Wednesday, May 28, 2008

LWaSH session 6: Loose ends resolved

Lost Worlds and Secret Histories

Herr Wolf Abraham Hale Marko Kraljevic Robin Stormchaser

Okay, so in last night's session of Lost Worlds and Secret Histories (5/27/2008), we finally finished up the big fight from the previous session, and also played out that phonecall that called Myrna away from the main action back in session 4. Herr Wolf pretty much stayed preoccupied throughout this session, since his player had other commitments, and Arthur Chamberlain remained absent, since his player was sick. Also, this was Abraham Hale's last session (unless I end up NPCing him or something), since his player is moving.

Lost Worlds and Secret Histories
Summer, 1937 - London, England

Myrna, called away from the rest of the team's investigation by a phone call, finds herself on the receiving end of aggressive questions and legal threats from Sergeant Alphonse Pendergast of the police. He demands to know just what she and her associate (Marko) said to Sir Felix Swillby-Hinderlap-Swillby when they questioned him just about an hour before, and also warns her to drop her own investigation into the Swillby affair and let the police handle things.

Myrna, being very socially capable, manages to defuse his anger, and gets him to admit the reason for his sudden attention: Sir Felix left his hotel quite abruptly after talking to Myrna and Marko, leaving the police no way to contact him, and little clue as to his state of mind. The Sergeant is suspicious of the Van Helsing Society's mysterious nature--it's not exactly public knowledge that they investigate the supernatural, after all--but Myrna's mildly coquettish demeanor flusters him badly, and she manages to put him off the scent. However, she, in turn, is cowed by his legal authority, and disengages from the conversation before he can extract any promises of noninterference from her, but also before she can get much information out of him.

Meanwhile, back at Bad Bob's warehouse headquarters, Abraham Hale, Marko Kraljević, Robin Stormchaser, and Herr Wolf are mopping up the remains of their fight against the blackshirts and Nazi agents.

Behind the warehouse, Blackshirt leader Robert "Bad Bob" Roberts flees his one-time ally, the knife-wielding Nazi madman known as Herr Zahn, through the rainy night, hoping to escape in a truck with his surviving henchmen. Robin, fearless as ever, chases after Zahn, and Marko races out of the warehouse after her. Abraham, all the way on the other side of the warehouse and suffering from a minor leg wound, decides to get back in the car and simply drive to the action. Wolf is still inside the warehouse, bandaging the grievous wounds Abe inflicted on Herr Blitz, the Nazi turncoat.

Robin shoves Herr Zahn, and the berserk German slips on the wet cobblestones, falling into a puddle. Instead of picking himself up, however, he tears open his shirt, revealing a metal plate covered in arcane designs. He turns his knife on himself, hacking and sawing at the light-gague chains the hold the plate onto his body. Robin and Marko aren't occult experts on Herr Wolf's level, but they do recognize that whatever that plate is supposed to do, breaking the chains that fasten it to Zahn will stop its effects, not activate them.

Happy that Herr Zahn is distracting the Van Helsing team, Bad Bob and his five remaining blokes pile into the lorry and start up the engine.

It's about then that Abraham comes around the corner, turning hard so that his car fishtails on the wet street, skidding towards the blackshirts' truck sideways. Abe leans out the window, and--with typical flawless accuracy--fires a round into the lorry's gas tank. The truck explodes, blasting Bad Bob and four surviving--but somewhat concussed and scorched--blackshirts into the street. Part of the car flies off and hits another nearby truck, this one a flatbed stacked with petrol barrels. The steel drums come loose . . . falling in a heap on top of the prone Herr Zahn, crushing one of his arms completely and knocking him unconscious.

The blackshirts, deprived of their escape, stand and fight, until exploding fuel barrels and sheer terror of Marko's inhuman resilience whittle their numbers down. Eventually, Bad Bob stands alone, shot in the shoulder by Abe and unable to handle his shotgun. Robin, taking advantage of his injury, simply manhandles him into the trunk of the Van Helsing Society car.

Police whistles begin to sound in the distance. Abraham delivers a dire--and entirely honest--warning to the two blackshirts who surrendered during the fight, forever cementing a very healthy terror of the Van Helsing Society into the English far-right community. They run like hell when told to do so.

The police whistles are getting closer, and now the bobbies can be heard running on the cobblestones. Marko dashes back into the warehouse to ransack its office and retrieve Sir Felix's stolen parcel, and also collects Herr Wolf and Herr Blitz, exiting at the front of the building. Robin and Abe--with Bad Bob still in their trunk--drive the length of the warehouse to meet them there, and see the remaining petrol cans atop Herr Zahn explode in their rear-view mirror. Marko, Wolf, and Blitz pile in, and the whole group speeds back to the Society clubhouse.

There, Abraham interrogates Bad Bob, who sings like a bird after a little persuasion. Bob reveals that the Nazi party has been supplying his gang and other blackshirt groups with money and weapons for a little less than a year, now. Just days ago, these three German agents--Blitz, Zahn, and Stahl--showed up and demanded a favor in return: They were to procure a postage parcel from Sir Felix Swillby-Hinderlap-Swillby's flat. All they were told was that the Nazis were interested in something a scientist named Bagsnip had found in Africa, and they needed information in that parcel to pinpoint his location.

The blackshirts stole the package for them (not knowing they'd left behind a couple items that fell out of the box: the photo and Magnetophone recording which were later found at the scene of the crime), and Herr Blitz managed to radio the vital information to some unknown party shortly before the Van Helsing team tore into their headquarters.

So now the team knows that Bagsnip has indeed found some dangerous artifact, and that the Nazis don't have it yet, but do know where to find him. With any luck, our next session will feature a trip to Africa!

I was really surprised that Myrna didn't completely destroy the Sergeant in her social conflict with him. She really outclassed him in every way, but somehow the dice were just not on her side, that night. Marko had a really awesome moment when he actually got to invoke his own complication ("Full of Holes", or something like that) to improve his Intimidation role (with much success, too). Abraham was definitely the star of this session (appropriate--since it's his last--but totally unintentional), managing to do lots of great trick shots and scaring the hell out of people. He totally shut down Herr Zahn right before the Nazi bastard was about to become a real problem for the party. It was beautiful.

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