We start off with the group following Steve Howell, the Black dealer from the warehouse back to his dorm. After dithering a while about what to do then, they spot him sneaking out of the dorm and heading off into a secluded section of the park near campus. As they watch him, the group sees a figure all bundled up in a trench coat, hat, scarf, and gloves step out of the shadows and approach Steve. They talk for a little bit and then the newcomer steps back and Steve is engulfed in a black substance. The man then steps back into the shadow of a tree and disappears.
This puzzles the group so they cautiously approach. Greyson looks in the shadows of the tree and sees where the stranger appeared and disappeared from but no tracks for where he came from. Katarina borrowed a knife from Adelaide and stuck it in the globe of the black tarry substance that had engulfed Steve. It went in easily enough, but when she pulled it out, she could tell it was a corrosive substance. After some more indecisiveness about what to do next, the substance disappeared and they were left with the corpse of Steve Howell slightly corroded.
Adelaide and Grayson went to search Steve’s room while Katarina and Ada went back to the car to wait. Adelaide quickly realized that they couldn’t get into his locked dorm room without the key so they went back and pulled it out of the Steve’s pocket and then went back to the room. After some wiggling, they got the door unlocked and entered closing and locking the door behind him. They quickly tossed the room finding another two vials of the Black, about forty-five dollars and half a sheet of paper with some handwritten numbers on it. The paper was some sort of office letterhead and they could read “Campbell’s Mea”. They then left the room discarding the key along the way and went back to the car.
They figured out quickly enough that this was some sort of meat-packing plant, but after that they ran into trouble locating it. After asking their police connections and mafia connections and coming up empty. They went to a library and started going through old phone books. Eventually they found the location in an eight year old phone book for Campbell’s Meat Processing Plant. They then left to drive out there.
When they arrived on the outskirts of the Algiers district where the plant was located, they noticed that there was quite the stink of manure and death about the place. The ground was muddy around the building from recent rains and as they started to approach the building they sank in up to their ankles. Needless to say, Katarina was not pleased by the idea of walking in her heals up to the door, so Greyson carried her1. Adelaide tried to boost his strength to make this easier for him, but ended up fatigued from her efforts with nothing to show for it. Around the building they noticed the boarded up windows were surprisingly secure and it looked like the doors had been replaced recently and were in good condition as well as locked. All of this was in stark contrast to the rest of the building looking like it was abandoned.
Katarina tried picking the lock to the door while Greyson held her, but with the difficulties he was having supporting her and the swaying that caused, she couldn’t get the door unlocked. So she had him put her down and in doing so ruined her shoes and tried again. Still the lock was too difficult for her, so in frustration, she pulled out her silenced pistol and shot the lock out. They then entered the building.
The floor in the building was still dirty, but not as bad as outside was. There were great gaping holes in the roof of the building. To their right as they entered there was what appeared to be a locker room changing area and to their left was what passed for an office. In the main part of the building was a cattle pen on their right, a large cauldron in the far right corner, a line of meat hooks on a ceiling conveyor system that went across the building, and a pile of rotting animal and other body parts in the far left corner.
Katarina and Ada headed for the cauldron to see what if anything was in it. Adelaide moved halfway between the entrance and the cauldron and Greyson moved towards the entrance to the office. Then a portion of the pile got up and was a large conglomeration of animal and human body parts. It started off running towards Ada and Katarina by the cauldron with what they saw was some black substance similar to the drug they were investigating but thicker. Somewhat between the drug and the globe used to kill Stephen earlier. The sight of this monster was too much for Ada, and she ends up developing a phobia of cows. The creature claws at Katarina and tries to Gore Ada with one of its heads. Luckily the beast misses Ada and fails to injure Katarina2. Katarina, Greyson, and Ada all shoot the monster hitting, but failing to do much to it. Fortunately Ada does stun the monster and flees behind the cauldron. Adelaide then casts deflection on herself.
The monster attacks Katarina again injuring her again this time in the abdomen reducing her ability to move gracefully3. It then moved after Adelaide swinging and missing multi times4. Greyson does figure out to start trying to do trick it with smarts because the creature was not very smart. For the next several exchanges, the creature misses, and the group keeps failing to hurt the monster with gun fire. Ada’s bolter gun finally runs out of power and Adelaide drains some of the creature vigor.
At this point things get grim. The creature who had been attack Adelaide and missing finally hits clawing her right arm badly, and then follows that up with a goring to her left arm leaving her dieing on the ground. It then moves to attack Greyson. At this point Ada switches to her blaster pistol and shoots the creature destroying it. As they rush to Adelaide, they realize that the creature had killed her. Katarina had Ada get a vial from the cauldron for later analysis. They also notice that some black liquid was moving from the remains of the creature and heading towards the cauldron.
At this point they decide that the liquid in the cauldron animates dead things, so they decide to pour the liquid that Ada got from the cauldron down Adelaide throat. They notice that it changes the flesh, not so much bringing it back to life, but reducing some of the damage to it. So the group decides to put Adelaide’s body in the cauldron and see what happens. After a while Adelaide wakes up harrowed5 in the liquid and finding a cow skull in there with her stands up throwing the cow skull out of the cauldron.
And this is where we ended it for the night.
I didn’t expect the creature to be as hard as it was. The group kept failing to do much more than 9 to 10 damage even with shotguns at close range. The Smarts trick that Greyson started doing was effective, but they mostly failed to get the raise to shake the creature. Then Ada’s burster pistol was used and she aced on both d10 and with a raise on the to hit roll, so the bonus d6 she got also aced. So that one shot did enough damage to kill the creature outright and it had already been wounded and had used up its bennies previously.
Now I have to review the rules on Harrowed and figure out what trouble that can cause the group.
- Savage Worlds has some rather limited carrying capacity rules, and it is always a shock when you figure out how much you can actually carry without difficulty, so without the Brawny edge, there is almost no way to carry an adult without significant penalties which I turned into an unstable platform penalty for the lock picking attempt. ↩
- This happened because Katarina’s player had an Adventure card that allowed her to spend a benny to search through the adventure deck and get a card to negate damage, otherwise she would have taken three wounds to her right (primary) arm making it not usable. ↩
- She ended up with 1 wound that reduced her agility by one die type until it is healed. ↩
- The deflection really slowed things down for the monster. It proceeded to miss for the next couple of rounds. Unfortunately the investigators just couldn’t seem to hurt it. ↩
- Adelaide did not become harrowed with her two draws, but I figured the substance in the cauldron would also do that at a cost. I am not sure what that cost is going to be yet. At this point I need to review the Harrowed rules before I make a decision on that. ↩