We started this session with a little retcon, since I wasn’t sure if we would finish the case in the last session, we needed an in to get Stefanie back into the group. So I told the players that they had called Stefanie from Brinck’s house to tell her where to meet them. Unfortunately Stefanie got a slightly corrupted message thanks to the gremlins1…
We start the session with everyone in the hallway, Katarina had just smashed the but of her tommy gun into the eye that had opened up on the wall causing the house to roar in pain, when the door opened and Stefanie entered the house with the door closing behind her. Hearing the sound of the generator, Stefanie tells Katarina “I turned on the generator just like you told me to.” They quickly move back to the ballroom and see that strange flickers of power running along the cable in the room causing what looks like a shimmer in the air that spreads through the room and starts moving beyond to the house as a whole.
Ada quickly tries to establish communication with the house2 and finds out that it is Hawkes who is possessing it. They find that it can write messages on the walls. Ada goes to get a chair from the dinning room and realizes that the liquid that starts seeping down the walls in there is stomach acid. She leaves and goes to another room to find a suitable chair to take to the ballroom to try to bridge the break in the containment line, unfortunately that doesn’t seem to do any good.
They find out that the Hawkes house is both insane after being trapped outside of the world for a dozen years or more and very hungry, and it is looking at them as food. This causes a new flurry of activity with various people trying to force open doors and windows to no avail. Then they try shooting the doors and windows, they even try using Ada’s blaster pistol on the door, but nothing comes close to damaging the house.
Katarina decides to use the tommy gun to shoot the cable to the broken containment field, and she manages to break it. There is also an attempt to gather books from the library to set fire to the house so that they can escape, but this seems to anger the house, and it throws books at them clobbering Stefanie and injuring Adelaide and Katarina. So they give up on that idea.
Greyson tries to negotiate their release from the Hawke house, but has no luck, and they finally come up with the solution to use the dinning room table as a battering ram to break open the front door.
The first attempt doesn’t go very well, so Jake using some magic causing Greyson’s muscles to swell, and they try again, and again. After the third time of Jake using his magic to make Greyson stronger, and everyone using the battering ram table, they break open the door and escape the house.
Of course this only takes them from the frying pan and into the fire because Sedgwick is outside and opens fire with his tommy gun fortunately he misses them all. Combat ensues with everyone fumbling for their guns and dashing for cover. He opens fire again and continues to miss. Katarina tries to open fire with her tommy gun, and breaks it, Jake rushes up to Sedgwick taunting him, and Ada shoots Sedgwick. Unfortunately this has an unexpected side effect of causing him to transform into a swarm of flying stinging insects with Jake in the middle of them.
Greyson, still benefiting from his enhanced strength, moves up hauling the table and swings it at the swarm connecting solidly the first time (or at least as solidly as one can with a swarm), but the swarm soaks the blow. Jake, gets stung repeatedly as he beats a hasty retreat from the swarm, and the group scatters with some running towards the cars, and others running towards the generator.
At this point the swarm moves forward stinging others and disappearing as they fly over the house.
Ada and Jake get into Katarina’s car with the kids and Nancy and start driving back to the house for the others.
Greyson gets into the other car and starts driving it towards the generator shed behind the house, but stalls in the field.
Adelaide, Stefanie and Katarina rush to the generator shed. Adelaide and Stefanie get there first with Stefanie turning the generator off as Adelaide starts looking for something to use as a weapon to kill the swarm. Once Stefanie turns the generator off, she starts running back towards the front of the house. And while Adelaide is still digging around, Katarina arrives and decides that the machine should be on so that they can save the kids. Adelaide eventually finds a pump squirt gun for weed killer and loads it with some diesel and heads out to guard the generate and the machine.
As Stefanie just rounds the corner of the house, Katarina comes rushing by her and out towards the driveway to get to the cars, and that is when the re-constituted Sedgwick opens fire with his tommy gun that everyone left alone grazing Katarina three times, but doing no significant damage. Stefanie sure that she knows exactly where Sedgwick is3, opens fire with her pistol narrowly missing Katarina. Katarina returns fire hitting Sedgwick and again he fell apart turning into a swarm of insects disappearing into the darkness.
In the car Jake sticks his hands into first Billy and then Esther searching around for the parasites that had been put in them and pulling them out.
At this point we were about out of time for the game, so we decided that they managed to blow up the machine with a bomb made from the ether and diesel and set fire to the Hawke house again with the diesel before driving off into the morning.
This was the final session of the first case. I didn’t use the house as much as I could have, with it attempting to keep its prey inside to be consumed, but I also decided that the house was still weak from its creation/return to this world.
I had fun with Sedgwick, and for the most part he has been very difficult for the party to injure due to his swarm nature, I am guessing that is going to change if they encounter him again, which they will because they have now angered him.
The parasite eggs at Ada’s lab still haven’t hatched, so that want cause problems yet.
At this point, Katarina at least is most interested in Alex Rossetti and finding him due to her back story. So that will be at least part of the next session, but again will probably not end up being the focus of the next case. And I still have two foreshadowed issues that they will need to deal with at some point and two enemies that will be coming after them.
- This was something that was mentioned in the Deadlands Noir book. Sometimes the spirits can interfere with telephone calls, and one of the things that I have wanted to do for years even though there is no practical way to do in a face to face game, was to have all of the phone calls between players be written down and passed to me where I would re-write them and send them to the receiving player just so to introduce a layer of paranoia in the phone calls. This was probably the best I will ever be able to achieve the idea since it was both a retcon scene and a session starting so I got to decide the message in advance. And for this messing with the group I gave them each an extra benny. ↩
- I have always loved the concept of the Living House from The Last Sons plot point campaign, so I used that as the basis for the Hawke House. ↩
- This was the second critical failure of the session, the first being for Katarina’s shooting check with her tommy gun breaking it, and this one for the notice check to find Sedgwick. ↩