Fellow role-players, here’s an update for “Immortals” Session 12, which was held at Drew & Divya S.’s apartment in Needham, Mass., on Monday, 27 March 2017:
In one world, several organizations investigate the paranormal, but none has dominance or can risk public exposure. A new team gathers, determined to retrieve lost relics, fight malevolent monsters, and understand its own secret origins….
Player Characters for Gene D.‘s “Immortals” modern supernatural game, using Steve Jackson Games Inc.’s Generic Universal Role-Playing System (GURPS) Fourth Edition, created summer 2016, as of spring 2017:
- “Meles Ezana Menelik/the Abyssinian” [Beruk A.]: male Ethiopian Immortal human “warden” (actually the Immortal Memnon), landlord, and owner of a coffee house; following rumors of the Book of Enoch and trying to keep a low profile
- “Cody ‘Walking Fish’ Bashirs” [Byron V.O.]: male Cherokee human with a shamanic lineage, former captain in U.S. Marine Corps, and Man In Black (M.I.B.) assigned by “the Department” to monitor paranormal affairs in Kane County, Colo.
- “Connor Devlin Murphy” [Bruce K.]: male Irish human police officer and interdepartmental liaison, infected with lycanthropy in the 19th century; hot-blooded investigator
- “Sandy Shoals/ Sahandariel” [Rich C.G.]: male North American human (vessel), university employee who volunteers at a local homeless shelter, actually an angel trying to prevent the apocalypse
- “Jack Miller/Baldwin Brooker” [Brian S.]: male European human, was a medieval peasant who traded his soul during the Crusades (1200s) but cursed with undeath, now working on fire watch at the edge of society
- “Puck/Aer Lapis” [Drew S.]: male Pixie (Faerie/Ellyhon), nature spirit who occasionally “borrows” items from campers in Roosevelt Park
- “John Q. Public” [Brian W./absent ]: male North American human G-Man working for “the Bureau” charged with recruiting, engaging, or neutralizing dangerous talents
- “Lucien, a.k.a. the Shadowless Savant” [Jason E.R./absent ]: male French human scientist, member of Napoleon’s Egyptian expedition cursed with immortality and with control over light and shadows
After successfully resolving four cases around the city of Merton, Colo., the investigators had learned of a mysterious beheading and a shapeshifting skin eater.
Meles checks in with tenant and precognitive painter Eddel Emebet. The Immortal Abyssinian asks Eddel to contact her friends at the university paranormal club. Meles also reviews an antique land deed taken from the Fernandez mansion.
Cody goes to “the Department” to get surveillance recordings of the areas around the recent murders. The federal agent and shaman also works with zombie park ranger Jack to question mauled hiker Marty in the hospital.
Det. Murphy and consultant partner Sandy return to their police precinct to check on the other hikers who encountered the skin eater. The lycanthrope and angel learn that Ernie Cohen lives in Ikeville, and Julia Lavin is in Turquoise Heights.
Puck warns fellow Pixie Alcye of the latest supernatural threats in Kane County. The group later converges at Ernie Cohen’s house. As with Marty’s home, Connor and Sandy spot clues that something is amiss, including spilled milk in the kitchen.
Sandy and Puck meet Max, an agitated cat locked in a child’s bedroom. Meles and Jack join the crew in searching the yard and are horrified to find the skinned corpses of the entire Cohen family stuffed in a shed. Jack recalls the first time he saw such carnage….
July 1191 A.D./C.E.: Centuries before he was known as “Jack Miller,” Baldwin Brooker was an English peasant who had joined the Third Crusade under the banner of King Richard the Lionhearted.
After a long journey through fractious Europe and a bloody siege of the Levantine city of Acre, the Crusaders finally had the upper hand. Saladin’s forces were unable to relieve the besieged Muslims, and Christian warriors broke through.
Baldwin and his armored companions raise their shields against arrows, rocks, and burning pitch. They climb a siege tower bound in iron and urine-soaked hides. While Templars and Hospitaliers provide support, the Franks attack to cries of “Deus vult!”
Asmar al-Fayoud [Beruk/Non-Player Character], a North African spice trader and guide, directs the raiders toward booty. Sir Pierre de Bourgogne [Byron/N.P.C.] has led the expedition through Constantinople.
German knight Sir Jurgen von Grolsch [Bruce/N.P.C.] hacks at all in his path, while Brother Cecil [Rich/N.P.C.] tries to refrain from the bloodshed. The monk is a countryman of Baldwin, as is Sir Robert Gibbon [Drew/N.P.C.].
The Crusaders dispatch the guards on Acre’s walls and fight their way into a tower. Asmar leads the way to an abandoned chapel. Brother Cecil grabs a golden crucifix.
The outlanders climb curved staircases, slaying all defenders. Sir Jurgen and Sir Robert are particularly interested in a room reeking of witchcraft. Sir Pierre opens a chest and smashes a stone tablet bearing a symbol of chaos.
The power-hungry knights seize a book of prophecies and destroy everything else before moving on. They encounter stiff resistance, but their swords are soon again drenched in blood.
The next chamber includes a pool of water surrounded by people who have sacrificed themselves to a dark power. Each of the new arrivals hears a voice in his head in his own language.
The djinni or demon asks each man for a sacrifice and offers something in return for help escaping the tower. Asmar asks for wealth and freedom to travel the world and offers to kill Sir Pierre.
Sir Pierre is willing to forsake his oath to God in return for becoming an eternal champion of France. Sir Jurgen reluctantly forgoes glory so he can bring treasure to Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa (whom he doesn’t know is already dead).
Cecil the Apostate breaks his vows for knowledge of forgotten antiquities and the book of prophecies. Sir Robert bargains his oath to his brotherhood for ultimate power.
Baldwin asks to see Jerusalem and return home and gives up a normal life. Tentacles thrash the pool’s waters and there is a flash of unholy light.
Asmar stabs Sir Pierre in the neck, but he doesn’t die. Sir Jurgen gathers treasures from the sack of Acre. Cecil ponders the future, as Sir Robert feels new energy coursing through his veins and decides to watch his onetime allies.
Baldwin eventually journeys through the Holy Land, returns home to England, and outlives his family….