Since we had a full crew this week, we resumed our regular story line with the gang heading out to rescue Esther from the Boudreaux family. They schedule their arrival right at sun rise and what they find is a small rural town in the bayous. They find on the state highway, a general store a church and a handful of houses. They also see three dirt roads that lead deeper into the surrounding swamps.
At this point Katarina, Adelaide and Ada are a bit nervous remembering their dreams about a robbery gone wrong with of a church1, but they also realize that this is not the church that they dreamed about.
Ada and Greyson circle around the store as the rest of the group heads in to check things out. Outside Ada and Greyson find the back door, but quickly realize that it has not been used in quite some time because the vegetation has grown up enough to block it. So they move back to the front and Greyson enters the shop while Ada keeps watch outside.
Inside they find a fairly empty general store. It only seems to have non-perishable items like dried beans and rice along with very utilitarian supplies like rope and kerosene. The store keeper watched them suspiciously as they moved about the store Katarina tried to get him to talk by turning on the charm, but he was unhelpful and clearly didn’t want them there. Greyson looking around realized that for the most part it didn’t look like the store sold much with dust around the few items on the shelves. Stephanie attempts to sneak into the back room of the store, but stops when the store keeper is obviously watching her with a hostile expression.
Outside Ada notices a group of locals mostly middle-aged women gathering down the street. One seems to be gesturing towards the store and riling the rest of them up. As the crowd starts approaching, she calls into the store letting everyone know that they have company. And then gathered mob starts the barrage of rotten fruits and vegetables aimed at the group with the gathered mob yelling at them to get out of “their town”2. Katarina intimidates the store keeper to try to get him to break up the mob, and he quickly heads out but that doesn’t seem to do much. Then Katarina tries to calm them down by going out and standing on her car to talk to them. For her trouble she gets hit with a rotten tomato. She pulls her pistol and threatens the crowd, but the leader just readies another something to throw and gets shot for her trouble. She is obviously killed by the shot and collapses in the street, most of the rest of the mob scatter, but a couple of people pick her dead body up and carry her quickly away and down one of the side roads out of sight.
At this point she tells the group to bring Ester to them and they will leave, otherwise things will get worse. At this point a loud voice from above tells them to get out-of-town now and they hear the sounds of guns being readied from various places. The group quickly decides that since they have limited cover and are not sure where all their opponents are that discretion is the better part of valor and get back in their car and drive back to New Orleans.
When they get back, Katarina makes some calls to gather up a group mob goons to back the party up and return to hunt for Ester. Ada also builds a device to provide a distraction that will hopefully draw them out or at least allow the group to get the drop on the towns people. Then they return with an extra thirteen goons and prepare to search the town.
The group decided to focus on the church while most of their goons handled the rest of the buildings. When Stefanie set off the distraction, Adelaide kicked open the doors to the church and saw it occupied by the twenty-five or so members of the community. A man in a stained white tee-shirt was up at the pulpit talking to the people. When he saw them, he looked at someone in the front row and mouthed do it. They saw a lady git up from her seat and move to the aisle when they got a good look at her they realized that this was the woman who Katarina had killed earlier. She then apologized for her behavior, but by her expression she was clearly being forced to do so3. After the shock of this wore off, Katarina demanded that they release the child, to which the man at the pulpit responded “Show us your tongues.” After each side validated that the other side had human tongues instead of the chitinous monstrosities that they had dreamed of, the man said no they would not return the girl to the mother as long as the mother was with the followers of the serpent at the church, and that they had to protect the girl from that church.
This lead to further discussions including the fact that the girl wasn’t there. Eventually the town leader agreed to go get the person in charge for them to talk to. This lead to another wait of a couple of hours. Eventually the town leader came back with two others. One dressed in a hooded white robe and the other man dressed similarly to the leader but with a hunting rifle slung over his shoulder.
When he lowered his hood, they realized that he looked exactly like Reverend Stilson. This of course set Katarina off again as she is tired of him continually turning up like a bad penny, but then the robed man said that he was not Stilson and that Stilson was “The Serpent”. After the group showed them their tongues, the two new comers showed theirs as well.
Again the demand to turn over Ester was refused and when they asked why Reverend Stilson and his people wanted her they were told she was an important sacrifice because of her genealogy. After further discussions, Ada put together a transmitter and they all went out to the camp in the swamps to see that Ester was okay before they went back to New Orleans and deal with Stilson and his church.
After seeing that Ester was okay and with a handful of other kids her age and that things seemed on the up and up, they left two of their muscle with the transmitter at the camp and went back to the town so that they could deal with the Church.
After they got back to New Orleans, they blocked off the rear exit of the church with a car and left two guards to cover it and the rest went in through the front.
Adelaide kicked open the door and they marched into the church, the noise from this brought Deacon Graves and Reverend Stilson rushing in. Adelaide then demanded that they show their tongues. Graves reacted first displaying a white chitinous form in the place of his tongue and eventually went down in a hail of bullets. While Stilson was also wounded, he managed to move back into a back room and out of sight. And that is where we ended the session.
Our usual location to play is undergoing some construction work for the next several weeks, so we met in a different space that was much noisier which will be an adjustment. Also since it has been a number of weeks since we last met getting everyone back up to speed took more time than I would have liked.
This session had a number of pieces of inspiration one being the show Nino Santo and the other being the book Apocalypse Codex. It was funny seeing how they responded to the tongue parasite, I am tempted to introduce the upgraded version of the parasite from The Delirium Brief.
All of this is leading up to the final battle.
- This was the foreshadowing done last session with the one-shot characters. ↩
- This was very much a scene I took from Nino Santo, but the players certainly changed it up quickly. ↩
- The apology from a woman that they knew they had killed clearly confused the players and there was some confusion as to if they should just kill them all or try talking again. ↩