint to her eyes.

Amelia also notices the brightness as she steps onto the flat. The girl's gaze turns to Amelia, pausing a moment obviously considering Amelia's speech. As the girl's speech seemed to be overly precise, she didn't seem to mind but clearly took note of it,"Well, it's a forest, it's wild, some people fall down and get hurt, some people walk off the marked paths when they don't know what they're doing and things happen. The only things really dangerous in this forest are the people, what they bring to it and what they leave behind." the girl tapped her thumb on the fence.

She tilted her head. Dot recognized that head tilt from the photo, but this time instead of a forced smile, the girl appeared to be listening to something with her gaze flickering between the three hunters.


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 2/5 | Holds:

Charly could feel her frustration growing. This was getting her nowhere, and the girl seemed to distrust them. Not that she could blame her for that. She lets out a sigh as her shoulders slump.

"Sorry if I came off as a creep. I'm just trying to help."

Believing that her presence was hampering any efforts Amelia could make to pry information out of the girl, Charly turns and starts heading back along the trail they came down, moving about hundred feet down so she'd be out of earshot. She looks and her hand as the glamour fails again.

"Great. At least there's no one around to see me this time," she mumbles as her skin turns deathly pale and her eyes dimly glow blood-red.

Why not? Let's tempt fate a bit.


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 nodded to Charlie as she walked away, and started when she noticed the change begin. They were going to have to practice that glamour control after this. If it had dropped in front of the child, given the obvious violence and abuse in her past and the likely implications of issues given from her lady friend, it might not have ended well.

Turning her attention back to the situation, Amelia responded, "Forgive my friend. She wishes to help, but her situation at this point is...difficult. She treats you as she would wish to be treated, not by how things are."

COnsidering her words, she continued, "People go missing. Alas, I know this too well. One of the tasks I undertake is to hunt for those that are missing, to see if they can be found and to understand why they vanished." She didn't bother mentioning that not all of them wanted to return, even if she did find them. This girls situation was sadly not uncommon enough among those who vanished.

"What is rare is that they go missing for as long as you have and then return, unmolested and unharmed from such an experience. It is my experience that there is more to such a happenstance, and I would like to know what it is. If it is nothing harmful then I can get to other tasks. But such a thing as this is too suspicious." Remembering her words, she added, "If there is something that has been left, or a person, I still wish to know."

She wondered if the child meant that it was what was in peoples minds that could cause trouble, a dangerous echo of the people within it. In which case that might be a...problem.


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 moves alongside Jerry, walking carefully, heel-toe-heel-toe to avoid making undue sound. His shotgun is shouldered and ready, not aimed up to fire, but not far from it. His eyes are constantly scanning, sweeping left to right and up and down, ignoring the stray strands of hair that have swept down in front of his face from the wind. Every sound of movement draws his eyes for a moment, flickering over to where it came from, but he's long since figured out how to parse the important sounds from the background noise--especially when things are tense.

Read a Bad Situation: 2d6 + 1 ⇒ (5, 1) + 1 = 7
Just enough for 1 hold, which I'll immediately spend for Zeke to ask: Are there any dangers we haven't noticed? To which I imagine the answer is: there's a vampire who can't fully control her powers coming down the path toward you ;)


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

Dot hesitates for a moment. She considers running off after the other girl, but she's not quite sure what to make of the two women she saw at the hospital. They seem to be pursuing the same thing she is, but they managed to get in a fight earlier, and more than anything else, Dot doesn't want people who don't deserve it to get hurt.

That's when she remembers where she's seen one of the women before. It was a few years ago. The girl was still in college. She must have graduated by now. What was her name? Charlotte something. She got away that time, or so Dot had thought. Yet here she was, right in the middle of things.

Dot listens as Charly finishes her spiel and runs off. She thinks about following her, but this other woman--the one she's absolutely sure she's never met before--is still talking to Dovie Beag.

She'll watch for now, stepping in if things start to get hairy.


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

XD Not quite there Zeke, but yeah...that would/will be an issue

Zeke felt the growing night was coming quickly and could occasionally catch people's voices on the wind though nothing yet that they were close or any threat yet. The guys continued through the forest and came upon some old machinery. Half buried, stuck in the ground at an awkward angle, about waist high on the guys and rusted solid to the point it was difficult to tell what it had been other than something metal.

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

In Dot's consideration, with the forest as it is, it seems that it would be easy enough to follow after Charly, but it would take a lot of backtracking through the trees to get a clear enough path to try to find the one the other girl took. The look Dovie keeps giving Dot when she glances over is like a patient guard dog who prefers not to snap and doesn't really have the energy to do so, but is more than willing to for what she's guarding.

This girl's gaze follows Charly as she walks off back through the fence. Amelia catches slight confusion in her eyes and her muttering, "And people say runaway tendencies fade with age." before the girl's green eyes flicker between the two remaining adults.

"Not really my business... but if she keeps going under the fence over and over, she's riskin' tearing up her back on the metal or slipping on the stream and worse. If you want to go after her, it's probably best to continue back the way you came with the stream until you reach the canal. Deviating before crossing into the canal, no matter for what, has risks..." she doesn't seem to think Amelia is going to do so, but gives the advice anyways.

She's still on edge, but appears to be giving what Amelia said some thought. Or maybe just Amelia's unusual manner has raised her curiosity more than her ire or maybe feels responsible to keep her position and her word to answer for a time. It's hard to tell though there is nothing to suggest what she is trying to lie or hide anything about the forest. "People disappear all the time, we only hear about some of those that anyone cares enough about to miss and worry over enough. There are plenty anywhere that just go and no one notices for weeks, if ever or people do notice but don't think their going is bad enough for anyone to need to hear about it. Which ones you know about and go after will change what you find... It's kinda the same here. I can't...no matter what anyone says, no one can make someone get lost in the forest or change what they see here. I don't know the somethings, I just know the paths. No guarantees, but some are riskier than others and if you know the signs, it's not hard to choose the safe paths - or not. Those who don't know it's a choice to be made get in the most trouble..." she glanced in the direction Charly went.

She shrugs her shoulders uncomfortably before abruptly saying, "She'll be in Grantwood in just over a minute at her current pace.".


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

Jerry follows Zeke, a few feet back and about 20 to the side. He's done this often enough to know that it's good to have someone at your back, but not close enough to trip over them or get taken out with the same blast.

He assesses the strange piece of machinery, but it doesn't trigger anything in his mind. He walks past. This is the sort of place that could lead to the first significant find of this job, so he keeps his eyes open and his mind focused. Jerry doesn't like his work, but it drives him. Where Zeke truly comes alive when Hunting, this sort of work is what gives Jerry purpose.

He carries his shotgun loaded and diagonally across his chest.


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

Jerry knows Charly, so if he gets a chance to talk to Zeke after they see her, he'll identify her to him as a Hunter.


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 |

Wondering if that was a hint - that this conversation would last another minute or so, one way or another - Amelia asked what she considered important. "No one can make you vanish here, but you can choose to. Then I shall choose to. If you will, could you be so kind as to tell me the paths and the signs that I might follow, so as to do this thing? Deviating before the canal has risks, so I assume that would be my first step? Or is there a safer way to this end?"


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 2/5 | Holds:

@Jerry: Yup, but, well... There might be complications at the moment. :D

Charly looks back and finds an unfamiliar trail behind her. The unnerving discover sends a shiver down her spine as she starts walking quickly down the trail. If she could get to her truck, if she could just get somewhere familiar, she might be able to calm down and hide under her glamour again.

She shivers from the cold only she could feel on this late summer afternoon, and her breath steams in front of her as if it were a crisp autumn or winter day. She prayed she was going the right way. She just wanted to pretend she was normal. Was that so much to ask?

Her thoughts come screeching to a stop as she hears the rustling of leaves. She looks around, the gloom deepening as clouds cover the sky. She doesn't recognize any of the trees or other landmarks she can see. Her hand goes to the grip of the concealed pistol tucked in the waistband of her pants as her heart races.


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

The girl sighed, her hand coming off the fence and running them through her messy red hair, "That's not the... I think I get what you want. No - going off the stream path isn't the safest or fastest. You're more likely to end up dazed, walking in circles or after figments and stumbling in the canal or out on the tracks." she pauses, looking between the two adults, an assessing look. "Did either of you tell anyone you're coming here?" the girl asked, right hand still on the tree as she takes a step back.

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

As the guys continue deeper into the forest, it is very easy to spot a glaring but hazy ball of light coming into view in the far distance ahead. It takes a couple of minutes before the shape of a person moving around becomes clear - one Jerry thinks look a bit familiar.

The light looks like it's kinda stuck on her - like something somehow caught in her hair. It might be a bit hard to figure out if that's the oddest thing about her appearance...

---

Even in the shady evening in the forest, there is still a glaring light in Charly's eyes wherever she turns. It has started to fade slightly, but it flares brighter now and then and is making it making the unfamiliarity of the forest even harder to navigate. Charly can just about make two tall figures in the distance through the forest.


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 |

"I did not," Amelia replied. "I am quite certain that other than my friend, no one who knows my name is even aware I am in this nation, let alone this forest. I cannot speak for her, but I do not think she has revealed her location to anyone." It sounded she was quite...distant from others after the vampire attack.


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 2/5 | Holds:

Charly squints against the light as it hurts her eyes. Seeing the figures, she freezes. She tries to make them out, but can't, and decides it's better to run than meet them with her glamour gone.

Zeke and Jerry, you see the young woman pause as the light intensifies for a moment before turning to one side and running away from the trail.


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

Jerry stops from a distance and watches. He doesn't know much about this Hunter, and this could be one of her strange abilities. It doesn't seem likely that she's succumbed to the vampirism that infected her, but Jerry wouldn't put the possibility aside. He secures his grip on his shotgun.

When she turns to run, however...

"CHARLY!" he calls out in a whisper-shout.


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

Dot speaks for the first time.

"Nobody knows I'm here," she says. "If they did, they might try to find me, and I'd rather they not get involved if they don't have to."


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 2/5 | Holds:

Hearing her name drives her into a panic and she runs blindly through the woods. She didn't recognize them, but one of them knew her. She couldn't let them see her like this. Her flight continues on for a few moments until she trips over a root and takes a nasty tumble down a hillock.


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

Jerry watches Charly spaz out with confusion. He meets Zeke's eyes and shrugs.


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 stays on edge as he and Jerry pass the strange machinery; he gives it a sidelong glance, but otherwise ignores the metal for now, just trying to mentally mark its location in case they need to follow up later. He stays focused and ready all the way to sighting the hazy light, at which point he holds a hand up and pats the air, crouching as he motions for Jerry to do the same. His approach continues at a slower pace, careful and quiet, as he assesses the light. But when he sees it's a humanoid figure with the light... sticking isn't quite the right word, but it's the closest he can figure to describe it. He lifts a hand to his eyes, shielding them and squinting, just in time to the light-person reach for something in their waistband.

Then they turn and run, and Zeke sprints forward without a moment's hesitation. He hears Jerry say something, sounds like a name, but Zeke isn't prepared to stop just because of a mysterious exclamation. He turns off the path roughly where he thinks his target did, and chases after through the woods, ducking branches and bounding over roots. But one leap without looking takes him straight to an unexpected drop.

"Aw shiiiiiiiii--" Zeke's cursing is muffled by his crashing through the underbrush, sliding down the hillock feet-first before twisting to avoid a stout trunk and rolling to the bottom. There he lands maybe a dozen feet from Charly: a big man in a denim jacket, a Hawaiian shirt, and cargo pants tucked into combat boots. His long blond hair is tangled with more than a couple leaves and twigs, and his shotgun has slipped from his grasp, lying just beyond his reach.


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 2/5 | Holds:

Dressed in a pair of cargo work pants, a long-sleeved t-shirt, and a light work jacket, the young woman Zeke had followed is stunned from her tumble and is slow to pick herself up. Some of the twigs and leaves stuck in her long, raven-black hair fall as she shakes her head to clear it. She looks up and her dazed expression sobers as she sees the man clearly and the shotgun nearby. He can see her as well, from the deathly pale skin to the widening, red eyes, to the tips of her fangs just peaking out from behind her lip. One word comes to her mind, something she'd been warned about that day in the hospital when she'd learned her old life was over.

Hunter

Terror grips her as she slips on the leaves covering the ground as she struggles to stand up and run. She has to hide. She has to get away. Her only hope is to run, but her knees buckle under her weight and she crashes to the ground barely three feet from where she was before, an easy target for skilled hunters. She could see the man reaching for the shotgun, and in a moment of desperation, she reaches out and concentrates hard on sending the weapon far away, maybe giving her a chance.

Use Magic (+Weird, Trying to teleport the gun away from Zeke): 2d6 + 2 ⇒ (3, 1) + 2 = 6 That's a fail. 1 XP and taking 1 harm as the glitch.

The magic gathers, but instead of what she was trying to do, it backfires and tears into her outstretched arm. She cries out in pain as raw arcane energy rips open her hand and spikes up her arm to lance out her shoulder. She curls up from the agony, breathing hard as she tries to keep from sobbing.

Cue the beatdown, Zeke. Charly just tried to cast a spell, though I don't think you'd know what she was attempting, only that it backfired. I think all you'd be able to tell at this point is that you have a vampire that ran when she saw you and tried to cast a spell on you that failed.


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

Jerry follows at a slower pace. Two people crashing through the woods like that is bound to be heard by anyone nearby. Jerry follows more slowly, keeping his eyes peeled for anything not Zeke or Charly.

Read a Bad Situation: 2d6 + 1 ⇒ (6, 5) + 1 = 12

That's Hold 3, but I'm going to spend 2 immediately:

1. Jerry wonders if the commotion attracted the attention of anything.

2. Are there any other dangers that Jerry notices?

As for Zeke and Charly, Jerry will get there when the dramatic tension is the highest. Or when comedic relief demands it. Whichever comes first.


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

The girl shook her head at the adults with a sigh, though Amelia sees some envy in her eyes, "And people say I like making things hard on myself... Why do you two think the stories are always of groups of well-loved teens found safe and sound and not loners or those no one cares about." The girl obviously motions to herself at the last part before she looks over her shoulder at the sun coming through the trees, "At least you've come at a good time, that should help you and clear things up."

She turns, her hand still holding onto the tree. "No guarantees, but the smartest way, after telling people you're here, is to stick with others and be honest, Fastest is not to try to get lost but to look for what people bring and leave behind. The safest way is to keep in the forest's protection and don't try to take more from it - nothing good comes from dismissing that. her voice gets an edge as she discusses the safest way. Stepping back with a shrug and sigh, "She's out of the forest so time's up. I need to go grab my bag, good luck." before turning and running significantly faster than either Dot or Amelia would imagine someone of her size could flee through the undergrowth of the forest.

If following the girl or going deeper into the forest on your own, Dot and Amelia will notice a light seems to be following them - just a glaring light that won't get out of their eyes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Well, you lot look like you've been having fun while I was asleep.

The light stuck to Charly is erratic in its intensity as she uses magic and panics.

When the backfire pain cuts through Charly, the light gets incredibly bright and the top of Charly's head gets an intense burning sensation and equally intense memories flood Charly's thoughts - memories filled with guilt and judgment.

Jerry and Zeke notice when the light dims enough to look at Charly that whatever is stuck on Charly's head has what seems to look like burr-like spikes digging into her.

Jerry notices that it is growing slightly and seems to be pushing into her every time the light brightens. It's most definitely dangerous and part of what is causing her pain though how to remove it is not clear as it is hard to get much more of a look at the thing without burning pain - possibly because of how bright it is. Jerry doesn't notice anyone else or anything else that might be dangerous yet or anyone who might have noticed, but has the general feeling of being watched that wasn't there before all this commotion. It's hard to tell if it's just paranoia or something else.


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's head snapped over when the other woman spoke up, having not noticed her before this. But for now the girl required her attention, and she listened. "Good wishes to yourself."

She considered what she'd been told. The smart choice wasn't possible for her at this point, but sticking with others was possible. She glanced the way Charlie had gone, but...

She sighed and rubbed her eyes for a moment. Why did even the most simple of plans dissolve like into water? You had to pour a terrifying amount of salt into it before it would survive, and as soon as you applied heat...

"I presume that, since you have been listening, our interests in looking into this forest and its odd happenstances align? You are free to join us, if you would so wish, as the young lady seemed to think groups would aid this. But if you have been listening long enough you may have noted a friend of mine depart. I am afraid it may not the wisest course, but I cannot leave her alone in these woods. If you are happy with that then you are welcome to join." She began to head in the same direction as Charly, moving slowly for a moment to see if the other woman fell in step.


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 2/5 | Holds:

Waiting on Zeke to act before Charly does something more concrete.

As the memories and images flood into her mind and it feels as if a white-hot awl had just been stabbed into her head, Charly starts to writhe on the ground.


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

Sorry, didn't get around to posting after work yesterday.

About the time Charly is scrambling back, Zeke grunts and twists on the ground, getting eyes on her up close for the first time. He takes in the appearance quickly: pale skin, red eyes, the tips of fangs when she opens her mouth. When she thrusts an arm in his direction, he quickly rolls to the side, pushing to his feet by the time she recoils in pain. Zeke knows that vamps are quick, so at this distance it isn't worth it to go for the shotgun. It isn't even worth it to go for his knife.

So instead, he just goes for Charly.

Kick some Ass: 2d6 + 2 ⇒ (6, 6) + 2 = 14
Okay, so good news is we're both unarmed, which I think counts as 0 harm by base, and Zeke's goal here isn't directly to cause harm. Instead, I'm going to Force them where I want them, and grant Jerry +1 forward.

Zeke lunges forward faster than Charly can react in her pain. He slams into her midsection, his shoulder blowing the breath out of her, although not hard enough to do any lasting damage. With a quick series of motions, he gets behind her and wraps his arms around her, pinning her arms and holding them back. One leg slips between hers, and with a growl he lifts her up, doing his best to hold her in place. With his head tucked down to avoid any biting or bucking, he barely registers the big burr of light.

"JERRY!" His voice is urgent, but not panicked. "I need a stake over here, pronto!"


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

Jerry hustles to the top of the hill, to take in the situation.

D_Var_Stars, I'm going to spend my final Hold from my Read a Bad Situation to realize that Charly is acting out of fear. If that's out of line, we can retcon the following bit.

"Zeke, wait. Slow down. I know her. She's a Hunter." Jerry carefully descends the slope as he talks. "Yeah, she's a vamp. But she's not all the way gone, and right now, I think those things digging into her head is the real danger."

Once he reaches the bottom, he maneuvers so he can see Charly's face. Using one hand to shield his eyes against the bright light being created by the burrs in her head, he speaks to her.

"Charly? This is Jerry Harris. We met in Springfield a few years back. You were a cop. Can you tell me what's happening?"

In his other hand, he holds a wooden stake ready behind his back. Maybe Zeke was right, after all.


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

"I was hoping that that kid would have been a little more helpful--or at least a little clearer, but since sticking together seems to be the thing" Dot falls into step beside Amelia.

"I'm Dorothy Brenner, by the way," she says. "How'd you get involved in all of this nonsense?"


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 Oliver," the displaced Hunter replied, smiling as she moved off. "That is a longer tale, and one that boggles the mind of many, alas. The shortened version is I hunt, for a creature which slew my brother. While I hunt for information on the beast I seek more knowledge, and tasks like this one can provide such while also offering a chance to help others. Thus two goals are made one."

After a moment, she returned the favour. "And your own tale?"

I assume we don't Solar Flared since we're together, GM?


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 2/5 | Holds:

Charly manages to stagger to her feet through the blinding pain, but just as soon as she steadies herself, she's sent hurtling back with another gasp of pain as the air's knocked from her lungs. She slides and rolls along the forest floor for a few yards before she finds herself in a painful hold. Sheer, terror-filled, desperation guides her as she struggles to get free from the grip knowing that if she fails, she's doomed.

Kick some Ass (Trying to break free): 2d6 - 1 ⇒ (4, 5) - 1 = 8 That's a success.

She manages to squirm free from Zeke's hold and starts to run away from both of the hunters, but Zeke is an old hand at hunting vampires. A foot hooks around her own and she belly-flops on the leaves. She barely starts to scramble to her feet when a man twice her weight slams down on top of her and winds her again. Before she can catch her breath, she's rolled over on her back and looks up into the face of her killer.

"I-I don't want to die," she whimpers before closing her eyes and starting to sob. Tears, not of blood, but normal, human tears stream down her face as she begs for her life over and over again.

Then a vaguely familiar voice calls to her, she opens her eyes and looks over to Jerry before her eyes look down at the wooden stake in his hands. Her mind moves slowly, but the pieces fall in place eventually.

"That night in Boisville, at St. John's," she whispers as she barely manages to restrain the sobs long enough to speak, "you know that it was a vampire. That's why you wanted in so badly."

Her sobs start again as she realizes why he's here.

"An-and now, you're g-g-gonna kill me," she stammers out as she starts to shudder and shake in Zeke's grip.


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

As Amelia and Dot head down the stream path looking for Charly, they find that she can not be seen on the stream path. After a few minutes, the pair can barely make out the sound of voices - multiple voices along with sobbing -and a small bright light through the trees.

Your characters are not being Solar Flared because they're following the sunny stream path, if either - together or not - goes deeper into the forest where it's darker, they will notice a glaring light in their eyes.

--------------------------------

The light stuck to Charly's head remains bright as she sobs and begs for her life, though it does seem to be dimming very slightly.

The faint rattle of a metal chainlink fence could be barely made out by the trio for a moment. No such fence is visible from where they are. In Charly's distressed state, she cannot tell whether or not it came from the same direction she came from.


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 headed for the sobbing. It sounded like people in trouble, and that was usually where the things to hit were.


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 grunts as Charly slips free, but it's true: this isn't his first rodeo. The takedown isn't pretty, in the end, but it doesn't have to be. It just has to work. Ugly and efficient is a decent summary of Zeke as a Hunter, and it certainly shows here. But when he gets a hold of her again, spinning her back into a hold, with his knife drawn as his best weapon at the moment, he pauses. Jerry called something again, and Zeke caught a little more of it this time.

That, and the girl is crying. With her unlife more or less in his hands, at least right now, this vampire is crying human tears, pleading and staring up at him. Zeke stares back, uncertain. He's used to angry-scared vamps, sure, but not plain frightened ones like this. His knife hovers by her exposed neck. He feels a drop on his arm and looks down to see a tear rolling across his inner forearm, by a string of neatly tattooed numbers there. And in that moment, Zeke makes a decision.

He's a Hunter. That means he does a lot of bad things. But it also means, ultimately, that he's one of the good guys.

So as Charly starts to shudder, he exhales slowly and jams his knife in its sheath. "Both of you better start talking sense," he says, relaxing his grip--although he doesn't let go entirely just yet. This could be a trick. "Let's start with what this light thing is, anyway." Now that he isn't so focused on the fight, Zeke realizes the light on Charly's head is painfully bright.


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

Dot stays with Amelia, heading for the noise.


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

Yay, you're all about to be in the same place.

As Amelia and Dot followed the sounds of sobbing and talking, they find it difficult to keep their bearings with the light in the eyes. Alongside the trees and other plats and foresty things, they spot another faint light - and a few human-like figures in the forest.

---

Zeke and Jerry can see two more lights coming through the forest, and just as before they seem to be attached to the top of people's heads.

While Charly can see the light in her eyes dimming slightly, she can neither see or feel what is stuck in her hair. As the pain in her arm fades, the pain on her head - a heavy hot pressure - dulls slightly with the slightly dimming light and the judgmental memories are like echos in the back of Charly's mind - still there but faded compared to other things that might get her attention.


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 2/5 | Holds:

"V-vampire killed a priest at St. John's in Boisville back in J-january. I-it t-t-turned me. There was a flash and I can't remember what happened after that. I woke up in the hospital and found out my old life was over," Charly explains while barely holding herself together.

Her arm that had been lacerated by the magical backlash still throbbed with pain, but the pain from her bruises and the armlock Zeke had her in were less now, more an ache now. Her head though, still feels like someone had it in a vise padded with a heating pad set too high and it was making it hard for her to think clearly.

She hiccups from her sobbing as she closes her eyes and lays there shivering. The past few moments have shaken her badly, but she feels herself calming just a bit.

"I've never hurt anyone," she says softly, "sometimes I get hungry when I smell blood, but I've never hurt anyone. I just always screw up other ways."


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 |

While the light started making things difficult to see, Amelia was able to hear the sobbing and other noises. "What in the frozen wastes of hell is happening here!?" Amelia said, annoyed by both fact someone was in trouble and that something was stopping her from seeing. She tried to shield her eyes from the sun to see better.


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 relaxes his grip a bit as Charly speaks, hearing the hitches in her voice and judging it to be the truth--at least mostly. He sighs as she finishes, and looks to Jerry for confirmation that this is all on the up and up. Finally, he releases and gives her a pat on the shoulder that's only a little more awkward than expected, given the situation. "I'm sure that's not true," he says.

Just as he's about to get up, though, he hears another shout from the woods. He rolls away toward his shotgun, immediately on the defensive again. When he comes up to a kneeling position, the gun is ready but not aimed once more. "Who in the frozen wastes of hell is asking?" he calls back, squinting to try and answer his own question.


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 Oliver," Amelia replied instantly. She wasn't overly worried by the gun because she couldn't see the gun. "Who might not be able to see due to this thrice blighted light, but I can hear a woman's sobbing. Lightblind or not, if she is harmed without good cause I shall kick your arse back to the forest's edge. And yourself, sir?"


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 2/5 | Holds:

Charly rolls over as soon as Zeke is not on top of her and tries to get up. Her head swims as the world around her spins, so she closes her eyes and lies back down on the leaves on her back.

"Sounds like Amelia," Charly says as she keeps very still. Curiously for a supposed vampire, she's breathing.


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

Not answering Zeke, Jerry relaxes and tightens his grip on the stake in his hand over and over while staring at Amelia.

He doesn't look at Amelia and Dot, he just watches Charly. Finally, after a long moment, he asks, "Why are you different? Why do all the other vampires feed and kill, but not you?"


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 2/5 | Holds:

"I don't know," Charly answers, the adrenaline crash starting to hit her hard. "Kinda funny that I can't even get that right."


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

Jerry and Zeke as the dudes without blinding beacons on their heads:

The three women all appear to have the same odd bright burr-like thing attached to the top of their heads. All are bright, but also at different levels of intensity with Charly's currently being the dimmest with the woman who hasn't spoken yet being brightest. Neither Amelia or the other woman seem to be in the same pain yet as Charly but, as Amelia said, it does seem to be similarly affecting their vision.

The light of these hits nearby trees - and while it may be a trick of whatever the glowing things are, both Jerry and Zeke see people-shaped shadow outlines that, even taking the distorting effect light can have on shadows, can't be matched up with any of the five people here.

The fading dappled evening light coming through the trees is slowly becoming dimmer.

Amelia can see slightly better when shielding her eyes, enough to make out Charly and the two men and what they are holding in front of her, though it is difficult for her to see much beyond them.

Over the light summer breeze winding through the forest, a loud clinking of a chainlink fence is heard. Amelia and Dot can tell that it isn't coming from the direction they have just come from and Zeke, Jerry, and Charly can tell that it is coming from different direction and much closer than the one that was heard minutes ago.


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

Jerry looks around and notices the others as well as the shadows in trees. Sensing that a moment has passed, he stows his wooden stake and approaches Charly.

"Stay still. I'm going to try and take out one of the burrs in your head. Tell me if it hurts and I'll stop."

After nodding at Zeke and receiving an answering nod that he's okay with this, Jerry reaches down and tries to remove one of the burrs with his fingers.


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," he responds, after a brief pause. He glances at Jerry, and nods as he lowers his gun. For right now, things are very much on edge, but they aren't spilling over into fighting territory just yet. And right now, he's more concerned about why there's a trio of women who all have strange lights stuck to their head... Lights that are playing hell with the shadows in this clearing.

"The girl's a vamp, so I thought she was a threat. Still not sure she isn't, but I let her go for now, since she didn't try to rip my throat out like most bloodsuckers do. All she's got is a twisted arm, maybe. Sue me." The man stands up and slings his shotgun over his shoulder. "Introductions out of the way, where'd you ladies come from, and what's with the light-stickers?"


Female Vampire/Demigoddess Luck: 5/7 | Harm: 3/7| XP: 2/5 | Holds:

Charly opens one eyes and looks at where she thinks Jerry is standing.

"E'erythin's spinnin' too much f'me t'move," she mumbles at him before closing her eyes and only half-listening to Zeke.

Anyone looking at her arm would see that it isn't twisted so much as shredded. Spiraling lacerations cover her arm and whatever caused them have pretty much turned the sleeves of her shirt and jacket into bloody rags. The wounds, thankfully, aren't deep, but there are a number of them.


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 sighed. "Her name is Charly, and yes, she is nightkin. But she does not harm humans. I imagine that her turning is incomplete since she does not burn in sunlight. But I understand your error, and thank you releasing her without permanent harm." Maybe the girl would work on keeping that blasted glamour in place now.

As for the light...Amelia glanced over at Dot, and was able to see enough to understand the light's glare was not the sun but something else. "I have no idea what these strange little flames are. I can only imagine it is part of this odd forest. Let me see if I can discover why such is present."

Weird(identify the light): 2d6 + 2 ⇒ (2, 6) + 2 = 10


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

Amelia's weird:
Reaching up to where Amelia guesses the light is on herself, she can't feel anything but warm dry hard-hay like hair - like she's been out in the baking sun for ages. As she prods it, memories filled with judgment start to come to mind. Amelia gets a weird sense that these lights aren't really part of this forest but comes from the outside of it - they come in at parts where the forest isn't strong enough to keep them out. To get rid of them, she needs to go where the forest is stronger or have them removed by someone else who is not blighted by these lights.

As Jerry tries to remove the light, both he and Zeke notice that the light dims significantly almost instantly at his touch. At first, the light is warm-to-almost-too-hot to the touch and hard spikes but within moments starts cooling and going soft, limp, and crumbly. Tiny dying-ember like lights start blowing off of Charly's head like dandelion puff seeds. It takes a bit of work and time to remove all the bits from Charly's hair, but it comes away easily in Jerry's hands.

With Jerry's attention on clearing the light on Charly's head, Zeke notices that as Amelia tries to reach for the light on her head, her fingers seem to go through it. While the light has dimmed, both men can still see shadow figures in the light coming off the other two.

The blinding light fades away from Charly and she can see the embers blowing off of her, but still doesn't really feel the ones in her hair that Jerry is removing. The pain in her head and the memories fade as the embers do. Charly can see clearly - and can now also see odd shadow figures on nearby trees of people, they seem to be just standing and watching to her.

The loud sounds of a chainlink fence continue.


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

"Well, since everybody else apparently knows about Charly the Friendly Vampire..." Zeke's grumbling trails off as he watches Jerry remove the light-thing from the woman's hair, and squats down himself to look at her wounds. They don't seem too serious, but definitely not the sort of thing you'd want open in the woods. "Let's make these sleeves useful again. Try not to move, I'm not looking to hurt you."

Carefully, but quickly enough, Zeke uses his knife to cut her tattered sleeve into strips, and uses those in turn to bandage her arm. "We've got disinfectant and all the good stuff back in the truck, but this should keep the dirt out, at least."

Not sure what roll this would be; I'm guessing either Act Under Pressure or Help Out, both of which are +Cool.

2d6 + 1 ⇒ (5, 1) + 1 = 7 Just squeaked that success! Assuming it's +Cool or + Sharp.


Sharp +1 | Tough +2 | Luck 6/7 | Exp. 1/5 | Harm 7/7 | Unstable? N
D_Var_Stars wrote:
The loud sounds of a chainlink fence continue.

We should probably deal with this Chekov's gun soon, but first...

Jerry introduces himself to Dot and Amelia and offers to help with the light-creating burrs. (First Dot, then Amelia, if it matters.)


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 allowed Jerry to help her with the strange light burr, explaining, "These lights are...something from outside the forest. It would seem that there are two forces at work in this place. The forest and another from beyond it. Perhaps it is the conflict between these two that is causing these issues."

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