Fire In The Sky

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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