We’ve continued our fine tradition of going months between Borderlands sessions (nine, count ’em, nine whole sessions in 2004), but we keep coming back to it. This time: More wolves! More Party Pole™! And finally, some action in this campaign!
The session opened in the manner typical of Borderlands sessions — the party all spent several minutes trying to remember what the hell they were doing, and why. They were pretty sure they were in a hotel room, with a potentially lupine Obediah, a metal pole, and a damaged van.
The party’s first order of business was inspecting the van, which turned out to be in better shape than they had assumed previously. There was some business about retrieving singed werewolf fur, and making a muslin bag to keep it in out of a coffee filter, but to be honest, I don’t think anyone knew what that was about. Shortly after that, they heard a news report of a student being mauled by a large animal (on WGM radio, since they didn’t have any other information sources). They headed back up to campus to see if they could speak to the student, but before they got there, they stumbled across the scene of the attack, helpfully cordoned off with police tape, but with no police anywhere around. Careful inspection revealed that the attack took place just outside the room museum room where we’d found Professor Hill’s Party Pole ™ the previous day, and that something large had crashed through the window and into the room.
The party cleverly sneaked around to another side of the building, and gained entrance with Obediah’s ever-useful lock-picking skills. Once they’d regained the museum room, they found some broken glass, but not much else. Fortunately (after some GM prodding), they finally spotted a previously unnoticed door, with an incriminating tuft of brown fur!
The party, being adventurous, ventured through the door and down some concrete stairs, where they found the usual dim light bulbs in little cages, pipes that spewed steam at random intervals, a distant dripping sound, and even a giant fan with no obvious purpose, turning very slowly.
(It should be noted that at this point the GM realized that he’d never given the party any XP, and scattered some crumbs before the players, who fell on them like city pigeons, and immediately applied them to what must be called their “combat skills,” for lack of a better description. The party’s “dangerous in a fight” rating increased from “completely useless” to “mostly harmless” as a result.)
The party wandered around for a bit, guided only by Tamsin’s pen-light. Obediah borrowed Fitz’s katana, for reasons known only to him. Shortly, the party heard a sound of running paws, and was attacked from behind by a giant wolf! The wolf missed the party completely, and ran off into the darkness. The party, in perhaps their cleverest move so far, gave chase, and thus were completely surprised when the wolf turned and attacked them again. Everyone dodged, except for Fitz, who decided to be a man and take the hit in exchange for the opportunity to shoot the wolf at point-blank range. The plan worked fairly well…he did get mauled, but he missed the wolf completely.
Ever quick on the uptake, the party realized the wolf would probably come back for another pass, so Obediah took advantage of the lull to quickly enchant Fitz’s katana. When the wolf came back, Obediah was ready for it, and struck off the wolf’s head with a single blow! No other wolves seemed to be around, so the party relaxed a bit. The dead wolf rapidly transformed back into an older professorial-type, which then rapidly aged and decomposed (relieving the party of coming up with a way to dispose of the corpse). Fitz courageously kicked the headless corpse in the ribs a couple of times in vengeance for his mauling.
Exploring the rest of the basement, the party came upon a room with a thick metal door. Inside, the found a cot, and some shackles attached to the wall by chains. Under the cot, they found a wallet, with some ID indicating that the wallet did belong to the late former werewolf, whose name, of course, I have completely forgotten. The party noted that the shackles were open, not broken, and speculation abounded that perhaps the werewolf wasn’t completely sinister, but as Fitz pointed out, there wasn’t a whole lot they could do about that now, so they decamped back to the hotel.
On the way, Fitz remembered that he was wounded, and requested a “Chinese Band-Aid” from Chucky, who complied, only to have the prayer scroll burst into flame, just like the scroll he’d tried to use on the werewolf the previous evening. The party quickly recalled that getting mauled by a werewolf spreads the lycanthropy curse, and Tamsin immediately set to work finding a cure online. Unfortunately, nothing was forthcoming, and in desperation, the group turned to the Party Pole.
Our Heroes speculated that the Pole could somehow mitigate the effects of lycanthropy, and that the poor, late werewolf professor had been trying to get to it, but they didn’t know how it worked. Fitz, having nothing to lose, pointed out that they hadn’t tried the simple expedient of plugging the Pole into a wall socket, and volunteered for the experiment. Fitz grabbed the Pole, Tamsin plugged it in, and Fitz’s hair immediately stood on end, and his wounds began to steam, much as Obediah’s had. In the few seconds it took the rest of the party to react, his wounds had closed completely. The party concluded that the Pole had cured Fitz, and that the lightning strike had done the same for Obediah, although at a slower rate.
At this point, the group recalled that Tamsin’s research had identified two different locations for the werewolf attacks: one here at the college, and another set in Central Park. The party decided to declare the Hill College attacks closed, and head back down to Manhattan to investigate further.