Fire In The Sky

Gemini, Part II

After the ambush attempt of Gemini, Part I, the PCs took a brief detour from their pursuit of the Taleisin Society to interrogate the captured cultist, Ophelia. Malcolm Reading took the lead on the interrogation, as terrifying people into talking is more his forte than anyone else’s. Despite some initial difficulty, he was able to determine that the cult was traveling to Electric City, WA, a city built in the shadow of the Grand Coulee Dam, the largest hydroelectric dam in the country. The cultists brought with them four black duffel bags, and no one but the highest ranking members were allowed to see what was inside the bags. Ophelia said she never saw inside the bags and didn’t know what their contents were.

She told Reading that the black door was used in a ritual Morgan had performed the night before leaving for Electric City. She said that she needed to “consult with someone important.” Ophelia added that she had been sneaking in to Morgan’s room when she wasn’t around to read through Les Prophéties de la Haute Magie, a rare book containing the secrets of the black door ritual. Ophelia said she had learned enough to cast the spell again if the PCs wanted her to, but that she would only do it in exchange for immunity from prosecution for any criminal acts associated with the cult. After consulting with the rest of the group, who decided casting the spell again would be a bad idea, Reading laughed in her face and refused, leaving her to rot in prison.

The PCs then contacted Thessaly, hoping that her arcane expertise could help them to stop the cult. Reading asked her to come out to the motel room to examine the black door and tell them what its occult significance was, but remembering how the PCs had refused to allow her to come along with them on their last mission, ( Devil’s Tower, Part II), she refused. She told reading to tell Boone: “Quid pro quo, Mr. Boone,” and then hung up.

The PCs then picked up the trail of the cult, traveling to Electric City in the hopes of finally catching up with them. They fanned out, trying to gather information from the locals, and as luck would have it, Lance Boone ran into a local cop who said he had seen a group of five SUVs pulling into a local motel. Hightailing it to the motel rooms, Malcolm Reading, Eli Meadows, and Lance Boone picked the locks on their motel rooms one by one. Most of the motel rooms were largely empty, but in the final room the PCs found a metal rod with wires sticking out of it behind one of the desks, and Ned Icecave identified it as a C-4 blasting cap! Realizing that the cult was trying to blow up the Grand Coulee Dam, the PCs prepared to race to the dam.

But Morgan had set another trap for our heroes – a Formless Spawn, lying in wait in the toilet tank, slithered out and attempted to sneak up behind the PCs, but was foiled by Reading! A battle ensued, with Sarge, Reading, and Boone firing ineffectually at the formless spawn with their sidearms. As they realized that bullets had no impact upon this monster, they began to flee, but not before the creature impaled Boone upon its tentacle, leaving him unconscious and in critical condition!

Reading was also wounded, but managed to make it to their car, where the PCs had left the Flensing Rod of Abdul-Azim. Reading gave it to Sarge, who used the rod to disintegrate the Formless Spawn right before it devoured them both!

The PCs then hurried to the Grand Coulee Dam, but with most of their cell grievously injured and with military and law enforcement too far away to get there in time, they wondered how they were going to stop the well-armed cultists. Using blueprints extracted from a government database, the group was able to determine that there was a hidden interior staircase that could get them to the top of the bridge. They formed a plan to sneak onto the staircase and climb to the top of the dam, where Alexander DeLong would cast a spell to summon and bind an unknown mythos creature to his side! Praying that this would be enough to stop the cult, the PCs adjourned for the night, leaving the final conclusion of this adventure for another date.

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Gemini, Part I

Our next adventure opened three weeks after the last one. Joel Gregory and Malcolm Reading had been recovered from the clutches of MJ-12, and Ned Icecave had mostly recovered from the grievous chest would he suffered in Devil’s Tower, Part II.

Nunez called the PCs into the briefing room and explained that Delta Green keeps tabs on a number of occult and quasi-religious organizations, watching for signs of paranormal activity. In the past week, there have been signs that something strange is afoot in one such organization, the Taleisin society. The Taleisin Society began as a loose network of neo-pagans whose worship practices greatly resembled the infamous Esoteric Order of Dagon of Arkham, Massachusetts. Their members, normally scattered around the country, all recently boarded flights for New Haven Connecticut, and then dropped off the radar. Until 8 hours ago, when police camera footage surfaced revealing the passengers of an SUV, rented by a known society member, gunning down two police officers during a routine traffic stop before peeling out. Nunez explained that he wanted the PCs to track down the cult and figure out what was going on.

Hot in pursuit, the PCs headed out to western Montana, where the SUV had been sighted and where the two police officers had been killed. They discovered that the SUV had been abandoned several miles down the road, presumably because the cult stole another car. Malcolm Reading, using his expert investigation skills, found a trail of beaten down grass and bent twigs leading away from the SUV and back towards the main highway. Close to the highway, he found a man’s wallet that had been tossed into the weeds. It was empty of money and credit cards but had a driver’s license in it that had belonged to a local resident. There was also a car registered in his name. The PCs put out an APB on the vehicle, and local police reported that it was spotted parked at a Motel 6 several miles away.

Racing to the scene, the PCs spoke to the front desk attendant, who confirmed that a known cult member had showed up yesterday and booked a block of four rooms throughout the week. The PCs gathered a swarm of police officers and breached the doors to all four rooms simultaneously. Three were empty, but one room was filled five armed men, a woman dressed in flowing robes, and with a grenade taped to the wall, rigged to pull the pin when the door was opened!

Gathered outside the fourth door were Reading and four police officers. three of the cops were immediately killed in the blast, but Reading emerged from the smoke with only minor wounds. Standing his ground courageously, he opened fire on the armed group while the officers from the three empty rooms dashed over to the smoking, ruined fourth doorway. As the officers began to arrive and open fire, they started to take the armed thugs out, one by one. But the thugs weren’t going down without a fight, and during the exchange, one of the thugs scored a critical hit on Reading with his shotgun, blowing a huge hole out of his lower abdomen! Injured, Reading hobbled away from the door frame and slumped against the wall, where Jared Silverstein stanched the bleeding and sewed his wounds up.

Meanwhile, the police officers made short work of the remaining thugs, and one of them even managed to lob a flash bang into the room, blinding and deafening the female cultist. Ned Icecave dashed forward and zip-tied her hands, capturing her for interrogation later. After the dust had cleared, the cultist told the PCs that her name was Ophelia, and leadership of the cult had been taken over by a mysterious newcomer named Morgan. She said Morgan had told her and the armed men to stay behind in the hotel room “in case my sister of any of her newfound friends shows up.”

With that puzzling message, the group adjourned for the night. Who is this Morgan? And what is her diabolical plan? Find out on the next exciting episode of Fire in the Sky!

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Devil's Tower, Part II

When we left off, the PCs had tracked the location of their captured comrades to the Devil’s Tower oil platform, located deep within the Gulf of Mexico. After some deliberation, they decided to charter a boat to get them close to the platform and then make the approach by inflatable speedboat. Once there, they would plant explosives on the spar keeping the platform buoyant, and then sneak aboard by scaling the side ladder. Once aboard they would use the explosives as leverage to force MJ-12 to let them safely retrieve Malcolm Reading and Joel Gregory.

The PCs managed to plant the explosives and board the platform without a hitch, but ran into trouble when they were spotted by the guards and a firefight ensued! While Lance Boone, Jared Silverstein, and Ned Icecave held off the armed FBI agents on the lower levels of the platform, Frederick Goodwin stole one of their uniforms and made his way to the upper deck, where he managed to catch up with Agent Stephen Cleary as he and his men were preparing to board the helicopters on the two rooftop helipads and evacuate the platform! To make matters worse, a sudden storm picked up out of nowhere, rocking the platform with torrential downpours and gale-force winds!

Thinking fast, Goodwin managed to tackle Cleary and point a gun at his head, taking him hostage! With their commander now turned into a human shield, the FBI agents held their fire as Goodwin slowly retreated towards the lower decks with Reading and Gregory in tow. The assembled FBI agents and another special MJ-12 agent in high-tech body armor.

Cleary smiled as he explained that since Goodwin left MJ-12, they had found another psychic to replace him. And then without warning, the psychic supersoldier telekinetically grabbed Goodwin and slammed him into the wall! Cleary – not one to go quietly at any time – pulled a concealed pistol and tried to shoot Goodwin in the face! A struggle ensued, but Reading managed against all odds to wrest the gun away from Cleary and force him into a grapple.

Pinning him handily, Reading resumed using him as a human shield and forced Cleary to tell the FBI agents and their psychic supersoldier, who had enough guns to supply a small battalion trained on him, to stand down while he inched ever closer to the lower decks and freedom. Reading warned Cleary that if he tried anything else, he was a dead man. His reprieve was short-lived, however – as soon as he came into view of the control tower, two snipers positioned within opened fire! They missed, but it was enough to cause chaos to ensue, with the FBI agents opening up with a storm of bullets and buckshot.

Enraged, Reading threw Cleary over the side of the platform, where he plummeted 80 feet into the storm-tossed sea below. The supersoldier swan-dived into the sea after him, trying to save him from the raging waters beneath the platform. Meanwhile Goodwin, Reading and Gregory made their way below decks, where Icecave, Boone and Silverstein were waiting for them.

Flamethrower ready, Icecave held back the FBI agents as they tried to force their way down the stairs, lambasting them with jellied gasoline and leaving a pile of charred bodies at the bottom of the stairs! Meanwhile the rest of the group limped to the inflatable speedboat. With the rest of the group free of danger, Icecave made his way towards the boat, but as he was almost aboard, an FBI sniper who had made his way down the stairs took aim and fired – a critical hit right to the chest! His pericardium punctured and bleeding badly, Icecave collapsed, having only a few rounds to live! Silverstein and Boone raced up the ladder from the lifeboat to the stricken Icecave. Boone handily shot the FBI sniper while Silverstein went to work! One round passed and then another as Silverstein raced against time to stanch the bleeding and save Icecave from certain demise. But then, with one round left before certain death, salvation arrived in the form of a nat 20 on his heal check!

With Icecave stabilized and their captured comrades rescued, the PCs loaded into the inflatable speedboat and made their way for shore, saved to fight another day.

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Devil's Tower, Part I

In the time leading up to the mission, Ned Icecave pursued his lead on Dr. Nadja Fulani, who was reputed to know the location of the Pnakotic Manuscripts, a document which was said to hold the secret to breaking the death-curse on Brian Gall. After questioning staff and teaching assistants at the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute, he was able to pin down her location to a remote village in Nigeria. Reaching it, however, would be another matter entirely.

Our adventure opened with Cell K down two members – both the formidable Malcolm Reading and the greenhorn Joel Gregory having fallen into the clutches of Majestic-12. Somewhat more fortunately, Lance Boone and Cal narrowly slipped through MJ-12’s fingers, and managed to meet get to the Evac point in the Texas desert with the broken body of Brian Gall in tow. Secreted safely in the back of a semi truck, they made their way to the new Delta Green headquarters set up by Nunez in Bethesda, Maryland.

When they arrived, Nunez was waiting along with Jared Silverstein, Ned Icecave, and a new addition to the team, Frederick Goodwin. Nunez apologized for the disastrous mission that had led the PCs into the clutches of MJ-12. He sighed and said that the time had come for the PCs to be let in on a great secret. He explained that after the 1947 Roswell New Mexico UFO crash, the United States government had come into possession of a real flying saucer. Faced with the question of what to do about it, they formed a special task force, code-named Majestic 12, to manage research into the grays and their technology. Conversely, the pre-existing group Delta Green was tasked with denying foreign governments the use of alien technology. The two organizations were at odds from the start. Majestic-12 was eager to cosy up with the grays from the start, while Delta Green remained suspicious of the strange beings from another world. An unfortunate misstep spelled disaster for Delta Green in 1974 – an unauthorized excursion into Cambodia caused an embarrassing backlash, prompting the Feds to officially disband Delta Green, leaving Majestic-12 as the sole legitimate American paranormal organization.

Realizing that Majestic-12 could not be trusted with the safety and security of the American people, a hundred of top former members of Delta Green met privately just weeks later to confer about what must be done. At the close of their meeting, a clear conclusion had been reached – to continue Delta Green as a secret conspiracy within the Federal government. Legitimate or not, Delta Green’s work was too important to abandon. Nunez asked the group if they would continue on their mission, even knowing that Delta Green is an unlawful conspiracy, and was met with a resounding and unhesitant “yes,” from everyone present.

They swiftly set to work plotting how to locate and rescue their captured comrades. Nunez told the group that Delta Green’s agents had spotted a helicopter with a military designation and no registered flight plan heading east from the area around Abbot, TX. The group tracked it to a military hospital in Maryland, where they deduced that Reading and Gregory were likely being held. Using a janitor’s disguise, Goodwin was able to infiltrate the hospital and break into the chief administrator’s computer, which revealed that two anonymous prisoners were evacuated from the hospital by helicopter that morning, bound for an air force base in Louisiana.

Realizing they were but one step behind their quarry, the PCs hopped a flight to the air force base, where Goodwin once again put together an ingenious disguise – German test pilots this time. Angrily storming up to the gate guard, Goodwin demanded to know why they had not been granted their training craft yet. The astonished guard showed the group to a temporary barracks and went to get his superior, who was equally cowed by the belligerent Goodwin. While they were gone, he was able to make his way into air traffic control, and was able to distract the ATC workers long enough to steal the flight plan of the helicopter in question, revealing that it was bound for an offshore oil platform known as Devil’s Tower.

Wondering what dire deeds could be afoot on the platform, the group adjourned for the night, vowing to plot a rescue mission the very next session.

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Lone Star, Part II
Damned Pastors...

Having decided to work up a psychological profile on Chris Roberts, Brian Gall decided to do some digging into the teen on social media. Nothing stood out except a Facebook reference to a “weird church service” that his parents made him attend. A quick Google search found two churches in the area: First Baptist of Abbott and Immaculate Heart Catholic Church. Gall also consulted CODIS about juvenile offenders at the school to aid in their cover story. In the morning, Lance Boone disguised Brian Gall as a social worker, and the two drove 15 minutes north to Hillsboro High School to observe Chris Roberts. Gall easily persuaded the principal to let them observe, only to find that Chris was not in class. Upon asking why, the principal said that his mother had called and reported him sick. Boone and Gall then went to the Robert’s residence, and finding it locked and apparently vacant, decided to visit the police station and inquire about the Roberts family. They learned his mother stayed at home, while his father worked for the local oil refinery. The team decided to investigate the Roberts’ residence further but after making some more phone calls, which revealed that Chris had not checked in to any health clinics, but that Jim Roberts was on shift at the refinery.

On a hunch, Joel Gregory decided to stop at the First Baptist Church. While Malcom Reading made some information gathering phone calls, Pastor J.D. Friedland greeted Gregory at the door and let him into the church. After giving Friedland an obvious pseudonym, Gregory accepted the offer of coffee and searched the room, finding a trap door leading down stone stairs in the back storeroom of the church. Unfortunately, Friedland saw this and cast a paralyzing spell on Gregory, disarmed, handcuffed and brought him down into the cellar where Gregory passed out.

Meanwhile, Malcom Reading grew worried after 30 minutes had passed with no word from Joel Gregory. Having called Gregory’s cell phone and getting no answer, he called Lance Boone to let them know about the situation. Boone advised Reading to wait for backup, but Reading knocked on the chapel door and demanded that Gregory be released. When his attempt at intimidation failed, Reading attempted to kneecap Frieland – however, the pastor avoided the shot and defeated Reading in a gunfight waged inside the church, in which Tchaikovsky was also wounded or killed. Lance Boone and Brian Gall heard the conversation and battle over the cell phone connection, but arrived to late to aid Reading, who was also carried into the subterranean prison.

Gall and Boone contacted Nunez, who was only able to scramble one agent: Delta Green Cell C sniper Cal. After waiting for a few hours, Cal arrived and the three agents planned their assault, aware that area law enforcement was mobilizing. Local law enforcement was already in the church, apparently having come from an unknown location within the building. Cal covered the windows while Boone set fire to the back of the church with gasoline impregnated rope and trash, and threw an improvised Molotov cocktail into the Pastor’s office. The fire spread rapidly, and two police officers came out of the front door. After running a few yards, they were simultaneously gunned down by Cal and Lance Boone, who coordinated their assault with deadly precision. J.D. Frieland followed close behind, and was immediately shot through the throat by Cal’s Berretta .50 sniper rifle and critically hit by Boone, who once again coordinated with Cal to deal massive damage to the enemy. Although apparently mortally wounded, Frieland defied death and managed to shoot Lance Boone with his Desert Eagle. Cal and Boone then executed Frieland with multiple shots to the head, revealing the pastor to be a heavily mechanically augmented humanoid.

The immediate threats neutralized, Cal and Boone quickly swept the rooms of the church but realized that the fire was too intense to stay long enough to rescue Gregory and Reading, especially with law enforcement rapidly closing in. They captured Frieland’s body and Gall attempted to psychically scan the area for other intelligences, which resulted in an apparent Grand Mal seizure. Although near death, Cal “The Magic Negro” saved Brian Gall’s life.

Black helicopters approached, and Boone and Cal decided to leave the area. Brian Gall’s Curse struck again as a train blocked the only exit out of town for precious minutes. Boone called Nunez at the post office pay phone, having decided to surrender himself with Brian Gall as Cal attempted to escape in a stolen USPS truck, but Nunez urged Boone to escape if at all possible. Fortunately, the train passed and the three remaining members were able to escape Abbott. They reported in to Nunez, who arranged an extraction deep in Texas farmland and revealed that Majestic 12 had captured Joel Gregory and Malcolm Reading.

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Lone Star, Part I

In the first of the four weeks between missions, Brian Gall suffered a fall down many flights of stairs, caused by a push from invisible hands. He recovered in the hospital, where he received an enchanted ring of protection and letter from Thessaly mentioning a Pinacottic Manuscript that may have details on a ritual to break the curse of the Goddess of Death. Upon request from Gall, Ned Icecave scoured online journals and listings of rare texts and found only one known copy, in the possession of Professor Friedrich Zimmer of Harvard University.

Ned Icecave attempted to find more information on the Gall’s curse by looking into the book, “The History of the Greek Islands”. The author turned out not to have any relevant information about the statue or occult, so Icecave looked into “The Pearl of Great Price”, which was a translation of D’aleel Qocytas. There are three known copies at Miskatonic University Rare Books Collection, The University of Chicago’s Oriental Studies (with professor Gil Stein) and one with Nadia Fulanie (spelling?) at UC Berkley.

Lance Boone wrapped up the previous encounter with DeLong, suggesting that the government will help to pay for damages to the mansion caused by the battle. He learned that DeLong was likely unaware of the statue’s true power, and is planning on selling the fake at auction. Boone notified Nunez, who plans to have someone in place to buy it when it comes up for sale. Boone and DeLong then candidly discussed their awareness of the occult, with DeLong agreeing to work as part of Delta Green if he is needed in the future.

Jared Silverstein examined the alien corpses and found a few notable anomalies, including apparent lack of a reproductive organs despite sharing extreme similarity to human physiology. He also looked at the plasma pistols and determined their grips are made of a living fungus type organism which regenerates when damaged. This organism interacts with a chemical present on the Grey’s skin to create an electric current which in turn powers the weapon. Silverstein was able to synthesize the active chemical and provided a small vial to all four of the team members who are headed to Abbot, TX.

Nunez briefed Delta Green Cell K on their latest mission. A video had been uploaded to Youtube that showed a landed saucer with blinking light. A noise is heard on the video, and the videographer appears to turn and run while exclaiming in a male voice. The video was taken down at Delta Green’s request, but the team’s mission is to 1. Destroy all copies of the video and prevent it from reappearing on the Internet and 2. Investigate the Grey’s activity and seize their technology.

Icecave wasted no time in finding the IP address for the upload, and traced it to Terminal 1 of the Abbot public library. Other activity at the terminal around the same time revealed no other leads. Lance Boone, Brian Gall, Malcom Reading and newbie Joel Gregory flew in to Texas and took rented two black SUVs to the tiny town of Abbot, TX.

Upon arrival, Boone traveled to the nearest ICE office to acquire badges for the group’s cover: Immigration & Customs Enforcement. Afterwards, he introduced the group and its cover to the local sheriff, Jim Spurlock. Spurlock was won over by Lance’s friendly xenophobia and told Boone that agents from the Department of Forestry had set up a restricted area north of Abbot. A call to the Forestry Department confirmed the identity of the workers: Gerald Darcy, John Mason and Lynn Walden.

Gall and Reading visited the library, where they were able to determine that the video was uploaded from the account “Throwawayacct” and had no other information. Gall found metadata in the video file which indicated the video was shot on a Galaxy 5 belonging to 16 year old local Chris Roberts. Reading’s chat with the librarian confirmed that Roberts and his friend Alex Underwood had been using the library’s computer on Saturday, the day of the upload. A local lot lizard Maria Reyes also uses the computers, as well as a middle aged man smelling of smoke and alcohol.

Upon returning to the hotel, Brian Gall noticed a falling ceiling fan soon enough to dive out of the way, cheating Goddess of Death for a third time. Lance Boone went to have BBQ and whiskey with Sheriff Spurlock, while Reading went looking for Maria Reyes, and Gregory drove out to the Forestry site. Gregory encountered John Mason, who took his badge and took nearly 20 minutes to check, and made at least one phone call. Gregory lost patience and requested back his badge and left, but not before volunteering his phone number to Mason.

Upon returning to the Motel 6, the group debated the best way to get to Chris Roberts. Reading wanted to begin with a strong stick, while Gall advocated offering carrots at first. Gregory was undecided, but attempting to directly scare Roberts appeared to be the best way to avoid unnecessary complications that would arise from telling multiple stories and weaving intricate threads of deception, as well as the most likely at achieving the desired result. Boone came around as well, and outvoted 3 to 1, Brian Gall agreed to work up a psychological profile on Chris Roberts to help Mr. Reading’s interrogation.

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The Woman From Lemb, Part III
The Amazing Denouement

As the session opened, the group raced to round up as many cultists as they could before the others went to ground. They started by searching the houses of each of the dead cultists. Using Ned Icecave’s technical expertise, they hacked into the personal computer of one of the cultists and, using his email, determined the identity of several others. Calling in the FBI and DHS, they arranged a roundup of the remaining cultists, and managed to arrest three of them.

Malcolm Reading went to the police station to interrogate the arrested cultists, and wasted no time moving them into individual cells. and proceeding with three of the most vicious police interrogations in the history of the profession. With the force of a thousand bad cops, Reading tore into the cultists, one by one reducing them to simpering wrecks, spilling their guts about the cult’s plan to assault DeLong’s mansion the next day by landing their byakhee on the roof and breaking in to steal the Woman from Lemb. When he was done, Reading left the prisoners to local law enforcement and returned to the group to plan how to foil the cult’s attack.

After some deliberating, the PCs decided to allow the cult to break into the mansion and make their way to the basement. Then Thessaly would use her magic to banish the Byakhee, and the rest of the group, gathered in a fortified position in the basement, would engage and subdue the cultists. If all else failed, Thessaly was given a large block of C4 with orders to use it to blow up the byakhee if necessary. A swat team would be standing ready to assist the group if needed, but would remain out of sight until called in by the group to avoid spooking the cult. Then, during the chaos of battle with the cultists, Reading would spray the cult leader’s juju bag with acid, destroying it and removing his magical protection and making him vulnerable to the group’s guns. Meanwhile, Brian Gall would sneak into the glass case and swap the real Woman from Lemb statue with a fake that the group had specially produced for that purpose, and would take a truck and drive it to a safe house while the dust of combat was settling.

Their preparations complete, the group bided their time until the cult arrived. Ned Icecave‘s drone spotted the byakhee as it approached, the group made ready. As the cultists landed on the roof, their first move was to cut the power lines, plunging the house into darkness. DeLong’s men waited for the backup generator to kick in, but within a minute or two it became clear that it had been sabotaged. The group, deciding that the darkness was to their advantage, decided not to send anyone to try to fix the generator. Instead, they had Thessaly begin the banishment ritual, and instructed Icecave, who was hanging out in the security room, to make his way to the basement.

Things got rocky quick. The cultists realized that the banishment ritual was beginning, and sent two cultists on the byakhee’s back up to the second floor to attack Thessaly and end her spell before it was finished. The three FBI agents guarding her were no match for the well-armed cultists and the byakhee’s claws and teeth – one lost his nerve immediately upon seeing the byakhee, curling up in the fetal position in a corner, while the other two met their fate at the end of the byakhee’s claws. One of the cultists even shot Thessaly in the chest, but she managed to keep her concentration on the spell despite the flesh wound.

Meanwhile Icecave ran into the cult leader and four of the other cultists as he tried to make his way to the basement, and a firefight ensued, killing an FBI agent and one of DeLong’s men who were accompanying him. The PCs decided to change plans on the fly, ordering everyone to rush up from the basement and assist Icecave.

Meanwhile Thessaly had two rounds to go before the spell completed, and was in dire straits, with a bullet wound and a byakhee bearing down on her. She continued to cast the spell as she made her way back into the smallest possible corner, wedged between a glass display case and the wall. Lance Boone, certain that she wasn’t going to make it (and perhaps jumping at a chance to rid himself of someone he hated and a supernatural monster at the same time), ordered her to detonate the C4, sacrificing herself to destroy the byakhee! However she disregarded his pleas, instead choosing to continue with casting the spell. Icecave sent his drone up to support her, but its shots went wide and the cultists continued to fire at her, narrowly missing. Meanwhile Gall got on the headset and applied a little battlefield psychotherapy to the FBI agent who had lost his nerve. Somehow, the doctor succeeded in talking him out of his panic, and the agent stood up and immediately shot one of the cultists dead! The byakhee bore down on Thessaly as quickly as it could, but unfortunately for it, the display case stood between it and her, and it was too big to fit into the tiny space she had squeezed into, leaving its only option to smash the display case before tearing her apart, but this took one round too long. As the glass shattered around her, Thessaly completed her spell and the byakhee was consumed in a pyre of grey flames, banishing it back to the distant star from whence it came. With the help of the FBI agent, she was able to subdue the remaining cultist, emerging victorious from her tribulation.

Down below, the PCs were engaged in a firefight with the cult leader and his remaining followers. However the battle turned out to be a bit of a disappointment (or a rout) as Ned Icecave’s expertly thrown flash bang grenades incapacitated most of the cultists including the cult leader. This gave Reading a chance to douse the cult leader with his acid sprayer, destroying his juju bag and causing him to immediately age hundreds of years in a matter of seconds, ending his life. The PCs and their FBI allies moved in and arrested the remaining blind and deafened cultists, and thus the cult’s plot was foiled.

Down in the basement, Brian Gall prepared to swap the Woman from Lemb with the forged statue. But before he could do so, he had to contend with the one remaining security guard in the basement. Drawing his taser, Gall took aim at the unsuspecting guard from behind his back, but suffered a critical miss and the probes lodged themselves in the wall next to him! The guard drew his pistol, but fired and also missed. Gall drew his own sidearm and shot the guard dead with a critical hit a moment later!

Smashing the glass, Gall swapped the real statue with a fake one, but no sooner had he done so than the backup generator shuddered to life, restoring power to the mansion. With the security systems restored, the broken display case triggered a steel security door to slam into place, trapping Gall in the basement! His pounding at the door for help drew the attention of another guard, who came down into the basement and entered the passcode to re-open the door. He asked Gall what had happened, and Gall told him the security guard had tried to steal the statue, but that Gall had shot him to stop him. The guard then noticed that there were two copies of the statue – one in the display case and one in Gall’s hands, and realized what had really happened. He reached for his pistol, but Gall shot first and struck him with a second critical hit, killing him instantly.

Taking the statue, Gall made his way to the truck that the team had readied for him and pulled it onto the freeway. He meant to make his way to the safe house, but as he drew closer he felt an ominous sense of dread. The crushing pressure of the curse bore down on him as he watched a semi truck swerve into his lane, running his car off the road!

Losing control of his vehicle, Gall careened into a tree, and although he was grievously injured, he managed to survive the crash. He woke up in the hospital with Thessaly standing over him. She told him she was glad he was aright, and that he was a good man. She said she believed the curse of the Woman from Lemb would follow him even after he was no longer carrying the statue, and told him to read the legend of the statue again. Then she turned and told Boone that she wouldn’t forget his willingness to sacrifice her, and then took her leave of the group. With that, the mission concluded. The PCs successfully recovered the statue, but Gall was afflicted with a terrible curse, and one which the PCs have no idea how to break. Pondering these questions, the group adjourned for the night.

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The Woman From Lemb, Part II

As the session opened, our heroes, still unsure where the Woman From Lemb was located or who the mysterious men they encountered at Adam DeLong’s mansion were, decided they needed to do a little more investigating. First, they searched the recorder of deeds and discovered that DeLong owned a pair of investment properties in other Massachusetts towns. Then, they pulled the building permits and learned that DeLong’s mansion and one of the properties were built by the same contractor, DLG Construction. Brian Gall decided to go examine DeLong’s other properties, and Thessaly volunteered to go with him (much to his chagrin). On the way, she began pointedly questioning him about why the group didn’t trust her, and an argument ensued.

Meanwhile, Lance Boone called Nunez and told him that Thessaly had disappeared during their examination of DeLong’s mansion and had then emailed photographs of a strange book, De Vermis Mysteriis, to an unknown email address. Nunez replied that while she hadn’t told the rest of the group, Thessaly had reported her secret photographs to him. She had seen an opportunity to go after the book, and hadn’t told the group because she knew it was dangerous and she didn’t want to expose them to danger. And in any event, it didn’t matter because the photographs were of an inferior translation of a translation and contained little knowledge of use. Checked, if not exactly mollified, Boone concluded that Thessaly was clean, this time at least.

The group then decided to follow one of the delivery trucks they had seen at DeLong’s mansion while Brian Gall and Thessaly were out. Piling into a rental car, they launched Ned Icecave‘s drone and had it follow the truck with its camera, while they drove several blocks behind it. The truck led them to a leased warehouse on the other side of town, but along the way the group realized that they weren’t the only ones following the truck – a mysterious white van was also in pursuit!

When the truck arrived at the warehouse, the workers began unloading some crates, then loaded the truck with new crates, and then they drove away. As soon as the truck was gone, the van pulled up and five armed men in ski masks got out and broke into the warehouse! The PCs called an anonymous tip into the police, and within a ten minutes the warehouse was surrounded by patrol cars. The police breached the front door to the warehouse, but immediately came under heavy fire from inside, and a pitched gunfight ensued. As Boone, Icecave and Mark Hart raced towards the warehouse to help the police officers, they heard a hideous screech and a mass of writhing tentacles burst out of the ground, grabbing a pair of officers and strangling them!

While Boone and Hart were certainly shocked by the tentacles, Icecave lost his shit and began to shiver and hallucinate, being driven temporarily insane by the sight of the arcane monstrosity. Nevertheless, he managed to fight back the hallucinations and join the battle. The police fared poorly, beginning to drop like flies to the onslaught of bullets, tentacles that seemed to burst from the ground at every turn, and a mysterious blast of energy from the leader of the burglars, which stripped the flesh from their bones, leaving a mutilated husk in its wake! A howling, vacuous shriek filled the warehouse, growing louder with every passing moment. To make matters worse, the masked leader of the burglars seemed almost immune to bullets, his wounds healing as quickly as they were inflicted!

Boone took a bullet to the shoulder, but somehow he was able to rally the officers, who pressed the assault and began to gain an edge on their foes despite their magical firepower. The masked leader, sensing the tide of battle turning against him, ordered his remaining two men to the roof, although an ace shot from Hart killed one as he raced for the stairs. The other man made his way onto the warehouse roof, dragging the body of one of his slain comrades with him.

The leader cast a final spell and a screech rang out from the sky above, then charged at the PCs, heedless of his own personal safety! It was then that they discovered the source of the howling sound inside the warehouse – a mysterious aura of airless vacuum surrounding him. Boone and Icecave, who were the closest to the leader as he charged into them, immediately felt their lungs begin to wrench and tear as the pressure difference between the air in their lungs and the vacuum around them threatened to rip them apart. Faced with a choice to hold their breath and risk fatal lung damage, or exhale and risk suffocation, both chose to hold their breath, feeling their lungs lacerating and filling with blood. Icecave was badly wounded, and Boone was nearly killed, falling unconscious and bleeding from his mouth and nose.

Fortunately for the PCs, a winged beast dove out of the sky, slamming into the pavement before the masked leader, who climbed onto its dark-furred back, and it then leapt onto the roof to recover the last burglar and the corpse he carried with him. Together, the men soared into the sky, sparing Boone and Icecave from almost certain death in the vacuum. Icecave managed to stabilize Boone and another police officer, who had nearly died of a gunshot to the heart, and he kept them both alive long enough for paramedics to arrive on the scene.

With the immediate threat vanished, the group decided to search the warehouse, which was full of archaeological artifacts from DeLong’s collection. It appeared that while the burglars had torn through the warehouse, they hadn’t actually taken anything – apparently whatever they were looking for, it wasn’t to be found. However, the PCs did find a book, Archaeological Finds of the Greek Islands, which contained the origin story and some additional information about the Woman From Lemb.

The group showed Thessaly the tape of the gunfight from the police car cameras and Icecave’s drone. She was able to identify the source of the masked leader’s seeming invincibility – a juju bag around his neck, containing his own severed finger together with a mixture of herbs and personal effects,. Part of a powerful voodoo spell, the juju bag holds its wearer’s soul, preventing him from aging normally and making him highly resistant to bodily damage. Thessaly said if the bag were ever destroyed, his true age would catch up with him. She added that given how powerful he appeared, he could have lived for countless decades by now, and destroying the bag may be sufficient to kill him outright. Even if he survived, it would remove his magical protection. Armed with new knowledge of the threat but licking some serious wounds, the group decided to adjourn for the night.

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The Woman From Lemb - Part I

Our adventure begins with the PCs being called back before Nunez for a new assignment. The Woman from Lemb, a mysterious statue rumored to have occult powers, had been purchased by an American collector, Alexander DeLong, and was being hosted at his private collection in Amherst, Massachusetts. Nunez pointed out that the artifact was coveted by any number of cults, and that Delta Green needed to seize it before it fell into the wrong hands.

And to help on the mission, he was bringing in one of Delta Green’s foremost cult specialists, Agent Thessaly of Cell T. She gave a rundown of how the Woman From Lemb was found by archaeologists in a mass grave in Cyprus, and how it passed from owner to owner, usually by means of the tragic death of the previous owner.

The group sprang into action immediately, purchasing disposable cell phones for everyone. Ned Icecave decided it would be a good idea to hack Thessaly’s phone so he could keep a surreptitious eye on her.

The PCs tried to research the Woman From Lemb, but there was a general dearth of knowledge on both the internet and in Delta Green’s files. Armed with only a little knowledge of the artifact, they set out for Amherst, to try to dig up more clues at the DeLong compound. They discovered upon arriving at Amherst that DeLong hosted a public exhibition of his collection once a month, and that the next exhibition was the very next day.

The group showed up at the exhibition, intent on doing some recon on DeLong’s compound as well as seeing if they could get any information from him about the statue or where he was keeping it. Brian Gall came up with a plan to pose as a graduate student interested in DeLong’s relics, but he faltered in his conversation with DeLong and had to be bailed out by the timely intervention of Lance Boone, who was able to get on DeLong’s good side and was invited upstairs to view his most rare and valuable pieces in private. Much to his surprise, however, the Woman From Lemb was not among them.

Meanwhile Icecave and the others were watching the other guests at the Exhibition, and it became immediately clear that the group wasn’t the only ones scoping out DeLong’s security – another team of operatives was clearly casing the compound. Additionally, Thessaly slipped off into a back room at the compound while the rest of the group wasn’t watching. However hacking into her phone revealed that she was trying to get a copy of a rare book, De Vermis Mysteriis, from DeLong’s office, and that she had successfully made off with the book. With that revelation, and with the knowledge that another group was also after the Woman From Lemb, the group adjourned for the night.

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Light O'er The Sierras, Part IV
The Thrilling Conclusion!

When we left our intrepid agents, they had conquered the proverbial demons of group infighting and were finally prepared to head out into the woods. For good measure, the group loaded up on some heavier ordinance, in the form of a box of flash bang grenades, tazers for all, and Ned Icecave even had Nunez issue him a flamethrower. Their preparation complete, they rented out a new pair of SUVs (good thing they bought the insurance on the last pair!), and descended back into the woods once more.

They made their way towards the second well drilling site. Arriving around midday, they immediately spread out and began looking for signs of the grays. It wasn’t long before Malcolm Reading uncovered a set of suspicious tracks, leading south and slightly east. They couldn’t have been more than a day old. Hopping into the SUVs, the group took off in hot pursuit.

They followed the tracks until almost nightfall, and made the fatal decision to continue tracking rather than heading back so as not to spend the night in the woods. The search became even more complicated when the group realized that the paranormal investigators from the other day were following them. Rather than attempt to convince them to turn back, the group chose to ignore them, with Ned Icecave remarking, “If they want to get murdered by aliens, that’s their business.”

Reading’s expert tracking soon traced the trail a narrow cleft in the rock between two cliffs, purposefully covered by vegetation. Following the trail inside, our heroes discovered a secluded valley, with an alien compound set up. Walls of smooth gray metal formed a loose figure eight, with an enormous gray gate. As the group approached, the gate slid open, revealing a complex assembly of alien machinery and row after row of stasis pods, with the captured loggers inside! Unfortunately, the open gate also revealed a cadre of hostile grays, plasma pistols at the ready!

A heated firefight ensued. The regular grays were flanked by a tall, slender compatriot with telekinetic powers, and they also activated a powerful flying drone with twin automatic plasma cannons. Pinned down by heavy fire, things appeared to be going badly for the group, at first. Reading took a serious wound, and Lance Boone was hit by a salvo of plasma fire that left him in critical condition and unable to fight. The plasma fire even ignited the nearby vegetation, and soon a forest fire was raging around them!

Once again, Ned Icecave rose to the challenge, taking advantage of the Jared Silverstein’s flash bang to charge in and lambaste the grays with his flamethrower. Jared Silverstein and Malcolm Reading rushed in afterwards, tazing several grays and giving Icecave time to destroy the drone and finish the rest of the ordinary grays off. Attempting to capture the slender gray alive, the group bound its hands and feet in zip ties and covered its head with a cloth in an attempt to keep it from using its telekinesis.

While the rest of the group set to work trying to beat back the forest fire, phoning Nunez for an evac and trying to salvage what alien artifacts they could, Silverstein was left with the dubious task of guarding the slender gray. But he was almost killed when it used its telekinesis to tear the cloth from its head and hurl a massive alien machine at him, crushing him! It was only Icecave and Reading shooting it in the head that spared his life. They were relieved when Nunez’s black helicopter swooped in, allowing them to make off with most of the loggers alive, along with numerous gray corpses and a ton of alien equipment. The group had survived and the grays’ plans had been foiled… for now.

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