Chill

Galliano, LA
Case Closed

Mission Summary

Envoys dispatched from Southern and Midwestern regions investigated disappearances of three corpses from a morgue in Galliano, Louisiana, and determined that the area had experienced sporadic mysterious deaths and body disappearances since the mid-19th Century. Locals were moderately friendly but not helpful overall, as seems typical for small, insular communities with similar problems.

Local police chief, Clyde Clayton, was recruited to take the envoys into a portion of the bayou that locals seemed eager to avoid, and where basic electronic tests showed there to be some possibly Unknown-related presence. The chief was unaware of the truth.

A few hours into the bayou, and at the trailing edge of dusk, the team’s (police) boat was attacked by hundreds of hands, which sought to tear the boat apart. Quick, albeit destructive, thinking ended with the boat’s fuel line being cut to provide a spray of gas to torch the hands. Soon thereafter the team, now using oars to move the somewhat charred boat forward, found a small shack.

Once on the porch of the shack they were attacked by eight animated corpses, which burst out of the building. Head shots were effective, confirming after the fact that these were only the mindless undead, actuated by another, greater, force. Inside the shack there were three separate rooms: the front, where the corpses had been before attacking, and two storage rooms. One had six more bodies, all lifeless, and with one missing its head, hands, and feet. In the other room there were eight large glass jars, caked in dust and grime, sitting on shelves, along with some other rotten supplies and sundries.

Going through the jars the envoys found in each a head, hands, and feet, Some of them animated and attacked; others were inert. Upon opening one on the lower shelf, a massive swarm of mosquitos and biting flies emerged from thin air and attacked, and moments later a headless, handless, feetless corpse appear and began swatting at them with its stumps. Gordon, being the most experienced envoy of the team, took a chance and hurled the latest head at the body, which immediately adhered to its chest, and the whole thing collapsed to the ground.

Using the extra jug of gas from the boat the team drenched the body and lit it and the shack on fire.

Comparison with existing case files and archives indicate that this was likely a Lesser Zombie Master, and that the disposal means used should be effective in permanently destroying it.

Chief Clayton has been contacted and efforts are being made to bring him into SAVE, over time. In the meantime he has been given information useful to determining if the threat reappears, and has contact information to reach the New Orleans office should this occur.

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RinCon '16
Information for sessions at Rincon '16 in Tucson

I’m going to run the following sessions of Chill 3e at RinCon ‘16. Feel free to peruse anything on this site for some idea about the game, background, and session logs from some short-run stories I’ve run at both RinCon ’15 and at my home game.

  • Sunshine in Maine: Girls disappear sporadically in Boothbay, Maine, and while it seems that most of town is willing to turn a blind eye, SAVE is not – especially since it seems to have started again. Investigate and resolve this manifestation of the Unknown before more victims are claimed, maybe even the envoys themselves.
  • In a Dark Bayou: Bodies are missing from a small town morgue deep in the Louisiana bayou, and two SAVE envoys have not reported in from their initial investigation of the area. You and your team of envoys must find out what’s happened, who or what is causing it, and put a stop to this latest manifestation of the Unknown.
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Boothbay, Maine
Case Closed

Mission Summary

A quick reaction team was dispatched to Boothbay, Maine on 3 NOV 15 in response to an email request from a local high school student who claimed that her friend had gone missing – disappeared, actually, in front of her – in a local graveyard where other girls over a number of years had also disappeared. Local records were sparse and seemingly offline, so the team was left with the need to do a great deal of local investigation.

Arriving in Boothbay mid-day on the 3rd, the team effectively researched local archives in the library, town records, historical society, and newspaper. They also interviewed the girl Teresa Hayes, and made contact with a ‘coven’ of local witches (high school students with no knowledge of the Unknown).

Through these efforts that identified a pattern of disappearances of girls, ages 7-18, from 1948 to the present, many of which fit the profile of victims of the Unknown in terms of the circumstances of their disappearances. A few seemed like possible runaways, but most were highly suspicious.

Two envoys also explored the cemetary, at dusk, and along with finding evidence of possible Wiccan rituals onsite, were also confronted directly by the ghost of a young girl, near an abandoned ‘gate to nowhere’ in a corner of the graveyard. Upon meeting together as a group and sharing findings, the team, using photographic evidence, determined that the ghost was of the first girl to have disappeared. They decided to investigate the graveyard that night, late, when it would likely be empty and they would have a free hand to act.

One envoy was able to contact the ghost, which surprisingly understood its situation completely and simply refused to stop taking “playmates” until she was satisfied. Her grave was dug up and once her mouldering teddy bear was set up fire she reappeared and attacked the envoys, using the Wound discipline, and then employed Chill in its mad raging, attempting to kill the envoys while also banishing itself back to the Unknown. Several envoys were injured, and one seriously, but the threat was ended.

The girl who’d disappeared burst forth from the gate, and although malnourished, dehydrated, and suffering from exposure, she would survive. Also appearing from inside the gate were the ghosts of a number of girls, who soon thereafter faded away, some directly at their own graves.

The team stayed on in town for a few days after ‘finding’ the girl wandering in the woods and taking her to the local clinic for treatment.

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Warwick House
Case Closed

Mission Summary
At the request of Professor Ellsworth Smythe III, Envoy Emeritus and Distinguished Professor of American Folklore at Severn College, two envoys were dispatched to Severn College to investigate longterm and ongoing activities at Warwick House, a long-abandoned former residence on the campus. The house, vacant for over 200 years, had been the scene of numerous disturbances and mysterious deaths, and seemingly resistant to attempts to demolish the building.

The most recent attempt to raze the building resulted in the seemingly accidental deaths of two construction workers a week before the envoys’ arrival. The envoys, Gordon Brown and Tommy O’Brien, went to the house during the day and found within it evidence of about a century of habitation, from the 1600s through late 1700s, and remarkably well-preserved furniture and structure.

Several manifestations of the Unknown were experienced: a floating noose; blowing wind with a foul stench inside; a large feast, with fresh food; and finally a seemingly preserved corpse, which quickly putrified and attacked once touched. The body turned out to be that of Boyd Baxter, a Severn College student who disappeared in 1966.

After defeating the mindless animated corpse they continued their investigation, moving upstairs and finding more evidence of the Warwicks and their obsession with the ship Mercy, which they sailed on from England to the Colonies.

Upon entering the attic the envoys were directly confronted by the ghosts of both John and Sarah Warwick, and attacked by them. Also found in the attic was the actual keel of the Mercy, along with two nooses. As Gordon tried to make contact by speaking to them to find out what they wanted, Timmy O’Brien lit the nooses on fire, which had an immediate and powerful effect on the ghosts, sending them into spasms and eventual destruction.

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Isle of the Dead
Case Closed

Mission Summary
Envoys dispatched to ‘Isle o’ Fun’ amusement park near Railing, IL, to investigate longterm supernatural activity there since the park’s closure in 1985 after a night of accidents and incidents killed a number of patrons and chased people off the island.

SAVE arranged for envoys to pose as potential buyers to Thomas Burgess, nephew of the original owner and current holder of the deed to the property. Burgess was eager to sell the property and provided the team with access to the site.

Investigations and operations – including use of the Art to detect, protect against, and heal injury from attacks of the Unknown – determined that the island was, indeed, extensively haunted by a number and variety of entities, from ghosts of dead patrons that seemed only there to act out their last hours of life, to ghosts that attempted to enthrall members of the team. The greatest threats came from ghost of Eugene Burgess, who had considerable powers of illusion and mechanical and electrical animation. He was also able to directly attack the envoys. Additionally, it was confirmed that a Doll Master was present and had animated at least three vessels, which attacked the team.

The Doll Master’s bones were found and burned, along with one of the animated dolls, ending its access to our world. Burgess’ ghost was banished when the box of money he’d filled in life from blackmail and theft was found and burned.

Thomas Burgess was killed by one of the ghosts during the night, and the team was forced to spend a night on the island before contacting authorities in the town the next day in order to be retrieved from the island.

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#DeadInTucson
Case Closed

Mission Summary
Six envoys met in Tucson, Arizona, to investigate a series of disappearances seemingly associated with a popular traveling and web-based psychic medium show, “Alive on the Other Side.” Hosted weekly online in a live call-in show and once each month in a different city with a live audience, the show was hosted by Arlo Drake (real name: Philip Martinez), and consisted of him doing exceptionally good cold reads on audience members who’d paid a sizable amount to be present. Several people in other cities had disappeared over time, and SAVE was confident that the show was the one joint variable in their experiences.

After investigation into records, financials, and backgrounds, the team focused on Art Dexter, a local widower who’d attended several of the online shows and was confirmed to have bought a ticket to the upcoming live show in Tucson, at the La Paloma resort hotel. Envoys…kidnapped…Mr. Dexter and restrained him in his own home in order that one of them could assume his identity and attend the show. Two other envoys also attended the show under assumed names and noticed that the only other show staff members, a producer and a director, paid a great deal of attention to both “Mr. Dexter” and another audience member, Ms. Terry Jensen, age 78, a moderately wealthy widow who’d also been active in the online shows.

Tracking Drake, Eric Saunders (the director) and Jenn Adams (producer), the team found that they were staying at an isolated, posh foothills rental home, and over the few days after the show – and leading up to a new moon – watched as the two staffers contacted, coaxed, and used some manner of the Evil Way to attempt to influence both ‘Dexter’ and presumably the old woman to come to the house on the night of the new moon to “cross over” to be with their departed loved one(s).

Parallel to this the team confirmed that the missing people had also had their bank accounts and investments either drained or transferred before their disappearances.

On the night of the new moon, the envoys surrounded the house and when the three perpetrators took ‘Dexter’ and Jensen into the backyard to “cross over” by jumping, willingly, into the now-bubbling swimming pool, next to which sat an unplugged but glowing television protected by plastic sheeting, they attacked.

In what can only be described as a nearly-botched operation, gunshots were fired, Saunders and Adams were both killed by gunfire and revealed to be some humanoid creatures of the Unknown, and Ms. Jensen, hysterical, was spirited away by the envoys, along with the corpse of ‘Saunders’ and Drake/Martinez, who is was later determined had been a dupe mind control.

Note for future Tucson or Arizona operations: Bill Preston, esq., should be moved to the Deactivated envoy list, as his erratic behavior proved to be a liability.

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Resolved, or so it seems

Tuesday…

Gordon and Jackson pulled out of the neighborhood and onto the street that would lead them to the highway, putting another job behind them – at least most of it.

The poltergeist had gone quiet for a few days after the events of Friday and Saturday, and the Sartmanns had started the things they’d been told they needed to do in order to keep Old Bob satisfied, and keep their family together. Larry was eager to step up as the leader of his family, rather than just its part-time commander. Sarah agreed to go into counseling for her pill usage, although she was adamant that it was not an addiction and wasn’t even something indulged in that often – but she did admit that it was a sometime crutch that needed to go. Kathy turned over access to her Facebook accounts (all three of them) and several other secret web identities, along with her phone and the dark recesses of her computer’s hard drive. It seems that she had been on her way to becoming a druggy and had flirted with porn, even having contact with some creep online who had her sending pictures now and again. Basically, she’d started out as they all start out: curious, looking for any cheap thrills she could get, and craving the attention that she felt she wasn’t really getting at home. And like in so many other situations it started slowly, then more, and more, until just now, when it was almost certain to spin out of control. Danny was young, but had been generally left alone by Old Bob, and so maybe he’d heal naturally over time.

The family, on Saturday, got in contact with the pastor of the church they’d attended now and again, made an appointment with him, and attended services on Sunday. In this area they were all shaky and self-conscious, but felt compelled to do this and do it the right way.

“Let’s go see the national park where the battle took place,” suggested Jackson. “We’re here – might as well.” Gordon smiled, tired, but accepting the idea as a good one. They needed some downtime, and the email from Mal that just appeared could wait.

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The Sartmanns, their house, and their problems
helpful discoveries among disturbing incidents

Writing this as narrative would take a long time, and would make for a very long post, so this is in note format.

Things learned by interview of the family

  • The disturbances started small about 3 weeks ago, with things going missing and such. The family blamed one another and were on edge for about a week before things started to escalate.
  • About 10 days ago things got worse, and quickly. The ‘stacking’ incident took place in the living room; the phone message (which is not, nor was was it ever, on the house voicemail) occurred; and the noises as night started, all within a 24-hour period.
  • They’ve lived here for 4 years; nothing stands out about the previous owners or property.
  • The son clings to mom while the bratty daughter relies on dad to make excuses for her.
  • The disturbances have followed the family to places where they’ve tried to flee or find shelter or calm

Clues from searching the house

  • The garage is a freezing cold black void of space that will suck things in
  • Several rooms have animated things in them, or flying stuff; the attic has a hurricane in it if you stay there for a minute or so; the hall closet is stuck shut; the daughter’s room is completely normal aside from the closet, which is stuck shut.
  • Everything looks normal from outside.

Other things learned

  • Kathy, the daughter, finally admitted to playing with a ouija board with a friend and having a spirit named “Bob” contact her – she thought nothing of it, aside from it being creepy.
  • Salt seemed to keep the moving objects away, but aside from forming a barrier against small stuff doesn’t seem to have much utility. The living room has always had low-level activity only – at least when people are present.
  • Poltergeists, which is what it sounds like this thing is, tend to attach themselves to people or places. The ones that attach themselves to people do so for some reason – something they want to accomplish – and are the more dangerous of the two types, because they can follow a person and tend to…obsess.
  • Ouija boards are no joke. When used correctly (enough) they will open a door, however small, that can allow things to come through. Never worth the risk.
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The Pawnshop in Dallas
...a chance encounter

The bell rang when the duo walked into the small pawn shop in East Dallas, Texas. Passing all the everyday items to the back corner counter, Jackson and Gordon leaned over the glass cases displaying the handguns. A wall of long guns ran for roughly 20 feet behind a older man perched on a black bar stool.

“Gents” was all the man said without looking up from his magazine. His long grey mustache curled slightly at the ends. His slight potbelly blocked the view of the Glock at his right hip from this angle.

“May I see the Mossberg 12 gauge, sir?” Jackson asked politely.

The man handed the tactical shotgun over the counter.

“Thanks Dan.” Jackson said without looking away from the firearm.

The man eyed him quizzically and grunted, deciding the customer had just guessed well. Dan looked over at Gordon and asked if he’d like to see the Colt Python .357 magnum in the box.

“It’s a good old pistol from back in the day before all the cops switched to semi-autos.” Dan smiled as he pulled the revolver from the case and handed it to Gordon. “I pegged you when you got out of the Charger. Spent 22 years on the force myself. But I’m not sure about this one,” hooking a thumb at Jackson, “military?”

“I’ll take this one.” Jackson said to the owner. “She’s perfect. Not too new and not too old. Don’t want to damage a new one and don’t want problems either. Needs to work in a tight spot. Rocksalt when ya need it.” Dan raised an eyebrow at the comment, but said nothing.

“Uncle Dan, I see the silver blades at the end of the cabinet. Might you have any silver bullets? What other sorts of ‘specific’ gear have you got just out of sight?” Jackson asked with a disarming smile.

“I think we came to the right place, Gordon. You should get that one, its perfect for you.”

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Vicksburg, MS
New York is going to have to wait

Gordon showed Jackson the email from Mal, which contained a forwarded message from a contact of his.

Between Mal’s comments and the other messages in the thread, it was clear that the Sartmann family of Vicksburg, MS, was experiencing some unpleasant phenomena. Given that this came from Mal, it was obvious that the initial claims had been properly vetted and this was likely to be legitimate.

In a nutshell, Erika Sartmann had contacted a former teacher of hers, Dr. Roger Spalding, a psych professor at the University of Mississippi. Spalding, while not a SAVE member, was familiar with a few folks in the organization and in fact had turned down membership on a few occasions. He’d had some odd experiences over time and was a reliable source of information within his academic field. In this case, a former, trusted student turned to him because she was afraid that she and her family were experiencing some kind of group hallucinations or dementia. He passed this along to a contact of Mal’s, who got with Mal.

For over a week the family, living in an upscale suburb, had experienced increasingly disturbing events: at first it was misplaced small items. Then things moved around the house, unseen. They quickly got on one another’s nerves, each suspecting pranks. A few days ago Erika walked through the family room and into the kitchen to get something before heading out of the house, and when she went back through the family room saw that all the furniture had been soundlessly stacked and piled, along with everything else in the room.

What’s gone on since has been even more disturbing, with the family – mom, dad, a teenage girl and a 6 year-old boy – seeing things move on their own. They tried to stay at a friend’s house, but the problems followed them. They went to a hotel, but could neither sit on the bed (it would shake violently) nor turn on the television – only static and growling sounds there.

The family is at wit’s end. Things are getting worse. You’re only a day away. More information can follow if you’re up to taking the job.

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