Remember the Triassic Park game that I ran the other day? A friend of mine reskinned it for Call of Cthulhu, so there's now Arkham Stories, wherein investigators try to solve creepy mysteries and not die or go mad. Slightly different rules, as it allows for potential campaign play (or at least longer sessions).

Naturally, I decided to run a pick-up game where I declared I had two hours to get this done, online, so let's get moving, people. This is the log.


Cast:
Iphigenia, a nun
Catherine, a historian
Roger, a police officer
Mother Superior, an NPC
Certain Methodists, acting in a suspiciously atypical manner
Assorted onlookers, watching the game from OOC.

Scene Start

It is a dark and windy evening on December 21st. A Thursday, and the sleepy little city of Shogburg is all abustle with preparations for Christmas. Everywhere except for at the old church at the edge of town. The Catholic Church hasn't sold off the property, but it hasn't been given more than the most basic maintenance in years; it's a creaky building with windows boarded up and gates padlocked. Only the small priory adjacent to it still looks lived in. Here the light creeps out from a window where Sister Iphigenia lives.

She has called in two acquaintances from the city on a most peculiar request, this evening. It's something about rumors of those strange people from Sixth New Methodist, a very clannish sort of church on the opposite side of town, looking for the bones of a martyr. Which isn't very Methodist, now, is it? But that's what she hears.

OOC Kageneko says, "Shogburg!"

Iphigenia looks at her watch, the most basic model from a mall kiosk. They'll be here in a moment, she reassures herself.

OOC Iphigenia says, "Shogburg!"

OOC fade says, "It was either that or Protagville, so, you know."

Catherine is a woman of indeterminate age, save for the gray at her roots, and Very Proper clothing. She arrives exactly on time, with a backpack full of textbooks. Or, rather, /textbook./ It's the book for her Local History class, and her best weapon against this apparently un-Methodist behavior that is going on. It also has all the best local maps.

Iphigenia waves a little at Catherine. Doesn't want to draw too much attention.

Roger takes one last draw on his cigarette before tossing it to the ground and stamping it out. He's dressed very plain clothy today. He watches Catherine make her way to the door, looks around for stragglers or stalkers, then heads over.

Catherine nods to Iphigenia. "Sister," she says in a quiet voice. "Thank you again for coming in to speak during the religion unit."

A bus barrels past the priory, spraying gravel from its tires. The windows show the merry faces of carolers, all ready to go sing at some poor defenseless fools deep in the heart of Shogburg. The faint sound of their singing practice drifts behind it, into the heart of the priory. "Deck the hall with boughs of folly, fa la la ia, ia ia ia..." And then it disappears into the shadows further up the road.

OOC fade says, "Everyone, roll Mythos for me, and I will pass out more setup pieces like candy."

Catherine frowns. "I'm /certain/ that was supposed to be 'holly,' but I suppose it's still descriptive."

Iphigenia nods. "Glad to serve." She watches the bus go by.

DICE Catherine rolls 5d6 <1 2 4 4 5> for 16 total.

DICE Iphigenia rolls 1d6 <1> for 1 total.

OOC Catherine fails, for a /great/ start to things.

OOC Roger says, "oh god we're gonna die."

OOC Catherine [to Iphigenia]: You roll 4 of them.

OOC Iphigenia oh right

DICE Roger rolls 1d6 <4> for 4 total.

OOC Roger says, "Nopes."

DICE Iphigenia rolls 3d6 <2 2 5> for 9 total.

OOC Iphigenia says, "Yep, failure."

Catherine says, "So, these martyr's bones..." She looks over at the church. "I've read that a saint's knuckles were buried in /this/ church's foundation."
Roger nods "Evening, ladies." He waits for the bus to go by. "Bus noise just messed with our hearing. Tell me about these Methodists of yours."

OOC fade says, "Oh, and don't increase your insanity for that one; that's just a setup roll. You only need to increase on failures if you are /doing/ a thing."

Iphigenia looks at Catherine. "Well, I don't know anything about that. But the Methodists across town are holding martial arts tournaments. Just the kind of thing you'd do if you wanted to fight off investigators."

Catherine says, "What a pleasant thought."

Outside, the wind is joined by a light patter of rain against the windows of the priory.

Roger says, "Or they like martial arts. What else do you got?"

OOC fade says, "I do need investigators to take a course of action pretty soon, given our time limit. I can seed more information/events if it would be helpful, or y'all can proact at something and I will run with it."

Catherine says, "Well, if they want the knuckles in the foundation, they'll be coming /here./"

Iphigenia says, "Fair enough. Let's see what we can find out about those."

Iphigenia heads back into the priory, looking for her Mother Superior.

Catherine follows, backpack still slung over her shoulder.

Roger says, "You do the finding. I'll watch our backs."

Iphigenia says, "Yessir."

Roger pats his club and follows after.

Mother Superior is in the back room, working on her artistic woodburning project. "Hello, dearies," she says, "isn't it nice that you have friends over! Would you all like a shot of rum? Goes well with the rain and the solstice, rum always does. I'm very fond of Sailor Jerry." She sighs wistfully, as the scent of toasted wood fills the air. "Reminds me of my youth. How can I help you this evening?"

Roger frowns. Solstice?

Iphigenia says, "Mother Superior, we're hearing rumors of saints' knuckles buried in the foundation that other groups might try to get their hands on. What should we do?"

OOC Iphigenia is /at this very moment/ drinking Sailor Jerry's!

Mother Superior folds her arms, and considers this. "Well, if I were twenty years younger and still had both of my legs, I'd take a sledgehammer to the place the knuckles were buried--assuming I knew such a thing--and then fight off any incoming monsters with said sledgehammer. Those were the days, those were the days..." Her gaze goes distant, and she turns back to her work.

Catherine says, "Good evening, Mother Superior. I'm Catherine Jacobs, history professor at the local college." She extends a hand, flashing a thin smile. "Local History is one of my classes," she says. It's not particularly relevant at the moment, but it's completely true.

OOC fade says, "I had thought only Iphigenia lived in this priory, but since we have a Mother Superior, by golly, she's a retired investigator."

Catherine pauses. "And I'm guessing that this is /not/ something I'll be bringing pictures of back to my classroom, from that comment about sledgehammers."

Roger frowns deeply "What do you mean by monsters?" He pulls out a toothpick and starts chewing on it.

Iphigenia says, "Mother Superior, if I were to think that a relic were buried here, where might I start investigating? With a sledgehammer or otherwise?"

The old nun clasps Catherine's hand. "Beware the ides of March," she says. "So you have...oh, months yet! I'm sure you'll enjoy them. You're young. This nice young man might have a sledgehammer you can borrow." She nods pleasantly to Roger. "Never know what a copper might have under his coat, mmm? And by monsters, young man, I mean exactly what I said. There are dark things in Shogburg. Always have been. Their scales and their teeth, their impossible angles, their...their..." Her hands shake and she turns away abruptly. "I have these lovely little Christmas ornaments to make. I should get back to work. You should...go look at the church, perhaps. It would be inside. Sanctified ground to keep away the unsanctified. I don't want to speak about it any longer."

Iphigenia eyes her Mother Superior. "Very well." She retreats to the church.

Roger chews thoughtfully. "Let's get this over with. Thanks, ma'am."

Catherine looks at Roger, then at the Mother Superior. "Thank you," she says, mostly because saying anything else would require acknowledging... whatever all that was. She's mentally filing it all away, though.

The church looms. It's locked and boarded up, but Iphigenia has a key. The rain is falling more briskly now, making the grass of the graveyard beside the church slick and slippery. Lights flicker between the graves. Fireflies, in this weather? In December?

Roger walks along behind the others "What's all this about? She all there?"

Catherine says, "I doubt it, but I'm concerned that may be beside the point. This town /does/ have a strange history -- and students are always spreading rumors. Rather wild rumors, I'd always thought, but if Methodists are going around digging up bones of saints, perhaps not."

Roger says, "And what the hell are those lights?"

Iphigenia says, "She's been all there as long as I've been here. But I might not have noticed." She unlocks the door and heads on in. "And if she's not all there, why am I here?"

A floorboard cracks beneath Iphigenia's first step into the church.

OOC Roger says, "Damned methodists."

OOC fade says, "Iph! Give me a Brawn roll! Anyone else who wants to help can also try Brawn to save her from what this floorboard is gonna do."

DICE Iphigenia rolls 2d6 <2 3> for 5 total.

OOC fade says, "Roger, give me Mythos if you want to figure out what the lights are."

OOC Catherine says, "Roger, you catch."

OOC Catherine says, "I'll look at the lights."

OOC Roger helps!

OOC fade says, "Mythos those lights, Cath."

DICE Roger rolls 5d6 <3 3 4 5 6> for 21 total.

Roger immediately jumps forward to catch Iphi.

OOC fade says, "Iph, a floorboard just tried to send you into the church basement. (Was there a basement before? Roll Mythos if you want to think about that much.) Roger, you have caught her. Pose accordingly!"

Catherine nods at Roger's catch and turns her attention to the question of What The Hell Those Lights Are.

DICE Iphigenia rolls 4d6 <3 4 5 6> for 18 total.

DICE Catherine rolls 5d6 <1 3 3 5 6> for 18 total.

OOC Iphigenia thinks about that much!

OOC fade says, "Iph, you still take 1 injury for the failure; you are not, however, plunged into a terrible pit."

The sound of cracking boards brings Roger to full attention. He instinctively jumps forward to grab Iphi, forgetting about the lights for the moment.

Iphigenia twists her ankle as the floor falls away, but is snatched to safety by Roger!

Iphigenia says, "O"

Catherine looks over at Roger. "Oh, the lights are ghosts," she says, as if this a completely normal thing to say. "Only on the longest night of the year can they breach the bonds of this hallowed ground."

Iphigenia says, "I'm pretty sure there wasn't a basement this morning."

That hole in the boards does look like it goes a long, long way down. It's hard to see in this lighting.

The rest of the church is quiet and deserted, sheets thrown over the pews, altar...gone, so presumably put into storage somewhere? That must be it. The stained glass windows look very odd with boards behind them. Turning a flashlight on the windows makes the pictures in them look like they're squirming a bit from the change in lighting.

Roger just looks at Catherine, then goes back to the church. "Right." He pulls out his flashlight, gives it a few good hits and turns it on.

Iphigenia peers down into the suddenly-lit, suddenly-/existent/ darkness.

Sure is dark down there, in that hole.

Roger shines his light down there.

Down in the hole it's quiet and still. The light plays across what looks like a floor of...cement? Dirt? Something a bit uneven and dusty, in any case. A few sparkles of light are likely just dust motes floating past.

Roger shrugs "Okay. You got crypts or something down there for burying martyrs in?"

Iphigenia says, "Not that I know of. We should find out what's down there."

Iphigenia kicks the surrounding fragmentary beams loose to make a hole large enough for everyone to go down.

OOC fade says, "Brawn, Iph."

DICE Iphigenia rolls 2d6 <3 5> for 8 total.

OOC Iphigenia fails!

OOC Iphigenia says, "Man, this is so much fun."

OOC Iphigenia says, "It's so /quick/!"

OOC fade says, "...okay, you're going to fall down through the hole. Pose it!"

OOC fade says, "I mean, you'll make a hole big enough for everyone in the process, so in some senses it's a success..."

Iphigenia kicks and kicks and WAGH THE FLOOR WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THERE and is in the basement, lying on the floor and catching her breath.

From the perspective of Roger and Catherine, the nun goes FWOOP out of view in a sudden cracking of wood. There's now a much larger hole in the church. Meanwhile, the rain's picking up even further. Makes it hard to hear anything happening outside of the church.

Catherine says, "I suppose we are going into this newly-existent basement, then. Unless /you/ want to split up, officer?"

Roger spits out his toothpick, then pulls out another and starts chewing. "Damn it. Okay. I'll go first to make sure everything is okay. Run if I start screaming."

Roger goes down the hole, more gently than Iphi.

OOC fade says, "Brawn!"

DICE Roger rolls 5d6 <2 2 3 5 6> for 18 total.

DICE Iphigenia rolls 2d6 <4 5> for 9 total.

OOC Roger says, "Oh my god. It makes sense. Iphigenia is the martyr!"

Iphigenia rolls out of the way just in time for Roger to land on her hand. Ow.

OOC fade says, "Roger, you can hop down that hole...onto a nun. But you're fine!"

OOC fade says, "Catherine, either you roll Brawn to follow, or Roger can roll Brawn to catch you. I only need one of the two rolls."

Roger helps move Iphi out of the way and calls up the hole. "Hey, we're good down here. Hop down and I'll catch you."

Iphigenia does not swear. She's been taught better than that. She instead goes MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM into her elbow.

Catherine shoulders her backpack. "Alright, then. Down we go." With that, she follows, trusting Roger to catch her.

Iphigenia didn't need that hand, it's okay. She can make the sign of the cross with her othe rhand.

OOC Roger says, "Trust exercise!"

DICE Roger rolls 5d6 <1 1 4 5 6> for 17 total.

OOC fade says, "Catchy catchy!"

The church basement is dark and...odd. It's a cement floor, but very scratched up, as if heavy things have been dragged across it. One of which is the altar, which is standing against a far wall of bare dirt. The rest of the walls are lined with barrels. Barrels? Yes. Barrels.

OOC Roger says, "Oh god explosive barrels."

OOC Roger says, "Are they red?"

Iphigenia says, "Okay, I promise I have not seen any of this before."

Iphigenia looks around, gathering information.

OOC fade says, "They are not red! They are wooden barrels. Like, 'I am decorating the basement of a fantasy tavern', except without taps."

Roger shines his flashlight about. "Sister. I went to Mass every Sunday of my boyhood and I don't remember this part of the ceremony."

OOC fade says, "Iph, do you want a Mythos roll, or do you just want some more description? I can go either way on that."

OOC Iphigenia says, "I will roll Mythos!"

Catherine says, "Trust me, officer, you're not alone there."

DICE Iphigenia rolls 4d6 <1 2 2 5> for 10 total.

OOC Iphigenia fails!

OOC Roger says, "Welp."

OOC fade says, "Iph, take an Insanity, let me think a sec..."

OOC Iphigenia now has 2 Inj and 1 Ins.

OOC Roger says, "Great."

OOC Roger says, "I am not hauling your insane butts out of here."

OOC Iphigenia is MADNUN

OOC fade says, "Anyone who wants to try a Mythos roll for secret knowledges, tell me. Otherwise, pose whatever poking around you're up to doing."

DICE Catherine rolls 5d6 <2 2 3 3 5> for 15 total.

OOC Roger says, "I ... think i'm going to pass."

OOC Catherine fail. Wait, does this knowledge thing count as give me my +1d?

OOC fade says, "Hm. If you consult your book for it, yes. Yes you can have one more die."

Iphigenia eyes the environs. "A summoning ritual! In MY CHURCH!" She backs away into Roger. "It's... it's..." She looks up at Roger's confused face. "What is it?"

OOC Catherine will consult her book!

DICE Catherine rolls 1d6 <3> for 3 total.

OOC Catherine still fails.

Catherine pulls out her book and goes leafing through it as she looks around.

Roger goes for the barrels. "What sort of things do you nuns keep down here?" He stares at Iphi. "I have no idea what you just said."

The barrels are wooden, and look like the kind one might expect to hold beer in the back of wagon pulled by those big horses with the really fluffy feet, probably in some kind of beer commercial. Except they don't have any taps or labels to be seen.

Catherine says, "No, this is just a setup for a Green Mass. Something about 'inner shoggoths,' and the calling up thereof. Popular with local cults."

Roger says, "I'm going to need a lot of cigarettes after this."

Iphigenia says, "what? horses with fluffy feet and inner shoggoths and what"

Roger taps one of the barrels with the end of his flashlight, wondering what it's going to sound like.

Iphigenia is dizzy. She sits and leans against one of the walls.

The barrel thuds hollowly. There's a bit of a clatter inside. Must be mostly empty.

There's another clatter, and...oh, huh. That doesn't seem like it's coming from the barrel at all. Somewhere outside? Except it's not upstairs, where one would expect 'outside' sounds to be coming in from.

Catherine pats Iphigenia on the shoulder. "Don't worry about it, Sister. I've seen stranger in... well, mostly in Professor Smith's science labs, when I dropped in to borrow his printer, but still."

Catherine says, "Students are so very /good/ at losing papers."

Iphigenia says, "Empty clatter means a person has stolen the inside."

Roger says, "Iphi...?"

Roger says, "And what the hel-ck is that noise?"

Catherine shrugs about the noise. "I suppose we'll just have to see, won't we?"

Iphigenia says, "No. The mind and the body and the soul and the ghost and the god--" She takes a deep breath. "Okay. What is that noise?"

On closer consideration, the noise seems to be coming from beyond the altar. Rather thud-like? Clank-like? Somewhat...musical?

Meanwhile, motes of light drift down from the hole overhead, thinning a little as they moved through the gap, and then fluffing out again as they get further down into the basement.

Iphigenia looks up. "People. Upstairs. Doing -- doing /things/."

Catherine watches the motes of light for a moment. "Restlessly wandering, it seems. Just like my students." She claps her book closed and cautiously approaches the altar.

Iphigenia looks at Catherine. "Your students are attacking us?" She lifts her cross in defense.

Roger covers the flashlight with one hand. "Hey. This light is basically a beacon for people. We gotta kill the light."

Catherine says, "No, the ghosts -- oh, forget it."

This is the point at which the altar suddenly lurches forward, and topples over, revealing a hole in the wall. A hole full of...people! Obscure in the darkness! Waving shovels, and humming along together!

OOC fade says, "Everyone can do a Thing requiring a roll now, if they like, before the next thing happens."

DICE Iphigenia rolls 4d6 <3 3 3 4> for 13 total.

OOC Roger says, "Yeah. This is when things get bad."

Catherine whispers, "Oh, look at this nonsense. This... /rowdiness./ A Green Mass, fine, but breaking into a historical site for it? Inappropriate in the extreme." She turns to the closest mote of light. "Don't you agree?"

OOC fade says, "Mythos it, Cath!"

OOC fade says, "Iph, what's your roll for?"

Iphigenia turns to face the hole in the wall. "THE GHOSTS HAVE FOUND US!" she shrieks, holding her cross high, biting her lip, and advancing toward the weirdness.

OOC Catherine has no idea what she's trying to do, but... yes! Will Mythos!

DICE Catherine rolls 5d6 <2 3 3 4 6> for 18 total.

Roger drops the light and pulls his service revolver and badge. Taking aim, he calls out "Hey. Police here. Get your asses back, your faces down, and your hands behind you."

OOC Roger says, "Iphi is going to betray us isn't she?"

OOC Iphigenia is not corrupted yet!

OOC fade says, "Roger, give me that intimidation roll!"

OOC Roger says, "Brawn, I hope :D"

OOC fade says, "...sure, you're threatening physically, make it Brawn."

DICE Roger rolls 6d6 <1 2 2 4 4 6> for 19 total.

The motes of light consider Catherine. Then they appear to agree. They settled around her like an ominous aura, glowing brighter and brighter with every moment.

OOC Roger says, "This is going to turn into Betrayal at House on Haunted Hill"

OOC Iphigenia now has 2 Inj and 2 Ins.

...and as the motes draw away from everyone else, they whisper to Iphigenia. They love her not, nor her church, her wards, her vows... They know her secrets, some of them do. The dead know many things.

The living, on the other hand, are bunched up in the doorway, hesitating at the sight of a man with a badge and gun. Who would have guessed that tunneling into a mysterious church basement could have legal consequences?

OOC Roger says, "WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED"

Iphigenia hisses. "You were not meant to know that." She doesn't have a weapon but does have a Bible. "You WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO KNOW THAT!"

Catherine is now a /glowing/ professor. She takes this like she's taken everything else: in stride. She pats Iphigenia again, absentmindedly.

Roger tries not to be distracted by the crazy nun.

When Catherine pats the nun, an electric shock zaps between them.

Iphigenia grabs Catherine's wrist, pulling her to her knees as the nun lashes out at the invisible spirits.

OOC fade says, "You have paused cultists in a tunnel, an aura-wielding professor, and an increasingly battered and mad nun. Whatcha all gonna do? ...oh, okay. Iph, you can roll Brawn or Mythos as you prefer for that one, depending on the kind of lashing you feel you're doing."

Catherine says, "Don't worry. I'm sure they're here to help -- wait, what are you doing?"

DICE Iphigenia rolls 4d6 <1 2 4 6> for 13 total.

OOC Catherine doesn't want to be lashed at, help!

OOC fade says, "Er... roll Brawn or Mythos, Cath, and I will give you a dodge if you succeed!"

DICE Catherine rolls 5d6 <1 2 3 5 6> for 17 total.

OOC fade says, "And then I will apply Iph's success."

OOC fade says, "Let me see. Er. Okay, thinking about that, Roger, go ahead and do what you are doing while I figure out the ghost situation."

OOC Catherine likes her ghost friends. :(

Iphigenia realizes once she's on her knees that she's missed Catherine's wrist. "No, you have to -- We have to -- it's--"

The ghosts peel off of Catherine at the nun's batting, slipping away into... toward... Oh! It's suddenly crystal clear to the historian: those spirits are reacting to the cross in Iphigenia's hand. Some of them are recoiling and pulling away, while others cluster near to it.

Roger says, "So tunneling friends. Explain to me why you're not going to be spending a lot of quality time behind our lovely jail bars."

The people in the tunnel consult hastily, and then one of them steps forward. "We thought we would murder you all with our shovels and excellent high-kicks," she says politely, "and then take what we came for. Does that work for you?"

A crack of lightning flashes fresh light through the basement from the hole in the ceiling, illuminating everyone eerily. Thunder follows almost immediately.

DICE Iphigenia rolls 2d6 <3 5> for 8 total.

OOC Catherine says, "Am I still glowing?"

OOC fade says, "A little bit. Most of the ghosts have either backed off or are sticking to the cross."

Iphigenia laughs. "High kicks! Ha! As though -" She looks back. "Hah, as though!" She grabs the wrist of one of the people in the tunnels. "AS THOUGH!"

The person in the tunnel whose hand was just grabbed by a nun nods thoughtfully, and kicks her in the face. It is, to be fair, a very high kick.

Iphigenia goes AUGH! and falls back!

Roger says, "Oh yeah. Conspiracy to commit martial arts fraud is soooooo much better." He makes faces as Iphi gets kicked and changes the aim of his revolver. "Okay, maybe not fraud. We'll go for assault and murder instead. Let's all start backing up your tunnel.""

OOC fade says, "Roger, you can roll to intimidate, or you can roll to attack; just let me know which it is."

OOC Roger says, "Intimidate first. Violence next."

DICE Roger rolls 6d6 <1 1 2 2 2 5> for 13 total.

OOC Roger says, "Oops."

OOC arcangel says, "Good luck on violence!"

OOC Roger says, "Well. That escalated quickly."

OOC fade says, "Iph, Cath, what are you up to? (Aside from being kicked in the face.)"

DICE Iphigenia rolls 2d6 <2 6> for 8 total.

Iphigenia grins. "Shovel murder." She grabs a shovel from an oncoming cultist and WHANGS it into his head.

Catherine opens her book again, just so she can slam it closed again in irritation. "You," she says, "are the rowdiest bunch I've seen in /months./ Do step back. Or I -- and my friends, both physical and photon-emitting -- will have to intervene. Listen up, students, because there will be a test." She's not sure exactly what she's doing, but she has ghost friends, a textbook, and a whole lot of professorly indignance.

OOC fade says, "...successful shovel murder! Iph, you may reduce injury by 1 for a successful Heroic Action."

OOC fade says, "Cath, if you are doing Intimidate... you can take it as Mythos because you are intimidating via book-brandishing, let's say."

DICE Catherine rolls 5d6 <2 3 3 4 5> for 17 total.

OOC Catherine fail.

OOC Catherine is now at insanity 2.

As a cultist keels over from taking his own shovel to the face, courtesy of an angry nun, a general brawl breaks out. Cultists swarm the room! Kicking! Brandishing! Some of them even punch, and then are scolded by their peers for being off-theme!

OOC fade says, "I need Brawn from everyone; if you succeed, murder/dodge as you prefer; if you fail, describe your own injury process."

OOC Catherine waits to hear what horrific ghost-related thing is going to happen to her. >_<

DICE Iphigenia rolls 2d6 <2 3> for 5 total.

OOC fade says, "And /then/, after that Brawn, take another roll of your preferred type to account for what you're doing proactively, whether it's violence or otherwise!"

DICE Roger rolls 5d6 <3 3 3 4 5> for 18 total.

OOC Roger says, "What is this? D:"

Iphigenia swings her shovel and is caught by another shovel, and another, placing her on her back as blows rain down on her.

DICE Iphigenia rolls 4d6 <1 2 4 6> for 13 total.

OOC arcangel eats popcorn. You people are gonna be tied up and sacrificed to Cthulhu soon...

DICE Catherine rolls 1d6 <6> for 6 total.

Iphigenia holds up her own shovel in a moment of clarity. "I'm a priest! I speak with God! Go after the other ones!"

OOC Roger says, "Oh great."

OOC fade says, "...historian is surprisingly adept at martial arts."

OOC arcangel says, "Historian whacked someone with the book?"

OOC Catherine was thinking that, yes.

OOC Iphigenia is basically going with "what's the most ridiculous thing that could happen?".

OOC Iphigenia says, "these quickplay toys are /the best/"

Roger takes a shovel to the arm. Flat side, fortunately. And not his shooting arm. But damn it hurts. God, if it's broken, there's going to be some hell to pay. "You" *blam* "are" *blam* "all" *blam* "under" *blam* "arrest!"

Catherine says, "I warned you, but I suppose I will have to take matters into my own hands." She frowns severely, strides up to a cultist, and brings her textbook soundly down on his head. It's a very heavy hardcover book, and the cultist comes off far worse than the textbook.

It's hard to fight in a dark cellar, and the investigators are being saved, for the moment, by the fact that there's a lot more cultists and not a lot of space; some of those high-kicks are hitting the wrong people in the face, with followed hasty apologies and mutters of "That's not very seasonal, Gary." And then...

Lights begin streaming about Iphigenia's shovel. Around her cross. Around her, in a wild spiral that brushes across the other investigators one by one, but centers on the nun.

Catherine opens her book up and flips through the pages before fixing the head cultist with a stern glare. "Oral exam begins now. I want an explanation, students, and I want it /now./"

OOC fade says, "...roll Mythos, Cath, god help us all."

DICE Catherine rolls 5d6 <1 2 2 3 6> for 14 total.

OOC Roger is shooting. So much shooting.

OOC Roger :O at Catherine

OOC fade says, "Roll me some Brawn, Roger!"

DICE Roger rolls 5d6 <1 1 2 3 5> for 12 total.

OOC Roger says, "Oh god not again"

OOC Roger is at like Injury 3 now

OOC fade says, "You're, uh, not very good at shooting cultists without shooting friends while they punch you with shovels in a dark crowded basement. But that's okay! Most people aren't! Pose freely."

DICE Iphigenia rolls 2d6 <4 5> for 9 total.

Iphigenia flails with the lightning-bug shovel, missing nearly everybody who matters and ultimately whacking Roger in the arm. Again.

OOC arcangel says, "Revenge!"

OOC fade says, "There is a lot of injury and insanity toting up. I love it."

OOC fade says, "Once Catherine's 'I paged you this result and giggled' Mythos result is out, I will assess the situation, and start moving us towards a wrap-up! One way or another."

OOC Roger expects to die.

OOC wanderer says, "I have missed the intro / explanation of this, and I don't see all of it in backscroll around the point of the +ic, but this is highly entertaining anyway."

OOC fade [to wanderer]: I'll be putting the log on my DW when it's done and I've tidied it a bit, like last time. So there'll be context eventually!

OOC Iphigenia says, "The intro/explanation is basically "what would be most hilarious?"."

OOC wanderer says, "I meant as in, the system involved, at least as much as anything else. At a glance it looks like a variation and extrapolation of the one used in Triassic Park, but that may be oversimplifying things."

OOC arcangel says, "It is."

OOC Roger | https://github.com/herrevilkitten/arkham-stories

OOC fade says, "That is exactly what it is!"

OOC Iphigenia missed it by /that much/

OOC wanderer says, "Oh. I've seen that linked, I didn't realize what it was. I will follow up on it, possibly on the morrow."

OOC arcangel says, "Triassic Call of Cthulhu."

OOC wanderer says, "And of course I parse it more in line with Dark Worlds, since that's what I know better. But still!"

Catherine blinks at the textbook, and... are those notes in the margins? In one of /her/ books? She's quite offended, she really is. When she figures out who did this, they're paying for a new textbook. But the /content/ of the note... oh, that's the interesting part. Very, very interesting. It's not in English at all, but she doesn't have to know what these words are to know what they mean.

And now the professor is grinning in a rather un-professor-like way. "Nevermind on that explanation. The test is over, and /YOU ALL FAILED!/" Catherine spreads one of her arms wide, using her other hand to prop up the book. "/ETESTURU, ANERE, EDIALITA!/"

Catherine's eyes go from very average brown to solid glowing white, and her aura from before returns -- though it's not coming from the ghosts this time. Is this supposed to be happening? This probably isn't supposed to be happening. "And... /ATTE!/" She sweeps her free arm towards the mass of cultists.

There's a bright flash.

OOC fade says, "...well that was an even better setup than I expected. Thank you, Catherine, and give me a second to adjust this pose..."

OOC fade says, "(That is, even more apropos than I had given you info to deliver!)"

The hand of God Herself descends from above to smite the cultists.

Or perhaps it's only a lightning bolt cracking down from above, smashing through the roof of the church and blazing its way down to the basement. 'Only', as it's still a spike of indescribable heat cracking into the floor with a deafening roar on the side.

The ghosts explode away from the nun's cross and shovel. Speaking of exploding, so do a number of cultists, at that lightning hit. And, well...

Iphigenia says, "That wasn't my fault."

OOC fade says, "I was going to send a bolt of lightning in anyway, and when you give me a setup like /that/..."

OOC Catherine is now at Insanity 3, by the way. From, yes, a /successful/ roll.

OOC fade says, "Everyone give me Mythos /and/ Brawn."

DICE Iphigenia rolls 4d6 <1 2 3 4> for 10 total.

Catherine says, with satisfaction, "No, Sister, it wasn't."

DICE Iphigenia rolls 2d6 <4 6> for 10 total.

DICE Catherine rolls 5d6 <1 1 3 5 6> for 16 total.

OOC fade says, "If you fail the Brawn, you take injury from being burned by the lightning. If you succeed, you evade and watch some cultists go poof. Pose accordingly."

OOC fade says, "On Mythos, well. I'll page you either way."

DICE Catherine rolls 1d6 <6> for 6 total.

Iphigenia stands, resolute, in the wake of the lightning. "IT'S MY CROSS, YOU MOTHER LOVERS."

DICE Roger rolls 1d6 <5> for 5 total.

DICE Roger rolls 5d6 <1 2 2 6 6> for 17 total.

OOC Roger says, "Failed mythos! Passed brawn"

Iphigenia is gonna make a crucifix out of this shovel, just you watch.

Roger has no idea what the hell is going on and frankly, will stop caring until his cigarettes and whiskey get within reach. For now, he's going to keep his head down, kick some ass, and never, ever, ever go into a church basement again. Because seriously, screw this place.

OOC Iphigenia believes she is now at 2 Insanity, 3 Damage. :)

Catherine is, in the wake of the lightning... just a normal professor again. No glowing eyes, no aura of light (or worse things), no strange grin. "Oh," she says. "All along, they wanted..." Her eyes fix on Iphigenia's cross. "Iphigenia, did you know that cross of yours has historical significance? And, possibly, other significance. If you'd hand it to me for a moment, I can look it up in this book of mine."

OOC Roger is at 1 Insanity and like 4 Injury.

OOC Catherine is at 2 Insanity, 0 Injury.

Iphigenia turns back, her eyes bright. "It's MINE!" She blinks. "I mean. If that's best..."

OOC Roger | https://www.reddit.com/r/rpg/comments/6f553m/ruleslight_rpgs_for_amazing_oneshots/

The cultists who can are fleeing, with faint strains of "Silent night, scary night, run away, run with fright..." drifting behind them as they retreat down the tunnel. The church basement is littered with bodies, some of them still alive, almost all of them certainly not proper Methodists. And the ghosts have settled down around Iphigenia's cross, as rain pours down into the basement from the massive hole in the roof far above. There is not a lot of church floor left above the basement, at this point.

OOC fade says, "Okay. So."
OOC fade says, "Everyone /can/ walk away now, if they would like to."

Catherine says to Iphigenia, "That might be best, yes. Considering all that's happened, I'd like to make sure it's not going to explode."

OOC fade says, "If you would like to do anything /other/ than walk away and narrate an epilogue your nervous but not-insane-or-dead post-adventure next few days or such, tell me what you'd like to do, and I will give you a roll and success/failure versions for it."

OOC Iphigenia gives Catherine the cross and then hunts down the cultists!

OOC Catherine grins.

OOC fade says, "Okay, Iph! You can go with Brawl or with Mythos. Brawl is as above, Mythos is a 'find and expose' vs. 'go a bit mad and join up'. Roll and epilogue yourself!"

OOC Iphigenia finds and exposes!

DICE Iphigenia rolls 4d6 <1 1 5 6> for 13 total.

OOC Catherine [to fade]: So, about that page you sent me...?

OOC fade [to Catherine]: Mmhmmm?

OOC Roger says, "I gots to arrest me some cultists otherwise the paperwork for these bullets is hell"

OOC Catherine [to fade]: "My god, the things I could do with an artifact like this"? So, what /are/ these things? ^_^

OOC fade says, "Go for it, Roger! You can arrest the ones exposed by Iph, assuming you don't die in the process. Roll Brawn!"

OOC fade [to Catherine]: ...roll Mythos, and I'll tell you.

Iphigenia eventually hunts down the cultists and finds their leader - who has really just been misled by a bootleg copy of the New International Version. Or at least, that's what Iphi is going with. She devotes herself to bringing them back to the fold. Eventually. Assuming nothing goes wrong.

OOC fade shakes a fist. The NIV! It's behind so many cultist issues!

OOC Catherine [to fade]: With my +1 for using my book? :D

OOC fade [to Catherine]: Oh yes.

DICE Roger rolls 5d6 <1 2 2 3 5> for 13 total.

OOC Roger says, "Oh my god"

DICE Catherine rolls 6d6 <1 3 4 4 5 6> for 23 total.

OOC Roger decides he cannot win.

OOC fade says, "...oh, Roger. You, uh. You can take a maiming instead of dying heroically, if you'd like. Either way."

OOC Roger says, "ROGER WILL DIE HEROICALLY WITH DREAMS OF WHISKEY"

OOC fade says, "Catherine, since you succeeded, you can discover how to summon both holy and unholy ghosts, to deploy against those they ought to be deployed at. But it doesn't work on hallowed ground."

OOC fade says, "MOTHER SUPERIOR WILL DRINK WHISKEY IN YOUR HONOR, NICE YOUNG MAN."

OOC Ellie [to fade]: It went well!

OOC fade says, "Yes! ...well, on the play side, it went well. Poor Roger..."

OOC Ellie hee.

OOC Ellie says, "Catherine turned Iphi's crucifix into a holy weapon! Iphi beat cultists with a shovel! ... Roger did his best!"

OOC fade says, "He intimidated the cultists enough that they didn't attack immediately!"

OOC Kageneko says, "I did my best!"

Roger stumbles to his feet and takes off after some of the cultists. None of them make it very far and the cultists give Roger an up-close demonstration of their high-kicks. He lies on his back, staring at the dimming ceiling. Damn flashlight batteries going out. But the pain is getting better. Yeah. "IPHI! get my ... whiskey ..."

Catherine is not in class the next day. The day after that, a nice new professor has showed up to take over for the next while, as Ms. Jacobs has apparently taken a leave of absence due to a medical matter. It's worrying, but at her age -- and what is her age, actually? -- such things are to be expected. The curriculum proceeds as normal, with the new professor teaching the students all the way to their exams. Ms. Jacobs is, her note on the day of the final exam explains, very ill and still at the hospital in the big city up north, but she's sure everyone will do well.

Life continues as normal at the college, as much as anything is /normal/ in this town. There are graduates and dropouts, just as there always have been. There are rowdy frat parties, none of which quite manage to summon something from Beyond. There are study sessions, likewise -- and while one of the history textbooks has gone missing, it's replaced before the new semester begins. And if one night, someone saw a hooded figure walking alongside the shore, a cross in one hand and a book in the other, little motes of light swirling in her wake...

...well, that's just a rumor.

OOC fade says, "...poor Roger."

OOC arcangel says, "Poor Roger. Maybe he can hang out with Catherine as a ghost."

OOC fade says, "He totally could."

And so life in Shogburg goes on, its own way. Life, and unlife, and no one speaks much of the ruined church on the outskirts of town anymore...

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