09 January 2012

Strange Aeons: The Restless Dead

Part 2: The Restless Dead

Troubled by the realization that the main villain, the cult leader, was still at large special agent Hunter Wylie rounded up some men for his next expedition along the shores of New England as soon as he left the hospital. Once again he was joined by his dog Rufus and his trusted ally professor Armitage. With the death of Ike Madison Wylie made sure to recruit a few Navy boys to accompany him on his next venture.

Tracking strange and disturbing reports in the New England area agent Wylie decided to check up on the story about desecrated graveyards in the rural outback  of Massachusetts . Stories of dug up graves, walking dead and other such weird and chilling sights had flooded the local authorities for the last two weeks. “This is the spot, that’s got to be the bastard who killed Ike” proclaimed Wylie as he pointed at the map. Turning to his new old old recruits he said “We leave immediately”.

The autumn of 1921 was peculiarly long, and no sign of winter approaching. The days did however grow shorter and Wylie wondered if he would risk another nightly operation or whether to scout the area during daytime. Still, there was no time to lose as each passing day could mean the cult leader moving to another area. The Threshold team arrived at the O’Malley cemetery just as the sun was setting. The team, was made up of 6 men and a dog. Wylie, professor Armitage, Sgt Dudley armed with a shotgun, Corporal Henderson sporting a Browning automatic rifle and two sailors – Brown, armed with a knife and Simmons armed with a club.

Moving cautiously around the perimeter they could distinguish shapes as the far end of the cemetery, I it looked like two shambling humans, some sort of disgusting creature – and a cowled man armed with a crossbow. Could this be the same cult leader from the previous expedition?

“We have to stop them before they desecrate the graves” told his men, and they moved out towards the villains. As they got closer they identified two of them to be zombies – and the strange creature agent Wylie called a “Conglomerate”. It was however hard to tell who the cowled man was, what was easy to tell was the agitated flailing of arms towards the approaching agents  meant trouble.

Agent Wylie, used to lead men from the front led the charge as the agents jumped over walls and tombstones making their way within effective range to gun down the perpetrators. “Follow me” Wylie yelled and waved his men onwards, he was soon himself charged by the Conglomerate .  The monster made its way into the middle of the group and basically grabbed Wylie with its tentacle like arms and beat him bloody – dropping his limp body to the ground in front of the horrified agents. Never seen anything like it, and not really knowing how to react the nearby agents reacted out of shock and charged at the beast in a kneejerk reaction rather than pulling away and shooting the creature full of lead. 

Professor Armitage, Sgt Dudley and Simmons the sailor all jumped at the monster and tried to subdue it with their sheer numbers. The beast was a lot stronger than anticipated and its blows sent the men flying.  Armitage managed to score one wound on the beast before he was beaten unconscious. The mayhem must have been an astonishing sight for the cowled man. The dog barked a lot but was too afraid to come close to the Conglomerate, Armitage had been knocked out, sailor Simmons was torn limb from limb, Sgt Dudley punched square in the face just as backup arrived in the shape of sailor Brown and corporal Henderson.

But even with the backup of these able bodied men they were no match for the crazed flailing of limbs. Bones were broken, punches received, bodies flung around violently and crashing into walls and tombstones. When the dust settled the growling Conglomerate was tired but looked pleased with what it had accomplished, only Rufus was left standing, the dog barked but backed away, and when charged by the Conglomerate it ran.

The monster however chased the poor dog and caught up with it, a fight to the death ensued. The dog bit everything and anything it could reach while the Conglomerate flailed with its arms at the animal fighting for its life, striking it multiple times but not being able to fully knock it out. After what seemed to be forever, Rufus finally managed to bite the Conglomerate to death – quickly running away from the twitching remains and moving towards the remaining enemies in order to avenge its master.
Seeing the crazy dog approach the cowled man ordered his undead servants forward to form a human shield, but Rufus dashed around them and launched himself at the main villain. Being tired and bruised from the fight Rufus reflexes were not really responding anymore, and the cowled man managed to strike the dog, ridding himself of the remaining member of the Threshold team.

The cowled man could not believe his luck, the entire team had been defeated by his Conglomerate alone. This was truly a story to be retold when he returned to the sanctuary. Proceeding to do his masters bidding he cowled man did what he came for and left the scene with his undead servants, paying no attention to the defeated Threshold agents.

Agent Wylie woke up, in the hospital. Again. This could not be true. “What of my men?” he asked with a raspy voice when he saw the nurse. A fellow Threshold agents standing by his side gave him the full report.

Sailor Brown had survived, but just barely.
Rufus was dead, so was sailor Simmons.
Armitage was now in “Poor health” meaning he would likely feel too ill to join in every future expeditions.  Corporal Henderson had suffered a concussion and was experiencing “Amnesia”. Sgt. Dudley was still recovering from his hysteric state of mind, the doctors said that the horrifying experience had "weakened his Resolve".

Wylie clenched the piece of paper, feeling “Emboldened” by the experience, feelings of hate and revenge. He swore that he would kill the bastard responsible for the deaths of his agents.

11 comments:

  1. Very nice report. Not so nice results for the good guys though.

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  2. Great reports these, I'm very tempted to purchase Strange Aeons.
    I haven't any specific models but I reckon I could proxy many of my fantasy models and terrain, I would just have to buy some agents and cultists to get going.
    I did try the free downloadable rules the other day using four cowboys and a GW zombie, the short game was quite good but your posts are very inspiring.

    Cheers,
    Paul

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  3. I really enjoy reading your Strange Aeons reports and your terrain and miniatures are top notch as usual. Do you think SA can be played with two threshold players coop-style (so the total Threshold force would be 2 times as large, and the Lurkers's force doubled too)?

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  4. @Paul, it is a very "proxy friendly" game. And you could as well make the game set in the Old West era using all the rules as they are (except for Thompson/Machinegun weapons) :-)

    I did a tweak to the rules to allow gunpowder weapons and play it as a 18th century game as well with my French Indian War collection.

    @Cherno
    I was actually going to try that out this weekend with my friends. Based on my gaming experience with SA I would say it's not a problem - though I will put up reports around the weekend of the 3 player game if you are curious on how it works out for us.

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  5. Wow! Another great report! You make me want to buy this game. Ugh, have to get a second job at this rate to pay for my habit! Hah!

    Poor Rufus! You should bring him back as a bad guy as a hellhound or something else!

    Oh, you may want to add to post, "No actual animals was hurt during this game, just a model representing one....." Otherwise the PETA people may gripe at you! 8)

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  6. @Styx haha!

    Great idea about Rufus, he might return as a zombie dog next weekend :-D

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  7. Great game report, I have the rules sitting on the shelf, I really should get them out again.

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  8. Great report and nice figures/terrain. Another period of interest for me to investigate

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  9. Ditto Brummie's remarks. I'll miss Rufus. He was one mean lean fighting machine. "Hail to Rufus! Ruff Ruff!"

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  10. Anatoli: Hey that would make a great plot addition and also he did go after the cult leader...so I could see him doing the Reanimator bit on him.

    Looking forward to next week!

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  11. I nominate Rufus for the Threshold Agency commendation of "Faithful Hound, First Class"

    Great report again mate.

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