Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Strange, pt.2

Our second session saw us add a new agent to our team, a slick, smooth-talking bloke named Buckingham. McNulty would be sitting this one out. Presumably, a few of the higher-ups at the Estate wanted more details on the Seattle operation and why some local college kids had hired lawyers and were accusing the local authorities of harassment and police brutality. The rest of us boarded a flight to Denver.

[spoiler warning]

Nederland is a small, hippie town a half-hour west of Boulder. Soderstrom and Sinclair posed as Southern California hipsters looking for business opportunities selling healing crystals and other New Age paraphernalia. Soderstrom is a master of disguise and Sinclair has an MA in philosophy, so it wasn't difficult to be convincing. The rest of the team set up a surveillance cordon so we could keep watch on the Dreaming Crystal.

After checking out some of the local businesses and scoring some legal weed from a nearby head shop, Soderstrom and Sinclair headed over to the Dreaming Crystal. A tattooed young woman was outside smoking a clove cigarette. Her name was Delsey and she was an employee of the store. She didn't have a great deal of useful information to share, other than when to expect her boss, Lydia Nance, to arrive. Later that day, when Nance arrived, Sinclair and Soderstrom returned and proposed a business partnership whereby they would open a store in California. After some friendly banter and a few drinks, Soderstrom furtively brought up Spiral Dust. Although Nance was initially concerned about how we came to know about it, after mentioning Leroy Cain and indicating our interest in selling dust in SoCal, she seemed interested. She invited Sinclair and Soderstrom into the basement of her store where she said her Spiral Dust operation was located. Sinclair, a paradox, initiated a Mind Reading revision, allowing him to determine the combination of the lock on the door to the basement which she hid from view. This also allowed him to recognize that Nance was leading them into an ambush, At the foot of the stairs, clinging to the ceiling were two night spiders, horrific giant arachnids from Ardeyn. Soderstrom opened fire with his 9mm, while Sinclair started launching Exception revisions and signalling to the rest of the team for backup. It was a tough fight, but with help of the rest of the team, the night spiders were killed and Nance was taken into custody. Several dead bodies were discovered, victims Nance had lured down there to feed her pets.

The rest of the basement was explored and a room was discovered with a taped off square in the middle of the floor. Further questioning of Nance revealed that her source of Spiral Dust, a woman by the name of Donna Ilsa, would translate from a recursion called Area 51 into the taped off area, drop off the dust and collect money Nance would leave for her. She didn't have a fixed schedule, although drop-offs were typically every couple of weeks. It was decided to take up residence in the store and wait in the translation room in shifts for Ilsa's next appearance. It turned out Sinclair and Holbein were present a few days later when she arrived.

Subduing Ilsa proved no mean feat. She possessed several cyphers which she used to great effect. The first one was some sort of chemical grenade which she used on Sinclair. It covered him in a greasy, sticky substance which effectively immobilized him. The second created a force wall intended to keep Holbein at bay. However, a spectacularly successful attempt to vault over it allowed him to close with her and engage in a grapple. Holbein was able to subdue her long enough for the rest of the team to arrive. Once captured, we were able to interrogate her with the aid of a Mind Reading revision,

We soon determined that Ilsa was actually a dragon from Ardeyn. A creature she referred to as the Dustman was holding a clutch of her eggs hostage in order to coerce her cooperation. She was running Spiral Dust for him through a recursion called Area 51, a chaotic place in which a human rebel movement was fighting against a classic 50's movie style alien invasion of Earth. She knew roughly where her eggs were being held. but a previous attempt to rescue them had failed. Upon hearing this, we offered to rescue her eggs. We would allow her to continue running dust so as not to arouse suspicion, with an Estate agent waiting here to receive the shipments and dispose of them. Though reluctant, she agreed to give us a few weeks to try our rescue mission. She told us the eggs were kept in a dungeon in Ardeyn called the Mouth of Swords. And so, we're off to a old-fashioned dungeon crawl in Ardeyn.


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