Deadlands: Hell on Earth

Salem Towers In Pursuit
extreme chiropractics, pipe busting, dark danger depot

Salem Towers – Basement

The crew moves down to the basement. The darkness is consuming, making navigation rather arduous. They spy the outlines of some of the demolished ironwork hounds lying around.

Eventually the posse tracks down the opened manhole and begins looking for Nigel. They find him, mangled and broken, lying near a wall. He’s conscious and coherent, which tips off Ben to the fact that Nigel is a cyborg.

Collectively the group straightens out Nigel’s neck and braces his arm. However they are unable to assist beyond this point. Nigel reports that he is unable to feel or move anything below his mid-torso. With no time to spare, they leave Crow with Nigel and head down the manhole after “Sydney.”

Sewers / Tunnels below Salem Towers

Ben, Hammy, and Soria descend into the darkened tunnels. Surprisingly, the sewers are very clean and well maintained. They each take turns tracking after “Sydney”. They follow her footprints and small piles of ghost rock ash, but the trail goes cold.

Continuing down their current path, they make a few twists and turns. Echoing in from behind them is the clear sound of gunfire. The group quickly changes direct toward the sounds. Each series of shots leads them on a path down the tunnels.

Unfortunately they make a bad turn and arrive at a dead end. As they turn to go back, a massive swarm of roaches floods the tunnel. Hammy pulls off his t-shirt and attempts cut a swath through them. The plan fails, but does keep the swarm at bay momentarily.

Ben notices a high-pressure water line and points it out with his flashlight. Soria fires and chips away at the pipe. Ben yells to her to grab Hammy and move him out of the way. He then takes a shot at the pipe. Bursting out, the stream of water carves a path through the roaches. The crew runs through the spray to the clear tunnel.

As soon as they break through, the swarm begins to change direction to give chase. The trio veers down another tunnel and decides to break the pipe again in order to trap the roaches in that section. They are able to accomplish it but before she can escape, the roaches overcome Soria. Ben reaches back to pull her out and the three escape.

They continue wandering in the sewers finding dead end after dead end. Finally the group finds a heavily barred door. Actually, it is a crumpled pile of metal that used to be a door. Beyond the threshold lies a ladder leading up.

Warehouse

The ladder leads up to the generator room of a large warehouse. Inside the main room, shipping crates are stacked to varied heights, some all the way to the ceiling. They hear screams and gunfire from within the maze of boxes. The find several bodies as they move in to the warehouse. Hammy grabs a Kevlar vest off one of the men.

Ben suggests they use some combat tactics and stealth moves. As they progress farther into the warehouse, a mercenary rounds a corner and spots them. “Contact! Get them!” the merc shouts.

Ben auto-fires and takes him down, but the crew knows others will be on the way. They take cover behind some crates. All of them notice several distance crates hover and then fly off crashing into some unknown area. From afar they hear Jaeger’s voice- “What do you mean they’re here? They are supposed to be dead!” The three posse members agree they ought to give Jaeger his comeuppance.

Suddenly, a flurry of boxes flies up and smashes the lights out. Now the only light is what little comes through the warehouse windows. Carefully the three push further into the warehouse and search for a way to illuminate the place.

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Salem Towers Playtime is Over
Back to school, Eyes As Black As Ghost Rock, Tag - you're dead

Salem Towers West

Soria, Ben, and Hammond discuss their next move. They debate the nature of the Elijah spirit. Finally a decision is made; they will follow the advice of the spirits and head back to the East Tower. The trek back to the other tower is suspiciously calm.

Salem Towers East

On the way up the East tower, there is a noticeable heaviness to the air. With every creak of the stairs and every shift of dirt, the posse feels it, him, watching them. They arrive at the 5th floor door. Hammond and Ben confer and determine their contract is null and void, so no worries about destroying anything anymore. However, they do decide that if they survive they may want to track down Jaeger so they can demand payment.

Hammy tries to open the door, but it barely moves. The others all chip in, but still the door only budges slightly. Incredibly the dust on the door begins clearing away, revealing hand prints of all of the spirits. With their ethereal assistance the door gives way and the posse members tumble into the 5th floor hallway.

Shortly down the hall they spy a body. The unmistakable white and red tabard draped over it like a veil. Hammond picks up his equipment (templar sword included). Looking up from the body, they see the halls are not what they expected.

The entire 5th floor has morphed. Linoleum and tile lines the floors, and a mixture of pale, almost whitewashed colors coat the walls. There are rows of lockers along one of the walls. Desks and chairs dot the hallway. Off in the distance, the vague memory of a bell rings.

Suddenly they hear a voice. “Come play with me.” A n inflatable rubber ball bounces in from one of the adjoining hallways. Hammy checks it out, noticing a bloody child’s hand print. He looks down the hall in the direction from which the ball came. Standing at the other end is a somewhat familiar man in black slightly Amish style clothing – Elijah. He is thin and scraggly but stands tall. Because Hammond is using vampire vision, splatters of blood are visible, even on the all-black clothing. “Come play,” Elijah beckons before stepping off down the hall and into obscurity.

Ben, Soria, and Hammy decide to go check the lockers for any kinds of clues. Creepy notes are found within, mentioning things such as “Crying for mommy” and “hearing your screams”. While rifling around a noise in a nearby room catches their attention.

The door is identifiable as a classroom door, due to the placement of the window. The view into the room is screened by a smearing of blood. Hammy opens the door and finds an empty classroom. The sounds of crying are heard coming from a closet in the back of the room. He opens the door to the closet and finds hundreds of dolls, each one staring at him with their empty black eyes.

Without warning the whole closet begins to shake, cascading the dolls to the ground. As they land the begin to mold together, quickly forming an amalgam ChildForm. The Childform sprouts claws from it’s fingers and gestures towards Hammy- “Come play!” Shocked by the sight Hammond gets queasy.

Ben fires in at the Childform, the shot peeling back “skin” and revealing a coat rack frame. It charges Ben and Soria, but they quickly dispatch it. Out in the hallway Crow cries out. She’s been surrounded by more of the Childforms, these made of chairs and other furniture.

Hammond charges towards the group. Soria and Hammy defends themselves from the flailing fiends. Unbeknownst to the rest of the group, Elijah has circled around and takes a hold on Crow. He licks the side of her face while muffling her scream with one hand. The other hand jabs a blade very precisely into her side. He drops her to the floor and takes off.

The rest of the posse takes out the Childforms, then takes notice of Crow. Hammond is able to stop the bleeding, but she is basically incapacitated. Soria once again offers to carry Crow. Ben realizes this is just a part of Elijah’s strategy. He wants to instill fear in them, and then take them out all at once.

They find a science classroom and some desks dripping with who-knows-what. Opening another classroom reveals a chalkboard with cute children’s drawings on it. The crew enters but as they approach the pictures change. Each one morphs, the faces all turning angry or sad- the chalk turning into crusted blood.

They head back into the hall, and try a new tactic. This time they choose to taunt Elijah, in the hopes of provoking him into showing himself. With no results, they push onward and stumble across a janitor’s closet. There they find a girl’s sun dress hanging over a mop bucket of slop. Ben notices there’s hair mixed in with the slop. Being unsure of what to do, Hammond takes the mop with them in the hopes it may have some purpose.

Next they come to what must have been the administrative offices of the school. They rummage around finding only a single note- “Tell me your fears”. Seeing this, they deliberate how to handle Elijah. Perhaps they need to show him their own fears, or maybe they need to show Elijah a fear of his own.

As they talk they move forward and find another classroom. Upon opening the door, they see a table with a folded sheet on top. As they unfold the sheet, they see all of the grotesque implements of torture laid out. They recall the wounds inflicted on the “mysterious man”, matching them to each tool.

Suddenly the devices rise from the table and begin circling in a whirlwind around the room. Hammy takes some damage from the flying tools but the group quickly escaped the chaos.

As they step into the hall, Ben sees Elijah standing in the room across from them. Without a word, Ben brain blasts at Elijah, hitting him in the torso. Elijah is hurt, but manages to slyly make a comment – “Oh, you’re a Syker. Interesting.” With a wave of his hand, several Childforms pop out of hiding and rush the posse. Elijah runs off.

While battling with the Childforms, Elijah flanks the crew from another hallway. He uses a force to hurl locker at them, but misses. Hammy splatters one of the Childforms. Ben uses telekinesis to throw the locker bat at Elijah. Unfortunately Elijah dodges out of the way of the incoming projectile.

Ben has lost all patience and decides to use Pyro on Elijah. The flames engulf him for a moment. As they flicker up towards Elijahs face, they spark off into his eyes. Instantly they ignite. Sitting where Elijah’s eyes should have been are 2 burning embers of ghost rock. The eyes explode as Elijah’s body drops to the ground. Simultaneously the material that made up the Childforms bursts out in all directions, harming the posse.

Everything around them shifts back into the broken apartments. Standing around the posse are the figures of the spirits. They show the crew another vision:

Jaeger is looking over his plans. He stabs a picture of Isaac Taylor. Then the vision transitions over to a group moving the ghost rock to Salem Towers. A quick shift reveals Jaeger wants it cleared out, for fear of having it discovered. In the next view, Jaeger tells his goons “if we move by nightfall, the city will be ours”. Moving on to the next, they see the mysterious Syker. They are back in the torture room again, and view the explosion sending his “soul” out, etching the glass and drifting into the East tower. The flying soul collides with a large pile of ghost rock and is absorbed. Suddenly the ghost rock begins to crackle with energy and forms into a massive brain. The scene flashes forward to a view of Sydney inside of the Towers, her eyes rolling back into her head. She heads for the basement and hides near a dumpster. Coincidentally Nigel passes by the dumpster- he turns and attempts to interact with Sydney. Possessed, she uses telekinetic powers to break his arm and toss him against a wall, knocking him out. She then heads down a nearby manhole. The vision breaks, revealing the “Unknown Man”. He provides the posse with a warning. “Sydney is dead. You must stop him before it happens again!” The vision continues. In the underground, Sydney walks intently down a long tunnel. The view rushes forward, revealing her destination. At the end lies the entire stock of ghost rock Jaeger had accrued. The Syker’s name is revealed to be Vrai.

It is agreed they need to catch up, NOW! On the positive side, they may be able to rescue Nigel on the way.

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Salem Towers A Face in the Glass
enraged possession, behind a sealed door, one more spirit

Salem Towers West

As the dust settles from the battle with the mercenaries, Hammy talks with Ben and Soria about losing faith that Jaeger will honor his arrangement with them. Ben agrees, and wonders if the GhostRock is around in the building somewhere.

Ben also mentions the little boy he saw during the firefight. The group decides to check out the area where the kid came from first. They rummage through some old boxes. Ben finds some old but sturdy rope.

While searching around, they hear something moving around in a nearby apartment. They shuffle there way around towards the entrance. They pass by the room with the ramp from the 4th floor. A placard next to that door bares the message, “Blessed are the little children.”

The posse comes reaches the door to the apartment where they heard the movement. They enter and find a hall leading to 5 doors: Two on each side and one in the center. Ben goes left and hammy takes the right.

Ben finds a den stocked with hunting and sports magazines and an old tv. There are a number of father/son images displayed. He grabs some electrical parts from the tv and moves on.

Hammond finds an office. Unlike all of the other rooms, everything in the office is in meticulous order. He finds some minor salvage in the drawers. Ben assists in the search and uncovers a hidden compartment in one of the drawers. Inside, they find several notes and letters all pertaining to the child. One note is particularly scathing:
“Bastard Kid. Can’t stand he sight of her. Actually thought she could join the football team. Of course they said no, what was I supposed to do?” – Signed Frank Apone

Hammy checks the bath next door. In the sink, there’s a straight razor and a pile of freshly cut hair. They venture into the master bedroom. There they find some old clothes and what looks like a studded spank paddle that has been broken.

They check the final room. It’s more of a storage closet than a bedroom, however there is a small loft-bed with a desk underneath. Upon the desk are several animals with their skin pealed away. Clumsily splatter on the wall are the words “Once upon a time”.

More footstep sounds send them on a chase out into the hall. The first room they find is a boys’ bedroom. Hammy finds a 40mm Bean Bag grenade in a pile of toys.

The second room is yet another bathroom. The crew stops to discuss how to find the girl. Hammond mentions the message “embrace the play” and suggests they try to play Hide and Seek with the girl. With no other plan, they move out into the hall and Ben begins the count down.

“Ready or not, Here I Come…” They move further down the hall and find an old janitorial closet, but there is nothing of worth. They check another bedroom. Ben finds a rather interesting looking leather belt. None can identify it, but there is something special about the belt. The initials F.A. can be seen scratched into the leather near the buckle. Ben likes it a lot and puts it on.

Hammy goes into another room with boxes and climbs through to check out the apartment. Inside one of the back rooms, he hears movement immediately on the other side of the wall. “Hammond, Ben she’s here!” cries out Soria.

The two men split up and try to surround the girl in the back hallway. Upon sight of the girl, Ben is overcome with rage towards her, and begins voicing his desire to punish her. Hammy also feels the anger within himself swell, but is able to recognize and break free of its hold. He attempts to persuade Ben to drop the belt. Ben threatens Hammond as well.

In a split second decision Hammond swipes at the belt and yanks it away from Ben. Instantly the fog of hatred is lifted from Ben. Simultaneously, Hammond is engulfed in a violent rage directed at the girl. Ben realizes that the belt itself is responsible and uses his Telekinetic powers to pry it away.

Hammond come back to his senses and consoles the girl. She keeps apologizing, so he leans down and gives her a hug, reassuring her that all is well.

At that moment, the girl shakes off her fear and calmly states “Check the sealed room on this floor. Some of your answers lie there.”

She stands and ages to her adult self. Victoria stands before them, the vision sweeps away and they are back in the room where the “unknown man” is tied up. He is visibly bruised and bleeding in several places. Victoria stands nearby holding several implements of torture. The odd Syker locks eyes with the “unknown man”. He charges up and in a flash of energy the vision disappears.

Ben, Soria, Crow, and Hammond are back in the 5th floor apartment hallway. They search the floor and eventually find a metal door, with a padlock lying on the ground in front of it. As the group enters a wave of stale air washes over them. Inside they find the room of torture where the “unknown man” was killed. His lifeless body is still in the chair surround by 7 other corpses. The corpse directly in front of him is charred completely, however, they can make out that the front portion of the skull had exploded out. It is assumed that this corpse is the Syker.

Dark blast shadows stain the walls, baring an eerie resemblance to GhostRock blasts. While searching for clues they gather up gear from around the room. Ben examines the bodies and determines they have been sitting like this for a year.

By a count of bodies, there seems to be 1 more spirit to find (there are 6 bodies besides the “unknown man” and the Syker- 5 spirits have been found so far).
Also in the room is a window looking out to the East tower. As they look through the window, they notice that small cracks and dusted have etched into the glass an image of the final moments in the room. The shape of a face is prominent in the energy field emanating from the Syker’s head. As they step back they see that the positioning of the figures in the room forms the Face of the Syker, as if His spirit had emerged and etched into the glass.

At this moment, the room begins to shake. They turn to leave and the window behind them shatters. A foggy haze appears in the room. “Go back to the East” a mysterious voice whispers, “We can not hold him much longer. Beware, Elijah does not want to be helped”

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Salem Towers Double-Crossed
Exploring the 5th Floor(West), Not everything is a vision

Salem Towers West

The vision of the odd Syker fades away, revealing the broken old apartments. Ben, Hammond, Soria, and Crow are in situated in the tangled maze of apartments. on the 4th Floor.

The three conscious members discussion the visions and whether there are actually any spirits left to free. They agree to rest and recuperate for a few moments. Hammy heals Soria and Ben’s wounds. They also soak some rice in what water they have left, and have a less than appealing meal.

They decide to head up to the 5th floor, then back down to the lobby. They ascend the stairs and come to the entry to the 5th floor. A section of the ceiling has collapsed in, forming a barrier which blocks the door. Given the block, they agree to look for an alternate way up. Hammy recalls seeing a rusted ladder leading to an access grate when they were in the sewer vision. Perhaps they can find a way up to the 5th floor via that route.

They haphazardly search about the 4th floor. Ben feels a draft. Soria also notices the draft, and find that it is coming from the bathroom of one of the apartments. Inside, the ceiling has full collapsed. The debris forms a make-shift ramp up to the 5th floor.

Ben utilizes his pocket-mirror to check the room above. They climb up into the bedroom above. Ben checks out into the hall, using the mirror again. Hammy checks the door out of the room.

Meanwhile, down in the basement- Nigel finally manages to pull the steel door open. Upon sight of what is inside, he utters the words “Oh bullocks!”

Back on the 5th Floor, the group wanders through the halls. A message is smeared on one of the walls in blood. once upon a time I….. The blood smears down towards the floor, revealing a set of bloody children’s foot prints.

At that moment, lights suddenly emanate from behind the group. They turn and see that the light is actually sunlight, sneaking through the cracks between boards that cover the windows. The rest of the hallways in now dotted with similar windows. Oddly, the areas where the light hits seem to look cleaner.

This time, they decide to follow the footprints. The trail leads to a door. Ben opens it. Before his is a grim wall of animals, all have had their organs surgically removed. Again a message is smeared in blood. Once upon a time I was a good boy

They wander on, finding another apartment. Inside they find a shirt with the message “Happy Ne Year 2080”. Soria hears some small footprints. However, Ben hears the distinct sound of boots off in the distance. It reminds him of the scuffles of groups of soldiers. They decide to move towards the footsteps, thinking them to be part of the vision.

While walking in the halls, Ben hears the boots again, this time with the murmur of voices. Ben uses the mirror and spots several mercenaries(squad1) around the corner. They have stopped in the middle of the hall to check out the surroundings. The group sneaks backwards very carefully. Out of the corner of his eye, Ben spots another set of mercs(squad2) down at the end of the current hallway.

Thinking fast, Ben uses his telekinetic powers to close a door near squad2. This distracts that group, but the noise catches the interest of squad1. Soria and Hammy take positions and prepare to fire on the first squad. Ben keeps an eye on their backs. Crow, still in a bit of a stupor slumps against the wall. The firefight begins.

Squad1 comes in rocking-and-rolling. Soria is grazed. Hammy blocks a shot at Crow from Squad2. Ben goes full auto on the first squad. Ben gives Soria his Auto Shotgun, which she uses to plaster one of the mercs in squad1.

Both sets of mercs fire on, but miss in the chaos. Ben fires back and Soria blasts open the chest of one of the mercs. Hammy uses the Sharps to blow a guys head clean off. In the middle of the fray, Ben notices a child run from around the corner and hide behind a nearby table.

Ben fires a few more times into the crowd and takes another merc out. Hammy is grazed a few times. Crow is also grazed in the leg, but the pain doesn’t rouse her. Soria switches to squad2 and shoots the hell out of one of the mercs.

Ben sees the child run off again. Hammy bashes the last merc in the chest with the hammer, nearly killing him. They decide to ask him a few questions. As Hammy expected, the mercenaries were also hired by Jaeger to take out the posse after they deal with the ghost situation. Ben puts the guy out of his misery. The crew roots through the bodies for supplies. The captain has a headset-radio and binoculars. The soldiers hold 6 clips (total) for NA riles.

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Salem Towers The Plot Thickens
Last minute forgiveness, unexpected charity, a dark figure emerges

Salem Towers West

Inside the illusion of the convenience store, Ben and Hammy find a soldier, Hicks, who is setting up explosive and flame charges to eliminate the “insurgents”. He’s convinced they are “already dead”. Both of them try to convince Hicks not to do it.

The commanding officer calls over- “Time to go. Light it Up.” They follow Hicks as he starts rolling the detonator wire out to the front. They attempt all manner of tactics to stop him from going forward with the job. Through the course of the conversation they realize he is wracked with guilt over what he has done to these innocents, all in the name of survival.

Just as Hicks comes to the door threshold, they realize the solution to his anguish. Hammy takes the bible from Ben and coaxes Hicks into giving a confession. When Hicks completes the tale, Hammond absolves him of his sins and grants him forgiveness. The room melts away, and Hicks appears as an older man. He offers them the next clue- “Free the others. You can’t fight him alone.”

A fog surrounds them as they pass into the next vision. Hicks and a group of others wait in an alley new JunkYard Town Hall. The “Unknown Man” walks down the street. The group of ruffians pounces out of the alley at the man and pulls him into the shadows.

Ben, Hammy, Soria, and Crow are returned to the dilapidated apartment. The room that made up the convenience store is actually a set of apartments with all of the walls knocked out. They pass through the room and come to the stairway, following it up to the 4th floor.

They arrive at the floor and take notice of the odd layout. Many of the walls have been knocked out, and normal pathways have been blocked by wreckage. The new layout seems to form an almost labyrinthine path, making navigation very difficult.

Down one of the pathways, they see a wall crumble. They enter into another room and find 2 bodies. One is of a man half eaten by roaches, the other of a woman both have been blasted with a shotgun. The man’s body also has some odd bite marks on the arms. Upon further inspection, it is discovered that fragments of the man’s shirt are lodged in the teeth of the woman. They debate about the body of the man being the Templar, as he is the only body they have found with a melee weapon- However, Hammond points out that he is wielding an axe, which would be very unlikely. The woman matches a $300 dollar bounty, so they record the two bodies.

Weaving and winding through the apartments they come to a hallway that seems to be making lots of groaning noises. It sounds like old pipes coupled with a sloshing sound. Explosively the ceiling bursts out, like a popping bubble, spewing forth rank sewage water.

As the water splashes over them, they find themselves within a sewer. From behind them, a mass of cockroaches marches forward toward the posse. They move down the opposite direction and come to an open grate. The smell emanating from the grate overwhelms the posse. An intense hunger stabs into their stomachs.

They use some of their remaining supplies to quell the hunger and push forward. They round a corner and Hammy sees something darting around in the dark down a nearby pipe. They follow and encounter a scraggly wild-man, though he runs off before they can speak. The group continues after him.

The wild-man darts through a grate door with the posse in pursuit. He runs through the antechamber and into the next room. Before the posse can get through, several black tentacles emerge from a grate in the floor. The tentacles attack them. At one point in the battle Soria shoots a tentacle and the piece that flies off flashes in mid air, revealing for just a second that it is actually just a bunch of wires and electrical duct.

They are able to successfully evade the tentacles and continue after the wild-man. They follow around and down into another sewer tunnel. Once again the smell overcomes them. Hammond and Soria pass out in extreme hunger. All of the posse members are unconscious except for Ben. He checks through the supplies on them, and finds some water to revive the others.

They push forward and once again encounter the wild-man. This time he calls out to them. “you’re trying to steal my stuff!”. They object and toss him some water as a peace offering. He is extremely thankful.

His beard falls away and he present the posse with another message. “Beware, she needs a father.” The fog comes in again. The wild-man, Hicks, Eliza and another woman stand in a room. They surround the “Unknown Man”, who is tied to a chair, beaten and bloodied. The door swings open and the room falls silent. A freakish Syker enters and the vision dissipates.

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Salem Towers Keep Moving
Nigel alone in the dark, Finding the next vision.

Salem Towers West / Other

Nigel comes to grips with being alone in the tower. He is surrounded by pile of junk and the mini-chanouk scrap. He heads into the hallway, but nothing about the area helps him determine his location.

He attempts to radio Hammy, or any of the others, but there is no transmission crackle. It seems that some power has quell radio communications. He makes his way around to the stairway and find the spooky fridge once again. He notices that the door is closing on it’s own. Unanticipated, a television falls down towards him. Luckily he manages to dodge it.

Nigel moves on to the next floor (2nd) and opens the door. From inside the hall a breeze blows over him. He follows to find the source of the wind and happens upon a tricycle with what appears to be a round stone/ivory object on it. As he passes the tricycle he can see that the object is actually the skull of a very young child. “Come play with us” a voice echoes through the hall. He turns and the tricycle has vanished.

Hammy, Ben, and Soria fill each other in about their situations in the West tower. Crow is still unconscious from the earlier encounter with a door. Soria offers to carry her, allowing Ben and Hammy to provide protection.

The group rounds the corner to find a human pincushion. Junk and other sharp objects pierce through the body. Ben spots a Junk Gun embedded in the chest. He grabs it and tries to pull. The body shakes and flies forward, nearly stabbing him. The group shakes it off- and discusses the “unknown man”’s warning. They all agree with the “keep moving” portion.

Elsewhere in the apartment complex, Nigel pushes forward. He steps in several puddles and notices a lot of broken glass. He comes to the first floor and navigates through the lobby. He spots a path to the basement, and a second door. He opens the access-way to the basement and looks into the immense darkness. He can only see about 2 feet ahead, but decides to venture inside. He finds a small barred window and smashes out a section to get a view outside. He sees back outside, near where they came in to the build. Now that he has his bearings, he tries to make his way back to the lobby.

Cautiously moving on, the group on the 2nd floor finds a woman with her face blown off. They head up to the 3rd floor. As soon as they open the door they are greeted by the sight of a disfigured corpse. His body has been squished, butt-first, into a small hole in the wall. Hammy and Soria are very off-put by the sight, but they all can pass by it.

Nigel attempts to navigate the darkness of the basement. He steps on a pile of rubble, the sound echoes out. Groaning sounds emanate from the blackness around him. He also notices a slight screechy/tapping sound that seems to be following him. His foot grazes a trip wire, but he’s able to hop away before setting off the trap. Amidst the confusion he loses grasp of his location. He continues forward towards where he thinks the lobby is, until he runs into a wall. He continues to hear the sound following him. Suddenly out of the dark a jackhammer flies at his head. He ducks out of the way. The tapping sound seems to be coming from all around him now. He walks forward and nearly bumps into one of the ironwork hounds. More emerge from the dark.

He frantically runs around, battling them while trying to find an exit. One of the hounds explodes into a whirlwind of junk, catching Nigel right in the middle of the torrent. The body of one of the defeated hounds is launched at him and hits. He fends off the other and succeeds. After the scuffle, Nigel finds a steel door and opens it, albeit with a struggle. Immediately after opening it, a noticeable force pulls the door shut.

Back up on the 3rd floor West, Ben, Hammy, and Soria/Crow walk through a room. Out of the blue, the walls of the room burst into flames. Hammy gets caught up in the smoke, nearly passing out. They exit the room quickly and find themselves in a convenience store. A group of featureless individuals are huddled in a pile. Around the huddle, stoic National Guardsmen stand with weapons drawn and a face full of disdain. Hammy steps in front of one of the guardsman and asks what is happening. He is told to fall back in line and follow orders- eliminate the insurgents.

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Salem Towers Lost in a Dream
What happened to the missing posse members, fighting the demon dogs

Salem Towers – Lobby > West Tower

Nigel awakens from the dark. The last he can remember he was being overtaken by the roaches. He looks around and notices a severely dated room. Everything in the room is of an old design, very pre-war but it appears new at the same time. He is in bed and down to just his boxers.

Some noise emanates out from the next room. He thinks to check is AI systems, but nothing responds. He goes into the next room and meets a young woman. She is dressed in a kimono, and is preparing some food in the kitchen. He “recognizes” her as his fiancé. As she turns he notices the girl is actually Soria, pre-mutation. He is aware that she is familiar, but can’s quite place her. She greets him and starts up some very every-day small-talk about work and plans for the day.

He takes a glance out the window and sees an English city. He is very disoriented and is still unable to remember much. Alternate Soria keeps mentioning people they know- all of their names are of people in the posse. The names are familiar, but he can’t recall any of these people. He decides to head to the bathroom to wash up and hopefully straighten out his head.

Alt. Soria points him in the right direction of the bathroom. When she turns, he gets vision of her with only half of a face. In the bathroom he takes a look around. Once again he gets a vision. This time, he sees the bathroom as a dank, dirty place with piles of gunk everywhere. In the mirror he sees himself as a dirty older man. He tries to wash his face, but in the mirror he sees he is smearing sludge all over himself.

He goes back out and relays his concerns to Alt. Soria. She looks troubled and calls the doctor- “It’s happening again, come over.” Nigel is alarmed and heads out the front door and into the hall. He runs into a portly fellow who asks him if he’s planning on leaving in his boxers. He heads back into the apartment for his clothes. Alt. Soria tries to comfort him. She tells him how this has happened before, and that all is going to be ok.

Just as he lets his guard down, she stabs him in the back with a large kitchen knife. In the mirror he sees her reflection. Before him stands a dried up, bloody skeletal version of some random woman. All at once his memories come back and the room around him peels away and shrivels up, revealing the dark, dank, musty Salem apartments.

Back on the first floor Ben, Hammy, and Crow discuss the loss of the other half of their posse. They also banter back and forth about the meaning of the messages presented by the unknown man.

After little while they head into the West tower. The head up to the 2nd floor, finding that it is actually in half decent condition. They check the rooms and find bullet holes coming out through one of the doors. Inside this room there is a bad blood stain on the carpet, but no body to be found. Hammy finds a .556 rifle clip. They head back into the hallway.

As the three progress forward, the hallway becomes darker and the walls groan and squeal, while the floor beneath them trembles. Unexpectedly, the walls on either side ahead of them bulge out and roll by like waves. They take a few more steps, and then BOOM! The doors and walls behind them begin exploding outward in succession.

They run to get out of the hall. A pipe explodes out and cuts Hammy while a door busts forth and pins Crow to the ground. Hammy and Ben run back to save her. Ben grabs her up and they try to run out of the way of the exploding walls.

Simultaneously, Nigel fights with the bloody corpse-woman. After a little struggle, he blasts with his plasma-hand and explodes her head. He runs to the next room and starts grabbing all of his gear. The “unky”-piles around him begin to form together with various wreckage and morph into mini-chanouks (massive dog-like creatures that the Anouks rode on Banshee). He gets the willies but is able to defend himself against their attacks using his plasma and some quick thinking. He then gathers the rest of his belongings.

Hammy runs out of the torrent of debris, but hears more creaking around the corner. Ben carries Crow, running toward Hammy, and jumps to safety. Hammy helps them both up, and they begin to move out of the whirlwind of debris. As they come up to the corner, Hammy sees that 2 demon dogs made of wire, scrap metal, and rubble stand in their path. The cyclone of scrap behind them forms into another ironwork hound.

At one point in the struggle Ben and Hammy each have a hound clamped down on their leg. Ben blasts one of the hounds. Hammy defeats the dog biting his leg. Just before they can attack the 3rd hound, a flash of green energy disintegrates it.

Soria stands before them, scraped and bloody, but in one piece. She describes how she had woken up on the 2nd floor of the West Tower. She was in an idyllic vision of suburbia (similar to Nigel) but knowing her past, she was able to determine it was not real. The group discusses the vision, and notices that it is similar to the syker power “Memory Maker”.

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Salem Towers ghosts in the graveyard
The posse is forced to split up, "Human Skull Bonanza"

Salem Towers East

After exiting the vision of Jaeger’s take-over rally, the posse decides to push forward. They quickly scan through the rest of the rooms, figuring that if that run into anything it will be fairly obvious.

Hammy brings up the vision they had of Jaeger’s group preparing. He and Ben can’t remember anyone but the Doctor and Jaeger, no sign of the “little girl” they had encountered before. Their discussion is interrupted by the rattling, clanging sound of something falling inside one of the walls.

They follow the direct the sound came from, and discover a shotgun hanging by a strap, dangling out in an HVAC shaft. Hammy hears the faint sound of little feet just around the corner. They leave the shotgun and head towards the footsteps. Rounding the corner, they find the footprints of a small child, laid out in blood. Ben notices the footstep lead up to a door down the hall. As soon as he sees this, the door closes slowly.

The posse agrees the ghost must be messing with them and heads back to the stairs. On the way down to the 3rd floor they come upon a landing. Crow spots small refrigerator that had not been there before. Hammy recalls Ben’s retelling of the crazy man’s vision. The fridge opens, containing only an undulating blackness. Suddenly, a massive swarm of roaches pours out of the blackness and engulfs the group.

The group frantically tries to swat off the roaches, but there are too many. Hammy and Crow are overcome with hunger. They call out to run to the next floor. Crow, Ben, and Hammy frantically run through the swarm, almost slipping on all of the crushed bugs under foot.

They make it to the 3rd floor and Hammy slams the door shut. Then realization comes that Nigel, Charlie, Soria, and Sydney are not with them. The three go back into the stairwell, but there’s no one there, and no evidence of the fridge. They search around for a few minutes, and conclude that the ghost is trying to keep them separated.

Back on the 3rd floor, they come into the first hallway and see the bloody footprints. They follow them around and come upon an open room. Inside, a body is slumped against the wall- brain and blood splattered across the wall.

The three enter to check the body, and the whole room around them changes. They stand in a funeral home, a casket in front of them. Ben gets the nerve and looks in the casket, he sees himself in the coffin, staring back up at him, trying intensely to scream despite his mouth being sewn shut. Hammy comes forward and sees himself in the coffin instead. Suddenly the coffin slams shut and the illusion is gone. They stand in front of an armoire lying flat on it’s back, with the formerly slumped body laying inside of it.

They head back into the hallway and follow the footprints again. Midway down the hall their steps begin to make a crackling, swooshing sound. They look down and see they are now walking on a cobblestone path covered with leaves. The whole view has changed to a moonlit graveyard.

They travel on and come upon a burnt out mausoleum. Hammy smashes the door in, and a girl suddenly appears behind them. She looks distraught, and screams out “NO!” then runs away.

Inside the mausoleum, they see to charred bodies with matching wedding rings. Hammy tries to touch one of the corpses, but they crumble into ashes.

Crow suggests going after the girl to find out why she is upset. They charge after her and catch sight of her, on the other side of the fence, a little ways down the cobblestone path. Hammy sees the girl running, then she suddenly drops into the ground. They jump the cemetery fence to get to her.

Just beyond the fence they find the spot where the girl “fell”, in her place is a fresh grave. They frantically dig to get her out, Hammy nearly passes out during this. They extract her from the coffin. Inside they also see the 2 charred bodies.

The girl is babbling and difficult to understand. However with some time and questioning, they piece together that the corpses are her parents. The parents were killed in a car crash. The parents had told the girl to not let them come back as zombies (like the grandmother had). At their original funeral service, she tried to burn their bodies and in the process, burned down the funeral home. She was institutionalized, and as a result was not allowed to attend their 2nd funeral service.

Ben gets the idea, and pulls out the bible. He recites a very rough service for the parent’s charred bodies. The girl morphs into an adult. Her name is Eliza. She has a message for the posse: “You are being used to wash his black hands clean. His sins are hidden in the west.”

The scene changes, shifting to a view of a storage facility. Dylan Jaeger is there, examining crates of ghostrock. He gives a nod to the foreman who covers one of the crates with some tarp. Eliza enters and wheels the cart away in secret.

The surroundings change again, and they are back at the apartment. On the way back out of the 3rd floor, they find the body of Jaeger’s right hand man and record him. They also find one of the criminals on the bounty list. They continue to call out and look for the others, while moving on.

They head down to the 2nd floor. A Body is hanging half inside of another HVAC shaft. His head has been lodged on a sharp piece of sheet metal, which appears to be part of a booby trap. They also find yet another one of the bounties and record him as well. They notice more signs of struggle, bullet holes and weapon scrapes, but little else.

As they go to exit the floor, they notice one last room with the door open. Inside they find a single standing mirror which is turning slowly on it’s own. They enter and see themselves in the mirror. With the next rotation, they see an unknown man in cargo gear. He points to the wall, which now has a message written on it. “Surrender, Like Water, Keep Moving, Surrender”.

The three discuss the message as they come down to the 1st floor. This floor has actually been slightly renovated. While walking through they notice a puddle. In the puddle they see the unknown man again. He motions to the ceiling, where a new message is presented. “It is coming. Devouring, Unraveling fear. Embrace the play, Don’t reject them, your only allies.”

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Salem Towers A Less Than Warm Welcome
What's behind door number 3? ...Saving the first soul

Salem Apartment Towers

East Tower

The posse sees the door riddled with bullet holes. They push on down the hallway to the first apartment. Upon opening the door they are hit with an overwhelming moldy, dank, and musty smell. There is also a faint scent of human waste.

Ben scans the room for stuff, and finds a set of tracks. It appears someone was dragged out of the room, their feet dragging along the floor, leaving boot wear marks. He finds the origin of the tracks. A busted flashlight lies on the floor near a stack of old dressers.
Suddenly one of the dressers flies out and smashes him in the arm. Seeing this the group agrees to stick together and try to move cautious but quickly.

From down the hall they hear more commotion, like other furniture is being thrown around. Crow and Hammy notice the ceiling above Ben bulging. They shout out and Ben is able to move, narrowly escaping a rain of sharp, jagged debris.

Nigel checks out the hole in the ceiling. A severed hand drops out from the hole and gets tangled in the straps on his helmet, then falls to the ground. Hammy picks up the arm to take a closer look. It comes alive, grabbing hold of his thumb. He quickly shakes it off, flinging it away. It flops against Crow’s face before falling to the ground again. Hammy promptly smashes it with his hammer.

The group heads back into the hallway and begin following the dragging marks. They are lead to the door of another apartment. Fearing the worst, they cautiously open the door. Crow peers in, it is very dark. Some of the floorboards have been pulled out randomly.

Hammy steps into the room; notices a closet in the back that sounds as if it is occupied. Strange whispers and murmurs emanate from behind the door. He sees a pair of eyes roll out from under the door and stare up at him. Then, he begins to hear the sound of a young girl crying.

The others come in and attempt to communicate with whatever may be in the closet. Charlie gets bored of this and opens the door. There’s a little girl standing in there, crying with her hands over her face. She spreads her arms out, revealing the empty eye sockets gushing blood. “Please give me back my eyes!” The closet door slams shut violently, cracking in the process. All of the voices and crying are gone, and the eyes have disappeared. Charlie re-opens the closet, and finds a pair of glass eyes. She takes them.

Nigel is curious about what else lies in this apartment. He opens the door to the bathroom, revealing a bloated corpse face down in the partially full bath. Unfortunately they are unable to identify the body.

The whole group moves back into the hallway. Hammy moves to open the door to the next room, when they hear a gunshot ring out from down the hall. No one can quite identify the exact location. They argue a bit about what to do, thinking that perhaps the ghost is trying to lure them in that direction. He opts to open the door in front of him.

Inside, the room is now a field hospital, all canvas and tarp walls with chain-link fence frames. Beds lined in rows continuing the length of the tent, each filled with the sick and dying or dead. The illusion takes over each member in turn as they look around. Now they are all within this makeshift hospital. All the while, the gunshots continue one at a time with a short pause in between.

A wave of sickness falls over the posse. Each person afflicted with a different illness, sudden and severe. They decide to head toward the sound of the shots. They pass several more rooms, including one packed with bodies. They finally catch up with the origin of the sound.

From one of the rooms, a doctor (Spunkmeyer) emerges; a smoking pistol in his hand and a grim, distant look on his face. He asks if we need medical assistance, but says that we are all too sick and that there is no hope. “They will come for you eventually, there is only one way out.”

After some short discussion he reveals he is killing the patients, one by one, in order to prevent their suffering. Soria recognizes the described symptoms as those of the Faminites. They decide to follow the doctor trying to get him to change his mind. However he is without hope and cannot be talked out of it.

The group rallies together and tries to save some of the sick and wounded people on the tables. The healing they try fails, and the people die anyway.

Frustrated and realizing that the ghost is toying with them they elect to try something rash. Hammy attempts to knock out the doctor with the butt of his gun. As he swings, a mysterious force halts his hand and lifts him back and away from the doc.

Charlie tries to shoot at the doctor. Her bullet freezes in mid air, turns 180 degrees and flies back at her, striking her in the stomach. She cries out at the doctor, getting his attention by yelling that it is his fault. He apologizes, but says there is no way to help her. He readies his pistol to put her out of her misery.

Hammy jumps in front of the gun and pleads with the doctor to let them try to save her. Hee performs Lay-on-Hands and heals her wound. The doctor is taken aback. His demeanor changes, he becomes very serious and says “Don’t go up yet. You are not strong enough to fight him. Free the others”

The scene around them dissolves and they are in another room with a group or about 20 people. Dillin Jaeger is there, discussing plans for “taking the city”. Doctor Spunkmeyer is there too. This image also fades away, and they find themselves back in the broken down apartment.

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JunkYard Salem Towers Here We Come
The Posse get the another part of the story, begin touring the creepy towers

JunkYard:

Nigel heads down to the Hilton’s Bar and Grille. Crow joins in and also sees Soria and Mari come down to get some food.

Ben and Hammy get the table for the “Salem Reservation”. At the table, a computer prompts them to play a first person shooter game “ScrapYard”. They start playing the game while they wait. Quickly they find out that the other player in the game is the mystery guest. He tells them how the Salem Towers were not haunted prior to the purchase by their employer. He then give them the name of a reporter with more info. He also tells them that if they mention his name, Dimitri Karkos, to Dr. Mendoza they will have the chance to talk to the crazy guy at the hospital.

Crow sites and eats, talking with the others at the bar and grille. She mentions getting a laundry service, and taking the opportunity to take a shower. Nigel agrees that is a good idea, and heads upstairs to do the same.

Hammy and Ben head to JY tv station KYRD to meet with the reporter, Luis Garnt. Hammy barters with him, offering an exclusive crack at the story in exchange for the info Garnt has. He agrees and hands over a camera/video slug to record anything interesting in the towers. Garnt explains how people had toured prior to the purchase. No evidence of problems occurred until the purchase by Dylan Jaeger. Jaeger and Karkos have a certain political contention with each other. Prior to our hiring, another group was hired which included a Templar and junker as well as a few other guns. They were never heard from. He directs them to contact Spencer Vaughn at the JLA.

The pair heads back to the hotel and meets up with Soria And Mari. They meet up with the rest of the posse in the suite and go over plans for the next day. In the morning they retrieve Nigel and Crow’s clothing and head out.

Ben and Nigel head to the hospital. Mendoza tells them Dimitri Karkos donates to the hospital, and reluctantly lets them in to see the crazy fellow. He is actually a wanted junker, Joey D. Ricing. He’s lost all sense of himself and is a potential danger to everyone if set free.

Ben reads his mind. Echoing cries of pain and horror. The sensation of burning, skittering noises, feelings of hunger. Roaches come out of a nearby fridge, Ben feels as though he should eat them. Then visions of people without eyes. The words “Surrender, like water, keep moving…” His mind is utterly broken, they head back to meet the others.

Crow and Hammy finally arrive at the JLA. They meet with Spencer Vaughn. He mentions they could get bounties on any of the many felons they might find at the towers. Many of the crew that Jaeger had hired were actually wanted criminals. Hammy opts to join the JLA as a member, giving them full access to the database, and a potential resource for widgets. On the way to meet the others, Crow picks up some baseballs as ammo for eldritch blast.

Salem Apartment Towers

The posse meets up with Sydney and moves on to the Salem Towers. The building is old and dilapidated. We enter though an access door in the basement. Nearly everything is rusted, broken or corroded. On the way through they find some of the renovation equipment.

We make our way to the lobby. They choose to enter the East Tower first. Hammy spots a small child’s doll with no eyes. Suddenly roaches begin pouring out. He shouts to the others, but when they look back it is gone. We find stairs and head all the way up to the top, 5th floor.

Unfortunately we are unable to breach the door and decide to go down to the 4th floor. The 4th floor hallway is a mess, no carpet, cracked peeling walls, doors hanging off their hinges. As we come up to one of the doors, it becomes very noticeable that it is riddled with recent bullet holes.

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