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tshiggins
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« Reply #480 on: November 30, 2017, 09:14:01 PM »

Beatrice gets the point. Smiley
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tshiggins
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« Reply #481 on: December 06, 2017, 11:02:38 PM »

We held a bit of a short session, just before Thanksgiving, and a lot of it was devoted to bookkeeping, scheming and plotting. However, the group did make a decision about the next endeavor, and found out some interesting information toward the end of the night.

This session commenced moments after the end of the last one.

Characters Present:

Dr. Henrietta "Indiana" Johnson -- A personable, age 29-and-holding Anthropologist who specializes in the pre-Columbian indigenous people of the American Desert Southwest. A Native of Apache Junction, AZ, "Indiana" is good with people and has been fascinated by American Indian religion and folklore since she was a child. Henrietta speaks Apache fluently, and not-so-secretly wishes archaeology could be more like Raiders of the Lost Ark and less like digging in a trench with a trowel and a toothbrush -- Played by Debbie S.

Dr. Arthur "A.J." Jamison -- a retired NASA scientist with a home in one of Moab's nicer canyon sub-developments, who volunteers for 4CSAR because he needs to do something to get out of the house. Considers himself responsible for Sunmi Jones, who is enough of a science-geek that the two of them can actually hold a conversation. -- Played by Anten S.

Aurelia R. Lockrin -- A young woman with a shady past who teaches History at Grand County High School (Home of the Red Devils!), and volunteers for 4CSAR because she's a bit of an adrenalin junkie, and likes the companionship. -- played by Bennie Rae P.

Randy "Random" Shoop -- a twenty-something, semi-pro mountain-bike competitor who has trouble staying focused, but is basically a good and reliable member of the team, with an unexpectedly strong moral character -- Played by Gold & Appel, Inc.

 Dr. Belody "Doc" Bascher -- a local veterinarian for both large and small animals, who frequently fixates on her job and uses 4CSAR as her primary social outlet. -- played by Samantha H. (Unable to attend.)

Sunmi Jones -- A Korean-American prodigy and student of chemistry at Utah Valley University, who spent most of her childhood with her deceased mother's family in Korea, but has come to Utah to attend college and work with her father's petroleum exploration firm. Somewhat moe, awkward-but-cute, glasses-wearing nerd girl, who only volunteers with 4CSAR because volunteer work is required for her degree. Recently suffered mental damage after an attack by a spirit of pain and violation, and agreed to become a chwal for the loa Erzuli Dahomey, as a way to replace the negative affects with those more positive. -- Played by Rebecca W. (Out of town.)

 Beatrice "B" Lawrence -- U.S. Army veteran who works for a local air charter service as a helicopter mechanic. She recently lost the lower part of her left leg in a fight with a sorcerer from an opposing lodge, and now wears a high-tech prosthetic. A cynic about men, she is accompanied by "Grunt," the biggest, best-trained pit-bull anybody has ever seen (purchased as an ally, and a totally badass dog, even before it was possessed by what appears to be a benign “foo” spirit) -- played by Bernetta W.

Claudia Abigail Tavulari, member of the NASA Quantum Physics Research Team, and an old friend of Arthur Jamison’s. The team has been helping Arthur research the portal physics, on the sly. – Played by Tisa T.

Stephen Mack, another member of the NASA Quantum Physics Research Team, a former U.S. Marine Corps test pilot, and outdoors enthusiast. – Played by Jeff T.

NPCs Present

Trooper Frank Moses -- A former Marine who recently quit his job as a trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP), based out of the Section 13 office in Moab, under Lt. Lee Exeter. Moses works with 4CSAR as needed, and has an interest in Doc Bascher. Frank finds himself attracted to what he perceives as the much simpler life on the 1918 side of the portal.

Jimmy Ehrland – A fugitive from the 1918 Colonia de Nova España, on the other side of the portal, he had fled from his vampire mistress, Doña Eva, only to find himself in a strange, alien world to which he must struggle to adapt. – Shifted back to NPC status.


Grunt: Beatrice's ally, a large pit-bull possessed by a protective "foo" spirit. (Finally healed, but remained on the other side of the portal with Beatrice.)

##

As the group of astral travelers reported the details of the destruction of the rape spirit, and learned of the attack by the kanontsistonties spirits, they were greeted by Aurelia and Randy, who had arrived at the portal entrance base-camp just after the fight. The group quickly got them up to speed on current events, and then the members of the Friends of Olivia Lodge (FOOL) sat down with the representatives of the two different lodges – George LaMarque of Chicago’s Order of the Goldenrod; and whatever the name was of the one headed by Don Maximo and Don Reyes (they somehow “forgot” to mention it…).

Much to the consternation of the FOOL members, LaMarque, Maximo and Reyes spent a fair amount of time with one another, in cautious “getting to know you” conversations. Aurelia, for her part, quietly told her colleagues that any rapprochement between LaMarque and the Santa Fe sorcerors made her distinctly uncomfortable, given the power and opportunity offered by control of the portal.

However, the camp broke up, soon thereafter, and each of the different lodge members went their own way. Reyes, Don Maximo and Jeb returned to the 1919 world, and LaMarque bundled up the stasis box and headed south to the campground where he’d parked his rental SUV.

During the course of the next several days, the group met several times to figure out what to do, next. After considerable debate, the group decided to delay the trip to 1711 France until September, as nobody relished the notion of trudging through the Northern European summer in the heavy period garb.

A.J., especially, argued that the late summer/early autumn period would be much more comfortable for land travel, generally speaking, while the trip across the channel in a leaky sailing vessel would still remain (relatively…) safe. He also noted it would give the group more time to learn some spell lists and gain at least some familiarity with the French language of the time, as well as period weapons and customs – a real concern now that they’d learned of the qlippoth.

At that point, Aurelia piped up and said she preferred to jump through the portal to the 1919 world, first. She noted that their research had indicated the gateways to Shanri-La seemed to exist on many different planes, so it seemed reasonable to expect that such a gateway existed in the 1919 world, as well.

That provided the opportunity to take a dirigible to Shangri-La by the 1919 portal, Aurelia explained, clear out Sunmi’s spiritual hitchhiker, and then exit from the mystical realm via a gate to the 1711 world. That would give them a real asset and a way to travel much more freely in the 1711 world, than they otherwise would have if they stuck to the traditional, clandestine approach that had already proven problematic for the members of the Enlightened lodges.

Other members of the group noted that the presence of such anachronistic technology raised the real possibility that the dirigible could trigger a qlippoth infestation that would threaten the existence of the 1711 universe dominated by the Angevin Empire. Because of its close proximity to their own world, it also posed a risk that any such infestation could bleed through the Paris catacomb portal and threaten billions of additional lives.

Aurelia agreed that the group would have to exercise due caution, but noted that they’d already used anachronistic technology on the 1919 world (the buggies and the ultralight), which indicated to her that the worlds were probably reasonably resilient. As long as they kept the dirigible up high and mostly out of sight, and landed it only in remote areas, she said she thought the benefits were worth the risk.

Henrietta raised the possibility that additional spells might give them the opportunity to conceal the dirigible completely, and began to research the Light and Darkness college. As she did so, she learned of the existence of an “Invisibility” spell from some of the Thaumatology tomes, but could find no such spell in the book for that college of magic.

Could it be possible, she wondered, if the masters of existing lodges restricted access to some spells that offered real opportunities for abuse? If so, Henrietta hypothesized, the only way to get access to some of those spells might require that they do a tremendous favor for the 1711 London lodge founded by John Dee, and as a reward ask not only for the method by which to create stasis boxes, but also the right to copy from more complete spell lists.

The discussion of new spell colleges prompted Claudia to check whether or not some magic existed that might make it easier to operate technology, and was pleased to locate such a tome in Oliver McShane’s library. The physicist and mathematical whiz noted that all technology required at least some infrastructure support – none of which would exist for dirigibles in the 1711 world; no fuel, no spare parts, and certainly no helium tanks.

As such, Claudia said, any magic that would allow them to use spells to supplement the technology (which was very new to the 1919 world and therefore probably glitchy, anyway, given the retarded pace of technological development, there…) could prove the difference between success and disaster.

With that, Claudia and Henrietta sat down to study those new spell colleges, while Beatrice practiced European fencing and read up on the Musketeers, and Randy decided to study French. Aurelia, who already knew modern French (although accented) decided to read up on the differences between the modern language and the French of the period. She also decided to study the Gate college, since the notion of leaving such power only in the hands of Sunmi gave the former high school art teacher and skilled forger the heebie-jeebies.

(That said, other members of the party also expressed some dismay about the notion of giving such power to someone who had so unexpectedly proven to be as ethically “flexible” as Aurelia….)

That left A.J. and Steven, who decided that, if they planned to steal a dirigible, it might help if at least a couple of people in the group actually knew how to fly the damn thing. The two of them hit the Internet and found that FAA licensing required several hundred hours of flight time in an actual powered airship, but that no formal training programs existed, anywhere.

It seemed that all airship piloting skills om 2015 America were passed along in an apprentice-type system, where the vanishingly small number of  people interested in learning the craft applied for jobs with the few companies that actually flew them, and tried to get positions as airship crew members.

That prompted A.J. to look into the sorts of companies that flew airships (exclusively blimps – they were a lot cheaper than dirigibles with rigid air-frames), and he hit the jackpot. The former NASA engineer found a vacation travel firm that offered airship tours of the Pacific Northwest, and provided a two-month training program in airship piloting to anyone with a small aircraft pilot license, willing to pay the (steep) tuition fee.

Since both A.J. and Steven had such licenses (Steven also had one for high-performance combat jet aircraft…) the two of them made queries and soon found themselves as the only students on the roster for the next class.

(continued...)
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tshiggins
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« Reply #482 on: December 06, 2017, 11:02:57 PM »

(...continued)

With that, we fast-forwarded a couple of months to May of 2015, and the group found itself (now in appropriate 1919 period garments and bearing concealed  modern equipment) in Dark Canyon as the portal opened on the New Moon. The gateway between dimensions appeared on schedule, and the group drove the buggies through the now quiet and peaceful tunnel to the box canyon in the other world.

There, they were greeted by the amiable Heck and Izzy, who took delivery of the blood tolls, as usual, but who noted that Don Maximo had sent two other guardians to join them. Within a couple of minutes, the group was shocked to see two large, brutish figures come around the bend in the canyon and walk toward them, dressed in ragged uniforms of the United States Army.

As the two got closer, the group noted that they had started to resemble the ogre-like tsiants they had tangled with on their very first trip, a year before. From that, a disturbed Henrietta deduced that Don Maximo had apparently found a way for the kanontsistonties spirits to possess two American soldiers, and that meant the war had likely broken out between Spain and the United States.

The group decided to talk to them about that, and after the forethoughtful Aurelia had handed over two large honey-baked ham from Wal-Mart, the two former soldiers proved willing enough to talk.

Apparently, the spirits had access to the minds and memories of their host bodies, and reported that they’d been members of a reconnaissance unit that tangled with a troop of Spanish cavalry, in the area near the ford across the Rio Grande del Norte normally used by the party when they drove the buggies up to Valle Grande. The recon unit had been badly mauled by the superior numbers of Spanish cavalry, and they were the only two to have survived the skirmish.

A few days after capture, the two reported that someone the group recognized from the description as Don Maximo had appeared and taken custody of the prisoners. The cavalry commander, who didn’t want to be slowed down by POWs, anyway, had readily turned them over to him.

Don Maximo had done something to make them docile, the two possessed soldiers said, and led them to Dark Canyon. There, the Spanish mage had staked them out, and the kanontsistonties spirits had soon taken control of their new bodies and agreed to guard the portal in exchange for the offering.

Somewhat aghast at the story, but nonetheless recognizing the value of the information, A.J. had pressed forward with the interrogation. He wanted to know about the progress of the war, in general, and local troop movements, in particular. The newly-rebirthed tsiants proved willing to talk, noting that Don Maximo had instructed them to cooperate with anyone who came through the portal and offered the proper toll.

The former U.S. soldiers said the commanding general of the Rocky Mountain front, Gen. Douglas McArthur, had launched probes in force all along the Rio Cimarron Front, east of the Mountains, as soon as the weather allowed it. Brisk fighting had broken out, over there, but it had proven inconclusive as the Spanish had spent more than a year bolstering defenses.

It had also been a grand feint, the soldiers-turned-monsters reported, designed to draw Spanish attention away from the real assault.

That was led by Major (now Lt. Colonel) Dwight D. Eisenhower, who had spent the past two years cutting a road through the Rocky Mountains wide enough to allow him to take Valle Grande with 50,000 troops.

Eisenhower had secured the large Navaho settlement by late April, and began to push south along the Camino Real del Norte by the start of the second week of May, a bit more than a week past. The rapid victory had earned the young logistical genius his silver oak leaf, and Eisenhower had capitalized on the rapid surprise victory by initiating the strong push south.

As they understood it, the former troopers said, the idea was to move the army south as rapidly as possible, while the Rio Grande del Norte still ran high from the snow-melt. They wanted to cut across to the Rio San Juan drainage, and reach the mountains southwest of Santa Fe by the time the weather got really hot.

Their commanders had told them the fighting in the mountains might get pretty hot, but felt that if Eisenhower could move fast enough, he could take the passes by late summer.

A.J. hauled out his maps and checked out the situation. If Eisenhower’s 50,000 men could take the mountain passes as planned (which the group knew reasonably well, by now, as they’d gone through them several times), it would put him in the position to move into the farm valleys west and southwest of Santa Fe, and take them by early autumn.

If Eisenhower could do that, A.J. explained, he’d stand on a reasonably well-supplied position with 50,000 men and lots of artillery, ready and able to assault Santa Fe from the relatively undefended southwest. However, until that happened, it gave the American colonel a long supply line (albeit one guarded by a river on his west and mountains to his east), which meant the entire valley of the Rio Grande del Norte would turn into one huge war zone of Spanish cavalry raids against heavy American patrols.

There was no way the group could take the buggies into that, A.J. said, since the nature of war by maneuver meant that both sides would covet the buggies (able to make the entire trip from Valle Grande to Santa Fe in less than two weeks, with no need to stop for repairs…).

Steven agreed, and the former Marine combat pilot said that were he in charge of the American forces, he would just confiscate the buggies for reverse engineering without a moment’s hesitation. A.J. added that would might just trigger the qlippoth, and destroy the world.

Aurelia asked the two tsiants if the Americans had brought a dirigible to the west side of the mountains. They replied that they’d seen one, and as of their capture a couple of weeks before, they thought the Army Corps of Engineers might have started construction of an airfield west of Valle Grande, but weren’t sure.

The group decided that, since aerial reconnaissance would prove invaluable for Eisenhower’s efforts, it was likely he planned to build airship hangars as soon as possible on this side of the mountains. However, given the possibility of Spanish cavalry raids and uncertain attitudes by the Navaho and Ute nations, the group figured they’d be highly guarded, if they were even done yet, at all.

As such, the party members thought it best to cross the mountains and try to steal a dirigible from what would likely be a quieter airfield. The tsiants-soldiers said they understood the U.S. Army’s main dirigible base was located in the prairie near the new steel town of Pueblo, on the banks of the Arkansas River, well south of Denver and a convenient distance from the Rio Cimarron Front.

That raised the question of where to cross the river (if at all), since any pass in Colorado would likely be well-guarded by Americans or subject to serious raids from the Spanish (and possibly Utes and Apaches, too).

A.J. thought a northerly route, through sparsely-populated territory south and east of the Great Salt Lake, might offer the best opportunity for a relatively quiet journey. If the group could make it to the area of what would be Promontory, Utah, on their world, he thought, they might be able to cross the Rockies through an area the railroads had chosen for the intercontinental route, because the mountains were relatively low, there.

That said they’d need to move cautiously, A.J. noted, because both sides knew it offered a relatively easy way to cross the mountains, although it was likely fairly isolated on this world, as compared to how it looked in their own history.

With that tentative plan in place, the party got ready for a cautious buggy trip through unknown desert. As the group got ready to depart, Aurelia happened to wonder what the Russians in the Snake River colonies were doing, now that war had broken out between the hated United States, and the tsar’s allies, the Spanish.

With that, the session ended.
##

Funny Quotes

Randy: We might want to plan this caper. How many shots are we going to get at a dirigible?

Aurelia (noting the conversations between Don Maximo, Don Reyes, and George LaMarque): I don’t like that! I want them to be friends with us, but not friends with each other!
Randy: They’re sniffing each other’s butts.

Henrietta: We kinda had a logical plan coming together for France, and now we’re kinda winging it.

Randy: Stealing (a dirigible) would be more fun, anyway.
Aurelia: Accurate!

A.J. (to Steve): We need to learn to fly blimps.
Beatrice: We need to learn to pack parachutes.
Aurelia: I’m going to put on a pirate hat and look pretty!

(OOC, Jeff jots down notes about the materials that, once faceted and formed into ritual implements, give bonuses to spell-casting for someone with his character’s astrological sign.)
G&AInc (OOC, to the tune of, I’m Sexy and I Know It): When I walk into the Lodge house/ This is what I say/ Don’t be jealous of my badass athame!
##

Two points for everyone who attended, plus the usual additional point for those who posted journal entries!
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 09:32:00 PM by tshiggins » Logged

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« Reply #483 on: December 09, 2017, 12:22:34 PM »

Arthur Jamison's Log
Date 2457160

It's May 18th and the portal opened last night at 10:15 PM.  We found out a little more about what is going on in the 1919 world.  It appears that the U.S. forces are moving in on Santa Fe.  They are attempting to out flank them by going west, swing south and coming up on the Nova Espaňia's less defended west side.  The last time we were here, Nova Espaňia was building a lot of defenses north and east of Santa Fe.  The American's a employing a similar tactic to the Germans in WWII by passing the French defense on a blitzkrieg maneuver (Strategy [11]).

This poses a problem to us.  We do not know where the American forces are at this point.  If they are already ahead of us, we'll be fine heading to Valle Grande.  If we can get there, we might get lucky and they might have re-positioned a dirigible there.  However, we'd have to be lucky on two fronts there.  If they are behind us, we can race through Santa Fe and try to get through the battle lines to Pueblo.  However, that is an extremely difficult proposition.

I have some old maps that I have collected over the years (see attachment, Cartography [13]).  We have some other options.  We could swing west and got by where Salt Lake City is today, take the Mormon Trail through Utah and Wyoming, and drop straight south across Colorado's eastern plains into Pueblo.  That will hopefully allow us to by pass any troops.  However that is a long haul and would take a lot of time.

Another option is go straight over mountains.   On foot it is approximately, 416 miles from Dark Canyon to Pueblo, following all of the walk-able paths.  That would take approximately 15½ days on foot at a leisurely pace of 12 hour per day of hiking.  It gives us 4 hour every day to set up and break down camp and 8 hours of sleep every night.  The only hard part is over what today is known as Wolf Creek Pass and the stretch after Grand Sand Dunes.  If we take the hiking at a normal hiking pace, we can make it in 11½ days but I am not sure that everyone in the party can keep that pace up.  The other option is we can take the horses.  The horses could possibly make it in 14 days without over exerting them but well need have Henrietta assist us a lot on horse riding.  I guess we all need to learn before adventure in Paris.
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tshiggins
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« Reply #484 on: December 09, 2017, 09:41:06 PM »

Arthur gets the point for his excellent post, and wonderful planning.

I also like the period maps, a lot!   Grin
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« Reply #485 on: January 04, 2018, 08:53:31 PM »

The latest session of Facets took place just before the holidays, and the group spent much of the session slogging through the wilds of 1919 Colorado, while dodging both the U.S. Army and some justifiably paranoid members of the Ute nation.

Characters Present:

Dr. Henrietta "Indiana" Johnson -- A personable, age 29-and-holding Anthropologist who specializes in the pre-Columbian indigenous people of the American Desert Southwest. A Native of Apache Junction, AZ, "Indiana" is good with people and has been fascinated by American Indian religion and folklore since she was a child. Henrietta speaks Apache fluently, and not-so-secretly wishes archaeology could be more like Raiders of the Lost Ark and less like digging in a trench with a trowel and a toothbrush -- Played by Debbie S.

Dr. Arthur "A.J." Jamison -- a retired NASA scientist with a home in one of Moab's nicer canyon sub-developments, who volunteers for 4CSAR because he needs to do something to get out of the house. Considers himself responsible for Sunmi Jones, who is enough of a science-geek that the two of them can actually hold a conversation. -- Played by Anten S.

Aurelia R. Lockrin -- A young woman with a shady past who teaches History at Grand County High School (Home of the Red Devils!), and volunteers for 4CSAR because she's a bit of an adrenalin junkie, and likes the companionship. -- played by Bennie Rae P. (not available, this session)

Randy "Random" Shoop -- a twenty-something, semi-pro mountain-bike competitor who has trouble staying focused, but is basically a good and reliable member of the team, with an unexpectedly strong moral character -- Played by Gold & Appel, Inc.

 Dr. Belody "Doc" Bascher -- a local veterinarian for both large and small animals, who frequently fixates on her job and uses 4CSAR as her primary social outlet. -- played by Samantha H. (Unable to attend.)

Sunmi Jones -- A Korean-American prodigy and student of chemistry at Utah Valley University, who spent most of her childhood with her deceased mother's family in Korea, but has come to Utah to attend college and work with her father's petroleum exploration firm. Somewhat moe, awkward-but-cute, glasses-wearing nerd girl, who only volunteers with 4CSAR because volunteer work is required for her degree. Recently suffered mental damage after an attack by a spirit of pain and violation, and agreed to become a chwal for the loa Erzuli Dahomey, as a way to replace the negative affects with those more positive. -- Played by Rebecca W. (Out of town.)

 Beatrice "B" Lawrence -- U.S. Army veteran who works for a local air charter service as a helicopter mechanic. She recently lost the lower part of her left leg in a fight with a sorcerer from an opposing lodge, and now wears a high-tech prosthetic. A cynic about men, she is accompanied by "Grunt," the biggest, best-trained pit-bull anybody has ever seen (purchased as an ally, and a totally badass dog, even before it was possessed by what appears to be a benign “foo” spirit) -- played by Bernetta W.

Claudia Abigail Tavulari, member of the NASA Quantum Physics Research Team, and an old friend of Arthur Jamison’s. The team has been helping Arthur research the portal physics, on the sly. – Played by Tisa T.

Stephen Mack, another member of the NASA Quantum Physics Research Team, a former U.S. Marine Corps test pilot, and outdoors enthusiast. – Played by Jeff T.

NPCs Present

Jimmy Ehrland – A fugitive from the 1918 Colonia de Nova España, on the other side of the portal, he had fled from his vampire mistress, Doña Eva, only to find himself in a strange, alien world to which he must struggle to adapt. – Shifted back to NPC status.

Grunt: Beatrice's ally, a large pit-bull possessed by a protective "foo" spirit. (Finally healed, but remained on the other side of the portal with Beatrice.)

The group settled down in the cool of the mid-May, 1919, evening to plot out their route in more detail. A.J. said he’d reconsidered their best route, and thought it made more sense to take a more direct line to the east, rather than loop up through what would be Promontory, Utah, in their world.

Arthur noted that most of the group consisted of experienced outdoorsy-types (with Claudia as the sole exception), and their new understanding of the potential impact of anachronistic technology made him reluctant to take the buggies into U.S. territory. Moreover, he asked, how would the group conceal them, given that the vehicles likely wouldn’t fit on a dirigible, anyway?

Under the circumstances, Arthur thought it best to hike across the mountains to the area of Pueblo, Colorado. They had plenty of supplies, the ability to get more, if needed, and even a month through rugged terrain, while certainly a longer trip, didn’t differ all that much from the outdoor activities the 4CSAR team engaged in, regularly, anyway.

On top of that, he noted, travel by foot offered maximum flexibility, and if needed they could get some pack animals along the way – which would only enhance a cover story.

After some minor debate, the group decided to follow Arthur’s plan, and he sketched out a couple of different routes. In the end, the group decided to hike east to what would be Wolf Creek Pass in their world; cross the western crest of the mountains there and descend into South Park; and then exit to the Front Range over La Veta Pass, via the Great Sand Dunes.

Given that it would be late May by the time they reached Wolf Creek Pass (elevation 10,857 feet), the pass would likely be free enough of snow to make it through; and La Veta Pass, which would take another week or so to reach, lay even lower.

The next morning, the group decided to scout north and check the Ute campground at the ford across the Rio Grande del Norte, with the notion of buying horses if the Indians had any for sale. However, as they approached the site, late in the day, they saw a U.S. flag (39 stars) flying above a neatly laid out camp full of U.S. Army cavalry.

The group went to ground and watched the cavalry, for a while, and briefly debated stealing some horses. However, a couple of dogs started to sniff the air, in their general direction, so the party decided to withdraw to the southeast and start the journey toward the mountains, the next day.

Since the Rio Grande del Norte crossed the desert to their west, they didn’t need the ford, anyway, and had only used it to strike the Camino Real del Norte, on the way to Valle Grande. Given the presence of a semi-permanent camp of U.S. cavalry, they decided to avoid the Camino, entirely, figuring it would be patrolled by either the Americans, or the Spanish, or both (and shooting at each other, in the latter case).

The journey began in earnest, the next day, and the group soon realized that Claudia’s inexperience with the outdoor life would prove a liability. Not used to life in the wilderness, the former NASA physicist found herself tired and footsore by mid-day, and nearing exhaustion by the evening.

The next day went much the same, although Henrietta managed to locate a nice oasis with a small camp of Apaches, mostly women, children and old men. Fortunately, both the archeologist and Jimmy Ehrland spoke Apache fluently, and the poor Indians soon made the group welcome.

For their part, the group shared out some of their dried food, and eventually traded some knives and steel tools for two of the best of the horses the Apaches had left. The Indians warned the group that both the Spanish and the Americans had begun taking every horse or mule they could find and, even though they (usually) paid in silver, the price didn’t match the increased demand and neither side allowed anyone to refuse the sale.

The Apaches declared themselves well-satisfied with the quality of the tools, and Jimmy reported that they planned to trade the goods in Ciudad Lago de Sal, later that summer. However, the Apaches behavior toward the group cooled noticeably once they learned that Jimmy had once lived with the Olleros Apaches, a group considered cursed after the events of the previous year.

The group left the next morning, and Claudia struggled once again. However, Henrietta managed to find a good, sheltered campsite and Arthur whipped together a savory, nutritious meal from the camp supplies (good rolls on Cooking, so as to ensure Claudia got the nutrition she needed). The group also left Claudia off the watch schedule, so she got a good two or three hours more rest than anybody else.

For her part, Beatrice had managed to maintain a steady hiking pace, her (admittedly high-end) prosthetic leg notwithstanding. She began to keep an eye on Claudia’s feet and boots, and had the physicist change to fresh, dry socks every day, at mid-day, and wash out her used socks every evening.

The combination helped keep Claudia on her feet until the group reached the base of the trail up to Wolf Creek Pass, although she did begin to show some signs of long-term exhaustion. That increased during the long, slow slog up the mountain.

An additional dose of stress, when the group saw a Ute war party off to their north, taking the main trail down the mountain. The party had decided to take a rougher game trail up the narrow route, so as to avoid just this eventuality, and when they saw the Utes the group went to ground.

They watched as the six Utes eventually crossed their path, a fair distance behind them and down the mountain. A while later, two of the Indians began to follow them up the back-trail, and A.J. (with his crossbow) and Steven (with his scoped rifle) prepared to take them out. Beatrice staked out a spot to cover any needed retreat, while Claudia and the rest of the group kept moving up the trail.

About 300 yards out, one of the Utes disappeared into a copse of trees, while the second kept coming. The latter came about 50 yards closer before he realized his buddy had disappeared, and then he took cover.

Steven kept his rifle scope on the second Ute, while A.J. searched through a pair of binoculars for the first indian. After a few minutes, he spotted the Ute scout, prone beneath the lower branches of a fir tree. The young man was looking intently in their general direction, but A.J. wasn’t sure he’d spotted them. However, he definitely knew they were up there, somewhere, and the former NASA engineer waited to see what would happen next.

Eventually, the second scout withdrew down the mountain, and the two disappeared to the west. Based on their own tracking skills, the group figured the Indians knew they were outnumbered, and the fact that they couldn’t spot the party meant the Utes had to take the 4CSAR team seriously. Under the circumstances, they thought the Utes had most likely decided to choose discretion as the better part of valor, this time.

By the time the group reached the foot of the pass in South Park,10 days after they set out, they realized that Claudia would likely need real rest, in a real bed, with real food in a civilized environment, before she could start to recover from long-term exhaustion. That said, the extra rest in Henrietta’s excellent camp sites, combined with A.J.’s consistently reliable culinary efforts, kept Claudia moving.

The day after they’d arrived in what would be South Park, in their world, the group saw a haze to the south, and deduced a large settlement lay in that direction. Since they had no desire to encounter anyone before they reached U.S. territory (and could blend in better), the group opted to give the settlement a wide berth.

Two nights later, as the group traveled through the scattered woodlands of the wide valley, Steven and Randy (on the midnight watch) saw an elk trot along the edge of the fire-light, to their south. Oddly, the elk didn’t seem interested in them, so much as it seemed to want to get past them, as quickly as possible.

The reason for that became apparent within moments, as Steven heard a thrashing in the trees at the top of a bluff, to their west. The party had camped next to a wide stream and the ground rose steeply in that direction, so it took a few moments for Steven to see the source of the noise.

However, the bear apparently had no trouble smelling them – or, more to the point, their horses – and, abandoning the elk, decided to come straight at the camp.

As it got closer, Steven and Randy realized that, in this world, grizzlies had not been hunted to extinction in the Colorado Rockies.

The picketed horses began to whinny in near-panic as Steven and Randy raised the alarm. Beatrice rolled out of her tent, quickly, and ran to control the horses on the north side of the camp, as Grunt made a beeline to intercept the bear. Randy ran toward it from the south, and Steven tried to draw a bead on the animal, despite the darkness and the trees.

The other members of the group started to struggle out of their tents, except for the two cat warriors, who decided their agreement with the group didn’t include suicide melee against a furry giant made of claws and teeth.

As the bear approached the north edge of the camp, Steven got a shot off and Randy began to yell. The sudden pain from the bullet enraged the huge beast, and it turned toward Randy’s annoying noise.

The grizzly bore down on Randy quickly (bears sprint really fast, across short distances), but the extreme athlete managed to dodge its initial charge. The bear promptly plowed into the side of Henrietta’s tent and collapsed it, just as the groggy archaeologist managed to get her hand on her pistol.

Grunt danced around and barked and nipped, Randy shouted to try to draw the bear back toward Steven’s rifle, and the bear realized that something was moving in the ruins of the tent and tried to take a swipe at it. Henrietta squeezed off three quick shots from her pistol, missed the bear completely and shot Grunt, who collapsed in a heap.

Randy finally managed to get the bear’s attention. It disentangled itself from Henrietta’s tent and charged at him – right into Steven’s sights, and the former U.S. Marine pilot killed it with the second shot.

Henrietta thrashed around and got out of her tent, and saw that she’d accidentally shot Grunt. Casting a semi-panicked look in the direction of the upset horses, where she could hear Beatrice trying to calm them, the archaeologist used First Aid to dig out the bullet, and then cast one of her stored Major Healing spells, and healed most of Grunt’s injuries.

Later, Henrietta told Beatrice that the bear had gotten in a good swipe on Grunt, but that she’d healed the dog up, right away.

Randy, Steven and A.J. took enough time to hang the heavy bear carcass from a tree branch. The next morning, A.J. skinned the beast and salted enough meat to last them awhile (the party never traveled anywhere without lots of salt…), and the group (except for Claudia) took turns carrying the heavy pelt.

That came in quite handy, a few days later, as the path approached a ford across the stream followed by the group, which had gotten reasonably wide by then. Across the creek, Henrietta spotted what looked like a temporary trading camp with more than a hundred people wandering amongst the big tents and small huts.

The nature of the place became apparent as the group approached. Fur-clad mountain-men and prospectors mingled with low-land traders and merchants, and dozens of Indians. The air hummed with the sound of fiddles and banjoes, which nonetheless couldn’t conceal a shout of, “White women!” when members of the crowd spotted the approaching party.

Despite that inauspicious beginning, the group decided to continue into the trading camp. Soon, each of the women had received at least two or three marriage offers (as well as any number of less honorable proposals), but the members of the rough-and-ready camp limited themselves to verbal harassment.

After looking around a bit, Henrietta and Jimmy found a man with mules for sale, and traded some Wal-Mart bulk spices and the bear pelt for a couple of healthy black animals, along with tack and harness. The group shopped around for a few more items to supplement their diet, but cleared out of the camp well before nightfall.

Henrietta found yet another nice campsite a couple of miles away, and group settled in with their new animals and began tinkering with improvements to the circa-1919 pack-frames and other items. That evening, Grunt growled into the darkness, back toward the direction of the trading camp, but nobody bothered the party.

With that, the session ended.

Funny Quotes

(A.J. provides a detailed plan to hike over the mountains to Pueblo, complete with maps and marked routes.)
Beatrice: I say this with only a Platonic meaning; I love you, A.J. I love you, Arthur.

(The group sees a poor Apache camp around an oasis.)
Steven: Canoodling is probably not a good idea.
Old Apache Man (sees Grunt): We eatin’ dog?
(Beatrice begins to share out food.)

(The group spots a Ute scouting party, and the party starts to discuss options.)
Randy: So, we’ve crossed straight over to horse-thievery, now?
Beatrice: If they see us, and we have to defend ourselves, that’s fine.
A.J.: I think we just kill them all.
Randy: We can’t just go into Indian lands and take their stuff.
A.J.: Yes, we can! We’re Americans!

(Henrietta’s tent collapses around her as the grizzly plows into it.)
Henrietta: I’m going to shoot wildly!
(Shoots Grunt.)
A.J.: Don’t shoot! I’m outside your tent!

(Beatrice sees the wounded Grunt.)
Henrietta: It was the bear! Knocked him down! He’s fine!

##

Everybody who attended earned two character points.
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« Reply #486 on: January 05, 2018, 06:28:18 AM »

FROM THE JOURNAL OF "RANDOM" RANDY SHOOP:

J-Dog:

I'm 30. Fuck. I honestly didn't think I'd make it this far, even without the weird shit. I'm going to jump out of a plane (with a chute) next chance. I wish my bullet scar was about an inch to the left, so it went through the O in "bones." That would've been kind of cool.

When I used to think about my future, I hoped that I would fall for a good woman. But instead I fell for a bad one. And I know she's bad. I've seen it. I mean, I get nightmares about the thing she did to Da-- No print on that.. And I still... you feel what you feel, I guess? We make each other laugh. She's so smart, and funny, and talented at certain things, and when I look at her I just... can't talk about this anymore.

Fought a bear. That was a fucking rush. Let's talk about that.

-R
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« Reply #487 on: January 05, 2018, 06:58:27 AM »

RANDY'S JOURNAL; ADDENDUM:

Ever since the White Light, I've grown into the darkness. I used to love the sun so much, and now it just messes with my head. I can't take it. I wear my shades all the time. When I go to the other side, I can't wear them because - I don't know, that time-travel word A.J. and Indy probably know, and it's starting to really bug me. I'm thinking maybe I'll just take the midnight watch every day. I see better at night now, anyway.

-R
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« Reply #488 on: January 28, 2018, 03:15:06 PM »

Randy's Journal: Addendum:

J-Dog:

The thing I really like about the eye thing is that I can see the stars so much better. I've always liked looking at the stars. My eyes keep getting darker, in the colored part (iris? like the flower? I don't fucking know), and the more they do, the more I can ignore the light pollution when I'm in the city. They used to be much lighter, but I see them turning black. I just sit or lay out on the roof, and blaze, and imagine going out there. Who needs other worlds when we have other planets in this one? There's so much out there. I will go. I will learn the magic to go. I am an Eagle Scout. Nothing can stop me.

Stay Awesome, -R
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« Reply #489 on: January 28, 2018, 11:47:34 PM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InRDF_0lfHk
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« Reply #490 on: January 31, 2018, 11:19:31 PM »

Randy takes the point. Smiley
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« Reply #491 on: January 31, 2018, 11:20:00 PM »

Since we last played, I’ve moved to a new condo in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Between getting prepared for the move, actually moving, and then starting to shift my stuff to where it can fit in a place that’s still being remodeled, I’ve been pretty distracted.

Fortunately, this session was pretty straightforward. Unfortunately, the group continued its degeneration into rank villainy. Smiley

Characters Present:

Dr. Henrietta "Indiana" Johnson -- A personable, age 29-and-holding Anthropologist who specializes in the pre-Columbian indigenous people of the American Desert Southwest. A Native of Apache Junction, AZ, "Indiana" is good with people and has been fascinated by American Indian religion and folklore since she was a child. Henrietta speaks Apache fluently, and not-so-secretly wishes archaeology could be more like Raiders of the Lost Ark and less like digging in a trench with a trowel and a toothbrush -- Played by Debbie S.

Dr. Arthur "A.J." Jamison -- a retired NASA scientist with a home in one of Moab's nicer canyon sub-developments, who volunteers for 4CSAR because he needs to do something to get out of the house. Considers himself responsible for Sunmi Jones, who is enough of a science-geek that the two of them can actually hold a conversation. -- Played by Anten S.

Aurelia R. Lockrin -- A young woman with a shady past who teaches History at Grand County High School (Home of the Red Devils!), and volunteers for 4CSAR because she's a bit of an adrenalin junkie, and likes the companionship. -- played by Bennie Rae P.

 Dr. Belody "Doc" Bascher -- a local veterinarian for both large and small animals, who frequently fixates on her job and uses 4CSAR as her primary social outlet. -- played by Samantha H.

Sunmi Jones -- A Korean-American prodigy and student of chemistry at Utah Valley University, who spent most of her childhood with her deceased mother's family in Korea, but has come to Utah to attend college and work with her father's petroleum exploration firm. Somewhat moe, awkward-but-cute, glasses-wearing nerd girl, who only volunteers with 4CSAR because volunteer work is required for her degree. Recently suffered mental damage after an attack by a spirit of pain and violation, and agreed to become a chwal for the loa Erzuli Dahomey, as a way to replace the negative affects with those more positive. -- Played by Rebecca W. (Out of town.)

 Beatrice "B" Lawrence -- U.S. Army veteran who works for a local air charter service as a helicopter mechanic. She recently lost the lower part of her left leg in a fight with a sorcerer from an opposing lodge, and now wears a high-tech prosthetic. A cynic about men, she is accompanied by "Grunt," the biggest, best-trained pit-bull anybody has ever seen (purchased as an ally, and a totally badass dog, even before it was possessed by what appears to be a benign “foo” spirit) -- played by Bernetta W.

Claudia Abigail Tavulari, member of the NASA Quantum Physics Research Team, and an old friend of Arthur Jamison’s. The team has been helping Arthur research the portal physics, on the sly. – Played by Tisa T.

Stephen Mack, another member of the NASA Quantum Physics Research Team, a former U.S. Marine Corps test pilot, and outdoors enthusiast. – Played by Jeff T.

NPCs Present

Jimmy Ehrland – A fugitive from the 1918 Colonia de Nova España, on the other side of the portal, he had fled from his vampire mistress, Doña Eva, only to find himself in a strange, alien world to which he must struggle to adapt. – Shifted back to NPC status.

Randy "Random" Shoop -- a twenty-something, semi-pro mountain-bike competitor who has trouble staying focused, but is basically a good and reliable member of the team, with an unexpectedly strong moral character. – Currently in NPC status.

Grunt: Beatrice's ally, a large pit-bull possessed by a protective "foo" spirit. (Finally healed, but remained on the other side of the portal with Beatrice.)

A few days after the group left the vicinity of the Tomichi Creek trading camp, the group found itself at the eastern end of the wide valley dubbed South Park in their world, looking at the long, difficult trek up this world’s version of Monarch Pass. Feeling grateful for the string of pack animals now led by Henrietta and Jimmy, the party started the long, slow slog up into the eastern branch of the Continental Divide.

Fortunately, the weather stayed within expected parameters (although still a bit cooler than on their world, especially at night), and even Claudia didn’t slow them down, very much. (Tisa made some good rolls against default Hiking skill, and the group decided that Claudia was finally starting to toughen up.)

The group crossed the pass by mid-June – more or less on schedule and nearly four weeks after the portal opening. They figured they’d reach the Great Sand Dunes in a few days, and the vicinity of Pueblo no more than a week after that. All told, they’d made excellent time with (relatively) few mishaps.

The group expected this, given the broad range of outdoors experience held by most of the members.

On the other side of the pass, the trail down was broad and mostly well-groomed, and Henrietta and A.J. noted that it mostly followed the path of  US Highway 50, in their world.

About halfway down the side of the mountain, as they neared where Hwy 50 would cross Hwy 285 in their world, Steve looked ahead and noted movement well down the trail. He quickly called everyone’s attention to it. The group glassed it with binoculars, realized a 20-strong troop of U.S. cavalry was moving up toward them about half a mile away, but apparently hadn’t spotted them, yet.

A quick assessment of the situation showed them they had nowhere to go. This part of the trail had a steep slope upwards with sparse trees to their right, and a steep slope down, to the left, that became a precipice 15-20 yards away. The trees on the downward slope were thicker, until they reached the cliff.

The group took a quick look around, and found a place where a stream cascaded down the side of the mountain, which had a more gentle (but still steep) slope up that would allow them to move their animals off the trail. The water also allowed for a thicker patch of trees and, hoping for the best but fearing the worst, the group deployed.

Henrietta and Jimmy lead the horses up the steep slope and left Beatrice and Sunmi in charge of them, and then jogged back down to the trail to wait for the soldiers. Henrietta had all the social skills and Jimmy was native to the region (although he noted that Mormon’s werent exactly popular in the this world’s USA of 1919).

Doc Bascher and Steven joined them there – Steven because he got along (albeit perhaps a bit too well) with the U.S. troops, and Doc Bascher who planned to offer medical services to any of them who needed it, as a way to make friends.

Lest things go pear-shaped, A.J. (with his high-tech, fast-loading Twinbow II), Aurelia (the other face-person, with her more traditional bow) and the two cat-warriors (undiplomatic hand-to-hand killers) took up ambush positions in the trees. A.J. and the cat-warriors took positions not far behind the leaders, while Aurelia set up further back to provide cover for any needed retreat.

Within a few minutes after the PCs got set up, and troop of U.S. Cavalry arrived, and a grizzled sergent rode forward, dismounted, and greeted Steve. He asked the “obvious” man in charge his business and where the group hailed from.

Steve replied they came from the west and, suddenly interested, the sergeant asked them from how far west? Steve acknowledged they’d come from the desert -- which put them firmly in Spanish territory.

The cavalry sergeant frowned, looked around at group he could see, and asked Steve how many of these women were his wives. Steven said only one (and indicated Claudia, about 10 feet back), and that prompted the sergeant to ask their business on the trail.

Growing a bit perturbed at the line the questioning had taken, Doc Bascher stepped up and offered her services, while Henrietta fumbled out an explanation that the group had wanted to get out of the war zone. The sergeant asked if she were some sort of veterinarian, and Doc Bascher replied that she was a medical doctor.

The sergeant blinked in amazement, and asked where she’d gotten her education? Non-plussed, Doc Bascher fumbled out that she’d apprenticed with a doctor on the other side of the mountains, but was fully qualified.

At that point, the sergeant took note of Doc Bascher’s pump-action shotgun, and asked if he could take a look at it. Reluctantly, but trying to maintain the peace, Doc Bascher handed it over to him. The sergeant looked at it, a long moment, and asked why a doctor was traveling with such a firearm – to which the veterinarian replied that she wanted to be prepared for trouble with the “Native Americans.”

The answer flabbergasted the sergeant (“The what, now?”), and he asked Doc Bascher how to load the weapon. The Doc obliged, willingly enough, racked the slide -- and caught the bright green shell as it exited the breach.

The sergeant saw the shiny plastic shell and asked for a closer look. Doc Bascher handed it over to him, and the sergeant fingered curiously, took the shotgun, and then racked the slide, himself.

At that point, Beatrice (who had been listening carefully from a short distance up the slope), came striding down and demanded to know what was happening. Surprised, the cavalry sergent asked her identity and the nature of her business.

Somewhat affronted that U.S. soldier would poke his nose into the business of an American citizen, Beatrice replied that she and her group had been doing some trading, and they’d really appreciate it if they could be about their business.

Somewhat annoyed at hearing a different story, the lieutenant came riding up, dismounted, and said he and his men would have to search the cargo in the pack-saddles, to make sure the group weren’t bringing contraband across the disputed border from New Spain. Everybody objected to the request, but decided to comply, and Jimmy and Beatrice brought the horses down.

As some of the soldiers began to paw through the bags and pack-saddles, Beatrice again complained at the delay and the intrusion, while Henrietta and Doc Bascher tried to keep things calm.

Eventually, the annoyed sergeant asked if he could see Beatrice’s rifle and, again without thinking too much about it, Beatrice released the magazine and pulled the bolt back to empty the chamber.

Then she handed over the light-weight .30-06 – topped with modern optics in the form of a variable 20x scope.

Amazed, the sergeant asked where she’d gotten such a weapon? Realizing that things had started to come off the rails, Beatrice said she’d inherited it from her father, who had been a skilled gunsmith. The sergeant asked how long ago she’d gotten it, and Beatrice replied that he’d carried it a long while, and she inherited it after his death, some years back.

The sergeant turned and called out for the lieutenant, who dismounted. The sergeant asked if the officer had ever seen such a thing as the finely-tooled modern rifle with the unusual optical scope – or even such a thing as the spring-loaded magazine that held a number of rounds?

The lieutenant took a quick glance at the bolt-action carbine in his saddle-holster (basically, an early version of something that resembled the Lebel Model 1886), and replied that, no, he’d never seen anything like Beatrice's rifle, before.

At that point, the increasingly suspicious lieutenant said he’d like to have the group accompany the cavalry troop back to their base, but before he could issue any such orders, A.J.’s crossbow bolt split his skull. A second later, Aurelia’s arrow thudded into the chest of the sergeant, who looked down in stunned amazement before he dropped straight down to sit on the hard ground with his legs splayed out.

The scene erupted into chaos as Doc Bascher shouted, “Injuns!” and ran for the undergrowth on the down-slope side of the trail, as Jimmy dove prone behind a tree (which just happened to have a cat-warrior in it and A.J. nearby). Henrietta ran up the slope toward the horses, along with Claudia, and a trooper knocked Beatrice to the ground to protect her, pulled out his side-arm and glanced around wildly to spot the attackers.

Pissed at being knocked down, Beatrice yelled at the trooper to get off her, and violently pushed him away as Grunt advanced, growling, with his teeth bared. Suddenly realizing that something wasn’t right, the trooper tried to butt-stroke Beatrice with his pistol to subdue her.

The former U.S. Army helicopter mechanic dodged the strike, and responded by fast-drawing her 10 mm semiautomatic and squeezing off three rounds, two of which hit the soldier.

All hell broke loose as frightened horses started to mill around nervously at the noise and U.S. Cavalry soldiers tried to figure out what was going on. One of them saw Beatrice shoot his buddy, and he fired a round into her, which was stopped by the ballistic vest she had on beneath her coat. That guy took an arrow from Aurelia (who was making good rolls, despite the distance).

Basically, the combat was a mess. Keeping his head about him, Jimmy returned fire with his Colt .45 and not his Colt Python .357, while Doc Bascher managed to climb and scramble around enough to partially flank the troopers and get clear shots with her 9 mm automatic.

The combination of a nice scope and a fast-loading crossbow meant A.J.’s lethality was only exceeded by Steven, once the former Marine brought his 21st Century sniper rifle into the play. Aurelia also accounted for four of cavalry troops.

Henrietta’s shots mostly just scared the horses, and a bunch went completely berserk as missed shots started to hit them.

However, what really turned the tide were the cat-warrior in-betweeners. One of them jumped out of his tree, landed with elegant grace about five yards in front of a cavalry trooper, who promptly shot him down.

That sent the second in-betweener berserk, and he charged forward and laid open the throat of a trooper with a single swipe of hands that had suddenly sprouted claws. He ripped into the rib-cage of a second, charged a third and took him down with the help of Grunt, and generally started to draw the pistol fire from every cavalry soldier near him.

That meant the PCs in the party had several rounds in which the cavalry soldiers had bigger concerns and that, combined with the confusion, the body armor, the cover of trees and panicked horses (Beatrice got stepped on a couple of times when an errant bolo thrown by the pacifistic Claudia smacked into one…), and the superior firepower of TL8 weapons (as compared to late TL 5) made all the difference.

However, at one point, an errant shot by Jimmy hit the remaining cat-warrior, which was already wounded. This caused the berzerk killer to howl with rage and charge at the 18-year-old redhead. However, the party managed to gun it down before it reached him. The creature fell unconscious; badly wounded, but not dead.

Steven shot down the last cavalry trooper at a range of nearly 70 yards, as he tried to escape down the trail. The party had taken no more than bumps and bruises – except the cat-warrior in-betweeners, one of which whose body was dead and the other dying.

At Doc Bascher’s insistence, the group didn’t execute any of the cavalry troops who remained alive, but at A.J.’s insistence she cut out all of the bullets the group has put into them. Meanwhile, he and Aurelia recovered their top-flight aluminum-shafted bolts and arrows.

Doc Bascher patched up the cavalry troops as much as she could without using magic, but then left them tied to trees in the wilderness. She didn’t bother to patch up the remaining cat-warrior in-betweener, figuring it had probably abandoned the badly damaged body and she cared little about what happened to a meth dealer and member of a white supremacist biker gang.

That left the group with a quandary. As things stood, any cavalry trooper who lived would finger them for the ambush, and they'd become hunted people with huge prices on their heads. With that in mind, the group decided to make it look like an indian attack.

Doc Bascher, who had experience with this sort of thing since they'd done it to the Angels of Purity, roofied all of the troops who remained alive. As she did so, Henrietta took charge of arranging the misdirecton. She had the group scalp several of the dead troopers, and then the group shot the dead bodies, several times, with the troopers' own rifles, to camouflage the wounds the modern weapons had made.

After that nasty bit of business, Henrietta and Jimmy sorted through the available horses and grabbed the best ones. Doc Bascher pointed out that, until she had time to alter the U.S. Army brands on the horses, they needed to keep the animals out of sight of most people.

The rest of the party focused on stripping the dead U.S. cavalry officers, and took the weapons and other items they found useful. Also, by careful sorting, they managed to put together four full uniforms that showed minimal damage (or blood-stains). A.J. also found some clippings in the lieutenant’s personal effects, from a newspaper called the Denver Daily Herald, that had news about the war.

The pillaging and abuse of the dead took a couple of hours, and the group managed to get moving, again, by mid-afternoon. They made good time and had left the scene of the fight miles behind, by sunset.

The next day started out well enough, but by mid-day A.J., who had been acting as tail-end Charlie, began to suspect someone might be following the group. He found this rather disconcerting, as he knew the U.S. Army had a cavalry base somewhere in the vicinity, but the group didn’t know where.

A.J. jogged forward to share his suspicions, and the group agreed to push ahead faster and try to stay clear of the road – easier, now that they’d made it as far as the foothills, where the terrain was a bit less vertical. Aurelia, who had the best Stealth skill in the group, and Henrietta, who had good wilderness skills, agreed to drop back and try to spot any followers, and rejoin the group, later.

With that, the party picked up the pace, and soon Aurelia found a spot with good visibility of the trail, and went to ground. She and Henrietta waited patiently and, within an hour or so, saw a troop of nine cavalry scouts trotting along the party’s back-trail.

The archaeologist froze as the former high school art teacher swore softly, but let them ride out of sight. The two then decided to give the troopers a few more minutes to get well clear.

However, as they got ready to slip down the back of her hilltop, Aurelia heard a sound in the distance. Freezing again, the two women watched quietly as two of the soldiers they’d left unconscious came jogging along the trail, moving with a swift and graceful economy of motion, despite the blood on their uniforms.

Apparently, the in-betweeners had picked up a couple of new host bodies.

With that, the session ended.

(continued...)
« Last Edit: February 03, 2018, 07:32:43 PM by tshiggins » Logged

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« Reply #492 on: February 03, 2018, 07:32:59 PM »

(...continued)

Funny Quotes

(The group leaves the vicinity of the Tomichi Creek trading post, as the rest of the group bring Samantha, Doc Bascher’s player, up to speed.)
Claudia: I want a hot tub!

(The cavalry sergeant automatically turns his attention to Steve as the oldest man present.)
Steve(OOC): Hola!
Beatrice (OOC): I will shoot you. I swear to God.

(Beatrice strides down the slope to try to take charge of the situation with the cavalry troop.)
Doc Bascher (OOC): You’re being an unruly woman!
Aurelia (OOC): That’s accurate.

(Aurelia made a good roll to hide in a tree, and then manages to hit with a longish shot from her bow, despite minuses.)
Aurelia: YES! I’m a ninja!

Doc Bascher: I shot four people and a horse!

Henrietta(helps loot the bodies and round up skittish horses): Not my favorite part of the job, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

Aurelia: What? Bea’s the loudest one in the forest? This is my “surprise face.”

GM: The women in this group are constitutionally incapable of even pretending to be weak, frightened females grateful to see a troop of big, strong soldiers.

##
Everybody got three character points, for this one.
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"Our problem is, our plans never survive contact with US!" -Christopher Denny, veteran gamer, incorrigible punster.
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« Reply #493 on: February 04, 2018, 03:24:28 PM »


Fortunately, this session was pretty straightforward. Unfortunately, the group continued its degeneration into rank villainy. Smiley


I am still kind of shocked that I'm the only one who made a good guy this time. I never play the good guy. I usually play the worst guy. And I ran Black Hats and Shadowrun FFS. And Throwdown at the Howdown; that was some crazy shit. And in Lex's hard sci fi cyberpunk game, I whipped my dick out and asked a combat bioroid if he liked what he saw before I fast-drew and shot him in the face while guarding the back exit. My taste runs towards evil. Guess I like variety, though. And can follow instructions, guys. Wink
« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 03:38:35 PM by Gold & Appel Inc » Logged

Player | GM | Masochistic Setting-Adapter | Kallisti | Level 5 Cleric of the Cult of Stat Normalization - Stats For The Stat God! BELLS FOR THE BELL CURVE!
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« Reply #494 on: February 06, 2018, 09:17:26 PM »

Pending GM approval, I kind of want to run with the idea of Randy's eyes getting more fucked-up every couple of times he goes through the portal as an ongoing process that he can't stop. Night-Adapted Vision doesn't cost or give anything, and Tom kind of ignores darkness penalties anyway, so it'd just be kind of an RP thing.

"If I look hard enough into the setting sun,
My love will laugh with me before the morning comes.
I see the girls walk by, dressed in their summer clothes.
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes.
I see a red door and I want it to turn black.
No colors anymore, I want it to turn black.
I want to see your face painted black!
Black as night! Black as coal!
I want to see the sun blotted out from the sky!"
« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 09:47:43 PM by Gold & Appel Inc » Logged

Player | GM | Masochistic Setting-Adapter | Kallisti | Level 5 Cleric of the Cult of Stat Normalization - Stats For The Stat God! BELLS FOR THE BELL CURVE!
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