Saturday, September 24, 2016

Cave of Secrets: The Witch

So after the by-now-traditional spate of OOC issues and scheduling problems, we managed to play Werewolf this past week. This session kind of took a dark turn, though, so consider this an official Content Warning for torture. (I’m actually listening to cheerful music while doing this write-up, to make it a little easier to recount. At least, I’m hoping it does that rather than create an unwelcome association.)





So where we left off, the pack had reached Andy’s Stump’s house when a woman decked out in a lot of backwoods hippie gear (as a reminder and visual shortcut, I showed my players the Barjot splat pic from the Carthians book for Requiem) came outside and spotted Jerry. She immediately shifts to Lupus form and takes off running into the nearby woods, and they give chase.

The trio pretty quickly catches up with her and tackles her, at which point they begin trying to interrogate her. Knowing she’s not going to talk willingly, Jerry threatens to break one of her legs, shifting to Crinos form and giving it a sharp yank. She mocks him, telling him that she’s danced the Spiral and that broken legs are nothing for her. So he gives it another pull, breaking it this time. She passes out from the pain and reverts to Homid form.

They wake her up again and Jerry moves to the other leg, repeating the threat. She resists and he breaks that one, too, prompting her to pass out again. Since she’s in her breed form, she’s not regenerating so they have to wait for her to wake up again. To keep her disoriented, they carry her deeper into the nearby woods before she regains consciousness.

When she comes to, Jerry points out that now she’s someplace unfamiliar and this time he’s ready to remove one of her legs entirely. She just glares at him, snarls “How far out did you take my brother before you killed him?” and spits blood in his face. He resists the resulting frenzy check and rips her leg out of the socket. The shock and the blood loss from the fatal wound drives her into one final frenzy, at which point the pack puts her down.

While Jerry tries to figure out what to do next, he asks Åke and Wants-to-Know to deal with the body. Åke challenges the lupus to a game of rock-paper-scissors so as not to have to be the one to dig the hole, but Wants-to-Know doesn’t quite get it. But between the two of them, they dig an impromptu grave and put the dead Spiral in it before Jerry sets her on fire and they bury the charred remains.

They shift back to Homid and head back into town to go through Andy’s now-abandoned house. They get there and while it’s obvious the still-nameless Spiral (she didn’t exactly introduce herself and they didn’t find any ID on her) was tossing it looking for something, they’re not sure how much of the condition of the place is from her search and how much is just from it being naturally messy.

On a table in the dining area, they find printouts of maps and old photos and National Register of Historic Places paperwork. One of the maps has six locations circled, and two of those locations have Xs drawn through them. The circled spots are the site of the old train station (where they encountered Andy before, and one of the X’ed out spots), the IOOF Lodge building, the local courthouse,  the Historical Society Museum (the Frank and Anna Hunter House, one of the older structures in town still standing), the Pocahontas Times Print Shop (where the newspaper is printed), and the Opera House (also X’ed out). In the margin of the map printout was the word “Tannery?” The other papers have the name “Florence Slavin” scribbled in the notes, which Jerry remembers from when they looked into the Lodge building and found that a note that the architect was implied to be an “F. Slavin.” There are also some notes suggesting a link to the Yeager family, but nothing concrete.

Checking the rest of the house, they find what looks like a torture chamber and a modern bootlegger’s stash in the basement. On the second floor, there are some bedrooms that have been used, but not recently. It looks like the pack didn’t stay here regularly, but the Spirals clearly used the place as a safe house every now and again. They also found a cache of mundane guns of presumably-questionable legality, which Åke calls dibs on.

Åke also finds a hidden hatch in the ceiling leading up to an attic. They open it and Jerry as alpha volunteers to go up first. The attic is full of a lot of the stereotypical attic junk, with about an inch-thick layer of dust on everything… except for a trail in the floor leading to an equally clean-ish old trunk. The trunk is full of what looks like old papers and journals, and they decide to grab what they can and get out before somebody else shows up or they find some unpleasant surprise.

Åke gets the car and they load up Andy’s papers and the trunk into it. While they’re doing that, Jerry takes a moment to peek across the Gauntlet to find that the Umbral reflection of the house is infested with Banes. And now they’re a little aware of him, as he starts hearing whispering and such. Before leaving, he distinctly hears the faint but familiar sound of a leg breaking and a woman screaming, provoking a shudder.

The other ask if Jerry’s okay once he catches up to them outside. He insists that he’s fine. Åke wants to burn the house down before they go, but everyone knows there are a lot of reasons not to do so. And we leave off with the pack returning to the sept to go through what they’ve found.

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