This site is an online accumulation of the Post Reports for my current ongoing D&D Campaign - for anyone who might be interested in reading them.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

One Shot, Delta Green/Cthulu, Final Word

The DM of the one shot had a final after action report which he sent to all the players (and the group at large) in response to my write up and just for completest purposes, I've attached it here.


Attn of: A.S.A.C. [redacted]
Clearance level: Delta Green
Author: Agent [redacted] and Lieutenant [redacted]
Regarding: Operation Last Things Last

          Final mission notes enclosed

Mission deemed closed. Friendly Asset Shoaf returned from the field, was not debriefed at this time. Audio recordings from Sgt. Massaro shed some light on mission, due to the failure of himself and Agent Bhul to return DG operatives [redacted], [redacted] and [redacted] of [redacted] also known as G-Cell were temporarily pulled of assignment  [redacted] to investigate, at the objections of Doctor  [redacted]. This investigation was deemed more immediately important, [redacted] and [redacted] don't consider [redacted][redacted][redacted] to be a flight risk due to its [redacted] hibernation [redacted] class haven't fully [redacted] child can be held at [redacted] indefinitely, or until [redacted].

G-Cell proceeded to coordinates retrieved from Sgt. Massaro's recording, location was as described. Agent [redacted] found two bodies, badly burnt inside a septic tank behind structure, appear to be bodies of Sgt. Massaro and Agent Bhul. Agent on scene determined death of Massaro was caused by a broken neck, likely from fall into tank. Agent Bhul appears to have been killed in the fire, and has defensive wounds on her hands, lacerations likely caused by some kind of knife. In accordance with orders for Operation Last Things Last agents at scene removed bodies to remove evidence of their presence. Agent [redacted] planted a [redacted] device to cause foundation of cabin to collapse and two [redacted] objects recovered from operation [redacted] to render the rest of the land to a pre construction state.

Using DG contacts in local area G-Cell wired Massaro and Bhul's cars for remote control, and for controlled burn. Agents staged a drunk driving accident, using Officer [redacted] on scene to remove evidence of tampering, and push story that Sgt. Massaro crashed into and killed Agent Bhul in a drunk driving accident. Agent [redacted] did not find the body of one "Marlene" on site, so until further evidence is acquired Lieutenant Shoaf's apparent decision to burn Massaro and Bhul has been labeled "Plausibly Necessary" and as such no action to silence or approach Shoaf has been recommended. It is this Agents recommendation that Lieutenant Shoaf be kept under observation until such a time that he needs to be eliminated or reactivated arises.

With the removal of all physical evidence from the residences of Agent Baughman and the apparent death or escape of "Marlene", Operation Last Things Last has been deemed a success. For her successful leadership of the mission Agent Bhul will receive posthumous awards for her service in unrelated FBI operations. Lieutenant Shoaf will receive recommendation for a promotion for their previously undocumented actions in their last combat flight. Sergeant Massaro, unfortunately, will be used to divert attention from the group, our media experts will keep the focus on his disgraceful actions behind the wheel to prevent anyone from digging in the wrong place.

From the desk of Agent [redacted]

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

One Shot, Delta Green/Cthulu, 8/12/17

For our hiatus, one of my players at the table ran a Delta Green/Cthulu one-shot for us. There were 3 players and the DM, and for a nice change, I had a chance to actually play. Here's the write up in story form from my character's point of view. He died, it was a Cthulu game, so no surprise there.


Attached is the transcribed voice-over IP recorded audible log of E-5 Sergeant Bryce Massaro, Intelligence Case Officer for the Department of Defense, Peterson Airforce Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Possession or review of this document is classified as grade Delta Green and above only.

(5:28 AM, Monday, August 14, 2017)
So here I am, slogging my way north on 25 on my way to Greenbrier, some shit town on the north end of the state just past Fort Collins. Trying out my sub-harmonic recorder. Already set up the relay and upload for NavSat burst at 5 Mhz which should help since I’m going to be on the east end of the Rocky’s and signal can be dicey.

Showed up for my 5 to 5 DW shift as normal, cup of black joe and a powerbar on hand as usual. We’ve been doing joint Declass Five exercises for the last 3 weeks with the Air Force Academy near Glen Eagle and I fully expected to continue the same crypto-scramble and “prick-prod” we’d been doing when my OS Superior stopped me in the hall and handed me some new orders. Being reassigned to some joint multi-department task venture and had to meet the Agent at the Motel 6 in Greenbrier. By 8.

Fuck a duck. So now I have to stomp slog my way north and pisspour my way through rush-hour at Denver. I saluted my OS Sup, turned about face, and made my way to the Armory where I was assigned a 9-19mm Parabellum Beretta M9 pistol, signing off with Clevis on the dotted line and then high-tailed it to my Audi A6 and was out of the parking lot 5:04 for a 2 ½ hour commute. At best.

Got on the Samsung 8 and quick dialed my Pop, Frank, leaving a message for him that I wasn’t coming home today as I was trucking north and was on assignment. When I know more, I’ll tell more. Pop’s still looking out for me since I mustered out of Big Green 13 months ago, parleying my 4 plus 2 time and experience to the DOD. My headshrink still won’t give me any pills, saying the night terrors will fade naturally in time. That’s great doc, until then I’ll still wake up 1 day in 3 covered in sweat with a white knuckled grip on my pillow. Tell it to Janice who couldn’t stand to be near me when I was convulsing in bed at 4 in the morning, growling like an animal. So she left, and truthfully, it’s just easier to flog my log than try to explain to whatever girl wants to sleep with me why I’m a basket case and won’t talk about Anbar. Or Fallujah. Or Lisbon.

Fucking Lisbon. Fucking Portugal.

Whatever. I’m doing 73 now on the 25 and making good time. Going to burst this out and focus on making time.

(7:52 AM, Monday, August 14, 2017)
Made the trip without issue, just a brake check when skirting Denver as I missed the start of rush hour by ten to fifteen. The further north I went, the crappier the towns and the longer the stretches between them. Made it through Fort Collins with little issue and then at the north end hit the community of Greenbrier.

You can tell that 20 years ago, it was its own little town, but both it and Fort C have grown with the influx of Cali immigrants and Mexican transplants – so there was little to separate the two but for some residential roads and a stretch of strip malls capitalizing on both sets of homesteaders.

Found the Motel 6 without issue – typical of its kind – along the main road, 2 stories, both an inner and outer balcony set up. 4 cars in the lot; one CO, 2 AZ, and 1 WY. Early morning Coors drinker was sitting on a plastic chair on the 2nd floor near a set of stairs but other than that – no one paying attention.

I parked one row away from the hotel, facing towards the road, and then got out, locking the Audi behind me. Entered the Motel and the weed-head libtard checking his favorite alt-gov blog on his phone barely acknowledged I was alive as I walked up to the counter and grunted. After making sure this was the right place and learning where the pool, spa, and conference room was, I then asked Mr. Community College drop-out where the vending machines were and made my way away from the stink of mediocrity and double timed it up the stairs.

4 quarters later and I was walking along the balcony munching on my Kit Kat, one bar at a time. I scanned the rooms and windows as I walked, noting which were open and which weren’t. It was early, or at least early for the lazy shits that were sleeping away their Monday mornings, and no one was paying attention to either me or the location. Good.

I dumped the wrapper, walked past the counter again where the fry-cook failure watched me under his beetled brow, and strode to the conference room. Empty. No one here. Watch showed 7:45 and no one here, no one in the lot, nothing even written on the white board.

I stationed myself near the window, facing the door, and have been flicking the blind over again and again as I scanned the parking lot. I noted another CO vehicle rolled up, Jeep CJ-7, driver was some ram-rod with a pair of aviators. He got out, looked around, and stayed by the Jeep, watching the road. Already going to dislike this job.

(8:57 AM, Monday, August 14, 2017)
8:00 means 8:00, not 8:05. That is 5 minutes late. Five minutes where something is not going to plan.

My new direct supervisor for this venture was a battleaxe career FBI Special Agent identified as Lilliana Buhl. She had the Agency Short Hair Cut #4 and was what I considered to be thick. Had to be pushing 50 and from what I can tell, besides being career, most likely didn’t get along with the higher steps since she was terse, short, and abrupt.

The last one (yes, last one – there are 3 of us – 1 chief and 2 indians) was the thick neck that had driven up in the Jeep. Jan Shoaf, and either a flight jock or wannabe flight jock from Peterson.

The job was easy as explained. Had to go to the domicile of the recently deceased Clyde Bauman and scrub the departed’s domicile for documents or memorabilia that was deemed “interesting”. Seems Clyde was a former and well liked member of some shadow org called “The Group.” I had heard their name bandied about the darkweb and from what I can tell besides being deep supporters of Bitcoin was that they were a fairly deepstate intel think group that had their hands in and around many pies that radiated out from Langley, the Pentagon, and even the Hill.

Why some upper-mid tier desk jockey and 2 grunts were being sent to do a scout and scour 3 days after the target’s death made no sense to me if this Bauman was indeed a part of such shadow org, but again – that’s why I’m the grunt.

But I’m not a moron and when this scout and scour is over, I have to go back to the DOD so I did ask about a search warrant in case we are stopped. And I was just looked at like I’m a moron. Just because I’m half your age doesn’t mean I have half your IQ. Millennial doesn’t mean crybaby fuckwrangler – it means we’ll question instead of just “assuming it’ll all go to plan.”

After assuring me we wouldn’t need one, I nodded my head and mentioned I’d be right back. I headed off to the courtesy desktop the Motel had near the front counter and spent a few minutes digging around an old Denver PD PDF archive until I was able to find a blanket search warrant that would pass casual muster. I printed out 2 copies on the shitty HP and then went to the counter to harangue the dopeass who was STILL trolling on his phone for a handful of pens and some index cards that truthfully, should have been already in the conference room.

Once equipped, I rejoined Buhl and Shoaf, filled out the warrant, and handed it to Buhl for her perusal. She made a few adjustments to it and then handed it back. She gave us the address for Bauman’s, and we all filed out to our respective cars. No way I was driving with either of them and leave my Audi here? I did note that the WY plate was no longer in the lot but since the Coors drinker was also missing, I put one and one together and paid no mind to it.

(11:06 AM, Monday, August 14, 2017)
I followed Buhl to Bauman’s addy, a set of late 50’s box style 2x2 apartment buildings that were on the east end of Greenbrier. The alleys had some tags on them and I noticed a few gang signs in the depressed neighborhood. Shoaf was taking his sweet time and I assume stopped for a lollypop to appease his sour puss since he wasn’t here yet.

Scanning the area showed nothing serious in the neighnorhood, the rats had scurried away when the Ford POS and my Audi rolled up. There was some motion on a nearby building and I was watching it carefully, wondering if the addy was being wattched when the blaring of a horn scared the crap out of me. Some 19 year old Mexican-american was leaning on the horn and telling me to get out of the road.

I did the license and badge flip trick to get the Chulo to calm the fuck down but instead the gang-banger is screaming in my face and shouting “Cop! Cop! Cop!” Just what we don’t want since the locals are poking noses out to see what’s going on. I tell him to knock it off and motion him along and he flips me off as I do the same to him, his shit-box Mazda disappearing around the corner. Shoaf shows up at long last, nods to me, and we follow Buhl who has this “I’m surrounded by children” grin on her face to the addy.

There is a mailbox with 1-4 on it and Buhl tells us we are looking for #4. 1 and 2 are ground floor, 3 and 4 are up a set of shitty stairs poorly lit to the landing above. We walk up, Buhl showing some field skill as she shifts her weight and keeps the noise to a minimum; Shoaf blowing out stealth away with his heavy booted tread.

The landing was left 3 and right 4, 4 showing old police tape now gone, only a few scraps in the upper corners.  I listen to 3 and hear a female voice and the TV – nothing else. Not sure if we’re being watched, I rip an index card in half as Buhl unlocks #4, and use a bit of the scotch tape still on the jamb to hold the card over the peep hole on 3.

I’m on point and we enter. L shaped Kitchen left, living room right – hallway beyond the L. Fridge recessed drawing on surface, table 2 chairs, a few normal pans, pots, etc. Clear. Foyer key hook with ring, no stand, umbrella, anything. Living Room worn couch, chair, tube style TV on drawered stand, coffee table with scattering of books. Quick look, clear.

Shoaf and Buhl follow me in, we’re all on pins and pistols are noticeable and hot. I motion down the hall and Buhl agrees as Shoaf goes for a detailed search in the Kitchen and Foyer.

Stealing my spine I go. Short hall, 6 paces, wicker doored linen closet @ end, door right and left. Smell of dead body is noticeable. Left is ajar. Linen closet first – four towels, 2 washcloths, half a box of baking soda. Nothing else. Checked right. Bedroom: bed, dresser single paperweight and 3 pictures on top. Quick look showed target and similarly aged woman, and 2 pics of a younger girl estimated age 4-6. Second door beyond here – suspected closet but not sure. Under bed clear. Bedroom clear.

Second right room was an office. Bauman was a hoarder. No personal effects anywhere and the place was seriously Spartan, but everything else he ever did was in here. Office room, LOTS of boxes of paperwork and stacked up all over. A god-real-forsaken TYPEWRITER was on the desk in front of the chair. Real old school. No windows. Check and check, clear.

I came back to the hall and give Buhl the thumbs up and prod the left door open, pistol out. Target died here. Stick of dead body was strong. Bathroom, busted towel bar, broken toothbrush holder, blood markings on the tub.

Let Buhl know my findings and she and Shoaf was giving the place a deeper look over. I stood by the door to the hall, checked 3 again, and shut the apartment door for now. I let the two of them do what they were doing. Sudoku puzzles? Reader’s digests and TV Guides? I asked Buhl a few times what we were looking for and she replied again and every time: something interesting.

Bug hunt. I was babysitting a FBI career agent on her bug hunt. Right then my respect for this “mission” was tanking. All I wanted was to do my job, get my inter-department DD 101 signed off on and head back to my desk to do something a bit more country specific than this crap.

Buhl was going to take all the records and mentioned that Bauman had a car nearby on the street. Shoaf had already looked over the key rings and it had 3 on there each with a Brother P-Touch label on them: Apartment, Cabin, Toyota. Shoaf and I went out leaving Buhl to look over the sad leavings and I’m sure her miserably pathetic mullings over her career to date and found the Corolla parked and untouched.

Older model, tires regular wear, no markings. Trunk had a gym bag with 2 sets of clothes and boots, worn and dirty. Interior was clean. Glove box had normal bits of paperwork and insurance paper – plus a set of coordinates N 40.22.75 W 105.35.06. A quick look on the phone showed it a good 2 plus hours from here, mostly west and south, and along the northern skirt of the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Shoaf and I went back and informed Buhl who was boxing up the last of the records and had taken the drawings and pictures of what we now assumed to be Bauman’s granddaughter Cassie. She wanted to scrub the place down and then we were to all trip out to this cabin at the coordinates. But Bauman wasn’t much for cleaning and we found little to do the job right. So she sent us to the CVS to get some bleach and I’m sitting out here in my Audi with the half box of baking soda and a towel while Buhl is finishing up her version of Pulp Fiction and spic and spanning the place. Shoaf and I had loaded her car with the boxes and anything personal that Bauman had and are now waiting for her battleaxe highness to emerge so we can get this bughunt on the road.

(2:43 PM, Monday, August 14, 2017)
Have to burst this now while I still can. Sitting in the back of Shoaf’s Jeep with the window cracked so Jan and Buhl can’t hear me. This entire bughunt and scout and scour has gone pear shaped real fast.

We left Bauman’s and followed Buhl back to 25 where we went south until Loveland. From there she pulled over in the municipal park and ride and we all piled on with Shoaf since his Jeep was better suited for the mountains and trails than either of ours. It was a good 45 more minutes west of Loveland as we made our way through the back roads and smaller places and it was right around Estes Park that cell service dropped from one bar to “HA HA HA”.

We followed the nav map as best we could along smaller roads until we were up some rough back unpaved trail for 2 miles until we arrived at some Evil Dead cabin in the woods. Faux-logs, wires leading to it so electric yes, and 2 buildings behind. We parked and listened, it was quiet. Once again I was investigative man on point so I circled the cabin gun drawn.

8x8 shed, newer construction outhouse, and the dug up bit and visible hatch of a septic tank. Woodline came right to the back, 25’ tops clearing. Circling back around there was a waterpump so an artisian well was here and a woodbin was half full. Filled in Buhl and Shoaf and they went to front door, I stood by corner and watched back door in case the place had an unfriendly that was going to pull a runner.

They went in and in a minute the back door opened and I was motioned to come in.

Cabin had one main room with a stove, kitchenette, bed and what not. A side bathroom was here but the outhouse led me to believe it was non-functioning, and a quick check of the tank and bowl confirmed that. After giving the place a once over, Buhl led us to the sleeping area where there was a twin bed, night stand, foot locker and an envelope with a green triangle marked on top.

Shoaf worked on the locker while Buhl read the note. Bauman must have suspected he was of poor health and commented that there was 20 gallons of gasoline in the shed and they should pour it in the septic tank and burn what was in there alive and that he was sorry.

Gas? Burn? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot??

Shoaf meanwhile had found 3 Vietnam style active gas grenades, some museum aged bone handled iron knife, and a leather pouch which contained a matt of animal hair, some bird feathers, and a handful of human infant teeth. What a fucking freak.

So we went out back and verified the locked shed DID have 20 1 gallon plastic jerry cans of fucking gasoline! Plus an axe and a book of matches. What was Bauman planning? We then looked over the outhouse next and it was just a hole in the ground as expected. So that left the dug up septic tank and the submarine door style chained down in place hatchway. The heavy metal hatchway. Chained down.

And I was able to hear a voice, female, calling for help. In the septic tank. Said it was Marleen Bauman and her husband had trapped her down here 4 years ago. Wanted to get out and please help.

I turned to Buhl and flat out asked her, is that our mission? Are we really going to burn some woman alive? Is this the end game? Buhl was poleaxed and couldn’t answer and after Shoaf and I continued to question her and SERIOUSLY press the issue, she told us to get back in the Jeep and that she had to make a call. So here we are, bouncing our way back OUT of the mountains and heading along to Estes Park so Buhl can make a phone call. Again, what does Buhl know and why do I get the feeling she can’t be trusted? She’s been cagey since minute one and I get it, need to know and all that, but fucks sake – there’s only THREE of us – who the fuck are we going to tell?

(5:37 PM, Monday, August 14, 2017)
This mission is rating a 9.5 on my WTF-o-meter. We drove towards Estes Park and stopped at the Friendly Camp Supply Store just shy of the town where Special Agent Buhl got out of the car and walked up and down the pullover, gesticulating firmly often and growing frustrated and angry in between long pauses. Jan seemed to be getting fed up with Buhl and we muttered out misgivings to one another for now. It was difficult to read Buhl’s lips, but I did my best and what little I picked up verified what I had suspected: Buhl was out of her element, there was more we didn’t know, and she was kicking it up the pole to get someone to tell her to burn whatever was in the septic tank alive.

She came back and sure enough, informed us that the mission was to perform Bauman’s final request and that was it. I was stunned. Alright, what if it WAS Marleen? Four years trapped in a septic tank? In the dark, no food or water? It made no sense.

This was tugging at my lizard brain and it reminded me of some of the strange shit myself and Team Bravo had seen in Fallujah. Sergeant Major Barrows had been on hand then, my SO was in charge of the situation and he guided myself and the rest of the company through those strange days when things just didn’t add up.

Best advice he ever gave? “Bryce, do your homework. Verify and collect intelligence before you commit yourself to an action or an order that just rankles you the wrong way.”

Since we had cell service, I did my magic and learned that Marleen Bauman DID die 4 years ago of a heart attack, dying in her sleep. She was interred at Macklemore Cemetery in Fort Collins and the Bauman’s had 2 children, Michael and Sharon. And Sharon had a daughter named Cassie. Everything was panning out.

I called Macklemore and spoke to a director, putting on my best friendly voice and getting him to verify that Marleen was interred there almost 4 years ago and that Clyde had visited the gravesite no more than a week ago. I thanked him and asked both Buhl and Shoaf if these facts are true, than what is buried beneath the ground outside of Bauman’s cabin? To which Buhl replied that was why we should proceed on the mission.

We went into the camp store where a few purchases were made, for me I needed another baking soda, 2 bottles of vinegar, a maglight, 2 bottles of Arizona iced tea, and a lighter. I know the others bought their own purchases and we filed outside to Jan’s jeep. I downed the 2 iced teas and then filled the glass bottles each half way with baking soda and capped them in place firmly. I then wrapped everything in the paper bag and we made the drive back to the Cabin.

We checked under the house – 2’ crawlspace but the pipes from the bathroom had been jigsawed away, meaning there was no easy way to pour the gas in. So we’d have to do it under the house. Buhl went to the hatch cover to listen, Shoaf was bringing me cans of gas, and I was under the house pouring the first one in slowly.

Buhl informed us she couldn’t hear the falling liguid which to me meant it was blocked up. But she was listening to the whatever it was saying it was Marleen, begging for release and its life. I wiggled out, went to the wood bin and ripped of a length of plywood. Then crawling back under the house and Jan joined me with the tire iron from the Jeep, I poured the baking soda down the hole from one of the bottles – and then dumped the vinegar down the hole as well. We slid the plywood over and jammed the tire iron between it and the house just in time as the 2 items mixed and blew out and down the septic line.

Buhl informed us that “Marleen” was yelling “what are you doing?” and that she could hear liquid running. She was yelling at me to get it done, get it done! Pour the gas and light it! What the fuck is with that Yankee Oxford Lima Oxford crap? It’s GASOLINE, I had no interest in going up like a candle. Bbut a job’s a job, so we dumped 3 more jugs of gas down the hole and then I lit the fucker and backed away.

Whooosh!

Marleen was screaming and Buhl was sweating and rocking slightly as the screams were going on. It continued for a while until the fire died out and then Buhl got up from the ground and her eyes soaking wet and howling like a banshee, ran off into the woods shrieking and shaking and moaning. I looked at Shoaf who said merely, “Ugh. Let her go.”

Wow. Hard core, dude.

We went back to dumping gasoline down the hole but after 4 we were stuck again, this time the gas was backed up down the entire septic pipe. So this time I popped a hole in the plywood cover, did the same baking soda/vinegar trick but it wasn’t as effective since the pipe was filled with gas. But the pressure DID force open whatever the “Marleen” had jammed in the pipe free and the gas was running down again. Another light and WHOOSH! More fire down the pit.

We could hear only some growling and then nothing.

This was going to take forever and the Marleen was still jamming the 3” pipe with whatever it had. We needed more material and a better plan. Plus it was 5 PM and we agreed not to be here after dark. Buhl  was still nowhere to be found so I tured on the Jeep, faced it into the woods, and blew the horn again and again, hoping to attract Buhl and guide her back to the cabin. Meanwhile Shoaf was gathering the empty gas cans and policing the area.

Buhl eventually came out of the woods, filthy and sheepish. She didn’t even thank me for attracting her back, only agreed that we needed more equipment and had to do this correctly tomorrow. We got back in Shoaf’s Jeep and began the long ride out of here. Buhl informed us we would be going back to the Motel 6 to rest up and will be coming back here in the morning. That was fine by me, but I wanted to hit the Home Depot first and Shoaf was very big on refilling the jerry cans.

And Buhl? She is sitting there, staring out at the passing trees in the gathering dark, saying little but her eyes, they have that stare in them. The stare that says, “I’m not doing well with all this.”

Toughen up, Buttercup. We’re all a bit strung out.

(8:48 PM, Monday, August 14, 2017)
I love shopping at Home Depot. Hope to hell I get reimbursed for all this, my Amex took a hit and a half. Purchased a Dewalt 20V cordless drill and then picked up a ¾” spade bit. We grabbed 3 shovels, I found a 4’ plumbers crowbar used for lifting manhole covers. 4 gallons of bleach. I then went to toll rental and they had a gas powered 50’ plumbing snake. Very neat. Rented that for tomorrow but I had to give a $20 security on top of the prepay. What am I going to do? Keep the damned thing?

The plan as of now is to drive back with 2 cars, Jan’s and Lilliana’s. Lilliana parks her rear wheel on the septic hatch cover. We dig a bit shy of the tank until we get to the waste line, bore in and then snake whatever mess is in the way , dropping the gas down the hole. After the initial burn, we pry up a corner of the hatch and ten drop the rest of the gas down, burn whatever the fuck it is, and I get my DD 101 signed off and get away from crazy-eyed Buhl and back to my normal non-fucked up 9 to 5.

At least the room at the Motel 6 I have is shitty and the mattress feels like I’m sleeping on gravel.

(10:16 AM, Tuesday, August 15, 2017)
Slept like a baby, we all had breakfast, and I snagged an extra bagel to eat in the car. We’re loaded for bear and I feel pretty confident about this plan. Jan is noncommittal but he did inform me that Buhl is still acting strange and we are hoping that when this is over that we never have to work with her battle-axe crazy ass again.

We’re coming up to the house now so it’s just about game time.

At this point, there are snippets of bursts that have been uploaded but they are disjointed and involve much screaming. Where there were gaps in the burst it has been noted in the transcription below. We are not sure if Sergeant Massaro was aware he was recording during these pockets of conversation. Based upon the other voices that were picked up on the recordings, it is obvious that the volume of others involved was also just as elevated and chaotic as Sergeant Bryce.

“Burn motherfucker, Burn!”
“No, move the snake back and forth only a little bit. Don’t want it to grab the end.”
“Fuck this isn’t going to work.”
.
(FEMALE VOICE) “Don’t undo the chain.”
(Metal creaking followed by a broken exchange of something falling and heavy smashing)
“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!”
(Shots fired)
“Get it! Use the knife!”
(MALE VOICE) “Die you bastard!”
(Guttural roaring)
“Ah!”
(Shots fired, followed by a pain filled guttural roar)
“Fucking almost hit me, Buhl!”
(More shots)
“Take this, you bitch!”
(Drilling noise and more guttural screams)
.
(FV)”It’s gone.”
“What the fuck!? How the fuck are we going to get it now?”
(FV)”I don’t know. But we have a mission and have to go after it.”
(MV)”Are you out of your mind?! It flipped a car!”
“There’s a fucking drill sticking out of its kidney!”
.
(FV)”It’s your fault! If you had done your job properly it wouldn’t have gotten away!”
“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Ma’am! I not only, WE not only did our jobs, we went ABOVE and BEYOND the parameters of them as had been set down by YOU Ma’am!”
(FV)”Don’t take that tone with…”
.
“Just sign it! Sign the damned DD 101 because truthfully I’ve done my job and I want out of this mission now.”
(MV)”Special Agent Buhl, what more did you expect of us?”
(FV)”How about not letting it escape? How about stopping it? The job isn’t over yet, kids. Fucking Millennials.”
“Ma’am, you are certifiable and a fucking loon.”
.
(MV)”Ma’am, please put the gun down.”
“You’re going to shoot me?”
(FV)”Give me your gun, Massaro. Now”
(MV)”Ma’am, please.”
(FV)”Gun. Now.”
“Holy shit! You are bat house fucking nuts, Buhl!”
.
(Howling and screaming followed along with the sound of a shot. It sounds like something is shuffling along and more yelling. Difficult to discern exact what is happening)
“Fuck! Sssshhhot me in the fuuuughing faccccheee!”
(More struggling and then two voices, FV and we suspect Massaro give a brief shout and then the sound of falling)
.
(At this point we no longer hear Massaro’s voice and the burst upload is muffled and garbled as if submerged slightly, but we did manage to extract this last bit)
(MV)”Fucking die! Die! Burn you! Burn!”
(FV)”Agh! Stop!”
(Sound of liquid falling)
(MV)”You twisted crazy bitch.”
(Sound of a striking match and then a last scream and burst upload ends)


We did a clandestine follow up, Jan Shoaf did return to his command yesterday evening on the 15th and reported to his SO that Special Agent Buhl had finished with his services and released him. A filed DD 101 interdepartment action report was on hand and it had a scrawl along the bottom. Handwriting comparison shows that the signature although marked as Special Agent Lilliana Buhl does not match her signature on file. Sergeant Massaro has not checked in with the DOD, and Special Agent Buhl has not reported back to her superiors. Again, this document is classified as Delta Green.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Meet 11, Adv B4, 8/9/17 - Youth Group

After 10 meetings, the youths finally had a chance to turn some of their coins and treasures into goods, potions, and supplies. On the 5th level, I had changed the doppelganger room years ago into a way-station room for whatever “cult” the party had positive relations with – and only use it as such when running a new group or new players through B4. The idea is that typically they will be desperate for any supplies and will usually have some serious amount of coin they will seek to sell off.

What this mean/meant though is that they spent almost an hour and a half “shopping” and trading – and when they looked at the clock were dismayed to see how little time was left- they wanted to get back into the exploring frame and rolling d20’s as soon as possible.

Write up follows:

The group then went through all the supplies Pronius and the followers of Gorm had, trading some of the purloined masks they had gathered, gems and jewels, and dumping as much silver as they could in order to free up their bags.

There were a few scrolls for sale, some more potions purchased, oil, food, and any bit of supply they thought they might need as they travelled back to the 4th level and sought out the last 2 (or 1?) ancient weapons of Cyndicia. Finally after all was done, we made a donation to Pronius for Gorm and the friendly priest had one of his followers heal us up as thanks. We were all sporting holy symbols to Gorm by this time and spent the night with Pronius and his followers while Volkan scribed a few more spells in his book.

On the next day we filled our skins in the water barrels and left, thank Pronius for his efforts and promising to return before heading at some point down to Cyndicia. For now though, we wanted to head back to the 4th level and look around for the tombs of King Alexander and Queen Zenobia.

We took the long passage back south until it turned to the left, and then took that back until we arrived at the 4 way split in the corridor – Safir’s soot marked line still visible on the floor. With great care to avoid the pit trap, we jumped the corner sideways to the south passage and then moved on. We arrived at the gargoyle room – the door still ajar from how we left it. Just inside was the busted remains of the foe we had faced earlier and as we proceeded across the room to the west and the passage beyond, we encountered the 2nd one where we had left it.

This brought us to the room with the tapestries and the two iron knight statues flanking the north wall and the pair of couches. Volkan entered and the candles lit up again, the mage wanted to see if the 2 statues would come alive – similar to how the gargoyles did. There was some jockeying about as we repositioned ourselves around the chamber – Volkan near one of the statues – 10’ pole at the ready – Safir with an arrow drawn, Delsin holding the door open that we came in, and Mark sitting on the couch.

As before – sitting on the couch had the statues subtly turn their head – but nothing else. The door that Delsin was holding open had some pressure to it, but was easily held in place. It was when Volkan would “Boop!” the knight on the face plate of the helmet that the door gave this sort of pressuring hum and TRIED to shut on Delsin who was forced to throw his back and weight against it to keep it in place.

This happened 3 times before Volkan made a change. Wanting to look under the helm, he first unlatched one side of the helmet lock – and then the other side. He stepped back, held the pole like a bat, and swung it with all his might to try and knock the helm off.

It hit with a “Thwang!” and the entire helm flew sideways, crashing to the floor. The statue then swung its sword up and slammed it against Volkan who was screaming shrilly like a damsel in distress. As the magic user was being battered, Delsin was racing across the chamber and Mark was struggling off the couch. Safir’s arrow was shot – and broke against the statue’s breastplate. Volkan was then throttled as the statue lifted him off the ground by his neck, choked, shaken, and then hurled gasping and dying to the floor as the knight tossed him towards the party like discarded trash.

Then both of them began stalking towards us.

Mark called to Gorm to heal Volkan, his newly purchased Cure Light Wounds scrolls curling up and turning to ash as he called out the prayer. It succeeded though as Volkan’s wounds closed up and he was helped to his wobbling feet. The statues did move slowly though, and we were able to trick them to coming across the chamber before running past them and hitting the north door and coming back to the kitchen, slamming the door closed behind us.

Remembering the pythons that were here earlier we looked – one table had a very FAT python on it – the 2nd one was…not seen! We could hear the statues coming closer and Delsin wanted to jam the 2nd table without the python on it in front of the door. So he went to one side, Mark to the other. And when they went to lift it, something slithered out from under a chair and Mark dropped his end, dancing and running back as the 2nd python emerged.

And then the door behind us opened and the 2 iron statues were there, coming in to attack us. “Let’s go!” Delsin roared and the group ran around the back end of the 2nd table in their dash to get to the next door going north while the snake side winded towards us and the statues clomped closer and noisily across the kitchen. We hit the next door leading us to what was once Demetrius’ study and bedroom and eventually the secret door to the 4th level.

Slamming the door closed, Delsin took out one of the new spikes he had purchased and hammered it into the base of the door in order to lock it in place. And sure enough, the two iron statues hit the door on the other side but the spike held and after 30 seconds the banging stopped and we could hear the statues walking away and presumably back to the couch chamber.

Catching our breath we thanked our lucky stars and then made our way to the north east corner of the room. Mark lifted the lever and the secret door rose up – revealing the small chamber and the iron ladder running up to the gloom above.

We climbed. 25’ straight up until we were once again in the long corridor of the 4th level where we discussed which way to go next. Most everything we felt had been seen except a south east corner that we had missed, the contents of the “cold room” we had only walked outside of, and the further north direction of this corridor that we had not travelled down yet. We wanted to walk south and check out the cold room and the south east corner first.

But while we were discussing it, we heard a goblinoid voice call out from the south, wondering who we were and what we were doing here. Only Volkan could speak goblin and he parleyed with them, convincing them they were followers of Zargon and that they were searching for “those who came from outside a few days ago” on Zargon’s orders.

The goblinoids were ameliorated but stayed in the area. So we wanted to get past them, the leader who referred to himself as “Pox” but didn’t want to be caught as followers of Gorm. So Volkan took out his graphite stick and drew and eyeball on his forehead. Then everyone did the same (Delsin begrudgingly) and we then walked south – Volkan commanding everyone to shut up and let him do the talking.

As went, coming out of the gloom were 6 hobgoblins – 5 and a half feet tall, green skin, orange haired, wearing brigandine armor and sporting spiked clubs. They challenged Volkan’s story and then poked holes in it before it was rapidly turned to combat and Volkan was struck by a flailing club. Delsin shoved Volkan back and took Heat Stroke to combat, wallowing into the melee and making room as he did so. Safir danced back and Mark ran forward, Mace of Gorm lite up and smashing the hobgoblins aside.

But in the chaos of the combat, Safir accidentally shot Mark in the back high on the shoulder and Volkan was having a tough time striking the hobgoblin’s with his dagger. Delsin dropped another one and the party made a reverse wedge shaped front in the hall, allowing the party to engage 3 of the greenskins and continue to make headway against the enemy.

As the third and then the 4th enemy fell with an arrow to its eye by a lucky shot from Safir, the last 2 turned to run. Delsin tackled the first one, trying to hold the wiry creature down while the 2nd one was making good distance when Mark hurled the Mace end over end, shattering the hobgoblin’s left shin and causing him to fall over screaming. Volkan ran forward and using the mace, smacked the hobgoblin in the head until it shut up. We then trussed up the 1st goblin and tied the two of them together while we were getting ready to question the wandering Zargonites.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Regular Game - Hiatus

Due to a series of perfect storm issues with too many members of my normal game - for the 4th time in the 10 years since this group has gotten together we are having a short hiatus while everyone gets their lives straightened out.

What this means is that my daughter's current campaign is the only active one running and for the summer she'll be trying for 2 meetings every 2 weeks until school resumes after Labor Day.

For the others in my normal campaign - we are going to One Shot a Delta Green/Cthulu meeting one night (I get to play!!!) and we are going to One Shot a Deadlands/Savage World meeting another night (and again - I get to play!!!).

So there you go. 10 years of momentum does occasionally hit a pot hole.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Meet 10, Adv B4, 8/7/17 - Youth Group

Their go to for the time being has been to find a place to sell off their coin and refit themselves with gear, food, and the ever needed healing potions. They had been informed of a safehold on the 5th level and thankfully by the meeting’s end, had arrived there safely although barely after a nasty fight with 2 gargoyles. Wandering monsters have been very light and infrequent – so the pyramid might not feel as dangerous and deadly as it had when I had run it during earlier days.

Write up follows:

Once the secret door was closed and locked, Safir took out his picks and spent a few minutes working on the lone oversized chest in the room. With a satisfied click, he announced it opened and we lifted the cover. There were hundreds of gold coins gleaming in the lantern light and the party couldn’t help but notice a silvered steel chainmail laying rolled up on top.

Since his armor was already in poor condition, Mark had asked for the chainmail which the group agreed was ok. He took off the breastplate and the other assorted pieces, laying them aside with care before picking up the chainmail armor and putting it on. It was when it had slithered down his body and he went to tie the adjusting cords off that the armor tightened up on its own and buckled with incredible alacrity. As if by magic.

Mark then strode about the small room, noting the armor was very comfortable and weighed about half what he had expected it – further proving to him that it was indeed magical. While Safir was counting out the coins, we checked over the rest of the chest finding a potion vial and an ornate dagger and sheath.

Safir was willing to forego the other 2 items for an extra share of the coins – which we agreed with. Volkan was excited about the dagger while Delsin took the potion. The dagger was tested and was very sharp and had some marks of sorcery on the blade. The potion was lightly tasted and we saw Delsin fade from view for a second before rematerializing. Invisibility! Alright.

As for the 511 gold coins, the party each took 100 and Safir took the remaining to balance out the division of loot. From there, the party just rested. We kept the lantern burning low to save oil and made sure the locking lever was down while the group just rested, ate, talked, and made sure their bags and belongings were in good shape and repair. We did hear the odd movement from behind the secret door in the main room, but no one stepped out or bothered us.

In the morning we awoke feeling great. Most of us had healed up a bit during the night and our wizard and cleric each studied and prayed for their spells. We listened to the door, heard nothing on the other side, and opened the lever to peer out. The study and bedroom looked and felt just as it had yesterday. Mark added another flask of oil to the lantern and turned up the wick while the group fanned out a bit and made their way to the south door to the next chamber.

Volkan did stop us and take the Usimagarian robe of Demetrius, saying that when we get down to Cyndicia itself, it might be handy to have such a robe with us.

The door beyond opened up to a combination kitchen and dining room. Two large tables were in the main chamber where sadly a woman wearing a rabbit mask had died on one of the tables, and a pair of 5’ long plus snakes were coiled up around her. Errrrm…no one wanted to mess with the snakes. So Volkan and Delsin snuck along the edge of the wall until they were able to check out the kitchen proper. The pantry was empty, a few dishes, bowls, and twisted spoons. Nothing of value. So they snuck back along the wall to the party and we all agreed to forego the snakes and sneak along the other wall around the far table, and make our way to the next door on the south wall and out of here, giving the snakes a wide berth. So we did go, and the pythons although watched us, stayed their distance.

At the door we only listened briefly before opening it and showing a room with a number of wall hangings and a couple of divans near the south wall. A door was across the chamber that went off to the east and there were two iron statues on either side of the door. Volkan went to enter the room and felt a crackling – followed by the 4 candles on the walls near the tapestries to fire to light…and nothing else.

So we entered and noticed that the door here did not stay open. Without any spikes, we used Volkan’s 10’ pole to jam the door open, propping the lower end against one of the statues’ feet, and the other pressed against the top corner of the door. The pole did flex slightly, but stayed in place and held the door open. So we entered, Safir offering to stay near the door while the group looked behind the tapestries to make sure there weren’t any secret doors or hiding bad guys back there.

 Once sure that the tapestries were not obscuring any threats, Delsin and Mark both sat on the divans which each expelled whatever dust was upon them and warmed up to comfortable temperatures. But it was Volkan’s keen eye that noticed the two statues were now each looking at the divans, the heads had turned slightly. This prompted the two men to get up and we all convened near the northern door and the statues.

Eventually it was decided to leave this room, especially since the pressure on the door kept popping the pole out and trying to close the door. So the group, except Delsin, went to the other door out of here on the east wall and checked out the corridor beyond – it was dark and went off into the gloom. We all stepped through, Delsin took the pole, and then ran across the room to the passage beyond before the northern door could close properly and we shut the door to the couch room behind us.

The passage went some 40’ or so and ended at another door. After a cursory glance for traps, we opened it and beheld a massive office with a desk, padded chair, and more chairs around it. There was a dimly seen door on the north wall and a pair of stone beast like statues flanking it there. But the chamber was larger than our lantern light so we entered cautiously.

Mark was convinced they were gargoyles and the Book of Gorm he had from the 2nd floor talked much about them and their difficulty in detecting. So we closed on them, relying on Mark’s advice that we needed enchanted weapons to even strike them, and drew ourselves ready. Safir hung back with an arrow nocked while Volkan approached with a finger extended to “boop” it on the nose.

The closer gargoyle lunged forward and tried to bite him.

Safir fired and his arrow just shattered against the gargoyle who made to grab at the group. Delsin swung first and Heat Stroke severed one of the outstretched hands, knocking it to rubble as it screeched in fury. Blows were swung, missed, or fell harmlessly against the stone creature. The 2nd one drew closer and Delsin was facing it alone as well as the fury of the 1st one. Safir tried to knock the 2nd one off its feet with his 40# full backpack but only succeeded in getting cuffed and hurled back for his efforts.

Mark took a fairly bad gouging on his head from the gargoyle’s horns and called to Gorm to heal him – the god’s prayer’s closing every wound from the cleric’s body. Which was needed because he was struck again just moments later and took more punishing damage. The party was whittling hit points away when Safir managed to knock the gargoyle finally on its back and Delsin slammed a mighty blow against it, severing its stone wings and then more blows busted off one of its legs.

With the tenor of the battle changing, the 2 gargoyles made to run. Delsin grabbed the floored one by its lone leg and refused to let go while Mark and Volkan gave chase on the other one as it ran to the corner and then turned at the last minute, causing the group to stumble and lose ground. As it ran for the door we had entered, Mark tried to drop it with a hurl from his enchanted mace but the gargoyle stumbled along and ran for the door escaping down the dark passage. We gathered up our weapons and joined Delsin in trussing up the last gargoyle with Volkan’s rope and interrogating it.

We learned very little except that it was aligned with Zargon and the various baddies had heard of us, “people from outside the pyramid” and were supposed to keep Zargon aware of our location and skills. This had pretty much decided it for us and even though Volkan threatened to cut out its eye with his enchanted knife – it was Delsin and his sword blow to the beast’s neck that decided the job and killed it.

We talked about moving on from here and trying to find the Gormite safe haven which Safir said was close and most likely along a “long hall we have to make a left on” when the party realized there was still a gargoyle out there – and it could not be allowed to report to Zargon. So even though our hit points were getting low, we decided to go back down the other wall and see if we could find the gargoyle either at the couch room or beyond it.

We lucked out – it was at the end of the hall, again pretending to be a statue. Upon seeing us get closer it muttered a curse and charged us. Volkan let his enchanted dagger fly, hurling it at the statue but missed! The other two front line warriors traded blows back and forth and then Volkan heard a hissing noise and his enchanted knife had reappeared in his sheath! Neat!

The last gargoyle finally succumbed to its wounds and fell apart in chunks of busted rock. We went back to the office chamber, ignored everything there, and went out the north door and down a long hall that lead to a 4 way intersection. Safir had informed us we had to go left but there was a pit trap at the split and Delsin fell down it, twisting his leg on landing. We dropped rope and helped him up, and then everyone carefully jumped near the edge of the pit to the diagonal angle and the left corridor.

All together again, we travelled down the long passage that went for some time, and then turned north – also heading for a long distance. Eventually we came to a left passage with symbols of Gorm on the wall. Some of the glyphs lit up for us, but they took on a white and peaceful glow as Mark went first, mace and holy symbol presented along the way. At the end of the hall was a door that once opened, showed a man in platemail, wearing the blue and white of Gorm, and embracing the party happily.

We were ushered inside and saw a combination barracks and storeroom with 14 people within – 4 women, 10 men. Over half of the people were warriors. The leader identified himself as Pronius and offered us a safe place to rest for a bit – and more importantly – buy, sell, and trade.

We purchase all 4 healing potions they had and then a few elixirs just to have. Some of the goods we sold off for more coins, Safir filled his quiver with arrows and purchased a few enchanted ones just in case. There were some potions for sale and other things to buy and the party was looking forward to taking advantage of this one time opportunity while it was here and presented itself.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Meet 9, Adv B4, 7/27/17 - Youth Group

The youths managed to get a second meeting in for this week and played for a good couple of hours. What has occurred though was that they have had their first run in with lack of healing and the need to find a place to rest. The 4th level is crawling with undead so they had taken their NPC Safir’s advice that somewhere on the 5th level is a small fortified Gormite position if they can find it.

Write up follows:

The party made their way south down the slightly sloping corridor, noting the many places on the walls where the passing boulder had left deep gouges and scratches along the surface. However they walked south for some distance, Mark’s lantern providing pretty much the only light for over 60 paces. Eventually they came to an area where the corridor had a side passage that went to the right as well as continued straight ahead into the darkness. The slight sloping had come to an end by this time and the group dickered on which was the best choice before opting to take the side passage.

The passage was long and dark, and the group spent some time walking and checking the area for traps and secret doors. When after another 50 odd patient paces they arrived at a blank wall they fanned out, sure there was something to find in the area. Their efforts did pay off and they were able to note that a section of the wall would slide in and up. But Volkan and Mark grew wroth at each other for some reason and there was a vicious shove on one followed by a resounding slap across the face for the other.

One of them tumbled backwards and their impact on the wall caused the secret door to slide open while Delsin and Safir got between the two and their reprimands and cooler heads did prevail. Calmer now, we pushed the secret door entirely open and peered in.

The sizable chamber was filled to the shins with skeletons and bones of dozens, scores, even maybe hundreds of people. We cautiously poked around and searched, wondering if they were going to animate – they didn’t. There were 2 other doors in the room, one on the east and one on the west wall. With great care we entered and looked around, the bones shifting under our feet – but nothing happened.

Once we were as sure as we could be the room was safe, we looked at both doors and decided to open the east door first – as it was on the same wall as the secret door we entered in by. Safir gave it a once over for traps and we listened to the door, unsure if we heard anything on the other side. Feeling ready, we grabbed the handle and pulled - revealing a corridor in which sitting on his legs and staring at the group was a pale skinned dirty humanoid covered in feces across his chest and wearing a wolf mask. And then he said, “Bark!” He didn’t bark like a dog, he actually said the word, “Bark.”

Delsin was disgusted and had to be restrained from tearing into this strange person who then started saying “Growl” in response to the fighter’s threatening stance. Mark and Volkan were attempting to talk to the strange person who continued to mutter “Bark”, “Howl” and “Grr” as the responses merited. We followed it back down the hall until the passage turned south, and we noted that there were 2 passages that went back to the west. The wolf mask person took the first one and we followed along, still trying to get some answer from him in something other than spoken dog noises.

It was when he sniffed around the corner and then crapped on the floor, wiping more of the excrement on his chest, that Delsin lost all patience and drew his sword, hoping to assault the crazy person. Who then rose to his full height and ran down the next corridor to the east. Two of us gave chase while 2 others on Delsin’s advice ran back down the passage we had come from, believing they all link up on the other side.

The fighter was just around the corner, shield in front of him, when the wolf-mask person whipped around the corner and slammed face first into the fighter’s shield and slammed back against the dungeon floor, screaming out, “Son of a bitch!!”

So he can talk.

He then castigated us that we had ruined his dream that he was a wolf, a dream that had been borne out from the priests of Zargon and the gifts of Zargon, the dreaming god. By blurring the line between dreaming and awake, followers show to Zargon their love of him, empowering the dreaming god to expand his realm on this earth. He was from Cyndicia far below, and his dream wandering had him coming up to the temple area to do whatever it is the dream of wolves was meant for him to do.

We discussed this with him as he pulled the mask back, showing his homely face, pale eyes, and now bloody lip and nose. The conversation was growing louder and angrier about Zargon and what he means for everyone when something slammed into the Cyndician from behind and tore across his shoulder and head. He was being assaulted and torn apart by a zombie!

The undead ripped the Cyndician apart, a second zombie joining the combat as the wolf-mask Cyndician stuttered, gurgled, and then died. Delsin noted that the zombies had come from down the passage the Cyndician had lead us, and knowing they all linked up here, told the group to “Hold them here!” while he ran down the other western passage, hoping to get behind the undead in short order.

So Volkan and Mark stayed in the hall while Safir shot the undead who had finished beating the Cyndician to death, his arrow having no effect. Mark called out to Gorm to turn the undead, but the power of his god was lacking as 2 more zombies came around and drove the party back. Knives flashed, Mark’s Mace of Gorm flashed, and the three party members beat and stabbed and hacked at the zombies, but had very little success for their efforts.

Meanwhile, Delsin had run down the passage, turned south and then at the next corner back to the east once more. With 4 zombies in front of us the party was struggling to hold their own when one of them managed to get past Mark’s defenses and sent the priest tumbling backwards. He struggled to right himself and was met with a cavalcade of blows that dented and then compromised the integrity of his breastplate; and then crushed four of his ribs and had him on the ground choking on his own blood and dying. Everyone was yelling for Delsin to hurry up.

Delsin meanwhile was charging along and noticed and open doorway on the south. He slowed down and peered in, frantic to find two MORE zombies making their way to the exit and the hallway! He grabbed the door and yanked it closed, hoping to force the frame into the jamb long enough to slow down the undead before drawing his new mystical blade, the green glow and smoky trail running down its length. He noted the press of undead at the corner and accelerated his speed shouting out “Heat Stroke!” and firing the ensorcelled blade to life and then bisecting the lead zombie who was trying to kill Safir.

With Delsin in the fight, the pendulum swung the other way as another of the undead fell over, allowing the party to drag Mark out of the battle and force our last healing draught down his mouth. The priest coughed and choked, snagging his own holy symbol, and then croaked out a prayer to Gorm to heal his broken form, giving him a few more precious hit points.

Meanwhile Delsin had dispatched three of the zombies himself while the party killed off the last one. And it was over.

We were a mess. Everyone had some sort of wound, some of us were very bad off, Safir’s quiver was more than halfway emptied, Mark and Volkan had no spells left, we were out of healing potions, and Mark’s armor was not as effective in protecting him. We needed a place to hole up and we needed supplies.

Safir did let us know that somewhere on the 5th level was a Gormite outpost where if we could make it, would be able to help us out. But it would mean putting aside our quest to find the tomb of King Alexander, Queen Zenobia, and the last 1 or 2 mystical weapons of Cyndicia. Given the way we were feeling, we opted to hasten our search for the way down to the next level.

We limped our way back to the bone filled room and crossed it to the opposite door. Listening and hearing nothing, we opened it to look down – at another long corridor. This one was lit 1/3rd and 2/3rds of the way down by a candle burning on a holder set on a niche along the south wall. Volkan took one and extinguished it while we proceeded to the end where the passage turned south and there was a door on the north corner.

We listened at the door which we noted was very cold, like icy frigid cold. Hearing nothing and not liking the cold aspect, we continued south. There was a door halfway down the passage on the east wall that we did look in at. Another burial chamber – this one very nice and set up to look like some lady in waiting. There was an ivory inlaid coffin on the east wall that we checked carefully – finding it to be empty.

The group left and continued on their south where the passage “T’ed” left and right. Safir felt we should be going right and the corridor should lead north eventually. So we moved on, eventually finding a door on the north wall. The bottom of the door was chewed – almost 2’ of it! And we could hear heavy squeaking and squealing within. Yeah – screw that. No one wanted to get anywhere near it.

After backing up a bit to make sure this passage at the other end of the “T” went back to where the zombies were (and it was!) we walked carefully beyond the squeaking noise door and continued on until the passage turned north. It was almost 50 paces before the passage had a 4’ wide hole set in the floor, with a set of ladder rungs going down. The corridor did continue north from here, but we would be checking it out sometime in the future after we had a chance to rest up.

Climbing down the almost 50’, we found ourselves in a 30’ square chamber with no obvious ways in or out. So we fanned out and checked over everything, until we noted a section of the south wall that would lift up. Delsin bent his legs and grabbed the flanges on the wall – and lifted. The wall slid up and Delsin was struggling to hoist it up – unable to get it over his midsection. Mark ducked under and ran into the next room, looking along the wall where he found a lever. “Oh my god! I have been looking for one of these for so long!” he exclaimed with excitement, lifting the lever from the down to the up position.

The pressure on the door ended and the door went up. We all entered what seemed to be an oversized living quarter that had some symbology to Usimagarius. We gave the room a once over and checked out the bed, drawers, tables, and wall hangings. There was a door on the south wall but we ignored it for now. There was a set of spell scrolls uncovered which we gave to Mark once we realized they were clerical in nature.

But it was when Delsin touched the white robe on the back of one of the chairs that things went freaky. Time seemed to stop for the fighter and he was looking and talking to a ghostly figure of an older man. He said his name was Demetrius and that he was cruelly slain by his brother Darius, a priest of Usimagarius. His spirit was trapped here, unable to move on since he was terribly slain, until it was avenged. Delsin offered to help and Demetrius told him he would know when he was close to Darius – then he sieved into the fighter and time started again.

Delsin told the group of what happened along with his ghostly tenant. This bothered Volkan who did pull Mark aside and let him know that they didn’t owe this ghost anything – and to be ready if something went wrong fast.

We then wanted to rest here but this was a main room heading to the 4th level – so we looked for secret doors, finding one on the northwest corner. Entering we closed the door and locked it behind us, the only thing in the 20’ square room was a locked chest. With plenty of time and no desire to go anywhere for a while, we let Safir spend as long as he needed on the locks while we readied ourselves to rest the entire day.