Dec 21, 2012

The Final Ritual
Sept 16, Z-Day + 287

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.

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Bloody Aftermath
Sept 15, Z-Day + 286

Joanne the Revenant picked up her skin and put it back on like a jumpsuit.

Xanthos and Milhouse had both come out of their obedient state and gave her a wide berth. They helped the unconscious and moved the crying baby to a safe spot.

The megaphone at the house was in use again. They soon discovered that it was the Mayor out of hiding. With his wife, the pair and cleared the house and finished off several more of the Santa Muerte Cult in the parking lot. There were evidentally a few women and children left. One was sent up to the room to retrieve the baby but as soon as Joanne saw the woman she cut her down.

The revenant descended the stairs looking for more Mexicans She headed to the parking lot the the Mayor and his wife cut her down in a hail of gunfire from the house.

Eventually trust was established Jacques told them that while they were hiding, they heard Ximena talking about the group of prisoners wanting to do a ritual to end the undead apocalypse. It was then the mayor realized they were on the same side.

He belonged to a group called the Knights Templar. They were an ancient mystical association and though it was true they were retired out here he had bought this land to keep an eye on the Vortex that he later built a pyramid around. If they could use it to stop the undead plague then he would help as best he could.

The spent the rest of the day treating their injuries and re-equipping themselves. Dr Graves had another special communique from the Rosicrucians. And soon reinforcments arrived from Yuma. The car contained Gary Busey, Bear Grylls, and Jedd from the Rosicrucian Park in San Jose. Even later Trevor returned. Later still Voorman arrived with the band Fecalizer.

They discussed the Book and their plans deep into the night.

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There will be Blood V
Sept 15, Z-Day + 286

Trevor’s Story

Trevor moved in a crouch through the gift shop. He passed the cashier’s stand and bullets whizzed through the air. He wasted no time getting to the opposite end of the building. It had been part museum. The windows were all broken and accessible and the broken door was ajar. Outside was their bus pockmarked with bullet holes.

He climbed out the window. Numerous bodies of Mexicans and Michael’s soldiers lay heaped. It was ugly.

He pulled a key chain out of one of the Mexican’s pockets then moved around the bus. He wanted keep as much between him and the shooters as possible. Michael’s army had many vehicles left here from the initial assault. That seemed so long ago but it wasn’t really.

He noticed that most of Michael’s soldiers were torn up. It looked like damage from a 50 cal. Hmmm. The only one that could have shot these people was the machine gun mounted on one of Michael’s humvees. There was even a half inch bullet hole in the hood of the bus that could have only come from the humvee. Then the kid recalled something mentioned by Michael’s spokesperson over the bullhorn. “Her tricks wouldn’t work on them a second time.” Had Ximena controlled his gunner and forced the soldier to gun down his buddies? It seemed so.

One of Michael’s vehicles was a green 4 door Chevy Blazer. All four doors were ajar. It looked like it had come to a screeching halt and everyone bailed out at the start of the fight. The keys were still in the ignition. He got inside and carefully closed the doors. He slipped into the driver’s seat and started it up. He spun the tires and peeled out of the parking lot headed west. It was the wrong direction but he wanted to put distance between him and the remaining active 50 cal machine gun.

Ximena’s Story

Santisima Muerte slid her shiny knife through the soft flesh of the man’s belly. He screamed but that turned into a tortured shriek. As he drew in a ragged breath for another scream there was an unmistakable sound of a body hitting the ground.

A figure stood in the doorway. “Myyy skin. Give it to meeeee.” The words came through a lipless mouth.

Ximena didn’t understand the words but she recognized the speaker. The warrior woman’s spirit hadn’t departed it had in fact return to her body. She knew this meant unfinished business. Ximena directed her undead minions with a head nod and spoke a word of power commanding the corpse in the doorway to stop. The free willed undead resisted though and its twin wakizashi rose and fell carving up the second new aztec zombie. At least the revenant did not know the secret to their unlife. It did not know to destroy their hearts.

Her sacrifice on the table was struggling but the other prisoner was easily holding him down. Her mighty jaguar warrior was fighting for her now. He was alone. The dead woman had opened up the chest of her aztec zombie and seen the still beating heart. She had cut it out and ended him.

A wakizashi sliced through the jaguar warriors head. The little boy that had been helping screamed and ran out of the room. Now she was alone except for her compelled prisoners. She again commanded and again the undead woman resisted.

Undead Joanne rushed forward and with dual overhand chops sunk the blades into her shoulders. The plate carrier straps were severed and the armor protecting her own supernaturally beating heart clamshelled open. Ximena rolled under the table and came up on the other side of the restrained prisoner. She held her knife to his throat.

The flayed woman overturned the table and drove it into the wall pinning her and sending the one called Xanthos to the floor. Ximena worked left an got behind Milhouse. She commanded him to stop his former ally and then plunged her knife into the troublesome crippled black man. He keeled over as she ungracefully threw herself out the window.

Joanne dodged around Milhouse and launched herself out the window. She pinned Ximena to the ground with a sword but rolled away before Milhouse landed to her right. Ximena crawled between Milhouse’s legs and he began to parry Joanne’s swords. He could not block every stroke though and after numerous smaller cuts, Joanne finally destroyed her heart and released Ximena’s spirit.

1 Eagle Warrior Killed
0 Eagle Warriors Wounded
1 Undead Cultist Killed
0 Undead Eagle Warriors Controlled
0 PCs Killed
2 PCs stil Unconscious
3 PCs still Under Mental Control
1 PC still on the run


h2. Joanne’s Story

The gathered crowd, her friends among them, stared at her body.

Ximena stared at her. Even as the girl approached the place where Joanne’s body lay on sand blooded rusty and wet, Ximena was gazing up at Joanne’s spirit standing over it. Joanne could feel the supernaturalness of the girl and her undead priests. The younger woman smiled benevolently at Joanne, then lowered her eyes with holy bliss as she slid her knife beneath Joanne’s ribs; she was nothing if not sincere. Another cut and she clutched Joanne’s heart in her fist. When she bit into it, the blood ran down her beautiful mouth and her people screamed for her.

Joanne’s body was stripped of the remaining shreds of her armor and opened belly to neck by the warrior that had killed her. With practiced ease, he flayed her skin from her body and swung it over his shoulders, her blood still dripping onto the sand. A troubled expression drifted over Ximena’s triumphant face like a dark cloud over the sun when Joanne’s spirit followed her body into the shallow grave and remained standing over the crumpled form. Joanne felt the command behind Ximena’s eyes, a order to descend to the underworld. Joanne nearly succumbed; it was dark and cool there, and she’d been fighting for so long… But anger stoppered her exhaustion – anger at her mistakes, her weaknesses, her failures. Joanne remained.

Ximena held her gaze a second longer, and then turned away, ordering that the uauantin be buried with her weapons and the grave filled. When the first shovelful of dirt fell on her body, everything went blank.

——

Most revenants are victims of violent crimes, their deaths occurring while they are in a state of rage. This Wrath is so intense that it transforms the soul, altering it to the point that it is no longer subject to the cycle of life and death. It does not leave the physical world after death but instead re-enters its physical body, rises from the grave, and sets out to avenge its demise.

But anger alone does not a revenant make, else the world would be full of them. However, the proximity of a vortex of spiritual power, as well as the blood, tears, and prayers of more than a dozen innocent souls soaked into the soil of one’s grave… that may be enough to do it.

——

Joanne’s eyes snapped open like blades. She was laying on her back in darkness. The first thing she noticed was the pain, burning hot and deep. Then she felt the Wrath, icy and sharp. Buried alive? She fumbled in the loose soil pressed around her; it was wet, nearly mud. Another cold squeeze of rage pushed its way through the panic, and she remembered. Buried, yes.

Alive, no.

She could feel her body healing itself – the gash in her side closing up, her shattered leg mending, the blow to her head knitting together. No human could do this.

And the power. Even crushed beneath the soil, she could feel the growing power in her muscles – not only raw brute strength, but speed, dexterity, precision. No human could dream of this.

Something pulled at her. Someone. She knew Ximena was close. Her anger redoubled with a new sense of purpose: righteous vengeance. First on Ximena, but then on the hordes of undead, and everyone who got in her way, until every last one was destroyed. The world would bleed under her noble wrath.

Joanne felt around her until her hands closed on the leather grips of her swords, tossed carelessly into her grave as she was buried. Slowly, she broke the embrace of the earth and inched upward through the bloody soil and the dead flesh that lay above it. The man was dead before he noticed Joanne was behind him. His eyes and rifle had been trained on the gift shop. Above him in the second story of the nearest building, Joanne sensed Ximena. The kill was so easy; her sword slid through flesh and bone like a shark cutting through the water, the top half of his body sliding wetly to the earth as his legs folded. What a fool she had been for ever wishing for her old life, her unmutilated face, her useless honor.

She scaled the stairs of the building. One of Ximena’s undead warriors guarded the doorway, but he did not attack his kindred undead, although he would not allow her to pass. Inside the second floor room a man shrieked in agony. Hadn’t she known that voice once? Joanne brought one of her swords down in an overhand chop that parted the dead guard’s right collarbone and cleaved the ribs from the sternum and backbone. His right side peeled away and he joined the other bodies lying in the doorway.

The doorway clear, she entered the room to face Ximena. The young dead girl held a freshly bloodied knife. A large man wracked with pain quivered on a table while being held down by two others. She burned at the sight.

“Myyy skin. Give it to meeeee.” She hissed through a lipless mouth.

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There Will be Blood IV
Still Sept 15, Z-Day + 286 morning

Ximena and her remaining people consolidated themselves in the upper floor. There was nobody left fighting them. One had escaped but he could be dealt with later. She had people outside shooting at him even now.

She ordered her people to examine downed fighters. Those that were still alive would be her newest converts. She had lost almost everybody and needed to replenish the zombie ranks. Marcel, the magic man, was blindfolded with a bloody tee shirt and sleeves tied together behind his back, binding his one remaining arm.

The first to be sacrificed and zombified was one of her own. He was a mortally wounded and unconscious middle aged man. She opened his chest with her knife while praying and pulled out his weakly beating heart. She infused the heart with necromantic energy and replaced it in his chest. His body shook and he arose to do her bidding.

Next was the fat, critically wounded farmer that had been sitting motionless on the south landing. He staggered inside once the fighting was done. Ximena took one look at his condition and ordered Xanthos to grab him and lay him out on the table. After he did so, the Queen of Bones cut out his heart too and transformed him into a zombie like the other. She had her two newest minions guard the doors. She did not know what to make of the gunfight outside. Her people in the parking lot were engaging with someone. That was for sure.

She only had two more unconscious people to convert and her two enthralled servants. They wouldn’t stay in her service for much longer though. Better to convert them now than cut it too close and risk them turning against her. Then they could sacrifice the nun and the one they called the doctor. The black santero she had not made up her mind about. Probably safer to kill him but for now he could remain tied up.

She ordered Xanthos onto the makeshift sacrificial altar. He went willingly. Then she motioned to the Jaguar Warrior and to Milhouse. Milhouse and the Jaguar Warrior held Xanthos down. Xanthos’ mind screamed, “Bullshit! He should have gotten another save when she ordered him on the table. Or was that an opposed Charisma check? There has got to be a rule he can use! Think dammit!”

Ximena spoke a few words that didn’t sound like Spanish and positioned the knife under his ribs.

Milhouse knew that he shouldn’t be doing this, but it is what the Queen of the Dead wanted. He stiffly aided his new mistress.

Marcel laid on the floor blind. Outwardly he looked calm, but is mind was in turmoil. He impotently raged against his traitorous muscles that obeyed another master now.

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1 Eagle Warrior Killed
0 Eagle Warriors Wounded
1 Undead Cultist Killed
0 Undead Eagle Warriors Controlled
0 PCs Killed
2 PCs stil Unconscious
3 PCs still Under Mental Control
1 PC still on the run


Meanwhile unexpected allies are on the move outside.

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There Will be Blood III
Sept 15, Z-Day + 286

The fight degenerated quickly. Now mutiple guns were firing at moving targets inside the room. Interspersed with the shooters was chaotic melee. It was hard to grasp everything that was happening. The fight was going against the defenders though. Then Sister Maria Magdalena Margarita Vargas de Arroyo Rodriguez moved over to intimidate another cultist, a child really, into submission. She succeeded but an dead eagle warrior cleaved through the nun’s torso and almost into Trevor. This began the accelerating decline of the heroes defense.

Outside Ximena herself was coming up the stairs with her bodyguard the Jaguar Warrior wearing Joanne’s skin as a cape.

Dr. Graved was forced back into a corner dodging blows. When he stepped in front of the open window one of the waiting shooters opened up with an AK-47. The doctor went down unconscious.

On the south side of the room the undead priest attempted to lock eyes with Milhouse. The hypnotism effect failed.

Now the Jaguar Warrior joined the fight and Ximena was right behind. She also had a different but also powerful ability to make others do as she commanded. The first was Xanthos. He knelt and offered her his sword.

Trevor tore his gaze away from the undead priest. Milhouse was not so lucky with Ximena however.

Marcel tried to control the dead again but failed. He was Ximena’s next mental victim.

The resistance crumbled! There was more shooting outside however. It sounded like a small gunfight had broken out in the parking lot on the Yuma side of the buildings. Trevor made a quick decision and dashed across the room and leapt out the window. He landed expertly and continued to the other building. He drew fire from a woman on the south side of the building and took a rifle round in the arm. He changed direction and ran inside the old gift shop. The woman kept shooting blindly into the building. The man responsible for shooting Dr Graves also shot several rounds after Trevor. None hit the concealed teen.

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1 Kid Intimidated
5 Cultists Killed or Dying
0 Eagle Warriors Killed
0 Eagle Warriors Wounded
7 Undead Eagle Warrior Killed
2 Undead Eagle Warriors Controlled
0 PCs Killed
2 PCs Unconscious
3 PCs Under Mental Control
1 PC Fled

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There Will be Blood II
Sept 15, Z-Day + 286

Outside the Mexicans take up positions to shoot into the windows and doors at targets of opportunity as others advanced on the stairs for a second assault. This time undead eagle warriors took the lead in the charge. The Aztecs pushed into the banquet room and the survivors began their last stand.

The defenders held the room until the arrival of the undead eagle warriors. The dead eagles charged up the stairs taking numerous gunshot wounds with little apparent effect. The wounds were gruesome but did not stop them.

Xanthos traded blows with the first one while Wigberto shot it. It moved further inside and kept swinging it’s machete. Xanthos blocked with his shield. Wigberto fired again. The bullets got it’s attention and the warrior sidestepped over to him. His machete rose and fell. Wigberto’s head rolled to the side and blood spurted across the carpet. Their new Mexican ally was dead.

At the other door, Graves was forced back because of gunfire and undead eagle warrior pushed back the table. Behind it was another. They entered the room. The fight intensified but Marcel was again able to control the first zombie and order it to attack anything that tried to come up the stairs. It jabbed it’s weapon through the chest of the next undead warrior and sent it toppling over the stucco wall on the landing.

Apestosa moved over to help Xanthos. A boy with a crowbar had gotten inside and tried to take out the man’s knee. She bellowed at him in Spanish and the kid ran back outside.

Wigberto’s killer moved past the nun and stabbed several times at Marcel laying on the ground. Marcel had had just commanded a second zombie. The zombie eagle warrior drew blood before an arm and leg were shattered by gunfire. It fell to the ground but roll over and locked eyes with the cajun.

1 Kid Intimidated
2 Cultists Killed
3 Eagle Warriors Killed
0 Eagle Warriors Wounded
1 Undead Eagle Warrior Killed
2 Undead Eagle Warriors Controlled
1 PCs Killed

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There Will be Blood I
Sept 15, Z-Day + 286

Milhouse moved to help Apestosa and his touch healed her just enough that she was able to stand. Shots rang outside as cultists took shots through the windows. At the same time others ran up the stairs. It was a full on assault. The Santa Muerte group began taking heavy casualties.

Lord Xanthos stood beside the southern door while Wigberto backed him up with a pistol. Marcel stayed on the table overlooking the space between buildings. Dr Graves and Trevor held the northern door and staircase with rifles with an overturned table blocking the door. It was a desperate fight and the killed and wounded began to accumulate on the stairs and landing. A revolver wielding zombie eagle warrior entered the room and tried to shoot Xanthos who deflected the gun away with his captured shield. Then a portly farmer in blue overalls shoved a worn double barrel shotgun around the door jam. The role player swung his shield back and pushed the barrels safely up before it fired.

Marcel left his post by the window for a more central location in the floor and began collecting power to fuel his vodou necromancy. About this time Wigberto took a crippling blow to the leg and fell to the floor. Graves continued burning through his 5.45 mm ammo in the AK 74 but Trevor switched to melee combat with his captured macuahuitl.

Marcel controlled the first undead eagle warrior through the door by Xanthos. It took the large revolver and turned to the middle aged farmer. Flame erupted from the revolver and the campesino staggered back. He slid along the wall dropping the gun and clutching his chest. Things were looking better. The controlled gunslinger continued firing down the steps hitting others and causing the attack to stall.

The attack on the other door began to waver but a dead eagle was at the table blocking the door. It was in danger of pushing the table back and getting inside. Everyone concentrated their attacks. Milhouse and Trevor finally terminated a dead eagle warrior with simultaneous strikes. It fell backward over the stucco wall and hit the cement below.

Dr Graves began firing on a maroon SUV that the left the cover of the main and guest houses. Back at the main house people piled into the two cars parked in front. The SUV picked up speed heading toward their building across the gravel. Trevor stepped over to assist. It appeared to want to ram the building and they were afraid it was loaded with explosives. The driver mantained control as the first tire was shot out but the next rounds that broke his arm and took out another tire was too much. The front wheels turned digging into the gravel and the speeding vehicle slid sideways. The rear bounced over the curb tearing that tire off its rim and the SUV came to a stop. They no longer had a view on the driver who was unsuccessfully trying to back it up. The cars parked at the house drove around the parking lot shield people running alongside until they were all behind the cover of the restaurant.

Marcel’s zombie minion had finished reloading and was sent outside to finish off the driver. At the bottom of the stairs he shot through the back window and the passenger compartment erupted into flames. Several of the windows shattered and the undead minion was singed. Surprisingly the driver was still trying to drive so it must be a zombie too. The SUV had no traction on three bare metal rims and Marcel’s controlled creature moved over to the driver’s winder and fired inside. The door opened and a burning man stepped out. The zombie eagle warrior pushed the revolver into its sternum and fired. That ended it.

Before anyone could regain their breath a burst of 50 cal machine gun fire rippied though the west wall near the north door. Four of the five bullets passed harmlessly through the west wall and north wall leaving trails of drywall dust. The fifth grazed the side of Trevor’s helmet leaving a yellow scar of exposed kevlar fibers. He had almost lost his head.

3 Cultists Killed
2 Eagle Warriors Killed
2 Eagle Warriors Wounded
1 Undead Eagle Warrior Killed
1 Undead Cultist Killed
0 PCs Killed (Trevor came close though!)

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The Santa Muerte Cult Moves in for the Kill
Sept 15, Z-Day + 286

Marcel was laid on a table facing the opposite building and what remained of the Gozerians. They armed him with the ancient .308 rifle found with the body and the old corroded ammo. He immediately spied no Gozerians but a pair of eagle warriors from Ximena’s white SUV checking out the Gozerian’s two Humvees. Diagonal from Marcel, Trevor switched out the SVD for a rifle with ammo and watched the disabled Humvee gun truck in the main parking lot. There was someone still moving around inside it. Milhouse was aghast and Dr Graves’ injured arm. He went over to Alex and held the arm. Milhouse wept and there was no denying that the bones and flesh knitted back together. The mangled arm was as good as new with only some pink lines of new flesh to hint at the injury. A miracle!

The newly healed Graves moved to the small rear window facing west. He kept an eye on the main lot and house where there still numerous cult members. Again the megaphone was used to shout at them from the house. Throw down your weapons and come out!

Graves took a shot at a beat up maroon SUV he spotted backing up between one of the guest houses and the main house. He though he hit the driver but it was hard to tell and the vehicle backed out of sight. Then Graves received a mental message. He began conversing and seemed a little exasperated. He let them know that the Rosicrucians had just checked in. They need to hold out until night when Voorman will come with some help. The Rosicrucians believe that the Mortum Demonto needs to be used in the vortex contained in the pyramid. If the Necronomicon’s spell is cast in the “Center of the World” it is believed to have a worldwide effect. And most importantly, Necro Cannibal, the Sumerian Scholar and Rosicrucian, thinks they will soon be ready to read from the book.

Visibility was limited by the thunderstorm but they did not let that deter them from taking shots as opportunities presented themselves to thin out their opponents. All their shots missed and Marcel’s rifle exploded sending metal fragments into his remaining arm and face.

“You heard what the soldiers said”. Came the voice from the house. “They came here to stop these prisoners from working dark magic and interfering with Mictlan and the masters of the dead. The soldiers were no heroes though. They claimed their god blocked the spirits of the dead from journeying to the underworld to prepare this world for his return. They are dead now and we rejoice but the prisoners remain. Kill them if you must but try to take them alive so that they can experience the ritual knife and glory of sacrifice.”

The Santa Muerte Cult moved in for the kill. Dr Graves opened up on some people crossing the parking lot. The person in the gun truck moved the machine gun and slid into position. Trevor had a change of heart and ran to the other side of the room before holes were stitched across the wall – too high to hurt anyone but frightening none the less. An eagle warror came into view inside the gift shop. Marcel realized that it was one defeated by Joanne and also that is sported a black slit under its ribs. It’s heart had been removed and it was now some sort of aztec zombie. The aspiring necromancer had been holding gathered Essence for just that. He willed the creature to attack the disabled gun truck, to shoot the machine gun in hopes of breaking the gun.

The dead warrior succumbed to Marcel’s necromancy and ran out of the shop but stopped between the buildings. He was holding Dr Graves’ Winchester shotgun and wearing his bandoleer. Back inside the gift shop another form stepped forward with it’s arm outstretched. It was the undead Aztec priest. It undid whatever Marcel did. Xanthos and Wigberto were by the main windows now and fired on the priest but the creature reacted little to the shots besides moving back into the shadows.

Graves and Trevor continued taking shots at people moving across the parking lot toward the restaurant. They had taken down a few and injured a couple more.

Two more warriors ran from the gift shop under fire into the museum below them. Now three of the warriors were in the museum, the priest was still in the gift shop facing them, and on the other side of the building an unknown number were hidden by the restaurant.

0 Zombies Killed
3 Humans Killed
0 PCs Killed

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The Fight is Over, Right?
Sept 15, Z-Day + 286

There was a lull in the fight that was filled by scrambling to retrieve gear from the Gozerians. The closest bodies outside were pulled inside and Trevor and Xanthos stripped what they could from Manson and the Rev. Archangel Trudy’s SVD sniper rifle just had one bullet left but the rest of the haul was good. Eventually her screams faded in the distance. Most people were armed and armored again. Trevor even had his original police ballistic vest although it was now blood soaked and had a large hole blown through the front and back.

The Santa Muerte group was active. The white suburban drove rapidly from the house to the Gozerian side of the battlefield and shooting broke out. Over the loudspeaker they were told to surrender. Disarm and come outside. That they were still prisoners. Meanwhile the storm was a full on tempest.

They gathered in and began fortifying the kitchen. Enthusiasm waned though and they began talking about other options. Apestosa and Marcel were dragged into the office and the window there was noticed. On the other side of the broken window were the stairs to the second floor. Getting to the second floor room seemed like a much better position than trying to defend two broken doors and a hole in the wall without really having a view outside.

Graves with his magic Shield was the first out the window. He was engaged from the parking lot and turned to the left to return fire. Again his shield soaked up a hit while the others climbed out and headed up the stairs. Graves’ return shots with the rifle caused the sombrero wearing man to spin around before disappearing from view.

The other people in the parking lot took cover and oriented themselves to the new threat. In the disabled gun truck however, someone adjusted the roof turret and fired a burst at Dr Graves. He screamed as his Shield was overcome and his arm took one of the .50 rounds. Raw meat was flapping and it was obviously broken. He turned and followed the others up the stairs.

The next burst from the Ma Duece flew high and missed the group as they spilled into the second floor room. It was empty except for a body laying near a rifle. It had been a banquet room and most of the furniture was still present but folded up against the walls except for a few chairs and tables. Trevor dropped Apestosa and lunged toward the window with Trudy’s sniper rifle. He pointed it toward the armored Humvee and looked through the scope. The person in the turret was tracking them with the machine gun preparing to fire again. He looked through the scope. Only the gunner’s helmeted head was visible above the armored sides of the turret. Trevor put the crosshairs on the front of the helmet and squeezed the trigger. The 7.62 x54mmR bullet impacted the helmet and blasted right on through exiting the back. The helmet flew off and the man dropped out of view. For the moment they were safe but Trevor noticed another person moving around inside the vehicle.

The others had spread out in the room and were taking stock of it’s contents and their new situation.

2 Santa Muerte Followers Killed
0 PCs Killed

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Gozer's Faithful
Sept 15, Z-Day + 286

A long table was overturned and pushed in front of the swinging kitchen door. Charlie’s face appeared in the round window. Sammy, Xanthos, and Apestosa braced the table as powerful blows rained against the door it held. The rest of the group took up different positions. Graves leveled the shotgun and Wigberto stood near the bathrooms with his stubby revolver ready.

The kitchen door was pulled open and Graves shot Manson in the face. Black ichor sprayed but the man did not stop. He pushed the table back but the defenders pushed it right back. Inside the kitchen the Reverend could be heard talking about Judgement. Wigberto could see the Reverend’s arm reach out and his hand touch the orange jumpsuit. Manson’s face healed. Wigberto shot the Reverend in the arm with the .38. Trudy, the archangel, stepped into place on the other side of the cook’s line. She had a really long rifle with a scope and was armored like the rest of them with a helmet and plate carrier.

Charles Manson stood upright and with a big smile lanced his tentacle arm into Sammy’s face. The arm punched through the rat catcher’s sinuses and exploded out the back of Sammy’s head. The opposing thorns or claws along the tentacle sawed Sammy’s skull until the top of his head popped off with a snap. The body dropped in a bloody jumble of limbs.

Again Manson was shot in the face and again it did not do nearly the expected damage. Xanthos backed up and drew his broomstick sword and readied his pot lid buckler. Manson stepped to the side out of sight and Trudy shot at Graves. He did not even try to avoid it, relying on his Shield. He returned fire and mangled her right arm. Wigberto shot her left. She screamed and staggered back from the gun on the counter with her arms swinging limply at her sides. Blood covered them.

Manson stepped back and gripped the table and shoved it to the side along the wall. Apestosa held her rosary up and commanded him to stop in the name of the Lord. Surprisingly he recoiled and took a half step back. He gurgled something through the ichor filling his throat. Graves shot him again in the face making it impossible to read the crazy man’s expression.

The next moments were a choatic blur. Xanthos moved forward and slid the table back in front of the door. Manson swung his tentacle and Xanthos blocked with his shield. Trudy exited from sight screaming. Trevor yelled that there were people coming up. Milhouse yelled something at the monster and surprised everyone including himself when the creature erupted in flames. The Manson monster writhed and shrieked. Wigberto shot. Trevor attacked with a macuahuitl. Graves jumped out the window onto the patio and was shot by one of Michael’s soldiers running alongside the building. Fortunately his defensive magic saved him again. Manson impaled Apestosa on his arm and the nun became a still heap on the floor. Mentally exhausted Milhouse threw a knife. Then Manson flailed his arm between Xanthos and Trevor trying to kill them but each time they barely blocked or dodged.

Graves fired into the neck of his attacker and stripped it of flesh. That young man ran another step before pitching forward in a geyser of blood. The doctor racked the pump. Another of Michael’s soldiers was behind the first.

Inside, Milhouse looked deep inside himself and found a reserve of energy he didn’t know that he had. Once more Divine Fire licked Manson the and creature shrieked. The fight between Manson, Trevor, and Xanthos continued.

Outside Graves shot the second soldier not even registering how young the kid looked. The boy skidded on the ground convulsing in pain. Graves threw the empty shotgun back into the restaurant and fixed his eyes on the AK 74 of the first soldier.

Wigberto moved the table away from the front door. Milhouse staggered past and onto the patio. He end the misery of the convulsing soldier with a thrown knife. It buried itself deep in the leg and the soldier relaxed, unconscious at last.

Trevor hadn’t been able to sever the tentacle but the monster was covered in injuries. With a Word from the Reverend, Trevor was suddenly overcome with an excruciating pain. It was like his soul was being torn apart. In a flurry of blows from Trevor and Xanthos Charles Manson finally fell down to a sitting position looking up to them with his ruined face gurgling something. Xanthos leaned over the table through the kitchen doorway and beat him on the head with the broomstick. Rev Jeremiah grabbed the sweaty man by the back of the neck and spoke Gozer the Great. Now Xanthos screamed in pain and felt his soul shudder.

Trevor vaulted the table into the kitchen and propelled the aztec weapon in a deadly arc. The macuahuitl contacted Jeremiah’s neck and raggedly decapitated him. Xanthos continued beating the now unconscious Manson until the body quivered and transformed back into a man. Trudy’s screams were muffled as she left the building.

Outside Graves and Milhouse had retrieved weapons. Milhouse had exposed himself to gunfire from someone back at the Gozerians vehicles but he thought that their gun had misfired. He wasn’t waiting around to see though. He grabbed the rifle and headed back inside to help while Graves continued looting the first soldier.

Everyone quickly realized that the immediate fight had been won but expected a counter attack. As fast as possible they tore weapons and armor from the fallen including Michael in the museum entrance. They knew that they didn’t have a moment to spare and began pooling their resources in the kitchen. Apestosa was discovered to still be alive and she was dragged into the kitchen as well.

4 Humans Killed (2 of Michael’s soldiers, Charles Manson, and the Reverend!)
1 PC Killed
1 PC Almost Killed

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