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IC Perils of the Pumpkin King [DRYH]

Pandorym

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The first thought that comes to your minds is that it's cold, unnaturally so, even though you're all thigh-deep in a snowdrift - immaculate white splattered crimson with gore from a Snarling Snowman's messy devouring of a Local.

You've all been trapped in the Mad City for about a week now, ever since the Doors were slammed shut and locked by the powers that be for the sole purpose of ensuring no one gets in or out while the chaos within unfolds.

Skeleton Jack, the Pumpkin King of Halloween, has stolen the winter holidays - and more specifically Christmas Day, December 25 - from their former master, Santa Claws. Jealous of the false happiness and attention the winter lord receives during this festive time, Jack has somehow usurped Santa's position and now rules the byzantine streets of the City with a skeletal iron grip as his minions give the gift of terror to all, Nightmare or not.

It is these horrors that have caused the three of you Awake to band together amidst this frightening madness in an attempt not to survive, but possibly either escape or maybe even return things back to normal. The very idea of Skeleton Jack preying on your worst fears and turning them into "gifts" is enough to bind you in unity and solidarity, no matter your own opinions of each other, even as your collective insomnia fuels your strange powers.

Quick! Ducking down beneath the drift, you just barely manage to avoid being spotted by one of the Skeleton King's watchers - an Evil Eye. Looking for all the world like a copy of Sauron's own fiery lidless orb, the Evil Eye floats on by slowly, its beam-like gaze capable of causing those caught in it to burst into flames sweeping in a wide arc before finally moving on a few moments later.

Where will you go? What will you do? Will you fight back? Attempt to escape? Go down in a blaze of glory? Pertinent questions all, but only one real truth remains...

WE'RE ALL MAD HERE.
 

brahnamin

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NICHOLAS [Exhaustion 0; Flight 0/1; Fight 0/2]

Nicholas eases up from his crouch as the eye passes and stuffs his hands in his pockets as he looks warily at the other two. "There's a watering hole not far from here the locals use. It's dreary and damp and even the fire isn't enthusiastic about doing its job proper, but we'll be out of range of those things." He jerks his chin at the Evil Eye floating away down the street. "At least for a little bit. Give us a chance to get our bearings. Maybe decide what the bloody hell to do."
 

squidheadjax

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LILY [Exhaustion 0; Flight 0/2; Fight 0/1]

"Long as the bartender's not a giant spider," Lily mutters as she falls in next to him to follow. "My luck those thing'll be bouncers now tho..."
 

brahnamin

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NICHOLAS [Exhaustion 0; Flight 0/1; Fight 0/2]

"Human. Or used to be, near as I can tell," Max offers. "No bouncers. Like I said, it's a hole for locals. Most trouble they get up to on their own is watching paint dry too hard." Max doesn't bother to add that any number of unknown elements could now be in play with the Pumpkin King poking his bony fingers into every unattended pie.

They'd find out soon enough. No sense stressing the others with needless speculation.
 

squidheadjax

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LILY [Exhaustion 0; Flight 0/2; Fight 0/1]

Lily shrugs, but she's obviously still nervous. "Alright then..."
 

Maledicta

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JAMIE [Exhaustion 0; Flight 0/2; Fight 0/1]

Jamie brushes some snow off his coat as he stands up. Looking into the direction in which the Evil Eye disappeard, he mutters, "Now that's just lazy writing if you ask me."

Turning to the other two, he says, "I could do with a stiff drink to get warmed up inside. Let's go."
 

Pandorym

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And so the three of you venture together into the snow-covered streets of the Mad City, dodging the occasional patrol as you make your way to a bloodstained rust-coated alleyway some block and a half down the road. A quick turn puts you in front of a shotgun-style dilapidated building with a thin metal sign hanging bleakly off one hinge that reads THE CROWN & SHADOW.

Entering, you find that Nick was right - this place is a junky watering hole for the locals, most of which busy themselves staring into the unenthusiastic fire or playing various strange games, one of which includes an odd fantasy army-building card game depicting a war between five factions. The bartender and owner is a Pin Head, a low-rank Nightmare that looks like a man in an immaculate suit with a pushpin for a head. Nick knows that Ol' Pushy used to work for The Tacks Man, but after that monstrous entity got taken out a few years ago by a group of three Awake he needed a new job and so set up here.

Sure, the place might be run down and disgusting, but the drinks are cheap and strong, no one asks any questions, and there's always someone around who can give folks a nudge in whatever direction they're aiming for. Perfect place for three insomniacs with strange powers on the run from things that want to devour their souls, wear their skins, and crush their bones into a fine flavor powder. And not necessarily in that order.
 
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brahnamin

Will GM for Beer
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NICHOLAS [Exhaustion 0; Flight 0/1; Fight 0/2]

Nicholas sits down with his hands cupped around a dirty mug of dirty amber liquid that tastes like a cross between dish water and old soup and looks from Lily to Jamie. "We need to find a way to turn things around or we're never getting out of here." He gestures vaguely around the room as if to illustrate the consequences of getting stuck in the Mad City. "Any ideas?"
 

squidheadjax

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LILY [Exhaustion 0; Flight 0/2; Fight 0/1]

"Well, maybe we could start by... I guess, ambushing some Halloween monsters, tying them up and seeing if we can get them to tell us anything useful?" And then sink our mandibles in and suck out the - Lily shivers as she forcibly rejects the conclusion of that spidery thought.
 

brahnamin

Will GM for Beer
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NICHOLAS [Exhaustion 1; Flight 0/1; Fight 0/2]

Nicholas squints at Lily but shakes his head and doesn't say what he's thinking. "Before we go back out into the cold and resort to rodeo tactics . . ." he waves the Pinhead over from behind the bar. "My friends and I had some questions about the current . . . regime. Sit a spell and talk to us."

Pinheads weren't the force they once were in the Mad City, but from what Nicholas had gathered on previous trips, they had once been literally nightmares of information, and if you really needed to know something, a Pin was who to deal with.

This one was out of uniform as it were. No hat floating over it' straight-pin head. Laying low? Or stripped away with its former position? Nicholas reached under the table and scooped up the battered fedora that shouldn't have been there and offered it to the Barkeep. "You dropped this . . . "

To Lily, he said, "Ask your questions."

OOC: So trying to mechanically influence this Pinhead to stick around and chat a bit. 3d6 for Discipline 1d6 for madness [since I'm using my madness talent Needful Things to restore his hat] and 1d6 exhaustion since I'm also trying to invoke that talent to gain a Little Favor.

Convince Pinhead to Answer Questions D/M/E: 3#1d6 1 1 5 1d6 6 1d6 1

Since I'm adding an Exhaustion Die this round and can make Major use of that talent, that is 4 successes with strength currently sitting on Madness.

Sorry to put Lily on the spot, squidheadjax squidheadjax , but if the GM doesn't roll at least one 6 I'm going to have to mark a response and that will not leave Nicholas in a good position for gathering information.
 
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