Sunday, August 14, 2016

A Time To Harvest Session 8: Champagne Wishes

Running a little behind schedule in posting this session's write-up, as I've been in giddy wargamer mode since Wednesday, building terrain and tweaking my warband in preparation for a future game of Frostgrave.  It's also been far too humid (it hit 93% humidity the other day...walking outside was like swimming in hot chowder) to do much painting - I know my spray primers won't stick to my ruined buildings in this weather, and I'm a little afraid to apply paint to miniatures for fear of it not drying properly. So I guess I should stop procrastinating and finish this write-up!

Dramatis Personae:

  •  Darren Gray (played by Mike), engineering major and member of the fencing team 
  •  Perry Webster (played by Dan), journalism major, on assignment for the Miskatonic Crier 
  • Nathanlie Wingate Peaslee (played by Kai), folklore major, daughter of psychology professor Wingate Peaslee, granddaughter of economics professor Nathaniel Wingate Peaslee 
  •  Nick Jackson (played by Greg), private investigator

After listening to the recording of a "metch kangmi," one of these alien Outer Ones, being interrogated, the Investigators came away less than impressed with the scientists at Federated Oil & Chemical, convinced that they have no idea what they're doing in regards addressing the apparent invasion of Earth by the Outer Ones.  Regardless, and keeping in mind the blank check penned for them by Abelard, they continue their firearms training.

The night before they're scheduled to return to Cobb's Corners, the Investigators are summoned by Selena Preston to the conference room on the fifth floor.  Not sure what to expect, Nick showed up armed.  Looking very serious for a moment, Abelard cracked a smile and drew forth an iced bottle of very high quality champagne.  "To our successes," he toasted.  Selena turns on a radio, and everyone begins to let their hair down.

Then, the power goes out.  By the time flashlights are rounded up, someone has slit Michael Abelard's throat, ear to ear in perfect silence.  Those closest to him at the table - David Drake, Nathanlie Peaslee, Peter Murdoch and Morrison, the security chief, were questioned closely, and frisked for weapons - both Morrison and Peaslee had knives in their boots, but these were all clean.  Darren and Nick attempted to search the conference room for invisible assassins by spraying champagne around the area, while Perry and Larry Nekler, the expedition's mechanic, made their way down the stairs to try and fix the power in the basement.

They were interrupted as they passed the fourth floor - from within, they could hear screams, gunshots, and a gutteral, booming croaking sound.  Sneaking past, they were met by opposition a level down - two green-scaled humanoid frogs, standing each six feet tall, still sloughing off the crusty yellow membrane that had sealed them in suspended animation - the "mummies" being rehydrated in the lab.  Perry stumbled retreating up the stairs, but managed to grab a fireaxe off the wall and swing at the lead of the two creatures.  The creature retaliated with a swipe of a huge, webbed claw that almost disemboweled the junior reporter.

Growing uneasy, Nick and Morrison head down stairs to help Perry and Nekler, stumbling into their fight with the two frogs, wherein their firearms made a distinct difference, though Nick's .45 jammed on its second shot.  One frog dead and the other in retreat, Nick helped Perry back upstairs to get medical attention while Morrison and Nekler continued to the basement.  A glance back showed Nick six more frogs emerging from the fourth floor, their claws and jaws bloody, and descending the stairs.

With Perry soon taped up, Nick rallied the group, rearmed, and led the group downstairs to see if Morrison and Nekler were still alive.  Muddy footprints and broken doors revealed that the frogs had left the building and made their way into the Detroit River.  The on-site staff -- security guards, maids, cooks, and lab scientists -- had been torn apart and partially devoured by the amphibious humanoids. And the building's wiring had been torn to shreds at the fuse box.  Nekler and Darren managed to jury-rig a temporary work around to get the building's lights back on.

With Abelard dead and no sign of his assassin (and the looming possibility that one of those present was a double agent for the metch kangmi), the Investigators debated the wisdom of continuing on with their mission to Cobb's Corners, ultimately agreeing that it would be best to launch an attack now, when the metch kangmi expect them to be disorganized and confused.

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