The Old Ways

Session 1: A Bunyip Attacks!
On Friday the 13th Novemeber 2009 the Sci-Fi club of Adelaide University meet for the last session of the year. It is a hot night, so the meeting is held on the banks of the Torrens. This meeting is interrupted by the appearance of a strange beast that has a dog-like face, dark fur, a horse-like tail, flippers, and walrus-like tusks. It eats a bird then turns to attack the group. Several members of the club turn and run, but six people stay to fight because they feel an uncontrollable urge to do so. (The Player Characters plus the shared NPC/GMPC- “Phillip Morrison”.)
    While fighting the Bunyip these characters unleash powers that are apparently supernatural in nature:
    • Nick discoveres that he can unleash a flaming attack when throwing his knives.
    • Sasha develops a heightened sense of hearing and deals massive amounts of damage to the Bunyip with his bare hands
    • Alfred turns into a Dingo and joins a pack of diongos that aid him in the battle.
    • William gains the ability to fly.
    • Clayton draws his sword and unleashes a mighty attack in super quick succession.
    • Phillip apparently felt something, but it is not apparent what the nature of his power is.

    The fight is witnessed by a mysterious man who approaches the group and requests them to meet him at his bookshop. He hands over his business card then dashes off ahead (for an actual reason!). His name is Rupert Jones and he is intrigued by the events of the evening- particulary the powers of the group. He arranges to meet again on Monday and asks the group to help him search for a book known as “The Old Ways of Australia”.

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Session 2: Finding the Book, losing the Bookshop owner.
Over the course of the weekend the party research the nature of the Bunyip- sending Phillip off to analyse the samples. The results gave the following info:

“The DNA is most similar to that of a Walrus, but lacking a lot of the genes from more recent evolution. It has some similarities to the platypus as well. There are a few unique active genes that I can’t explain. They don’t resemble the genes found in any known mammal or sea creature. They seem to be a very simple sequence that suggests the primitive nature of the beast. You would not see this sort of actively expressed gene in any modern mammal because it would be too prone to detrimental errors in RNA translation. The other tests I ran gave some interesting results too. It seems to have an unusually large amount of sulfur in it and it contains lithium and beryllium, two elements that are not known to exists in the composition of organic life forms”

Sasha searches for the book- finding it in the Barr Smith library’s special reserve collection, but strangely it was only listed on 1 catalogue.

Nick identifies the creature as Bunyip by uploading a photo of it to the internet on his iPhone.

William builds a space/time warp detector and finds that he is warping space.

Alfred investiates his aborginal heritage in search of answers.

When the party go to the Bookshop to meet Rupert on Monday night, they find that he is not there, but has left a note:

Dear Supermen,

If I am not here when you arrive it means I have been delayed by an unpleasant situation. Please do not try to find me as it may endanger your lives. I am sorry I cannot answer your questions, but my associates in Melbourne should be able to help you. You can find them at “The Society for the Study of Ancient Literature”. They could use your help too and will pay you handsomely for that book if you managed to get your hands on it, as well as reward you generously for any research work you carry out for them. I have enclosed Air Fares for you to get to Melbourne. Good Luck.”

Yours Sincerely,

Prof. Rupert Jones

When looking for ways to conceal weapons on the flight, Clayton discover’s that he possess a “Sword Space” in his jacket- an extra dimensional space that can be used to conceal melee weapons. Williamlearns that this jacket also warps space.

The party travel to Melbourne and are accomodated at “The Society for the Study of Ancient Literature”.

The Society pay $6,000 ($1,000 each) for the book and work on translating it. It takes Meredith 4 days to partially translate the book with the help of Sasha. This is what she reveals:

““The book is written in an ancient arcane script used in Europe from about 1000 BC til the end of the Dark Ages. I have only been able to translate parts of the book, but that is enough to determine that most of the book is written for an unknown language, thus cannot be translated. But it doesn’t require translation to be of use because there are a few passages throughout the book written for a known language that I could translate and that provides enough context for me to get the gist of the book’s purpose. The book seems to be some sort of magic ritual book that summons Aboriginal folklore monsters from another dimension. That would explain the appearance of the Bunyip you saw. It doesn’t really explain why you all have the powers that you do unfortunately, but you might find more answers in the other books. This book mentions that there are 13 other books like it around the world. They are collectively known as “The Old Ways of the World” and each one is named for the region it was written in.”

She gives the party a quest to search for the remaining 13 books. The quest will be dangerous, but it is also an all expenses paid tour of the world with a comission of $6,000 paid for each book found. Perhaps the search will also help unravel the mysteries of the party’s new found powers.

The Society also have offices in London and Oklahoma. The party decide to travel to London first.

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Session 3: The Hunt Begins

The party travel to London, arriving on Tuesday 24th November in the late evening. The London office is bigger and much more luxurious, offering private quarters for all of the party. The members are retiring for the night when the party arrive, so they are unable to discuss things, but the party are given the Daily Telegraph, which contains stories with potential leads.

On Wednesday the 25th the party set out for the Forest of Dean to investigate the missing people, but this lead turns out to be a dead end, with the cause of the missing people merely being a pack of wolves who made their den deep in the caves.

On Thursday the 26th the party meet Ken Morrison, owner of a large supermarket chain, who believes he is being haunted by a ghost. Investigations reveal that there is a Boggart in the house and that nailing a horse shoe to the door the right way up will dispel the pesky little thing. The party also learn that the arrival of the Boggart coincided with the arrival of a new desk that contians a secret compartment. One of the delivery men seemed suspicious to Morrison. When looking into this further it was found that the delivery company has dissolved and that the business folded on the day of the Morrison delivery.

When leaving Morrison’s house the party find a couple of tourist brochures dropped on the ground outside the local library just down the road. These brochures are for Stone Henge and Tintagel Castle.

Also during his stay at the London Office, Clayton recieved 2 letters from an anonomous sender. They were written by sticking clippings from magazines together to spell words.

The first one said: “I am waching you”

The second one said: “Why don’t you love me?”

The clippings have been taken from women’s magazines.

On Friday 27th Nov the Party head to Tintagel to investigate the UFO sightings. They learn that the sighting are bright flashing lights that are Orange in colour with a dark shadow behind them.

To be continued…

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Session 4: Books & Dragons

On November the 27th, the party looked into the reports of UFO sightings in Tintagel. The residents of Tintagel all claimed to see bright orange lights flashing in the sky and a large dark shadow could be seen behind these lights. The party all saw the same thing when they looked out at the sky that night. At one stage the lights moved inland and stopped above Tintagel Castle. Some of the party broke into the castle to see if they could find any more evidence. This is where they found the remains from a recent fire in the King Arthur museum. They also found an old store room with signs of a large beast residing here. They decided to call it a night after this.

Whilst’ the party were sleeping in the Hostel room that night, they awoke to the sounds of William crying out. Alfred examined him and found that he had a dangerously high fever. He called emergency services and did what he could to get the fever down before William was taken to hospital. Once the fever was stabilised, the doctor at the hospital found a bad bruise around William’s neck that looked like the marks of an attempted strangulation. He then made William stay in the hospital for 24 hours.

The next day, Nick, Sasha and Clayton went to the Castle where they joined a guided tour. Sasha’s newly heightened vision enabled him to spot that the cover of the well had been moved slightly since the night before. He motioned to the others, although only Clayton noticed and the 2 of them snuck away from the group and went down the well. Here they found that the well was linked to a tunnel, which they followed into a cave. In the cave they see a Dragon sleeping on top of a pile of coins and books. The book that they want is sitting under the Dragon’s claws. Clayton attempted to steak up and grab the book, while Sasha took aim with his rifle from a safer distance. The plan failed, however, and the Dragon awoke letting out a burst of burning hot liquid from his mouth before ascending through a tunnel, taking the book with him. The liquid burnt both Clayton and Sasha, and set the whole cave alight. Sasha dropped his rifle in the well and they fled for their lives. The tour group found them and had them taken to hospital. Clayton was kept in the hospital for a while, but Sasha was released after being examined and found to be okay.

Sasha went to the police to try and get info on his dropped rifle, but found them to be very unhelpful and quite incompetent. When he finally got to speak to a different officer the next day, he did learn that they were investigating a potential terrorist group and that they found and confiscated a weapon cache from within the well.

Clayton received another stalker letter while in hospital. It read “You will pay for what you did to me”.

Once out of Hospital, William went about trying to summon a demon for some answers. While drawing the chalk circle for the ritual, the chalk broke, but William found himself teleported into an art shop after thinking that he needs more chalk. He carefully got the chalk he needed, leaving the money for it and teleported back to the ritual circle. He completed the ritual but the summoning attempt failed. The ritual ended with a loud booming voice speaking to him. It said “You will not betray me”.

Nick spent some time researching dragon mythology and the legends of King Arthur. This is where he learnt that a dragon slayer must be pure of heart. After ringing the London office and discussing the situation, the party decided to call in an airstrike to help them catch the Dragon. The Dragon was finally slain by the Air Force at the Jetty, and Alfred used his super speed to obtain the book in the nick of time.

As the party were leaving the jetty, Nick turned invisible for a brief moment.

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Session 5: Time for Ireland

On the 1st December the party make their way to the London airport in order to board a plane for Dublin. This is where Sasha is pulled aside by airport for questioning about his connections to Conrad Daletsky, who is a known Russian Mafia criminal. He is also stripped searched as a matter of National Security. It was later revealed that the person questioning him was from ASIO and that ASIO will be watching him from now on. Sasha was completely unimpressed by the way he was treated by the airport security and filed a complaint at the police office. While filing a complaint he was arrested and further investigated. Not having enough solid evidence, the police were forced to release him and a settlement payout was made by the London Airport Security Office as compensation for his grievances.

The rest of the party caught their flight without Sasha- not realising what had happened to him. When they arrived in Dublin they contacted Jeeves to find out. In the mean time, they went about their own affairs. William began preparing to summon Paimon and underwent hypnotherapy with Alfred. Clayton had a work out in the gym and Nick read the newspaper in the Hotel restaurant.

Sasha arrived later that night and they all reconvened in the restaurant. While eating dinner and discussing plans, they overheard a conversation on the table next to them. The two Italian men on this table had been hearing an unusual bird call outside their hotel room window. The party investigated this bird call and found that a banshee was haunting the men. This haunting was soon followed by the death of a wife/relative of these men. After the banshee haunting ceased, a trowel was found outside a room down the hall from the Italian men. It had a note attached that read: “Tara, meet me at the mound with your spade”.

Sasha looks into the stories from the Irish Times newspaper and finds out that Kylemore Abbey, the site of the headless horseman sightings is of little historical importance.

The party decided to investigate the story about people’s doubles. They found out that Tony O’Reilly a rich and famous Irishman had seen his double on several occasions. While at his house, Sasha overhears a rumour about a leprechaun at Brian Boru’s fort. William performs a search of O’Reilly’s library and finds a book about the Stones of Ireland that was removed from the shelves. Inside the front cover there is a map of the stones that has been ripped out. The fore mentioned Brian Boru’s fort is on this map.

The party are asked to leave the O’Reilly mansion as time is getting on, but they should come back tomorrow to investigate the story further.

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Session 6: The Irish Times have ended

William summoned Paimon and made a pact that allowed Paimon to share William’s body. This summoning was witnessed by Alfred and Clayton.

While Alfred and Clayton slept in (possibly due to the effects of the summoning from the previous night), the rest of the group followed up on a lead that William got from his demon “friend”. The lead was the Hill of Tara. Upon arrival, William, Sasha, Nicholas and Phillip went to the “Mound of Hostages”. They eventually find some recently replaced dirt and begin digging. During this time William investigates the strange lights that they had seen on the way in. The lights morph into the form of fairies. Talking to the fairies, he learns that they were trapped until recently and are now returning home. These were the nice fairies, but he also encounters the evil fairies who attack him. He knocks himself out to willingly let the demon take control of his body so that it is able to defeat the fairies.

Meanwhile, Sasha and Nick’s digging uncovers a box. Sasha thinks that it is best to leave the opening of the box for later in case the contents are very old and fragile. A clean room will need to be setup for this purpose. With the fairies defeated and the book probably found, they leave the tomb and begin to make their way back to Dublin. On the walk back to the road, they see a car drive up to the tomb. Sasha can overhear them discussing the book. They send Phillip off with the box (that Nick peeked into to see that it does indeed contain a book) and sneak back to the tomb in order to learn more. They cannot see the car, but soon find it and discover that it has been cloaked. Nick and William attempt to break into the car and get shot at by a sniper who is camped on the top of the mound- also invisible. Sasha wrestles with the sniper- killing him and getting the gun, while the other two successfully break into and hot wire the car.

This is when Sasha develops a very hairy coat, like that of a bear, although he does not transform beyond human form. With the car hot-wired and ready to go, the group sees that another identical car has appeared next to this one, complete with identical number plate- how strange! Also William briefly shrank to about ¼ of his size. The group escape in the stolen car and get back to their hotel unscathed.

The next day, Nick goes to the hire car company that owned the car they stole in the guise of a police officer and used his acting skills to convince them that he found their car after it had been stolen and dumped. He got the information about the people who hired the car, but the ID was all found to be fake.

With a clean room setup in Nick’s hotel room, Sasha investigates the book. He studies it further and learns more about the nature of the books. They seem to be written in a phonetic text that has recorded an unknown verbal language. Some of the other text that he does recognise suggests that the books are not specifically designed to summon things, but also to bind things. With this knowledge the group deicide it is time to head back to London to return the book. They will then head for France to follow the lead on Grave Robbers.

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Session 7: Death & Potions

The group arrives in London on Friday the 4th December and return the book. The party question Jeeves for more information on the books and learn that their powers are likely to increase as they find more of them. Jeeves arranges for some fake I.Ds to be made, which are ready the next day. The group then head off to Paris, where they approach a newspaper asking about the Ankou sightings. Learning the location of 2 graveyards where it has been sighted, they head off to make preparations. This is when they see a shady character dressed in a black trench coat sneaking into a shop called the “Magique Fournitures et Potions de Gaston Benoit”, meaning the “Magic Supplies and Potions of Gaston Benoit.” Intrigued by the name of the shop and the character that entered it, the group decides to investigate. AS they enter, the other man rushes back out. The shop owner then mistakes William for someone else and gives him a parcel of potions containing Snakebite Antidote (Antidote pour Morsure de Serpent), Petrifaction protection Oil (pétrification protection pétrole, and Healing Salves (Guérison Pommades).

When the party head out to the graveyard that night Nick and Alfred both see the Ankou, but no one else can see it. Alfred gets close enough to the Ankou to see that it is writing names and dates on a stone tablet. The dates all lie within the next week and the name at the top of the list is Gaston Benoit, the magic shop owner. Alfred and Nick confirm that the figure they can see is indeed some sort of spirit, not just someone dressed up and conclude that his list is a list of people who are soon to die.

Sasha chose not to join the search, instead he waited in the car to do some reading. When the party returns to the car they find that he has gone (and there is no sign of bears). They search for him, but don’t find him until the morning when he returns to the car to find some of them sleeping in it. The next day Sasha went to question Gaston, but lost his temper in an uncontrollable rage and killed him. The group make plans to flee for Greece (guessing that the potion kit given to William is related to the story about snakes in Knossos), but Sasha has disappeared after admitting to them that he killed Gaston.

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Session 8: Greece & Beyond

Left Paris on the 6th December.

Arrive in Venice on the 7th and arrive in Greece on the 8th December.

Combat with a Gorgon at the Palace of Knossos resulted in the petrification of Clayton. “The Old ways of Southern Europe” is recovered. Alfred takes Clayton’s body back to Australia in order to return it to his family. William and Nick return to the London office and carry out a training montage.

Meanwhile Sasha has been in Russia on personal business and returns to London on the 15th December.

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