The investigators meet each other. Fred Nadel explains his predicament.
A third of the team research the clues; a third go to the Tenderloin; a third go into the Washington Square Arch.
Mark and Leticia get out of Arch tunnels, battered. The investigators save Tensy Hurit, for now.
Session 3 (Archway to the Underworld): Edit
(Game played on Oct. 07, 2009)
Dec. 15, 1:45pm, 1913, Mon. Edit
Everyone is exhausted. Dora and Fred take Tensy in another room – she is flipping out, as is Fred and Dora. Everyone else is shaken up. Leticia goes to her ward. Mark goes to his wife and child. The rest stay at Fred's, trying to comprehend what happened, and what they're getting into. Tired and uneasy, some investigators try to sleep as other stay up with a shaken Tensy, Dora and Fred.
Dec. 16, Tues. Edit
Everyone is shaken. Almost no one slept well. Before breakfast, Mark and Leticia come back. After breakfast, t he investigators decide to go into the tunnels under Washington Square Arch.
Maj. Haywrd and Agent Landsburg call their superior, Col. Stuebbin, who tells them he can have the “Beta Team” there in 72 hours. Maj. Haywrd tells Col. Stuebbin that's not enough time, so Col. Stuebbin tells them they can requisition what ever armament they like from the First Battery Armory on 56th; he'll wire the Col. in charge of the First Battery Armory, but no heavy armory will be available until he can clear the requisite paperwork, which might take a day or two. Anyway, he wants them to be quiet; not to install panics (which will happen if anyone finds out that violent and masked criminals live underneath Washington Square Park); and not to jeopardize any possible national security secretes. They are supposed to be quiet and secretive.
Since the investigators are not sure if Kenneth's spell has finished the curse or not, they decide to bring Tensy, Fred and Dora, just in case they need to re-do the ritual. They equip everyone with weaponry and go down to the Washington Square Arch by themselves.
It is mid-day. They leave Millicent and Boru (Mark's giant Irish wolfhound) to watch over the Arch. If anything happens, she is supposed to get the police and tell them to contact the Col. at the First Battery Armory and call for backup. Tensy can hardly walk, but demands to come, along with Fred and Dora. All are afraid that Tensy will disappear, and all want to be near Kenneth, in case he needs to perform the “protection ritual.” Anyway, Dora has a camera and knows how to use it. Mark and Leticia are still hurt, but are ready for some payback.
Since Mark already picked the locks, he has no problem picking the same locks. This time they go through slowly and carefully, and put a torch in every torch holder (while checking for any traps). They all have flashlights and lots of ammo. When they get to the two gates, Agent Lawrence, who used to be a structural engineer, figures out how the gates work. They open both gates and Agent Lawrence is pretty sure that he prevented the second gate from trapping them, which is good, because Mark isn't sure he could lift that gate again. They remove the boulder that Mark used to seal the tunnel entrance and hear and see that the machine is still active.
They crawl through the tunnel, one at a time. When they step out into the cave, they are immediately attacked. This time, however, they are well prepared. They quickly realize that if they let the creatures get close, one shotgun blast will kill them. However, if they miss, the creatures will get an attack. Everyone panics, at first, but everyone overcomes their fear and attacks with tenacity. Things go well for the investigators, and they take minimal damage, while, in under a minute, they manage to kill eight of the creatures – both the wall-walking dust creatures, and another type of creature that crawls through the ground and paralyzes a leg with one touch.
After clearing the space, they examine the machinery and argue about turning it off or leaving it on. They decide to go past the bone-inlaid corridor to the pictographs. Dora and Tensy can read it! Not the pictographs, which they recognize, but can not read, but the archaic writing below, which is in their father's language, Lenape. The pictographs, and the writing, are a variation on the Lenape origin myth, but a little more detailed. In this version, the Lenape defeat the Snake Tribe, but also imprison the evil Snake Spirit underneath the “pleasant” or “nice to be here” island. Also, there is a chant they are supposed to chant. They agree that the sisters should do it. They do and the place fills with mist that smells like cinnamon and tobacco. When it subsides, there is an alcove that contains three scrolls and a black rock.
The team returns to the cave with the machinery. Agent Lawrence and Leticia can identify almost everything in the room, except for the circle, which is wound with wires, and which seems to be powered by everything else. It glows black and forms an illusion that the circle is a sphere that is almost alive. Antoinette throws a rock at the circle, and it doesn't come out the other side. Kenneth Pakes wants to climb through. At the same time, more creatures arrive. Fred Nadel is slashed by one of the creatures that come through the ground. Meanwhile, everyone is fighting while Kenneth attempts to climb through the circle. Agent Lawrence is trying to turn off the machine as Leticia protects him from creatures. Kenneth is attacked and almost killed, but is saved by Mark. The machine starts to power down, but Ross agrees to try and help him get through the circle. Ross, raging with adrenaline, tries to pick up Kenneth and throw him through the circle. Instead, Ross pulls his back and send Kenneth face-first into a generator, braking Kenneth's nose. The machine turns off, and Agent Lawrence and Maj. Haywood, send out everyone except for Leticia. They allow Agent Lawrence to take notes.
Clues, Objects, Spells: Edit
- One scroll has a map.
- Another scroll is exceptionally long and has the pictographs on the wall, more pictographs, and newer writing on attached bark. The writing documents several rituals: Feet of Brother Tree, Warm Chant of Great Spirit, Show the Way, Find Violent One, Snake Protects from Hex, and Brother Turtle Grant Shell
- The last scroll tells how to form a sweat lodge and how to use the rituals to bind Snake Spirit (Mantantu) back into his prison.
The stone is black granite, which Antoinette says is actually gabbro, a large-crystal form of basalt. The Hurit girls say the stone is used for the sweat lodge. Antoinette claims that makes sense, since gabbro, when heated, holds heat very well.
Feet of Brother Tree, Sacred Chant of Great Spirit, Find the Violent One, Snake Protects from Hex, and Brother Turtle Grant Shell
Washington Square Park Arch;
Fred Nadel's apartment on 18th and Park Av
The investigators research the clues.
Antoinette Sturm, a strong willed anthropologist who is well known for two books detailing with violent cults in war torn societies.
Kenneth Pakes, a young, rich, and arrogant occult specialist who has spent most of his life debunking frauds in various newspapers, but who secretly wants proof that the occult exists.
Millicent Massey, a mousy, shy, and brilliant young archaeologist.
Agent Lawrence Landsburg, a nebbishy but physically tough former structural engineer and cryptologist. Until the Secret Service, he hasn't had a job that he throughly loves.
Maj. (ret.) Piers Haywrd, a well decorated career soldier who was brought into this Secret Service team because of his supernatural experiences in China.
Leticia Haythornthwaite, an extremely fiery and strong willed adventurer, pilot, and captain who is a bit down on her luck. She has worked with Maj. Haywrd several time in the past.
Ross Merrick, a charming and funny detective who is a well-known womanizer, and who is known as one of the best independent detectives in the city. He is partners with Mark.
Mark Learson, a family man who is one of the best detectives in the city, and who loves animals (esp. his dog Boru), is a vegetarian, and who dreams of opening up a school to teach his family's sword-fighting style. He is partners with Ross.