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Aberrant: Weirder Stuff - Chapter I Homecoming


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Sean stared at his phone, then leaned against the wall and hunched over it to block out the glare to he could actually read the text. As he read the short text over and over again, his lips kept quirking into a small grin. She'd already given him her number, and he hadn't even asked for, though as soon as he had read the text, he knew he should have.


That was too curt, too abrupt, Sean thought with a frown. I should say something more.

I do want you
Damn auto-correct! I meant I did want yours. Your number

"Well shit. Too desperate and... and Freudian," Sean sighed, feeling his face reddening again. If he asked Sara to the Homecoming Dance face-to-face, he'd totally bungle it. He'd never gotten the nerve to ask a girl out before, but even he knew it was lame to do it by text. On the other hand, he'd always been better with computers, and if she said no, he would have to see the look on her face.

Dunno if anyone has asked you or if you care but...
Would you like to go to Homecoming with me?
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Sara blew out the lung full of smoke as the bell rang she sat there on her stoop rereading the texts on her phone again.

She chewed her lower lip a habit she had had since grade school. Her thumb flashed out a reply, deleted it then typed another, deleted that one. and put her phone away.

"Fuck, I thought we were just talking abut a goddamn game." she muttered as she slipped her phone back into her pocket. The tardy bell rung and she set off across the field toward the distant highway.



This ends the lunch scene I will post the next scene later good job



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The school day passed classes were attended and in between teens gossiped. By the end of the shortened 8th period everything that had happened during the day was known by everyone else and two of the biggest topics was that Abel Cross was taking new Cheerleader Kia Mizuki to Homecoming and that Sandy Caldwell was going to the dance with fellow football player Lilly Pryor both surprising turns of events each in their own way.

8th period was shortened today because of the school pep rally, 10 minutes after class started the bell rang and classes were over for the day. In fifteen minutes the pep rally would start and this pep rally would be where the announcements for who would be in this years Homecoming Court and eligible to be voted homecoming King and Queen.

While some students slipped away and skipped game day event. the majority filed into the cleared assembly hall to watch the cheers and band perform. It was a festive activity which always raised the spirits of the gathered kids and teachers.

Abel, Alec and Felix all arrived and found their usual place at the far end of the hall at the top of the bleacher. Abel could still see Kia clearly even from this distance and he couldn't help but smile when he saw her animatedly talking cheer strategy with the other cheerleaders. He also couldn't miss the daggers that Courtney Adams shot toward Lilly when the Team took their seats.

Sean had spent the last three hours very uncharacteristically anxious checking his phone and never getting any kind of answer. His screen remained blank. As he came into the assembly hall he made his way to their usual place but his eyes kept searching even though he doubted she would be here.

Felix scooted over for Sean who looked preoccupied and Abel could sense turmoil from his friend.

The pep rally began. There were the usual cheers the usually songs played by the band, a couple of silly skits and then the announcments for the Homecoming Court for next weeks big event. Everything there was very normal except for two Surprises. Of course Abel being one of the most popular boys in school was named to the Court as was Sandy Caldwell and  Courtney Adams, but the first surprise was when they named Lilly, and the second was when they called Kia Mizuki. Both girls from the base.

The base had of course always been out there but until 5 years ago it had been a small rundown government property. Then the Air Force had moved in. The towns people had expected the economy to get better they had expected new jobs and for a brief time that is what happened as new buildings were constructed but once the base went operational with what ever it did out there, those extra jobs dried up. The base itself was almost self sufficient. And other than a few kids from the base attending the towns schools and a few spouses coming from the base to take town jobs, there was very little interaction. And so the town had come to distrust the base personnel and that meant that the town kids didn't trust the base kids much either.

As the kids chosen for the Court lined up Lilly saw Courtney glaring at her. She was glaring so hard she ran right into Kia and almost fell down, would have if Kia hadn't of kept her from toppling. “Watch where your going you little slant-eyed bitch!”


In the stands Alec, Felix and Sean watched on as their friends lined up before the whole school. Alec and Felix were cracking jokes about how they were glad it wasn't them. Sean was still distracted his mind wondering about other things when his phone vibrated. It was a text form Sara.


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Standing in line in front of everyone, opposite Kia wasn't so bad, Courtney's words regarding Kia, well, he'd find some way to pay that back somehow.  He just smiled widely for everyone.  While he wouldn't win, the title of King always went to someone on the football team, this wasn't the first time here.  He  was enduring this for now, because it's what was expected.   At least Kia and Lily seemed abit surprised and happy to have been selected.  That ought to stop some of the heckling others in their circle of friends got.

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Kia blinked, startled at the venom from Courtney, then broke into a grin and said, "Gee, I'm sorry. It's so hard to see what with my eyes being all slanty."

She pried her eyes open all wide and buggy like. "Oh hey, Courtney. Did you happen to see a total bitch go by a second ago? I think one was trying to talk to me."

Despite the words, her tone was still light and playful, making a joke of the whole thing.

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The when Lilly's name was announced it did not even fully register with her. The thought of being part of the Homecoming Court had never even crossed her mind in any way, shape or form. She was not a local kid and the military brats generally had a harder time with acceptance. Yeah, she was playing sports, and a bit of a standout at them which brought a certain degree of popularity with it, but this still was totally unexpected to her.

Lilly blinked and a smile slowly crept across her face as she realized what was happening. She stood and moved over to stand with the others still not quite sure what was happening. She nodded to the others lined up as she moved over to them. Most of the court were already her friends; Abel, Sandy, Kia. She expected Abel and Sandy to be named to the court, they always had been as long as she had been in Shelly, but Kia and herself being named really was a surprise.

And then there was Courtney.

Lilly ignored Courtney as she strode over and, just to spite her, walked over to line up beside Sandy, where she turned and smiled at her just as Courtney bumped into Kia. Kia's response to Courtney's outburst made Lilly snort in amusement as she stood there smiling, and gave a 'good one' nod to Kia.

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The prep rally was what Felix expected it to be for the most part. Something to rally the school and have a good time. The skits were decent, nothing real memorable, but were still funny. The music was the same, Stuff he heard before and nothing real fancy.

What he did not expect was who was going to be in the kind and queen. Felix laughed in amusement at first. Then just as quickly turn a bit sour. Several of the people he knew were in the line for king and Queen.

Felix knew whom he was rooting for as King. Abel may not get it, but it was always good to root for a underdog. Also from what he heard Abel been up there before and Felix hopped that it would be Abel time to shine instead of the other two.

Felix felt sorry for the girls. He knew that things would get real bad before this was all said and done. Part of him wanted to see the train wreck that was going to happen for that fight. Yet Felix knew that was wrong. He knew one of the poor souls, even if he did not have a great feel for the person, Felix didn't want to wish harm to anyone... well there was a few, but he did not want to think of that at this point and time and that was in the past. He just hoped that Lilly and Kia would survive her experience as peacefully as possible.

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Wondering if he had scared Sara away with his forwardness in asking about the Dance, Sean had been distracted all day and barely even noticed when Lilly and Kia were named to the Homecoming Court, nor the whispers and shouts concerning it. He almost jumped when his phone vibrated, but when he read the text, his brow quirked in mild surprise and a moment of disappointment. Sara hadn't said anything about the Dance and why was she asking about the Game? Everyone knew when and where it was, they were flyers all over the place all week. Then he almost face-palmed, Sara meant his Game. He had not clue why he had thought of the Football game instead of his own when Sara had mentioned it.

He wanted to ask about the Dance again, but even he knew that would seem desperate, so if she wouldn't say anything about it, he wouldn't either, and just give her the time to consider. He tapped out a quick reply, angling his phone so nobody else could easily oversee it.

My place this week. I alternate with Abel. After supper, 6:30ish

Sean looked at his text and ran his slim fingers through his bright auburn hair, then wrote another text, followed by another when another concern occurred to him.

But you should get there early so I can help you make a character and go over the mechanics with you
Forgot - do you know where my place is and do you need a ride?


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Cheering with the crowd, Alec was content. For all that he had been joking about being glad it wasn't him, truth was he was happy for his friends. The look on Lilly's face had been priceless. the half second of surprised incomprehension before she had realised that it had, in fact, been her name called had been something to behold. Kia had seemed to take it all in stride, but then, nothing really seemed to phase her. Abel had seemed surprised, as well, but Alec wasn't entirely sure of why. The fact that he was able to sit at any table he wanted should have shown that he was in the running. He had to laugh. For all that Abel was smart, he could sometimes miss the obvious. At least where it affected himself. He may not win, but he deserved to be up there at least. As for the other members of the court, though....

"Man. If looks could kill. Courtney looks about ready to murder someone."

It was true, as well. The look she was giving Lilly and Kia could have curdled milk. He hadn't been close enough to see what was said when she had stumbled onto the stage, but he knew his friends well enough to know that something had happened from their reactions. He'd have to ask about it later. Looking over the rest of his friends, he couldn't help but frown at Sean. Boy looked stressed, fidgeting with his phone and running his hands through his hair. He debated with himself for a moment before coming to a decision. He pulled out his own phone.

Y'all right man? You're looking down.

He hoped that it wasn't coming across as nosy. Between his mother working as a Doctor and his sister taking care of him and then becoming a Sheriff, he'd always been brought up to try and help where he could.

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Staring at Sara's text thread, willing her to reply, Sean blinked when he saw a text from Alec, who was sitting just on the other side of Felix. When he saw what it was about it, he sighed, then tried to compose himself. He was getting way too worked up about things. He was a sixteen year old guy, asking a girl to a dance was no big deal, really. And while Sara had a rep around school, his dad hadn't had a problem with her when he hired her on for a landscaping or reno job.

Sean leaned forward so he could give Alec a quick, reassuring grin, though Alec noted his hair was still mussed and his eyes were bright.

I'm fine just a little anxious adding two noobs to the game
And waiting on a reply to something. I'll tell you guys later when I find out

It was a bit weak for an answer, but it was true enough. Sean just hoped nobody called him on it or pushed.

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On Stage

Courtney's outburst drew stunned and shocked looks from most of the other girls lined up. All of them just due to their upbringing had trouble relating to the base kids and many resented the fact that they didn't struggle so much with lack of money but the racial slur was going to far. Kia's quick rejoinder and her never failing good nature diffused what could have turned into an ugly thing while at the same time giving the resident mean girl a serious social burn and raising her own status in her peers eyes. It was all over in an instant and the girls steeled into line for the obligatory pictures, but the incident did not escape the attention of the Cheerleading Advisor Mrs.DuMont who stepped up behind Courtney and asked to see her after the rally.

Sandy who hadn't been really paying attention to his old girl friends stupidity had eyes only for Lilly. He hadn't realized how much he really liked her until he had asked her to the dance. Someone who shared interests some one who was more than an equal. He was literally beaming as she took her place next to him.



This will end the pep rally scene unless anyone has something they have to get in here I will be moving the scenes forward today later

good job I am enjoying this a lot


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As the pep rally ended, Lilly scanned the crowd looking for Dan. She had wanted to talk to him much earlier, but the day had no permitted, and was sure that by now he had heard she was going to the Homecoming Dance with Sandy through the grapevine, and that didn't sit well with her. 

"Catch up with you in a minute." she said, giving a quick wave to her friends as she slipped off and weaved through the crowd.

It certainly didn't hurt that she was one of the taller kids in the school when looking for somebody in the crowd and eventually she caught up with Dan as he was exiting.

"Hey Dan. Wait up." she called, managing to catch him out in the hall. 

Lilly motioned to the side by the wall to get out of the way of the flood of students filtering out and stepped over with him

"Hey, uh, I'm sure you've heard by now that I am going to Homecoming with Sandy. I wanted to tell you myself, but today's been hectic and I couldn't get away. Sorry 'bout that." she said, brushing a lock of hair from her face and tucking it behind her ear.

"So anyways, I just wanted to tell you that since I am going with Sandy, and you did actually ask me, and I am totally flattered, that the Winter Ball will be here really soon and I will promise to go to it with you." she said with an apologetic smile, trying to soften the blow and let him down easy.

"Is that cool?" she asked.

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Dan had heard and sure he had been hit with a bit of rejection melancholy at the time but after reflecting he had been ok with it. He certainly hadn't expected this though. "Hey Lilly, I'm cool and I'm glad your going. Thanks for coming over and telling me yourself a lot of the other girls wouldn't have that much class."

He shifted his book bag to his other shoulder. "And I'm flattered with the offer for the winter dance, I really am but I don't want you to make a promise that you might find hard to keep. I mean who knows you and Sandy might really hit it off and I would not want to get in the way of that." Gave her his lopped sided grin. "And if things don't work out between you two, you can always ask me in December."


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Undisclosed Location

5:30PM Mountain/Pacific

If one didn't know better one would think they were in NASA's mission control center. The huge full wall screen depicting earth orbital data and tracks for hundreds if not thousands of satellite and spacecraft. To the rows of computer screened stations each manned by a person either wearing shirt and tie or a military Uniform.

Two tracks on the wall screen were highlighted in red. At the bottom of the screen a countdown timer set at 12 minutes 52 seconds and 32 100ths

Voices called out their readings and all was quiet chaos except for one man the mission director who heard all and made sense of it all.

At two identical stations separated by six other stations two men watch almost identical Hi Res videos of what could easily be mistaken for the same thing. At exactly the same moment both men saw a flash of visible light on their screens and both men immediately called for a halt of the countdown their voices ringing out almost simultaneously.”I have a visual anomaly on Micky.” called out one Specialist while the other echoed almost verbatim. “I have a visual anomaly on Minnie.” The two men looked across the row of screens at each other as the mission director came to them. “What do you have? Micky first.”

The tech who had called out for Micky pointed at his screen. “I saw a visible light anomaly at 12:52:32. Looked like a flash on Micky's receiver assembly.”

“Sir I have exactly the same occurrence on Minnie at the same time.”

The mission Director looks to the other side of the room where a third specialists sit with a screen show almost identical image. “Anything on Goofy?” Asks the MD.

“Nothing on Goofy sir I didn't see anything and there is no flash at the time indicated on playback.”

“Anyone have any anomalous data anywhere” The MD asks the room. Negative responses cascade in.

“Get me Bulwark Control.”

52,000 kilometers above the earth two identical orbital drones continue their undisturbed paths around the planet separated by over 18,000 kilometers while a third drone slightly larger and and 112,000 kilometers up follows it's own solitary path.


Bullwark AFB, Montana

Within the High Security Facility, Level 4

Dr. Mizuki picked up the phone. “Yes?” He listened his brow furrowing. “Yes I will have to check the logs we don't have anyone monitoring the direct feed at the moment let me do this and I will get back with you.” He hung up the phone and thought for a few minutes. He was still new at this job and what it entailed not only for him and his career but eventually for the whole world. He wasn't thrilled at a having to work with the military but in this case he fully believed that the end justified the means.

“Mr. Bennet, pull up the live feed from the Receiver room and then give me a split screen showing playback reference point 12.50.00 in the countdown. Mission control had some sort of glitch or something on the drones they want to know if we had anything here.”

As the big screen filling one wall lit up showing a circular room about 200 feet across. The room was very ultra modern almost scifi in appearance. Sterile white, in the center of the room two raised platforms stood side by side each holding a square frame 2' x2' made of advanced ceramics and plastic. The platforms in turn were surrounded by very sophisticated robots. The room always reminded Mizuki of a movie he had seen as a child, The Andromeda Strain, that movie and the novel that had inspired had been one of the catalysts for his chosen field as a scientist. As he stood looking at the room he wondered, not for the first time, if this work might be as dangerous as the movie. As he mused the screen split and showed the exact same thing except that the right image had a small time stamp visible in the lower center of the screen. “play it please.”

The numbers began to run but the image never changed. He got back on the phone with MC. After he hung up he turned to his much smaller crew. “Mission control has decided to abort tonight's mission and run full diagnostics on the orbital vehicles” , he refused to use the idiotic names they had given the drones, “So lets set up our own diagnostics then call it a night.” It was early with luck he could leave the lab and pickup his wife at home and surprise Kia at her football game.


Game Night

Friday night during the fall as has been alluded to at the very beginning is game night across America. Here in Shelly Game night is a very big deal. In a town as small as this where almost everyone knows everyone and almost everyone has some sort of stake in the Game. Oct 7th's game is an away game, kickoff at 7:00PM. The Shelly Ranger vs. the Choteou Bulldogs.

Choteau Montana is a smaller town than Shelly with a population of around 1700. Located about 60 miles south west of Shelly and only about 55 from Great Falls, it is the county seat for Teton county and is call the Gateway to the Rockies. A fairly long distance for a football game.

Aside from those who were on the Team or otherwise obligated to go due to other functions (Band, Cheeleading, Pep Squad) and Family as well as some really die hard fans of high school football, the turn out as is usually the case with an away game was light.

Alec, Kia, and Lilly of course because they were playing or performing. Abel went to offer support for his friends and because he really had nothing else to do that night.

Felix had to work at his part time job at his families Garage, a job he didn't really mind even though the work was a stark contrast to his other interests. Sara, who after lunch had skipped the remainder of the day and took a bus to Cut Bank and then walked onto the rez, had returned home late that evening. Her dad was already gone taking the escort duty for the game. She sat in her room playing her guitar and occasionally checking her phone. She kept rereading those texts from Cassidy, not the kind of texts she was used to getting at all. Sean who went to the home games to support his friends usually skipped this away game, he had a lot of work to do to finish this weeks adventure and prepare for two new players. He sat in his game sanctum busy writing and rolling and all to often looking at his phone on the table next to him. His annoyingly silent phone.

The Rangers were 5 and 0 for the season and expected to add another victory tonight. for such a small pool of players in the area Shelly had always put together a remarkably talented set of athletes and this year was extra special with the team being led by Sandy Caldwell, in his last year, and Lilly Pryor as well as freshman new comer Alec Cordeaux the Rangers seemed virtually unstoppable.

The rangers scored on the opening kickoff and never stopped only allowing six points to the Bulldogs for the entire game. Sandy started and ran the entire first half with Lilly taking over during the second half. The final score was 47-6 Rangers. The team and supporters tired but elated settled into their buses and cars for the long drive home another fall game night over and done. But for some tomorrow would be a game day of a different sort.


This is story back ground game post will follow please do not post


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Ok this is were we can post. the following has two sections one is at the game and is in present time. the other are labeled as flashbacks and are in italics. All of the flash backs occured earlier in the day and are what your characters are thinking about as they play the game.

I want you to make posts concernign your flashbacks playing them out as we progress your flashbacks I will add game posts and you may post there as well. Just try to make it clear following my label schem as to where you are posting. Hope fully this works out the way i envisioned it :)

if you have questions ask me before you post.

The gaming portions of this post were authored by Asa with some editing to fit by me

for this game of Sean's, the group is essentially using D&D 5e, but don't let mechanics get in the way.

these are the characters and who is playing them

Neeva - Barbarian/Fighter who wields twin battleaxes, played by Lilly
Kiala - Elven Ranger, bow focused, played by Kia
Korinn the Raven Knight - Paladin with an Oath of Vengeance, sworn to Gallows, the God of Death, played by Sara
Bard - played by Alec
Wizard - played by Abel
Cleric - played by Felix
Rogue/Sailor - played by Taleena


At the Game

"A cold wind rattles bare branches as the Band travels overland East and North through a land of rugged hills, tough scrub, and twisted trees. The lowering sun, a sinister, vivid orange, casts long shadows. Neeva and Kiala..." There was a hint of a pause in Sean's dramatic narration voice, unable as always to get over the slight irritation he felt for Kia just adding a syllable to her name to get her PC's name, "guarding your flanks see precious little sign of wildlife. This land is a desolate place and with the rolling, desolate hills and being strangers here, you would be hard pressed to find your way to the Tomb of the Troll King without Korinn the Raven Knight, a native to the area and hunter of evil men."

The lights were low in the barn converted into a den that Sean had claimed for a gaming room, workshop, and bedroom, just the fire from the opened woodstove, the glow from various laptops and smartphones, and a few other dimmed lights giving enough illumination to see the grid-map on the table. The barn was a bit drafty, but the woodstove kept the place warm. The sound of the wind and the ambient music that Sean was using from Silent Hill gave an uncanny and immersive atmosphere.

Rolling in the two new characters and their associated players had gone smoothly enough, except for the inevitable hiccups when dealing with new people and new rules, though Sean's gaming app helped with the latter. And in Game, there had been a convenient situation to add some new characters.

The last session had ended with the band just finishing their sea voyage to a new continent. Tonight, they had started in the city of Edgewater, one of the sailors, handy with blade and crossbow and played by Taleena deciding to accompany them, looking for rumors or hints of where they could find the Garden of the Green God. It was only after hearing a spun tale in a bar that they figured out - or at least believed - the Garden of the Green God was known as the Tomb of the Troll King here.

Before they could make plans though, a bar fight broke out when a tall woman in black, battered armor came in to capture the talespinner. When the dust settled, the talespinner and his accomplices were down and Sara's character had made the acquaintance of the Band. It seemed the talespinner was wanted for crimes in another village. He tried to plead for leniency by promising to lead them to the Tomb of the Troll King, but Korinn, Sara's Paladin character (she had not been pleased when Sean had described her as a sort of Sheriff) had declined, she knew where it was.

So, with both Korinn and the Band seeking the same place, they decided to team up.

That had been the plan anyway, and Sean was happy about the way it was going, for the most part. One thing that was bothering him was that everyone, including himself, seemed distracted.

Flashback – Sara and Sean

Sean heard a knock on the barn door which startled him noone ever knocked. He got up from the desk and stretched it was still an hour before game time. He answered the door and saw Sara standing there.

She was wearing the exact same thing as she had been wearing at school except that the t-shirt under her unzipped hoodie had an image of a goats skull and the words Lamb of God at the top.


Hey your mom said you were in here and just to come on back.” She hands Sean a grocery bag that is kind of heavy. “Didnt know if I was supposed to bring anything or not. So I did.”

Come on in.” He went to where the mini fridge was and the table where they put the snacks and set the bag down a quick glance showed a couple of diet Dr Pepper twelve packs. He sighed in relief he had feared it would be beer.


Flashback – Abel

Abel had just gotten the filter wrench in place when he heard the truck pull into the drive. He looked back and saw the unfamiliar all terrain tires of a large SUV. It wasn't mom and dad. He slid out from underneath his jeep as whoever it was was getting out. When he stood up he was surprised to see the sheriff and a Deputy, Alec's sister no less.

Morning Abel, Your folks home?” Sheriff Jake Hutchins was a lot older than you would expect Sara's dad to be but Abel was aware of the stories about that. He was a big man and rough looking. Alec's sister was blond and while attractive had a rough look about her as well. While the sheriff spoke she was busy looking around with her eyes.

No sir. They went shopping down in Great Falls. Probably won't be back til late tonight they usually eat out when they go down there and catch a movie.”

The sheriff was nodding as Abel spoke. “Maybe you can help me Abel. You know where your property comes up against the Hallenbeck spread? Do you know anything about the fence getting cut up there?”


Flashback – Lilly

The lunch dishes were put away and Lilly was about to go relax with some music and maybe do a little homework before getting ready for the game tonight when she heard her ringtone sounded. She was mildly surprised when she saw Sandy's name. Of course she had his contact info because of football but this was the first time he had ever called her.


Hi, is this Lilly?”

Yes it is. Sandy?”

He laughs “Yeah it's me. I think this is the first time we ever talked on the phone.”

Lilly smiled and sat on the edge of her bed. “It is. What's up?”

Sandy paused a second before speaking. “I was thinking, you know, since we're going to the dance next week. Together. I was wondering if you might want to go out tonight. We could catch the movie here in town or if you want we could go to Great Falls and we cold do dinner and a movie there. If you want?”



Flashback – Alec

Alec looked over at Taleena she was sitting at his desk looking through his game books trying to decide what character to play. His mom had taken him over to her house to pick her up and bring her back they were doing the character creation and later Abel would be by to pick them up and take them over to Sean's.

She seems quieter today, more than usual like something was bugging her. “Is everything ok? You know if you don't want to play the game...”

No I do it's just I don't think the Wheelers approve of them they are very Christian. To be honest Im not sure they approve of me.”


Flashback – Felix

He was in his room he was ready for the game tonight but his mind wasn't on it no his mind was 3000 miles away in New York City. Midnight curled around his back and swatted at the empty envelop on the bed.

Felix read the letter again. They liked his artwork thought he had a lot of talent. They wanted him to apply for the scholarship and come to school there in the spring. Him, Felix Leonhart at the High School of Art and Design It was a dream. But how on earth could his parents afford something like that?

Flashback – Kia

The game had been great except for the part where Courtney would forever hate her now. After the scene at the pep rally Ms. Dumont had made Courtney sit out the game and put Her Kia Mizuki in charge as the Cheer boss and then her parents had shown up which was so so cool. Saturday had been a great day too Her parents had both been thrilled that she had been asked to the homecoming dance and so they took her to Great Falls to shop for a dress.

It had been a great day but there had been one cloud that bothered her. Several time during the day her father had taken calls on his special phone that he carried. Not the regular one that he talked to them on but a government issue phone. The calls agitated him. That afternoon as soon as they arrived home on the base. Her dad had given her a hug and a Kiss and told her how proud he was of her and then said he had to go to work that there was an emergency and he might not be back tonight.

Back In the Game

"It's starting to get dark now, and colder, the wind biting as it blows through the valleys between the sharp hills. Do you want guys want to set up camp now or continue on?" Sean asked, his turquoise eyes seen just over the top of his laptop giving away nothing. "Korinn, you're pretty sure the entrance to the Tomb isn't much further, an hour, perhaps two."

"Let's keep going and get this bastard," Sara said, getting into the game, despite herself. "He is a bastard, I take it?"

"Oh, Bloodyhands is undoubtedly a bastard," Sean confirms. "He earned the name Bloodyhands, and more than once. Gallows knows he should have been hung long ago."

"Right. Let's get him."

"What is the moon going to be tonight?" Abel asked suspiciously, trying to his best not to 'overhear' any hints from Sean. Oddly enough, while gaming, he found it kind of easy to do so. Sean always seemed very focused during gaming, sharp but also not leaking his thoughts to any degree.

"Funny you should ask," Sean said, giving them all an evil smile. "This is the first of three nights of the full moon. Arcanely perfect for performing a dark ritual to rip open a gate to the Abyss. Of course, Kurgan might wait for the next night..."

The regular gamers all groaned. They had tangled with the Bonecaster and Evil Druid more than once and while he could be patient in his designs, he never wasted time.

"We've been chasing his this long, might as well try to finish tonight. He might even be distracted with preparing the ritual!" Kia suggested optimistically. The others gave her doubting looks, but nodded agreement.

"He'll get away again, I'm sure," Alec drawled, "But maybe we can avoid having to tangle with a Demon Lord too."

"Okay. You consider making camp for the night, but the Band has traveled far, seeking to end the deprecation's of the Bonecaster Kurgan and Korinn can almost smell the nearness of her quarry, so you decide to press on. It grows colder and darker as the night wears on, but you avoid lighting any torches to give away your position to any watchers, trusting to Kiala's elven eyes, Korinn's knowledge of the terrain, the blessings of Felix's, I mean Anor's prayers, the light of the moon..."

Sean tapped something on his laptop and the ambient music died. The barn was almost oppressively silent for a moment when something popped in the woodstove, making the wood shift and shoot out a couple of sparks. Everyone one, even Sean, gave a small jump.

"And the moon is indeed full, looking particularly swollen and bright when you crest a ridge. Down below in the shadowed defile, you can just make out a black gaping maw in the hillside, flanked by something that could be statues or bas-relief carvings that you can't quite make out. Korinn, this is the Tomb of the Troll King."

Sean pressed something else on his laptop and suddenly there was the eerie howling of what sounded not quite like wolves.

"What was that?!" more than one of his players demanded and Sean grinned wider.

"Would you all roll a Will Save, please? And then Initiative."

Sara Stood up before anyone rolled a die. "Hey could we get a break here" She said chewing her bottom lip a habit she seemed to have. "I really need a smoke."





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Abel had honestly told the sheriff that he didn't know about such a thing, but if he heard anything around school or town, he'd let him know.   Inwardly he knew that none of his friends had any part in it, and really wasn't in the mood to do an exhaustive search of the townsfolk for whoever did it.   "If they need help restringing it, I can help this weekend."


"Oh Joy." He said in reaction to the sound, having some idea what was next.  Like Sean, Abel had nearly all the books and supplements, and if this was what he thought it might be from the books, they were about to have a very interesting encounter.  Still Sean knew Abel well, after so many years, so this could very well be a variation of a normal monster.  He refrained from finding out the easy way, not wanting to ruin the fun.   He held back his exasperation at Sara wanting a smoke break right at the crescendo of suspense, but it was better now, before the actual fight. 

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Kia couldn't help but feel a stab of unease at her father's announcement. There hadn't been emergencies in Hawaii. They hadn't lived on a military base, with loads of soldiers all over and...well, if the work he was doing was military was it weapons? Was it dangerous? He couldn't tell them anything and that was hard sometimes. But she didn't want him to worry about her. He had enough to deal with. So she gave him a smile and said, "Okay, well, if you do get home and I'm asleep go ahead and wake me up to say goodnight."

Then he was out the door, and Kia tried to lose herself looking at dresses online and visiting Facebook friends until she was too tired to stay awake. It helped, but she never quite forgot.

At the game, Kia was actually a little glad for the interruption. It gave her a chance to look over her sheet.

"Will save...will save...that's...that's wisdom save right? Is this for..." she paused, reading another paragraph as she remembered it coming up once before..."a charm thing? Or is it a regular wisdom save?"

She threw a twenty-sided dice as she asked, for Kiala's initiative.

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Flashback - Lilly

"I guess we could, you know, since we are going to the dance together." Lilly said, giving Sandy a little good natured teasing with his own flimsy pretense.

"I can't tonight though, but we can tomorrow or one night during the week." she offered.


At the Game

"Werewolves? Cool. I could use some new boots." Lilly joked, showing her barbarian's confidence.

"Some fresh air sounds good." Lilly then said in response to Sara's request.

Lilly rose from her seat and grabbed her Rangers hoodie off of the back of her chair and slipped it over her shoulders, but didn't bother to zip it up. She slipped outside along with Sara and anybody else doing the same.

As Lilly stepped out into the cold night she closed her eyes for a moment and took in a slow, deep breath. Though she was born in California and spent most of life living in the various states of the southwest, she always enjoyed a brisk morning or night. She opened her eyes and looked up for a minute, marveling for a moment at all the starts once could see in rural Montana before her gaze drifted back down.

"Hey, if you like Lamb of God, then you might like an older band called Sanctuary. I got a tape in my truck, if you wanna barrow it. The videos on YouTube usually have pretty crappy audio." Lilly offered to Sara, trying to strike up a conversation and extend some friendship.

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At the Game

"Wisdom Save, yes," Sean corrected himself with a bit of chagrin. Usually, his memory was impeccable and he didn't make mistakes like that, but at times, he couldn't seem to stop his mind wandering any more than his players. "Sorry, carry-over from Third Ed, repurposing stuff that my players avoided in other campaigns. It's not a Charm thing, but anyone with any bonuses to Fear my apply them." He gave Lilly a wide smirk. "You're free to assume it's werewolves."

The small boy glanced at Sara, trying to surreptitious tell if she was bored of the Game or enjoying, but nodded agreement, though he tried not to scrunch up his nose at the thought of the cigarette smoke. "Sure, break's fine, Sara, everyone. Can I just get everyone to make their rolls first, real quick? I'll get things set up while you guys take a breather, go smo - go the bathroom, or whatever. As a Paladin, Sara, you're immune to Fear and don't need to roll the Wisdom Save."

Everyone made their rolls, Sara a bit brusquely. Sean noed them with a nod without needing to jot them down, then everyone started to disperse, some to just stretch, some going outside, or grabbing a snack or bathroom break. "Oh! Just a sec!" Sean exclaimed, holding up Sara right before she headed out of the barn. He looked around quickly, then upended the contents of a coffee tin and handed the empty container to her. "For, y'know, your butts and ash and stuff."

As people milled around, Sean began quickly drawing a map on the grid-mat with dry erase markers and setting up the PCs' figures in their places. Behind his DM screen, he started pulling out monster figs, ones he had assembled and painted weeks ago. They looked pretty good. He idly wondered if Sara would be impressed.

Flashback -- Sara and Sean

"Cool," Sean said, trying not to show the effort it took him to set down all the cases of Diet Pepper at once. He was small, true but he didn't want her to think him a wimp. He opened one of the cases and added some of the Diet Peppers into the mini-fridge alongside the Pepsis, Mountain Dews, and someone's forgotten, melted milkshake.

The silence stretched and Sean began to find it uncomfortable. But if Sara wasn't going to say anything about him asking her to the dance, he wasn't going to either. He needed to say something, but it didn't feel right getting right into the game yet. Be cool.

"Nice shirt," Sean commented, peering at Sara as she looked around the Barn, his lair, really. She glanced up the ladder that led to the mounded nest of blankets and pillows in the low loft he used as a bed. "Orc-"

He caught the writing over the goat skull and changed what he was going to say. "I mean, Lamb of God, they're a metal band or something, I take it? I like Metallica and Blue Oyster Cult well enough, and a few others, like The Offspring, Green Day."

Sean shrugged and stood up, smiling sheepishly. "But I got infected by my dad while young and prefer classic rock, Beatles, some Stones, Pink Floyd, The Who, Eagles, Queen, Chicago, Eric Clapton, that sort of thing. I just really like the sound of acoustic guitar. Though I've gotten into post-rock too. Sigur Ros, God is an Astronaut, Radiohead, and--"

Sean snapped his mouth shut, face going a bit red. "Am I talking too much? I feel like I'm talking too much. We should probably go over your character before the others show up."


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Felix grab his die to roll his will save. <This shouldn't be too hard. Unless I roll bad my character should be able to make the save. That is unless our GM decided to make things too harsh and make the save point too high.> Felix ponder to himself. He seem silent this game. Not much he could do about it sadly. There wasn't much he could play with. He felt like he was taking a backseat which piss him off. Then again Felix heart wasn't completely in the game.


Felix was recalling the fact he got a chance to go to an actual art school. Something that could give him a chance to get recognize in major colleges and art studio's. He wanted to scream, and shout for joy. He wanted to tell his parents.


Yet Felix realize that there was one major problem. Felix parent's can't pay for him to go there. Also he did not know if he could get any scholarship or means to pay on his skill or mental skills alone. Felix himself did not have the money to do so. Even if he push all his effort to sell pictures at high margins he doubted he would get the money to pay for it. As such Felix is now kind of depressed. He reminds Felix of his background and how weak he was in changing it as is. If Felix is to do so he has to find some other means that he can think of currently in doing so.

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Flashback - Alec

Alec frowned in concern, quietly closing his own book. He had known she had been having problems at school, but she hadn't really opened up about her life in the foster home so far. He had been content to just give her the breathing room she needed. He leans back against the wall, giving her the entirety of his attention. For her part, she continued to idly flick through the book.

"What makes you say that? Have they done anything?"

He didn't know all that much about the people she had been put with beyond general stuff. They didn't seem like a bad couple, from what he'd heard, but he could see problems arising just from her heritage. There was no telling what they were like in privacy.

At the Game

Alec shrugged at the rather abrupt interruption to the game. He didn't blame her for it. He had honestly been surprised that they had gotten this far without one. Rolling the dice for his mediocre Wisdom save followed promptly be his initiative, he considered his Tiefling Bard. A relatively unusual combo, but he had been enjoying him so far. Standing to stretch, he moved over to where his guitar sat propped up against a chair. He rarely actually played it at games, as it would interrupt the ambience Sean was setting up, but he liked having it on hand for the bard. It gave his hands something to do when breaks like this happened as well, so it didn't hurt to bring it along. He hated sitting idle.

He plopped back down beside Taleena, offering her a small smile. She had seemed a bit wary at first, but wasn't quite as stiff now, so hopefully she was enjoying it so far.

"How're you finding it?"

He began idly playing, enjoying the quiet companionship as Sean continued to look for models. He had that look in his eye which promised something interesting.

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Annabelle stepped forward taking off her sunglasses and hanging them on her shirt. “Have you seen anyone on your property?” <He doesn't look like the kind who could do this kind of shit> Abel caught the rather strong thought coming from the attractive deputy she was much more tense than the sheriff appeared to be. He was also getting a feeling of disgust from her but he resisted the temptation to delve deeper.

The sheriff was staring off across the fields towards the Hallenbeck Ranch. “You have number I can call to reach your dad?”



Her dad didn't wake her up when he came home in fact when she got up in the morning she wasn't sure he had come home at all. Her mom was not in a pleasant mood and while Kia went about her usual morning routine her mom said nothing.

After she came back from her Saturday morning workout with Lilly she overheard her mom speaking on the phone in Japanese. While she could only hear one side of the conversation, she gleaned that she was speaking to her father. Something about a trip but he wouldn't say to where and that he was leaving immediately and didn't know when he would be back but that it would be a few days. Her mom was very upset.



Oh, okay.” The phone couldn't mask the disappointment in his voice. Yeah we can go out some other time if you have plans. As long as your not going out with someone else” He chuckled a little bit but then the chuckled chocked off. “Ah wait I didnt mean that like that sounded I mean you can go out with whoever you want you know.” He spoke so fast that he sounded a bit distraught then he just went silent for a second. “I'm sorry Lilly I am screwing this up so much.”



Really he's staring at my tits? Again? She just gave him a dead look as he kept talking words just pouring out of his mouth. When he stopped she just kept looking at him a second or two passed in silence. Then she spoke.

Offspring and Greenday are punk, not metal.” She walked to the table and picked up a 20 sided dice looked back up at the bed.

She chewed her lower lip thoughtfully.

Is it alright to smoke in here?”


Taleena's eyes widened with worry “Oh no they are very nice. Too nice really. But very strict.” She frowned. “And overly religious, they make me go to the wh... to the church. We we'rn't very religious, my family, but we followed the Traditions of our people. The Wheelers expect me to become christian.” She grew silent and looked very sad.





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Sara scowled and picked up a dice and threw it she needed a damn smoke then she headed toward the door while she dug her cigarettes and lighter out of her pocket. She paused at the door when she saw Alec taking a nice 12 string guitar out of a case. She knew Alec from getting picked up for school by his sister who was a deputy sheriff working for her dad. Taleena Whitesong was sitting next to him watching as he tuned it up. Sara wondered if they were dating.

Sara went outside and around to the side of the big shed out or the wind and the sight of the main house. She lit up her cigarette wish it were a joint but she didn't think that would go over to well. These guys were a bit straight. She laughed at her own joke then heard someone come outside.

As Lilly stepped out into the cold night she closed her eyes for a moment and took in a slow, deep breath. Though she was born in California and spent most of life living in the various states of the southwest, she always enjoyed a brisk morning or night. She opened her eyes and looked up for a minute, marveling for a moment at all the starts once could see in rural Montana before her gaze drifted back down. She heard Sara sniff from around the corner and moved closer.

"Hey, if you like Lamb of God, then you might like an older band called Sanctuary. I got a tape in my truck, if you wanna barrow it. The videos on YouTube usually have pretty crappy audio." Lilly offered to Sara, trying to strike up a conversation and extend some friendship.

Sara blew her smoke away from Lilly. “Don't think I ever heard of them. Thanks but I don't have a tape deck or anything just my phone. I'll check out the YouTube videos if I like them I' can get good audio.

Lilly looked like she was going to say something else when they heard Abel call from the door. "Hey you guys about finished Sean wants to get going again."

Sara takes a last puff then puts the smoke out in the cup Sean had given her. "The little geek really does rule his roost don't he."

Both girls chuckle and head back inside.



Feel free to resume posting



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Abel shook his head.  "Nobody's been here but my family, as far as I know, and my friends on game nights."   He looked to the Sheriff and nodded.  "Yeah I can give you dad's Cell,  he's always got it on in case there's an emergency."  He rattled the number off for him and smiled  "Anything else I can help the two of you with?"  He wanted to delve into their minds, but doing so might prove dangerous and unless they pressed the issue further it was best to let ignorance and innocence be his shields.


At the table Abel sat patiently waiting for the big Reveal Sean obviously had planned.  Of Course he made his save, and was already looking over his prepared spells list to see just what to open with on these beasts.

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Though Kia wanted to press her mom for more details...where was he going? Why was she so mad?...she didn't. Instead she went over across the kitchen behind where Iolani was standing, glaring mutely at the phone, and hugged her from behind. Her mother jumped a little, not having heard her coming, but turned around and returned the hug.

"Is everything okay?" Kia asked in a small voice that sounded a lot like the one she'd used at half her current age.

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Flashback - Lilly

"Dude. Relax. Like, seriously." she said to Sandy in a near chuckle,

"It's just me, Lilly." she reminded as she laid back on her bed.

"It doesn't have to be some vague 'some other time' you know. We can set a day, just not tonight. I mean, I am free for a couple of hours today, but not long enough to do much. I am going to have to go dress shopping in Great Falls anyways, so maybe tomorrow? Or some time early in the week maybe?" she said as she thought a little about any plans for the coming week, which aside from the usual football practice, was really nothing until the Homecoming game and dance.


At the Game

"You know, he's actually a nice guy. And he puts a lot of work into the game and really tries to make sure we have fun, so go easy on him, yeah?" Lilly urged with a smile as they headed back in.

Once inside she put her hoodie on the back of her chair again and looked over her sheet.

"Hmm. I'm probably gonna Rage for this combat.." she thought aloud as she idly picked up some dice and awaited Sean to reveal their adversaries.

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Flashback - Sara and Sean

Sean rolled his shoulders under Sara's hard look, but didn't flinch away - this was his room, his lair. He just didn't understand why she was giving him such a disapproving glance, unless it was just because he was babbling. He was only trying to conversation, about stuff he could figure she was interested in. Both being from Shelly all their lives, he knew her, but he didn't know her, not really.

"I'd rather you didn't smoke in here," Sean said around a faint grimace. "I work here, play here, sleep here, so I try to keep it clean and fresh." He looked around, taking in his painting table, another table with a pair of partially assembled - or maybe disassembled - computers, and the relatively neat stack of books that had overflowed his bookshelves. His frown turned into a rueful grin. "Really, despite appearances."

He wanted to ask her about the Dance, or if she really was gay. If she was, he could totally take that as a reason for her not wanting to go with him, it would be a lot easier than being rejected for looking like a little kid. But she hadn't said anything and he couldn't figure out a smooth transition, so he kept silent. Which soon began to feel awkward again.

Sean joined her at the table, sitting down on a seat, and slid over a pair of partially completed characters in front of Sara so she could get a look at them. Each had a picture to give her a rough idea of what they were without having to look at the numbers. Besides, there were still some choices to make, more if Sara felt comfortable with making her character entirely, so not all the numbers were determined yet.

"Um, I prepared a pair of characters for you, if you want to take a look," Sean urged. "Both are relatively straight-forward, so you won't have to know everything about the rules, just the basic concepts. You can pick up the rest during play."

At the Game

The blood-curdling howls weren't from werewolves. The bard's lore and the cleric's knowledge of the Outer Realms revealed to them they were Barghests. Fiends who sort of looked like big goblinoids who could take on a savage, lupine form whose howls could induce paralyzing fear. There were often found on the Demon Lord Chernovog's layer of the Abyss.

Also, they consumed the blood and souls of their victims to grow greater in size, strength, power.

Neeva almost succumbed to the fear, but her barbarian rage saved her. Alec's and Taleena's characters both failed their saves, but while Neeva, Kiala, Korinn and the Wizard engaged, Felix used his Cleric's spells to help their PCs to recover. It was a hard fought battle, and everyone took wounds. While they could superficially be mistaken for werewolves, they weren't, able to use illusions to misdirect and conceal their location and numbers. The bard and cleric healed them after the fight, but the group's resources for the day had taken a hard hit.

"Well fought, brave heroes," Sean intoned, then gave them a wide grin. "But they were the easy part. The Garden of the Green God beckons!"

His players shared a look, then their characters straightened with resolve and entered the cave...


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Flashback - Sara and Sean

"I'd rather you didn't smoke in here," Sean said around a faint grimace. "I work here, play here, sleep here, so I try to keep it clean and fresh." He looked around, taking in his painting table, another table with a pair of partially assembled - or maybe disassembled - computers, and the relatively neat stack of books that had overflowed his bookshelves. His frown turned into a rueful grin. "Really, despite appearances."

Sara chewed her lip absentmindedly. “Okay, long as we can take some smoke breaks.”

She looked down at the papers Sean had indicated and read what was on them. She had looked the game up on line the night before and found the rules post in a document called an SRD. She had read through it over most of the night and had at least a fundamental grasp of what to expect. She frowned at the selections Sean had made wondering why he had chosen a Paladin and a Rogue for her to play. Sure it was safe bet one would appeal but at the same time it was hard not to read into the choices. She glanced of the pictures he had supplied as well. Hmm a surprise there, in fact she was a bit pleased to find them rather subdued and not he garish over sexualized fantasy art a teen aged boy would usually favor. “Really a Paladin?”

Yeah. A holy warrior fighting evil, you know kind of like a sheriff..” WTF, Sean though, why did I say that oh my god she is going to think I'm so fucking lame now. He looked up into her eyes and saw a glint of amusement as she tried hard not to smile.

She picked up the character sheet. “Okay we'll go with the holy Sheriff. She set it down in front of her chair and took of her jacket followed by the hoodie she put both on the back of the chair. Sean couldn't help but watch as she did this and found himself a bit disappointed. She was wearing a bra today. She sat down

Okay what do I need to do to get ready for the game...”


Flashback - Lilly

Silence from the other side of the phone. Lilly looked quickly to see if the signal was still good. It was. The she heard a loud sigh.

Yeah I'm sorry Lilly. I'm kinda being a jerk aren't I?

It's just... your different than Courtney. I mean I dated Courtney since middle school, hell we grew up together. But I never asked her out like I did you, it just sorta happened, everyone expected it you know. I don't even like Courtney.

But I really wanted to ask you out especially after I got to know you during traineg over the summer. When Courtney said she wanted to date other people this year I jumped at it.

I wanted to ask you out sooner but I didn't want to detract from you playing that's why I waited so long. I didn't want people think I was taking advantage of you and stuff.”




Iolani leaned back her hands on her daughters shoulders. She smiled at her beautiful daughter. “Yes, Little One , everything is fine. Just some stress from fathers job. Nothing to worry about darling. She leans forward and kisses Kia's forehead. Then smiles again.

A smile, Kia notes, that is not reflected in her mothers eyes.




Anabell stood with Abel in silence her arms crossed under her breasts, as the sheriff moved off to call Dr. Cross.

Abel could read the Sheriffs thoughts as he asked his fater about the fence and asked permission to inspect our side of the site where the cut in the fence was. Without thinking he tuned in to his fathers mind almost 100 miles away. It was to far to get the full read on his thoughts but he could feel his fathers concern and his acquiescence to the sheriffs wishes.

Sheriff Hutchins turned and held out the phone to Abel. “Abel,” his fathers voice came through clear, “seems some one cut the fence between our land and the Hallenbeck's ranch. Sheriff thinks some cattle may have gotten onto our land. He'd like to take a look. Can you take them out and take a look look.?”

Sure Dad.”

The deputy wrestled out a Atv from the back of the big patrol SUV while Abel got his own out and in less than a half hour the Sheriff and Abel were standing at the cut fence. On the other side of the fence line was Grahme Hallenbeck and two of his sons along with Deputy Wade Doss. The Hellenbecks looked pissed.

About a six foot section of the fence was missing including one of the posts which Abel could see clearly that it was sheared off at the ground. But that's not what got Abel's attention. What drew his attention was the blood on the ground.



The game got exciting even Sara and Taleena, the new players, found themselves drawn in by Seans expert game mastering.


Post either in flash back or game time as you wish


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At the game:

Felix seem curious. "Well that was a interesting. I haven't faced Barghests before. Then again I haven't face a demon in a long time. Yet I am concern if we take more of a beating like that. We may not come out of this." Felix said in character.




Felix tried to distract himself for a short while. Yet whatever he did his mind came back to the topic he couldn't get out of his mind. He wanted to go to the school. Yet he did not know if he could. Yet if he did not try to at least look into options on how to do so, he could blame himself forever. His fears still reach him.


Felix was afraid he could not get into it due to his fears of not being able to pay. His mind had been in a slump due to that. He knew that his parents were not rich people. His parents travel a lot, yet Felix never knew why. He always felt disconnected a bit from schools. Never able to stay there for long. A year or two at the most. Felix wanted some sort of stability in his life. Yet he wonder if his wish was also a sort of curse. The place he currently was in he fear did not have the resources to help him. He did not know where to really look to or start.

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"We'll be fine Felix.   Barghests are a treat really most don't use them."    Abel was quite satisfied with how things had gone, no one had died, even though he was down a good amount of spells, but still provided they didn't have to deal with mindflayers or dragons, he was sure they'd manage together. Sean wasn't known for TPK games, and was far lest bloodthirsty a DM than some he read about online.


Abel acknowledged the other men present with a curt nod.   "No idea what happened?  What about this blood here?  Have you done a check on your herd to see how many might be missing?"  These were all fair questions they likely had answers to, but he wanted to establish his own innocence here.   He moved closer to look at the sheared off post, and the the blood.

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Flashback Abel

As Abel asked this question and took a step toward the cut fence he faltered.

Almost as one the other five people present thought the same ting or at least a variation of it and all of their thoughts were powerful and primal.

Abel was hit with horror and disgust and saw images of dead and dissected animals the sight and emotions almost made him vomit. A cow, a horse, and one of the Hallenbecks dogs. All butchered.

“Don't touch the blood son.” The sheriffs voice cut through the turmoil in his head as he realized his body had continued with its last instructions and that he had knelt at the cleanly cut post. “You play that game, Dungeon and Dragons, don't you Abel? With Annabelle's brother and that Cassidy boy?”

“Goddammit Sheriff, Abel didn't have nothing to do with this I known the boy since he was born.”

“Mr Hallenbeck," The sheriff gives the rancher a pointed look, " Thad, do you mind, just let me do my job okay?” He knelt down besides Abel

“Now Abel, you don't have to answer me cause your parents aren't present. Now I don't really think you had anything to do with this but the blood trail led to fence her, but I haven't seen any more blood over on this side and no Tracks or nothing either. But I do want to ask you a couple of things. Now remember you don't have to answer, but if you know anything it could be helpful.

Some of the Hallenbeck's animals were killed last night back over through those trees. Blood trail led up to the fence and well the fence has been cut. Now we thought maybe someone had come through and right now that is still a possibility. What I want to ask you is is you have heard of anyone at the schools with any kind of beef with the Hallenbeck's, or if you might know of anyone who is into...” The sheriff pauses and sighs, “If you have heard of anyone in school or town into witchcraft or devil worship?

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"It seems kind of mean they made them like dogs," Kia observed as she looked at the board. "I feel kind of bad having to kill them." She reached down and petted one of the mini's heads with a pinky.

Kia nodded and gave her mom a hug, then headed back up to her room to try to get some homework done. She knew in her heart that her mom wasn't telling her the truth...and it hurt, but she wasn't sure what to do about it. As far as she knew, it hadn't come up before. She found herself wishing her dad hadn't taken this job. It wasn't the first time, but this was the first time it wasn't a purely selfish wish. She didn't like what it was doing to her family. Maybe when he got back they could have a talk about it.

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Flashback Abel

fighting back the revulsion at the images and sensations playing through his mind, he looked up to the Sheriff and shook his head.  "I don't know anyone around here who's into that sort of thing.  The games we all play together are just that, games.   I honestly can't think of anyone who'd do something like this."

He began to reach out with his thoughts, looking for the source of that little episode, as everyone there had been hit with the same feeling of revulsion, it was easy to see it all from them.   "I gotta ask, sir, if you're sure where the animals were killed?  I mean I'll walk all over here to see if we can pick up the trail, but doesn't it strike you as odd that it just "ends" here at this shorn post?"

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Flashback Abel

Sheriff Hutchins stands up , looks around.

"Son this whole thing is fucking odd. Ana, You go back with Abel and bring the truck back around."

He puts his hand on Abel's should and gives a squeeze.

"Lets keep this quiet, okay son."


This ends Abel's Flashbacks


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Flashback - Lilly

"You don't want to detract from my playing... so you ask right before the Homecoming game?" Lilly asked in mock confusion.

"Great timing there." she added teasingly.

"Seriously though. You're not being a jerk. You've just dated and gone to all the dances and stuff with the same girl for years (for whatever reason), so you've never had to do this before. It's cool. Relax dude."

"But like I said, we can pick a day to go down to Great Falls."


 At the Game

"Dude! I totally skin one of them, like the best pelt, and wear it with, like, the top half of the head on my head and the rest covering my back." Lilly said, motioning with her hands.

"That'll be bad ass." she grinned.

"Oh! And take some teeth and claws and stuff for, like, necklaces and stuff." she added.

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Flashback -- Sara and Sean

Sean raised his brows in pleased surprise. Sara had already looked at the SRD online and if she didn't know all the rules, she had at least familiarized herself with the system. That would make things go faster. He grinned.

"You just need to make a few decisions to complete the character," Sean said, sitting down beside Sara and opening a pair of hardcover gaming books. "Choose what kind of weapon and armor you want to use - Paladins can use basically anything - pick a couple of Feats or Stat Bonuses and a few skills, and then roll for a few magic items. I already wrote down basic gear you'd have, but if there is anything else, just ask. You aren't a starting character, so you'll be on par with the others. No worries, I'll fudge the rolls if I have to, so you'll get stuff that you'll use."

Sara didn't take long to make her decisions. Not worrying about maximum efficiency or what could be found in another source book, she just went with her gut or what looked interesting. It was refreshing. Sean just wanted to tell a story. He didn't see the DM and the players being adversaries. So while there was always some chance involved and he wanted his players to feel the risk, he did try his best not to get them killed... if they weren't being nobs, of course.

He also did try, but couldn't help but sneak a peek or two when she wasn't looking, he wasn't sure why. He could see boobs whenever he wanted on the internet... or just let his tormentors throw him into the girls locker-room during Gym class. He didn't do it to Lilly or Kia, but maybe that was because he saw them as friends first, then girls, whereas to him, Sara was a girl first and not what he would call a friend, as yet.

Or maybe it was just that he'd asked her to the Homecoming Dance and she hadn't said no, yet. Well, actually, she hadn't said anything about it, anything at all. Sigh..

"... and you're set," Sean said in satisfaction, leaning back in his chair and giving Sara a grin. "That wasn't so bad, was it? We can work out a bit of background right now if you want, or save if another day. I mean, if you end up having fun and want to play again."

Sean's grin faded, the silence growing awkward as he considered Sara under lowered brows. He really shouldn't say anything, but he couldn't help it. He'd never asked a girl out to a Dance or Date or anything, and just a day without any mention of it was driving him nuts. "Um, I hope I don't offend you, but... are you gay?"

At Sara's dark, hard glare, Sean quickly held up his hands in placation and rushed to explain. "It's okay if you are, I don't have any problem with it. Don't think anyone should. Just, you haven't said anything about the Dance. If you don't want to go with me because you are gay, I understand. And I wouldn't want you feel like you had to say yes just to avoid the rumors, regardless if they are true or not." He gave her a weak, sheepish smile. "If you did go to the Dance with me, it would just start more rumors anyway."

At the Game

"Okay," Sean says, nodding at Lilly. "Neeva skins one of the bestial fiends, and prepares the hide as best she can. She looks very fearsome... And smells kinda rank. The iron tang of blood wafts around her, a scent more acrid than human blood." Sean's large, turquoise eyes are bright over the DM Screen. "Have you guys had enough with the one skirmish or want to head into the cave to stop Kurgan and Bloodyhands?"

Everyone was eager to go on, their excitement even overcoming Felix's caution. So, into the cave mouth they went. It wasn't all natural, signs of carving in evidence, but in the close confines, they proceeded cautiously. Which was well, since there were plenty of traps. Here, Taleena's rogue, Graceella Quickblade, really shined, able to discern or disarm most of the traps, though the spellcasters had to help with some of the magical ones, and Korinn was able to help them avoid an ambush, thanks to knowing how Bloodyhands' operated. His bandits were cut down mercilessly.

Sean did a good job building up the atmosphere and tension in the enclosed and gloomy confines, aided by some inspired ambient music in the background.

"... as you round the bend, ahead, you can see a baleful, harsh green glow filtering through the dark. Besides your own breathing and heart beats, you can hear voices, chanting. The words are indistinct, but the language is foul, twisted, painful to the ears. It's no tongue belonging to the natural world. Though you can't make out what is being said, everyone but Korinn and Graceella recognizes Kurgan's deep, smooth voice. What do you do?"

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Flashback Lilly

"Thanks Lilly you really are the best and I don't think anything could mess with your game."

Lilly can hear the smile virtually beaming through the phone from Sandy as he spoke.

"I'll call you tomorrow and we'll figure something. Bye Lilly."

They say their goodbyes and Lilly gets ready for the rest of her day.


this ends Lilly's flashbacks



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