The game continued from Chapter 8: Washington.

Welcome to Salem

game session #41
played on July 5, 2010

On crossing the Salem city limits by train, Fayt and John noticed that the other four in their party had fallen comatose. Eventually they awakened with tales of a shared dream about witch trials in 1692. Walking to the House of the Seven Gables to investigate the burned padlock they had received, the group found its charred remains. A neighbor said that the police watched it burn, and taken away two residents to prosecute under a centuries-old law against witchcraft. Unable to step on the property, Fayt walked its border and battled the assassin Solomon Kane, who wanted revenge on the group for something. They defeated him and walked to the city jail, watched by wolves along the way. Theresa O'Neill and Phoebe Pyncheon said they faced being hung on this obscure law by the corrupt judge Jaffrey Pyncheon; the group promised to help them. Outside, Gao and Lawrence were met by the spirits who had possessed them upon entering the city, and were warned that Zemlak the Destroyer must be stopped at all costs.

in attendance:
Aaron Shurtleff as Gao
Justin Conner as John Sheppard
Kelly Hardie as Elise LeBlanc
Nathan Quam as Lawrence Tate
Raquel Hartzell as Alexandria Knight
Scott Conner as Fayt Leigngod

earned points:
Gao for defeating Solomon Kane

Déjà Vu

game session #42
played on July 12, 2010

To challenge their friends' imprisonment, the group woke up judge Jaffrey Pyncheon in the night. He offered to release the young women if the group brought elderly Hepzibah Pyncheon to him. He gave John a golden cross that she would recognize as a family heirloom, but he determined it to be a tracking device and threw it away. In the woods, the group fought off wolves and were met by what they believed to be Uncle Venner in wolf form, devoid of his human memories. After fighting off a will-o'-the-wisp that had seized Elise, they found Hepzibah sleeping in the campsite where the elderly Screams At The Sky had slept in 1692. Though alarmed at the presence of the demonic Fayt, she was glad to see them. After freeing Theresa and Phoebe from prison, they all traveled to the Manor, where they discussed how to stop Zemlak the Destroyer from carrying out his centuries-old plan.

in attendance:
Aaron Shurtleff as Gao
Justin Conner as John Sheppard
Kelly Hardie as Elise LeBlanc
Nathan Quam as Lawrence Tate
Raquel Hartzell as Alexandria Knight
Scott Conner as Fayt Leigngod

earned points:
Alexandria for scanning Uncle Venner's thoughts for clues
John for eliminating Jaffrey Pyncheon's tracking device

History Lessons

game session #43
played on July 19, 2010

While trying to enlist her help, Fayt discovered that his mother Ursula had left to find occult hunters called the Vatican Iscariot Organization, a group that Aidan once belonged to. At the Manor, John used holy water to determine that Theresa and Hepzibah were who they claimed, but Phoebe was caught performing a ritual that combined Zemlak's symbol with the candle pentagram from the woods. She claimed that she was merely trying to contact him, but they locked her in a jail cell to be safe. While Elise stayed behind to guard her, the rest of the group returned to Salem. They determined that the evil judge was not Zemlak in disguise, but he was after an investigator named Holgrave who had been staying at the House of the Seven Gables and who had learned a secret from his past. At the library, the group found Holgrave and learned that he was an investigator of mysterious origin who claimed that Zemlak's attempts to pull Salem into Ravenloft were damaging the fabric of reality and making past and present intermingle. Following up on their belief that Zemlak was in the woods, continuing his ritual from two centuries earlier, they indeed found him there, but one by one they perished as his powerful magic overwhelmed them. (more detail)

in attendance:
Justin Conner as John Sheppard
Nathan Quam as Lawrence Tate
Raquel Hartzell as Alexandria Knight
Scott Conner as Fayt Leigngod

earned points:
Alexandria for defeating Beatrice
Fayt for removing Vinny from the ritual

Full Circle

game session #44
played on July 26, 2010

Awakening in an unfamiliar house, the group learned that Holgrave had transported them to another dimension, "the place between places," before each one died. What they needed in order to defeat Zemlak for good was in this house, but only if they were smart enough to figure it out. Moving from room to room, they discovered many reminders of their past, and battled familiar foes. In a parlor from Charles Witherspoon's mansion, they battled a tougher Solomon Kane. In the dining room from the House of the Seven Gables, Tituba told them her master's secret word ("ouroboros") when they brought her a wooden spoon from the Manor's kitchen. After they defeated Salistra in the White House ballroom, Svengali helped them find eight ivory chess queens. They sneaked past Bastet in William Randolph Hearst's office, and in Charles Foster Kane's laboratory, they stopped a mad experiment and learned more about Holgrave from Thomas Carnacki's electric pentacle. Finally, in a Pittsburgh hotel room, they struggled to defeat Victor Frankenstein, and were challenged by Oliver Haddo to place the eight queens on a chessboard so that they couldn't capture each other. He explained the importance of neutralizing your opponent's advantage, explaining that a powerful mage would be weak if unable to cast spells. The group left through the final doorway.

in attendance:
Aaron Shurtleff as Gao
Justin Conner as John Sheppard
Nathan Quam as Lawrence Tate
Raquel Hartzell as Alexandria Knight
Scott Conner as Fayt Leigngod

earned points:
Fayt for finding Tituba's missing spoon
Lawrence for solving the chess puzzle

Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies

game session #45
played on August 2, 2010

The group pulled themselves from a brisk stream of black water, finding themselves in a rotting forest in the middle of the night with no recognizable stars. They escaped from wolves with the faces of bearded men, and approached a village on top of steep hill, after Elise saved Lawrence from a near-fatal rockslide. In the tavern, the bartender welcomed them to the village of Melos in the Kingdom of Zemlak after getting over their strange clothing. They learned that Zemlak ruled this place from a castle far away, and only the Vistani knew how to pass the forest, and only the sculptor Kenyon knew how to reach them. John questioned local scholar Heidegger and learned that each of Ravenloft's planes were ruled by a powerful demi-lord and passage between them was impossible. Alexandria spotted Jaffrey Pyncheon drinking with his manservant, but neither man recognized her; they both had memories of living here that seemed incomplete. Gao fled after misunderstanding a joke at her expense, and Fayt rescued her from the wolves. They returned to the Manor to sleep for the night. Lawrence traveled to Washington to confirm what happened to the village of Salem, but could only find proof that it definitely existed on Earth. Elise and Alexandria freed Phoebe Pyncheon, convinced of her renewed dedication to The Circle. (more detail)

in attendance:
Aaron Shurtleff as Gao
Justin Conner as John Sheppard
Kelly Hardie as Elise LeBlanc
Nathan Quam as Lawrence Tate
Raquel Hartzell as Alexandria Knight
Scott Conner as Fayt Leigngod

earned points:
Elise for rescuing everyone from the black water
Gao for role-playing

Flora and Fauna

game session #46
played on August 9, 2010

In the morning, Fayt suggested that the group lure Zemlak into a trap in the Manor's brig, where they would be waiting with a containment circle and a silence spell. They reconstructed the building to make this happen, but found John's love Theresa O'Neill missing; she had returned to Salem. When the group returned to Melos, they learned that Theresa was now Beatrice, part woman and part plant, resident of the poisonous woods outside of the village. They got Phoebe to concoct an antidote, and found Goodman Brown, a Salem resident whose mind was damaged by Zemlak's forest ritual. Meeting Kenyon, they fended off the attacks of his living statue and earned his trust by helping him finish his latest commission, a marble statue of Donatello, Zemlak's faun manservant. Elise and Kenyon bonded over their stoneworking. When the work was ready the next day, they summoned the Vistani caravan for passage through the woods, and had to trade John to their attractive leader Miriam in exchange. Stuck at a stone bridge that Elise had earlier dismantled, they were attacked by Beatrice in the woods while John remained in Miriam's wagon. (more detail)

in attendance:
Justin Conner as John Sheppard (last appearance)
Kelly Hardie as Elise LeBlanc
Nathan Quam as Lawrence Tate
Raquel Hartzell as Alexandria Knight
Scott Conner as Fayt Leigngod

earned points:
Fayt for devising a trap for Zemlak

Twisty Little Passages

game session #47
played on August 16, 2010

After Fayt became poisoned by a kiss from Beatrice, Melchitt transformed into an angelic figure and healed him, to his astonishment. The group overwhelmed Beatrice and locked her in a jail cell at the Manor, making sure that the other witches Hepzibah and Phoebe were ready. Riding to Zemlak's castle in the mountains, they went separate directions: Lawrence explored a hedge maze and talked the wizard Rappaccini into helping them lure Zemlak through a door in order to get his daughter back. Elise and Alexandria flattered Donatello the faun, but gave away their ruse and barely escaped being eaten by a tentacled monster and fled to the Manor. Fayt contronted a human colonel who protected the castle and killed him with Miriam's spell that turned him into an infant. When Fayt was captured and brought before Zemlak, he picked a fight that led into the Manor, where they battled Zemlak in the space they had prepared for him. The witches failed to seal him in a circle before he turned Hepzibah into a stone statue. With the combined attacks of Melchitt's lightning, Fayt's supernatural strength, and Elise crushing him with a boulder, they fought Zemlak to death. Rappaccini and Beatrice reverted to their human forms and the portal back to Zemlak's kingdom ceased to work, but Gao discovered that the faerie Exra who had stowed away in her backpack was still a faerie. (more detail)

in attendance:
Aaron Shurtleff as Gao
Kelly Hardie as Elise LeBlanc
Nathan Quam as Lawrence Tate
Raquel Hartzell as Alexandria Knight
Scott Conner as Fayt Leigngod (last appearance)

earned points:
Gao for defeating Zemlak (with help from the whole team)
Lawrence for solving the hedge maze


The game continued in Chapter 10: Oceanic.


Reports

In the guise of their characters, the players write reports summarizing the chapter from their own perspective.

by Elise LeBlanc

Fear the Will-O-Wisp Folktales, superstitious old tales spun from centuries-old explanations for perfectly rational things, which seem to the uneducated eye nothing but fears put to flesh... Go »