Chapter 33: The Time Machine
The game continued from Chapter 32: Cairo.
game session #197
played on September 15, 2016
After a bumpy landing, the group found themselves in ancient Greece, along a muddy shoreline. Hartdegen explained that he had invented a time machine and in his exploration, had traveled to the distant future where an ageless Elise LeBlanc was still alive in a post-apocalyptic world ruined by Imhotep and the Red Death. They had spent several years together and fallen in love, until Elise persuaded him that going back in time to prevent the calamity was too important. While Hartdegen and Elise stayed to guard the machine and talk, the rest of the group set off in search of a source of magic power to charge it. They fended off a hunter who wanted Marmaduke for a pelt, and found a shipwreck full of pigs. Following it to the source, they encountered the witch Circe, who turned Caleb into a wolf, Nannuraluk into a lion, and (from far away) Hartdegen into a sheep. Gao briefly fell under the witch's spell and tried to stay, but ultimately the group got away intact with Circe's magic wand. They reverted each other to human form and charged the machine enough to get to a burning city street somewhere later in time.
Marmaduke for fending off the hunter without attacking
game session #198
played on September 22, 2016
It took a few minutes for the group to recover from their coughing spells in the dense smoke. They found a chaotic scene of people being trampled and drowning in a river as the massive Library of Alexandria burned on a slope above them, filling the sky with smoke. Nannuraluk put out some of the fire with his weather control, while the others pulled bystanders to safety. Elise rescued an old man who revealed himself to be a member of the Defiance, an ancient qabal that, according to secret history, was about to cast a spell to seal the world from the Red Death. He said that his seers had foreseen that "nine were needed" but he didn't understand what they were. Inside the burning Library, the group found Hypatia's secret room destroyed by the blaze, but a single scrap of paper had recognizeable symbols for the nine major qabals, arranged in a circle around the Earth. They found a magic torch, possibly the one given to Cyril to start the blaze, and used it to power the time machine again. They found themselves in a snowy forest at night, with Melchitt hissing at something ahead of them in the darkness.
Elise for using a resurrection potion to save Menes
Gao for reviewing game canon about world history to make decisions
Nann for searching for clues amid the burning library debris
Nature Breaks Through
game session #199
played on October 27, 2016
A black cat looking much like Melchitt raced through the snow, being chased by three elderly women calling it a "cat sith." The group eventually determined them to be members of the Stone, an ancient qabal that protected the world from fae and other supernatural elements, but Melchitt and the other cat got away. They met a woman named Tytan who could appear in trees who said that she saw the cats go through a portal to a kingdom called Tir-na-nOg, where mortals couldn't visit without aging upon their return to Earth. The group also met Ohb-y-ran, the king of the faeries, who was pitted against Tytan in a challenge to see if the group could ask one question to tell which of them was a liar and which of them was honest. After a lot of pondering the question and answers, they won their reward, a magic coin that could power the Time Machine. Before using it, Elise and Gao, immune to aging, planned to enter the portal to find Melchitt.
Caleb for solving the truth/lie puzzle
Marmaduke for staying focused on finding Melchitt
There is Only Death
game session #200
played on November 17, 2016
In the woods, Marmaduke followed the sound of a weeping woman and discovered a shrieking banshee. Nannuraluk became concerned at the omen of imminent death and led the group away. With Elise's help, Caleb carved an image into a rock of himself looking "incredible." In the magical land of Tir-na-nOg, Elise and Gao dined with various talking animals at a feast. They learned that Melchitt was a faerie who liked to live among people in cat form, and he could occasionally change into a flying dragon form and a skeletal angel form, but he frequently lied and made up stories about his nature. Gao composed a rhyming ode to his friend and gained an enchanted sprig that would draw and keep the cat near. The group reunited in the woods and waited until the arrival of two Melchitts, one young and healthy and the other old and frail. Hartdegen said it was an impossible paradox: Two versions of history had played out, one in which they took Melchitt and one in which they didn't, leaving the abandoned Melchitt to get stuck in a cycle of waiting in the woods, finding Gao in 1899, traveling back in time, and waiting in the woods again. Hartdegen speculated that this elderly Melchitt may have spent tens of thousands of years waiting for Gao. Both cats couldn't be taken, and the group failed to coax the Melchitts into saying which of them wanted to go with them, so Gao used a spell phrase to free them both from bondage to her. The Melchitts excitedly showered her with gratitude and left, one returning to his home and the other ceasing to exist. With teary eyes, the group boarded the time machine and traveled to a Viking ship being tossed on the choppy sea in a storm. They found a zombified crew aboard, and a journal describing the taking of a relic from a Native American burial site. The group slew a few zombies in the captain's cabin, but nearly two hundred remained below decks, between them and the relic that they needed in order to leave. Nannuraluk blessed the ship while the others debated strategies for proceeding.
Caleb as bonus for 200th game session
Elise as bonus for 200th game session
Gao for freeing Melchitt from bondage
Gao as bonus for 200th game session
Marmaduke as bonus for 200th game session
Nann as bonus for 200th game session
The Final Voyage of Thorgerd Skulisbane
game session #201
played on January 5, 2017
The group debated how to get past the zombies to the artifact below decks, suggesting everything from trapping the zombies in a net, to luring them out of a hole into a spinning blade, to making oneself invulnerable and pushing past them. They started releasing a few zombies at a time, but after suffering numerous zombie bites and fighting aggressively just to kill less than a tenth of the total number, they gave up and sought another plan. Nannuraluk pointed out that he had a magical water skin that never ran out of water, so he blessed the contents and had Elise pour holy water onto the zombies. This burned and killed them like acid, but gradually formed a slurry of partially-melted body parts sloshing about as the ship lurched on the waves. By the time all three lower decks were clear, the awful mess was knee-deep and beyond revolting. Elise finally managed to will her way through it to retrieve the artifact. The group took time to clean themselves as much as they could in the rain on the deck before moving on to their next destination, medieval France, with a castle in the distance.
Elise for venturing into the ship's foul lower levels to retrieve the skull
Nann for the idea to bless the water skin's contents
A Lineage of People Who Are Deadly and Cruel
game session #202
played on January 12, 2017
Elise, Marmaduke, and Nannuraluk were spotted by a knight riding into the castle. When Marmaduke was spotted teleporting, they were all captured and taken to the dungeon. Gao snuck around the outside of the castle trying to find a way in, and eventually located them in the dungeon. Nannuraluk was summoned by guards who took him to the top floor suite of the nobleman Ganelon, who made clear that he was a changeling in service of the villainess inclavia, having already arranged Charlemagne's downfall for her. He tried to tempt Nannuraluk into working with him as a fellow changeling, but when Nannuraluk waffled and the group began breaking out of the dungeon in a fight with the guards, Ganelon attacked Nannuraluk by changing parts of his own body into weapons. He eventually fled as a bird and then as a puff of smoke. The group found an enchanted skull locked in his chambers, fled to the time machine, and escaped.
Sand and Water
game session #203
played on January 26, 2017
In the Middle East during the time of the Crusades, the group arrived in the back of a church where a previous, identical-looking incarnation of Caleb resided. Elise's lingering stench from the zombie Viking ship sabotaged her attempt to sneak around invisibly, so the group walked out into the open and was discovered. Caleb, confronted by his local doppelganger Auric, discovered that Auric had unearthed the stone from Celtic Ireland that Caleb had carved his "incredible" image into, and brought it to the Middle East to be worshipped. Outside, the group found the Muslim town preparing to burn down the church. Caleb grew to five stories in height and frightened away the townspeople, in turn terrifying Hartdegen that he was changing world history, making the worlds' religions to be about himself. Led by Elise, the group convinced Caleb to give up the plot, and they agreed to convince the town that it was all just an illusory magic act. Caleb's skill and Nannuraluk's charm did the trick. Hearing word of scary "knight terrors" nearby, crusaders who had unleashed an unspeakable evil and been corrupted, the group trekked across the desert to a dilapidated temple, where they were attacked by six empty suits of armor that resisted physical damage. Several of the group's members were injured, most of all Marmaduke, but they used exorcism and holy water to defeat the monsters, and brought back a helmet to power the time machine. Before leaving, they all took turns bathing to get the zombie stench off.
Elise for arguing stridently against Caleb's historical revisions
Marmaduke for trying to calm the crowd and de-escalate tension
The game continued in Chapter 34: Florence.