Dark•Matter:Session01

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Date: May 20th and June 17th, 2012
Experience: 6 points

Contents

Dramatis Personae

PCs

  • Neil Kintner (Colin): A journalist who fears that just because he's a bit paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get him.
  • Adam Walker (Chris): An aging, grizzled homicide detective.
  • Delvin Mallory (Andy): A retired thief and bit criminal.

NPCs

  • Jonas Riley

Summary

Three strangers find themselves at the same truck stop in the middle of nowhere escaping the same brutal winter storm. Once inside, they settle in for an awkward night of not really sleeping and bad coffee in a place nobody wants to be, but it's interrupted by slamming doors and screaming. On investigating they find one dead man—stabbed with icicles—and a second who is gravely injured. Investigating they find strange things including a snow globe that is continuously snowing and shows the very truck stop. Things get stranger yet when they hear a deep howl from outside with a cacophony of laughter clearly audible underneath.

Events

Adam, Neil and Delvin were all out on the road in the same snowstorm and forced to stop for their own safety at the same truck stop in the middle of nowhere. Inside, things were about how you'd expect after midnight in someplace where essentially everyone was stranded against there will. There were a few actual truckers, at least one family with a kid sneaking off to a small arcade and the few employees still unlucky enough to be there. Everything seemed to be shut down except the donut shop which still had coffee coming and the arcade which ran 24/7.

Terror in the Storm

After settling in for what seemed like it was going to be a long awkward night, the power flickered a bit then went out and as if in a movie, there was suddenly a slamming door and a scream. Then there was another scream and another slamming door.

Adam's cop instincts kicked in and he moved quickly to check on what was going on while pretty much everyone else exchanged bewildered glances and stayed put. His curiosity—and fear—driving him, Neil followed a bit behind to figure out what was going on. Finally, Delvin managed to stay out of sight, but follow closely enough to see what was going on.

In the hallway, a body with shards of what could be glass or icicles was laying keeping the restroom door propped open and already pooling blood on the floor. Moving forward to investigate, Adam and then Neil found that there was a second victim—this one not yet dead—in the restroom. In the restroom, it was freezing cold and the water in the toilets and sinks had frozen solid. Despite being in warm bodies, the icicles that killed one and injured the other were not melting appreciably.

Adam investigated the crime scene while Neil went to try to call the police, but found that his cell phone service, all the payphones and even the landline in the donut shop were all out. The person working the counter a the donut shop thought it was very strange since the phone wires had been buried after the last storm to make sure they kept their connectivity even in a big storm. Still, it was probably all a coincidence. Neil told everyone not to worry, that somebody had been hurt, but they were in OK shape and they could just wait for the storm to pass or somebody to come check on the truck stop.

Delvin used this time to race out to his car and retrieve his pistol from it rather then be unarmed with an unknown assailant on the loose. Once back inside, he began locking all the doors to the outside that he could find. Even though he didn't hear or see anything outside, he still felt on edge and as though something was out there—and watching him.

Gathering the Pieces

At this point, Neil, Adam and Delvin all found themselves in the startlingly cold restroom with one corpse and one unconscious and injured man trying to figure out what to do next. Looking around, they found a thin, locked briefcase under the trash can and once Delvin pried it open with surprising alacrity, the found it's contents quite strange.

There were a series of papers, both typed and handwritten, and a snow globe. The snow globe was constantly snowing regardless of if it had been recently shaken, the snow always fell 'down' inside the globe regardless of how it was oriented in reality and, most disturbingly, it showed what was unmistakably this rest stop as the scene inside. After some bewildered conversations about plans of what to do with the globe, Delvin suggested that maybe they should get the injured man out of the freezing cold and into the main room with all the others.

Everyone agreed and Neil and Delvin carried the man into the main room while Adam cleaned up the blood as best he could and put the body out of sight in the hope of avoiding any kind of mass hysteria. In the main room, Neil found a first aid kit and did a slightly better job sterilizing and bandaging the mans wounds with the new supplies. While cleaning up the blood, Adam found what was unmistakably a single footprint that wasn't human, but was much more like a huge wolf or maybe a bear. He got the body propped up in a locked stall out of view.

Back out in the hallway, Neil and Adam heard a faint noise coming from the arcade which was now pitch black. Going to investigate, they found the boy huddled and shaking in the back. He said "is it gone!? is it safe!? I need to get out of here!" and then made a run for it pushing past Adam. Before the boy could run out anywhere, Adam managed to talk a bit of sense into him pointing out that there it was more dangerous out in the storm.

Putting the Pieces Together

Once a bit calmer, the boy mumbled something about a huge thing that killed the man and fled out the back door, but didn't make much more sense than that. Adam asked Neil to take the boy into the main room while he went out to investigate something. Before Neil could object to Adam going out to 'investigate' alone, a piercingly loud howl could be heard through the whole building and below the howl a clearly audible laughter could be plainly heard.

End May 20th session, start June 17th session

With priorities shifting, Neil and Adam took they boy back into the main area with the donut shop and tried to keep people calm. Neil assured them that it was just their nerves getting the better of them and it was just the wind howling. They both noticed that Delvin was notably absent, but chalked it up to his jumpy nature and hoped he was just hiding somewhere.

Taking the time to try to figure out exactly what they were involved in, Neil and Adam went through the documents in the briefcase which seemed to imply that the grievously injured man was agent Jonas Riley who belonged to some unnamed organization that had been watching the globe. The documents claimed that the globe was an evil artifact that was associated with both cold and summoning and had until recently been in the possession of some diabolist cult called les treize corneilles or the thirteen crows. It was unclear how the globe ended up in the truck stop, but the notes said something about the cult leader having recently died.

Neither Neil nor Adam seemed terribly shocked by the revelations which in and of itself was somewhat surprising. Neither of them seemed to put all their cards on the table, but both seemed somewhat curious and surprised at the other's resolve and calm.

Talking things over for a few minutes, the pair was stalemated about trying to destroy with Adam thinking it was worth the risk and Neil saying that there was no saying what might happen. About then a grinding crunching noise came from the parking lot and going to take a look Neil could see cars being crushed and tossed about seemingly by the storm made corporeal.

Final Push

They told the other refugees to get someplace safer from the storm and decided to give destroying the globe a shot. Back in the arcade, Adam put the globe up on a machine and fired a .45 slug at it. The bullet bounced off and embedded itself in a nearby arcade machine leaving no damage to the globe. Disheartened, the pair headed back to the donut shop to find a fire burning in the convenience store.

Acting quickly Neil and Adam both grabbed fire extinguishers and after a minute or so of determined work were able to put the fire out. Adam saw telltale signs of arson and they could both still smell gasoline even over the smoke. Before they had time to investigate further, somebody screamed and then yelled "he's got a gun!"

Running back out, they found the large, male truck driver emerging from the kitchen carrying a gun. He took a shot that grazed Adams arm and sternly told Neil and Adam that they were done interfering with his plans. Adam returned fire shooting the man in the shoulder and causing him to drop his gun. Neil quickly ran to and grabbed the loose gun. Some talking back and forth with the man produced little information other than that he believed "his friend out in the cold" was going to kill them all one by one and get the globe back.

With this there was a sound of shattering glass and heavy footsteps coming down the hall. Hoping it would stop whatever was coming for them, Neil shot the man in the head killing him. It didn't stop anything.

Turning to face the new threat, they could see what literally looked like a snowstorm with claws and teeth coming at them. Both Adam and Neil fired at it, but it closed the distance to Adam slashed at him and then exploded into a freezing blizzard making sight impossible.

Coming to the same conclusion nearly simultaneously, they both nearly tripped over each other running toward the gas-covered convenience store. Neil was pulling matches out of his pocket while Adam was going for a lighter. Seeing Neil had the same idea, Adam instead reached for the globe. Neil threw a match into the store and just as it ignited the gasoline, Adam tossed in the globe.

The creature tore after the globe and was immediately covered in flames screaming in agony and its form become more corporeal and less storm like. Taking the opportunity, they both fired the rest of the rounds left in their weapons at the creature and it collapsed and then imploded upon itself extinguishing the flames as it went. The globe fell to the floor and a cracking noise could be heard. When Adam picked up the globe, silverly liquid was pouring out a crack and as it flowed out the whole inside of the globe—snow, building and all—flowed out like a Dali painting.

Relief

Coming back to the donut shop, the injured man seemed to have regained consciousness and said "I take it you two took care of the monster?" When they said yes, he said that his colleagues should be there soon saying that there was no way that they wouldn't have noticed all this. He also said, that they should take one of his business cards from his briefcase because his organization could use people like them.

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