December 13th-21st (Sunday)
The posse decided to go straight to Big Ears Tam to find out where Captain Pennington-Smythe. The potential risk ended up paying off as Tam was willing, perhaps eager, to sell out one of his scheming lieutenants, Thin Noodles Ma. With the location of a safe house in hand, the posse found themselves briefly staking out a modest dwelling in the Skids of Shan Fan.
With a little bit of thought, a plan involving misdirection was put into motion. The distractions started off well enough, but as the move was made to break one of the windows and slip inside, everything devolved rapidly. Shots were fired, bystanders panicked, and a couple blasts from the lightning gun ended up charring or scaring off the rascals manning the safe house. One blast also managed to bring down a portion of the structure along with setting fire to the structure. The posse escaped with Captain Smythe and it would seem that the local fire brigades were able to contain the small blazes.
Smythe revealed that he managed to hide the amulet in a cave before being captured, but the rascals had already pried this from his mind and were under way there now. Wasting no time, the posse went in pursuit, eventually finding the cave in question, which emitted an eerie wailing cry. Descending inside, the party found a gruesome sight of various tongs crushed and mangled in a wide cavern. The source of the devastation made itself apparent with a mind-splintering wail as a massive humanoid creature made of earth and stone melded free of the wall. The creature nearly crushed a person or two before a keen eye and quick thinking by Smythe pointed out the small red stone standing out at the creature’s “forehead”. A little divine guidance and a skillful shot later splintered the stone, causing the monster to drip back into the floor of the cavern.
Corpses were searched, turning up a little dynamite and a sword, but no amulet. After a time a half-ogre ninja leapt out of the shadows to crush Danny, nearly dropping the man outright. After a difficult battle, the massive shadowstalker was shot dead. The amulet was found in his possession, and before departing, the posse noticed a strange lightning shaped rune glowing faintly in the nearby wall. A rubbing was made of this curiosity, but no one knew what it might mean.
That evening, Smythe inducted the posse into the Explorer’s Society, giving them some sage advice regarding the growing darkness in the world, and the probable conspiracy of evil behind it all. The next Sunday the Tombstone Epitaph had an extensive article on the Battle of Lost Angels which the posse had witnessed, and it included the first “Good Intentions!” classified, inviting the posse to explore Groaning Man Cave. The cave is a landmark near Lost Angels which consists of a skull-shaped rock face of burning, smoking tunnels. Somewhere among the burning ghost rock in the caves is said to be a fortune in pirate gold.
The posse decided to linger in Shan Fan for a week, taking odd jobs to help break even and allow their wounds time to mend. The next Sunday’s Epitaph had an invitation to visit an old acquaintance in Shannonsburg, Eleanor Stubbs. A captain in the Texas Rangers, Stubbs knew Danny from years back when she conducted the investigation of the brutal murder of his adapted brothers and father. The gruff and tactless woman revealed that Art Davis and many of the other victims of that night had actually been turned into werewolves, and that she has been hunting them for a while now, guided to the maze in pursuit of the murderer by Art himself. Being in the great maze has turned Art into a largely feral creature, and Ellie has been left at an impasse in tracking down the culprit, Eddie Griff, from this point. To that end, she brought Danny in on things, offering him a piece of armament suitable for werewolf hunting and inviting him to find and kill the monster. She also offered the slim hope that if Eddie were somehow taken alive, she might be able to cure Art, emphasis on the “might”.
Another good session, illness aside. I found a list of more combat nuances to study up on regarding size, incapacitation, and area attacks. I was able to get in an initial PC specific hook that I wanted to get to, and I’m optimistic in how that might go in the future.