The next day they prepared for the ritual. Midnight was the appointed hour. While the Rosicrucians and band members planned the others collected equipment and burned the bodies. It was an all day job.
Marcel took some moments to make contact with his Patron. He completed the Vodou ritual but instead of Legba speaking through him, Marcel mumbled softly. When he roused, he had a strange story. He had a vision of a street corner where a man was playing a trombone. He had been told to come to New Orleans again and find the legendary horn player. That was his path.
When the hour arrived Voorman, Alejandro, and Graves entered the pyramid. They opened the doors and performed a Rosicrucian ritual to awaken the mystical vortex at the “Center of the World”. When they tapped the power of the vortex, things got weird. The inside of the pyramid seemed to grow in size and the vortex lit up with the blue-white energy of Essence. Also there was something else there with them.
The rest of the group holed themselves in the upstairs reception room and watched the pyramid from the windows. The Gifted among them sensed the change and also the new supernatural presence. Marcel began channeling energy and the others shifted their guns to the ready position.
Dr Graves was the first to spot the creature. It had been a small lizard once. Now it was bloated and deformed by magical energies. Perhaps it had become trapped in the vortex somehow and warped over time. Now it floated through the vortex at him and nipped at the man. It missed and Graves pulled his pistol. He squeezed the trigger. The deformed lizard jetted away but did not seem injured. The swirling vortex carried it to Voorman who motioned and launched a ball of energy at it. The lizard had already submerged into the energy field and Voorman’s attack missed.
In the upstairs room they heard the shot and began running out the door. The wounded were left behind with the other two band members to watch over them. Trevor and Milhouse quickly took the lead and led the pack to the pyramid. They found it hard to discern what was going on in the structure. The three people inside seemed faded and difficult to see. Alejandro was clearly struggling with the book and Voorman and Graves were looking in his direction.
Suddenly a deformed lizard materialized in the doorway and chomped down on the kid’s leg. It was torn open and it buckled under Trevor’s weight. He fell to the ground. From inside a far off sounding shot rang out the creature’s left leg was blown off. Then Milhouse stabbed it with his sword. Only it’s front half seemed substantial until it scurried the rest of the way out. Next is attacked Milhouse who stepped out of the way. The others arrived. Trevor pulled his gun into position from the ground and blasted the creature. That finished it off.
Bear Grylls began processing the animal while the others gathered around. Inside Alejandro began reciting the Sumerian words and was joined by Voorman and Graves. The Morturom Demonto jumped and bucked the in young Rosicrucian’s hands. The pages rapidly turned and flying skulls leapt from the book. The ten not-quite-human skulls had a pair of too-small bat wings and fangs. Ten streamed out and attacked the three men in the vortex. The Book continued to fight Alejandro. The cover had grown teeth.
Graves continued attacking with his 9mm pistol. Voorman began with an energy ball but when it missed and the skulls closed in he grew claws. Alejandro tried swatting them away with the Book. All three of them sported new injuries. Dr Graves, already gravely injured, wavered on the cusp of unconsciousness. He destroyed one with multiple shots and Voorman dusted the two on him. Milhouse had joined them inside and swung his sword unsuccessfuly at the pair flying around him.
Other skulls flew outside and were attacking Trevor, Jedd, Bear, and Gary. Trevor held them off but the others were not as successful. There sudden appearance and frightful appearance terrified the men. Both Jedd and Bear shit themselves. The skulls were darting back and forth attacking with wild abandon. They were quick and hard to hit, and hard to defend against. Still they managed to kill a skull before Gary went down in a spray of blood. Two skulls bit his waist. One tore through his back below the plate carrier and the other one bite into his belly. Gary dropped to the ground. Jedd reflexively fired his .30-06 hunting rifle but accidentally blew off Gary Busey’s right arm.
Voorman moved over to Alejandro to help. Milhouse and Graves finished off the remaining skulls near them. The fight was going their way but they heard the screams outside.
One skull burrowed into an unconscious Gary while the other attacked Jedd. The hunter lost him arm. It was attached but useless. He dropped the bolt action rifle and pulled a revolver from Gary’s holster. Another skull attacked Bear’s face and disfigured the man. Milhouse left the pyramid to assist Trevor who had been crawling away. Inside Graves shot the last skull and Voorman and Alejandro regained control of the Sumerian text.
Milhouse had cleaved another skull and still another attacking him and Trevor was shot by Graves from the pyramid doorway. On the ground Gary died as a skull bored through his body and began exiting the neck. Jedd took a badly aimed shot with the unfamiliar weapon and missed. Then Milhouse ran over and swung his sword through the creature. It split apart and the pieces flew through the air.
The immediate danger was past. Everyone caught their breath. The Rosicrucians hurriedly bagan the Sumerian spell once more before anything else could happen. They chanted in unison. The gathering power was palpable. As the spell concluded their words reached a crescendo. The Essence had been woven into the proper matrix and released into the vortex. There was a flash only the Gifted could see. In that flash Milhouse saw an image of his ghost cat Deborah leaping into the arms of a cat headed woman. Marcel saw the restless spirits of the recently dead sucked away – at least most of them anyway.
Then it was quiet and dark and the pyramid was empty. Graves, Voorman, and Alejandro were gone.
As the minutes turned to hours, Marcel elicited help from Milhouse. He attempted to contact Papa Legba again. The Loa told them that the others were gone. He did not know where they were.
The survivors passed the night in exhausted slumber inside the house. Jacques Andre and Xanthos spoke late into the night.
In the morning there was still no sign of the missing Rosicrucians.
1 Warped Lizard Killed
10 Flying Demon Skulls Killed
1 PC Killed
Congratulations! Through your hard work and sacrifice and the sacrifice of so many others, the ancient spell was cast and the spirits of the dead were pushed from this existance. The zombie apocalypse as it was has ended. Though not every dead creature and spirit was forced into the Dead Realms, most were and the world could begin healing.