Friday, March 8, 2013

Deadlands, Part XXXIII

When last we left our heroes, Rex tangled with some assassins (and exploded), David and Ruby spoke to Dr. Morrow about losing their memories, and the group discovered (quite unexpectedly) that they're planning a party for the society folks of Sweet Water — the implication being that they planned to assassinate The Doctor at this function.

Given the revelation regarding the party, the group decides to go pick decorations.  Rufina will stay behind to watch Jeb's chalk drawing.  David, Father Seward, Rex, and Ruby will go to the ballroom to begin preparations.  If it comes to it, Ruby will feign hysteria to attempt to find out information regarding the party.

When the group arrives in the ballroom, Rex starts investigating to get an idea of the layout as well as the entrances, exits, and windows.  Father Seward casually looks around.  David and Ruby start addressing the various stewards and sales representatives, and with the help of a little hysteria and some fake laudanum huffing, David and Ruby manage to learn that the party is in three days hence, and they never specified the type of party (there's a brief moment when the group thinks it's going to be a wedding, but that turns out to be a misunderstanding).  Ruby explains that it's merely a social, getting-to-know-the-city sort of affair.

After decorations and such are selected, Ruby receives word that her solicitor has delivered some items for the party, and they will be delivered to her when they clear customs.  Armed with this knowledge, the group retires to their rooms to dress for the party.  As the time approaches, they head to The Well.  They are lead through the main hall and into a great lift.  The lift operator takes them up — with only a cage for a door, the interiors of the rooms they pass are clearly visible.  The first room they pass appears to contain the skeleton of some terrible, winged beast, vaguely recognizable as some manner of dinosaur — Father Seward recognizes a pterodactyl.  However, the creature's skin has been partially reconstructed with canvas, and there is an unnatural bulge in the belly.

The room above reveals the likely source of the bulge — more dinosaur fossils are here, partially rebuilt with mechanical parts.

What The Doctor is doing with an army of robotic dinosaurs is anybody's guess.

Another room contains several crates — the Richmond shipping addresses on some of the items suggest that this is where items wait before being processed by customs.

Finally, the group arrives at the top floor.  Partially open onto a great balcony, the room overlooks the entire city.  A long table seats several guests; Bella, Dr. Morrow, the Duchess, Mandragora, and the police inspector who helped Rex with his cousin's affairs when the group first entered town are all present.  The group is seated.  David is seated between Father Seward and Rex.  Father Seward is seated next to an empty chair (ostensibly for Jeb).  Rex is seated next to a journalist by the name of Sam Stone, a female reporter from out West.  Ruby is seated next to Rufina; on her other side is a sinister-looking man with a sickly pallor and black veins named Mr. Thane who is evidently working with the Talmud Corporation.  In addition to Ruby, Rufina is sitting next to an older gentleman with an interest in energy.

Some members of the group notice that the help staff is packing.

Just as dinner is about to begin, The Doctor addresses the group.  He says that the five who have just joined the table are among the new breed of those in the West, those who —

And then all hell breaks loose.

There is a sickening lurching sensation as the building begins to move; next comes the awful sound of the city's gears grinding.  Several people tumble out of chairs.  The city has ground to a halt, and many of the buildings cannot handle the strain of a sudden stop.  In the distance, some collapse.  The Tower and The Well remain standing, but structural integrity is critically damaged.  As the dust settles, the group assembles themselves.  The Doctor is ushered away.  Of Bella, there is no sign.  Dr. Morrow looks to the group, and as everyone decides to leave, he follows.

The group finds their way to a lift, and heads back down to ground level.

**********************************

And now for a bit of dramatic irony.  (Especially for those who notice this session is a bit shorter than normal.)

Our GM has been doing some solo sessions with Jeb's player while Jeb has been away.  This session, our scenes were intercut with Jeb's scenes.  So, this session, we got part of his story out of context and without the characters' knowledge.

He's currently climbing out of a deep pit, faintly glowing green and filled with machinery, followed by several naked children.  The implication is that he's in the uranium pits underneath the city, and when he fired his gun at a glass tube and broke it, the entire city started to shake and grind to a halt.

We're pretty certain we're going to meet with Jeb as both parties are leaving The Well, only we don't know that in-character.  (Several characters suspect that we will, based on the fact that only Jeb can cause this level of widespread destruction.)

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