Festival of Botches (November 15, 2003)

Hank Reardon (Alan)
Omeed Connelly (Jim)
Simon Moon (Robert)
Jack Sims (Paul)
Nathan Blank (Darren)
Dodge Coffin (Jeff)
Christine Deimos (Michele)
Ryan Cahill (Cheatenest)

At the start of the game, Dodge & Christine are not with us yet.

This week we begin from outside the door of our contact. There was no answer and so I suggested someone who could look through the door please do so. Omeed could do so and promptly teleported in. Almost immediately he teleports back and warns us that there are three men and a victim. Nathan kicks the door down and we see two men with knives in the room, a third is outside climbing down the fire escape. Omeed puts a slug into the chest of the closest one, prompting the other to also head for the window. While Nathan grabs and holds one man, Omeed, Hank & Simon pursue the thugs. Ryan tears up linen and boils hot water or something. No, that's right he gets items with which to subdue the injured man. Jack checks on the man on the bed. It is a ritual killing, though not likely for power so much as to instill fear.

Outside, Omeed teleports downstairs to intercept the first man at his car. They exchange gun shots and knife swings. 70 year old action man, Hank Reardon tries to chase down one man and winds up taking a spill. Fortunately the man opted to run away rather than wait and kill him. (We did indeed have superior numbers.)

Hank takes their getaway car and glances off of the man with one hit and misses him with the other, but in the end, all three men are caught. After consulting with Quaid, those of us who are neither injured nor fired a weapon depart while the rest remain to talk to the police. Before the cops show, we loot the room and bodies and find Dust of Disappearance--er, actually I mean, we find several clues.

They manage to get through the cop questioning and back to meet with us. Quaid is upset that his good friend, Jackson Elias, has been killed. We attend his funeral, and the festival of botches begins!

While at the funeral, Jack Simms engages his "Life vision". And due to the "1", he manages to see the body in the casket as ALIVE! He is obviously freaked out by this and remains behind with Omeed to investigate. Eventually they convince a priest to open the casket, and his senses are so screwed up due to chaos scourge that he's certain the body is alive. Anyone else looking upon it can see it is obviously dead. Jack spends the next few days out of the investigation, locked up in his room. Eventually, Hank Reardon manages to mix up something that will dull Jack's senses, allowing him to leave the house.

We begin to accumulate a great many clues! Far too many for me to recall here. So I'll try and put together some of the info off the top of my head. This means it will undoubtedly have items in it that are WRONG, so feel free to correct me.
In August 1993, Carlyle was contacted by Fazir (something or other) and was told that he had some items of interest at his shop in Cairo.
In October of 1993, there are news bulletins of Playboy Carlyle taking off on an expedition. He is taking with him Sir Penhew (British royalty), the head of the Penhew foundation who are responsible for funding archeological digs; Winona Ryder, actress; and two other people whose names escape me.
The Expedition is believed to be searching for King Solomon's mines. Amid this they "take a break" to go on a photo safari in Africa. Yeh, right.
In Africa they are lost. Eventually some tribesmen find the bodies.
Another group of tribesmen believe responsible for the deaths are executed.
Jackson Elias goes to several parts of the world trying to find out clues and information about the events.
Clues we have laying around include
A matchbook from a bar (which sounds like it's either in the orient, or to me sounds more like it's in China Town.)
A yellowed, blurry photograph of a boat amid a bunch of other chinese boats. The boat has the letters DAR ont he back, but if there is more it is cut off.
It seems that Erica Carlyle (the sister of the man slain in africa) is inheritor of his estate. After discussion of several approaches, including the truth, we decide to watch her from afar. I set up outside a charity event as a photographer. Christine and Simon Moon go inside as guests (and give 'til it hurts).

By far the most entertaining episode of the night was the ATTEMPT to get hired by the hotel for the event. This was first tried by tall, not-so-handsome indian, Dodge Coffin. He inexplicably decides to alter his name to Coffine (to give it a little French flair) and talk his way into being a bus boy... or security. This set off an hour of "I'd like to be a busboy... or a molecular chemist", "I'd like to be a busboy... or an ER physician" jokes that I assure you are far funnier if you attended.

Needless to say, he got a "Don't call us, we'll call you" response. Jack Sims likewise got a similar response when he showed up and attempted to get hired to help set up. He was "volunteering". They sent him to the MD folks (This is a charity event for Muscular Distrophy) and he proceeds to botch his roll to convince them to let him in to the event to help out.

The event is nearly worthless. We just see people, don't spot anything shady going on, and Christine & Simon don't make much contact with Erica Carlyle. My photos, however, using my sensory abiliies, come out ultra sharp, and one even comes out with a need hologram-like X-Ray effect. And those I print up using the emulsifier designed by Hank Reardon actually show the people's auras. Nothing to surprising really... not lots of evil showing up on film.

I forget how, but we wind up at a shop in Harlem called Ju-Ju's (?). It's a store that sells african imports. We are scowled at but allowed to shop. Some people buy items after engaging the owner in conversation. I believe it is here that we get more botches. At some point Christine decides to use her senses to scan the items bought by our people, and she rolls a 1, causing a strange red electrical energy to emit from her mouth each time she opens it. It seems she is losing essence whenever she tries to talk.

We all make our "Destiny" rolls. I'm the only one who succeeds, everyone else fails, and the one guy with NO destiny (Jack) begins to worry. And he should, because during the night, there is a crash. We make perception rolls. Some only hear a noise, some hear it as glass breaking, some are certain it is happening in Jack's room, and Jack (who is in his room) witnesses a bizarre bug-like creature bursting through the window.