AP: Merciful Bear

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AP: Merciful Bear
« on: November 18, 2014, 11:45:26 AM »
The holding is called Merciful Bear after the nose art of an ancient bomber aircraft whose wreckage (and one good gun turret) makes up part of the scrap-metal wall surrounding the town. The (NPC) hardholder is a woman called Lin; she takes a share of the crops grown in the holding’s poor soil, maintaining a small standing militia of about 12 soldiers, and keeping a distillery running, producing liquor and fuel.

The PCs:

Joo, the Gunlugger sheriff, genetically engineered human/canine hybrid, ex-mercenary and family man; he and his wife and stepson came to town at a time when Lin’s soldiers were getting greedy and abusive, and he put a couple of them down; now he functions as a check on Lin’s power.

Mostly, the Brainer, who recently stumbled into town weak with fever; she owes a debt of gratitude to the local doctor; she has little memory of her past prior to two years ago.

Truth, the Hocus; he and his nomadic sex-and-drugs cult recently arrived and set up camp in the hills just outside of town.

Re: AP: Merciful Bear
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2014, 11:46:06 AM »
First Session:

Lin sends two of her soldiers, Barker and Amy, to collect Mostly for a chat. Joo sees them and invites himself along. Lin leans on Mostly to make restitution for using up the last of Doc’s antibiotics; one of her boys has an infected wound. With Joo’s support, they come to an agreement - 1-barter to Lin now (in the form of a gold & copper shiny tchotchke) and barter or medicine to Doc when Mostly can make that happen.

Truth’s cult is hung over and sleeping in from the previous night’s orgy. Truth’s second, a woman named Pity, slinks around Truth whining about the group’s food situation. Truth claims never to eat or sleep; Pity can’t quite call Truth’s bluff on the claim. Truth sets out down to the town to wheel and deal.

Truth enters Merciful Bear through the main gate where two more of Lin’s people, Monk and Rum, are on duty. In the town’s scrap yard, Truth finds a burned-out car to meditate in. They see the connections of pressure and obligation in town: Lin’s leverage over Doc; the townspeoples’ dependence on Doc; the direct and indirect power of her soldiers. Truth continues into town.

Mostly and Truth make their introductions. Truth asks if there’s food for sale in town, they play it cagey about what their cult has to offer. Suddenly, there’s gunfire and shouting at the gate. Joo heads that way at a run, Truth and Mostly following behind. As all attention goes westward, there's a larger explosion on the north wall — the town’s fuel depot going up. Monk comes off the gate and heads north along the wall; Rum, shot in the leg, can’t follow. Joo scales the wall, sees a young girl, gut-shot, lying out front of the gate. He runs north along the wall as well. Another satchel bomb comes over the wall, a car motor revs, and a sedan tries to make a getaway. Joo tears it up with his machinegun. Truth opens his brain again and sees connections from the car and the girl to somewhere far, far to the north.

As the depot burns, Mostly collects the wounded girl, Prim, psychically orders her not to die, and brings her back to Doc’s. Rum limps along behind, pissed off at the triage priority. Joo finds one dead and two injured in the car, gives one the coup de grace, and tries to interrogate the other, who’s tourniquetting his leg with his belt. Rather than give up any info, the guy pulls off the belt and bleeds out.

Truth goes to Lin’s and demands an audience. After a brief scuffle with Barker, they get it while the citizens and soldiers try to contain the fuel depot fire.

Mostly and Doc start working on Prim. Rum pounds on the door of Doc’s shack, Joo comes to intervene. They get the story from Rum of Prim walking up to the gate and shooting him, and Monk retaliating. Mostly uses in-brain puppet-strings to make Rum forget the details of who shot who when.

Joo’s wife Alice comes to Doc’s to check in with Joo and tells him that stepson Spade disappeared shortly before the attack. Joo tells her to go back to the house, he’ll find the boy.

Re: AP: Merciful Bear
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2014, 11:46:55 AM »
Second Session:

Joo opened his wolfy senses to try and find Spade. The smoke from the fuel depot and general agitation in town threw him off, and he went a-prowling and a-growling south, scaring the citizenry.

Mostly used her healing touch on Prim to back up Doc's stitching; Prim appeared to Mostly to be somewhat older than she had originally -- 14 or 15 instead of 12; she also has a strangely carved bone disc in the small of her back. Opening her brain, Mostly could hear Prim's subconscious mantra, "don't die; he'll come for you; don't die; she said not to die" -- and beyond that a low, chuckling buzzing.

At the south wall, Joo heard running footsteps outside the town; scaling the wall he saw it was Spade. Catching up with him, he determined that the boy was terrified of something, but also totally unwilling to say what.

Truth got his audience with Lin; while she wasn't eager to trust him or his people working the distillery in town, she did allow that she'd be somewhat better disposed towards the cult if they delivered up the attackers who bombed the fuel depot. Truth found Amy and got her to take him to Barker's shack; he intimidated the soldier back behind his door, to Amy's amusement; she agreed to play hooky from guard duty to accompany him back to the cult's camp.

Mostly then visited an increasingly exasperated Lin. Lin found out that Prim was at Doc's, and dispatched a guard to keep her there.

Truth and Amy arrived at the camp and began preparations for the Squelchening. Pity seemed unusually satisfied, and Truth guessed that she'd killed Tabby and fed on her body, but was more surprised to learn that she hadn't shared with the rest of the family.

All the members of Truth's cult took doses of their aphrodisiac drug, Squelch™ (previously fistyglide™). The drug-fueled orgy geared up, and reaching through the maelstrom via the cult's psychic antenna, Truth called Mostly to join the party. Joo tagged along as well.

As Joo tried to figure out what was going on with the swirling and the vibrating air and all the fucking birds, the screams of ecstasy inside the ritual circle suddenly changed to screams of rage and terror. Pity punched right through Wisher's chest; a few other people started beating on others, and things started getting confused.

Amy panicked and ordered Truth to stop the party, pointing her SMG at him for emphasis. Truth pushed the gun aside and insisted everything was under control.

Line of the night:
"Are you going through the, uh, barrier, feathers and birds, wall thing?"
"If that's where the fisting is, yeah."

Mostly rushed into the squelchy place to try and pull Wisher out of harm's way, getting an elbow in the face for her trouble. Joo jumped into the fray, growling and shooting into the air, drawing the attention of the skeletally gaunt and very ragey Norvell. After pulling Norvell off of Joo, Truth commanded his people to grab their few violent members, and bring them forth: Norvell, Pity, Krin, and Fleece.

Mostly used her healing touch on Wisher as he was going into shock, blacking out in the process to stabilize him.

Truth harshly laid all the blame for the situation on Pity, who explained that the Squelch was making some of the cultists uncontrollably violent; a handful of the cultists had tried it the night before, leading to some fights; furthermore, Spade had visited the camp this morning, and his threesome with Pity and Tabby had been cut short when Pity beat Tabby to death.

Pity ran off up into the hills. Truth chased her down, grabbed her, and they had a cathartic, if painful, lovemaking session right there in the dirt.

Joo talked again to Spade, guessing that he'd seen something nasty at the cult camp; there was some awkward bonding, and Joo gave his hunting rifle to the boy.

Re: AP: Merciful Bear
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2014, 01:01:40 AM »
"Sometimes when you stick a flare gun in someone's mouth, it goes off.”

In session 3, we had a new character join:

Frost, the breathtaking Skinner; a larger-than-life personality, she's well-connected in town, and intimate with Lin. She spends her days drinking with the townsfolk, gathering news and gossip, and does a weekly live performance recapping the news with a comic slant.

We briefly return to Truth and Pity after the squelchening. Pity leads Truth to Tabby’s ruined body, and like a parent who caught their child smoking, Truth say “now you finish eating the whole thing.” Together they consume Tabby’s body; she will be a mysterious disappearance rather than a martyr.

Two days later, Frost pops into Matilda’s bar, but there’s no vodka to be had; it’s all going to the generators. She skips the applejack and chats a bit with Amy, who spreads the gossip that the sheriff’s kid had sex with one of the cult.

Frost, Joo, and Truth (with Pity in tow) go to Lin’s to discuss the now-desperate fuel situation, and Frost helps Truth seduce Lin into agreeing to let the cultists act as perimeter lookouts when the lights go out tonight; in exchange for putting their butts on the line, Lin will allow them refuge in the scrapyard if a serious attack comes.

Doc sends the weaselly Brace to tell Mostly that Prim woke up briefly; Mostly goes to Doc’s and sends him to Matilda’s with enough jingle in his pocket to get a snort of applejack. Making psychic contact with the girl again, Mostly hears a growling chant: “sleeping weeping creeping beauty…. sleeping weeping creeping beauty.” She uses in-brain puppet strings to command Prim to listen only to her, and Prim immediately awakens. They chat a bit; Prim says that someone named Kingsley sent her, but doesn’t give any more concrete info. They discuss her prospects, Mostly hinting that she should come up with a good story for Lin if she wants to live. She tries to read Prim’s intentions and the girl immediately goes into convulsions, the growling voice returning with a torrent of foul language. Prim’s wound reopens, and the psychic backlash from Mostly’s healing touch knocks them both out.

Joo goes to see Junkyard Harry, looking for radios for the cultists; they’re interrupted by the arrival of Glasstown courier, Lady Margo, who brings news of a raid on her town — well-organized soldiers in matching uniforms, who went straight for the town’s armory, killing a dozen people along the way. Besides bringing the news, Margo wants a bigger gun than than her little 9mm; Harry brings out a fairly rare model of submachinegun, which Joo immediately recognizes from his pre-mercenary mysterious past. Harry says he pulled two of them from the car that attacked the town in session 1. Joo also trades Harry his valuable case of pre-fall ammunition for a couple of sticks of plastic explosive.

Frost and Lin have sex; Frost wants to ensure she’s got hypnotic hold in the bank with Lin if bad shit goes down.

Truth buys a flare gun at the holding’s market (from a guy who we’ll call Chekhov), as well as a makeshift megaphone made from an old traffic cone.

Mostly comes to and opens her brain while touching the bone disc in the small of Prim’s back. The second voice she’s been hearing in her psychic contacts with Prim is (a) non-human, and (b) present in the bone disc.

Truth & Pity go to see Mostly, sensing she’s at Doc’s. He doesn’t want to be seen going in the front door, so sneaks around the back; he’s about to crawl in through the back window when his old buddy Barker happens to come around the corner. Truth tells him to walk away; Barker steps up; Truth pistol-whips him with the flare gun. Barker goes for his gun and Truth puts the flare gun in his mouth.

And then the flare gun goes off.*

The screams draw Mostly’s attention; she sees Pity and Truth dragging the horrifically-injured Barker to the ground. Truth sends Pity to find a sack; Mostly confronts Truth and works her healing mojo on Barker’s face. Truth and Mostly get him into the infirmary and send Brace to fetch Doc; Frost comes to investigate the commotion. There’s a lot of back and forth; Amy shows up and Frost sends her to spread the word that Frost is doing a show tonight; Mostly tries to get Truth to stop turning to violence; Truth seduces Frost to get her to convince Mostly to worth with Truth on a joint maelstrom-contact effort. Frost takes Truth back to her place for hypnotic sex.

Joo returns home and begins readying his go-bag. Alice asks him if he’s going somewhere; they fight a bit over whether he’s going out alone tomorrow to investigate the attackers. She wins the argument and they, too, have the sex.

Mostly strolls by the sheriff’s house for a chat and finds a disgusted Spade sitting on the front porch with a hunting rifle. She asks if the name Kingsley means anything to him; it doesn’t.

* I think this was an error on my part. I called for a “do something under fire” when Truth tried to put the flare gun in Barker’s mouth, and the result was a 7-9. I probably should have given him a choice between the gun going off and something else happening, like maybe Barker headbutts him, but I talked myself into reading the “MC offers a worse outcome” phrase as not being a choice because basically I wanted Barker’s face to be on fire. I think by that point the situation was hot enough that Barker was going to die no matter what, and this was the most awesome way to do it, but it did break the “what the rules demand” principle.