Dec 21, 2012

Welcome to Harmony Farm
November 10 - 17, 2018

Brendan Matthews was the other Level 3 Candidate on the bus, actually a small Sacramento Regional Transit shuttle, and they were joined by two armed men from the Alliance in addition to the driver. Max was the older of the two and took the role of tour guide. He talked mainly about agriculture in the area before and after and how nice the farm was. “What we are doing there will save the world” he told them.

The farm was located north of Sacramento. The whole area in every direction was prime farming land irrigated by rivers and canals. The farm itself was not apparent until the SacRT bus was close. Trevor did notice several dispersed guard towers camouflaged among trees. The farm was quite spread out and he smelled animals also. The bus pulled up to a large canopy where a communal meal was taking place. Everyone was wearing very similar simple dun colored clothing and straw hats.

The guards left and an enthusiastic white guy with a man bun leapt onboard. He cheerfully greeted them and introduced himself as Brad Torvalds. Brad would be their “pod mom” during orientation before they were assigned to a serenity pod of their own.

They stepped out of the bus to clapping and greetings from the diners. Brad introduced Brendan and Trevor to the group and then they sat down for a quick dinner and pleasantries. People here seemed happy enough but the place seemed to be hitting all the cult checkboxes.

After eating they grabbed their bags and a middle aged woman named Jenny sized them up for work clothes. Then she led them to the shower house and handed them a pat of soap and towel. This was not just a shower but a new beginning. “Scrub off the fears, anger, and judgements of the old world and be reborn.” She told them in the dressing room before leaving but not before Trevor hit on her.

When they finished showering and returned to the dressing room, their bags and dirty laundry were gone. In their place was sandals and the same tan shirt and pants as everyone else. It wasn’t cotton. Brendan thought it was hemp.

Man bun was back to give them a quick introduction to how the Alliance was set up while they leisurely walked around the neighborhood.
Prime Elder Aeonian (overall leader of the Mortal Condition)
Vicegerant Quietus (newly appointed leader of Harmony Farm)
Harmony Facilitator Halcyon (One of the manager types in Solace)
Serenity Pods run by “Pod Moms”
Allies (members of the Alliance)
Candidates level 1-3 (the membership prospects)

Hard work and standout effort is recognized through the coveted Spotlight Award. Recipients of the Spotlight then join the cross functional Circle of Joy to help vet new processes and establish best practices.

They found their things waiting for them in the bunk house. The sea bags were gone fulfilling Trevor’s earlier inspiration and their stuff probably riffled through but it was all there.

Thus began Trevor and Brendan’s seven day orientation to Harmony Farm.

XP: 3

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Next Level
November 3 - 10, 2018

It took another Saturday and Wednesday before Trevor was promoted to Level 3 and invited to the Farm. He was told to be ready on the 10th and that he’d be able to take a Navy sea bag full of personal items with him. So they had a lot of planning to do.

Trevor contacted his shadowy employers for some assistance. They provided a small GPS tracking device and a handheld unit to follow its progress. For his part Trevor would conceal the tracker in some benoit balls among his stuff and the others would wait for the tracker to come to a stop for an hour or so before following. Meanwhile Trevor would play the eager farmer in training and try to befriend everyone and get the info on the system and purpose of the farm. and try to locate a suitable radio to contact Graves and Maria according to their 3-3-3 communication plan.

One kink in the plan arose right away on the 10th. When Trevor was handed the sea bag to put his stuff into, he examined it. He tried using his ESP to read the bag and received an impression of the last user of the bag never seeing it again. So with that bit of information Trevor went into the bathroom and put the benoit balls into his underwear, up front. He hoped any search would not be so invasive but he could always claim they slipped out. He would trust that nobody would want to search them to find the tracking device.

2 XP

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Halloween
October 31, 2018

Trevor finally came out of the “Level 2” meeting of Alliance of the Mortal Condition. Dr Graves and Magus Maria were at wits end watching Crack Head J for the hour after the Level 1 meeting concluded. They walked away from the old theater together toward Crown Heights.

Along the way Trevor got goose bumps and he told everyone that something was up. Nothing looked to be up in the neighborhood but he cautioned them to take cover. He said it with such authority that everyone, even Crack Head Jay, leapt behind the nearest object. Graves sidled up to a mailbox. Trevor jumped behind an old newspaper machine, Crack Head J peeked around a fire hydrant, and Maria tried to squat behind an orange traffic cone.

They waited a few minutes. Nothing happened. No shot rang out. Nothing appeared to molest them. Then Dr Graves noticed several pulses of mystical light coming from a house the next street over. It was a flash of Essence that the others could not see. He motioned for the others to follow and took off between the two nearest buildings.

He was so fast and sneaky that he passed through the backyard, through the dividing hedge, and across the next backyard like a shadow. The others were left behind in confusion. They stood around an old above ground pool with filthy water in it. He hoarsely whispered to them and then listened at the back door to the dilapidated home. There was a noise.

Trevor and J reached him before Maria’s wide load hung up on the hedge and and she tumbled out onto the lawn. She lay splayed out like a starfish for a moment before heaving herself upright once more and joining the others.

Dr. Graves had heard a scream that was cut off. Then there was some muffled crashing about. He forced the door open and entered. The rest of the group still didn’t really know what was going on but they followed him into the kitchen/dining area.

The crashing noise stopped. Graves crossed into the living room and turned to the right. An animal like bellow greeted him. He faced the hall to the bedrooms and moved forward with his trusty shotgun up. A five foot tall bloated thing entered the hallway and snarled. It had claws on short stumpy wings and a round mouth filled with needle like teeth. It’s skin was smooth and purple. It’s lips and fleshy horns or antenna were red. Blood dripped from it’s mouth and claws. It charged the doctor.

Graves fired a load of buckshot into it and backed up to the kitchen entry. The pellets left 9 oozing holes in it’s chest but the thing closed the distance running and flapping its nearly useless wings. It extended it’s head and nipped a bite out of the doctor’s belly right through his leather armor. Magus Maria trundled into the room to a spot near the front door. A deafening blast issued from her Keltec rifle and a large 30 caliber slug impacted the creature’s chest. Now she had it’s attention. Trevor stepped up to Graves’ side and thrust with his sword but the purple beast avoided it.

The thing slashed open Graves’ thigh with one claw and hopped over to Maria. It clawed her and Maria fell over the chair propped against the front door. Then it leaned over and bit her. Now her habit looked like a sexy Halloween costume.

The beast was hit by the shotgun again and Maria stood back up. Trevor stabbed the creature. Black ichor ran from numerous wounds and it seemed gravely injured but it was tough and rubbery. It attacked Trevor with claws and bite but the lucky man avoided injury.

Then a .308 bullet entered it’s head and showered the wall opposite with black goo. It rolled onto it’s back and Maria lowered the smoking muzzle. It began to deflate and ooze into the carpet.

Trevor whipped out his first aid kit and attended to Maria and Alex. Crack Head J was hopping around the kitchen holding his head and swearing. The creature had turned into a purple blob on the floor and was further transforming.

The room in the rear of the house held two bodies. The young man and woman were torn apart. On the floor was the remains of a ornate circle in chalk. Trevor recognized it as a circle or protection and Graves that the ward was amateurishly executed. It was weak or perhaps even broken. They found some notes and realized that the deceased pair had summoned this creature but the circle failed to hold it. It broke out and slew them both.

Valuables were collected including a sample of the goo pool that the thing had turned into. Trevor would send that back to the CIA for evaluation. The Rosicrucians would get a full report as well. Dr Graves was worried that he could not identify the creature at all except to say it was not a fiend. It was something strange to him. Perhaps even new.

1 Purple rubbery summoned creature killed

3 XP


Back at Crown Heights, Magus Maria quickly establishes her control. With the landlord dead, she took over the apartment building and made plans to run it on a permanent basis.

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Juan's Family
October 24, 2018

The three investigators get a break while looking into the disappearance of a local girl. She was snatched during the night from her bedroom. The bars had been pulled off the window and the girl taken out that way. Outside the window there were barefoot prints in the dirt and also some blood. They lost the trail until Maria found some more blood down the street. She intuited that the culprits were headed back to her apartment building.

They began exploring the basement. They took a look in the tenant storage area. The chain link storage areas were surprisingly full. In particular they noticed the belongings of someone they were told had left to live with her son. If that was true she had left many things behind. They realized that they had probably been lied to. The lock on the super’s office foiled them but the door yielded easily enough to a swift kick. The office did not hold any clues or keys. The paperwork reminded them that the super and his maintenance crew were among the first to leave … or disappear. Then they crossed the hall and picked the disk lock on the janitor’s room. It was rather large. It was part break room, storage, maintenance area and a bit drafty and there was an odor. The origin of both was behind the refrigerator where there was a large hole in the wall. Now the clues clicked into place.

Juan was obviously involved in hiding or helping the “night terrors”. The lock meant he knew about the hole and the grubby prints on the side and rear of the fridge indicated it was being moved from both sides. They figured he was letting them out to feed on tenants.

The other side of the hole was a crude shaft steeply descending about ten feet. They climbed down. The underground area seemed to be old forgotten passages from an earlier time in Sacramento. The floor there was brick but the three directions they could walk had other construction. There was trash laying around and an old chair against the wall. They drew weapons, adjusted their lights, and began to explore.

They quickly found a large furnished room. Couches, chairs, tables, old crates, and a barrel used for fires were arranged around the center of the room. Unlit candles and empty bottles and cans made the place look lived in and the barrel had warm coals in it. They continued exploring but further on when they heard some noises, the three grew apprehensive. The last thing they wanted was for the hungry dead to be coming at them from all sides. They retreated back into the janitor’s room.

It was time to revisit Juan.

The landlord was home on the top floor. Their nice words did not last for long. Soon he was disarmed, handcuffed, and being violently interrogated. They learned that it was his family down there. They had turned at some point. He was the only one left that was not a flesh eating ghoul but he loved them still.

He was dragged downstairs. The plan was to use him as bait and shoot the creatures as they emerged from the hole. It only worked for one. A wiry dead thing scrambled up the shaft and peaked into the room. It still resembled the pretty Filipina woman from the family photos in Juan’s apartment. He blew her head off as Juan screamed and cried. He continued shouting Tagalog into the darkness and nothing else followed. They would have to return to the warren below.

Juan was pitched headfirst into the dark shaft and the rest climbed after him. The injured man was a mess asking them to spare his family and not taking any responsibility for the deaths he caused. They went further this time and heard people calling for help.

Juan’s family was in a very large rectangular room. Their flashlights briefly caught the creatures scurrying out of sight. It was furnished like the other but stank of death and the lights picked out gnawed bones. Dr Graves was the first to enter behind the muzzle of his shotgun and he was ambushed from both sides of the entry. He almost dodge all the claws but his leg was badly torn open right through the armor. It was almost bad enough to take him down but he stayed up shooting. The rest of the group moved up behind him doing what they could.

Besides the two young female ambushers a granny ghoul ran into the room from the tunnel opposite them. Two other juveniles peaked out from where they hid behind furniture. Headlamps, flashlights, and muzzle flashes chaotically lit the chamber. In the center was a large iron grate on the floor. Screams of terror could be heard coming from it between deafening gunfire.

Granny and the juveniles joined in the attack but they only postponed the inevitable by a few seconds.

Juan was dragging into the room while the four prisoners were rescued from the pit. They had been a living larder. Some of them had missing parts and crude tourniquets applied. The missing girl was there and besides being hysterical only had a few cuts.

The landlord was forced to his knees in front of the pit. They weren’t quite sure what to do with him. They decided on street justice. Magus Maria put the barrel of her Desert Eagle against the back of his head and pulled the trigger.

6 Hungry Dead Killed
1 Juan Killed

4 XP

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Reunion in Sacramento
October 24, 2018

Magus Maria, formerly Apestosa, moves to Sacramento, California to establish a new Zoroastrian Fire Temple.

Special Agent Trevor Sanderson is assigned his first solo job for “The Company”. He arrives in Sacramento to investigate a group known as the Alliance of the Mortal Condition.

Rosicrucian Alex Graves has been transferred to the new Shrine in Sacramento to be closer to the seat of power in the region.

The lives of the three become intertwined again like old times. Maria’s neighborhood has a missing person’s problem that Juan the landlord is downplaying. Something(s) seems to take people away at night. The Alliance of the Mortal Condition seems a little cult like and may have its own hidden story.

Maria and Graves begin their investigations talking to Juan, local gang members (Disciples), other tenants, and Crack Head J. Trevor attends a meeting of the Alliance.

XP: 2

No Kills

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Aztec, New Mexico

The thing that had been Joanne Talley tracked the two ronin to Aztec, New Mexico . She used the Japanese term for a wandering samurai without a lord but of course they were not Japanese warriors. They were reborn Aztecs. The older dressed as a Jaguar Warrior and the younger as an Eagle Warrior. These two were special however as they had a connection to the divine that Joanne did not understand. She had crossed paths with them before when they were with a different group. Now they lead this current group of unfortunates.

She didn’t care about the rest of the group but the two dead at her feet at the communications trailer had allied with the Aztecs and had to die. They had not even made a sound. The only sound was static on the ham radio. In the distance was Aztec Ruins National Monument where the rest of the people were located. There appeared to be a meeting between leaders of the different groups taking place in the reconstructed kiva. She loped into the darkness.

At the ruins she vaulted the low ruined wall and sprinted to the kiva. There was a guard at each entrance. The one at the rear had just lit a stale cigarette. Her wakizashi left their scabbards. The cigarette fell out of the surprised guard’s mouth and he raised a hand in defense but her blade cut him in two.

Joanne descended the stairs into the kiva. There was a fire and several people talking. The Aztecs were there. Three Native Americans sat across from them on a stone trough. Standing beyond the five was a man dressed in the black of a priest and next to him was a short Italian man in a mesh shirt. “Everyone but these two leave if you want to live” she growled.

Shots rang out amid cries of surprise. The eagle warrior fired his 10mm handgun and backed away. The three Native Americans backed away. The armed brave in particular was freaked out and led the way. The short Italian, Guido probably, froze and shook while the priest held up the crucifix around his neck.

Joanne with a fresh bullet hole in her chest closed the distance and her sword flashed in the firelight. The jaguar warrior dropped to the ground with glassy eyes staring at the ceiling. She flicked the sword back but it’s deadly arc was stopped by the mystical shield summoned by the junior warrior. The priest called down heavenly fire on the wrathful undead. Joanne burst into flames but that did not stop her.

Her blades drank deeply of the two Inspired that defied her. They both sprawled lifeless on the floor within moments of each other. The other people rushed up the stairs as the remaining guard entered and level his shotgun. Joanne intimidated him into leaving with the rest. Her mission was complete.

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Joanne, God Slayer, Vampire of San Jose, Commandant General of the Tonton Macoute, Fellowship of Judas
Whatever is coming, she is ready.

The ancient samurai from the Fellowship of Judas would not take no for an answer, Joanne thought irritably. Even through the dense mountain fog, she recognized his rounded shoulders and slow gait. She had followed scattered groups of modern Aztecs into Arizona and Sensai Hiroshii had followed her. She plunged her swords into the icy lake, washing the black viscera off the blades. Nearby on the shore lay the disemboweled corpse of what the humans called the hungry dead.

“My answer is unchanged,” she said as Hiroshii stumped up over the uneven ground. She could feel the fire reignite in her limbs, the familiar pain that only receded while she was tracking her next quarry. She slid her swords into the crossed sheaths on her back and turned to leave. She blinked, an old human habit she had not yet lost. Hiroshii was in front of her. She had never seen the old man move faster than a hobble.

She moved to walk around him, and yet he was in front of her again, faster than even her heightened senses could track. Her temper flared and her swords sang as she drew them from their sheaths, bringing the blades down on the old man’s neck.

She never touched him. Instead, she felt a brief pressure, something she would have once called pain, and her right arm was on the rocky ground next to her, her wakizashi clattering beside it. Hiroshii was several steps away, katana drawn and held lightly at his side.

The old man had first approached her weeks ago, asking her to join him as his student. “A war is coming,” he had told her. Coming? Joanne’s war was here and now. The agony of rage she suffered whenever she paused in her grim mission for even a moment made sure of that. Then, as now, it had driven her to refuse him.

She picked up the arm. Her undead powers of regeneration would restore it to her in a matter of hours, yet she was troubled. Never had she felt like such a child before a foe. She considered the man for a long moment. “I will train with you,” she said.

Hiroshii was a tireless instructor, and tireless is not a word to be tossed around lightly when it comes to undead. He put her through exercise after exercise, stamping his cane on the ground and yelling, “You are the string, I am the needle!” When she lashed out at him, insisting that she was ready, he parried her blades or her fists almost lazily, retorting “You are a frog in a well that would drown itself in the sea!” Weeks turned into months, and the samurai tempered Joanne’s rage like a blacksmith tempers brittle iron into steel.

She learned to use not just her blades but her body as a weapon. She learned to sweep an opponent’s legs from underneath them, to counter an attack with an attack of her own, and even the exact angle and force needed to break an enemy’s neck. Nor did Hiroshii did focus on the physical alone: he assigned her tome after tome of reading between her routines and her exercises, books about the death realms and the occult. Then one day, Hiroshii presented her with a traditional Japanese tanto. Unlike the American tanto this looked like a mini sword and was popular with the Samurai for close quarter fighting, as it could be used to penetrate body armor. It was a modern blade but one made by a master. Her tanto had been left behind somewhere in Felicity, California. Perhaps one of her former companions was carrying it or perhaps it was lost in the desert. She took it from his unliving hands and felt a spark of something that may have been gratitude. Whatever was coming, she would be ready.

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Da House on Da Bayou Done Gone Sour
FEED THE CROWS! FEED THE CROWS!

Boudreaux told an interesting story. The good old boy finished his beer and opened another. “Yep. Da House on da Bayou done gone sour.”

The man had told Marcel his remarkable story of the family’s abandoned plantation house. During the Zombie Apocalypse the extended family all retreated to the family home. It was “in the sticks” and they survived there living off the bounty of the bayou in relative peace. When the apocalypse mysteriously ended and the dead (mostly) returned to the Great Beyond the family largely remained there in seclusion except for hunting and foraging or trading trips.

LIfe was not without trials however. The family had deep roots in the area but had fallen on hard times generations past. The fields had reverted to a wild state and the home was rundown and haunted. The water level had risen also. Now the home was only accessible via boat. The matriarch of the family, one of a line of “witchy” women, was also increasingly angry and miserable to be around. Marie Toussaint called Meemaw by her numerous descendants was a large domineering woman that ran the household with an iron fist until she disappeared. It was assumed that a gator had gotten her during a nighttime visit to the latrine.

The following month Boudreaux and his cousin returned from town to find the place deserted. There was blood to be sure, and the house, always known to be haunted, now felt evil. They fled.

That was the bulk of the story told to Marcel. The houngan thought that there were restless spirits there that might need help moving on. He resolved to visit with Milhouse and investigate the plantation to see what they could do. Milhouse had his own power.

Boudreaux guided the small steel boat to the dilapidated dock. It had once been longer but the farthest point was now sunk beneath the water. “Keep an eye out for the General” he warned them of the king of the gators. MIlhouse swished his foot in the water and Marcel squinted. He did not discern any ghostly presences.

Their guide refused to go any further. He pointed to the overgrown path to the house and opened another beer. Marcel and Milhouse got out and quickly spotted the submerged gator stalking them. The former circus man had a knack with animals. Marcel didn’t understand it but he felt the release of essence and Milhouse began to grunt and hiss in alligator speak. The gator swam over and let Milhouse pet him.

“He’s hungry. I told him please don’t eat us. He said that people aren’t here any more.”

The gator swam away brushing the underside of the hull. Boudreaux clutched his hunting rifle. “That ain’t natural” he thought.

Marcel and Milhouse now fixated on the collapsed boathouse at the edge of the water. It was rotten and the roof had fallen in. They pushed inside and Milhouse lit the building with his flashlight. There was a single boat inside that appeared to have been undergoing repairs. There was debris and junk and lots of animal sign. My god the spiders. A few swamp rats fled the focused light.

They poked around and discussed how to ward the structure from ghosts. Then with sudden inspiration they realized that this old boathouse wasn’t why they were there. They left and followed the overgrown path to what had once been an opulent plantation home but was now just sad. Several windows were broken. The front door was ajar and the roof sagged. It was dirty gray and one side was covered in vines.

Marcel saw an apparition in the center upstairs window. It looked like the upper torso of a women. She turned away and disappeared when he hailed her.

They crossed the creaking porch and pushed the front door the rest of the way open. A large room with a fireplace greeted them. Beyond was an open spiral staircase behind four pillars. A baby grand piano sat in the center of the spiral and a frightened racoon jumped out and escaped through the grand foyer in the rear.

They moved through the room. To the left was the kitchen and dining room with perhaps a den beyond. To the right was a hall leading to other rooms. Past the staircase was the foyer with a door to the outside and a hallway.

Marcel called out to any spirits present and a noise drew there attention to the staircase. And old porcelain doll with a cracked face flopped down the steps. It came to rest staring in their direction. He thanked them for the gift and climbed the stairs. When he reached down for his present, it flew at him. He was struck by a much greater force that the doll alone. Had he not sidestepped in time he would have tumbled over the railing.

The doll landed on the floor at the bottom of the stairs and Milhouse who had been examining the racoon nest inside the piano went over and stepped on it. He ground the doll into the tile.

Marcel heard a baby softly crying upstairs now and Milhouse saw a large crow fly into the kitchen. It landed on the counter and cocked it’s head at him. They decided to stick together and get a better look at the crow.

Milhouse spoke with the animal. It screamed “Dead! Dead!” and “I eat the dead” and “yes I will stand on your arm and let you pet me”.

With the bird on his shoulder, Milhouse led the way through the kitchen to the den. There was nothing interesting. The three of them now returned to the staircase and began ascending.

Up and around, up and around. There was strangeness. The stairs seemed to stretch. Milhouse was somehow farther ahead and now out of sight. Marcel reached the second floor but he was alone. It was a room with a TV and entertainment center opposite a moldy couch. A door directly ahead opened to the veranda. On his left and right were bedrooms. A tiny narrow door to perhaps a closet was on the wall near the entertainment center. He called out for Milhouse but there was no answer. Then he called out to the spirits of the house. Unsatisfied he began drawing a circle on the floor.

Meanwhile Milhouse realized that somehow Marcel had gotten lost. Milhouse was in the attic now. It was small and filled with generations of stuff in storage. And cobwebs. So many cobwebs. There were three windowed dormers. The center had a rocking chair positioned in front of it. Not far away was an antique wooded rocking horse. He tried to see with his other sight. His vision refocused. There was a woman in an old fashioned dress sitting in the chair and a little girl sitting on the rocking horse. She was looking at him.

“Hi” he said. “What are you doing here?”

Meanwhile Marcel hear Milhouse coming up the stairs, or at least someone big and heavy. The sound preceded the pungent smell of decay. What had once been a woman of large carriage paused a step or two below the landing. Her skin was black and swollen and she dripped fetid water. Her sunken eyes glared at Marcel. She gurgled and Marcel tried not to retch. “What are you doing in my house?” she screamed.

Marcel gathered and released his power. His attempt to command her failed miserably. She left the stairs and crossed the room unbelievably fast. She almost clotheslined him. When that failed she reached for his head with her turgid black sausage fingers. He pushed those aside with his baby head stick too. She stripped that away from him.

Milhouse’s question seemed to anger the woman. “This is our place. We live here. You are tresspassing! You do not belong here!” she shouted. The little girl scrunched her face up into something inhuman and ugly.

Marcel gathered his power but Meemaw was too fast. She attacked with a face rake but he pulled back. She tried an eye gouge but he avoided that too. Then a kick but that didn’t connect either. That only made her angrier. He again tried to command her but his necromancy was countered by her wrath.

Gentle Milhouse began to cry. He tried again to talk to the lady but she was not interested. She told him that she wanted what he had. His life. She would feed the crows with his body. The little girl began rocking impossibly fast on the rocking horse. “Feed the crows! Feed the crows!” she screamed in a gravely voice. Milhouse didn’t like that one bit. His fear called down unearthly fire on the lady ghost but the flames were so feeble as to be barely present.

Marcel backed up and Meemaw began swinging his own baby headed stick against him scoring a hit. His necromancy failed him again and he drew the lead pipe that he had carried for five years.

The ghost screeched but Milhouse remained in control. He escaped down the stairs. “Feed the crows! Feed the crows!” the little one shouted.

Marcel heard the screech and he yelled in response. He and Meemaw were clubbing at each other but he was managing to hit while avoiding her attacks. He knew that a regular person or even a watcher would have been at least crippled with a broken leg by now. She was not as good with a club than her rassling moves. She discarded the weapon to the side and kicked him square in the nuts. Marcel didn’t let the pain overwhelm him. Then she body slammed him. He looked up and her in her slimy mumu. Her injuries were severe but she also appeared to be healing slowly.

Milhouse felt a strong push from behind but he kept his balance and ran down the stairs busting through the mysteriously held door. Marcel! He was in the same room with Marcel and a horrible rotting corpse. He almost gagged. The smell was almost too much to bear. He drew his sword as a rush of cold air descended the stairs.

Marcel told another fat joke and the creature looked back at him. She had been distracted by Milhouse’s arrival. She attempted to stomp on him but he rolled to the side. Then she rushed Milhouse and launched a badly aimed kick that connected with the entertainment center and held her in place. Milhouse disembowled her and a steaming pile of black rotten entrails dropped at his feet. The house shuddered and doors began banging open and closed. Then he was enveloped in cold. The attic ghost wrapped herself around him draining his life force.

Milhouse staggered away and stabbed at the rotten creature on the ground again. He beheaded it. Then Marcel got up. The ghost flew at him and sapped his life force too They couldn’t keep this up. Milhouse picked up the head and ran toward the door to the balcony.

Milhouse and Marcel ran out of the room. Milhouse leapt and Marcel flew into him taking them both over the balcony and they landed gracelessly on the drive below. Above them the haunt stayed on the balconey. Marcel rolled over and attempted to drive the spirit out of the rotten head. This time it worked and the head fell apart and formed a steaming puddle on the ground. Milhouse was left holding a soggy mass of hair. Marcel watched a wispy spirit return to the house.

The two of them returned to the boathouse where Marcel found some matches and old motor oil. They went back to burn that muther down while debating whether they would now have a revenant hunting them.

XP 3

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The Ghost of Christmas Past
Ho! Ho! Ho!

Tired of study, Dr Graves decided to flex his magical muscle at a supposedly haunted house. The story goes that a family was trapped in a burning house in some Christmas past. Perhaps it was even the night of the Apocalypse. The people that have come back to the area to live claim to have heard strange things and have seen lights and movement.

The car rolled to a stop near the intersection. Two homes were burned down and clearly abandoned for years. Graves got out and slid the car keys into his pocket while Jedd watched nervously. “Keep an eye out” he said before walking off with his tactical light showing the way. The best ghost hunting is at night.

He peaked into a window and the walked around the ruin with the light in his off hand and his revolver in the other. He didn’t see or hear anything unusual. It was quiet too quiet.

He entered and explored the small home. It had been two stories once but the upper level had collapsed and he walked in the rubble on the ground level. It looked untouched for years. It also looked completely uninteresting. He moved to what must have been the bathroom. There amid the charred scraps was part of a broken mirror. In it he saw the face of a horribly burned Santa Claus.

He whirled around with his grip tightening on the revolver. Nothing.

Then he felt cold. Something screamed “Ho ho ho!” in his ear but he didn’t panic. He holstered the Ruger realizing it would be no help.

Again the cold embraced him. He shivered and recognized that a little of his life force was sucked away.

He magicked up an Essence Shield but it was weak and again he felt his life force sapped.

He moved to the other side of the building and tried again. Graves threw up a second Essence Shield. This one was stronger and protected him from the spirit’s life drain but he could not figure out how to attack a supernatural creature that he could not see. Then he remembered the mirror. He returned to the bathroom and picked up the remains of the mirror.

The angry ghost mustered enough energy to physically push him and he fell backward into the rubble. He channeled and unleashed the magic. It was a weak strike and the ghost responded with a banshee howl. Once again the doctor stood his ground and resisted.

His second soul fire blast tore the ghost of Christmas past apart.

He breathed a sign of relief and walked back to the car. Was the ghost destroyed? He did not know. It was probably anchored here. He channeled essence again and shaped it’s matrix into a spirit mastery invocation. He tried to drive the ghost out but failed. He still sensed it’s presence.

Well that’s enough for one night, he thought. “Let’s go Rod, we’re done here.”

Dr Graves 3 XP
Jedd 1 XP

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