Ogden, Illinois. Session #6

Submitted into Contest #76 in response to: Write a story told exclusively through dialogue.... view prompt

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Adventure Funny Friendship

GM:   The place is Ogden, Illinois. A fictionalized version of Quincy. The year is 1911. The game system is Savage Worlds. This is game session #6 and I'm your Game Master Brennan. Anyone want to do a quick re-cap?


MB:    I'm playing Cassander, photographer for Ogden’s newspaper, The Beat. I'm a little bit psychic, able to read minds with mixed success and prone to receiving visions. I moved to Ogden from Chicago after accidentally killing my fiancée Francesca. My camera seems to be a conduit for supernatural power. A fact I discovered after taking my first picture with the newly purchased camera. To my deepest regret, that picture was of Francesca. Haunted by the fact that I killed the only woman I've ever loved, I turned to the bottle. I'm a functioning alcoholic who drinks whiskey to forget his past. Unfortunately, inebriation sometimes lowers my resistance to outside psychic influence.


GM:   I don't know if I'd call you a functioning alcoholic. Alcoholism is supposed to be a hindrance to your character. It's also supposed to tie into your character's other hindrance.


MB:   Oh yeah, Cassander got so drunk, he forgot he also has a minor death wish. Thanks for reminding him of his pain, dude.


NT:    I'm playing Mary Ann. I'm a prostitute who works at Wendy's brothel. I get plus-2 to my charisma but minus-2 to strength. I am cursed with a curiosity hindrance. If I come across a mystery, I'm compelled to solve it. Nothing else matters. That's why I hang around The Beat. Cassander is always stumbling upon strange happenings that lead to intriguing mysteries. Recently, Ogden has been plagued by odd occurrences. The Kirkpatricks, a wealthy family who owns half of Ogden, has reformed an ancient cult of snake worshipers. We've already had several run-ins with the Kirkpatricks, their followers, and the creatures their rituals keep summoning. I believe the Kirkpatricks are the ones who framed Cassander. We've been getting too close and they're trying keep us from discovering the full extent of their evil plans.


JD:      I'm playing Friar David. During our last adventure I discovered that several of the upper clergy in my parish are in league with the snake cult. This is an affront to my faith and to the religion to which I've dedicated my life. I've accumulated several Edges, skills that allow me to use my devotion to God to perform attacks and cast personal protections. My hindrances are that I'm a pacifist and have taken a vow not to kill.


MB:   Brennan, I don't see why Cassander can't be a functioning alcoholic when the Friar is always blasting dudes with holy lightning.


NT:     Yeah, he's killed more people than Mary Ann has, and she's an expert marksman.


GM:    If the Friar hadn't broken his vows, you guys wouldn't have survived the last two sessions, so I don't know if I'd complain too loudly.


JD:      To be fair, the Friar only kills when he feels he has no other choice. The Lord will forgive me for taking out those who have blasphemed against Him or broken their own sacred vows.


GM:    Okay, let's get started. Just a reminder, whenever you perform an action you roll two dice. One die corresponds to the skill you're trying to use, or the attribute required for the action. The other die, a D-6, is the wild die. You're looking for the highest roll on either die. If either dice hits its max number, it explodes. Then you re-roll it and add those numbers together. You also each get four Bennies. You can spend a Bennie to re-roll any single die throw, to soak a wound, or to prevent yourself from becoming shaken. Everyone got all that?


ALL:  Yup


GM:    So, you're in an alley near Cassander's apartment. At the end of last session, you learned about his being framed for murder and managed to avoid the cops. What do you guys want to do now?


NT:     Well, last game we also learned that the snake cult wants to capture Sam.


MB:    As Cassander, I ask, "Remind me who Sam is Mary Ann."


NT:     As Mary Ann, I say, "Sam is a seven-year-old girl. My boss Wendy unofficially adopted her. She's got her own private room at the brothel. Wendy does her best to keep our more illicit activities hidden from Sam, pretending that she simply runs a bar. Sam is very intelligent though, so I doubt Wendy has managed to fool her. We’ve yet to figure out what the Kirkpatricks want with Sam but I’m determined to get to the bottom of it."


JD:      As Friar David, I say, "We’ll figure it out Mary Ann. Now, let’s go to the brothel."


MB:    "Bet that's the first time you've ever said that Friar," I say as Cassander.


GM:    Wendy's is eight blocks away on the corner of 6th and Main. It's 11:00 in the morning and Wendy's doesn't open to the public for several hours. How are you guys getting there?


JD:      We walk.


MB:    I roll Stealth to make sure no one spots Cassander. D-4, explode! Four plus three is seven.


GM:    Seven is high enough. You make it to Wendy's undetected. Wendy's is a two-story rectangular building. The entrance is on Main and the building runs for a quarter block down 6th Street. You reach the door and see that it has been kicked in. What do you do?


NT:     Well, Mary Ann works here, so I'll lead the way.


JD:     I'll go second.


MB:   Cassander brings up the rear, I guess. As Cassander, I whisper to the others, "Get ready to duck if I need to use my camera. I don't want to catch you guys in the frame."


GM:    You walk past the foyer and into the main bar area. Scattered around the room are the bodies of prostitutes.


NT:     Distraught, I rush forward and check the nearest body for a pulse.


GM:   She's dead. Everyone roll Notice.


NT:     Eight.


JD:      Five.


MB:    Three.


GM:    Cassander, all you see are the bloody bodies of women and it triggers you. Roll Spirit.


MB:    Two.


GM:    Drink the rest of your whiskey. Now you're a little drunk. Friar, you notice that all the prostitutes have horrific gunshot wounds. You can tell from where you stand that none of them are breathing. You realize that their attackers used shotguns and the walls and floor of the room have been peppered with buckshot. Mary Ann, as you lean over your fallen coworker's body, you hear voices coming from a parlor to your left.


NT:     I draw my derringer and charge into the room.


JD:      I ready my holy symbol and follow Mary Ann.


MB:   Considering Cassander is kind of drunk and didn't hear what Mary Ann heard, he's going to search the room for more whiskey.


GM:    Hold that thought Cassander. Let's focus on Mary Ann and the Friar first. Let me draw cards for initiative. Okay, Mary Ann, you burst into the parlor and see two men in trench coats at the other side of the room. One is standing in line with you and the other is in the opposite corner. You see that he looms over Wendy, who has been tied to a chair. Wendy's dress is stained with blood. It’s obvious that she's been wounded and the man is interrogating her. You've got first initiative Mary Ann. What do you want to do?


NT:     I don't want to accidentally hit Wendy, so I'll shoot at the first guy. I roll my Shooting die. Explode! Six plus two. I got an eight.


GM:    That hits. Roll damage.


NT:     Six.


GM:    Okay, the enemy soaks the wound but is shaken. Now it's his turn, but he doesn't get a high enough Spirit roll, so he remains shaken.


NT:     Yeah! Take that trench coat man!


GM:    Now it's the other enemy's turn. He kicks over Wendy's chair, she’s now prone on the floor. Then, drawing his shotgun, he walks a few paces toward you and fires. Does a four hit you Mary Ann?


NT:     Nope, my Parry is 5.


GM:    He misses, his buckshot punching a hole in the wall between the Friar and Mary Ann. Now it's the Friar's turn.


JD:      I fire my holy lightning at both enemies. It looks as if they are both in the cone of my attack. I roll a nine for Spirit and a thirteen for damage.


GM:    The Friar's holy symbol glows bright white and twin bolts of lightning flash from his outstretched hand. The lightning bolts strike the two men with a deafening crack. Electricity runs through their bodies and they slump to the floor.


NT:     So, they're dead?


GM:    Yes.


NT:     Then I say to the Friar, "We need to check on Wendy."


JD:      I agree, and we cross the parlor together.


GM:    You both untie Wendy and see that she is in bad shape. She has several deep lacerations on her arms and torso and a gunshot wound in her side.


JD:      I use Healing. I rolled a four.


GM:    Thanks to the Friar's healing skill, you manage to stabilize Wendy, but she loses consciousness. Now we return to the main room, where Cassander is looking for booze. Cassander roll Notice.


MB:    Okay. Explode! Double Explode and a four. Sixteen altogether.


GM:    You're behind the bar and you see that most of the liquor bottles were destroyed by errant shotgun blasts. Something draws you to a cabinet beneath the bar and you find a bottle of scotch. From the parlor you hear a gunshot followed by the Friar's lightning bolt attack. As you move to join them, you hear muffled voices from the floor above you and hurried footsteps moving off in two different directions.


MB:    I rush into the parlor and say, "More enemies are on their way down. Sounded like a lot of them. I saw the front stairs when we came in. Mary Ann, is there another way upstairs?"


NT:     How should I know? Brennan's the one who drew the map.


GM:    Mary Ann, roll Smarts.


NT:     I got an eight.


GM:    You tell the group that there is one staircase near the front door and a back staircase on the opposite side of the building from where you are now. You also remember that Sam's room is near the top of the back staircase.


NT:     I suggest we take the back staircase.


JD:      Agreed, and we should hurry. We must get to Sam before she's hurt or captured.


MB:    As Cassander I say, "Lead the way Mary Ann."


GM:    Mary Ann leads you through two small sitting rooms. In front of you is a kitchen. One of the kitchen's doors leads to the back stairwell. Everyone roll Notice.


JD:     Three.


NT:     Four.


MB:    Six.


GM:    Friar and Mary Ann, you both hear footsteps coming down the back stairs. Cassander you hear those footsteps plus more coming from behind you, through the parlor you guys were in a few moments before.


MB:    I move into the second sitting room and take cover behind the door frame so that I can see into the first sitting room. I load my camera and wait. My ready action is, if any enemies come into the first sitting room, I automatically take their picture.


GM:    Cool. Let me draw for initiative. Alright. Friar and Mary Ann step into the kitchen just as the door bursts open to reveal an enemy with a .38 pistol. He aims at the Friar and fires. Does a seven hit you, Friar?


JD:      Yes.


GM:    The enemy's attack hits you for seven damage.


JD:      I'll spend a Bennie to soak the wound. I roll an eight for Vigor, preventing myself from becoming shaken.


GM:    Mary Ann, your turn.


NT:     I fire the second shot from my derringer at him. Shit, I only got a three on my Shooting roll. I'm going to use a Bennie. Damn it! That time I only got a two.


GM:    You fire on the enemy, but he manages to dive behind a counter and your shot misses. A second enemy enters the kitchen and fires his shotgun at Mary Ann. Let's see. I know a ten hits you, and the enemy deals you five damage. That's not a wound but you are shaken. Want to use another Bennie?


NT:     No.


GM:    At that moment, two more enemies burst into the sitting room and Cassander takes their pictures. Cassander, roll a Shooting check.


MB:    Eight.


GM:    Okay, now roll Spirit for damage.


MB:    Hell, yes! Fourteen!


GM:    Your two assailants stop in their tracks. As their flesh begins to dissolve, they try to scream but are completely paralyzed. Soon all that lies before you are two piles of charred bones. Your turn Friar.


JD:      I move behind cover and then attempt to strike both enemies with another bolt of lightning. I got a four on my Spirit roll and eleven for damage.


GM:    The first enemy is protected by cover; the second enemy takes a wound but is still standing. The enemy behind cover fires his pistol at Mary Ann. He rolls an eight on his Shooting check, and does nine damage.


NT:     I'll use a Bennie and soak the wound.


GM:    The other enemy, the one the Friar wounded, cocks his shotgun and fires at the Friar, but he only rolls a 3 on his Shooting check.


JD:      That's not high enough to hit me.


GM:    The Friar is using an ice box as cover. Just before the enemy fires, the Friar manages to open the ice box's door, shielding himself from the attack. Mary Ann's turn.


NT:     I roll Vigor. Jeez, only a three.


GM:   You're still shaken. Cassander your turn.


MB:    "Mary Ann! No!" I cry as Cassander, when I realize she's injured. Reloading my camera, I sprint forward. I round the corner and snap a picture of the two enemies. I got eight for my Shooting roll and eleven on my Spirit roll.


GM:    The flash from your camera lights up the room. The wounded enemy's head explodes. The counter behind which the second enemy is crouched breaks free and slides forward. The enemy is crushed to death, smashed between the counter and the kitchen wall.


JD:      I go to Mary Ann to inspect her injuries. I roll for my Healing skill and get a seven.


GM:    You successfully heal Mary Ann and she is no longer shaken. Everyone roll Notice.


MB:    Four.


JD:      Five.


NT:     Nine.


GM:    You all hear shouting and pounding coming from directly above you. Mary Ann, you specifically hear Sam scream.


NT:     I holster my derringer, draw my shotgun, and rush up the back stairs.


JD:      I follow.


MB:    Me too.


GM:    Mary Ann leads the way up the stairs. Once on the second floor, she turns right down a short hallway, with the Friar and Cassander following close behind. You see two men in dark red robes trying to break down the door. From inside the room is the sound of breaking glass and all of you clearly hear Sam scream. What do you do?


NT:     As Mary Ann, I step forward and yell, "Sam, get away from the door!" Then I fire my shotgun at the nearest robed dude.


GM:    Both barrels?


NT:     Yes, both barrels. For my first Shooting roll I get an eight. For the second, a thirteen.


GM:    Both barrels hit. Now roll damage.


NT:     Twenty-one altogether.


GM:    Hearing Mary Ann shout, both robed figures turn around. Mary Ann's shotgun blast catches the first in the chest. The buckshot tears right through his body and catches the second robed enemy in the arm. Blood from his fallen comrade splashes into his eyes and covers his face. Immediately, he drops to his knees and surrenders.


NT:     I rush forward and handcuff him to a radiator.


GM:    From inside the room, you hear Sam scream again.


NT:     I kick in the door.


GM:    You enter the room just in time to see Sam struggling against the grip of a huge man. You all recognize him as the younger Kirkpatrick brother. He stands seven feet tall, his frame made of pure muscle. Cassander, as soon as you lay eyes upon him, you feel a powerful burst of dark energy radiate through you. Before any of you can react, Kirkpatrick tucks Sam under his arm and leaps out the window. You rush to the window in time to see him land on the street below. He stands up, unharmed by the fall, and sprints off. Soon he disappears down the street.


MB:    As Cassander, I inform the group about the strange energy I felt coming off Kirkpatrick. "He's not what he appears to be. We need to get Sam back as soon as possible."


NT:     As Mary Ann, I say, "I bet we can get some answers from the guy outside."


GM:    You question the robed man, but he refuses to tell you anything about Sam or the snake cult.


MB:    I'm going to try to read his mind. I got six on my Spirit roll.


GM:    Several brief images flash across your mind. You see enough to confirm that the man is indeed a member of the snake cult. Next, you glean enough information to confirm that Sam is the key to whatever grand ritual the cult hopes to perform. Finally, you see a ticket for a train to Hannibal that is leaving this evening at 6 o'clock from Ogden's station.


MB:    As Cassander, I tell the others what I just learned.


NT:     As Mary Ann, I say, "Sounds like we're headed to the train station."


GM:    We'll stop there for tonight.


NT:     Good game, Brennan. That may have been your best adventure yet.


MB:    Yeah, man! That was a blast.


JD:      Very enjoyable. I'll be looking forward to session #7.


January 13, 2021 14:16

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4 comments

Carole Cobos
18:19 Jan 17, 2021

A unique take definitely and it filled me with inspiration the way new styles of writing always do.

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Michael Boquet
21:34 Jan 17, 2021

Thank you!

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Beth Connor
23:28 Jan 14, 2021

I loved your take on this prompt. Being an avid tabletop RPG player- this was fun to read!

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Michael Boquet
01:07 Jan 15, 2021

Thank You!

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