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Penumbra: The Shadow's Edge

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Joined: May 03, 2010
Posts: 254
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:26 pm    Post subject: Penumbra: The Shadow's Edge Reply with quote

I know I've posted this elsewhere but I wasn't sure how to move it and wanted to put it in the correct place.

Camapign info:
Characters will be extraordinarily talented individual called together to work as agents (known as Envoys) of the Penumbra Society. (Much like how the league of Extraordinary Gentleman was brought together). This is NOT the World of Darkness, but rather a low powered street level "superhero" setting with supernatural background/ themes. Urban Fantasy might be the best way to describe it. No one will run around in tights and capes, but trenchcoats or latex bodysuits with corsets wouldn't be that odd on missions.

The Penumbra Society is a shadowy organization (rumored to have been founded by Harry Houdini) based in Chicago, whose true purpose is defending the mundane world from the forces of supernatural darkness, as well as keeping them blissfully unaware of the things that go bump in the night. (such as in Hellboy movies, Nightwatch movie, and Buffy ). To the outside world it is a private social club

A low level "supers" campaign dealing with supernatural elements. Inspired by movies/books such as:

* Hellboy
* NightWatch/ DayWatch
* The Dresden Files (Novels by Jim Butcher)

and to a lesser extent

* The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (movie sucked, but comics were great--group could be similar to this, extraordinary individuals brought together to fight the darkness.
* Underworld
* Blade
* Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV series)
* Constantine (Never read the comics, but I hear good things)
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Posts: 254
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:33 pm    Post subject: A Night at the Museum Reply with quote

Skype gaming summary : Saturday 3/19/11 . Night of the Super Moon

Arthur Foxx and John Peterson meet and are introduced in teh Penumbra Society HQ by Arvid Karlsen.

Seems that a group of snake cultists are up to no good and are planning "something" at the Field Museum. This coincides with the "Super Moon" , so the PC's figure possibly a ritual or something. Info is vague so they must play it by ear.

Petersen works at the museum as a curator, so he is able to provide access. They hide in the smaller rooms surrounding the main entry hall. Petersen suspects that the cult may be interested in " Sue" the T-Rex skeleton located there.

After several hours of nothing, Foxx notices shadowy figures on the rooftop skylight, directly above the T-Rex. They are in a circular formation with a solitary figure laying spread eagled in the center.

The rush to the rooftop, through a security stairwell, and encounter 7 cultists who are chanting a ritual. One of them has a long curved serpentine dagger poised above a naked, drugged woman...obviously intended as a sacrifice.

Arthur sneaks forward as much as he can before he is noticed. 3 cultists pull handguns, the rest pull knives. They are on the attack.

Arthur shoots 2 of the men with guns, before he is surrounded by knife wielding cultists.

John Peterson rushes forward, knocks out the head cultist with an elbow smash , and takes out the third gunmen without ever brandishing his sword.

Meanwhile, Arthur dispatches two of the knife wielding gunmen, and the final one makes a run for it.

Peterson (spending a hero point) uses his sword to alleviate the effects of the drug on the woman.

Foxx lets the last one run, with the intent of tailing him.

The duo are in contact via bluetooth/ cell phones.

Skype Adventure...4/8/11

Arthur Foxx tails the man further south going into Pilsen. The cultist ducks down an alleyway, and Arthur hearts the sound of grinding stone, and a few seconds later the sound repeats itself. making a quick check into the alley reveals the man has vanished. Arthur deduces that there must be some secret door in the alley, which he finds in mere moments.

He is about to venture in, when he remembers the last time he proceeded into the unknown without backup. It resulted in Hazel's death. He calls Peterson and tells him where he is located.

Peterson has learned the woman's name is Bonnie Wachowski, and she was abducted a few days ago. She doesn't know where she was being held, but it didn't seem far from her home in Pilsen.

Just before Foxx's call, several lightning bolts arced out of the sky striking the incapacitated cultists on the roof , completely disintegrating their bodies. The storm clouds blew in seemingly from nowhere and there was a distinct sound of a snake hiss as the vapor of their bodies rose into the air.

The door to the stairwell opens, and a security guard spots Peterson with Bonnie, who is now draped in his trench coat to cover her nude form.." Oh , errr. sorry Doctor, I didn't realize you were entertaining," he says embarrassed. "I thought I head something. It must have just been the thunder." he says, closing the door sheepishly behind him as he goes back down to the main museum.

"I overheard your friend on the phone," says Bonnie. " I know exactly where he is. Take me with you.. I can show you. Besides it is close to my house."

Peterson agrees, and a short while later, the trio rendezvous at the corner of the alleyway.

Foxx currently has 2 Hero points and Peterson has 1. Both at max hit points

After Bonnie shows him the location, he drops her off at her house and returns to the alleyway.

The duo enter the secret doorway and follow the narrow hallway. They detect a trap door at bottom of stairs. John Peterson tries to leap over it, but fails and falls into pit. Arthur helps him out, just as they are attacked by a Naga wielding 2 scimitars.

John Peterson decapitates it and then moves into a larger caverns. two more Nagas await them. From a tunnel they here a female voice hiss : "desssstroy the infidelssssss. "

Foxx open fire with his shotgun wounding one. Petersom attacks, finishing off the Naga. Foxx just shot and making a second attack on the remaining Naga (Domino effect)

They enter the tunnel and it opens into a 10 x10 lair occupied by the Naga Queen. She mind controls Arthur making him drop his weapons. Peterson attacks her with sword. The damage she takes releases her hold over Arthur. Her inhuman speed prevent Arthur from ever getting a shot in on her, but Peterson is able to finish her off with his sword.

They search the rest of the cave and they find a number of ancient texts in a language that neither of them can read.
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Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:36 pm    Post subject: The Ghost Ship Reply with quote

Here is a brief summary of the last Skype session:

Foxx and Peterson are called into Penumbra HQ by Arvid Karlsen. He introduced them to “wizard” who call s himself “Frodo” before explaining the mission.

Several expensive yachts have been disappearing from the marina at Montrose Beach . Leaving port at night and never returning. Even in calm weather.

There have also been reports of a ghostly apparition on the pier at night

Foxx goes to talk with his contact Olivia Cosmos:

Learns that she has heard of reports of the ghost and has known the people who have gone missing. The ghost is reportedly that if Harbor Master John Tucker. He was killed in a boating accident a few months ago. His fishing boat was hit by a yacht. He drowned.

Olivia was one of the passengers of the yacht that resulted in Tuckers death. It was piloted by Jonah Carterson, a well to do plastic surgeon.

Tucker's wife, Edna, reportedly had a nervous breakdown after the event, but has recovered and is now living back in their home.

Foxx uses his charm and winds up having an afternoon romp in the hay with Olivia. She wasn't hard to convince. She wishes she had just cut the chase from the get go , rather than talking about all of that ghostly rumor poppycock.

He is also able to talk her into loaning him her yacht for the night.


They go out on lake Michigan in the Cosmos Naut. A champagne pink yacht with two bubbly cocktail glasses cocked jauntily as it's logo.

They are rammed by a ghostly pirate ship. The yacht takes enough damage to fling them all into the water. The boat is capsized and sinking.

The pirate ship makes a wide turn, heading back to them. Frodo casts a fireball, which sets the front of the ghost ship ablaze. The ship vanishes into thin air before it reaches them

they are able to swim back to shore, but it takes them an hour.

Arthur calls Olivia, who doesn't believe his ridiculous story and thinks he has been drinking and sank her yacht. NOT. HAPPY.

He then calls the coast guard and files a report with them, (sans ghost ship) explaining it was a brightly lit vessel with spot lights aimd at them (thus the lack of description) which rammed them.


They go back to HQ and start researching. They learn: That the people on the two yachts they have recently disappeared were all passengers on the yacht of Carterson's yacht when it killed the harbormaster. They decide to try to talk with Carterson.

Meet with Carterson:

Frodo acts a s a transgender applicant to get a consultation with him. He tries to bring up the boating incident. But , the doctor gets spooked and gives him the bum's rush.

The trio shadow him to his home. Foxx jury rigs a listening device to eavesdrop on his cell phone conversations:

Mainly, it is just him venting to his wife about the pressure and stress he is under do to the upcoming trial. Wishes the widow would settle out of court and fr it to all just be over with so he could get back to his normal life.

MEET with Widow

nautical/ pirate themed paintings/ bric a brac in house

Learn that she paid for a voodoo curse (she is from the islands ..that is where her and her husband meet when he was in the navy 30 years ago.) on the people responsible for her husband's death. She wrote a with ink laced with her own blood. It was put in an envelop and sealed as part of the ritual. She doesn't know what happened to the letter after that.

She admits that she wasn't in her right mind when she did it, shortly after she went into a short term psychiatric treatment facility for "nerves" . She doesn't even necessarily believe in voodoo, or magic, but she would feel terrible if her actions somehow caused anyone to suffer.

She tells them the woman who performed the ritual;l was a voodoo priestess called Madame Jum Jum

MEET WITH Madame Jumjum

Have to pay her for info. Tells them that a curse is very had to break. That if the seal is broken, then the powers that have been set into motion to bring the curse to fruition will move to prevent anything from stopping it form happening. Powers best not trifled with. She could not guarantee their safety if they choose this path, but she tells them the envelop was buried in a graveyard and gives them directions to it's location.

They go to Graveyard.

Dig up envelop and set it on fire with lighter.

As they dig it up, 10 zombies rise from the grave.

Peterseon quickly dispatches two of them, with decisive brain slicing accuracy.

Frodo destroy the rest of the advancing horde with a well placed fireball.

They hope that their actions have lifted the curse,..but only time will tell.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

face to face camping trip Adventure..THE SNAKE'S VENOM

Peterson contacted by morgue due to an unusual corpse found by a sanitation worker. Mummified body wearing modern day clothing, with head found about a block away. Position of body at scene indicates body was alive, not rigid when it fell to ground.

Dead 100-200 years, but mummification process matches that found in Ancient Egypt.Body is too pliable to have been dead 100-200 years. Possibly animated? Calls Arvid Karlsen , who send the the other Penumbra investigators. Meet Jack Rose for first time.

When the others arrive.
Discern head wrenched off, rather than cut.
Find tattoos of VENOM logo on body, after Frodo's suggestion to look for arcane markings on body.
Learn about the Vanguard Emissaries of the Novus Ordo Mundi (VENOM) from Penumbra Society database.

Investigate scene of crime (near bank)

Foxx gets access to police video tape through his contact Althea Parker while the others investigate bank.

Jack Rose (Waxman) slips in through ATM slot, and gets access to security video feed for bank. Sees woman withdrawing money, a mummy scuttle down a tree behind her and attack. They fall out of view, but she is able to break free, Rose sees her running for car. As she gets in mummy chases her, and she pulls off with mummy being dragged with body dangling out window.Car goes out of sight.

Learns identity and address of woman who was attacked from ATM transaction. Cari Gardner.

Jack Rose then proceeds to take money ($ 100K) from an Alderman Richard Mell's account and, electronically launder it (by way of a mafioso account) and have it deposited to an account that he has access to. Destroys all video and security camera monitoring of his visit.

Foxx sees the aftermath of the attack from the police video feed (Birdseye view of street). He car careens down the road, swerving back and forth. She sideswipes a telephone pole, causing mummy to be decapitated. Head found about a block from the pole.

Investigate Cari Gardner's House
( it is about Midnight now)

See assassins scurrying into second story window.
Run across street and bust into her house. Peterson causes them to all flee with Heavenslite (Turn Undead. Jack Rose causes one to rupture from withing be entering it's body and expanding.

Once calm, she tells them about her boss at Ajax Chemicals, Alex Carson, who recently committed "suicide". Slit wrists in bathtub.

Shortly before his death, Carson had confided that he suspected his partner Richard Williams of brokering a deal with terrorists to save company from going under.Sold restricted chemical agents to them. Used in the processing of Sarin gas. He was looking for proof of this before his death.

After his death, Cari was suspicious and retrieved a thumb drive from his home computer with Ajax chemical financial records.

She never reported the mummy attack, because she figured she be put into an asylum, but it did happen after Carson's death and her retrieval of thumb drive.

They leave and take Cari Gardner, mummy remains, and thumb drive to Jack Rose's abode, which has many lab rooms and computers to help them in their investigation.

From thumb drive the investigator's learn :
there was a large transfer of money recently from Norton Salt company into Ajax Chemicals account.

From mummy remains:
trace amounts of salt powder that matches the kind that Norton salt manufactures.

All evidence pointing to Salt factory involvement. Either knowingly, or being used by VENOM.

Before leaving hack into salt factory's security and disable it all.

Go to salt factory.

Find hidden freight elevator behind bookcase in executive office. Go down 50 feet and discover VENOM lair. Frodo wizard lock s a barracks door full of sleeping soldiers. Guards see them and open fire . Melee ensues and they take them out.

Further in, they encounter mummy guards who unleash swarms of flesh eating scarabs from their mouths.

Eventually take out all mummy's whoever, Arthur was injured by scarabs.

Discover main lair with 2 more mummies, 4 robed figures, and a woman who looks like a high priestess.

Planned for Arthur and Rose to charge in , draw attention, and then Frodo unleash fireball. he was beaten to the punch by more scarab breathing zombies and a cultist firing his own fireball. the party is engulfed on flames, but survive.

Peterson uses sword to make mummies flee. (turn undead)

Frodo casts web. While immobilized, the remaining cultists are knocked out.

High Priestess taken to Penumbra Society for further questioning.

The rest are left there. Anonymous tip to the authorities as well as thumb drive to alert them of terrorist activity

Foxx tells Cari Gardner she can't reveal their involvement. She says she won't that no one would believe these things anyway. The reason she never reported the attack in the first place, was because she might be labeled insane.

Idea tossed around of offering her a job.
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