AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses

  • 44 Replies
AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
« 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?

Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
« Reply #1 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.

Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2010, 05:14:34 PM »
Yes, Evan, please go ahead and post the AP here!

Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
« Reply #3 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'.

Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
« Reply #4 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!

Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
« Reply #5 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.

Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
« Reply #6 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.

Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
« Reply #7 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.

Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
« Reply #8 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.

Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
« Reply #9 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...

Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2010, 08:48:39 PM »
Now I *really* want to play again!!!



  • 28
Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
« Reply #11 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!
"The Moving Finger writes: and, having writ, /Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit /Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, /Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it."

--Omar Khayyam, Rubaiyat

Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
« Reply #12 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:


Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
« Reply #13 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.

Re: AP: Appalachia, Windmills, Treehouses
« Reply #14 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.