[ Author’s Note: This is the episode synopsis for the 17th session of the Dark Waters Rising campaign. This session was the end of the first campaign arc. This is my take as to what happened during the session. Please let me know if there are any comments or corrections.
Heads Up: For the players at the session please read the end of The Trap Is Sprung carefully. I forgot something during the session that needed to happen for the next campaign arc. It is in italics. ]
The Cahokian Guardian Dragon
After bandaging themselves from the hell hound attack the characters approach the small structure at the old mining complex. Anne bashes down the door and confronts a tiny deformed man who is hiding in the corner. After making a bargain with Ebon Gnails he tells them that he knows the location of the sword but he has never held it. He explains that the sword is down in the mines below his shack. Down in the mines Ebon leads the way to a crystal cavern lined with sphalerite. Adorning the entrance to the cavern are Native American cave paintings. Stone deduces that the writing is from the Cahokian tribe and based on the pigments used they are from the 13 century. Anne finds a pictograph of a lion with a human head on a snake body and a long fish tail. She explains that the creature is a piasa. Piasa are actually protectors of the land and are actually a type of dragon.
On the other side of the crystal cavern is a small alcove. Embedded in the rock with only the hilt protruding is a very old looking bronze sword. As the PC approach, rocks beside the sword move aside and a crazy looking creature emerges. The piasa explains that he is the guardian of the land and that a sword with so much evil must be kept out of the wrong hands. After some careful bargaining the PC convince the piasa that they plan to use the sword to destroy a demon that is even more foul. Reluctantly the piasa agrees. He asks them to return the blade within a season then to seal off the tunnel so that others may not so easily find its location. At this point Stone reaches out to touch the handle of the sword with his mystical senses. The piasa raises an eyebrow but only watches. When Stone touches the sword hilt he feels a cool wind coming from the west. The wind becomes biting cold tearing through his clothing, As he looks down terrible scorpions and spiders are climbing up his legs stinging him! He releases the sword clawing at his legs! Even though mentally scarred the entire event was something only he observed. The piasa seems content with the results and allows Ron to take the sword from the stone. Was Alastair’s vision some type of test? The PC leave the mines and return to New Orleans leaving Ebon to his shack.
The Trap Is Sprung!
Now having a weapon to use against Lamashtu the PC prepare to summon her. Stone focuses on the spell while Ron and Anne setup the location and gather the remaining components. They decide one of Anne’s warehouses will be the best location as they can keep out the moonlight and the floor is a concrete slab. They get sweat from a mother and blood from her baby by bribing a private midwife. This is used by Stone to draw the mystical circle that will call to Lamashtu. To make things tough on Lamashtu and her demons the group sets up a large salt square around the area and several strategically placed demon traps. The result leaves only one portal unprotected. Dual sets of curtains protect the area from moonlight.
Alastair starts the spell near midnight. As he chants the characters hear thunder and wind buffeting the warehouse. When the spell reaches a climax he calls out to Pazuzu for his power! The circle lights up with a red demonic glow. The characters then whisper messages to Lamashtu to draw her into the circle. The powerful messages complete the spell and now they only have to wait for her to arrive.
About 45 minutes later a black van pulls up the warehouse. Two men and two women get out of the van. Quickly one of the men walks around the build then one of the women enters the door. She walks across two demon traps causing them to merely flare up. When Lamashtu enters the second curtain the PC see a young woman in her 20’s with a pink hoodie. Around her is a glowing protection. Ron strikes out with the sword landing a massive blow to her neck. Lamashtu falls to one knee when Anne opens up with blessed M16 rounds. Anne lands several deadly shots! At that point Stone calls forth lightning that seems to cause her pain. After the barrage Lamashtu stands and enters the circle. After reaching the center of the circle the host that Lamashtu is inhabiting rips in half! A multiarmed multifaced demons woman emerges! Lamashtu taunts the characters then moves to stop Ron who is wielding what Lamashtu refers to as that “foul blade”. She strikes at Ron who takes a blow that grazes his chest. Anne then lets the PC know that a second or so after the first attack breached the shield that it was momentarily down. Acting as a team Ron waits to strike in concert with Anne and Stone. First Anne shoots another volley into Lamashtu bringing down her shield. Once down Ron strikes home with the sword and Stone lets loose with another lightning bolt! Lamashtu falls to the ground and turns to dust. The other demons see their master fall and turn to leave. One gets caught in a well-placed demon trap then stares on hopelessly as Ron cuts off its head.
After the battle ends the PC tend to their wounds and call in Winston’s crew to clean up the mess. When they leave the warehouse they are shocked to see that the clouds have not cleared. For nearly 15 minutes at several points around the city they see red lightning striking the ground. What is causing the lightning strikes?!? Is it some type of after effect of the spell?!? Within an hour the sun is shining and the clouds have parted.
At this point the characters visit Sutherland and try to decide what to do with him. Anne thinks back to a scene that she had with her brother Cliff. She enters his office and confronts him about the crossroads demon. At first Cliff tells Anne that he wanted the company to continue to do well. When Anne argues that the company is not doing poorly Cliff explains that he wanted to leave something for his wife, Sarah, and their two kids. Anne continues to berate Cliff who goes quiet. After a pause Cliff tells Anne that he has terminal pancreatic cancer. Doctors gave him a month to live. Cliff explains the he knew about supernatural creatures because of Anne and tried to find a cure or a way out. A member of the Rosicrucian’s told him about crossroad demons. He used this as a starting point for his research. Eventually he found a man in England (Sutherland) who offered to sell him details on how crossroads demons could be contacted. Cliff made the deal and contacted a demon. He asked for 10 more years of life and success in business. In 10 years his soul would be condemned to hell. Anne consoles her brother then the scene shifts back to Sutherland.
Anne and Stone are not sure what to do with Sutherland. Anne feels that a simple verbal agreement is not enough. Stone does not think killing him is the right answer. The two are left discussing their options…
Sleep does not come easy this night for Madame Astryd Trudeau. After tossing and turning she decides to let the tarot direct her thoughts. The voodoo priestess pulls out her deck and pulls up a chair to her table. Queen of Wands reversed. Seven of Cups reversed. The Sun reversed. The Magician upright. The Empress upright. The High Priestess reversed. The Moon upright. Strength reversed. The Lovers upright. The Devil upright. The Chariot upright. Ten of Swords reversed. With sweat dripping down her face she thinks of the dangerous game that her friends are playing with that demon bitch. Three of Wands reversed. She breathes out a sigh of release, “The fates are with you this time mes amies…I pray that they continue to be in your corner for evil is rising like a dark tide…”
This section details some of the loose ends that remain after the close of the first campaign arc.
- The Ikon Of Khan – Left hidden in the swamp.
- Sutherland Captive – Should he live? If so what should they do with him?
- Red Lightning Strikes – What was that all about? Does it mean anything? Stone said that spell to call Lamashtu was really evil. Is this related and if so how?