SESSION 2 Campaign Report: The Black Blood Scourge.
We just wrapped up our Viking Death Squad introductory two-shot. The Immortals decide to follow their human friend Arc back to the teacher’s house to see if she needs help, waiting on the gladiatorial fight until things are wrapped up there.
Arc enters with the teacher, Spreck, to take a look at the girl he’s been trying to treat and sees she’s thrashing on the bed. He says she’s having another of her attacks and rushes to comfort her. She turns and looks at Arc, her face demonic, eyes pure white, and sinks her claws into Spreck, levitating with him up into the air. He starts to scream as she floats around singing sing-songy tunes about how she’s going to eat his soul. She tries to grab him down but ends up with just his boot–the demon-girl is fast! Arc runs to make sure the demon can’t fly out the door with Spreck, but just then Timberwolf-11, hearing commotion and screams inside, kicks in the door, blasting Arc across the room, dazed and prone. He and the pictish Immortal Cerriduen bust into the room, grabbing for the girl as she dances just out of reach of them both. She makes another try for the door and Arc barely gets there in time to slam it shut. The demon…does an Exorcist all over her, a digestive breath weapon as it were, and Arc feels herself overcome with demonic voices–but manages to fight them off. Timberwolf-11 makes the hard choice to end the girl rather than let her escape into the city, and hits her in the back with his gravity hammer. The unarmored little girl is just destroyed.
As everyone stares, jaws agape in horror, a wind whistles through the room and the demon’s invisible form rushes out into Knife’s Edge, tossing folks and stacks of supplies flying through the air and over the railing into the icy crevasse that runs through the town. The characters rush out to help who they can. Timberwolf-11 using his rocket boots to get ahead of the entity and braces to hold it back. It ends up going right into him. He suddenly feels sick, black veins spreading over his skin, his mind filling with ancient blasphemous memories of alien creatures sacrificing unspeakable things at unholy altars, strange languages begin spilling from his mouth. As he resists, Arc does the only thing she can imagine and with her full weight, judo tosses him over the railing and down into the fissure!
He falls for what feels like ages, levels of city whistling past him then deep blue ice, then pwoom! Superhero landing. Immortals aren’t damaged by falls. A shockwave of ice dust blasts out.
The demon in his head introduces itself as Aliaster, since they’re going to be spending so much time together. Timberwolf-11 through gritted teeth tells the demon he’s made a mistake, just giving him an easier to aim at target, takes out his molten iron gun and starts shooting himself in the face. The iron freaks the demon out, forcing it to crawl out of his big skull holes as he falls face first in a pool of molten iron and rolls his respawn die. Four rounds. His wounds begin to knit.
Cerriduen was behind the others and saw Arc throw Timberwolf-11 over the edge but couldn’t tell why, and picks her up by the shirt half expecting her to be the demon. But once the human cyborg explains, she’s like: hold on…and jumps down the ice rift. They whistle down, snow billowing through their hair and land with a thud. Timberwolf-11 is still regenerating, a blood trail and what look like hoof marks lead off into the blue darkness, then scraping and a dull red glow. Aliaster appears, a floating, shrunken fetuslike thing with a skull head. It starts taunting them and goes to fling Cerriduen with it’s telekinetic powers, but just then Timberwolf-11’s regeneration is done and the three of them descend on the newly incarnate demon and rip it to gory bits. Before it’s spirit form can get free, Arc consults her skull slave, a broken undead servant of Hell she rescued in her backstory and asks how to keep it from flying off. It suggests they surround it with some kind of circle of an element that binds demons: holy water, salt, iron, or the like. They use Timberwolf-11’s molten iron gun to make a solid ring of liquid iron around the demon.
It very quickly loses all of its bravado and looks to cut a deal, offering to tell them about an artifact that will allow them to control demons, a demonic army camped nearby including the name of the demon in charge of them, and a rift back to Hell. It offers them that if they allow it to return to Hell rather than leaving it trapped. Uneasy, they agree to the deal.
It turns out Knife’s Edge is atop a glacier that has covered the ruins of the Illinois Megacity, and that in ancient days a secret society of Gnostic Demonbinders had found the artifact known as the Black Blood Scourge, which in addition to being a powerful infernal weapon was accepted as a badge of domination over lesser demon lords and all their kin. The army is mostly slain and flamebeasts and led by a two headed ogre demon named Zhorloth. They buy a spellstone of banishment and allow Aliaster to be pulled back to Hell.
From there they go to their gladiatorial match. It’s a venue called Knox’s Meat Locker, a huge cage built into the ice with seats around for onlookers and a big cage elevator to take fighters in and out.
In the center is a large knotted blob of what looks like dirty crystal or resin? All around are scattered skeletons growing weird green mushrooms. There’s a weird funk in the air that stings their lungs and makes them itch inside. A big drill probe arm injects fluid into the big crystalline blob and it begins to grow and unfurl into a massive tardigrade beast, massive clawed paws and a snout filled with a ring of teeth! They rush in to fight it and it starts shredding their armor, taking hits and unleashing waves of spores. Because effects like these can’t kill Immortals, they don’t fall but eventually the same weird green mushrooms begin to grow all over them. They notice the tardigrade becomes much more passive, cringing away from them and only fighting to defend itself. Whatever these mushrooms are haven’t killed them, but they’ve made the tardigrade register them as allies. They jump up on the tardigrade beast’s back, ride it up the wall of the arena, tear through the cage and out into the audience area, grabbing the marauder leader, Knox in their new pet’s big paws and messily devouring him.
They sit for a while deciding what to call him. Timberwolf-11 puts a hand on his side: “Spore.” And that settles it. They ride him back down the rift and through the ice tunnels into the ruins of the megacity. There’s skeleton hordes wandering the dark megacity streets and weird ghosts wreathed in the chains of their old sins. Eventually they get to the Gnostic Temple, split down the middle by a geologic shift that apparently broke whatever rune glyphs were containing the evil within. The brass doors at the front are bubbly and warped and as they pry them open they come upon a huge fight, a massive flame beast overlord set as a guardian of the Scourge. Eventually they win the fight and descend the stairs down to the vault where the scourge is kept. Timberwolf-11 takes it from it’s onyx stand, made of strange leather and bones and covered in runes. As he touches it the runes work up his arm and make his eyes light with red fire beneath his sniper goggles. As they go down further into the basement they discover at the very bottom, a swirling magical gateway leading into Hell.
He convinces the others to use symbols from around the temple to craft a summoning circle and using their discovery of Zhorloth’s name, summon him and use the Scourge to subjugate him, having him call down his army. Then Timberwolf-11 takes his new army and abandons the party, charging with them down into Hell. A roar emanates from the portal and the temple begins to collapse around them. The remaining party are able to crawl their way back out to the street just ahead of the catastrophe wave behind them. The temple implodes and tumbles into a pile of rubble.
Cerriduen keeps Spore as her steed. Arc, together with the other Screaming Skulls, take charge of Knife’s Edge. Somewhere deep in the eternal battlegrounds of Hell, Timberwolf-11 takes his first steps of conquest toward becoming a new infernal baron.
END OF TWO-SHOT.