Dec 21, 2012

Army of the Dead part 3
Sept 7, Z-Day + 258

The assault continues.

0 Runners Turned
Runners Killed
0 Skeletons Turned
Skeletons Killed
Watchers Killed
Trackers Killed
NPC Ally Killed
Animal Companion Killed
0 PCs Killed

Army of the Dead part 2
Sept 7, Z-Day + 258

The assault begins.

0 Runner Turned
46 Runners Killed
0 Skeletons Turned
64 Skeletons Killed
2 Watchers Killed
1 Human Lackey Killed
1 New Vessel Killed
0 Trackers Killed
1 NPC Ally Killed
1 Animal Companion Killed
0 PCs Killed

Army of the Dead part 1
Sept 7, Z-Day + 258

After taking out the Vessel, the heroes regrouped. Everyone retreated to the fortified house as more undead – zombies and near-skeletons – arrived just outside the perimeter. The newcomers continued growing in number in a ring circling the property. They stayed well back from the tree line but it was obvious what was happening. Occasionally, they called to each other in rasping, barking calls.

The minutes turned to hours. After a couple of hours of waiting the assembled undead slowly began inching closer. They didn’t seem focused on the buildings but it was clear an attack was imminent. The defenders began shooting. Moments later, the dead snapped to attention and began charging the buildings.

The first ranks hit the numerous fishing line trip wires. The effect was inconsistent. In places the tripwires barely slowed down the advance and in others the dead fell and were buried by subsequent ranks also tripping. The defenders unleashed a fusillade concentrating on the zombies as the skeletal dead did not seem to take much damage from bullets. Soon the tripwires were a memory as the crowd surged toward the two buildings.

The defenders fired quickly but weren’t doing nearly the damage they needed to be doing while the dead charged. When the attackers reached the structures they halted. The Rosicrucian magicks held them back and allowed more to be shot down before a few forced their way through the warding. They were easy targets but there were so many. Fortunately half the group was attacking the garage + apartment and not the house. That effectively divided their numbers in half. That group seemed to have an eager watcher in it. It was a small, wirey creature reminiscent of Gollum. Joanne turned her attention to it while the thing attacked the rear door to the garage. She took it out while others began racking up tallies of zombies. Dr Graves discarded his AR 15 and switched to the shotgun and started dusting the much more dangerous skeletal attackers.

Shortly the good times expired. The warding failed on the garage first. The dead began attacking the empty building especially around the garage doors and the back door. Since there was nobody defending it, this was obviously directed behavior. Then the warding collapsed on the main house. Dead were still being shot down but now many were under the decking. Inside Sue finally woke Voorman by pulling on the string attached to his arm down in the basement. They had left the Morturom Demonto with him. The basement/storage/crawlspace had been his daytime refuge. Currently the outside door was being attacked but it was easily the sturdiest door in the house. Marcel had stopped shooting and called upon his budding Necromantic powers. He began ordering skeletons away. Though successful, it was one at a time. Upstairs, Max, the Rosicrucian stage magican, after much Channeling created an illusory duplicate of Graves in the woods. They hoped it would draw some of the dead away from the assault. And some of the latecomers did in fact notice it.

The fortifications were holding. The extra work they had done to enclose the porch and build a door to the deck had paid off. The monsters were struggling to enter and were easy targets.

1 Runner Turned
48 Runners Killed
3 Skeletons Turned
4 Skeletons Killed
1 Watchers Killed
2 Trackers Killed
0 PCs Killed

Eddy's Moment of Courage
Sept 7, Z-Day + 258

Mid afternoon. Saturday.

After spying the Vessel in a stained straight jacket, a tree branch impaled zombie, and a tracker zombie standing at the property’s edge on the road, Dr Graves quietly ran back to the rear of the garage where Joanne was exiting with a load of stuff to transfer to the house. He alerted her and ran back to take another look at the zombies. Two had left the road and were approaching through the strip of woods. The tracker zombie appeared to be watching down the road to the east. The first two noticed Graves peeking around the building’s edge and started running. The Vessel left the woods and ran up the drive wielding an ax. He appeared to be alive and shouted “Give iiit tooo meeeee!”. The other continued running through the woods parallel to the drive. On the street the remaining undead thing began howling.

Dr Graves leveled his shotgun and sent two blasts of shot into the charging maniac. He didn’t flinch. Joanne arrived with blades drawn and behind her, Eddy ran between the buildings. Alerted by the commotion Trevor began firing from the house’s upstairs bedroom window. Trevor killed the thing on the road with three shots.

The axe man in the bloody straight jacket skidded to a halt in front of Dr Graves and swung his weapon in an overhead strike. Graves sidestepped and gravel arced from where the axe hit the drive. The doctor was using the corner of the garage for partial cover. He shot twice more but this time his opponent ducked one of the arm length blasts. The other took took off part of the Vessel’s face and neck. The man growled in pain. Trevor was joined by the Rosicrucian troubleshooter and they continued firing. Both the Vessel and the “branch” zombie were hit to little apparent effect.

In an uncharacteristic moment of courage, Eddy ran to the corner of the garage. He stepped through the open space between Joanne and the doctor and into position in front of the well muscled axe-wielding maniac. The maniac blocked the wrench swing from the little asian man. Milhouse and his two young mountain lions took up a position at the end of the house’s deck stairs. He threw a knife and added a cut to the Vessel’s body. By now the Vessel was bleeding profusely. The “branch” zombie exited the strip of woods along the road and charged toward the fight. Multiple shots rang out from the upstairs window. Most hit, but Trevor was deafened by his companion’s muzzle blast so close to his ear.

For his part the asylum escapee, now Watcher’s Vessel, remained resolute and pushed the attack but now his target was blocked by the garage on one side and Eddy on the other. He swung the axe in a powerful horizontal trajectory and caught Eddy. The axe cut and crunched through ribs, lungs, heart and sternum. Eddy was dead before his body hit the ground. The deadly swing continued toward Graves but he stepped back and it took a chunk out of the trim on the garage. Eddy’s moms were screaming from were they were watching at the window. Now the other zombie joined the fight. It’s body was impaled with tree branches and and it used them as weapons. A bad jab resulted in the breaking off the sharp tip of one on Joanne’s armor.

Graves fired his fifth and last shell into the murderous maniac. The tightly compacted wad of pellets transformed into a smoking hole in the chest of the Vessel. Even the plastic wadding was buried in the body. The hulking man collapsed. Graves took a few steps back, behind Joanne and prepared to reload his beloved Winchester.

How Marcel joined the fray as a handful of other dead reached the house. Joanne, Milhouse, the mountain lions, and now Marcel finished off the “branch” zombie with little additional effort while Grave reloaded.

Two runners and three near skeletal corpses reached the open area around the garage and house. Graves blasted the skeleton coming up between the buildings toward them from the back, and the other Rosicrucian warned that his shotgun slugs did almost nothing to the skeleton. He then put a pair of shotgun slugs through the nearest zombie and dropped it. The last three were killed as they arrived. Joanne correctly deduced that this was just a probing attack.

Poor Eddy was found to be dead and his body was deposited on the deck of the house after retrieving some items. The owners were horrified at the death of their son. Graves finished reloading and Milhouse picked up his throwing knife. Marcel squatted near the bodies and concentrated. The sounds of creatures crashing through the woods and running feet slapping the pavement could be heard from every direction.

Marcel looked at the Vessel with his Gift. He saw the spirit of the dead man and something else. Something evil. He drew upon his nascent necromantic powers but failed to harness them at first. Then he ordered the spirit of the man to leave and it did. Lastly, the cajun saw Eddy’s spirit floating away.

1 Tracker Zombie Killed
3 Skeletons Killed
2 Runners Killed
1 “Branch” Zombie Killed
1 Watcher’s Vessel Killed
1 PC Killed

Zombie Scouts
Sept 6 - 7, Z-Day + 257 - 258

The rest of the day was spent preparing the property for the upcoming zombie fight. While Milhouse went on a mushroom hunt on the Pacific Crest Trail with his cats and Sue, the others were (mostly) hard at work. Eddy the master craftsman enclosed the patio with spare boards. He had help from Joanne until she smashed her own hand with the hammer which happened right away so Marcel took over. Then he built a sturdy door to close off the patio. Dr. Graves perused the Book intermittently while keeping an eye on the deck. Trevor chatted up the ladies. The rest of the day and night passed uneventfully.

The next day continued the theme only this time Dr. Graves noticed animals moving through the area always traveling east to west. That afternoon humanoid shapes began shambling through the woods and down the street. Occasionally the hunched over zombies reminiscent of dogs were spotted sniffing around. Graves, Marcel, and Joanne approached a group of three from behind the Rosicrucian’s illusion and attacked. The tracker zombies howled in alarm only briefly. After Joanne and Marcel each destroyed one, the remaining wounded creature fled Dr Graves only to be exploded by a terrific blow from Marcel’s staff. They quickly retreated with the bodies back into the magically protected zone. Joanne tried to disguise the scene by swishing a branch over the ground behind them.

Creatures were crashing through the woods around them.

It was not long after when three figures were spotted at the end of the drive. One was a tracker zombie crawling around sniffing the ground. Behind it was a large man in a filthy tattered straight jacket. And next to him was an obvious corpse impaled by numerous branches. The Watcher’s Vessel had arrived.

3 Tracker Zombies Killed

The McGuinness Place
Sept 6, Z-Day + 257

Later in the night Voorman seduces a curious Dr Graves.

The next day the ladies field a lot of questions from the group. In short they are waiting for the Alejandro Suarez to arrive with his bandmates. He is the guitarist and lead singer of the Mexican Heavy Metal band Fecalizer. He is also into the occult, a magician, hyperlingual, Sumerian expert, and the son of a powerful Rosicrucian. Ultimately the plan is to use the Morturom Demonto to find a way to end the zombie apocalypse.

Unfortunately the band is lost in the chaos south of the border. It isn’t clear when they will arrive. On Z Day 1 during the natural disasters, poisonous gases were released into the ancient caldera that Mexico City inhabits. Everyone died. On day one 10 million zombies poured out into the countryside led by Aztec priests intent on creating a second Aztec empire. Given that the federal government and military command was in Mexico City they were now part of the zombie army. The country was in complete disarray and collapse. Hordes of civilians and military units fled in all directions including into the US. It is totally chaotic and extremely dangerous to move through the area.

Dr Graves spent the day researching the Morturom Demonto and made an incredible discovery. The magical book can be used to banish the Watcher by speaking a particular phrase. The problem is that the Watcher has to be present and the Watcher has a chance to resist the effect. But there is a bonus to the banishment if someone can close the Book on a piece of the Watcher.

H135 Down
Sept 5 - 6, Z-Day + 256 - 257

The first helicopter has engine trouble and crashes in the mountains near Lake Tahoe. The chopper goes down fast and hard at treeline in an exposed rocky area. The helicopter rolls several times before coming to a stop on its side. Everyone is jarred and Chief (who was still seriously injured), the pilot, and the co-pilot are all still. The others free themselves from their seatbelts and turn on flashlights. Joanne is severely beaten an bruised but checks on Chief who has a pulse. She tells Graves to hold his head and he does. Marcel tries to climb out and struggles. There is an odor of fuel.

Joanne and Dr Graves begin extracting Chief. Marcel manages to climb out the door, now the top of the wreck and look around. He sees nothing but abject wilderness in the moonlight. A cold wind blows. Dr. Graves and Joanne manhandle chief up through the door. As Marcel grabs him Joanne loses her grip and Chief ragdolls to the floor. She checks him again but in her addled state, does not detect his weak, thready pulse. She pronounces him dead. Dr Graves starts passing their bags up and out the door. Marcel looks around some more. Joanne checks the pilot. He is leaking a lot of blood and doesn’t have a pulse either.

Joanne checks the co-pilot who is breathing. Dr. Graves comes over to assist. This time they successfully move him up and out of the side door. Marcel lays him on the side of the overturned heli. There is more of a gasoline smell now. Graves retrieves the pilot’s and co-pilot’s bags and Marcel climbs back inside and begins rifling through the passenger compartment.

Joanne and Graves slide the unconscious man down from the wreck and lay him on a blanket put down by Marcel. They fashion a litter with two of Marcel’s spare staves while the helicopter catches on fire. Soon there is a large pyre. As they finish up with with the litter, a 2 stroke engine is heard in the distance far below them where their seems to be a lake. It is approaching.

The three of them collect their stuff including the wounded man and move several hundred feet away. They do have a GPS and road atlas but do not know their ultimate destination. The engine noise belongs to a quad that ascends to the fire. They can see two armed men on it. Joanne takes cover with her SKS and Marcel and Graves sneak closer. Marcel knees behind a tree with his Highpoint carbine and Dr Graves approaches closer still.

He calls out to the pair who were examining blood on the bare rock where they set the injured man down. They start and take up a defensive posture. There is a tense conversation. They are not hostile but they are not any help either. They claim to live below by the lake with a group and they are not willing to trade anything for a vehicle. They do provide directions into South Tahoe though and warn Graves that there are scattered survivors around so to be careful where they loot. Then they left.

The group started hiking downhill with the makeshift stretcher until hearing an approaching helicopter. They began signalling with lights and even a road flare. They started a little early but a couple of minutes later a helicopter crossed the far ridge. It made a gentle swooping turn and circled the group. Then it set down on the ground a little further downhill. A woman in a jumpsuit ran out to meet Joanne. After some discussion, the injured man was added to the heli. The rest were told to wait because the house was just over the ridge to the south. They would return in just a bit to pick them up. And that is just what happened.

The helicopter dropped them off on a two lane highway where a person was waiting for them. After they left the chopper, it took off and disappeared into the night sky. The person on the road introduced themselves as Sue McGuinness and told them to hold hands. Everyone was instantly suspicious but cautiously held hands. Then Sue led them into the woods. After a short distance they realized that they were actually on a gravel driveway standing in front of a very nice home. The altitude must be affecting their brains because they hadn’t noticed the driveway or the house.

Sue introduced them to Jennifer, her wife and their part asian son Eddy. Sue and Jennifer are retired from life in the big city. Their son built the house and the detached garage with it’s large loft apartment. After his divorce, Eddy moved in over the garage. The couple are Rosicrucians of some standing and healthy looking mountain dwellers. There are some quick introduction and room assignments then snacks and showers before bed.

Voorman tried to seduce Trevor unsuccessfully. Then he tried Milhouse but the carny didn’t even realize it. Disappointed he returned to his room in the main house.

0 Zombies Killed
1 PC Killed
1 NPC Killed
1 NPC Unconscious

The Second Helicopter
Still Sept 5, Z-Day + 256

The first helicopter had to deal with a hanger-on. As the chopper flew away the door opened to a lean zombie that must have grabbed on as they took off. Joanne drew her pistol and fired but the zombie swung out of the way holding the open door. Marcel power jabbed it in the chest with his staff and did not miss. The Essence laden staff did the job. The zombie’s sternum shattered and it fell backward into the dark void of night. Problem solved. Finally everyone got to settle in and decompress for the trip to Lake Tahoe.

Back on the parking garage a few stragglers attacked the remaining survivors. The runners were quickly put down. There was enough time for first aid before the next group of zombies began to arrive.

The next assault came as the second chopper could be heard in the distance. A few zombies crawled up the very steep slope behind the parking garage while the main bulk of the dead assembled inside the ajoining parking structure. As before a group of runners was being led by several scary looking watchers and even a very big hungry dead gnawing on an arm. Below a blue sedan filled with pale undead drove quickly into the garage entrance.

Trevor in the pickup leaned over and started the festivities by shooting each of the climbing zombies in the head with his newly scoped rifle. The first one’s head was ruined and it fell backward down the steep slope. The other had a chunk removed from its brow but it didn’t go down. Milhouse threw two daggers and missed the agile watchers. Voorman readied his claws for the imminent rush. He told Milhouse not to panic, that he was going to disguise himself. Suddenly Voorman looked like a fresh corpse and most of the zombies seemed to lose interest. Milhouse’s eyes widened and he motioned to Trevor – pointing at Voorman and making finger fangs and holding a pretend cape.

The dead charged, led by one of the creepy doglike zombie men. It leaped at Milhouse and sailed past the acrobatic circus performer. Next, two of the watchers ran up and Voorman gutted one but it did not go down. They all seemed focused on Milhouse but the leader noticed Voorman’s attack and shrieked. He pointed out Voorman and the Rosicrucian was no longer ignored by the other dead. While one of the mountain lions clawed the gutted watcher, the other lion, Milhouse, and Voorman concentrated on the deformed watcher wielding a rusty lawnmower blade. Their efforts were rewarded and the creature collapsed. Trevor switched targets and took a shot at what appeared to be the head zombie in charge, the arm-chomping hungry dead. The vile creature ducked though and the shot missed.

Another climbing zombie joined the injured one and got onto the street. They’d be on the access bridge to the top level of the parking garage soon. At the ramp the others continued their fight. Everyone was dodging, parrying, and trading blows. Another watcher went down. The regular zombies shambled up and filled in the gaps around the leader.

Trevor changed targets to the two zombies coming up behind. He killed them both. Milhouse scored a slight cut on the leader. The hungry leader dropped his arm snack and ran up swinging at Milhouse who parried. Just barely. Then the regular zombies moved up to attack. Hasty received a pummeling and a bite. The mountain lion to Voorman’s left got confused though and savagely bit the Rosicrucian. He gave a short scream, and his claws were avoided by the leader. The hungry dead attacked Milhouse and tore into the man’s steel breastplate. Each of the finger bone claws pierced the armor but that was all. They rested on Milhouse’s sweaty chest. The second claw attack didn’t pierce but a runner attacked and just happened to strike the same spot with the holes. Milhouse received a bruise and his armor became a little more damaged. A common runner bite off Hasty’s ear.

Deeper in the connected parking garage they heard squealing tires.

Trevor fired into the melee attempting a headshot on the vicious leader, but accidentally shot Voorman. The beleaguered ally grunted in surprise and pain again. Trevor and Milhouse looked to see whether there was flowing blood from his wounds but couldn’t see. The melee was mostly a stalemate but more runners went down.

Trevor fired again this time scoring a solid hit on his target. Voorman reflexively flinched at the close shot and yelled that “We have this one.” Then the allies brought down the dead leader and only a few runners remained. The car sounded closer though. The remaining zombies were no match.

After the immediate danger was over everyone ran away from the connecting ramp. The car was approaching and nobody wanted to be in the way. There was a wall of bodies blocking the path at least. Trevor was preparing to shoot out a tire as soon as the car became visible.

The crazed teen succeeded at the task and the driver lost control sending the car into the cement wall. But it was out of sight from Trevor and not disabled. Some seconds later the damaged vehicle was back in view accelerating rapidly. Milhouse put a shot through the driver side of the windshield to no apparent affect. The car struck the body pile with a sickening noise sending bodies flying or bursting under the wheels. Again the driver lost control and crashed into one of the light poles. The driver and passenger came through the windshield and were half inside and out. Two additional zombies came out from the rear seat.

Trevor and Milhouse began laying down fire into the various zombies. The two mountain lions tore apart another. Voorman was exhorted to grab the subgun out of the injured driver’s hand. He ran up and grabbed it. After a short struggle he pulled it away. The undead driver who was dressed as a riot cop slithered back into the front seat, drew his side arm and fired point blank at Voorman who dodged.

Trevor fired at the armed and armored driver to little effect. Voorman tried to lop off the shooter’s hand but failed. The driver shot at Voorman who barely escaped again and then sent two rounds at Trevor. They both punctured the car door. The first only scraped Trevor and the second was stopped by his ballistic vest. . That was the last act of the driver before Trevor finished him with the AR15 using the last rounds in his gun.

The helo landed while they were stripping the riot armor and other gear from the driver. They worked quickly and climbed into their ride. Relief washed over them as the chopper took off into the night sky.

Inside they buckled in and attempted first aid. Unknown to Milhouse, he accidentally infected Hasty’s (Tasty’s) ear. They asked Voorman how he was. Christopher replied that on closer inspection his injuries were not nearly as bad as they first looked. Milhouse and Trevor passed knowing glances as each other sure that this was more proof of the Rosicrucian’s alleged vampirism. Milhouse asked him about being a vampire, and with some stroke of luck, tricked the 100+ year old magician. Voorman asked how they figured it out because the doctor wouldn’t have revealed his secret. Milhouse and Trevor were half shocked that their unsupported vampire beliefs were actually true.

Voorman briefly summarized his death while defeating the Cult of Morsater and that he stepped back from Death’s Threshold and returned to the world as a vampire. Then they stared at him and it was a little awkward. Trevor scooted to the opposite side of his seat.

15 Runners Killed
7 Watchers Killed
2 large Hungry Dead
1 man-dog zombie

The First Helicopter
Still Sept 5, Z-Day + 256

When the first helicopter was just a few minutes away Trevor raced back to the top floor of the parking garage. They knew there would be another fight because there were still zombies chasing the truck.

On the top floor they had a couple minutes to prepare. Those four getting on the chopper took out flashlights and began signalling. Milhouse and his two mountain lions took a position guarding the connecting bridge to the other parking structure. Trevor pulled the Silverado into a blocking position on the short bridge from the top level to the hillside road. Then Graves helped him to the bed of the truck where he would be able to use his rifle unobstructed. Then Graves, shotgun in hand, posted by the front bumper and waited.

The zombies mounted another attack as the first helicopter arrived. They came out of the darkness via the road and the other parking garage. The first in view was taken out by two of Milhouse’s thrown knives. Then Trevor and Graves began shooting. It was not enough. Soon Milhouse and his cats were fighting desperately. Graves was almost keeping up with the zombie influx but Trevor was snatched up out of the truck bed by a huge watcher. Instead of being slammed on the ground though the kid was able to twist in midair and land rather gently. He still fell prone with a squeak of pain though as his crippled leg folded. The helicopter downdraft sent ash everywhere and visibility was severely reduced.

The soon-to-be passengers had to step up and lend a hand. Chief scored a great hit with his .308 AR on Trevor’s huge zombie but then his gun jammed. Voorman moved over and decapitated the dog-like zombie that had tried to tackle Dr Graves. Joanne and Marcel ran over and supported Milhouse. The watcher fighting Milhouse accidentally decapitated the dog zombie in front of him with a shovel and back with Trevor, another watcher struggling over the boy’s gun accidentally discharged in into his own belly.

Now the tide had turned. But Dr Graves had to reload. Seeing the problem, Voorman thrust the Book into his hands and told him to run for the chopper, and that he’d rescue Trevor. The kid was still fighting from his back. Chief finished off the huge zombie and ran for the helicopter with Marcel and Joanne close behind. Milhouse and his cats continued fighting.

The engine noise from the copter increased as it lifted off. The fight continued but it was diminishing. Voorman pulled the heart out of the next zombie while Trevor crawled to retrieve his rifle. Milhouse and the cats were down to just fighting one.

The helicopter rose into the inky sky as Voorman threw Trevor into the back of the Silverado and went to check on Milhouse.

2 Dog Zombies Killed
10 Runners Killed
9 Watchers Killed

Dr Graves takes it to the Next Level
Dr. Graves efforts begin to pay off

Dr. Graves efforts begin to pay off and he zeroes his XP balance.


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