Barf Forth Apocalyptica

barf forth apocalyptica => Apocalypse World => Topic started by: Evan Torner on November 24, 2010, 04:23:26 PM

Title: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on November 24, 2010, 04:23:26 PM
So, Jim mentioned our game with my wife Kat, Meg and Vincent a couple months back (see below).

Re: Your Group's 'Feel' of AW

When we sat down to start our new game, I mostly had the standard wasteland kicking around my head, but sort of amorphous and unrefined.

When our MC said, "OK, here's what you need to know to start: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses..." it was sort of like a bomb went off in my head.

The idea of a skinny, inbred, albino Chopper leading a gang of redneck teenagers on mud-encrusted fat-ass 4-wheel ATVs wearing mining helmets with headlamps threw itself up in my mouth immediately after.

The water? With the pretty rainbows? Seriously, don't drink it.


I've been the player keeping the utterly informal play reports.

Vincent and/or Meg - shall I post them here as well as by e-mail?
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on November 27, 2010, 12:00:17 PM
We'll start with my impressions of our characters off the top of my head:

Barbecue (Hardholder): A former cook who now runs a 'Hold that stamps out currency and distills booze to make ends meet. His Crew is comprised of hard-bitten men and women from his workshop.

October (Skinner): The Madame of the Moulin Noir, a treehouse brothel made of old buses, in which a semblance of civilization can still be found. October just wants to carve out her own piece of sanity and serenity in this rough world, and she's willing to charge clients for the same comforts.

Hooch (Chopper): A simple, violent redneck who has a gang riding 4-wheeled ATVs to raid and scavenge.  He endorses a rough, survival-of-the-fittest sort of leadership that keeps him in power.

Burroughs (Brainer): The ghost "haunting" the Windmill 'Hold: a strange man with bandages completely covering his face who wears an Abraham Lincoln get-up and sometimes gets into people's brains. He claims his head exploded at one point.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Margolotte on November 28, 2010, 05:14:34 PM
Yes, Evan, please go ahead and post the AP here!
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on December 16, 2010, 10:05:12 AM
On Hooch and the Trailjacks (by Jim)

Hooch's gang ride on ATVs and 3- and 4-wheel vehicles. They congregate under an old picnic pavilion that's now called 'the Garage'. Each 'cuz has their own hammock stung in the rafters over their bike, with position closer to the center indicating rough hierarchy within the gang. You're responsible for your own bike at all times, including being able to right it and fix it if you get in a jam out on the Trail.

There's 14 riders in the gang (called the Trailjacks) right now, with half a dozen or so named so far:

NOTE: All the gang members are late teens/early 20s, none certainly older than 25, most look younger than they probably are due to poor nutrition and disease. Hooch is likely somewhere in the 18-21 range.

Jackabacka (who, from the actual play reports, is doomed).
Baby  is a similarly-to-Hooch ambiguously-sexed late teen who has the job description "Reminds Hooch of Home".  She's the sister of Spice, one of October's ladies.
Tinker is a clearly male kid, tall and rangy with huge hands, who is the idiot savant of working on the gangs' bikes. He speaks in a fast-talking, slang-laden local accent so thick he's barely understandable, and is generally always working on bikes whenever he's not actually out riding.
Stinky is an obvious boy of maybe 15 or 16, and is the least trusted member of the gang because he's the newest, having just 'Run the Course' a month or so ago.
T-Bone(?) is the best  in the group at finding stuff, she's a squat, thick, girl in her early 20s. She also works as Hooch's translator.
Bullet is another ambiguously-sexed kid, a little older, average height and skinny, called that because of 'his' funny-shaped head, probably early 20s, who is a native of the area.

The gang is outfitted in scrounged logging and mining gear, lots of flannel, demin, canvas coveralls, stuff like that. They all wear mining helmets with the lamps attached to see in the dark, instead of using headlights on their ATVs. They're armed mostly with hatchets, sledges, and other mining and logging equipment. Maybe one or two shotguns and a couple of poorly-maintained, scrounged hunting rifles. Hooch himself carries around a well-made carbon-steel hatchet that has been sharpened religiously over the years and has had its rubber grip replaced with a duct-tape facsimile.

We also established that someone had tried to Run the Course last time along with Stinky, but flipped their bike and was left to to die under it overnight.

(Run the Course: If you want to be a Trailjack, you need to bring your own ATV, which you then use to Run the Course, a nasty obstacle course the gang sets up with help from some of the 'Holders. If you can run it in under the time that Hooch sets, you're in. If you can't do it fast enough, you ain't. If you flip your bike or hurt yourself, you have to keep gong and no one's allowed to help you until you get yourself off the Course., no exceptions. The Hold treats these Runs as entertainment.

The Trailjacks seem to refer to Miss O's place as the 'Moolinor', and all of them call Barbecue 'Big B' and Burroughs 'Crazy B'.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on December 30, 2010, 07:17:14 PM
On the Moulin Noir



The first one is really just a cool photo of redecorated school buses while the second one more closely resembles what I imagine "the garden" at Moulin Noir looks like.
Rusted but painted and covered in flowering vines, etc. There are definitely swings and lanterns hanging from the axles!
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on December 30, 2010, 07:18:51 PM
On Burroughs

* He was living in the windmill before any of its present-day residents lived around there.  Presumably, he was the reason why those who left after the Cataclysm did not approach the grounds out of fear of them being "haunted."

* Ergo, his head exploded before the Cataclysm, but may have had something to do with the phenomena that caused it.

* He is known to show up arbitrarily and watch individuals speak when a conversation becomes overly deep or demanding.  Something about enjoying their brain activity.

* It is a generally accepted rule that if you hang a half-dozen dead mice from their tails on his loft ladder, Burroughs knows you want a favor from him.

* Barbecue has had him quietly assassinate at least one member of the community within the last year.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on December 30, 2010, 07:27:19 PM
Session 1 - There Once Was a Windmill

Hooch is checking over his bikes when confronted by Burroughs, who suggests he can pry some information about a cache/stash of goods hidden in the mines from one of Hooch's gang members, with the ulterior motive of learning more about his past. Hooch's greed gets the better of him and he agrees for his gang to do a brief séance with Burroughs.

October is visited by the customer Dremmer, who aggressively demands sexual favors in exchange for a ring he found. When October refuses, Dremmer attempts to force himself on her.  October calms him down with her motherly instincts and, upon discovering that the ring was actually of value, eventually sleeps with him.

Barbecue is overseeing the metal shop when a worker (I forget the name) gets his finger mangled in a machine.  This was on account of a ring the worker was given by someone who meant to sabotage the workshop.  After wrestling the screaming worker and severing the remaining bit of finger so the worker does not lose his whole hand, Barbecue goes to visit October for counsel on the matter.

When Barbecue arrives, October shows him in for tea, only to discover Burroughs having already invited himself in, suggesting a peculiar attachment to her.  He leaves, and they communicate.  Dusk (one of her girls) later informs her that there are some items missing from the jewelry box. A thief must be afoot!

Burroughs conducts the séance, though one of Hooch's gang members Jackabacka leaves the circle and runs.  Hooch intimidates him back in.  Burroughs discovers that the gang member Bullet grew up nearby and was one of the miners with Burroughs when he went down into the mine that fateful day his head exploded.  Burroughs suggests Hooch should take his gang down into the mine with him to uncover that stash, and Hooch reckons he'll need to have Burroughs followed in order to find out just what exactly he's up to.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on December 30, 2010, 07:28:19 PM
Session 2 - Idle Pigs

Thanks to the tinkery machinery being severely damaged by a misplaced ring last session, the holding has been idling perilously over the last several days.  Hooch and his gang have been sent on a mission to retrieve a doctor for the holding.  Burroughs has been hunting rats for his own private sustenance. In the meantime, Barbecue is watching greed and mediocrity devour his once diligent workers.  For example, Frankie the quartermaster ran up a notable debt at October's, and has been stealing from the very supplies she is to safeguard.

Barbecue confronts Frankie, strips her of her position, and yet still promises to settle up her debt with October (despite having no more Barter left).  His problems multiply when he enters the tinkery and discovers that not only is Waters unable to fix the machine, but Burroughs and the "slow" kid Jones are stirring up trouble in their efforts to help.  Burroughs attempts to "unlock" Waters' mind and, in doing so, gets a piece of machinery thrown at him by a now-hyper-enraged Waters.  Barbecue restrains his man, and a plan is hatched to go scavenging in the next windmill for some parts that at least might be retro-fitted to help fix the machine.  October suggests that while the machine is being fixed, a festival could be held in the holding to distract the people not directly involved with the tinkery.  Meanwhile, October discovers a power shift among her ladies: Spice seems to be now following orders from Dusk, with October cut out of the loop.  October violently confronts Spice  - who is busy getting stoned and wasting precious food - and throws her out, but not before discovering many unreported items of value in her quarters.  She resolves to go into town the minute Hooch gets back to look for some new girls.

Barbecue and Burroughs venture up to the second windmill, where they encounter some wild pigs that charge at them in surprise.  Burroughs turns the brim of his hat and a pain-wave projector incapacitates the pigs long enough for them to be killed, only to add a headache to Barbecue's already bad day.  They descend into the cellar of the tower to find several corpses of previous inhabitants - maintenance workers whose bodies were remarkably well-preserved by a myriad of spider webs - and the parts they need.  Covered in pig blood and cobwebs, they lug several heavy gears out of the windmill, and send for a trailer to get the tasty pig carcasses and potentially useful gears back to the holding.  One worker, Fleece, tries to taste the pig blood off of Barbecue and Burroughs' clothes, and finds touching the latter to cause a far-out brain trip.  Burroughs becomes intrigued by Fleece's unique brain signature.  The fresh pig meat gives a natural occasion to hold a pig roast festival anyway, so preparations are underway.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on December 30, 2010, 07:33:39 PM
Session 3 - Wounds

The swine-eating festival happened and the 'Hold didn't burn down, though Dremmer and Fleece got so drunk that they urinated in the main well.  Actually, it appears as though nobody's house is in order.  Jones brings Burroughs the ring that caused the whole damned problem with the tinkery.  He says he found it on a dead bird, which died by way of him eating it.  But Burroughs is too preoccupied with the giant pile of ratskins in his domicile.  He takes them to Sun the Tailor, who offers to fashion him a cloth "face" in exchange.  The faceless Burroughs agrees.  He asks Sun where Fleece is, but Sun doesn't know.  

Meanwhile, Hooch has found both a new girl (Jennette) at Valley Camp and a female doctor for the 'Hold.  His chopper gang is jumped by the Warrens and the doctor gets shot in the arm.  His gang member Jackabacka wasn't much help in the fight, presumably because he was protecting Jennette.  When the gang rolls back into the 'Hold, the doc's looking in pretty bad shape… and why is Spice is waiting for Hooch by the Garage?  Ignoring her, Hooch brings the doc into the Moulin Noir (leaving the gang outside… more on that later).  October and Hooch see the doc's arm wound and look for a sharp knife, only find Burroughs only too willing to provide one.  Using teamwork, Burroughs puts her under with his mind powers, Hooch extracts the bullet with a knife, and October tries to stitch up the arm.  The brothel owner is having some problems, though, so Hooch tries to lace up the wound "like a boot," which puts her in agony.  Burroughs intervenes by probing the doc's mind for the necessary information to stitch her up proper.

Barbecue approaches the Moulin Noir to find Hooch's gang out of control - T-Bone and Jackabacka are involved in what turns out to be a serious brawl.  Barbecue tries to intervene, only to get punched in the face.  Barbecue gets the rest of the chopper gang to beat the crap out of Jackabacka, and Hooch is mega-pissed when he gets out of the Moulin Noir.  He takes the traitor gang member out to the valley where Old One-Eye, the mutant boar, lives, makes some cuts in his skin and leaves him to be eaten in a horrific fashion.  He then returns to deal with Spice, who wants to join Hooch's gang (where else is she to go?)  He proposes she run "the Course" like everyone else… only in her own way.  Barbecue reprimands Dremmer for pissing in the well - "Stop peeing in the fucking well, asshole!" - and goes over to the Moulin Noir for tea.  Barbecue and Burroughs drink tea with October, when Burroughs reveals that he has the ring that started the whole mess - through a fluke in the conversation, he manages to keep it.

After Barbecue leaves, Burroughs tries to get a "reward" from October for saving the doctor, and in turn she offers him this reward only for spying on Dusk, her would-be usurper madame.  Burroughs goes off on this mission, and October turns to try out the "new girl" Jennette.  An hour in the sack proves she is a hot lover of women, not of men (i.e. the usual clientele).  Fleece nowhere to be found, Burroughs meditates on the ring… and discovers a trail of yellow brain activity leading from the ring toward his location.  He follows it.  Barbecue brings Hooch onboard to punish Dremmer for his earlier behavior; Hooch brings the chopper gang to the mess hall to put him in line.  Dremmer makes a run for it, bringing his shotgun with him.  An explosion at one of the three distilleries alerts Barbecue to something seriously awry.  Honeytree's supposed to be minding them - where the hell is Honeytree?  Barbecue runs into Burroughs, hot on the trail of the yellow aura and suspecting Fleece of no good.  Both of them witness the explosion of the second distillery.  Hooch's gang corners Dremmer, at which point he opens fire with his shotgun.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on December 30, 2010, 07:38:56 PM
Session 4 - Brain Sex

Barbecue has a headache – well, more like a concussion really. His second still has exploded in his face, and he's in the middle of figuring out who's responsible.  Burroughs knows who's responsible; it has to be Fleece. Ring emanating maelstrom energy in hand, he starts toward the other side of the 'hold.

Dremmer, the poor sap who peed in the well, fled to the woods with a shotgun and now opens fire on Hooch and his Trailjacks (Stinky, Pinky, Baby and Shithead).  The charging Hooch gets a shotgun blast to the gut, but not before he gets to throw
a "fucking" hatchet at Dremmer's head.  He ducks it, only to find Hooch's gang on top of him, beating him senseless.  The psychic energy of Hooch's pain attracts the nearby Burroughs to his location.  He freezes Hooch's brain's temporal sense, and then has brain sex with it.  This reveals Burroughs' face – an eyeless, jawless monstrosity. Also revealed: Hooch is a eunuch, deeply traumatized by his family's death at the hands of some raiders when he was 5, and still stewing about having killed Baby and Spice's mother.  What makes Hooch vulnerable is his innate desire for a parental figure.

Shithead runs off to get the doctor for Hooch, an exhausted medical "professional" who's still sleeping off her bullet wound at the Moulin Noir.  October escorts the doctor toward the downed Hooch, but gets a funny feeling about the trees.  The doctor makes it to Hooch in time and begins extracting shotgun pellets as October goes off to chat with Barbecue. Both Barbecue and October agree:  Fleece is probably behind it all.

The doctor needs some duct tape, and Barbecue and October arrive on the scene to provide assistance.  Barbecue sends out Shithead to fetch Baby and the others, who dragged Dremmer's beaten form off earlier. Burroughs releases Hooch from his temporal stasis knowing the gist of what Burroughs did to him.  Shithead comes back to report ambiguous things to Barbecue about Dremmer's condition, and is discovered to be full of shit.

Baby and the others return with little blood cuts on their cheeks; self-inflicted marks demonstrating their second murder. Barbecue can immediately tell that Baby knowing she can murder whomever she doesn't like is a bad trend.  He orders her back to his
cabin to be disciplined, and Baby asks him only not to tell Spice about going to his cabin.

Meanwhile Burroughs and October make a beeline to the Moulin Noir, where Fleece's psychic trail seems to lead.  Dusk reports to October about some other weirdness going on as of late, and both October and Burroughs discover Fleece to be up in a
different part of the Moulin Noir's tree.  October opens up her mind – like a flower – to the maelstrom and beckons Fleece down to talk to her, an order with which he complies.  Burroughs hides behind a bush.

Fleece comes down and utters some nonsense about the world being broken and nothing being worth anything anymore.  October opens her mind one more time to tell Burroughs to take Fleece down while he's distracted, but Fleece winds up hearing the message.  Burroughs complies with the message anyway, but is unable to penetrate Fleece's vortex-like mind.  Fleece flies at Burroughs in a rage, so he activates his pain-wave projector in his hat again.  The resulting psychic rainfall (both physical and in the void) washes away October's flower-like mind's ability to find her way back to her body.  Fleece is not discouraged by the wave of pain, so Burroughs reaches out his
arm and extends a butterfly knife into Fleece's throat.  While Barbecue, Hooch, Baby and Honeytree are all getting intoxicated on some "real drink" in Barbecue's cabin, October reaches out for his mind (as the only one who gives her shelter). Unfortunately, Barbecue's more grounded than ever and cannot seem to properly open
his mind for the incoming October...
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Margolotte on December 30, 2010, 08:48:39 PM
Now I *really* want to play again!!!
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Suna on January 11, 2011, 08:29:11 AM
whoa, quite inspiring for the idea I'm having for my next AW game. Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on January 13, 2011, 11:53:35 AM
Glad you like it, Suna!

Also, here's Jim's link to the myriad of pictures he's assembled illustrating Hooch's gang:
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on January 15, 2011, 01:41:22 PM
Session 5 - "Bats and Baths"

Life, so it seems, gets both trippier and trickier when everyone's minds hit the Maelstrom (also when everyone blows their rolls).

Barbecue is getting properly drunk with Baby, Frog and the wounded Hooch in his house when a tiny voice seems to be chirping at the edge of his alcohol-addled consciousness.  It's October's (who's trapped in a Burroughs-generated mindstorm, remember?) and apparently she needs help.  Barbecue wants to know the best way in (read a situation: partial success) to get her, and his eyes fall on a forgotten Altoids-size box in his home. The box is filled with what appear to be dried-up eyeballs or mushrooms -- sorta a cross between the two. Hooch gets excited about the eyeball 'shrooms. "Oh yeah," he says. "We find 'em sometimes out on the trail and the woods. You take 'em and the trees start to look all funny. You'll see Jesus." And then Hooch grabs one and takes it (opening his brain: failure), losing himself in a picture-book world of his own imagination.

Burroughs still has his knife in Fleece's throat, and the man looks to be having his death gurgles. The Maelstrom in Fleece's brain is deliberating what to do, and Burroughs helps it along by shoving the accursed ring into Fleece's mouth (go aggro on the Maelstrom: full success) -- return to sender, if you will. The Maelstrom, which to Burroughs appears like a yellow miasma, does not like this one bit; no, not at all.  "Why are you doing this to me?" it asks Burroughs, and the Brainer becomes incensed about the Maelstrom's forwardness. "We had a deal!" Burroughs yells, and the Maelstrom attempts to engulf him in a yellow cloud. Burroughs tries to place his finger on the Maelstrom's intentions (read a person: fail) but can only manage to stave off the attack by restarting the conversation.  "Okay," he says as he begins to sever Fleece's head. "This deal is severed!" Clearly, the Maelstrom wants to revise the terms of this "deal," and Burroughs reluctantly gives it his best friend Jones for a 1 week trial basis, hoping that Jones is powerful enough to defeat the Maelstrom's encroachment.  He then turns his knife on Fleece's cranium and messily extracts the brain inside.

Being pelted by psychic acid rain, October in her trance state sees a wind with claws and teeth attack the windmill that – in her mind – is Burroughs, and then it turns on her (read a situation: fail).  Hooch enters his picture book psychic realm and sees Burroughs strangling a cat and October being assaulted by a rose bush.  He draws himself a cartoon axe and tries to hack up the rose bush (Hx to help October's roll: fail).  Since it's not working, he (read a situation: fail) decides to haul out an even bigger axe.  It's up to October to get her own butt out of this assault by the Maelstrom, so she attacks the rosebush herself (go aggro: partial success) and it gives her what she thinks she wants -- a ring with a hacksaw inside of it. This turns out to be a real object!

So Barbecue takes his mushroom too (opens his brain: fail?) and suddenly the walls melt around him. He can see everyone and goes marching off in the direction where he thinks is where October is located.  His mind lies, and his feet take him elsewhere. Barbecue tries to assess what's going on (read a situation: partial) and finds out the enemy he's most vulnerable to is himself.  When he forces himself awake from the 'shroom trip (do something under fire: partial success), he finds himself looking down a cliff at Ol' Left-Eye, the giant steel-tusked boar.  He looks it in the eye (read a person: success) and knows that it would be a tough beast to get rid of: cutting off its water supply would probably be the only way to defeat it.  It begins to advance on him, and he realizes he's a good kilometer away from his holding … next to the haunted windmill (read a situation: partial) which turns out to be the best escape route from the boar as well.  He bolts inside and clatters up the ladder, ol' Left-Eye on his tail.  The unpleasant reality at the top of the ladder turns out to be a horde of bats, which descend upon him and begin to bite with their needly mouths (do something under fire: partial) as he throws himself up there.

Meanwhile, October figures out (read a situation: partial) that only with Dusk's help will she get out of this in one piece, as her real body is having some kind of seizure outside while Burroughs conducts his sick brain surgery just a few meters away.  Dusk brings her out of her stupor in the nick of time, pulls her inside and draws a bath for her.

Hooch's crazy fantasy now reveals Burroughs, whose distorted real face he can see, holding a bowl of jello.  He approaches the Brainer and propositions him: "Can we do that thing that we did earlier?"  Burroughs can't see why not, so they have brain sex (unnatural lust transfixion: success) again.  Since he knows the Maelstrom will be putting a piece of itself inside of Jones, Burroughs puts a "piece" of himself inside Hooch just to be safe.  They have cartoonish sex, and Burroughs discovers Hooch suffers from a regular amount of bodily pain (i.e. low-level mercury poisoning) that he just considers to be part of daily existence.  After they finish, Hooch's "avatar" is now wearing a top hat...

Barbecue lights one of his flares to scatter the bats (go aggro: success), which illuminates the windmill to reveal a rich Bayeux-esque illustration encircling the entire inside of the windmill interior.  He sucks up his courage and descends to face the boar; he shoots it in the face until it leaves (go aggro: success).  He then makes his way, covered in bat guano and bites, back to the 'hold.

Hooch wakes up in Barbecue's home and snoops around in his stuff.  He discovers (read a person: partial) that Barbecue most treasures his cookware, subliminally meaning that he'd really rather have a space to domestically administrate separate from other ugly concerns (i.e., killing members of his own 'hold), so he wishes Hooch to continue to take care of the messy stuff.

After October has a bath, she emerges to find Burroughs in the front entry room, who notifies her of Fleece's demise in her garden -- the body ought to be buried, but not by him!  He communicates a similar message to the returning Barbecue.  They both notice him spiriting away a brain in one of October's flower pots.  Barbecue gets to October's in his sorry state and she gives him a bath, though nothing transpires between the two (one gets the sense that she's not that into men in a romantic sense…?)

Hooch goes back to the Garage to find most of his gang there, and he tells Spice to "get started" with servicing his gang.  He's off to find Barbecue, and if she's still "going" when he gets back, she's officially a member of the Trailjacks.  He leaves; the gang members take down their pants and open up a keg.  On the way to find Barbecue, he runs into Dusk, who tells him he's needed over at the Moulin Noir.  "You good with a shovel?" she asks, and he takes offense that he would need to bury a body for Barbecue.  She mentions having tea, which sets Hooch off against her snobbery -- they have a miscommunication that turns into a heated exchange of words.  They both storm back to the Moulin Noir.

October tells Hooch upon arrival that there's a body to be buried, and Barbecue brushes the whole thing aside: "Let Spots and Jackbird bury the body. I need to talk to you, Hooch."  They share mushrooms, and then talk about taking an expedition to the haunted windmill to look at the illustrations inside.  Then Hooch off-handedly calls Dusk a "whore," and October goes off on Hooch about his disrespect of the services they provide besides sex at the Moulin Noir, namely:  it's just not about sex, a topic with which Hooch obviously has a preoccupation.  They agree that Dusk ought to leave Hooch alone, but a moment of tension is established between both their leadership styles and claims on pleasurable activity.

The final scene is between Burroughs and Jones, who is playing with an articulated rat skeleton.  Burroughs warns against the voices that Jones may begin to hear, and the boy seems ambivalent.  Burroughs turns to leave and tells him: "You have my support."  Jones shrugs, and goes back to his rat skeleton.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on February 04, 2011, 05:36:33 PM
Apocalypse World -- Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses -- Session 6


Several weeks have passed.  It looks as though Barbecue is a surprisingly adept hardholder because (hardhold roll: full success) he's even producing some Barter these days.  That's good, since he owes the hardholder Enough-to-Eat, head of the Warrens, a suitably fattened person from our holding as a tithe (appeasement: success).  His barter manages to stave off the Warrens leader's atavistic hunger.  But at least two of its denizens are up at Barbecue's holding anyway: Princey the Fop and Grom the (Coughing) Hunter, who came up to trade for some weed.  See, it's been a wet couple of weeks and the rust has taken its toll on Hooch's bikes, and the two guys from the Warrens happen to have a case of WD-40 they wouldn't mind parting with.  Thanks to the Trailjacks' recent scavenging (even trade: success), Hooch even has a crate of sweaty dynamite from the mines to trade for the grease.

Meanwhile, Sun has completed Burroughs' face.  Boy is it creepy - cloth stretched in a skin-like fashion over lumpy bandages!  But is it high quality ? (quality roll: partial) Maybe.  He shows it to Hooch, who tweaks the "cheekbones" on it and gives it back (Hx roll: partial -> full success).  October's been having revealing dreams after her psychic trauma several weeks ago.  She finds herself often dreaming of being down in a dark mine with a lamp – her source of enlightenment and knowledge – and Dusk by her side (dreams: partial success).  Burroughs also happens to be watching over her brain at night (Hx roll: partial -> full success) so he gets her same nightmares… prompting him to become preoccupied about the mine where his exploded.  October discovers through these dreams that Dusk is, in fact, the biggest threat to the Moulin Noir.

Barbecue wants the dirty on Princey (who's looking around at the digs up here) and Grom (the one with the bad cough).  He offers them food and drink, for which Grom offers some future hunted rabbits in exchange.  Barbecue reads them (read a person: full success) and finds out that A) Grom doesn't like Princey, and B) Princey's intention is to look around up here, since life in the Warrens is "dank, smelly."  He looks at the diseased Grom (read a situation: partial) and asks himself "Is [Grom] fucking contagious?"  Sure he is, and the other guy wants to move into his holding. Great.  So he offers them a lot to drink in the hope that they pass out and don't cause trouble.  Burroughs appears at Barbecue's from the recesses of the closet (how did he get in there?) and offers the company some chips, "brain chips" or dried pieces of Fleece's brain!  When Barbecue tries one, (open his brain: fail) it looks like he could be in for a bad trip (Burroughs' Hx roll: fail -> partial) but Burroughs calms down his mind.  Barbecue sees them all out, then offers them to stay and drink the night away, then throws them out: "Go! I don't give a shit!"  Eventually, he gets them a small escort to get them halfway down the hill with that dangerous case of sweaty dynamite in tow.

Jones is spying on Hooch, which surprisingly doesn't annoy the Trailjacks leader one bit.  "Hey, kid!" Hooch even says. "Let me teach you to ride." He wants to go take this unattached youngster down the trail.  "I - I don't want to be a Trailjack." Jones stammers in protest, but Hooch won't hear any of it (Seduce/manipulate: success).  He teaches him at least how to hold on as they go riding up to the haunted windmill.  When they get up there, Jones gets off and looks around.  He taps a tune on the windmill's wall.  "They know we're here." he says of the haunted windmill's "inhabitants."

Burroughs is still haunted by these dreams of the mine where he lost his head, so he takes his brain chips and heads out to find Bullet, who's hanging out with his lady friend Jackbird (Bullet being the member of Hooch's gang who was there in the mine when Burroughs lost his head years ago, and the only one with knowledge of said mine).

October preempts Dusk's inevitable betrayal by having a heart-to-heart with her.  Frog has moved out of the Moulin Noir; now it's just the three of them.  October thanks her for her help in the garden several weeks ago.  She acknowledges that Dusk has had a "great deal of responsibility" over the last few weeks and has become something "beyond merely her servant." October convinces her of letting her take her mind off it all and (seduce/manipulate: partial) has sex with her as a means of extra coercion.  Dusk needs assurance that October won't sell her down the river.  October symbolically assures her via giving Dusk the ring she got in the Maelstrom after removing the sawblade from its center.

Hooch is now looking up at the immense mural going up the interior of the haunted windmill, which he interprets to be the "story of everything."  It's a timeline going from the apocalypse to the present, with some characters such as Burroughs whom he recognizes. He looks at Jones (read person: success) and interprets that he's feeling something like prosthetic nostalgia for a history he never had.  Hooch lets him tell the story, in which many names are mentioned… "and Snow died."  They come to the end of the mural to see that it's been left unfinished, but that the last event recorded was Ol' Left Eye eating Jackabacka.  That wasn't too long ago - creepy!  What would Jones wish Hooch would do?  Fix things, such as the lights on the top of the windmills.  Hooch invites Jones to stay overnight in the creepy windmill, which Jones soundly refuses to do - he'd be intruding.  What could Hooch do to get him to stay there? Restrain him.  Finding Barbecue come up again and again on the mural, Hooch tries to figure out where he fits into the big picture here (opens brain: fail) but instead has the really strong feeling of being in SOMEONE ELSE'S space.  The gang hits the road back to the hold shortly thereafter.

Burroughs encounters Bullet and Jackbird in a fairly cozy domestic situation:  she is knitting, and he is making up cards for a surprise party.  Burroughs offers them some brain chips and then says: "What happened in the mine back then?" (read a person: partial).  Bullet describes how Burroughs was giving orders to the miners at the time, and then they hit something which blew up.  He came to hours later, when Burroughs had already lost his face.  Burroughs tries to persuade him to take him down to the mine (seduce/manipulate: fail) but Bullet won't go.  "Fine," says Burroughs.  "Make me a map and I'll go myself."

Hooch returns to the Garage among his Trailjacks and asks "Which one of you guys has those handcuffs?" (fucking thieves: success).  One of them ponies up a pair of handcuffs for Hooch's inventory.

October summons Burroughs to her (lost: success) for a little tea.  She wants to go to the Mine as well, it's been talking to her.  She compliments him on his freaky "new face" tries to get Burroughs to go without Hooch involved (seduce: fail), but Burroughs believes the manpower is needed.

A few days later, the sun comes out.  It's a beautiful day - even the wind is coming from the right direction, without all those noxious fumes.

Barbecue is sitting on his front steps drinking some inca.  Jones has a present for him:  three pieces of colored chalk.  Barbecue tries to draw a fox with them, ending up with two triangles on top of a larger triangle.  Jones implies there's a triangle forming between Burroughs, Hooch and October.  "Point to any two and you've got a triangle." replies Barbecue and he shows how to draw an isosceles triangle vs. an obtuse triangle.  Barbecue, Hooch and Burroughs go into a triangle too!

Hooch gives Burroughs a gift too: a pair of green glass eye slits, which make him look even weirder.  Burroughs asks if Hooch is ready to provide the manpower for them to explore the Mine for a few hours.  Hooch goes off to get Bullet to take them there.  Jackbird meanwhile goes up to Barbecue and tells him she's pregnant!  This is why, when Hooch finds him, Bullet says he's no longer in Hooch's gang.  Well, Hooch doesn't like what he hears (pack alpha: fail) and so he grabs him by the ear and takes him to Burroughs (Hx with Hooch: fail -> partial) to get ready to go. Bullet will go with him, but he'll be fighting back and will need to be made an example of. Hooch (goes aggro: success) grabs Bullet's arm and handcuffs him to his own bike - even as Burroughs is waving around the map Bullet gave him, making his participation in the journey somewhat unnecessary.  Hooch meanwhile hands Burroughs the key to Bullet's handcuffs, making him stay with us until Burroughs approves of his departure.

October sees what's happening from afar and calls off her deal of going down into the Mine with Burroughs.  She runs over to Barbecue, just as Jackbird is talking to him about possibilities for setting up a garden at their homestead.  "Now that they're in cahoots, they're running amok." October claims about Hooch and Burroughs, as they gear up to go to the Mine.  Barbecue confronts Hooch about Bullet: "If you can, try and bring him back alive."

Hooch sees Jones at Barbecue's side and asks him to come with (manipulate: fail).  Jones refuses: "We're baking cookies instead."  So Hooch tears off with Burroughs riding behind him, along with the whole gang and the reluctant Bullet.

October and Barbecue bring Jones back to the Moulin Noir and bake cookies.  They find out (read a person: fail) that he's a closed-off, weird little kid.  But she discovers that music puts Jones at ease: music.  She's got a crank record player and about 5 records, so music begins to waft out of the treehouse.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on February 15, 2011, 10:36:32 AM
State of the Windmill Hold after Session 6

The Hold PCs
Barbecue - m, hardholder
Burroughs - ?, brainer
Hooch - ?, chopper
October - f, skinner

The Hold NPCs
Jones - m, 10 year old kid, weird
Dusk - f, works for/with October
Jennette - f, works for/with October
Frog - f, doc, from Valley camp
Frankie - f, quarter-master
Waters - m, tinker, dislikes brainers
Crille - m, 38, always-armored and paranoid ex-miner who does odd jobs, looks a little like Jones
Silver - m, lost a finger
Sun - m, tailor, has a family - who are they?
Massey - f, Sun's daughter, about 8
Honeytree - f, brewer
Winkle - ?,
Jackbird - f, preggers, interested in gardening
Bullet - m, T-jack, is going to be a dad, still in the trail-jacks
Tinker - ?, T-jack, translates for T-Bone
Baby - f, T-jack,
Spice - f, T-jack,
T-Bone - ?, T-jack, Trail-jacks crack mechanic,
Stinky - m,T-jack, yep he does
Pinky - f, T-jack,
Shithead - m, T-jack, old guy, pathological liar
Ribbons - m, T-jack, scarred face

Newly Detailed Hold NPCs

Shooter, m, 18 or 19, wiry and Ginger, he can hit a squirrel at 150 feet with the wrist rocket he likes to use.

Blues, f, 16, tomboyish African American. Kills with a harmonica, best eye for salvage in the gang.

Dice, ambiguous, roughly 20. Androgynous plain and quiet kid with a fierce stutter but good with an airbrush or spray can, decos the bikes.

Hammer, m, 17 or 18, big good-looking kid with a mean streak. Likes to drink. Has a shit bike that looks good so attracts interest in other holds.

Drew, f, 30, Sun's wife, former slave from the Warrens; introverted to match her daughter Massey's extroversion

Hope, f, 22 months old, the baby Drew has been keeping secret from Barbecue and the rest of the holding for some reason

Nash, m, 14, storytelling puberty-stricken boy whose recently become interested in medicine, thanks to now living in the same quarters as Frog

Marlene, f, 45, Nero's adopted mom, a loner, lives at the edge of the holding, does a lot of hunting and trapping.

Lark, f, 21, Jackbird's sister, into gardening.

Eliza, f, 40, African American, A former teacher or librarian, she has a gift for foreign languages and a collection of books, she likes tea.

Nightingale, f, Waters sister/daughter/apprentice (not sure which is most appropriate or interesting), likes to take things apart and make new things out of old stuff, helped October repair her record player.

NPCs Outside of the Hold:
Harrow - m, hardholder at the Valley Camp
Cookie - ?, Vallley C
Enough-to-eat - f, hardholder at the Warren
Newton - f, Warren
Grome - m, Warren, hunter
Princey - m, Warren, buys from October, Sun, and etc

Dead NPCs:
Nero - m, drowned trying to make Trail-jack
Dremmer - m, stole a ring, got fed to Old Red-eye
Jackabacka - m, pissed off Hooch, got fed to Old Red-eye
Fleece - m, was an agent of chaos, got brained by the brainer

From Hooch:

With Jackabacka down Hooch is thinking about calling a Run to try and get a couple more riders. maybe when they get back from the mine....

From Burroughs:

Burroughs doesn't talk about the haunted windmill not because he doesn't know about it.  He doesn't talk about Them because, as far as he's concerned, They're the ex-lovers he's trying to put behind him.  Burroughs used to go over and have great crazy spirit-brain-sex with those whom he calls "the Historians" – he was practically one of them for a while – but then they had a falling out of sorts.  Over what?  Burroughs is still too flustered to say, but Jones has taken the hint from him that they're not to be trifled with.  Best left alone, if you ask Burroughs.

From October:





First some images of October and her ladies to give you a  visual on them (ed: top to bottom: Jeanette, Dusk, and two pictures of October). I wanted to include a photo of Tilda Swinton from "Constantine" but couldn't find a good enough image. If you've seen the movie Swinton's character is totally dapper, androgynous and otherworldly, which is how I picture October. One of the October images is the Endless from Sandman, one of October's inspirations is Desire (the one in the suit). The other image is actually a man, but he's suitably androgynous and I loved his outfit combining a bunch of different materials.

October's Record Collection:

Eurythmics "In the Garden" - (

Yo-Yo Ma "Japanese Melodies" - (

Moulin Rouge: Original Music and Songs by Pierre Porte - (

Kate Bush "Never For Ever" - (

And some more Moulin Noir inspiration from Meg: (
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on February 15, 2011, 10:37:20 AM
Apocalypse World -- Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses -- Session 7


Last time, we found ourselves at a somewhat divisive moment on this crisp November afternoon.  This session picked up right where we left off, with Barbecue (hardhold roll: partial success) finding anxiety abounding, which he attributes to the supply of liquor being low (only one of three stills is still functioning, remember?).  He spends 2-barter to begin fixing the damn liquor stills.

Burroughs, Hooch and the Trailjacks are rolling down the mountain trail toward the Pit Mine with Bullet in the lead, and he wants to know what's going on inside his head (read a person: success).  The results are fairly straightforward. What's Bullet really feeling?  He's feeling angry about being gang-pressed into this trip, but he understands.  He intends to go along with the group the absolute minimum distance required, and he will fulfill his side of this bargain only to permanently break ties with the Trailjacks.  Fairly self-explanatory.

Some kids – Massey, Trout and Katinka – are drawing on the side of the Moulin Noir, hoping to get some fresh-baked cookies later.  October talks to them (read a person: success) and discovers they're feeling uneasy, they want to hear a story from Nash, and then have cookies.  October offers them cookies, noticing Katinka's nasty-sounding cough.

Hooch and the gang are barreling down the trail, which is narrowing and becoming more treacherous.  Hooch exchanges some words with Burroughs (read a person: fail) when a dire situation suddenly presents itself.  The sweaty dynamite apparently went off, splattering Princey and/or Grom all over the place and taking out a large section of the path.  The hesitation in the gang is palpable.  Hooch yells "Gun it! Fucking jump it!" (Pack alpha: partial), and they do.  Except Pinky, who stalls, and Hooch runs her over (3 harm).  After all the bikes are over the ruined path (which can no longer be used), Pinky lies broken in the dust, shouting incoherently. Burroughs uses direct brain projection (goes aggro: success) to get her screaming brain to SHUT. UP.  Hooch open his brain (success) to see everyone in hyper-strange BMX armor, with Pinky envisioned as a bike and Burroughs "riding" it.  Hooch interprets this as a kind of psychic "cheating" in their relationship.  He yells: "Cut the shit!" and elbows Burroughs in the face (go aggro: success).  Burroughs wasn't expecting this (act under fire: fail) and he falls off the bike, but Hooch had been slowing down anyway (Hx with Burroughs: fail -> partial).  Burroughs doesn't take any damage, but his face (which Hooch worked on) has been knocked askew, so now he looks kinda like a bog person.  He gets back on the bike without a word and they drive on.

Barbecue is meanwhile still fixing the still.  Waters' sister Nightingale, who's quite good at making stuff, is helping out.  So's Honeytree, who's not that helpful, and Marlene the old woman.  Now Barbecue recalls how Marlene came to the windmill holding with the original crew, so he mildly pays attention when she begins asking how long he is going to put up with Hooch killing people… like Nero (her dead son), for example.  Barbecue talks her down with reason: (read a person: success… though you'll notice he doesn't really use it in the scene) "There are two things at work here - sometimes people run the course and fuck up, and sometimes Hooch kills them who need killing."  She informs Barbecue that the mean-spirited Hammer is trying to get Nash to join the Trailjacks, running the course and all.  "It is not my job," Barbecue says. "It is not my job to worry about someone possibly choosing to agree to something they want to agree to."  Marlene clearly wants to go after Hammer, and Barbecue clearly wants to just maintain order.

October goes over to Nash's place for storytime, while the kid Gabriel begins to draw gears and wheels in between Barbecue and Ol' One-Eye.  Nash is invited to the Moulin Noir. "How do you feel about tea?" October asks (read a person: partial) and discovers from his eager "Okay!" that he wants The Obvious -- some kind of sexual activity (remember: he's 14).  October has him over (seduce/manipulate: partial) and has him tell her a story about the picture the children grew, promising him quality time in her garden after tea.

Nash's Story: "Once upon a time, there was a great explosion and the minds of the people were scattered far and wide.  … Barbecue is now working to collect the pieces again.  Once all the pieces are gathered, a great weapon will be forged.  And with that, they'll have the means to kill Ol' One-Eye."

Hooch and Burroughs cross into the area where there's a metallic "tang" on the wind.  There's also some slimy oiliness on the ground.  With that, they reach the entrance to the Pit Mine, which now looks like a craggy, mossy mouth with a moustache.  A sweet smell, like rotting fruit, emanates from the orifice.  The mine's shack is inhabited and its resident watches them nervously with a shotgun.  One of Hooch's gang, Blues, finds under a hollow metal rock a giant gun cache (justifying Hooch's upgrade of his gang to "well-armed").  The Trailjacks are now frightening, with Hooch carrying a riot shotgun and Burroughs now given a Glock.  Burroughs releases Bullet from bondage, figuring his "go the absolute minimum" attitude wouldn't be of much help down in the mines.  Hooch orders that his bike be in the pavilion when he gets back to camp.  Hooch then scopes out the mine (read a situation: partial) and sees someone on the hill above is watching -- a sick looking person with a bandana -- and the oily patches on the ground actually corrode objects upon long-term touch.

Burroughs approaches the ominous cave opening and utters two words: "I'm back."
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Margolotte on February 18, 2011, 09:00:15 PM
Nothing like a couple of nice fat slow pitches over the plate to make for a happy GM. And I have to say, getting to see Nash tell his story was super-fun.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Jim Crocker on February 19, 2011, 02:34:12 AM
Nothing like a couple of nice fat slow pitches over the plate to make for a happy GM. And I have to say, getting to see Nash tell his story was super-fun.

What in the world is it that compels us to write dumb stuff like "He's a good-lookking kid with a mean streak" when describing gang members, and not "Like everyone else, he's easygoing and steadfastly loyal to me?"

It's a sickness.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Margolotte on February 19, 2011, 08:56:49 AM
*cackles wickedly*
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on February 20, 2011, 12:39:49 PM
Can't wait to see what a bunch of heavily armed Trailjacks are going to do down in the creepy mines...
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on February 25, 2011, 03:34:06 PM

Here's some more (terrifying) mountaintop renewal goodness to contemplate.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Jim Crocker on February 25, 2011, 04:30:15 PM
Can't wait to see what a bunch of heavily armed Trailjacks are going to do down in the creepy mines...

Negotiate, of course.

Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on March 09, 2011, 11:05:24 PM
Apocalypse World -- Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses -- Session 8

"Hearing Things"

(Our love letters were written this session as simple questions on notecards posed to each of the characters.)

To October: "Where is your lost love, and why did you lose them?"
October's Answer: "My lost love is dead.  She died back in the city where I come from, and it was because I couldn't protect her." (She also looks like Kate Bush, justifying October's obsession with that one Kate Bush album)

To Burroughs: "Where did you get your hat?"
Burroughs' Answer: "The Historians in the Haunted Windmill gave it to me, but only after I consented to do some unspecified weird and kinky acts for them."

To Hooch: "When your family was killed, someone saved you.  What do you owe them?"
Hooch's Answer: "Ol' Left-Eye saved me.  That's why I owe him human flesh."

To Barbecue:  "What food do you long for that you know you will never have again?"
Barbecue's Answer: "Mushrooms! I never learned which ones were safe."

It's the same day as Session 7.  Barbecue has no further problems with the hold today (hardhold roll: success), but there's kind of metal squeaking noise resonating throughout the hold today, like an old sign incessantly rocking in the wind.

Marlene is helping October with the gardening around the Moulin Noir.  Given her stewing problems with Hammer regarding Nash, she asks October for a favor.  October will grant it if she fetches a few dried herbs for her from the woods.  The favor is: Marlene needs some poison.  She's just not that complicated, it turns out.

Barbecue is still working on the banged-up still.  Waters approaches him and suggests rather bluntly that the hold keep Burroughs from returning.  Barbecue (read a situation: success) calms him down by pumping him for information.  What's the real force at work here?  Eliza, with her teachings.  Her position?  Well, she's got all them books.  The best way in?  Attending Eliza's study groups on Friday nights.  Rolling his eyes internally, Barbecue says "I think I wanna come along to the next one."  Waters is pleased to have him on board, even if he hasn't yet agreed to Waters' witch hunt.

The Trailjacks, now with Hooch and Burroughs in the lead, are rolling into the mine with head-lamps ablazin'.  Burroughs examines the slimy walls (read a situation: success) and correctly evaluates that the walls have been altered since the last time he has been here.  Now it seems there are new pits and organic chunks of some icky substance everywhere.  Expecting some kind of revelation, Burroughs recedes into the disappointment of the world having moved on.  Hooch cannot figure out (read a person, read a situation: fail) where they need to go or what Burroughs wants from this trip.  Suddenly, metallic sounds begin to echo everywhere and Burroughs has Hooch stop his gang of loud motors to listen.  Hooch opens his brain (fail) to feel that Dead Man's Pit is certainly _someone else's wheelhouse_, and that they shouldn't be here.

Meanwhile, Jackbird talks with October about her concern for Bullet, and would like to stay with October's ladies if, say, Bullet doesn't make it back.  They then discuss the primitive means of midwifery at their disposal in the holding.  "Have you talked to Frog (the doctor)?" October asks her.  Jackbird shakes her head, but then mentions that "a couple more babies are on the way."  More gossip comes out: Honeytree apparently has a thing for Barbecue, but he doesn't seem to care.  October (read a person: partial) figures out that what Jackbird really wants is for October to be in her corner, to have her back.

Eventually some of the Trailjacks play around with their guns and unleash some gunfire in the enclosed mine, and Hooch joins in recklessly.  Burroughs opens his brain (partial) to find Hooch's bullets splashing off the walls rather than sparking.  Dead Man's Pit is alive.  Ribbons the Trailjack examines one of the pits and yells "Hey yo! There's something back there!"  The "something" turns out to be a giant pile of broken animal bits and assorted junk.  After scavenging for useful stuff (Burroughs gathers a sample of the slime on the walls, Hooch finds some metallic bits), Hooch (read a situation: parial) decides to leave the bikes there and use the steeper path down.  They leave Baby behind with an extra gun and proceed, creepy footsteps scuttling in front of them.

Barbecue is repairing the still (opens his brain: fail) and is suddenly besieged by a psychic attack.  As is characteristic, he wanders off as he is assaulted by noise of something chewing through metal.  He finds a female child with no eyes doing exactly that on the still.  Barbecue kicks her (go aggro: success) and she whimpers away.  But then he has a second thought (read a situation: partial) - he should be on the lookout for her parents.  Shit.  "Dammit, I need the Trailjacks!" he mutters and heads straight to the Moulin Noir to get October's help as well.  He tells October: "There's something weird gnawing at the manufactory.  There's a creepy kid chewing on the metal."  He gathers up a team of his men and a lot of guns, including his fearsome chainsaw.  October just brings some cookies, and asserts that they don't need the Trailjacks' presence - just the two of them will be sufficient.  When they get back to the shed, the kid is gone.  October doesn't know where (read a situation: fail) but she and Barbecue search the area (Hx: fail -> partial) and she suspects the fertile women are somehow in danger.  She opens her brain (success), and discovers the child is just part of the general psychic ecosystem surrounding the holding, rare and uncultivated.  The child is different from Jones or Burroughs, and is gnawing on the building because she's teething.

The Trailjacks and Burroughs reach a shaft leading down into darkness.  Hooch gets some telephone cable from Dice (fucking thieves: partial) and they use it to scale down the side.  Hooch goes first and lands on a giant centipede.  He gets jumpy (go aggro: full) and blasts it repeatedly with the shotgun, which barely phases it.  It does, however, stop moving and look at him with its disc mouth, feely tendrils and many eyes.  He stares it down (manipulate: partial) and tendrils snake out like cobwebs to brush along Hooch's face.  It wants iron, and Hooch will give it to it.  "Stinky!" Hooch yells.  "Get your bike and toss it down here!"  He promises Stinky Bullet's bike in replacement, which doesn't convince him, and then Spice's exclusive ministrations for a week (pack alpha: success), which does.  Burroughs comes down and faces the centipede (read a person: success).  The centipede is hungry, wants Burroughs to provide it company and could open its brain if given some metal.  Burroughs feeds it the sharp knife he used to brain Fleece a couple weeks ago, then joins brains with the centipede.  He finds that down where his head exploded is the origin point of the Maelstrom, but it doesn't matter; the Maelstrom is here, it's adapted, and it's never going back.  Suddenly Burroughs has his answer:  the mines now belong to the centipedes, and the Maelstrom is something he must fight on the surface.  As the centipede east Stinky's bike, Burroughs calls off the mission and the Trailjacks return to the surface.

Barbecue and October  are having tea at the Moulin Noir when Marlene comes back with the dried herbs October asked for.  October gives her the poison she wanted – "powder to sprinkle wherever there's a problem" and Marlene leaves satisfied.  October tries to figure out what's going on (read a person: fail), but it doesn't take a genius to figure out (Barbecue Hx: fail -> partial) what she intends: to kill Hammer.  She's just not that complicated.  Barbecue to Marlene: "Don't try to kill Hammer."  She gives him a hurt look and walks off.

For the next session, we already foresee several events.  October took an improvement in "Followers and Fortunes," which is bound to piss off Dusk.  Hooch has lost a couple of gang members recently and will likely want to do another run for recruits.  And Bullet might just return on his bike with Pinky's body sprawled across it...
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Eruditus on March 10, 2011, 08:11:03 AM
Good stuff guys. So this campaign has been going since November? How often do you play? Mind me asking what the characters look like now, mechanically? Or should that be a different thread?

Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Jim Crocker on March 10, 2011, 02:27:35 PM
Good stuff guys. So this campaign has been going since November? How often do you play? Mind me asking what the characters look like now, mechanically? Or should that be a different thread?

Meg can nuke this or move it if it's too much thread drift, but I'm certainly happy to share!

We TRY to play every 2 weeks or so, when life/holidays/spring conventions aren't getting in the way (cue PAX East, the GAMA Trade Show, and several academic conferences).  We've done 8 sessions thus far as you can see from the post, and I've missed one that I recall, but typically we have everyone there.

Hooch the Chopper has taken, um, 3 Improvements thus far (in order as I recall): Daredevil from the Driver playbook, +1 Hard (to +3), and added the Well-Armed perk to his gang. He seems to be gradually heading the direction of 'Warlord'. Meg has our playbooks, but I do know I took the -1 Weird build for the Chopper, so I am pretty much perpetually screwed whenever I Open My Brain. : )

The Trailjacks started as a Small 2-Harm 1-Armor gang, not Savage, with the Mobile advantage. They suffer from Disease when they're in want, and the bikes are all big, fat ATVs, rugged and powerful but slow.

Our games seem to run a bit shorter than most of the APs I've read, and we do a lot of scene-setting and chatting, so if our Advancement rate seems a bit slow, that's probably why. It's a very fun setting, and I feel quite privileged to have been invited to join in. We're just starting to get into the really strange shit, so it's killing us that we've got a month between sessions right now!

Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on March 10, 2011, 05:44:28 PM
it's killing us that we've got a month between sessions right now!

As players.  As characters, it's probably keeping us alive.

FYI, Burroughs is on his 6th advancement or something.  That's because his chief ability is Weird and he tends to use it a lot.  Then again, I myself am in no hurry to advance him much further.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on April 13, 2011, 04:50:16 PM
Apocalypse World -- Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses -- Session 9

"Fucking Up Your Shit"

This session began with some love letters clearly designed to arouse a response from the PCs, which was OK given that Barbecue (hardhold roll: success) didn't have to worry about everyday chaos happening to him.  In fact, Barbecue has received a long-term perspective (love letter: fail) to come after having his tea with October (Hx: fail -> partial).  He knows the hold has plenty of water, but A) Katinka's cough is not fine, B) soon Hammer won't be fine, C) Frog can't hack it as a doctor, and D) Frankie the corrupt quartermaster has vanished.  October's love letter is that her new Followers have plans for her jingle (love letter: partial).  Fortunately, her tea with Barbecue (Hx: partial -> success) provided perspective as well:  Eliza is channeling something powerful, and October needs to learn what that is.  Burroughs discovered down in the mine that he is not an abstract individual seeking to probe the depths of the community's brains, but a part of an organic brain ecosystem that he must protect (love letter: partial). It also turns out that someone will view him as a hero.  Finally on the way back from the mine, Hooch has been testing out his new guns (love letter: fail) and making a lot of noise.  Burroughs (Hx: fail -> partial) alerts him to the upcoming ambush in the swampy area ahead, where one of the attackers (Polly) jumps out from behind a tree just a fraction too soon.

So the Warrens are outright attacking the Trailjacks, apparently sent by Enough-to-Eat to kill the them and take their stuff.  Hooch (read a situation: success) ascertains that his biggest threat is a sniper named Always Flowers, their weak spot is a kid named Clearasil, and his best way into this battle is off the path.  Hooch screams at the top of his lungs "GET OFF THE TRAIL AND KILL THESE COCKSUCKERS!" and then does that.  Burroughs singles out the sniper Always Flowers and (read a person: success) pries into her brain.  He discovers she's really feeling kinda sick, she'd rather the Trailjacks were somewhere else or were dead, and they could get her to defect by offering her creature comforts – a hot bath, food, medicine.  Then the gunfire starts and Burroughs stays the fuck down (partial), so that only a ricocheted bullet hits him in the armor (0-harm).  Meanwhile, Hooch does a follow through maneuver (success) and rolls over Polly as his bike careens off the trail.  He has his riot shotgun on the handlebars of the bike, and blazes away at the boss-like guy named Peterbilt (seize by force: success), which spooks the shit out of everyone when his gore spatters everywhere.  The Trailjacks also lost a gang member, Dice, to the gunfire. The beleaguered Warrens fighting force quickly breaks after having lost their leader, and so the fighting ceases once the Trailjacks have the upper hand.  Burroughs opens his brain (success) and connects again with Always Flowers: "The invitation is open," he tells her.  Always Flowers is convinced that she should take it and follows the Trailjacks back to the Hold.

In the meantime, October's tea session is now with Frog outside the Moulin Noir at a a table made of license plates.  Suddenly, Bullet rides up with a dying Pinky strapped to the bike.  "Get the doc!" he yells.  The water on the tea just begins to boil, and at that moment Frog freezes up.  She takes one look at Pinky and says: "That's a lot of blood!"  October discerns (read a person: success) that Frog is overwhelmed, decidedly not a doctor and can only be calmed down by convincing her it's not her fault.  Barbecue comes storming in (read a situation: success) to the mess caused by Bullet's surprise arrival, saying: "Bullet, what the hell?" He discovers that his biggest threat is Pinky and he himself is in full control here.  October tries to whisper for Dusk (fail) but instead has a mild flashback in the maelstrom…  What was October's childhood like?  She spent it scavenging, with a general lack of nice things.  When she was 12, she beat a child to death with a rock over a can of peaches.  Needless to say, Dusk doesn't show up.  Barbecue pulls Bullet aside and gets the full story about what happened down at the mine.  He then grabs Pinky's body and heads over to T-Bone and Shithead at the Trailjacks' garage.  Jackbird is absolutely thrilled to reunite with Bullet, showering him with kisses.  Barbecue more or less deposits Pinky's body in front of the Trailjacks present and watches her choke to death on her own fluids.  One less mouth to feed.  October even dissuades Frog from intervening in the situation any further, sending her back to her quarters.  Finally, Marlene is looking around for Barbecue, when she runs into October, and they share information.  "Hooch is a problem." Marlene says, putting pressure on October. "What do we do?"  October responds coldly: "_We_ don't do anything.  You find people and convince them of your position."

Hooch has rounded up the remaining Warrens besides Always Flowers : Two Bit, Clearasil and West. "What the fuck was that all about?" Hooch asks.  "We were to kill you. Take your stuff." one of them says.  The order had come down from Enough-to-Eat, who apparently is having a rough time governing the population where they're from.  Disease and famine has run rampant.  The ultimatum Hooch gives to them is simple: either they go back to Barbecue's hold, or they kill most of them and leave one sole crippled survivor to send as a warning back to Enough-to-Eat.  This intimidation attempt (go aggro: success) proves successful:  they all decide to return to Barbecue's hardhold.  The Trailjacks give the deceased Dice a rough burial in the swamp, and then discover Baby has been hurt as well.  Burroughs uses this opportunity to grab hold of her side (healing touch: partial) and force the wound closed with his newfound Weirdness.  Hooch (Hx: partial -> success) is awed by the magic worked on her and invites everyone around to see the miracle.  In turn, Baby intimates the true nature of Hooch and Burroughs' relationship.  He picks up Clearasil and puts him on a bike and the Trailjacks roll out.  With Burroughs' healing touch, he switches playbooks from Brainer to Angel.

The Trailjacks finally arrive back at the hold.  Burroughs hands Barbecue a Glock, and he in turn invites everyone to have a drink with him.  During the celebratory drinking, West is interrogated about her abilities (Barbecue's read person: fail; Hx with October: fail -> partial) and it's revealed that foraging for food's about the extent of them.  "What's our problem with Enough to Eat anyway?" he asks to the room.  October responds: "She's fucking up your shit!"  True statement.  He offers her and the rest of the Warrens a deal about staying in the handhold.  Barbecue (read a situation: fail) begins to think the following:  his holding has no defenses against Enough to Eat were an attack to come, he doesn't want West to betray them, and she can only convince Hooch not to gun her down later (for murdering his Trailjack) if Barbecue orders it.  He does.  Jackbird finds herself hugging Burroughs – she is his hero for releasing Bullet back to her.  Always Flowers, Two Bit, Clearasil and West all begin circulating in the holding.  Burroughs sees Two Bit has taken a bullet in his leg, so he reaches into the wound (healing touch: success) in a disgusting fashion and closes it behind his fingers.  This second miracle has everyone excited, but worried about what the ex-Brainer's newfound powers mean for Frog, who's clearly no trauma doctor.  October and Burroughs go to see Frog, and agree that they shall play different roles – Frog as a regular doctor and Burroughs as an emergency trauma surgeon.  Everyone goes away satisfied.

Barbecue and Hooch are still sitting around the booze.  "Hooch," the former says to the latter. "We need better defenses."  "What the fuck does that have to do with me?" Hooch asks.  Barbecue: "Just saying."  He openly ponders who blew up the stills as well.  Hooch alerts Barbecue that he needs new blood in the Trailjacks, and that means running a new course.  He's even chosen Clearasil as his new recruit.  Clearasil's fine with that, except he left his mandolin down in the Warrens and he kind of wants to get it before joining the hold permanently.  Barbecue is left sitting around with Two Bit, getting shit-faced.

October takes West back to the Moulin Noir and shows her an excellent time:  a nice dinner, a bath.  No roll required for initiated sexual activity.  Burroughs takes Always Flowers up to his windmill, complete with its ratskin insulation and notable cloth piece of the mural from the haunted windmill.  They begin talking (read a person: partial) and really connect with each other.  Then Burroughs lets her take a look at the holding from the rooftop hatch and the great feeling of openness Always Flowers feels infects him as well.

We can finally say that the day that began on Session 6 has finally ended...
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on April 19, 2011, 02:22:41 PM
Apocalypse World -- Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses -- Session 10

"Six Months Later"

The title says it all.  That day dominating sessions 6-9 was set in October, so the next session happened after the winter in early April.  That meant we went through a brutal winter (aren't they all in AW?), though Barbecue (hardhold: success) had little trouble in keeping the hold together.  So what happened? Cue love letters… and action!

The nasty cough Katinka had turned out to be pneumonia, which then spread as winter gripped the hardhold. Fortunately, Burroughs stepped on up as the resident physician.  Hooch now calls him "Dr. B" rather than "Crazy B," and he's got two assistants – Frog and Always Flowers – along with a makeshift infirmary out on the northeast edge of the hold.  He (love letter: success) prevented an epidemic from devastating the hold, but that didn't mean people didn't die:  Winkle (a tinker and Lark's partner) and Spot ("a stand-up guy") both passed away under Burroughs' care.  Speaking of deaths, several other respectable hold members lost their lives too:  Hooch's mechanic T-Bone, October's new girl/lover Jeanette and Crille all bought the farm.  And Hammer's gone mysteriously missing.  October learns about Hammer's disappearance and, though nobody liked him anyway, (love letter: success) is not implicated in any of it.  Hooch has a run-in with Ol' Left/One/Red-Eye while he's offering the giant boar some of the bodies of the dead (love letter: partial), which Baby and Stinky are both complicit in.  Admittedly, other bodies he just threw over the side of the cliff, a kind of "sky burial" that everyone except Barbecue approved of (Hx Barbecue partial -> success).  Anyway, the boar told him that Enough-to-Eat's weaknesses were all from within, given her starving populace, etc.  Hooch also chanced a question about controlling the ghosts in the windmill, which was met with the response: "You'd have to die."  He established that he had been visiting that windmill over the winter, and was beginning to take more than a passing interest.  Finally, Barbecue has reckoned the Warrens are going to be attacking soon, so he'll need to beef up his defenses (love letter: fail).  He has few tinkers left after the winter – Waters and Nightingale – so with the help of the Trailjacks (Hx Hooch:  fail -> partial) he erects some sharpened sticks around the holding.  Jackbird is now eight months pregnant.

It's nighttime: Lark is out finishing up in the garden, and October goes to check on her when she notices a light off in the distant woods.  Opening her brain (success), she senses the light is actually a glowing single eye… of a metallic-green skinned cyclops wolf!  Actually, there are three of them, and they're hungry after that rough winter.  Barbecue is meanwhile enjoying Honeytree's new pine beer this lovely evening, with music in the air.  Trout, a 9 year-old orphan, is hanging around Barbecue in a needy sort of way.  Burroughs and Hooch are also present, enjoying the company, when October comes in and tells everyone about the wolves.  Without so much as a moment of thought, Hooch rounds up the gang to take care of them - Shooter's (fucking thieves: success) even got a cargo net to take at least one wolf captive. Barbecue follows, and is handed an assault rifle for his own protection.  Burroughs meanwhile goes to ready the infirmary for any casualties from this expedition, and finds that a metal pan and a knife handle are missing, and there are bitemarks in the metal doorframe.

The gang rolls out to where the wolves were last spotted.  Barbecue assesses (read a situation: partial) that they will be confronted with an equal and opposite coordinated pack attack.  When the gang goes thundering up the trail toward the haunted windmill, Shooter's in the middle with a net and Baby and Clearasil are armed and ready on either side of a pincer attack on one wolf.  Shooter nets the wolf (seize by force: success), suffers little harm and scares away the other two wolves.  Barbecue is super-paranoid (read a situation: partial) and thinks they should drive away right now with the wolf in tow.  The two wolves jump at that moment, with one dragging Shooter off his bike with a solid bike.  Gunfire drives away the two other wolves, but doesn't kill them.  Hooch looks at the wolf in the net (read a person: success) to read its motives, which are transparent: it wants to eat them, and the only thing that might call it down is if someone sings to it.  So Hooch has Clearasil get out his mandolin and they plink out an awkward duet of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" before Barbecue's shooting at the wolves in the darkness and desire to get home pushes them back.  They wind up tying the captive wolf to the flagpole in the center of the handhold, and Hooch calls it "Blinky."  Burroughs comes out of the infirmary: "I heard shooting. Is anyone alright?"  He's given Shooter, who has a bitten arm that has paralytic mold growing on the outside of the wound.  Burroughs diagnoses (read a situation: partial) the arm mold as hostile and goes to the infirmary to remove the mold as quickly as possible.  October follows them, because obviously Shooter is freaked out by Burroughs' efforts, not the least because he has a big machete that he uses to chop off offending limbs.  Fortunately, he (healing touch: success) grabs the arm and forcefully burns off the mold with his brain, with October patting Shooter on the back.

Barbecue's still on high alert (read a situation: success) and puts out a regular patrol consisting of Marlene, Always Flowers (who now has a rifle) and various Trailjacks.  He's scared because he know A) neither he nor Hooch really have control over their security situation, B) they are surrounded by hungry enemies and C) somebody could tunnel in and take out the whole hardhold.  Ouch.  After cleaning up, Burroughs saunters over to the wolf in the center of the hold and (opens his brain: success) finds out what its deal is.  Its physiognomy is most strange - it isn't mammal (a cross between a reptile and a plant maybe? a reptoplant?), has a venomous bite, and is some kind of creature directly generated by the maelstrom.  Hooch is talking about keeping it around as a pet, but Burroughs advises against it: "This thing wants flesh. Yours."  So everyone agrees it should be released in the Warrens to wreak some havoc.  Both Barbecue and October are running kind of low on personnel anyway, and so a trip down there to rustle up some more hold members might be in order.

October meanwhile sees the eyeless girl who chews on metal near the Moulin Noir.  He hands the recovering Shooter over to the care of Dusk, who notes in passing that Frog has been coming by October a lot for company, etc.  October gathers some metal scraps left over from her homemade lanterns and uses them to bait the eyeless child behind a nearby building.  As the child gnaws them, she (opens her brain: fail) remains perplexed by this creature in front of her.  The child's brain repels her - like a brain frequency experience akin to biting into a fork.  She asks the kid a few pointed questions (read a person: success) to discover that she is cooped up in the day by her parents, who don't want the hold to know the child exists.  It's pretty clear this is Sun and Drew's hidden child.

Burroughs meanwhile brings Barbecue a request for a few items that the child gnawed on from the infirmary.  He passes the list to Waters, who throws a fit about helping Burroughs, his sworn enemy.  Barbecue (manipulate: partial) manages to calm him down and has him add them to the list of things needed by the holding.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: lumpley on April 19, 2011, 02:25:27 PM
"I heard shooting. Is anyone all right?" is how I think of Burroughs from now on.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on May 11, 2011, 10:39:46 AM
Apocalypse World -- Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses -- Session 11

"Good Eats"

October's now got Followers, which means they're going to get her into some trouble (followers: partial) this session as they expose her to disease and violence (more about this later).  Barbecue (hardhold: success) at least kept off the external threats posed by the Warrens, and the hold's more or less fine: the factory's chugging along, the stills are up and operational.

So one day later, it's a nice day, which never bodes well for the holding.  October's been having weird dreams lately, like with wind chimes tinkling out some sort of hazy message for her.  In the garden outside her room, Nash is spearing the fist-sized slugs known as "sliders" that will become today's lunch in the camp mess.  The garden proves a magnet for them, but that fact has actually let the cardholders exploit the pestilence as a (tasty) resource.  The slugs are served up fried with mint and sorrel jelly.

One of October's followers, Sun the tailor, makes an off-hand remark to Shithead and Shooter (Trailjacks both) who take it as him acting all high-n'-mighty and offer him a fist sandwich to top off his lunch.  Sun reacts by slashing Shooter in the head.  Shooter draws his gun and powers up his wrist-rocket when Burroughs (direct brain whisper projection: partial) forcibly takes his mind elsewhere: back to the mine, and a frightening imagined cave-in.  This stuns Shooter long enough for Burroughs to begin dragging him away to receive medical attention.  He draws a line with his finger across the wound (healing touch: success) and seals it into an ugly scar.  Meanwhile, Shithead has run off to tell Hooch about Sun attacking Shooter and Burroughs "attacking" him too.  Hooch storms into the mess hall, pointing at the wounded Shooter.  "Did you do that, cocksucker?" he yells at Sun.  His hatchet is suddenly in his hand.  October has shown up and is standing in front of Sun by now.  Hooch doesn't get why she's defending him.

Barbecue steps in to the room. "Hey!" he yells.  All falls silent, and they turn to look at him.  "Sun, come with me."  They go out to talk about Sun "putting on airs" (read a person: fail) and the tailor seems indifferent.  The hardholder convinces him (manipulate: partial) to at least make peace with Hooch.  Sure, Sun will do that, but Barbecue has to promise that Hooch won't touch Hope, his daughter.  "She's a little odd." the tailor notes.  Barbecue strokes his chin (opens his brain: fail) and gets a vision of a girl with metal teeth as his whole world turns sideways.  Then it's sideways in the haunted windmill, where he recognizes a few dead friends in the air.  Wait, (act under fire: partial to break it off) he's now in the haunted windmill - he must've wandered off again.  Oh, those creepy inscriptions in the wall, some of which are of Barbecue!  Meanwhile, Sun just watched him walk away without a word, and he called after him: "What about Hope?"  October invites him back to the Moulin Noir for tea.  During their conversation, she offers him some little metal bits as evidence of her knowledge of his secret.  She's obviously not perturbed by Hope (the metal-tooth girl) at all.

Hooch is hoping to score a new Trailjack by having Nash to come with him to the Warrens (manipulate: fail).  Nash doesn't budge.  "Suit yourself, kid."  He gets ready for his assault on the Warrens.  He wants to take the cyclops wolf with him, so he threatens the beast at gunpoint (go aggro: partial).  The wolf snaps at him and backs off calmly, but won't go with.  Hooch is at a loss (opens his brain: fail) when he notices Old One-Eye standing in front of him.  The boar informs him that he's not hungry, that things aren't that complicated, and that he can intimidate the wolf into going after the Warrens, but he'll never have the wilderness under his control.  He comes to in front of the wolf and gets ready to roll out.  Baby is put in charge as he leashes the wolf to his bike and gets on the trail.

Burroughs is indisposed as Jackbird's gynecologist, with the goal of probing her fetus' brain.  He joins hands with Jackbird on his operating table (open brain: success) to link her with her own baby.  Burroughs has subjected the baby to repeated, mild psychic assaults in a kind of baby psychic defense training.  He wants it ready against the Maelstrom.  Its secret name… is Gritch.

Barbecue's in the windmill, obviously (read a situation: success), but Old One-Eye won't be making a meal of him this time.  He's down near the Warrens, presumably eating some of the folks who have hit hard times over there.  He perceives that he's back in control of his life, and that means to walk away from the entire holding.  So he does.  His feet take him past the haunted windmill, up into the blighted zone.  There's less wildlife up there, and much of it is weird:  centipedal rat-squirrels and giant bats with little human faces, for example.  Grave mounds lend the place of morbid mystery, as does all the dead matter surrounding him.  Barbecue pursues life, in the form of the giant bats, further up the hill.

Burroughs has noticed something's wrong with Barbecue on a psychic level and goes looking for him over at October's (read a situation: success).  He figures out that Barbecue is stumbling toward death out past the windmill and he should continue to monitor his movements via augury.  Turns out October can do this (augury: success) and, by doing a seance with Burroughs and Eliza, reaches through the Maelstrom to touch him.  Barbecue tries to interfere (act under fire: partial) which forces him to stop in his path (interfere: partial) and get attacked by the bats he was following.  He screams "Fuck you!" as the bats (harm: partial) nip menacingly with their human teeth.  Oh, and he's now lost track of One-Eye; the boar might be stalking him this far into the Blight.

Hooch drives the wolf slowly down the trail until he reaches a slope overlooking the Warrens.  It smells terrible down there and bits of bad-smelling (i.e., like bubblegum and raw sewage) gray goo are everywhere.  He ignores it for the time being.  "Good eats." he tells the cyclops wolf as he points toward the Warrens, and then releases it to scurry down the slope.  He leans back (read a situation: success) and takes it all in:  that goo's probably harmful, he should probably take himself a bath to make sure it's not on him, and the wolves are who's in control over here.  The people in the Warrens aren't well and (opens his brain: success) the whole infested area – goo and all – is like a blister at the point of bursting.

Burroughs and October make plans for travel.  While October realizes she needs at least 1-2 new girls – probably from Valley Camp – Burroughs decides to go get Barbecue back.  He finds Jones and asks him (manipulate: fail) to come up with him.  "Not unless you give me your hat," Jones says.  "I want a pain wave projector."  Burroughs says that the hat itself was a gift from the haunted windmill, but that he'll (reluctantly) take him to the windmill to get him one of his own.  They set off, with Burroughs brooding about Jones' recent truculent and envious behavior.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on May 19, 2011, 11:20:47 PM
Apocalypse World -- Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses -- Session 12


The action begins where we left off.  Barbecue has just abandoned his hold, so anxiety and idleness will run rampant soon.  This manifests in Sun being upset after the morning's lunchtime-face-slashing drama, and in Jackbird not feeling great either.  She spills all while having tea with October. "I know we're not supposed to know about Hope," she says, referring to the strange eyeless metal-eater Sun has been hiding (and whose very presence in the hold caused Barbecue to walk off into crazytown in the first place).  Jackbird found out all about it from Drew, who is concerned about another pregnant woman having a go at new human life.  She is now convinced all is lost.  October (read a person: partial) discovers that her anxiety is about her baby.  Is it going to turn out "normal?"  Is Little Gritch going to be okay?  October notes the strangeness of the name, and then uses augury (partial) to answer her question.  She opens a window into the maelstrom to see a big-headed fetus staring straight at her.  It's playing with the psychic maelstrom in a garden, and doesn't look freaky.  October can now alleviate Jackbird's fears… except that big head might get in the way of a successful delivery later.

Meanwhile, Barbecue is fending off bats and contemplating the meaning of things (read a situation: success -- Vincent swaps playbooks to Touchstone).  He determines the haunted windmill contains more power than he'd earlier reckoned, that human institutions themselves are broken, and knows that he must keep the past in its place so as not to become distracted by it.  These cryptic conclusions are interrupted by an arrow shot by Marlene at a bat heading for his head.  The bat sticks to a tree.  "Barbecue," Marlene interjects. "What are you doing?"  He states his intentions to go to the haunted windmill.  When she pushes further, he says: "I don't know why. You're pissing me off. Go away."  She does.

Burroughs approaches the haunted windmill with Jones with a similar trepidation to his first time there.  Actually, his memories of the historians there are so traumatic, that when the historians' voices come in at once (act under fire: fail), he can't take it.  The cacophony of dead, psychic voices paralyzes him and he slumps to his knees.  Jones freaks out and touches Burroughs.  Burroughs' field of vision, totally awash with purple color, picks up Jones' blue silhouette, and he uses Jones' brain as a means to help shield him from the onslaught.  The moment passes.  Jones and Burroughs rise to their feet, and the latter gives the former his hat.  "We're square." he says.

Hooch returns from having unleashed the blink wolf on the Warrens, and goo is covering his bike, etc.  He heads straight to the Moulin Noir.  "I need a bath right now." he says as he walks in the door.  Dusk draws him a bath, and he asks Sun to cut his hair for him.  Sun comes in all anxious after being called in by the very guy who threatened him with an axe earlier that day.  October sees Hooch getting his hair cut and asks blithely "Do you want your nails done too?"  Hooch looks at the slime-caked things and assents.  So October's doing Hooch's nails.  October also gives Hooch a skin salve, seeing as he scrubbed his skin raw during the bath.  There is also a moment where everyone present notices he's a eunuch.  When they're finished, Hooch piles his clothes to burn them, and is given a pair of patched purple bellbottoms to wear around.  After he's all pantsed up, Hooch gets down to business: "I unleashed a blink wolf down in the Warrens.  There might be some refugees coming up this way.  I need to talk to Barbecue."  October hides the fact that Barbecue's run off, but nods when Hooch wants Burroughs to check any people who come in for that spreading mold like that found on Shooter's arm the other day.  When he exits the Moulin Noir, he points out the slime on his bike and realizes the whole thing is being devoured by the goo.  He winds up getting another Trailjack's bike and takes Clearasil up to find Barbecue.  Before he leaves, though, he has Baby, Blues, and Ribbons stake out the entrance for any refugees that might show up.  He also gives Spice the lotion October gave him.

October goes to the infirmary to find Always Flowers there.  When she tells the medic about Hooch unleashing the wolf on the Warrens and the upcoming refugee situation, she gets angry that Hooch would do such a thing.

Burroughs and Barbecue meet up (mutual read a person: Barbecue fails, Burroughs succeeds; Hx: Barbecue - fail).  They exchange a few words. Burroughs gets that Barbecue's having a crisis, and realizes that he's going to be switching hats soon.  Barbecue has a vision of the future (visionary: partial -- Barbecue holds 2 over Burrouhgs) that states Burroughs will keep having the hold has part of his future too.

Hooch heads up the trail on his new bike with Clearasil (read a situation: partial, but he knows Burroughs is up there - Hx: partial -> success) and he immediately catches on that the haunted windmill is somehow a threat to him.  But he figures out how to bypass it: by pretending he's someone else.  So he reverts back to his childhood before he met Old One-Eye and rolls up the hill past the windmill.  He sees Barbecue and Burroughs walking down the trail when SUDDENLY Old One-Eye walks in on them.  Barbecue (read a situation: partial) figures he might have to kill him this time.  So he moves insanely fast (indomitable: success) and puts his 9mm pistol up to the boar's one good eye.  Everyone is stunned.  Burroughs quickly erects a defensive shield (open his brain: success) that'll pain-wave anyone who crosses it.  Hooch rides up to the scene and screams like a little child: "Don't hurt him!"  He then reads Old One-Eye (partial, Hx: Burroughs, partial -> success) and the boar seems to want Hooch to move on, grow up, become a man.  Hooch has Barbecue remove the gun from the boar's eye.  "Git on out of here." he says.  He sends Clearasil back to the hold with Burroughs and Jones, as he wants to go on a ride alone with Barbecue up through the blighted area.  "It's awfully weird up there," Barbecue says.  "No weirder than my day." Hooch replies.

Burroughs arrives at the Moulin Noir with the statement: "I had a feeling I was needed here." Just then, Jackbird screams and her water breaks.  October is arranging things for her pending birth, and spots a note during the commotion.  The note is a love poem written to no one in particular by Nash.  Meanwhile, Dusk comes back with Lark and Frog and, well, the rest of the hold for the baby's delivery.  Burroughs communicates with the baby and discovers it's ready to come out, even if it will have to spend the rest of its life battling the Maelstrom.  Things seem like they'll be okay, so October feels free to follow up with Nash about  the note (read a person: partial).  She talks to him about it and discovers that he'd love to write more poems (probably to her) but only in this kind of awkward, teenage, indirect way.

Barbecue and Hooch have their big talk while rolling on their 4x4s through the blight.  Barbecue (read a person: advanced success) can tell what Hooch is feeling.  Hooch has basically no vision of the future, but he would like to keep hurting others so others don't have to hurt (yes, it's his philosophy).  Hooch seems totally okay with Sun's mutant child Hope, and sees himself as a force of liberation around the holding.  They crest the ridge of the blight and see whole mountaintops beyond; a sight they've never seen before.  "I think we have to expand our thinking." Barbecue says as he gazes absently at some fluttering butterflies.  "We can't be separate from the Warrens anymore."  Barbecue then relinquishes his power over the holding to Hooch.

Blues, who was assigned to watch the holding's entrance, reports to October: "They're coming."  October orders that the refugees first be screened and disinfected by Burroughs, then given some food.  And should they refuse Burroughs' somewhat painful treatments?  "Either they're healed by Burroughs, or they drink Marlene's tea." she says.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on June 12, 2011, 12:55:22 AM
Apocalypse World -- Appalachia, Windmills and Treehouses -- Session 13


The same day, as dusk settles in and the Warrens situation escalates and diseased refugees line up at the entrance of the holding.  Meanwhile, October's devotees (followers: fail -- Hooch Hx fail --> partial) including Frog and Nightingale fall ill from some strange new disease.  Under a beautiful chandelier made of CDs at the Moulin Noir, Dusk asks October if she has a problem with the "established order" of things as she does.  Basically, (October reads a person: partial) Dusk wants them to be asking for barter from all people who come to the Moulin Noir, even those just stopping by for some tea or having babies.  Their house of ill-repute should operate more like one, with an eye on the goods coming in.  Dusk says "We're part of the community here. I hope it's not shifting out from under me.  Maybe it's shifting out from under you."  October plays it cool. "So you think we're understaffed?" she replies.  "I feel like I'm the only staff." Dusk replies, and makes a move to renegotiate their agreement.  October (seduce/manipulate: partial) realizes that Dusk just wants to be bought off a little.  She gives her a few of her antique coins from her jewelry and then, as a direct reaction, takes her bodyguard West to go scout out for some new girls among the refugees.

Burroughs hastily set up a quarantine tent to accommodate them near the cliff, and then a table near Baby and Blues, who are leveling their gunbarrels at the scared, sick, agoraphobic refugees.  Always Flowers is standing there at his side, and Jones is watching curiously under a hat that's too big for him.  The doc motions for the refugees to form a line so he can check them for A) killer blink wolf mold, B) the pink rust disease from down in the Warrens and C) the new illness going among October's folk.  Unfortunately, Burroughs does not go through the quarantine process elegantly.  He asks everyone to remove all their clothes, or they can "fuck off and die."  The first refugee, a tough guy in a tiretread vest named Pepring, outright refuses.  Not wanting to enrage this guy, he asks permission to touch his eyeball instead (opens his brain: success).  Burroughs discovers many private things about him: his pet rat, his dead wife, etc., but at least he's got no diseases!  He sends him into the holding to go find Barbecue, not knowing that he's left and Hooch is now in charge.  The second refugee, a woman named Fern, had already stripped off half her clothes, but is covering up certain parts of herself.  Burroughs (reads a person: success) knows she's hiding scratch marks from the blink wolves on her leg, but will not resist if he makes the holding a place where she can feel safe.  He sends her with Always Flowers to quarantine.  It turns out that Always Flowers and Fern know each other from earlier…

Barbecue comes down from the mountain, apparently ignoring his quest to go to the haunted windmill for answers for now.  He sees Burroughs at the table and walks right past time down to the end of the quarantine line.  "What happened?" he asks an old woman named Clear.  "Some wolves came down into our tunnels and some of us got bitten." she replies.  "We're those who survived."  She discourages him from going down to the Warrens, but he insists.  As he purposefully strides toward the center of the problem, Clear turns to the old man next to her and says: "I think that man is not in his right mind."

Hooch (wealth: success) has inherited the holding, and the manufactory is working in perfect order.  But he's going to need food for all those refugees coming in.  He goes to the workshop and (drops 2-barter to get a thing: success) has Frankie, Bullet, Waters and Clearasil get all the crap they can grab from the manufactory and sell it for scrap to get as much food as they can at Valley Camp.  They'll get the holding fully stocked with food (with no strings attached) by tomorrow night.  Hooch then heads down to the refugee line, only to see Two-Bit, one of his new Trailjacks from the Warrens, get jumped by one of the arriving refugees, a scrapper named Trench.  Instead of breaking it up, he pulls out his shotgun and stands by and watch a terrifying struggle ensue.  "You bastard!" Trench yells as he bites at Two-Bit's ear.  "You left us to die."  He beats the shit out of Two-Bit and, once that's apparent, Hooch fires a shot to end it.  "You," he points at Trench.  "You're working for me now."  He walks him over to the gang and tells them "He just kicked the shit out of that loudmouth Two-Bit."  He then has Spice "show him around."

A coughing Frog tells Nightingale to go find Barbecue, who instead immediately goes to her true leader, October.  "Frog doesn't look so good," she reports.  October has her draw some hot baths for the non-quarantined refugees, and then goes to visit Frog at the quarantine, where Shooter and Shithead are standing guard.  She finds (read a situation: fail) that there's something familiar about these survivors; they exhibit the same desperation she felt when she beat someone's head in with a rock over a can of peaches.  She also learns that Frog and Nightengale's cough might cross-contaminate with the Warrens' rust disease for a potent threat.  So she first thinks she ought to go to Burroughs about the disease.  Then she thinks better of it and goes to the learned woman Eliza instead.

As Hooch is crossing away from the garage, he sees October.  "Ms. October, you got a minute?" he says. "No, I don't, but talk." she replies.  He tells her about Barbecue's revelation, the mountains that are intact beyond the ridge, and the shift of power to Hooch.  October is – understandably – a bit stunned.  Hooch sums it up by saying: "If you need stuff, you should tell me."  October replies with some thought: "What did you do for Barbecue, Hooch?"  He replies: "The hard stuff, so he didn't have to."  They mutually size each other up (read a person: Hooch partial, October success).  Hooch knows October wants him to keep civilization preserved.  October knows that Hooch wants to make the holding into a place where people want to go, like the Valley Camp.  He would appreciate it if October came to him with a problem he could actually solve, and will acquiesce to orders that direct his violence, though he cannot promise to cease his violent behavior overall.  The exchange seems amiable.

Barbecue walks toward the warrens and (know your enemy: partial) looks grim and determined at the threat he faces.  The enemy is despair, both in his former holding and in the extreme misery of the Warrens, who are now his problem too.  He knows that there are three waves of refugees: those already there, those straggling up the path, and those left in the Warrens to die.  He encounters another group of refugees (read a situation: fail).  A woman doubles over in a coughing fit.  "Tell me what happened." he says (read a person: fail), trying to get a bearing on the situation.  "The big tank Everybody Eats keep broke open and then those creatures attacked us," says the woman between coughs.  Barbecue learns the tank produces pink rust, which makes them sick in the warrens.  He wants to know what he's getting into, so he has her draw a map of the Warrens.  It's an open pit mine that cuts into natural caves.  While the residents of the Warrens were expanding the tunnels, they found the highly toxic runoff from earlier mining operations and some people got sick from it.  Barbecue comforts her by telling her to "be patient."  And then he goes to get the rest of the survivors from the tunnels.

Burroughs has now gone through 14 refugees: 7 were quarantined, 6 were cleared, and  Trench didn't get checked.  He wants to remedy that as he packs up his check-in station for the night.  Hooch drops by and Burroughs has him beef up security at the entrance and around the quarantine.  They agree on instructions of "shoot to kill" near the quarantine; the tent can be shot up or pushed off the cliff, should someone escape.  Hooch boosts morale by promising the quarantine people some booze if they tolerate the conditions for one night.  Hooch looks over the quarantine situation (read a situation: success): he should be on the lookout for the explosion of the disease, but he's in control here and being nice to to those who must endure its hardship for now.   Then Hooch and Burroughs have a long conversation about their future.  Burroughs tells Hooch that he and Barbecue had an arrangement:  he got the windmill to himself, he would kill people if necessary in exchange, and that his primary concern was the "brain ecology" of the holding.  Hooch stares at him blankly as Burroughs uses big words and then brings up Barbecue's recent funny behavior.  Hopefully he doesn't get the holding into trouble!  Hooch also runs the idea by Burroughs that they turn the tinkery, the holding's bread and butter, into a market like they've got in Valley Camp… bringing people and commerce to this lonely hilltop.  He proposes that they go down to Valley Camp together to figure out what they're doing to make their bustling trade happen.  Their conversation (mutual read a person: mutual successes) reveals personal details on both sides.  Burroughs knows that Hooch is feeling like he doesn't know what Barbecue wants, but he's just going to do what feels right to him anyway.  He wants Burroughs to burrow into the minds of the Valley Camp and crack their business model.  Hooch would be amenable to another round of brain sex if Burroughs took steps toward fixing Hooch's thoroughly poison-wracked body.  Hooch discovers Burroughs is exhilarated by being suddenly the center of attention with this quarantine, though he doesn't want Hooch to ask the impossible of him during this process.  Interestingly enough, Hooch knows he could get Burroughs to side with him against October (should it come to that) only if he keeps the "brain ecology" of the holding as a serious consideration.

Next session will begin with October visiting Eliza about potential cures for the holding's present ailments.

Also Burroughs took a new custom move:

Induce Deep Sleep

Burroughs picks a target and fools their brain into putting their body to sleep.  Roll+weird.

• On a 10+, the target instantly falls into a healing coma.  This can catch someone after they "die" (put a 12:00 case at 11:00 with a 2-3 week recovery time), stabilize someone at or past 9:00 (with several days to recover) or speed the recovery of someone at 6:00 or less (a day or two at the most).  The patient cannot feel anything directly while in the coma, so it doubles as anesthesia.  Burroughs and others can awaken the patient again by opening their brain (roll+weird).  Long-term side effects are unknown.
• On a 7-9, same as 10+, but Burroughs has to choose 1 effect and the MC chooses another from the list below:
-Part of the target's brain is lodged in Burroughs' for the duration of the coma.
-The target can feel, hear and see everything. To a substantially heightened degree.
-Burroughs momentarily loses control over his own body, exposing him to harm/cost.
-The target is open to attacks from the Maelstrom.
-The target becomes a sleeping beauty, i.e., more attractive than usual, who can silently seduce/manipulate people at +1 hot.
-The target will be in critical condition and will require inordinate amounts of attention and care for the duration of the coma.
•On a miss, the MC may choose 3 from above, or simply make as hard and direct a Move as she likes.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Margolotte on June 12, 2011, 09:37:27 AM
Thanks for the consistently excellent write-ups, Evan! I wish we'd had another hour or two last session.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: John Harper on June 12, 2011, 04:27:49 PM
Thanks for posting these, Evan. They're fun to read.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on July 04, 2011, 09:38:34 AM
Apocalypse World -- Appalachia, Windmills and Treehouses -- Session 14

"Home Base"

The Moulin Noir is now a teahouse.  October has some (followers: fail -- want: hunger) start-up problems though.  Well, that's actually the least of October's problems: as she's making her way over to Eliza's, Drew comes screaming at her with a leather-all.  She strikes the new Maestro D with a glancing puncture wound that drops her (harm: fail).  When Drew follows up in rage, October (seize by force: success) pulls her down with her, locking her arm behind her back. October then has Drew take 3 deep breaths.  She figures out (read a person: partial) Drew is scared shitless about all the refugees coming in and discovering her mutated daughter.  "We've gotta leave. The people arriving will find out about Hope!" Drew says. "I won't let anyone hurt her." October promises, but she knows that what Drew really wants is help in spiriting Hope away from their eyes.  She offers to hide Hope in the Moulin Noir, a plan which Drew will discuss with Sun.  October continues up to Eliza's.

Hooch (wealth: partial - want: anxiety) now has himself a holding, so he flexes his muscle a bit.  After tending to the gang in the garage, which he does by referring to the gang to Baby when he's not around,  he ostentatiously takes over Barbecue's cabin, piling up his stuff in the corner.  That being done, he then takes a tour around the holding – the still, the factory, the infirmary, the mess hall – to find out what's going on (read a situation: fail). Things seem like they're alright, he supposes.  Before he hits the sack, however, he finds "Crazy J" – his new name for Jones.  He chats him up (read a person: success -- Jim takes second playbook: The Operator) to discover his desire to have Burroughs teach him more, to have Hooch acquire a family of his own (weird!), and to protect the ecology of the brains – a delicate balance that's endangered when they're "sick and sad." His prescription when that happens?  "They need to draw things, hit things."  That's how to keep the brain ecology going.

Burroughs finds Trench, who skipped quarantine, in the garage.  Brooking no shit, he discovers Trench has slept with Spice (read a person: success), and she with Shooter and Shithead.  Well, it seems like all four of them have to go with Burroughs to the infirmary to get checked out.  When they're there, he has them drop their drawers (infirmary like Savvyhead's workshop) to get to the "bottom" of the Warrens Blister.  It appears that maybe some of them have it, but he'll need to compare them with those in the quarantine for a positive match.  Burroughs can combat it likely by setting up a decontamination chamber of some kind.  As usual, Shithead gives him some lip and Burroughs lashes out (open his brain: partial) to impress the seriousness of the situation on the young Trailjack, only to accidentally let slip that he had told a white lie in order to get the Trailjacks all down into Dead Man's Mine:  what he really needed was a group of brains (like the Trailjacks) acting in concert so that he could properly explore the cavern.

Barbecue enters the Warrens, a pit mine formed of concentric circles plunging into the earth, at nightfall.  His goal is explicit: he's looking for survivors of the apparent multiple disasters afflicting the place.  There was a tank full of whatever substance has been causing the Warrens Blister that burst, and evidence of its havoc abounds.  He silently passes swollen corpses that smell of metal and rot.  He should (read a situation: partial) watch out for other things looking for the living.  Having run a manufactory himself, Barbecue recognizes the familiar hum of the machines as he enters the mouth of the cave network.  What doesn't sit right is that weird echo that refracts those familiar noises, makes them strange.  The tunnel he stands in is lit by torches as well as strange phosphorescent patches of moss.  Peering off into the darkness beyond the torches, Barbecue feels someone grab his ankle.  He jumps out of the way and pulls his gun, only to find the Warrens inhabitant Peach, his leg pinned under a rock. "Are they gone?" he gasps with parched lips.  Barbecue (act under fire: success) heaves the rock aside and helps Peach onto his mangled leg.  "Who else is down here?" Barbecue asks. Peach doesn't know; he just wants to leave.  Barbecue pushes.  "The Machine. It keeps going." Peach stammers, pointing into the tunnel.  "It eats stuff."  "Do people drive it?" Barbecue asks.  "Not that I know of." he replies.  Barbecue throws up his arms: "What the hell kind of a crappy place is this to live in, anyway?" (read a person: partial -- Peach isn't lying).  He drags Peach to the old Break Room in the mine, where he finds materials for a makeshift crutch.  "This is home base," and he establishes camp there for the night.

October finds Eliza sitting on her porch, gazing at the quarantine hut longingly.  It reminds her how much she misses her writing lessons.  "There's a lot of disease," she muses, and then follows up with: "And a lot written about it." October seeks a cure to the sickness afflicting her followers.  Eliza says that, for general disease control in the holding, the Trailjacks ought to be dipped in bleach.  Otherwise, fresh produce would do everyone in the holding a world of good.  She then talks about a legendary seed catalog that might help them find surviving seedlings to plant in October's garden.  When she's offered a clear mild tea, October's thoughts (read a situation: partial) return to Dusk.  "Have you had any of Dusk's special tea?" Eliza asks her.  October shakes her head, and it dawns upon her:  Dusk has been slowly poisoning her followers.    Eliza finally suggests they begin a writing group of sorts, though now October is thinking of ways to get Dusk out of the Moulin Noir.  She returns there.  When she does, she finds Nash with his stick in the garden, patrolling against the slugs.  She stops him with a special task: replace Dusk's special teas, kept in an old light fixture, with some of October's teas.  She (seduce/manipulate: partial) promises him that if Dusk finds out, he can blame it on October, and otherwise will prove his sneakiness to her.  So Nash goes and steals the tea, keeps a sample, burns the rest of it to produce a weird herbal aroma, refills it with his own tea, and then returns.

Morning arrives.

Burroughs awakens with a start when he realizes that he just left some people with blinkwolf bites untended in the quarantine tent.  He shows up there with Always Flowers at his side.  He begins to sort through the people with Blinkwolf bites: Fern and Zuck can get their injuries cleaned up, but Therm has been badly lacerated along the arm and the ooze is spreading.  Burroughs (healing touch: success) squeezes the ooze out of the wounds, scrapes it with a knife sizzling onto the ground and twists the wounds on his arm back into shape, creating an ugly, spiraling scar.  He then checks out Clear for signs of the Warrens Blister.  Clear states plainly: "I don't have it right now."  Burroughs asks how it might be cured.  Clear suggests some practical solutions: sunlight and hard scrubbing, maybe with some soap.  Perhaps the frightening Warrens Blister is merely a question of hygiene?

Barbecue wakes up in the Break Room and immediately opens his brain (success).  The Machine's gone off somewhere else, and he instinctively knows where the other 5-6 survivors of the Warrens catastrophe are.  After making a breakfast of a bitter berry shake, he sets off to rescue these remaining people… which will happen at the beginning of the next session.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on July 24, 2011, 02:31:24 PM
Apocalypse World -- Appalachia, Windmills and Treehouses -- Session 15

"Bad Bloody Death"

It's morning. October's followers (success) are fine, and Hooch is keeping the holding (wealth: partial; Hx with Burroughs -> success) in production with the help of Burroughs' organized medical "care."

Barbecue sees Peach's crushed, bruised, swelling ankle and wraps it up (read a situation: partial). He was under a rock for a day, according to his account. Peach is hampered in movement, but might know his way around the Warrens. He lives there, after all.  The first thing he does is warn Barbecue about the Machine, which has always been a part of the Warrens.  "Sometimes it drills up some cool stuff, sometimes…" he stammers. Barbecue grows impatient and makes to leave and find the other survivors.  Peach's eyes silently plead for him to come along, and he says: "Don't leave me here. If the wolves come back, I'm dead." Barbecue sighs and takes him along anyway, breaking up a chair into a makeshift crutch for him.  According to his earlier opening of his brain, there are 2 people one way, 2.5 people another way. Odd.  He makes his way toward one group and the air acquires a fetid smell.  Things begin to heat up, meaning the hirsute Barbecue begins to shed layers.  The evidence of the blink wolves' carnage becomes ever more apparent: he is surrounded in these tunnels by bad bloody death.  One room even contains the mutilated corpses of a family of ten.  Barbecue is taking it all in (acts under fire: fail) when he hears a woman singing from down in the depths.  He has a hard choice: make a concerted effort to find the survivors, or discover the source of all that singing.  Barbecue courts the unknown and chooses the latter.

Hooch and Burroughs head down to Valley Camp, which is a group of treehouses that frame an open market, in turn framed by a bowl-shaped valley with cabins up the side of the hill.  A crystal clear stream runs through the market, in which nothing lives and from which not a soul drinks. The path down to Valley Camp from the holding is a steep one, and the gates themselves are a mishmash of parts designed more to run would-be visitors through a gauntlet-like series of checkpoints with a couple of snipers up above. You pay a toll at the gate, which goes to the hardholder in the big treehouse, Harrow, and then go about your business.  Hooch is most eager to see his regular contact Wire, a former Trailjack who got hitched with Sands, and he doesn't want to see Rolfball, an annoying kid with boundary issues who's the only person Hooch has turned down even riding the course to join his gang.  In tow, Hooch and Burroughs have a whole mess of metal pans and oddments with which to trade.  As they approach, Burroughs (opens his brain: success) sees the town as a web of multi-colored brains, with there being more purple up the hill, and all varieties of colors down in the market.  It's unsettled, like a goulash.  "Crazy B… I mean, Doc B, what's up?" Hooch asks.  "I need to see an interaction!" Burroughs demands.  He's excited by the prospect of watching so many brains in concert.  They pull up to the Valley Camp gates, they're greeted by Batty the guard, who's got white rattails sticking out of his head and a life-preserver as improvised armor.  Batty asks Hooch how things are up at the holding. "Pretty fuckin' good." he replies.  When he introduces Burroughs, however, Batty is visibly disturbed, even more so by the news he carries of the Warrens being no more.  Burroughs chats up the guard (read a person: success) and finds out that his ideal person is someone who does their business and doesn't cause problems.  He intends to keep a sharp eye on us on behalf of Harrow, and he's comfortable enough here that he wouldn't be easy to bribe or sway.  Hooch wants Batty to keep Rolfball off his back (seduce/manipulate: fail), which means, well, Rolfball's going to find him almost immediately.  Hooch sets up shop anyway; Wire in his barb-wire armor and Sand greet Hooch and prepare to start the transacting.  Hooch tells Wire that Barbecue quit and now he's in charge, news that goes viral through Valley Camp in about 15 seconds. Wire laughs openly about Hooch's being in charge. Burroughs points out that he remembers Wire from earlier - he was the Trailjack who played with himself.  Burroughs looks at his brain (opens his brain: partial) and sees it trending blue. They shut him up and go about finding how their barter is going to convert into some seeds for October.  Hooch (barter: success) finds the motherload: melons, mustard, shallots, some weird plant… just about everything a good produce garden should have.

October and her bodyguard West are over at Eliza's to examine Dusk's tea.  They brew up a cup of the tea (augury: success) and discover the tea is a mild narcotic, but that it's also got the physical and spiritual equivalent of rust scrapings from Sun and Drew's house mixed in.  Dusk is on to Hope, and is hoping to gain leverage over October's followers to boot.  Wet is clearly freaked out by this whole thing: "Do we need to take care of Dusk?" she asks.  October nods.  Eliza suggests Marlene's tea should do the trick, though October wants Eliza to alter it so Dusk can't figure out its origins.  October wants to know West's feelings about the plan (read a person: success).  West wants October to have a clear plan, get it over with quick, keep including her in these "extra-special crew" meetings, and have a Plan B.  The Plan B turns out to be forceful intimidation from West.

Lunchtime comes at the holding.  Quarantine has sort of casually been lifted and everyone has been bathed by Always Flowers.  October now wants to talk to the new people, while still watching Dusk like a hawk (Everybody eats, even that guy: partial). It's clear that Dusk trusts only Waters and Nash.  The ex-Warrens residents did all kinds of jobs: Clear took care of the children, Roschild ran a high-class drinking joint, and Therm, Pepring, and Diamonds were all hard manual laborers. It was a tough living down in the Warrens - they scrabbled for bits of ore to barter with from a non-ore-based mine.  They had been cannibalizing their resources for a while.  She meets with Roschild (everybody eats: partial) while she munches on one of Nash's slug steaks alone from the others.  She's suspicious of them.  Talking to her, October finds out she ran a lively bar, and that October is now looking to make her own place more active.  "Tea's not a nighttime drink, no good for dancing." she says.  October knows Roschild isn't used to things coming this easy, so she makes the offer to her like this: "I want you to work for me on a trial basis" (seduce/manipulate: partial).  In exchange, Roschild gets a place to sleep with a lock.

Barbecue heads down into the depths of the Warrens.  When he asks Peach where this industrial-paint-smeared corridor leads, he shrugs and says: "Down." "You're the worst guide ever," Barbecue remarks. Peach hears the singing too, but doesn't think they need to venture any further. Now it's Barbecue's turn to shrug: "I'm trying to learn from Hooch, and just take things as they come." The walls get steadily more pink, like pale flesh, as they progress to where the holding tank was.  He leaves Peach up in the corridor as he ventures into the room with the tank, which is seeping and contains a black-haired, blue-eyed woman kneeling and singing sailor tunes.  Whoa (read a situation: success).  She's obviously the biggest threat, but his escape is being blocked by the Machine, which is rumbling through the tunnel above at the exact wrong moment.  He watches helplessly as the Machine, like a train, spits rock as it burrows steadily onward.  The woman lays her cold hands on his bare back, so he whips around (opens his brain: success).  She may be creepy, but she's still made of flesh.  He pistol whips (go aggro: success) her.  Her nose is now bleeding; she switches her song from a sailor shanty to bared pointy teeth and a death song. Barbecue (indomitable: success) shoots her in the chest, dropping her to the ground with a betrayed look in her eye.  He looks at her (read a person: success).  She's a siren who'd wish he would stay with her, and he needs to sing a different tune if he wants her to let him go.  Okay: he shoots her in the throat.  Her face goes from pale to red and she begins to gurgle angrily at him as he runs past (act under fire: success). Barbecue finds a natural cavern up and out of the way, making his way back to Peach to find more Warrens survivors.

It's mid-afternoon when Harrow himself finds Hooch and Burroughs in the market.  He's a short older man with long gray hair and a necklace of fishing flies.  He's REAL curious about how Hooch came to inherit Barbecue's leadership over the handhold.  When introducing Burroughs, Hooch attracts even more attention by cutting open his arm and has him heal it (healing touch: partial / Hx: Hooch --> success) by running his finger over the skin.  A crowd gathers.  "Anyone who has anything fucking wrong with them, they come up to our holding to get healed, see?"  Harrow points out there's a useful fellow at what passes for the Valley Camp's infirmary with a broken arm; Burroughs sets his arm in exchange for a bucket of lye soap.  He goes about his business.  Hooch is meanwhile stuck at the center of the crowd (read a situation: success).  He gathers that his chief threats are miracle-seekers and witch-burners, but what's really not so great is that Rolfball now knows exactly where they are, and will annoy the hell out of Hooch to become a Trailjack. Rolfball comes up to Hooch and begins chatting him up, trampling over boundaries, social niceties, etc. "Are you the guy up there now?" he asks.  "I'm the fuckin' guy." Hooch replies.  Rolfball asks about Hooch's bike, a commodity he can have if Rolfball takes a run at Harrow.  Hooch presses a Glock into his hand (seduce/manipulate: partial).

"And then I'm in, right?" Rolfball asks.
"Give me the keys."

Rolfball drives the 4-wheeler in a crazy fashion through the market, shooting shots wildly in Harrow's direction.  Hooch pulls out another gun and wastes Rolfball with three bullets.  Harrow confronts Hooch after the chaos subsides. "What the fuck, Harrow?  You can't keep your people under control."  Harrow's not convinced that Rolfball stole Hooch's bike, and Wire isn't either (act under fire: success), but they eventually drop it: "Pleasure doing business with you." Meanwhile, Sands scrounged up a bolt of cloth in addition to long nails and Burroughs' lye soap.  Hooch offers Wire and Sands a place up the hill, which they politely decline.

It's now evening: October finds Nash talking to Rollykit and Momo, helping them acclimate to the holding's ways.  She takes him aside after he tells them a story and asks him how he's holding up.  She has another favor to ask of him (seduce/manipulate: fail).  She wants him to give Dusk the fatal tea, which means he'll have to drink the tea with her (he does).  Suddenly, Sun's kid Massey screams "Fire!"  There's fire in the scrub near Burroughs' windmill.  Always Flowers puts it out with water from the still.  October (act under fire: success) shows competent leadership in managing the situation, which gave everyone a good scare.  She opens her brain (success) to discern that the Edge itself nursed the flame from stray sparks in order to attract attention.  It wants to feel flesh on its rocks.

Hooch and Burroughs come rolling in shortly after nightfall. They head to the Moulin Noir to drop off supplies (Nash has presumably administered the tea by this point).  There they find Roschild chatting with Honeytree about new mixes for the upcoming bar/dancehall.  October, Hooch and Burroughs debrief.  Hooch is proud of "starting up some shit" at Valley Camp by shooting Rolfball.  They figure that Valley Camp is "just" a place that charges people, so the holding has to become more than just anyplace.  Their primary problem, it appears, is housing.  They need supplies to build new buildings, and someone to get them those supplies without having to go through Valley Camp.  Hooch plans on figuring out what Roschild's plans are for the Moulin Noir, Burroughs offers medical baths at the infirmary with the new lye soap, and it is suggested that the Warrens and stray windmill tubes could be scavenged for building supplies.

Next session, Barbecue will meet Dolarhyde (Jim's Operator character) in the Warrens, October and Burroughs will likely deal with the imploding Nash & Dusk situation, and Hooch will be talking liquor and dancing with Roschild and Honeytree.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Philomorph on July 25, 2011, 03:57:17 PM
Thanks! I'm enjoying reading these. I do have a question from one of the posts way back on page one (I just found this thread).

You wrote:

Hooch wakes up in Barbecue's home and snoops around in his stuff.  He discovers (read a person: partial) that Barbecue most treasures his cookware

Don't you have to actually be interacting with the person to read them? That was the feel I got from the rules.

I totally get where you're coming from, and you could say they were reading the sitch, but I couldn't tell from your text if it qualified as a charged situation.

Anyway, not complaining... I'm enjoying the story so far. I'm just new to AW still and want to make sure I understand how it goes, ya know?
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Margolotte on July 26, 2011, 09:42:35 AM
I recall we had a moment of discussion about that, and decided that as Hooch was in Barbecue's personal space, messing with his personal stuff, he could very well be finding out personal things about Barbecue. So read a person seemed to fit better than read a sitch, because it wasn't really a charged scene.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Philomorph on July 26, 2011, 10:22:34 AM
Thanks for the reply, that totally makes sense. But I thought the situation had to be charged in either case, even to read a person.

Of course depending on the state of affairs when Hooch woke up, it may very well be considered a charged situation where his attention was heightened, even if he was alone.

I ask because the whole "charged situation" is something I'm trying to get a good handle on for my own MCing.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Margolotte on July 26, 2011, 12:40:35 PM
I allow a "read a __" move whenever there's some tension in the scene. If the PC would be on alert, or not want to be found out, or if there's something they could learn by having heightened awareness, it's probably ok. In this instance, it was very much a charged sitch, because hey, he's going through Barbecue's stuff, and if someone walked in on that, there could have been a whole lot of explaining to do.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Philomorph on July 26, 2011, 01:52:05 PM
That makes sense! Thanks :)
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on July 27, 2011, 01:26:33 PM
Apocalypse World -- Appalachia, Windmills and Treehouses -- Session 16

"A New Girl"
(or the alternate meta-title: "The Soap Opera")

Barbecue is scrabbling around in a dark, natural cavern, the faint gurgles of the siren still audible.  He's stripped down to his jeans, due to the heat, and his boots are covered in slime. He turns on his cheaply made Trailjack mining helmet.  The flickery yellow light (read a situation: success) reveals that the best escape route is uphill, he's been breathing bad, stale air, and he'll be okay as long as he listens carefully to what surrounds him.  It sounds like the train-like drill has gone past, but he also hears voices from a cavern it opened up.  Two survivors are standing there: Dolarhyde (PC: Jim's Operator), a man in his early 40s in a vintage suit, and Hazel, a twig-like 19 year-old girl.  They had been hiding from the wolves there, wearing surgical masks against the rotten air, when the Machine had just chewed its way through their room.  "Barbecue," Dolarhyde says. "What are you doing here?" (Hx: way back when, Barbecue wandered off during a business deal with Dolarhyde).  Barbecue looks his old contact up and down (Hx: part of the new order). "I don't know - what are YOU doing here?"  Dolarhyde responds with "You get us out of here, we're square." The Touchstone looks nonplussed: "I was going to get you out of here anyway."  Dolarhyde shrugs: "Never mind then."  Barbecue opens his brain (success): Hazel, Dolarhyde and Peach are now the only survivors, and it looks like they'll be going up through the tunnel the Machine made behind them.  Dolarhyde and Barbecue squint at each other in the darkness (mutual read a person - Dolarhyde succeeds, and Hx: interfere ensures that Barbecue doesn't). Barbecue is excited to leave the hole, especially because he wound up not keeping it cool like Hooch would've liked.  He'd be more than happy to take Hazel off Dolarhyde's hands, so the Operator pawns him off.  They make their way back to Peach.

October (followers: partial; want: hunger) are grumbling again; then again, it's because they're the primary force handling the 13 new, dirty people in the holding, though they're doing well otherwise (Hooch's wealth: success).  Burroughs and October are standing outside the Moulin Noir, when October motions for them to go inside and be shown something.  Burroughs thinks this is a pile of horseshit (read a person: advanced success) and reasons that October attempted to murder Dusk with poisoned tea, but that his services may be required for Nash.  They enter Dusk's room to find them both having their second cup of tea.  Burroughs seizes Nash's hand and leaves inexplicably (October's read a person fails), while Dusk closes the door to talk about their differences.  Dusk suggests that she knew October was up to something because the tea tasted different.  October offers her some more, but she turns it down.  It's pretty much obvious that Dusk thinks she can usurp October's power right here and now.  Burroughs sends Nash to the infirmary and then tries the door: locked.  October lunges for the door (seize by force: success) and backhands Dusk across the face when she doesn't get out of the way.  Then Burroughs sees Dusk trying to escalate the situation with a knife and psychically sings "Rock-a-bye baby" (induce deep sleep: success) to render her unconscious indefinitely.  He turns on October and insists that poison no longer be used as a means to "control" her followers, or he'll be reluctant to treat them in the future (seduce/manipulate: success; Hx: interfere --> partial).  October gives Burroughs the rest of the tea, but doesn't totally promise not to do it again.  West and Burroughs bring Dusk's limp form to the infirmary.

Hooch heads up to talk to Honeytree and Roschild, when little kids walk past him with food and little stones in their hands.  He asks 4 year-old Katinka if he can see her pretty blue rocks, and she tells them they're offerings for Gritch.  Hooch notes he should visit the baby later.  The Chopper then debriefs Honeytree and Roschild about the liquor: he wants them to make the good stuff, and no fooling around.  Roschild says "We'll need grain for that." Hooch'll get it for them, along with anything else they might need for some good liquor.  Whoever makes the best batch between the two of them will be in charge of the operation.  Roschild asks for a place to sleep, and Hooch has her go to Honeytree's bunk until the stills are operational and the new housing is complete.  Hooch then heads to Barbecue's cabin and grabs his beat-up old tea kettle, in order to offer it as a gift to Gritch at Bullet and Jackbird's cabin.

Barbecue finally reaches Peach, who gives Hazel a big hug.  He perseveres with practical matters: "Does anyone think that anyone else is alive right now? 'Cause there's a weird thing." He describes the siren, and Dolarhyde and Peach know all about it.  The witch, they say, lures people down into the depths of the Warrens and they're never seen again.  Dolarhyde observes that Barbecue's a little "front of the house" with this heroic, rescuer behavior.  Before they leave, Hazel grabs a satchel from one of the rooms.  Barking and howling through the tunnels prompt Barbecue to ask them all if they have any weapons.  Hazel pulls out a slingshot, Dolarhyde pats his revolver in his suit jacket.  They find their way to a tractor near the entrance and Dolarhyde (I am the door: partial) gets them out of there … taking something unknown with them.  Once Barbecue fires up the tractor, he asks Dolarhyde: "So what, were you living down there?"  Dolarhyde shrugs: "You know me, here and there." (Dolarhyde has some info for an unknown NPC named Bendrix, who's waiting for it).  They wind up camping on the trail against the elements.

Burroughs is carrying Dusk's body with West when Hooch intercepts them.  They explain that some bad tea had been drunk. Hooch is confused that Burroughs doesn't just perform his healing magic.  Burroughs shakes his head and reminds Hooch of the disastrous winter that his healing touch couldn't affect.  Toxins and disease are not his strong suit; trauma is.  Nevertheless, Burroughs assures Hooch that experiments will be done on her unconscious form to ascertain the nature of this "bad tea."  But he mentions that October's distraught -- wouldn't Hooch care to talk to him about the incident?  Burroughs lays Dusk out on a cot in the infirmary.  Nash has gone unconscious by this point.  He uses 2-stock from his Angel kit (partial) to flush the poison out with saline.  Nash pees blood for a bit and thrashes around in pain, requiring Burroughs to hold him down (act under fire: success).  Burroughs finds the young boy's situation severe enough that he'll have to monitor the kid for the next 36 hours.  Meanwhile, Dusk is in a healing coma that he can control, so he begins to observe the toxin as it slowly works its way through her system.

Hooch talks to October outside the Moulin Noir (read a person: fail; Hx: interfere with Hooch: success) about Dusk.  "Do you need me to get you another girl?" asks Hooch.  October changes the topic and brings up the brewmaster contest.  Hooch's face lights up and he tells her all about how he's going to get a great batch of brew from this.  He asks her if he should get her a couple of boys for the Moulin Noir to satisfy other needs.  "It might work for that to be a more diffuse arrangement." October replies.  She then describes the Moulin Noir as a kind of feast of the senses that would provide a place for intercourse to happen, but not necessarily require its transaction.  The drinks, admission and bunk costs should cover the resources used.  They discuss the urgency of getting some young builders on the project.  Baby interrupts the conversation.  "Hooch," she says. "We've got a problem - something's wrong with some of the bikes."  Since T-Bone's death in the winter, the bikes have gone into disrepair.  3 or 4 are either not functioning or barely functioning.  They'll need to find another mechanic and, until then, Hooch wants to know if it gets any worse.  He then shows up to the kids' party at Bullet and Jackbird's.  He offers them Barbecue's teapot – with an ambivalent reaction – and notices that Gritch has a calculating gaze.  He starts on Bullet (read a person: success) and offers him a full gig as a mechanic for the bikes _without_ having to be a member of the Trailjacks.  Bullet leaps at the chance of a 9-to-5.  Then he looks at Gritch (read a person: success) and finds the baby intending to slowly take over the world.  Hooch to his parents: "That kid has a bright future."

October tracks down Frog and the gardener Lark to take them to the Edge.  She wants to start a garden there.  When they arrive at the cliffside, she uses her followers to perform augury (fail).  Lark begins talking about blueberries when suddenly the Edge snaps to attention (looking like semi-erect tissue in the Maelstrom.)  It's hyper-aware of the living people poking at its top.  "I hear you like people." October says to the Edge.  "How would you feel about live people?" A vine begins to caress Frog's instep.  "Can you make things grow?" October asks, and then the Edge whisks Frog's leg into the air, entangling her in vines.  Lark slips and slides 10 feet down the slope.  October talks it down (seduce/manipulate: success), saying that all this could blow the Edge's cover.  She promises bare feet and the use of the Edge as a site of pleasure.  There's an intensely erotic fantasy that the Edge shares of skin going up and down the Edge and so forth.  It breaks Frog's leg in ecstasy.  Lark and October carry Frog up to the infirmary, but only after October muses about the Edge: "In a way, I _did_ get a new girl."  Burroughs finds yet another follower of October's in his infirmary.  He slices open Frog's leg (healing touch: success) and needs the fractured bone together.  A little unsure of whether she can still count on Burroughs after he condemned her use of poison, she states she'd like to count on him in the future.  Burroughs waves her words away and demands she just get some more saline - salt water - solution for his kit.

The night is awful.  Everyone acts under fire (Burroughs: success, Barbecue, Dolarhyde and October: partial, Hooch: fails).  Burroughs isn't sleeping anyway, thanks to Nash, whereas most everyone else is having thoroughly restless sleep.  Hooch has outright nightmares about the haunted windmill and his holding collapsing.

Morning comes, and Barbecue and Dolarhyde roll up the trail.  They meet the holding anew:  its crude stockade fence, the classy Moulin Noir hanging low in the tree with a moat around it, the strangely designed overcrowded sheds and wigwams, Burroughs' filthy plastic tent infirmary and creaking windmill abode, all set against a foreboding cliff.  They hear Blues' harmonica wafting down the trail, and are greeted by the same.  Hooch wakes up, grabs Jones and heads for the haunted windmill.  Burroughs sticks Always Flowers on Nash-watch duty and welcomes Barbecue and the survivors back.  Dolarhyde meets Burroughs for the first time (read a person: success) and immediately gets into his favor by being a possibly useful medical assistant so he can fire Frog for good.  Dolarhyde also meets October and realizes that (read a situation on the holding: success) she's the one in control here, and he'll be able to thrive around here.  He helps Burroughs carry Peach to his nearly-full infirmary.

Oh, and Evan takes Hazel as his second character, a Battlebabe with a slingshot.  We'll see how that goes.
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on August 30, 2011, 02:58:50 PM
Oh, it's been a month, but I'm SO looking forward to our imminent next session!

Just sayin'...
Title: Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
Post by: Evan Torner on September 06, 2011, 10:04:53 PM
Apocalypse World -- Appalachia, Windmills and Treehouses -- Session 17

"Maps" (or "The Naked Episode")

Before any opening session rolls are made or anything of the sort, we flashbacked to about 10 years ago in the lives of various characters.  By point of comparison, the holding's been around as is for about 3 years. [Note: lots of maps were drawn and used in this session. I hope Meg is able to post some of them here!]

Out beyond the strip-mined mountain lies the Gover Mitney highway, an armored holding made of a truck stop. Hooch (at the age of 14), Dolarhyde and Barbecue are all standing together as if in portrait on the highway.  Hooch has a shiny new bike, which he found while scavenging out on the trail. It had flipped onto its previous owner, who lay dying beneath it.  Hooch grabbed the bike and drove over him as he departed.  Meanwhile, Barbecue's the cook at the truck stop, but A.T. the boss sucks.  A.T. has decorated himself like a ravenSee Barbecue himself isn't a victim of A.T.'s chief crime (hint: he's a slaver), but he did bat shit to Frankie.  So he put the word out to Hooch to take his new bike and look for a new spot.  Meanwhile, Dolarhyde's brokering deals on peripherals to get enough goods to start the holding for real, though he "doesn't deal in slaves." He also doesn't know Hooch none too well, nor does he trust Barbecue placing all his eggs in one basket with this young boy.  This is the moment when Hooch tells him about the hilltop with the windmill tubes; Barbecue/Hooch's future holding.  Dolarhyde stays behind, but then leaves a little later.  Why?  Proust.  He turned down his daughter.  Hooch, by the way, was saved by a  boar at age 5, and struck a deal with the boar at the founding of the holding that the boar would hold off eating them all if Hooch kept him around.  Barbecue and Hooch come rolling up into Burroughs' haunted domain (as he had kept away scavengers and looters with his brain and knives up until then).  Burroughs is completely surprised by the arrival of all these traders, escaped slaves and rangers pulling up into his territory to stay.  When Barbecue takes the cabin for himself, he arrives behind the man.  "I'm the ghost," Burroughs says as Barbecue turns around to see a shoddily clad man-thing with a bag over its head. "Boo."  Barbecue and Burroughs negotiate an amiable truce, as Burroughs is interested in the brains of the new arrivals, and Barbecue is interested in Burroughs not "murdering people in their sleep."

Flashback to October in the City, a dirty scruffy kid.  The elegant older girl Belinda, who looks a lot like Kate Bush, has taken her in off the streets and is currently cutting her hair.  Soon after, Belinda would die, and October hatched a plan with Snow and Dusk to desert the City.  Their plan would become the Moulin Noir.  It was Eliza who directed her not to venture near the Gover Mitney, and instead settle among the strip mines in Barbecue's holding.

Hazel was raised as a "nun" with the Whispering Daughters of Mary in the shadow of one of the mountaintop-removal zones.  The nuns raised her harshly in a highly disciplined cloister environment, which then had them running raids on the slavers when they ran out of food (Hooch remembers Hazel and her fiery red hair from being assaulted by them at one point).  One of the main features of "whispering" is the elaborate, slow dance rituals the nuns perform; a nameless nun taught Hazel how to use the forms to fight.  She eventually flees the nunnery and winds up in the Warrens as a dancer in Roschild's establishment.  She overhears Enough-to-Eat, the Warrens' chieftain, talk of the full nature of her exploitation of her own people and is then thrown in a Warrens prison for months. The chaos around the blinkwolves assault allowed her to escape.

So now with the opening rolls: October's followers (fail) suffer from hunger and disease.  There's new germs around, not enough food and shelter to protect people from them, and even October's acquired a cough.  Hooch (holding: partial) is finding that the holding is full of idleness -- too many refugees, and no clear answers on where to put them.  Hoarding has begun, and the future ghettoization of the Warrens refugees appears to be nearing.  Dolarhyde (gigs: fail) has been avoiding Proust from the old Gover Mitney holding because he's convinced Dolarhyde knocked up his daughter. Proust's going to catch Dolarhyde in a bad spot shortly. As for Dolarhyde's (gig: fail) brokering of deals, well, the other guys from the Warrens have pretty much cut themselves loose from him. Now he's going to have to look to new people in order to move forward in this new holding.

Where were we from last time? Hooch and Jones were heading up to the haunted windmill. October and Burroughs were dealing with the fallout from the followers' dissent last time, when Dolarhyde and Hazel arrived with Barbecue and October becomes distracted.

October leads Hazel over to Moulin Noir and serves her tea. Hazel downs it in one gulp, her hair tossing back and revealing that her left ear has been cut off and is only mangled tissue.  October is trying to win over Hazel immediately (artful and gracious: success - Hx: interfere: partial -> partial). She can take comfort that Hazel will slowly fall in love with her over the course of the evening.  Hazel strips naked and gets into October's tub.  Soon she's relaxed and singing a strangely nun-like version of Pat Benatar's "Love Is a Battlefield." Placed at ease, Hazel begins to chat with October about her time in the Warrens, especially about Roschild's betrayal of her.  She even gets so melodramatic as to rise out of the tub as if to go off and kill Roschild.  October blocks the door: "That won't be necessary." They (mutual read a person: partial) pause and October figures that she can maintain Hazel's loyalty by not abusing her like the nuns and Enough-to-Eat did. Fair enough. Hazel finds that October wants to sleep with her and, after she discovers her coveted record player, she can hardly say no.  But she also gives the impression to October that she's a wild type; the Moulin Noir could be in ashes if she wanted it so.  Her fickle moods are in the right place, for now.  After they sleep together, Hazel wears October's kimono and wants October to "choose her new weapon." October gives her an antique pistol, which Hazel accepts with pride.  Their scene ends with Hazel performing a slow kimono dance for her.

Dolarhyde promptly begins as Burroughs' medical assistant.  His first task is to watch over Nash (read a situation: success).  He knows that Nash, who's still thrashing around intensely because of the poison, actually poses himself the biggest threat by vomiting, but maybe he can stave it off by forcing him to vomit.  Burroughs seems to be the real one in charge here: he deals with patients behind the tent flap and keeps an ear out (read a person: partial) for how Dolarhyde does.  He gathers that Dolarhyde would be better off bartering off Burroughs' healthcare services than actually helping him provide them.  Case in point: he tries to induce vomiting in Nash with one of A.T.'s keepsake black feathers (act under fire: partial), only to have Nash vomit all over him.  Burroughs enters to help him clean up Nash, only to send off Dolarhyde in his vomit-covered suit.  He proceeds to the refugees' fire, where he strips down to his boxers and burns his suit.  Burroughs approaches him after this ritual has been completed. "I still got a job for you." he says. "Go down to Valley Camp. Bring me their sick, their injured. We'll make nice barter off those that come." Dolarhyde finds these terms acceptable and sets up a new gig.

Barbecue wants to head to Valley Camp tomorrow as fulfilling his larger vision for the holding, but only after a good night's sleep.  Scratch that; Hooch now owns Barbecue's cabin.  He sighs and goes to sleep in the still, only to find Honeytree and Roschild holed up there for the night.  When he arrives, he first gets a big hug from Honeytree, then a kiss. "Can I crash?" he asks her. "Sure," she replies, pregnant with meaning. He's on guard (read a person: success), but it appears her designs on him are benign: she just wants to sleep with him. On the floor. Right now.  She likes to do it cowgirl-style.  Well, shit: that's a problem, 'cause he doesn't love her (and is a Touchstone).  Loveless sex is still how he spends his night before the Valley Camp trip…

Hooch and Jones arrive at the haunted windmill, with Hooch's express purpose to get rid of the nightmares he's been having.  He tells Jones: "I've got to protect this holding from whatever these ghosts are." He gazes up at the giant mural spiraling up the inside of the windmill, ending in the bats at the top.  The last entry on the mural, so it seems, is Hooch shooting Rolfball down in Valley Camp.  Curious… Anyway, he assesses the situation (success) and finds the presence in here to be more benign than he thought: they're here to record stories, watch, and possess foreknowledge of things to come.  He still wants attention from them, though, so he heads to the top of the windmill, yells "Hey motherfuckers! I'm talking to you!" and takes his ax to one of the older drawings depicting the Old Valley before the big Event (go aggro on the mural: success). Jones immediately flips out, and one of the Historians does in fact make an appearance.  Since they live through the characters, they appear as them.  Hooch sees himself there with an ax, and has to offer himself a hard bargain: either they inhabit him and see what he sees or he will tear down the windmill.  Hooch's double shrugs.  "Stop the nightmares." Hooch demands.  "Life is scary, shit happens." the other Hooch replies. "It'll give you nightmares."  Hooch is taken aback by the fact that they think he's afraid of anything, but they seem nonplussed.  Hooch eventually confesses: "I'm scared that it's all too big," gesturing at the whole mural and referring to his huge responsibilities as cardholder.  Other Hooch has a simple reply: "People, they're not that complicated. … Nobody knows how their story ends."  They agree to meet again sometime and Hooch will likely continue to visit the haunted windmill in the future.  Jones is still shaking at the bottom of the windmill.  Hooch claps him on the back and offers him a space in his cabin if he'd like it.

Next session will begin with Dolarhyde, Barbecue and possibly others in Valley Camp, and building actions in progress to provide shelter for the refugees back at the holding.