Memories of Elberwick, Part 3

So, when confronted by the twitching faceless meat-cleaver-hand monsters, everyone takes aim and prepares to get the drop on them. Well, I say everyone.

"You called?"
“You called?”

Edge took a different approach, which was to loudly declare “We mean you no harm!”. This went down about as well as you could expect. One meat cleaver to the sternum and some desperate fighting later, the three monsters are dead and dissolve into horrible black sludge.

As a quick aside…

Looking back on it, I get what Emi was trying to accomplish, which was to settle the situation non-violently. It’s an approach I rarely see players take in RPGs, and to be honest I wish I saw it more often, because it’s an approach that’s more dramatic – at least in my opinion – than a player just declaring an attack and rolling damage. From my experience, players usually seem to treat RPG combat as “to the death”, and seem to forget that they have the option of calling a ceasefire, or demanding surrender from a wounded enemy, or even cutting their losses and escaping.

So, I applaud Emi for her actions here; it’s just a shame that in this case she was confronted with an enemy that simply couldn’t be reasoned with.

Not known for their keen negotiation skills.
Not known for their keen negotiation skills.

With the Faceless dead, the Doctor quickly patched up the wounds of his fellow agents (trying his best not to giggle maniacally). A decision was then made to sweep the building, check if there were any more of the creatures, and save the owner and guests of the B&B. Back upstairs the agents went, using their flashlights (the main lights weren’t working, natch), and privately contemplating potential new career options.

They knocked on doors to check how the guests were, and when they got no response, in the words of Tenacious D, well come on now ‘cos it was time to blow doors down.

"REMAIN CALM. WE ARE TOTALLY HERE TO SAVE YOU."
“REMAIN CALM. WE ARE TOTALLY HERE TO SAVE YOU.”

So when they busted down the doors to make their epic rescue attempts, what did they find? Did they find civilians grateful that they were being saved from gruesome gory death?

Nope.

They found no one. Not any of the guests, or even the kindly old lady who ran the B&B. What they found were rooms that had been locked from the inside and had clearly been uninhabited for a very long time. In one room they found a newspaper from the 80s. I gave them no further explanation. Cue three spooked players. They tried to find a reason by talking amongst themselves; maybe the guests and owner had left earlier, and they hadn’t heard them leave the building? Maybe they’d been ghosts? Maybe they’d been the creatures from downstairs? I didn’t say anything, because in truth I didn’t have an explanation for them. Why give an explanation and ruin something that creeped them out? Needless to say, I was pretty smug about that.

So, the spooked agents head back downstairs, and then I hit them with a jump scare; I talk very softly, ramping up the tension and atmosphere… and then BAM! FACELESS DUDES CRASH THROUGH THE WINDOW, AND YES I’M AWARE I’M SHOUTING BUT IT MADE YOU FILL YOUR PANTS WITH SMELLY FEAR DIDN’T IT. It was a cheap scare, but damn it was effective.

What followed was a long slog through the remainder of the night as the team fought off the Faceless who didn’t stop coming until the sun came up. As soon as the sun was up through, the agents – sleepless, exhausted, and bloodied – gave a collective “screw this town”, went out into the town, broke into a car, hotwired it, and drove to Elberwick. We faded out as they drove away up a pleasant country lane…

And then they woke up in a dark cellar! Fun times!

Tzaph

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