Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Divine Blood - Wasps Among Butterflies - Flaming Zombie Dogs - Session Fifteen

This session includes three characters:
  • Arianrhod Monica Trengove (aka Aria), the succubus and Perfect Yandere of War who believes Psyche is Doing the Right Thing and is Lost Outside the Hierarchy
  • Sophia Ecks, Ainur of the Interface and Virtual Apex Predator who lives on The Bleeding Edge
  • Sarah Gow, a Napoleonic Werepanther from an Urbanized Tribe who's a Practiced Shapeshifter
Elsewhere in the world.

Wasps Among Butterflies Campaign Index

Aria moved quickly to intercept the incoming fungus-mutated dog, using her extendable baton to push into the dog's moth and keep it from entering the area behind her and threatening the other two people. Sarah moved in to the side, trying to stab into the beast and tearing at the layer of cluttered fungus and mutated hide acting to protect the dog from damage. The dog put forth a monstrous effort with its strength and shoved Aria back before trying to snap down on her arm. Sophia then moved to stretch her newly found abilities as the Ainur of the Interface, interrupting the interaction between the dog's nerves and its body, essentially paralyzing it.

The succubus slammed her baton into the rent created by Sarah's earlier attack and slammed down on the dog, further shattering its defenses and hurting it followed by the werejaguar using her knives to slash the tendons at the back of the dog's legs. The dog struggles against the psychic interference on its nerves and pushes free just barely followed by Sophia experimenting again and strengthening the interface between the flesh and the mold such that the dog's inevitable death by fungal infection turns from weeks into seconds as it is devoured by the purple fungus leaving only a pile of fungus covered bones on the floor.

The dog dealt with, the group decided to back trace the dog's tracks, noting that the fungus is already filling in the places where the dog had stepped. They back-tracked it to a kennel where it looks like their recent investigations caused a mag-locked door to open up. They found several dogs in what were formerly hermetically sealed cages supplied with food. Most of the cages are filled with nothing more than bones and fungus. Some of the cages have burst open but bodies, or at least bones are littered about the kennel. 

Somewhere in the back, concealed by the thick cloud of spores in the air, they could hear something struggling and slamming into an obstruction. The bio-hazard suit made it difficult for Sarah to tell anything specific, and Sophia was too far away, but as Aria was operating with a psychic bio-filter and thus was able to clearly make out two sources of sound. Aria immediately set about using her strength and telekinesis to push the door closed until the mag-locks re-engaged. She managed it just in time before the sound of two loud crashes followed by the sounds of something growling and trying to slam the door open.

The three had some discussion and came to the conclusion that the kennel proved that they couldn't trust the banks of stasis capsules holding the unknown number of nearly identical girls to remain uncontaminated. Even dis-regarding that, they felt that they couldn't just leave this patch of aggressive, mutation causing fungus to grow wild under Sendai. It was just a ticking time bomb. However, they also didn't want to wait for the decontamination team just in case there was another exit from the kennels that they didn't know about yet so they decided to set about killing the remaining two monster dogs.

They remembered that the server room showed that spores had caught fire and burnt several of the server banks so while they didn't have a flame thrower, they decided to make use of the spores in the air and jury-rig some igniters to use against the dogs. Aria swept the corridors and used her biokinesis to collect all the loose spores in the halls together into one place just outside the kennel, planning to make the area into a firestorm to burn the dogs to a cinder. Meanwhile, Sophia was dismantling the fungus clogged booby traps to put together the aforementioned igniters. 

With this all handled, they set off for the kennel doors to  let the dogs out into the trap. The idea was that Aria would open up the door and back off out of the cloud of spores as quickly as possible allowing Sarah and Sophia to use the igniters to set off the cloud with their igniters. Sarah set up out of view of the kennel door and waited. Unfortunately, Aria found herself a little distracted and accidentally opened the door early before she or anyone else was ready. 

Turning toward the sound of the opening door the succubus found herself facing the lunging form of another grotesquely mutated dog which seemed only slightly less surprised than she was. It slammed down on her snapping at her with its fangs though she found herself protected by the kevlar it was a close call. Sophia saw this happening and reached out to attempt to interrupt the monster dog's nerves again only for the other dog to come charging for the Visionary past Aria and the first. Aria backed away from the dog, calling out for Sarah to blow up the other one. The werejaguar used her igniter causing the thick cloud of spores to explode violently, leaving the still paralyzed monster dog shuddering about just barely short of being dead as Aria tries to attack the dog that was charging Sophia.

The charred dog pushed past the psychic block on its nervous system and shuddered and charged at Aria again, attacking her. Sophia backed away from her attacking dog, trying to move in a way to keep its attention in order to keep it away from double-teaming Aria. The dog responded by charging across the halls and viciously biting into the Ainur's arms, almost certainly exposing her to the spores in the air. Sarah took her knives and moved just outside the charred dog's line of sight before slashing her knives through its neck and dropping it to the ground leaving Aria to chase after the dog that was slavering over Sophia and taking a piece of rebar to ram it through the dog and staple it to the ground which Sophia tried to reinforce by increasing the interface between the rebar in the dog.

The dog spent the effort to pull itself up off the rebar, even past Sophia's novice attempts to telekinetically bind it to the metal. Then it turned about to snarl and snap at Aria. Sophia leaned over with her igniter and slammed it into the fungus covered floor sparking an explosion that blew her arm off as well as knocking the dog and Aria off their feet as well as setting a fire into the floor. Aria used her aura-tail to stab into the monster dog so that it and the fungus infesting it were leaking all sorts of flammable substances just as Sarah ran over and stabbed her own igniter into the dog and setting it on fire.

This chapter provides what it says on the tin.
The Sophia spent a few seconds distracted by the odd sight of her blood wrapping itself back around into her body and revealing part of her nature as a luminous being. Nightmare fuel station attendant that she was, she set about taking her smartphone to film the injury and its rather odd way of preventing her from losing blood. The dog snapped back at Aria who backed off to try to produce some flame-retardant goo out of some of the biological material around the place. Sarah slashed out at the flaming dog, but wasn't seemingly unable to bother it much while she found that she had to spend some effort to avoid the fire now raging in the hallway.

Snapping back into the present, Sophia crawled her way as far from the combat as she could and heightened the interaction between the fire and the dog, making it harder for the dog to put out the fire. Aria returned to the strategy of using rebar to nail the dog to the ground and Sarah barely dodged out of the way of its attacks. The fire continued to burn into the dogs flesh and the moss atop its body, but it didn't seem particularly concerned yet.  Sophia used her powers again to interrupt the dog's senses and keep it unaware of where to snap. The dog, unable to find its targets tried to roll about and put out the fire burning into its body while Sarah slashed at it with her knives. 

Aria noticed the fire spreading through the hallways and darted away in order to convert more of the surrounding fungus into flame-retardant goo. Unfortunately, while she had been bearing the heat of the flames within her telekinetic bio-filter with little problem to now, she found herself being licked out dangerously by the flames while she was in a hurry to stop its spread and killing them. The dog tried to break the sensory deprivation, somehow only managing to further ruin its senses as the fire finally seared away the majority of its flesh leaving it open for Aria to finally kill it by taking a piece of telekinetically sharpened rib bone.

They returned to the entrance of the abandoned facility and reported the nature of the infestation and called for the Japanese agent at the entrance to call a decontamination team as well as a medical team for the girls in the stasis chambers as well as for Sophia herself.

Flaming Zombie Dogs Play Grid
I stepped up the combat challenge. Mostly this was a matter of convincing myself that I wasn't over-estimating my players' ability to handle things. Sophia is now suffering an Extreme and a Severe Consequence and will likely be terribly sick for some days trying to defeat whatever spores may have taken root in her body. As a luminous being, she can't become a ghoul and the fact that she is being treated instantly means that she is so unlikely to die from infection as to be a non-issue, but it will be making her healing tougher than it otherwise would be.

Aria plans to use her bio-kinesis in order to accelerate the healing process which would mean reducing the healing time for Sophia from months down to weeks. Another benefit to being a luminous being is that she will eventually heal back the arm as she has the base level of regeneration which, in Divine Blood, does not hasten healing but does allow for recovering from otherwise impossible to heal injuries like lost limbs.

Sarah by dint of stealth and luck came out of this fight unscathed where usually she comes out of a battle with quite a bit of mental trauma. She wasn't able to shape-shift due to the bio-hazard suit but she did well enough with her knives. I wish I had gotten this brave with the Gods, but there is still the chance for a rematch with Tlazolteotl, possibly after she has found a way to adjust for the fact that Ashvattha is not giving her insane, global-affecting levels of power.

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