Because of the holidays, I am a little backed up on the story status, but the game did run the last two weeks. So this will be a summary of the last two sessions.
With the death of Ean and the near death of most of the party, the players had the inevitable task of returning to Pineville and explaining to Dr. Redmond what happened to his son. On the trek back to the settlement, the party came across a ransacked caravan that had been attacked by a pair of Deathclaws (again, there will be no Deathclaws in the actual product. This is an ongoing joke with the players and my primary tool for keeping them in line). Surveying the carnage, they found a survivor trapped beneath an overturned wagon.
*Sidebar: After Ean’s death, we discussed the Doctor class and made some significant changes to it. In order to test the new rules, Brandon rolled a 1st level Occultist, 2nd level Doctor to play with the multiclass mix and see how it would work. He also decided to give the new character the same mutations and follow the same Nordic pantheon. (In the post-apocalyptic world, people just worship whatever they want including long-forgotten pantheons).
The survivor had amnesia and only remembered that he had bought passage wit the caravan to head to New Orleans. The other player’s noticed that he looked strangely like Ean and hatched a plot to pass him off as Dr. Redmond’s son. Though he refused to believe he was Ean, the survivor had nowhere else to go so decided to follow the party.
The players then snuck “Ean” to Mortimer’s lab and explained their predicament. Mortimer sent the players off to go find Captain Harris and file a report with him and Vance while he talked to “Ean.” Mortimer plainly explained to the survivor that he had two choices: he could go along with the charade so as not to mess up Mortimer’s own plans or he could leave the settlement…alone…with only the clothes on his back. As Mortimer explained, the settlement has finite resources, and none of them are used for charity cases.
So “Ean 2” finally agreed to go along with the ruse, for now, until he got his own memory back and could figure out why he was going to New Orleans. Mortimer then employed some of his rituals on Dr. Redmond to cement the lie. The doctor now believes simply that his son has temporary amnesia.
Thankfully, despite the epic failure of the premature explosion, most of the RNT was either killed, trapped, or chased off from the ruins. Vance organized teams to go into the ruins and root out any remaining RNT soldiers to make sure they were gone for good. The party then went back to the ruins to help with the clean up, with an additional mission from Dr. Redmond to see if they could swing by the ruins of the clinic or hospital and see if there was any medical equipment salvageable.
Once in the ruins, the party came across the first couple of RNT soldiers driving a military vehicle out of the ruins. Everyone but Ean2 successfully hid. Stuck in the middle of the street, Ean waved down the vehicle, pretending to be a survivor. As the vehicle slowed down to meet him, the rest of the party sniped the driver and passenger from behind cover and killed them. They then commandeered the vehicle and used it to engage in some Grant Theft Auto style silliness by trying to run down any soldiers they came across.
They came across the hospital, which was partially collapsed. Cross had some difficulty navigating the collapsed building and one of his legs went through a floorboard. As his friends pulled him out, he felt something grab at his leg. Upon regaining his balancing and looking down into the hole he almost fell through, he saw a zombie trying to climb up after him.
After dispensing of the zombie in the hole, the party moved more cautiously through the building. They found a couple of more feral zombies in the remains of the emergency room and dealt with them. In the empty pharmacy, they found a “friendly” zombie who claimed to just be scavenging supplies. The party decided NOT to shoot first and ask questions later, and learned that the zombie was actually from New Orleans and was in the area spying on the RNT for the Zombie Court. Clyde then told the party if they ever make their way to Nola to look him up at the Rising Sun Merchant’s Guild and he might be able to help them out.
After the successful clearing out of the RNT troops, the party had a couple weeks of downtime and resumed their normal activities at the settlement. They decided they should work on their newly acquired military vehicle and maybe reinforce it with some armor plating and such in case they need it in the future. But the settlement lacks those sort of resources, so they requested time off from work to go back into the ruins and see if they could find some stuff.
Captain Harris granted the time off, under the condition that they try to search the old schools for any books or supplies that might be useable. The settlement’s existing supplies are sorely lacking, so anything they can bring back would be a big help.
So they go back into the ruins and decide to look for the old bus terminal because there might be equipment and stuff there. As they arrive, they notice zombies scavenging about, but through observing them realize they aren’t feral zombies so decide to approach and talk to them.
The zombies are none too excited to see them. One of the female zombies runs off in fear of being shot at. The exchange begins a little tense, but eventually the two sides agree to leave each other alone.
The zombies leave to go look for their friend, and the players continue to scout around the bus terminal. The garage door is crushed shut and the other half of the garage is collapsed in, but they manage to squeeze in through the rubble and discover a tour bus in functional condition inside the garage if they can get the door open. After digging up some welding equipment, they cut open the door and get a look at the bus. The interior is a wreck thanks to a family of dire rats that had been living in it, but the mechanics are all in working order. The party gets the idea that the bus would be a great mobile base for themselves and get to work on cleaning it up.
That night, one of the zombies approaches the party and asks for their help. Sarah, the female that ran off, was captured by a group of Goths who think they are necromancers. The rest of her group is worried as to what they might do to her but are outnumbered four to one against the group. Since it was sort of the party’s fault she ran off to begin with, they ask the party to help them stage a rescue mission. In exchange, they offer to help them fix up the bus as one of their members, Sam, was a civil engineer before the war.
So they all go to the old apartment building the gang is holed up in. After some preliminary scouting, Cross and Ean2 determine the Goths are just a bunch of wannabe punks who have no clue about magic. Cross and Ean hatch a plan to infiltrate the group by pretending to be representatives of the Ordo Temples in New Orleans who are seeking out new apprentices.
Cross walks up to the office door and knocks, acting appropriately “mysterious” and saying that the coven’s actions have been “noticed” and that he was sent to provide guidance. The leaders of the group are excited that their rituals have finally been noticed and after a brief exchange show Cross where the “sacrifice” is being kept.
Cross then acts disgusted, claiming the sacrifice was not sufficiently pure for the ritual they were attempting to conduct. He convinces the leaders to release Sarah to his custody, and he would take her to Ordo Temples for purification.
As they prepare to leave, the leaders get on the walkie talkies and inform the rest of the coven that masters from the Ordo Temples had graced them with a visit, and that everyone should get into the courtyard to pay proper respects. Meanwhile, the rest of the party has positioned themselves in locations to provide cover if it was needed.
As Mike and Ean lead Sarah out of the courtyard, the rest of the party decides to just open fire on the coven. The female members flee into the various rooms, while the men try to get their weapons and fight back. But it is pretty much a slaughter.
Then, being proper post-apocalyptic heroes cough, cough the party decides to rescue cough, cough the surviving females who no doubt need someone to protect them cough, cough. The ladies, upon realizing they are no longer in immediate danger and somewhat amused that their leaders were so easily tricked by Cross (and the women were not influenced at ALL by the fact that some of the males in the party had high charisma scores. Nope, played no part whatsoever in their decisions) decided to go with the guys back to the tour bus.