Leo and the “otherworlders” (eg fae) headed out towards the town of Cold Steel. Following normal fae movements the process was fairly slow. So Leo and his group (other than Emily the doctor who stayed with the rest of the fae) joined Connor on recon missions ahead of the fae.
There they uncovered some abandoned towns like Buhl, and a still occupied town of Sacred Waters. Sacred Waters was formerly Twin Falls Idaho and the home of a faction of the Knights of Genetic Purity. Calling themselves the silent brotherhood they ran the town under the new “Morman Renewal” church. A conservative religion that reformed after the fall of the world with the idea they were right to begin with.
Leo scouted the town and found some details, mostly that Cold Steel will want nothing to do with a town and organization that stakes out non-humans with warning signs. On his way home he spotted a family of anthromorphs (fox) that had been captured.
Not able to let them be killed he snuck out and freed the family, and also learned of a stash of weapons that the Silent Brotherhood wanted the location of from Peltor, the fox husband. He gave the location up to Leo for Leo to take care of.
Leo snuck in and blew up the supply cache that was one of the original founding members of the church, but at some point in the last five hundred years the location had been lost. He also met Colonel Aram Yeager, commander of the silent brotherhood and who owned a set of combat armor.
Not to be deterred, Leo stabbed the colonel in the thigh with his tarvon blade, and was able to escape before the explosion with Jeff. They returned home with two top of the line communication suites and the fae in tow. Talking with his own Lt. Colonel he established relations between Cold Steel and the fae while settling into another winter in Cold Steel as he had finally arrived home in mid/late September.
Adventure Name: “Anya’s Homecoming” Brief Description: Leo, Aleph, Anya and Jeff along with their new scientist Emily head north and east into Idaho. There they find Anya’s family, or at least what is left of the home she grew up in. They also find some unexpected visitors.
Sally, Conner, Marisa all part of a “otherworldly” contingent.
Altive, a Squanto historian
Russian Armor Battle south of Orofino
Destroyed on US 12 and Michigan Ave Intersection
Anya’s Town’s Medical
Orifino on the river
Walking down street in Orofino
Google map Orofino
Satellite map of Orofino bridge
The group arrived south of Anya’s home near Orofino. First then encountered a Squanto librarian in his wilderness home named Altive, he made friends with the group quickly and indicated that the town of Orofino had been overrun and they had left. He gave him the information he had in his libraries (Anya “stole” a copy of one of the boxcar children books). In return Leo set up an electronic/computer repository of books that he carried.
The group continued on after staying the night towards Orofino. Just south of the town they met up with something new. There they found wreckage of two Russian main battle tanks, 2 BMP-1s and assorted wreckage of unidentifiable vehicles. The most peculiar part was that they were Russian soldiers and equipment, not American. Destroyed outside of the town.
Further inspection revealed that some of the equipment was destroyed by other human weapons, some of it was destroyed by human weapons, but with bizarre black residue/after effect around the damaged areas and finally one of the large main battle tanks (looks like an upgraded T-72) was ripped open by what appeared to be claws. All of this seemed to happen a long time ago, although not the full 500 years that should have passed.
The group then arrived outside of Orofino on the bridge connecting I-12 and Michigan Ave. There they found a burnt out BMP-1 that seemed to be placed in front of the bridge, defending the town. The group crossed the bridge and found that the town had been surrounded by iron pilings. The bridge even had an iron lip, except for a small section that had been recently removed just a couple of years ago… about the same time the town seemed to have ran away.
In the town the group found State Hospital – North, an old psychiatric hospital that in the last days was converted to a testing facility for Dr. Griesick’s program. This was not one of her “farms” but she knew the man in charge and said he wasn’t so carrying about his subjects. Anya’s people seem to be a combination of those patients and the Russians that arrived hundreds of years ago to save the town.
Leo deduced the Russians arrived and for whatever reasons defended the town and intermingled. He found out that originally Anya had said her last name was Granger, a name her family told to give out when outside of the town. However, her full name is Anya Natasha Petrov.
While in Orofino they found five Russian bodies spiked to trees, their insides pulled out and tortured for a long long time. Anya had one of the memory spiders crawl into one of the soldiers and has yet to give it to Leo.
Also outside Orofino Anya warns Leo away from a homeless vagrant wanderer named Ioann Patmosskiy. He has rumored to live outside of Orofino for generations, unable to cross the iron encirclement, and yes he turns out to be one of the black mists’s minions… his name translates from Russian to “John Patmos” or “John of Patmos”.
There is a small confrontation between Leo, Aleph and Ioann, but the group takes Ioann down quickly and decided to follow the path the survivors of Orofino left, which was towards Spokane.
During their four day travel to Spokane they encountered a black mist storm, with things writhing in the mist. The area they had stopped at seemed to have higher then normal iron deposits… perhaps old vehicle had rotted into the ground giving a high iron content, or some other reason. While the mist surrounded them, a nanite storm came and collided with the mist, leaving the group safe, but covered in iron filings they had rubbed all over their body as a last ditch effort to avoid the mist.
They also came across a group of Martok who were trying to take tolls from travelers and made short work of them.
The group arrived outside Spokane (the city is uninhabited and most of the locals live outside in the suburbs) to the Squanto library of Moran Prairie Library. There they were told that a contingent of “otherworlders” had rented the library and they would have to wait.
Not to be pushed away, Leo approached that contingent and met a gentleman named “Sally” (actual name not pronounceable easily), Marisa his guard, and Conner one of his soldiers (along with a ritualist who hasn’t directly introduced himself).
There things got friendly between Sally and Leo and Leo learned that Sally’s people are from another place and that a long time ago what lives in the black mist forced them from their own plane of existence.
Sally is obviously looked on as “touched” or just plain wrong in his cry of the black mist returning by most of his people. He is surrounded by a loyal group of what seems to be a faerie tale of creatures. After a lot of discussion Sally has agreed to follow Leo back to Cold Steel and to trade information.
While Sally seems like a different class from some of the common folks in his entourage, Sally, Marisa and the rest at that level all seem to glow with an inner light. He met Conner who was a beautiful man, but seemed more real, more on the level with Leo in both class and outlook.
We left the group getting to know the outworlders.
Full Name: Jeff Gender: Male Race: Altered Animal Height: 26″ (withers) Weight: 85lbs Eyes: light blue (was normal brown before nanites) Hair: Mostly tan with black saddlery Age: 4 Build: lightly muscular
Complete Physical Description: He has a domed forehead, a long square-cut muzzle with strong jaws and a black nose. His eyes were brown but are slowly becoming blue. The ears are large and stand erect, open at the front and parallel. He has a long neck, which is raised when excited and lowered when moving at a fast pace. The tail is bushy
Place of Birth: Cold Steel
Date of Birth: October 30, 515 AC (after collapse)
Relatives: Jeff was raised in Cold Steel along with his siblings. He has about 30 canine relatives in total in Cold Steel. There are a lot more canines in general, this is just his direct bloodline.
Twitches, quirks, fears, or bonuses: Honest, light sleeper, easy to read, duty to Cold Steel, is color blind, curious and has a code of honor.
Jeff was born in Cold Steel and raised by Leo. He spent the first three years of his life going on normal recon missions with his master, learning the skills required of a canine recon companion. Last year however he came across Anya who infected him with nanites that are slowly changing him. Seeming to make him smarter and more sentient (for lack of a better word).
He is loyal to Leo and will do anything his master asks, even though now he seems to have a little sarcasm or judgment afterwards. He has just started speaking simple words.
Adventure Name: “WTF is John of Patmos? ” Brief Description: Leo, Aleph, Anya and Jeff head north on the journey to find Anya’s family. They find a town that is repeating its fall, John of Patmos and a doctor they sorely need.
Loot: Dr. Emily Griesick, and a bunch of pre-war stuff
Bear Lake, 42°02’08.1″N 111°23’47.0″W (42.035579, -111.396381)
John of Patmos
The group waits out the winter in Cold Steel, mostly with Leo dodging the boy child born to Tasha and Mary, while Anya endures school and Aleph settles in comfortably.
Heading north the group encounters no problems through Salt Lake City and out of Utah. On the Idaho border they turn on to I-89 heading to Bear Lake. The purpose is to check out a possible location of a Dr. Emily Grieseck, phd researcher and expert on several classified projects in and around the black smoke project uncovered at Hill AFB.
While arriving at the town of Fish Haven Idaho, the location of Grieseck’s home they find a small town still in pre-war condition. Not only in pre-war condition but it is pre-war for them. They meet a young man named James who works the convenience store and gas station. They then go to Dr. Grieseck’s place and raid it for everything.
Once finished with their initial goal on the way to Anya’s family, the group goes back to Gladys’ Place, a sandwich shop, deli and liquor store and enjoy a wonderful sandwich. There they are introduced to John of Patmos, a crazy person who turned out to be filled with black smoke. Leo approached the person to distract his attention from Anya.
The group gets out of the place and heads back up to Griesecks when the nano scanner goes off. They find a satellite connection outside of the home and realize that the town is going to repeat the end of the world scenario that it crashed in. Anya begs Leo to try and rescue the people and he is able to convince the Sheriff and the town to at least partially evacuate.
Meanwhile the group having just escaped John of Patmos goes on to Big Lake Idaho, where Dr. Grieseck’s actual cabin is. There they find the scientist, not dead or old but still in her late 30s or early 40s. She has been going from town to town trying to work on a satellite project for the government to stop the black smoke.
While talking to the group, she finds who Anya is and what she did to make Jeff, Leo and Aleph like they are. She finds out that Jeff was close to dead when healed and maybe the energy used by Anya was big enough to accelerate the changes. So Emily shot Leo in the chest, emptying the cylinder in her pistol, and keeping everyone back until she was sure Leo was dead. She then allowed Anya to heal Leo and he came back, changed even more.
The session ended with Leo figuring out that Jeff can talk and that the survivors of Fish Haven Idaho actually made it to his people from Cold Steel, even with 500 years separating them.
Adventure Name: “Working in the Mine” Brief Description: Leo, Anya, Aleph and Jeff search out the secrets of Coyote Springs and find it is being held by Major Richardson as a side place he and others from outside Cold Steel own. The result is a uranium mine with things alive inside.
A follow up to Todd’s incarceration, trial and punishment as unvieled a hidden community just south and east of Cold Steel. Coyote Springs which was in the pre-war an uncompleted rich development needed to be investigated for nano-scanners and any possible nanites that might be stored there.
The group made their way down and found Coyote Springs fully developed into a town of about 500 people, plus slaves. The place itself looked almost like a pre-war town except for the additional slave pen facilities and the “miners” as they were called being shipped by bus into the mountains.
Leo and Aleph investigated where the bus went, leaving Jeff to guard Anya and found a uranium mine that had been used for the last several hundred years. It was carved out by hand tools and very deep. During Leo’s investigation into the dark of the mine he came across something else. Vaguely humanesque things that seemed to glow partially in the darkness and were natural there.
After a quick bit of combat and quick thinking by Leo. both Leo and Aleph were able to get to the surface and with the help of Anya and Jeff seal off the mine. It appears that the mine produces very low grade uranium. The question now is who would need low grade uranium that isn’t weapon or power quality. Even if it was that begs the question on who could use that as well.
Leo also found that Julio and his team had been using Coyote Springs for years as a base to stash extra things they found or to sell off slaves. Neither of these are allowed by Cold Steel. After being confronted Julio admitted this to Leo but claimed he never was part of the slavery ring, that he only used it as a safe base to stash things.
The group returned back to Cold Steel with a full report, in which Cold Steel themselves secured Coyote Springs, released the prisoners and are trying to determine what to do with that facility/town.
Leo did discover several nano-scanners along with a stash of nanites that matched what Todd used. He also discovered these nanites were being used on the miners as well (but not on the slaves being held for auction).
After the encounter of the black goo and possibly possessed person the group headed back south towards Cold Steel. The goal was to get back to Cold Steel and leave again before winter settled in.
Their trip was uneventful except when they got just outside Sulphurdale and Enel Energy. In one of the abandoned farms they found four dead Tarvon, who had not become good. They were impaled on stalagmites growing up from the ground and were petrified. No source of the stalagmites that were not there when Leo went through the area just 2 weeks before.
They also noted as they went through Delta that the soldier Tyrell that they laid to final rest there was still undisturbed. It appeared he was successfully laid to rest.
Outside Goisen Trading Post the group came across a group of forty or so Martok who were demanding payment for passage. Liand was part of this group (Anya’s old owner) and asked for at a minimum a single rifle for himself for passage. Leo refused and while Liand had climbed up on the humvee, had collected several grenades.
Liand meanwhile noticed what was happening and stayed on the humvee and out of the way of any thrown grenades, which eventually did happen wounding and possibly killing some Martok, driving the rest off, except Liand who used this opportunity to climb in from the top and demand to be dropped off at Goisen itself, which Leo agreed to.
Eventually the group got back to Cold Steel to find a farmhouse had been moved onto Leo’s land. Leo had requested no real pay and no privileges for his 15 years of service until he mentioned the house and an extra cabin. They immediately (to the chagrin of others) moved him to the front of the line and set up his home.
He discovered that Mary and Tasha (directed by Mary) had outfitted Leo’s house for a family and not just bachelor living. Mary seems to be nesting with her pregnancy and insists on keeping Leo’s larders stocked, his home comfy and ensuring Anya gets what she needs as a teenager.
Todd’s father, Quarter Master Sergeant Ernest Borgnine came to Leo to get the real information. He did not seem to be forgiving of his son, and he asked Leo to take care of things if his son was not executed. Meanwhile Todd’s mother was begging the court for mercy of her son, to exile him instead of executing him.
From there Leo attended Todd’s trial and guilty verdict, and found that one of the five people involved in passing sentence interfered with the death penalty (forcing Cold Steel to impose exile). Leo found out that this other Major Roberts has some sort of connection. However, it appeared that Julio and Leo would “escort” Todd out to his exile (which meant he probably would be executed away from the camp. Just before this was carried out Todd begged for leniency and gave up the presence of a second ring, and a second site at Coyote Springs Nevada.
Todd gave up a nano scanner and Leo was able to find the second ring at a backup Ranger site belonging to Julio’s team. Julio, who might be under investigation for other things was livid at what Todd did, and at least one other member of Julio’s team, named Charlie. Julio is a criminal and has no problem committing atrocities on outsides will not accept this behavior on their own people. Leo and Julio are working together on this because it effects their own people. They wish to solve what might e at Coyote Springs and if there are any other nefarious things happening at Cold Steel.
Leo ended the session with acknowledging that they will need to winter out at Cold Steel, but as soon as spring allows they will move forward with going to Coyote Springs Nevada, then traveling north through the remaining bases and finally seeing if they can locate Anya’s family.
Adventure Name: “Memories and Monsters” Brief Description:Leo and the group arrived at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City to find some nanite readers for Anya. There they are met up with by Tasha and her team, and Julio and his team including Todd.
The resulting secrets uncovered paint a very dark picture for a member of Cold Steel.
Leo, Anya, Aleph and Jeff decide to embark on a closer investigation of Hill Air Force Base after a lively time back at home where Leo is helping Tasha and Mary have a baby. Leo has convinced the Colonel to look into Todd’s behavior, resulting in Todd being transferred to Julio’s squad of recon.
The group heads north and finds Julio and his team are at Meadows, which is much further north than normal for recon units. He knows that Julio’s team is suspected of stealing, killing and doing other bad things on outposts and outsiders they find and Leo begins an investigation, but decides to avoid Meadow so they won’t realize he is doing so.
They arrive at the hospital and find several things:
The first being that this hospital was supporting refugees and trauma up until two days before the Final War. There is no record on what happened those two days before, all that is left is an empty city, and an empty hospital with everything in good condition.
They found that the morgue of the teaching school was used up until that point, the machines indicated thousands had been incinerated. They also found bits of cybernetic systems inside the ovens and are attempting to unlock any info they may still have.
Leo found a full high-tech nanoscanning suite and was able to scan Jeff, finding he had at least one nanite hive active, Aleph who was classified as a non-human with Black Security rating, and Anya with multiple undetermined hives at classified Purple 4. Leo found his brain scans were different after his experience with nanites, but no sign of a nanite hive yet.
This is when Tasha and her group showed up to secure the hospital. They will take everything home that they can, and leave a guard for the remaining. There is a possibility they might be able to use it regularly and it could have a huge impact.
Julio’s team showed up with Todd in tow. During this encounter Jeff managed to mate with Matilda, the Mastiff of the team infecting her with nanites (as Leo found when he snuck the dog up to the scanning facility).
During this time Anya showed up back at camp a bit disorientated and her nanites had been drained in healing her. Tasha came back to camp, her top a little messed up and she seemed upset at herself. She had evidently played around a little with Todd and realized she didn’t like him in the middle. Leo found foreign nanites in her that were dying off so he used his nanite scanner to investigate the others. He found Tia and Megan, members of Julio’s team were also infected and also evasive about Todd.
He eventually determined that Todd was somehow inducing influencing nanites into women and taking advantage. He found a control ring and contacted the Colonel who immediately ordered Julio’s team to take Todd into custody and bring him back, as there was suspicion something was going on back home earlier and she wanted to get to the bottom of it.
The session ended with Julio’s team leaving to head back to Cold Steel with Todd under arrest and already missing teeth.