[This is a session report originally sent to Nic Williamson who was briefly an In-Fighter. It’s going to refer to players and their characters, it’s going to have a couple of ‘behind the curtain’ things. Also the grammar and tenses may be awful. I can’t let that go and will have amended what I can, but there WILL be errors.]
We started with Steve’s new character in the woods. He was staked to something, suspended in the air. A woman and a jumpy guy found him. They took the man down and he saw that he was attached to a giant statue, half-hidden in the earth. It was a bearded man, struck by several arrows. He’d been hung on the stone arrows.
The woman introduced herself as Wyngarde, the jumpy guy was Radd. They asked his name. The card was blank. He had a panic attack at that. Then he saw he had a list of six names, one of which was crossed off. Were they him? Were they targets? He didn’t know. All the overacting from Steve had his character, [Blank], played by Nicholas Cage. Wyngarde suggested he should stay here and be introduced tomorrow. He fled into town, shocked by everything, and saw the township of Ashfield.
Dunne and Crutchley found him and took him to The Big House. Fielding, outside, said that if Blank misbehaved, he’d get curb-jawed and he panicked at that as well, running into Benny’s Diner for shelter. Dunne spoke with the Sheriff about working in an unofficial capacity with him, then used his new powers to check into a local house by breaking in.
The next morning. Dunne got up, showered, had a nice breakfast, then noticed that the door he’d kicked open was completely fixed. Not just that, but there was a massive hieroglyphic eye painted on the front of it. He broke into a couple of neighbouring houses to find fitting clothes, found one such house where a woman was dead inside, having killed herself in the bathtub, blood and water spilled over the side, a straight razor on the floor.
Benny and D McWilliams started to arrange for pancakes and coffee for the morning roll call in the park (all charged to the diner). They saw a butcher’s and a grocer’s. In fact, all the other businesses weren’t open, and while the meat in the window of the butcher’s was going off, there were large freezers inside. Benny started to plan. Wyngarde and Blank started to talk about what was happening. The statue in the woods, Sky Father, Wyngarde called it, was holy. This whole place was holy and they’d been reborn, but The Sheriff and his men were wrong. They were taking control, being violent, ruining things. She convinced him that The Sheriff was power-mad and needed to be brought down.
More people were arriving, so The Sheriff was busy with that. Dunne decided to tell The Sheriff about what happened (starting a LONG LONG LONG chain of Dunne reporting every move to The Sheriff after being so anti-everyone last session). He sent Guillory and Dunne to take the body to the graveyard. Benny heard that and decided to see what the graveyard was like. Blank and Wyngarde started interrogating the locals to see who would be receptive to their plans. Billy (Shaun’s character’s child persona) was useless, Benny had some good ideas but wanted profit and order over all else. Berman was helping out with anyone’s medical needs and Kirk was sat on the gazebo, far away from anyone else.
Dignam and Allison were paired up to ‘search for other people’, or more likely to pretend to coincidentally find their homes. They both had maps of key locations. Their homes, Kirk’s home (well, it was the house next to where Allison saw Kirk beaten up), Dignam’s home, Allison’s home, The Big House, the Community Centre and the farm where Wilson/Billy/Crutchley woke up. They talk about legitimising their searching of the farm by gathering people to ‘secure the outlying area’.
Wyngarde and Blank keep digging up the statue. Wyngarde shows him the tent and rope Radd started with, the shovels she’s found and the camo netting she’s been covering the statue with (the glory of it must be hidden until The Sheriff is gone). During this time, Radd walks past with two plastic containers of some yellowish liquid. He’s got some ideas. Wyngarde thinks he’s fixing a digger to vastly help with their uncovering of the statue. After a few hours, Radd’s not returned from wherever he is and Blank is sent after him. Benny can’t find a grave with a legible name or date on it. They’re all too worn out. The ground looks undisturbed around them, but then off to the side are graves The Sheriff’s men have dug, the only recent ones around.
Benny breaks into the butcher’s (morality roll failed, no derangement gained, now he’s morality six). He and McWilliams take the place over and he arranged for her to live in the apartment above the butcher’s so someone’s always there (they did break in, after all). He takes the spoiled meat to the diner in case there’s anything salvageable to put into the diner food. McWilliams is to run the diner while he runs the butcher’s. He eyes up the general store next, as liquor would sell very well here.
Dunne and Fielding have an argument, Dunne snaps, punches Fielding who shoots him in the leg. He goes to the hospital where Berman’s looking at the fixed pharmacy and suspicious spray-painted eye on the floor. Billy slept in the ward outside overnight and heard nothing. She patches Dunne up and he’s brought into the search party with Crutchley, Dignam, Allison and Bailey, one of the deputies. They try breaking into a car, fail, are told off by Guillory (still bloodied from the swift burial of the dead girl) and walk out to the farm. There aren’t animals. No birds, nothing. The bloody “1” Crutchley left on the population sign is still there. Carpenter visited Benny in the butcher’s, saying he’d found his place in Cherry Street and wanted to throw a barbecue, so he arranged to buy some meat for it and turned down the offer to manage the butcher’s.
At the farm, the group can see the distant vista. There are farms all over the place, fields, and a power station off in the distance. The power lines stretch all the way through Ashfield and to Naraka. They start searching. The body which was all shot up was gone, and Crutchley saw his original item, a Dictaphone, had been left behind. It was full of whispering, but he could make out the name, “Billy” amongst it.
Allison went to the stables and found an opened weapons cache (a red metal sphere with a keycard to unlock it) with two revolvers and four packs of bullets, hid it and carried on. Inside the farmhouse, the others were searching for things. Dunne found keys to vehicles and started looking for them. Allison started talking to Dignam and saw something out of the farmhouse window. Looking down at the cornfield… there was a giant eye burned into it, like a crop circle.
In one of the barns, Blank wandered in, searching for Radd. He was by a digger, certainly, but wasn’t working on it. He had three bathtubs he’d filled with…something. He got Blank to put a mask on and explained that he wanted to go into the crawlspace under The Big House, plant all of it, get the deputies into the building and blow it up. Yes, he’d made nitroglycerin. Blank wasn’t sure what to think about this and the pair ranted at each other, loud enough for everyone to hear.
Bailey ran out of the farmhouse, kicked open the barn’s front doors and pointed like he had a gun. Blank ran away immediately. Radd started edging towards the bathtubs. The others caught up and didn’t notice what he was making. Instead they saw the digger and suggested using it to carry all the canned goods they’d found in the farmhouse back into town for anyone to take if they needed it (in town, Benny twitched and didn’t know why).
Night fell, and Dunne trashed three houses around town after chatting with The Sheriff. He thought it’d be interesting to see if they fixed themselves. Crutchley had nowhere to live, not knowing his Wilson persona was staying in the diner. He went to the community centre where most people were bunking, seduced a new girl and they fucked in the kitchen. Blank hid in the crawlspace under The Big House, listening to The Sheriff and Dunne’s conversations.
The next day, and there were enough new arrivals to drown the deputies during roll call. At a close count, it made just over 100 people in Ashfield just on Day Five’s beginning. Benny started grooming two people to work in his stores (after breaking into the general store). One of his people was on Blank’s list, suspiciously. McWilliams asked to talk to Benny, but he was busy taking ‘thank you meat’ to The Sheriff, and making sure he was okay with legitimising his temporary takeovers of these stores. They would all be returned to their owners in time.
Blank used the roll call to creep around The Big House, seeing empty files in all the boxes, and another weapon cache, this time with a shit-ton of bullets. He ran to Wyngarde & Radd, saying that The Sheriff knows nothing. He’s evidently a mad despot and needs to be taken down.
Allison, Dignam and the deputies went around with the ID cards of the new people collected up, checking houses and making sure everyone had a place to live.
Blank was digging with Wyngarde when Radd ran past, into town.
Billy woke up, freaked out that there was a naked woman in the kitchen with him and he was all sticky. She freaked out and ran off.
Benny spoke with McWilliams and she said something odd turned up. She showed him the apartment and the phone. On the handle was a four-digit number and the name, “K. Carpenter”. But… he had a home in Cherry Street. He had meat taken there. Benny said that they should go there and he’d have a perfectly reasonable answer.
Dunne checked the buildings. They were all fixed. They were all marked. He broke into one and started to look for tracks. There was a footprint on the kitchen floor, going into the wall. He was confused by that, then heard the sound of bricks moving behind him, span around, gun out. There was nothing. (out of game, I told him to add a dot to his “City’s Awareness” track. Everyone freaked out. Lee didn’t know what was happening I have removed the rest as I told Nic about the stat’s mechanics).
Carpenter greeted Benny and McWilliams charmingly, he was wrapping an apron up and explaining that he was just preparing the meat for the barbecue. Benny saw the basement door was open, there was a flickering light, and the noise of crying. Carpenter went to clean himself off from all the… meat. McWilliams checked the phone and it was an H Cihra (the crossed out name on Blank’s list). Benny said he was going to the bathroom and crept down the stairs. McWilliams chickened out and stayed behind. He went further and further down until he saw three women chained up in the basement, pleading for help.
Dunne tried to convince The Sheriff about the weirdness going on, but he wasn’t buying it and insisted on being shown the buildings.
Allison saw Guillery being taken off of the housing detail and sent to The Big House as The Sheriff wanted to speak to them all.
Billy left the community centre, which had a brass icon of the hieroglyphic eye above the door. O’Casey said that he was a suspect in the recent ‘giant eye’ graffiti and took him by the ear to The Sheriff’s office, where all the officers had been called. Inside stank something fierce. O’Casey, Bailey, Fielding, Guillory and Billy all saw Radd, done covering everything in a noxious-smelling liquid. He smiled, a tear in his eye. Then he flicked his lighter.
Allison and the Day Fivers in the streets heard it. Blank and Wyngarde in the woods heard it. The Sheriff and Dunne heard it by a house with a giant painted eye.
Benny didn’t hear the explosion. Instead, he turned to see Carpenter stood there. He shouldn’t have seen this, Carpenter explained. It’s not safe outside, especially not for women. They’re safe down here. Benny tried running but was pinned. Carpenter took out a strange-wire and started choking the life out of Benny. Carpenter reassured the shopkeeper that he wouldn’t get the same treatment as the girls once he went, and thanked him for bringing McWilliams. After flailing wildly, Benny’s body went limp. Dead.
Carpenter started to whistle and dragged McWilliams’ unconscious body down, down into the basement.
Two more characters dead, half a dozen NPCs dead, Lee’s character freaked the hell out, more of the world shown and now, at the end of day five, they’re further than the other characters ever were.
The worst thing is, Carpenter’s deed won’t be noticed. Unless something hideously unlucky happens, his actions are not intended to come to light. Just to make the group more uncomfortable. Shaun’s original character’s wife is now kidnapped. Day Six is around the corner and Jacob’s going to make a child, as on the sixth day, the children arrive. The Sheriff is pretty much the only remaining lawman, the zealots are getting excited about taking things over. Last night started slow and had far less player/player interaction than I’d have liked, but it ended pretty damn well. With the bathtubs full of nitroglycerin, Shaun asked when it became Fiasco.