Thursday, May 19, 2005

Karnage @ Karnak

The Scene: The temple of Amun at Karnak. Helmut and Aziz hid away in an inner compartment. Buchanan and McCormick were hidden in the shadows near the Great Hypostyle Hall, surveiling the approach to the temple.

All was quiet in the temple for several hours, but at 4:05 AM Stanley McCormick sensed something ominous, and whispered into the two-way radios.

"They've arrived." As soon as the shadowed figures were spotted, though, they were lost again, amid a wind, a rustling, and a flapping. McCormick believed that they had penetrated deep into the temple, to inner chambers hidden in darkness.

Tension continued mounting with little action until roughly 6:00 AM - at this point there was the sound of a vehicle, slamming, and then an entourage entered the temple, along with the first rays of light. Two cloaked figures, and 18 others, some burdened, and some apparently unburdened. They purposefully headed to the inner sanctum, and minutes later a small grouping headed back to the main entry, where the lead hooded figure loudly chanted an invocation. Wind whipped up, howling, resulting in a sandstorm that blackened the sky. There was more movement amongst the most recent arrivals, and 6 individuals were left on patrol, while the rest returned to the interior.

Buchanan agitated for immediate action, but the others vetoed that idea, preferring to wait for Noon, preferring to strike at the presumed climax of the ritual, and the presumed summoning of the Elder God Mun'Mut'Kunzu.

At 10:00 AM a slow procession began down the main axis of the temple. Stan and Sam kept tabs, and at one point Buchanan braved the sandstorm to loop around a sentry from the outside. He would later regret plunging into the sandstorm, as it seemed to result in repeated jamming of weapons later on, when he most needed them.

The procession was headed by a cloaked figure (presumed to be O'Brien), followed by four torch bearing cultists, two bearing the stone artifact, and six bearing a restrained figure on some sort of board. By 11:52, they arrived in the area just in front of the inner chamber, and it became apparent that a sacrifice was to take place. A human sacrifice. Buchanan and McCormick were watching, Helmut and Aziz were readying to do their part to stop this from happening.
McCormick slipped away to ready his weapons.

At 11:52 AM things went to Hell.

A stumble, a stubbed toe, and an oath by McCormick drew attention, and subsequent gunfire. Chaos erupted, and Fearg chanted. McCormick threw himself to the ground at the feet of the cultists, drawing gunfire. Buchanan attempted a distraction, and joined in the gunplay himself. Helmut von X realized his attention was needed, and moved to the main hall. Fearg chanted. McCormick let double shotguns blaze. Buchanan cursed his luck and bled. Helmut loosed some arrows. Fearg chanted. McCormick was grabbed by four cultists, and was presented to Fearg. Fearg chanted. Helmut dodged. Buchanan fired scavenged rifles. Fearg chanted and Stanley McCormick foresaw that he was going to die.

At 11:53 AM things were the darkest.

Buchanan’s rifles jammed. Stanley, despite his brute strength, was immobilized. But Helmut's arrows made their mark, while Fearg chanted. Buchanan's shots once again hit their marks. The cultist's numbers were reduced to those holding McCormick. Fearg chanted, and raised his ceremonial dagger. Helmut drew his katana, and dispatched McCormick’s captors. Fearg brought his dagger sweeping down to McCormick’s heart. Stanley McCormick, finally, dodged.

At 11:54 all that was left of the cult was Fearg O'Brien, and piles of meat. Fearg took several rifle shots without blinking, but finally was forced to break his chant. The demon took a couple of last swipes, transformed to a serpent, and was tossed aside. Aziz joined the other three adventurers in the main room, and they caught their breath. McCormick opened himself to the Supernatural, attempting to get a fix on O'Brien.

He didn't get a fix on O'Brien. But he did get one on DeKoonig!

The Vampire and minions materialized and thanked our bleeding protagonists for "dealing with" O'Brien. DeKoonig offered the honour of being a first meal in his forthcoming Vampire Kingdom.

At 11:55, dawn had not yet arrived.



  1. Well, Shemp, congratulations on the triumphant return to blogdom.

    Your description was very thematic, but it leaves out one important piece of information...

    Stan has NEVER been this ineffective.

    And that's saying alot, because by definition he is normally ineffective. He's always been good at shooting stuff and being strong, but he's normally in a situation where such skills are basically useless (and, in fact, often harmful).

    So here he was, having his doom counted down to him, absolutely incapable of doing anything productive. He trips on his way to load his guns. He trips on his way to tackle the goons. He is swarmed and repeatedly incapable of breaking out (we cycled through several goons, but Helmut and Bucannan were doing the damage).

    For now, he has survived. The good news is he must have enough good luck piled up to carry him through to the vampire kingdom.

    The other good news, of course, is that last night reminded me why I've always liked role playing: You can never fully expect what's going to happen, and just finding out is half the fun. More often than not, things are the most memorable when they go wrong (which explains why I find Stan to be a very memorable character...)

    Thanks again, I had a great time!

  2. Yeah, Stan was SPECTACULARLY ineffective; that is what allowed there to be tension in the conflict though, so I do think that it was pretty fun. [Even his shooting and being strong was mostly ineffective!]

    I enjoyed a lot of things about this session. Keeping a firmer hand on the order of actions in combat and using a map seemed to help make things seem both more tense and more cinematic. I enjoyed seeing Helmut really dive into a melee. I enjoyed Stan's fatalistic "well, if I'm going to die anyway, I'm going to take them with me" attitude. I enjoyed Buchanan's disbelief, and the moment when he ALMOST gratutiously killed the only person it would be possible to gratuitiously kill, and caught himself. It was a good session.

    And, a very, very violent one. If the next session is this violent, I'm pretty sure none of you will have the chance to make it out alive - current remaining HP/SDC are as follows:

    Helmut von X auf Ulm: 47
    Sam Buchanan: 15
    Stanley McCormick: 22
    Dr. Aziz: 21

    Something to think about. I have also awarded the XP. It's pretty generous, but deserved, IMO.

    Helmut von X auf Ulm: 1425
    Sam Buchanan: 1475
    Stanley McCormick: 1825

    I'd be happy to break these down later, if there are any questions or arguments.