EIDL - Escape From Cheliax

Of Orcs and Demons

griffin_by_douzen-d66lf45.jpgNope.
Nah uh.
That is NOT a human femur that the large green (Hobgoblins I now know they are called) is chewing on.

We were careful this time! We scouted the area, we held off until we could get a better understanding of the situation, and we even attempted to reason our way out without a fight.
Sort of.

Okay, I suppose that in addition to all of the laws of science being sideways I should have expected the mere suggestions of civilization to be a little seltsam (weird) too.

We started by approaching the village cautiously, in part because we could not tell what was going on after what looked like a fresh raid.

The problem arose when we discovered that locally at least, raiding a village was part destruction, and part feast. As gruesome as it sounds it was even worse to realize it as I saw a hobgoblin polishing off what was clearly the remains of one of the late local villagers.

After a brief, tense exchange of insults and half hidden truths with the disgusting leader. His commander turned out to be a dwarf of all beings, and it became readily apparent that this was not going to end without someone getting stabbed. (In the back, the front, or most likely both).

Tychus Findlay was our vanguard, with The Archive acting as clean-up, while Reid Clemens used his old prayers and new magic to keep himself and Tychus Findlay in the fight.

Oh, did I mention Tychus Findlay? I meant The Incredible Hulk! The spell that The Archive used on our cigar chewing friend apparently not only made him giant sized, but turned him green!

I did my best to slow down a couple, but with limited ammunition, weakness from the earlier venom, and my inherent squishy physiology, I tried for most of the time to stay on the outskirts.

The battle went badly. We thought we were doing well until the dwarf changed into a demon, and then summoned another demon. Both of which left strangely terrible wounds with their long pole-arms. Reid Clemens seemed to be the only one actually hurting the first demon despite our raging green giant, and the reaper like efficacy of our living stone friend.

Funny that, the most combat flustered so far has been our self designated medic, but this time he was the one rocking the biggest bad guy hardest.

We were saved by the griffin Iron Wing Kazi, and his humanoid translator Michael. This world weary duo actually dropped from the sky, and with barely a hesitation at a light blasting statue, giant green man, and two red tentacle demons quickly helped heal our many grievous wounds and made short work of chasing off our would be killers.

We have made use of the now empty village, and after a silent prayer of my own for their souls we have gathered everything that we think might help us in the coming future.

We have learned too much during and after this fight to assimilate it all right now. We will rest and refit. Work of a manual labor tomorrow will give us time to absorb our ever changing circumstances.

Our temporary home is filled with demons and monsters who would most likely hunt us down and kill us.
There may be some help from the elves (eat your heart our Tolkien you British git).
Tychus Findlay appears to be at least part Orc.
Reid Clemens appears to be at least part Elf.
Our modern devices, down to even a seeming molecular level are breaking down. Except my rifle.
We are going to have to adapt our tactics and methods when we do get into armed conflict.
It is almost certain that we will consistently be in armed conflicts again soon.

I have a LOT of work to do.

The “Robot” is patched, but I should check it again in the morning.
Our gear must be better, and there are munitions to be made, but it at least appears that some of us are getting locally made arms and armor from the recent spoils of battle.

Iron Wing Kazi has cleared up a few things, and with some more knowledge for and from The Archive we may have a better plan for getting somewhere safe until i can re-create my dimensional key, or we come up with something better.

Oh, and the food not so good. I find myself wishing for fresh pretzels and a beer. Scheisse, even the King Burger sounds mouth watering right now.

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Jack Kilby's Infection
Dr. Reid Clemens' Journal

I just don’t know what it is about this place. I mean, the Archive can make miniature fireworks seemingly on command. I pray for inspiration, and suddenly people start feeling better, and their wounds healing. I wish I could have done that in my practice!

Enough about that though. We stirred up a … well I was going to say hornet’s nest. But that has too much truth to it. Anyway, the bite from these insects has proven a major problem. Jack’s injuries seem not sever, but his movements are sluggish, and he describe’s his arm as being asleep.

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Tychus had a brilliant idea of packing the arm in mud to try and leach the poison out of the wound. I should have spent more time paying attention to disaster medicine! The three of us arranged watches and Jack slept, albeit fitfully, around the small campfire. The following morning, we washed the mud off, but the tingly feeling had not dissipated, and his movements were … delayed. I wished for even the meager facilities of a front hospital.

We traveled on to the source of the smoke, and it seemed much larger than we initially thought. We arrived at a… hamlet? I’m not sure how to describe the most burnt down collection of building. A large brutish creature casually exited a building that was still standing, gnawing the last little bits off of a giant bone. Wait no, a femur! He spotted us, pointed our way and shouted something I couldn’t understand. What happened next is something for a different day.

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Pest Extermination
Why did it have to be bugs?

When we’d tromped to the top of the hill, everybody stopped to gawk at the bush ahead. Judgin by where the sun was sittin we were walking away from the west coast. (That’s IF this lizard shitting world has got anythin to do with how earth worked.) Lookin down south ya see that as far as we could gander was scrub, like a little bit of Africa followed us from home. Straight out to the east had us starin into thick dark woods. The stream we’d be walkin took a sharp turn north to run between the hills on the west and the forest to the east. It looked like the smoke we spotted would take us two days up the river before we came to the source.

Still with the goal of finding civilized people in mind, we to got walkin up river. We made sure to keep rubbernecking for trouble while a couple of us foraged for anything edible. We were able to scare up some apples and tubers that seemed safe enough to eat for a kind of lunch. As we continued on down the stream we came to a dead patch. All birdsong stopped and the woods gave off an eerie silence that made my skin crawl. Doc Reed and the Archive noticed it too and said it seemed to be related to a strange tree. At first we went to move along but in the course of talkin about it, I insisted that if somethin nasty was waiting behind us, we’d better deal with it before it decided it could sneak up on us at night. It seemed that no matter what kind of bush you found yourself in, there was always some predator that thought it could have a nice solder snack once you bed down for the night.
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We made our way back to the tree, which we soon realized was dead and also the only thing standing in a clearing under the canopy. Jack wanted to examine the tree, but I had a fishy feelin bout this one. I held him back and went to poke it myself. Doc Reed, the Archive and Jack all watched from a distance while I poked the tree round its base. There wasn’t much remarkable about the tree as l walked the way around it. Then this big damn centipede crawled outa some hole and tried to take a chunk outa my ass. It was green, black and about the size of my old Cocker Spaniel Sue.
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Right then, almost a dozen of the little bastards dropped out of the trees to get a piece of us. One of em jumped at Jack and another on the Archive while five scally things circled me. I thought I was gonna get a big piece of em with the shotgun I held, but as I pulled the trigger I heard somethin click kinda funny in the barrel. I could barely turn away before the thing blew up in my hands. The little buggers started towards me and I reached for my hammer with bloody hands. As I did so I saw that the others weren’t doin much better. One of em had bit Jack and they were frantically backing up to get clean shots at the things.

The Archive pulled some magic out of his hat and started spittin huge ruts of flame at the bugs. We started gettin the upper hand and we slowly struggled to hack em down. Doc Reed did whatever it is that heals us up but this time he didn’t seem to need his pip boy, nor did it make any of Jacks weird mist when he did. I started splattin bugs like I was pest control and had a damn devil of a time keepin them off of my new painted armor. Soon there were just a few left and I managed to wrestle one down before kicking it unconscious against a tree.

When all was said and done Jack and Reed got us all patched up. Except that Jack got bit and it was pretty clear the little buggers were venomous. We put a mud pack on the wound to prevent more centipede venom from circulating but there wasn’t much more we could do right then and there. I took the one I had conked out and killed it but kept the corps in case it was worth somethin to the locals.

We moved off a ways before settling down to camp for the night. We would still hopefully reach the our destination the next day so we set about our tasks. As we foraged and set up shelter the Archive wandered off for a bit. He returned while we were roasting tubers and apples at our fire and proceeded to put down a mess of coins and old equipment. He explained that those centipedes had been gankin travelers and hawlin them back into their tree to make a nest. The Archive had apparently busted up the nest and taken whatever was left of the dead folks belongings for our trouble. The gold and odd ends were divvied up between us which while I’m happy with, felt a bit odd.

We settled down for the night and Doc Reed set up for a rotation for watches between himself, the Archive and myself in hopes that a full night of sleep would be good for whatever venom was in Jacks system. That boy has me worried. But, ain’t nothin to do for now.
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A Strange New World
Strangers in a strange land

It was an unknown amount of time before anyone woke up. A lone sun in the sky greeted the travelers. And, they returned the greeting with a great cacophony of noise. Tychus cursed at Jack as though it would make the scientist take them home. As Jack explained that the resonance fork he had opened the rift with was broken, Tychus began slowly trailing off into sullen mutterings. Dr. Reed began to check the team for damages while Jack hypothesized on what might have gone wrong.(or right!) The Archive was one of the last to awaken. It explained that they were on another plane where magic was more prevalent and as such easier to access. This was accomplished by an arcane barrage of light and sound transforming the Archive into a one robot fireworks bonanza. After this gleeful display of magic, the Archive informed the group of what life was generally like on these planes and what their next step ought to be. GlassTuningFork_BrokenDetail-600x400.jpg
The tuning fork which Jack had used to bring them to this plane was broken and they would need more sophisticated tools to repair it. That meant a city, which meant finding civilization and surviving whatever wild they had been thrown into. There was no time to waste. Supplies were inventoried, weapons were distributed and inland they went. Trees and hills greeted them as they cleared the coast. But, atop the first hill they crested was a most peculiar statue in a clearing. The Archive and Jack curiously investigated while Tychus and Reed scanned the edge of the clearing. The statue seemed lifelike, locked in an eternally terrified pose. The Archive suggested it might have been created through petrification. Furthermore, whatever had done this might still be around. With that comforting thought, the squad set out into the unfamiliar forest.
Some small travel led them to an odd stream that was flowing inland. It seemed a convenient path to follow and they took off down the way. Little to no wildlife came across them and they eventually happened upon a petrified deer. Not at all reassured that their course was a safe one, they still pressed on. A short while later Tychus finally discovered some animal sign. Small rodent tracks, lead to a ferret den by the water. This find was soon forgotten as something found the team. A bellowing roar shattered the placid river scene and a massive many legged behemoth charged from the trees across the stream. 0GJXU1w.jpg
Naturally, everyone took off at a run. The basilisk, for the Archive had dubbed it as such, paced them on the other side of the river with a hungry stride. A few pot shots from various firearms landed with little effect on the beast. Although they were far ahead, the Archive was done running. It turned and drew two scrolls as though they were swords. It awaited the basilisks crossing of the river. The rest of the team turned to fire in earnest on the lizard in hopes of deterring it from snacking on their teammate. Dr. Reed had only a pistol and shotgun which he knew would be little use at their range. Tychus began to light off rounds with his Kalashnikov which to his mighty dismay, exploded. While Reed waited and Tychus mourned, Jack began to land telling shots with his custom pistol. His aim assisted goggles homed in and round after round landed true. Eventually the beast had had enough. It seemingly made up its mind that this food was to much trouble and turned to stalk less troublesome prey.
The team checked for gear and wounds. Tychus scooped up the remains of his rifle and took his shotgun back from the Doctor. Warily they moved on to pass over the next ridge line and see what else this land had to offer. From the top of the hill they sighted smoke. The size and amount suggested a village or camp. Civilization ho!

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Mission De-Brief & a Psychedelic Dream
I mean ... it is a dream ... right?
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After our usual celebratory swing through a fast food joint, we took the elevator deep below the Tacoma dome again. Colin was pleased we came back in one piece, but seemed very concerned about the Archive. I could tell Tychus was still hurt, and I went looking for him to help patch him up. I couldn’t find him in his usual haunts at the canteen or in his quarters. I later found out he was manhandled by nurse Sylvester – can you imagine a guy like him getting bossed around by a nurse? I’m entirely sure he had something completely different in mind. I know he later went looking for an artist, as I saw him near his quarters with some decorations on the new, undamaged set.

Unable to locate the giant of a man, instead I decided to see if I could aid in … uh… repairing? the Archive. Definitely not a hospital room, I found Jack and the creature in a workshop working diligently to replace broken parts. Fascinated by the process, I did my best to help out, but it was really beyond me. I found my job was mostly to pass tools and parts to the two – what a role reversal! After a few hours, the Archive reported being fully functional, but I was seeing significantly more metal parts than I remembered.

Colin told us we had a late morning debriefing, leaving us with some unexpected free time. I spoke with Colin briefly about the ineffectiveness of my rifle at close range, and my interest in possibly getting some training time with a shotgun, or perhaps even a good old fashioned beat stick. He was dismissive about the topic, and told me he would have a trainer meet up with me after our debrief tomorrow. He was overly curious about the function of my wrist device. I told him about how useful it was, although my desire for a more localized rather than general area impact. I could tell he was surprised, “Its new tech, we’ve never gotten it to work in the field.” I could barely contain my irritation – what kind of para-military organization sends teams out with untested or broken gear. I decided to find Tychus to share a drink and air my concerns, maybe talk about close quarters combat. It seemed he had the same idea, and Jack was also ready to go. Even the Archive seemed less reluctant than normal.

Out on ground level, we hailed a cab, Tychus, in his way, asked for a seedy bar where we could perhaps find some trouble. Cabbie McSteven McGee played dumb for a bit, then finally drove us to a suitable establishment. I have to be completely honest when I say I don’t have good memories of the place, so the bartender’s pourings must have been adequate. I do, however, and rather fondly I might add, recall that the normally impervious Archive actually seemed intoxicated! I dismissed it as excessive fatigue, possibly due to the repair work. Hmmm, I would have expected all of us would be a fair bit more exhausted than we seem to be. What the heck are we doing out partying after such a tough mission? We should be in bed! We got a ride back to base, and crashed for the evening.

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I woke up starving, but we were planning a brunch debriefing with the keeper. I’ve never understood the West Coast’s fascination with brunch. I had a cup of coffee which did little to ease my sour stomach. The debrief went remarkably well, Colin was pleased we all came back in one piece, and really, seemed as if he expected us to be more injured than we were. I’m not sure the Archive could have possibly been more hurt. He chuckled at Jack’s reference to the rat as “Splinter”. He patiently allowed us to argue out our misconceptions on lycanthropy, paying too much attention to movies, I guess. Archive was very helpful in bringing clarity on this point. Colin calls the rat “Subject A” and assures us it is being hunted by another team.

Having a week until our next assignment, we dove right into training. A quick red-headed kid came in and showed Jack and I some trick in armed close range combat without firearms. Exhausting! Tychus observed and gave pointers here and there. I saw him spit on his thumb and rub an old coin. He later showed us a small handful of shiny coins with an engraved eagle. Having just sold something similar (a guy has to plan for retirement, you know), I knew a gold coin when I saw it. Archive vaguely recognized it, as an “Andoran Eagle, its Galorian”. Whatever that even means. The Archive kept mumbling over and playing with the random bag of junk we pulled out of the cave. Apparently some of the stuff is actually useful – none of it piqued my interest.

Jack and the Archive seemed pretty excited about the implication of otherworldly coins, Tychus was excited about getting actual pay. I asked Tychus for ‘my share’, which he grudgingly agreed to. EIDL has been good about providing what we can think of before we go out on a mission, but I’m concerned about funding needs that we realize while already on assignment.

Jack and the Archive head off to the lab to run some harmonic testing on one of the coins, curious I follow to see what the two brains are up to. Jack pokes and prods the coin, and suddenly, Tychus stomps into the room in full armor carrying a duffel bag full of goodies. “If y’all going to crack that open, and some chupathingies start coming through, I want to be ready!” We laugh him off, but he is deadly serious. Jack runs more experiments, and my short hairs stood up, I was getting nervous, and stopped paying attention to what Jack was doing.

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I pulled out a shotgun out of his bag, the big man was not impressed, “I’ll give it back! I just want to have it… in case you are right.” Jack strikes the coin with some sort of tuning fork, drowning out Tychus’ response to my theft. There is a deep hum, my ears popped. In the span of a split second, the coin started vibrating, then expanded to nearly the width of the room. It snapped small, and the air around it bent, then the coin blinked out of existence, and I felt myself being sucked into the bent air, then I blacked out.

I awoke on a small isthmus, with a single tree providing … no shade? I looked to the sky and found a cool yellow sun beating down, and there to the side, a warm purple sun. I blacked out again.

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Animal Control, Pt. 2
Where's the WereRat at?

GOBLINS!!!
Yes really, we found goblins!

Not unlike the classical tales told in Deutschland for millennia, these tiny, grotesque, yet ferocious creatures were revealed to be the cause of the missing pets we were originally alerted by.
After our initial forays into their ocean side cave, we had collected our fair share of injuries, committed several tactical “miscommunications”, and even managed to capture a living specimen. (However long it lasts slung across Tychus’ back like a (disgusting, foul smelling, semi-intelligent) vicious fox caught and caged by the hounds back home.) On second hand, that is too great an insult to the foxes back home.
The subsequent discussion of whether to head back and report, or finish exploring and clearing the caves was mostly solved by our band-aids of eldritch seeming aura, and the simple reminder that this was indeed still a test of our team.
We managed to clear the rest of the caverns without much incident until we at last came to a rather large underground grotto. There groaning and calling for help next to the pool near the center of the chamber was a small man. We saw the filthy rags and heard the strangely accented english as he claimed to be a goblin captive, but did not see through his mask until it was too late. Tychus took no chances with him, roughly assessing him and making him prone before Reid could get started with a real medical exam. I (Jack) and the Archive started checking the rest of the room in opposite directions when it all went to scheisse.
First, despite Tychus’ best efforts, and Reid being in the way, the small man caught a gruesome blow across Tychus’ face, and managed to jar Reid off balance. The Archive was set upon by 2 large dogs (goblin dogs I am now sure), as well as several more of the lightly armed goblins themselves rushing through a yet unseen passageway. I was also facing 3 of the swift killers, but was able to quickly dispatch them with the timely aid of my teammates.
Unlike in our previous encounters the Archive was the first to be severely wounded, (maybe damaged is a better word for a living construct) and was unfortunately temporarily crippled by the unrelenting goblin dogs. They and their keepers left their first target immobile across the room to target the 3 flesh and blood intruders. Reid and I (Jack) managed to finally down one, while the other met with such an unexpected backswing from Tychus’ hammer that it ended pinned to a rocky spike like a giant sized (nightmarish) specimen.
The final opponent was by far one of the most incredible yet. An evil shape changing Doppelgänger of that American tmntMasterSplinter.JPGcartoon warrior Master Splinter was cavorting around the room. If I had not seen something other than Archive taunt Tychus and live I might not have believed it. While Reid and I futilely attempted fire support, our recognized heavy could not seem to even connect solidly, while at the same time being cut to ribbons in return. By the time our medic had a moment to spare from seemingly continuously molding Tychus Findlay’ wounds back together, and his wits about him he was running to assist our fallen team member. Our opponent threw one last barb, and seeing himself greatly outnumbered, he ran.

We were unable to catch him as he slipped out a crevice to the beach outside, but we were able to finally make contact mysteryvan_grou1.jpgagain with Colin. As I (Jack) explained the situation, and was about to ask for further orders or eyes, I was almost instantly cut off! Our only priority now was to secure the Archive, and bring it back to base for repair (healing?)! We quickly stabilized the worst of our wounds (pride not among them this time), and gathered a few small things from cavern for further study as we made our way back to our van, and then home. The bag of horded items from the cave with its strange sword that seems to vibrate at a most discordant frequency, our captive, and even our friend stone faced friend will require much study (and healing, or is it repair?) and effort to sort out when we get back. On the way we must celebrate, and of course, stop for our cigar chewing friend to continue his diet of terribly unhealthy vices by stopping at a hamburger drive through. Although tasty, I do not thing that I will ever fully get used to the chopping of words that Americans seem to love so much. (Burgers are magistrates, and kings are, well, Kings, and they make such a ridiculous name together.)

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At least I will have much to write about in my next email to my feste freundin (girlfriend) in central america.

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Animal Control, Pt. 1

The EIDL strike team deployed into Point Defiance park to track the source of the anomaly and disappearing animals. The mk II Laurence rabbit was released and the team followed from a safe distance while Jack tracked his chip. It seemed that the rabbit was captured and taken into a nearby cave system. Last minute preparations and an order of combat was drawn up at the cave entrance while the The Archive and Dr. Reid briefed the team on what to expect from similar scenarios. A small humanoid form about the size of a child was spotted and The Archive confirmed that we were dealing with goblins. The team rigged up lights and entered the cave.

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The first few rooms revealed small passages that the goblins might use to flank and fetid racks of meat that the goblins were curing. The party kept its lunch down but only barely. A few corridors in a small ambush was sprung with howling goblins leaping from piles of debris. They were dressed in small costumes that may have been taken from children or looted from, god knows where, but poorly armed and easily dispatched. One scampered off into a side tunnel and short pursuit revealed traps that the goblins had laid to defend their cave. Dr. Reed theorized that that may account for other teams failing in the chase and the Archive took a careful search around to clear the area of any more caltrops with its mighty wooden feet. The mk III Laurence was deemed superfluous and released into the wild before the team cleared the tunnels they had fought through and moved on to explore.

The next room yielded a woodpile and supply room alongside a much more concerted ambush led by a well armored laughing goblin. The goblins stood back and made a pincushion of Tychus while he fought in the choke point. The Archive chaffed at this tactical faux pas, while Reed andJack took a rear guard. It was well warranted as a small force of now armed and armored goblins came around to flank. The flanking forces were slain quickly but still inflicted serious wounds. With that, the team turned its whole attention to the woodpile room and began to clear it in earnest. Many goblins fell to the Archives paper swords while covering fire poured into the gap. The leading goblin ceased his laughing and taunting when Jack Killby planted a round in its head and the last remaining goblin through down its arms.

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Tychus thought he recognized the language spoken by the pitiful creature as he bound it and stuffed it into the carry case meant for the rabbits. The team also noted that the leaders armor was made of scavenged materials but backed by older leathers that were cured much better than any craft the creatures had shown thus far. Medicines were applied to various wounds and the team stopped to discuss whether to move further in or pull out and call backup.

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Gearing up for Animal Control
Research and Preparation.

Our heroes spent a significant portion of their time practicing as a team, but also researching their upcoming assignment. Special gear items were requisitioned, most granted. Reid found a small tidbit that suggested the source of the problem could be small voracious dog like creatures “goblinoid”. The research identified they have a minimal intelligence and communication skills, and they often trap their back-up exits. Colin lets the team know that Steven Payne specially requested Mike Jones, and that he will be unavailable to join them for this mission.

The team gathered their gear, donned animal control lookalike uniforms, stowed their obviously military gear into non-descript bags and loaded into a nondescript van. By mid-morning, the team successfully loaded up and headed to the Point Defiance area. During the ride, Tychus unzips one of his duffel bags and seems dismayed to find two rabbits inside. “Bait” he mutters to himself, tossing a dog treat inside. Almost as an afterthought a few moments later, he threw in the remains of one of his cigarettes as well. During the drive, a variety of tunes are played on the radio. After a time, the team makes it a point to see if they can engage the Archive in head-nodding along to a song. During one song, perhaps the Archive’s cheek twitched, but aside from that, no other reaction. They drive further up the point from the zoo, and unload.

The team fans out only slightly, searching the area. After spending a fair amount of time, Reid locates a tuft of fur that Tychus identifies as a chunk of bloody poodle fur. However, the team could not determine where the trail led from there. Tychus unzipped his bag and pulled out a very hyper rabbit. Jack rigged his pip-boy to track the rabbits movements through the wild. Tychus releases “Lawrence 2” and it randomly darts around, out of site. Jack and the Archive watch the pip-boy for clues. Suddenly, the rabbit ceases its random movement and heads out in a straight line.

Slowly approaching the start of the course change, the team searches for clues. Arriving at the site, they bungled the scene, each looking for clues, and in turn destroying it for others. With any further clues, they decide to head to the rabbit’s current location. The follow a heavy clay shoreline, and reach a cave entry, where they paused. Reid mutters a prayer, crosses himself and asks for guidance. The Archive’s speaks in an unknown tongue, summoning arcane energies focused on a small stone in the palm of its hand. The stone glows brightly for a few seconds, and the light fades away.

The peer into the dark, judging the depth of the challenge. As one, they turn to eye the duffel bag. “I’ve got one more Lawrence in the tank,” Tychus says, “But lets save it until we know we need it”. They turn to the dark portal…

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Shiny Happy People
Return from the islands, a visit to another facility

A tired team helps Mike back to the boat, along with the slightly crispy remains of one of the sea monsters. Reid examines Mike, and pronounces he will be fine, just in need of some rest. Mike continues to be spacey and lethargic, the concussion obvious. Tychus experienced some engine trouble, but Jack was able to get the motor started again, the team gets back underway.

They stowed their gear back into inconspicuous bags and wrapped the beast in a tarp preparing to make port. Colin picked them up in a large vehicle and took them to the heart of Seattle. He said he was taking us to drop off the corpse at a local research facility. A quick turn off a street and into a cargo elevator they drove, and descended down, we didn’t know how far. When the lift’s doors opened, the sight was unlike anything we had seen, something out of a sci-fi movie. Station 490 was very modern, every surface shiny and pristine. Jack was very excited by the research opportunities such a facility might present.

The team got out to stretch and tried not to stare at the impressive installation. After a short wait, they were greeted by this station’s keeper, Steven Payne. He seemed like a business executive, well dressed, large friendly smile, handshakes for everyone. He let the team know someone would be along shortly to pick up the body, and sure enough, two transporters arrived, quickly and efficiently loading the body onto a gurney and wheeling it away to lab 24. Smooth as clockwork, a cleanup team arrived to clean up the mess left behind. He shared a few curt words with Colin, then bid us all a fond farewell as we loaded up. Jack didn’t seem so excited anymore.

The team made it back “home”, got some food and rest. They spent the next week in training, then got word for a new assignment. Colin reports that we are to investigate some animal disappearances. At first some scattered reports, but a pattern emerged. Seems located to the Point Defiance area, and limited to outdoor unsupervised animals. Dogs left outdoors. A monkey from the zoo. Fish from aquariums. We will cover ourselves as an animal control team on the hunt for a possible predator in the area.

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The Island Ambush
Terror on the sea

Jack, Tychus, and the Archive have taken their places around the campfire, waiting for the sahuagin to attack Tychus and the Archive each hold a rope attached to one side of a buried net, in the hope that one can be taken alive. Reid lies in wait outside the ring of light, and Mike has opted to set up a sniper post in a gazebo further from the water, where he can clearly see the shore.

When the fire has burned low, the sahuagin make their move, three of them coming out of the water in an attempt to surround the party. Someone raises the alarm, and Tychus immediately drops the net to confront the sahuagin that has appeared from the darkness directly in front of him. Jack is thrilled that Tychus is distracting one, and tests his new shock-flashlight, which turns out to be an excellent stunner, as Tychus can attest. Tychus, enraged by this turn of events, loses control and wrestles the sahuagin into submission. Shots are heard by the party, as Mike provides support fire.

On the other side of the campfire, Reid is also surprised by the Sahuagin facing him, and fires multiple shots while retreating, still laying on the ground. The Sahuagin presses its advantage, and lands a great deal of damage during Reid’s ground-bound scramble.

The Archive, seeing that it no longer has Tychus’s assistance with the net, drops it and pulls out its paper swords, confronting the third sahuagin, which falls immediately under one efficient slice. The Archive then turns to the sahuagin pressing Reid and dispatches that one with slightly more effort. Reid pauses to care for his wounds, while the Archive advances on the last remaining sahuagin, which is still wrestling with Tychus. It picks up the net and holds it ready behind the sahuagin, hoping that Tychus will deposit his prize there, but Tychus, blinded by rage, carries the sahuagin to the embers of the campfire and throws it in.

The sahuagin wails in pain and makes good on its freedom, rushing directly for the water. The Archive manages to capture it in the net, but the sahuagin is only slowed, and drags the Archive knee-deep into the sea before Tychus catches up and kills it.

Meanwhile, Jack has noticed that the fire from the gazebo has ceases, and abandons the ongoing battle, running up the slope to find what has happened to Mike. He finds the gazebo empty, and frantically searches around buildings and up to the wood’s edge, yelling for Mike.

After killing the last sahuagin, Tychus’s rage ebbs, and he starts looking around for Jack. Reid help the Archive move the netted sahuagin’s body into their boat, thinking that EIDL might like to have a specimen, even if not a live one. They also move the other two bodies into the sea, where they will be disposed of by the sharks who can be seen circling offshore.

Tychus and Jack have entered the woods in their search for Mike. Tychus is following drag marks that he had found from the gazebo. They carefully wend their way through the narrow paths, carefully checking for ambush along the way. Reid and the Archive catch up before too long, and follow at Tychus’s inexplicably careful pace through the trees. In a small clearing, Jack spies a light resting in a birdbath. He recognizes it as a pipboy, and it can only be Mike’s.

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Jack rushes past Tychus, whose cautionary hiss goes entirely unheeded, and picks up the pipboy. Two more sahuagin enter from the trees, but one of them is different. It’s bigger, and has twice as many arms, and it goes straight for Jack. Tychus and Reid face the other sahuagin, the Archive attempts to pull the four-armed sahuagin away from Jack, and Jack yells “Not me, not again!” and runs down one path into the woods, away from the fight.

The two-armed sahuagin is quickly reduced to a stumbling, blindly swinging mess, and the four-armed one, seeing its disadvantage, retreats down the third path away from this clearing. Jack has returned from his detour, and sees it running and sprints after it. It reaches the sea and quickly outpaces him.

Back in the clearing, the rest of the party has finished the sahuagin and followed Jack, who dejectedly reports the four-armed sahuagin’s escape. The group returned to the clearing and debate what to do about Mike. Jack seems convinced that the sahuagin have taken him into the sea, but the Archive says that if that’s the case, there’s nothing they can do for him, so the best course of action is to search the rest of the woods and make sure he wasn’t dropped somewhere. If he can’t be found, then there will be reason to form a new plan. Tychus points out a path that they had passed further back, and the group returns there.

After a short way, there is another small clearing with a sign pointing out various destinations on the island. Tucked behind the sign, beaten and bloody and looking like he was mugged, is Mike, unconscious and bound. His bonds are cut, and Reid kneels next to him, placing his hands on Mike’s chest. A white mist forms around his hands, and Mike’s wounds and bruises start to look older. Not healed, but not fresh and raw, either. Tychus carries Mike back to the boat, and the group gathers up and gets ready to return.

(Sorry for the lateness. Maybe a reminder before the session starts next time so the person who’s responsible for the write up can take notes or something? I know there’s a turn order, but I will NEVER REMEMBER IT since there’s four sessions between my times.

Feel free to add anything you remember that I missed.)

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