IVD - Of Dark Designs.   Posted by The Keeper.Group: 0
The Keeper
 GM, 224 posts
Wed 22 Jun 2016
at 15:49
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
The Colonel's shot is followed by a choked gurgling from the dense vegetation. An instant later, the movement in the overgrowth ceases, some of the plants sagging forward in the direction of the path, as though they are trying to support a weight that is far too heavy for them. Looking closely, both Hackett and Travis can see a lifeless hand that has emerged, palm up, from the foliage.

Meanwhile, d'Anjou's attempt to restrain the female decorator shakes her from her momentary stupor. Shrieking with fury, she swings her shovel at the detective as he dives into the greenery.

10:09, Today: The Keeper rolled 58 using 1d100.  Attack - Shovel.

The swing passes harmlessly over d'Anjou's head, the shovel's blade biting into the trunk of a cypress tree with a dull metallic clunk.

Yelling at the top of her lungs, Granny Goudreau comes charging across the clearing with what appears to be a Civil War era revolver clenched in her right hand. As she nears Hackett, she fires a shot down the trail, apparently aiming at d'Anjou's assailant.

10:30, Today: Granny Goudreau rolled 3 using 1d100.  Handgun.

Wow. Seriously?

10:34, Today: Granny Goudreau rolled 16 using 2d10+4.  Damage - Handgun (Impale).


Granny's bullet finds the back of the woman's head, blasting her brains into the vegetation surrounding d'Anjou and leaving an exit wound roughly the size of a tomato. The decorator slumps forward, partially held upright by the foliage, her vacant eyes staring forward, her mouth hinged open as though dumbfounded.

Apparently uncertain if her shot has had any effect, Goudreau cocks her revolver with her thumb and takes aim again.

OOC: Um, combat over. Provided someone gets Granny under control, that is.
Kirby Hackett
 player, 168 posts
Wed 22 Jun 2016
at 18:08
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
"God Almighty!" Hackett shouts as the horse pistol goes off in his proximity. As the echoes die away, he lowers the Remington from his shoulder. "Good shooting, ma'am. You too, Colonel."

Leaning his shotgun against a treetrunk, he retrieves his victim's revolver and empties the cartridges into his jacket pocket, stowing the firearm there too. His mind is working like a racing engine.

"Suppose we can stage these two so it looks like this... headless... fellow shot them and took off?"
Granny Goudreau
 NPC, 5 posts
Wed 22 Jun 2016
at 18:47
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
Goudreau's eyebrows raise at Hackett's compliment. Lowering her revolver, she asks, "You mean I got 'em? I couldn't tell for sure, this far off."

When the writer talks about arranging the bodies, the old woman says, "You might just go out a ways and pitch 'em in the swamp. Somewhere's the water's deep. Way I hear, those folks that sell the beer and whiskey up N'awlins way do it all the time."

Tucking the gun back in the waistband of her dress and covering it with her blouse, Goudreau takes a few steps down the path. Retrieving her pipe from a pocket, she pauses to squint at the corpse nearest to Hackett. Pointing to it, she states, "This fella's head's missing," as though she is reporting new information.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:49, Wed 22 June 2016.

Simon d'Anjou
 player, 265 posts
Wed 22 Jun 2016
at 18:50
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
For d'Anjou, time had seemed to hang: falling, the shriek and heavy whoosh of the shovel overhead all taking place between heartbeats with the long echo of a bass drum. Impact, the jarring of his bones and the crush of soft swamp earth, mossed and leaf-littered, the swing of his clothing and lurch of balance, rolling over in time to see the woman who had attacked him explode.

He blinks. Shards of bone and warm viscous stuff patter a soft rain through the foliage. Dust-sized fragments strike his exposed skin like a microsm of comets as he takes three seemingly slow and measured breaths that in fact fill only the two seconds between the cultist slumping and d'Anjou scrambling in an awkward backwards crawl from the undergrowth.

Sitting exposed on the path in the sudden utter quiet, the detective looks about, wide-eyed and ready to flip over and flee at any indication he'll be shot at. Seeing the familiar beldame further up the trail, he staggers up and jogs to a halt in front of her. For a moment he doesn't know what to say, gratitude, awe and a belated fear struggling in his expression, then he puts his hands over hers and kisses her old knuckles. "Merci."

Straightening, he raises his voice to the general area. "Colonel? You got here, too?" He crosses himself rapidly, distracted by the headless corpse.
Kirby Hackett
 player, 169 posts
Wed 22 Jun 2016
at 20:24
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
In reply to Granny Goudreau (msg # 114):

"I won't introduce myself, ma'am," he says to Mme Goudreau, "Such work is best left anonymous on all sides. Do you know any of these three? Are they local hereabout and are their kin apt to cause you problems?

"As to just making them disappear, what do you say, Colonel? Better to leave their bunch a mystery or a solution?"


Although Hackett is talking evenly and, perhaps, logically, his wide-staring eyes betray his inmost turmoil.
Simon d'Anjou
 player, 266 posts
Wed 22 Jun 2016
at 22:15
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
d'Anjou rubs the heel of his hand across his sternum, unconsciously trying to crush out a rising tremor under the skin. "I...I feel like I'm either going to cry or throw up," he remarks with a casual air that borders on entirely too cheerful. "Let's let the 'gators deal with them. Mon Dieu."
Colonel Travis
 player, 217 posts
 Age 54 APP 6 SIZ 12
Thu 23 Jun 2016
at 14:33
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
"I think it's best if we leave things a mystery. I believe our new friend here has got the right idea," he said, emerging from the foliage after his voice had already given him away.
Kirby Hackett
 player, 170 posts
Thu 23 Jun 2016
at 17:36
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
In reply to Colonel Travis (msg # 118):

Hackett nods.

"It seems like a lot more work -- and a lot more likely to leave a trail -- to move three bodies, instead of just one. And we don't know how soon their friends might be coming along."

He turns to Granny.

"You'd best get out of here, so they don't connect you with any of this."
Granny Goudreau
 NPC, 6 posts
Thu 23 Jun 2016
at 19:46
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
Goudreau blinks as the Colonel emerges from the greenery. "Why, they's a bunch of you fellas out here. You come looking for trouble?"

She nods at Hackett's admonition, lighting her pipe with a match as she does. "I got kin a good ways east of here. Almost into Mississippi. I'll have Jimmy drive me over tonight. Stay there for a piece."

"You boys best skedaddle too. These people...they bad. Part of them that used howl and carry on in the middle of the night out here. Made people disappear. Police carried a bunch of 'em off, but not all. They some of who's left."


She points south with her pipe. "Them folks worship something out there. Some kinda monster. Huge. Taller than the trees. White as a cloud. Joe Thibideaux snuck out here once to get a look at it. Thought all the talk of it was just tall tales. He seen it and went plumb crazy. State people came out here, carted him off to Baton Rouge."

She looks at each of the three investigators in turn, her expression deadly serious. "It real. And it and them ain't up to any good. Something bad going to come of it all. People out here don't know what to do. Nobody believe us."

She waves in the direction of the clearing. "And that ain't all. Some of my kinfolk told me that sometimes, them people get to screechin' and hollerin' over there and these critters come down outta the sky to visit 'em.  Taller than a grown man. With big old wings, claws, and teeth. Like dinosaurs or some such. Linda Jane Guidry was out here one night, huntin' mudfish, and a couple of 'em landed not ten feet away from where she was. Scared her so bad she up and left for Biloxi the very next day. Never seen her again."

She glances up at the canopy of cypresses overhead. "I got no idea what they're properly named. A couple of my nephews call 'em sky alligators."
Simon d'Anjou
 player, 267 posts
Thu 23 Jun 2016
at 20:07
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
"I wasn't here until I was..." d'Anjou murmurs, still distracted. Little reddish stains are still spreading on his shirt, making pinpricks of greasy pink. "There's four of us, it's not too much of a task...they just attacked me...then, then boom. Better pull the spade out of that tree there," he rambles.

The mention of sky alligators gets a wide-eyed 'oh Hell' look. "I'm...going to get that skull now," the detective mentions, pointing down the path.
The Keeper
 GM, 226 posts
Mon 27 Jun 2016
at 02:29
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
Proceeding back down the path, d'Anjou pauses to watch the "gate" hut before he approaches it, but sees no sign of any new visitors. Stepping inside, he sees that the rickety structure as much as it was when he first arrived, save for the shoe prints of the three recently deceased decorators.

The skull with the yellow sign is still hanging from its leather thong near the door. d'Anjou is able to collect it quickly and return where the Colonel, Hackett, and Granny Goudreau are gathered.
Simon d'Anjou
 player, 268 posts
Mon 27 Jun 2016
at 07:33
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
d'Anjou takes the time to tie his handkerchief around the thing's eyesockets and trots back smartly with the skull under one arm.

"I'm calling him Jules,"
he announces. "Leastways until such time as he might be identified. Sh-shall-" he coughs out the stammer "-ah, shall we move those corpses?"
Colonel Travis
 player, 218 posts
 Age 54 APP 6 SIZ 12
Mon 27 Jun 2016
at 15:50
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
"More work, yes. But I don't know how believable they'd find it, all these swamp folk shootin' each other, when they're supposed to be in league with each other. I reckon it'll put the other folk more on guard than not. Best to just dispose of 'em," he said, looking at the old lady.

"We didn't come lookin' for trouble, ma'am. Just prepared for it. And we believe you, so hopefully we can see to it that these folks ain't botherin' folks no more. You know the lay of the land better than we do. Can you suggest a good place to pitch these bodies, where the water's deep?"

This message was last edited by the player at 15:52, Mon 27 June 2016.

Kirby Hackett
 player, 172 posts
Mon 27 Jun 2016
at 18:19
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
"I'll go find a sack," Hackett says, going to scrounge in the cabins for a burlap bag or something to tote the head in.
Granny Goudreau
 NPC, 7 posts
Mon 27 Jun 2016
at 22:16
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
Goudreau nods in response to the Colonel's question. Pointing to the clearing, she says, "You walk clear across that clearin' thataway. Keep on going til the water hits your ankles, then go west. It ain't far. You'll stumble onto Old Man Saunier's boat. He dead, but some folks around here use his old boat here and again. It ain't perfect, but it'll do. Take it out straight south to where the reeds thin out. It real deep there. No one goes digging around that way. Just take a few rocks for them folks' pockets."

She glances over at d'Anjou and gestures to the skull. "You going to keep your friend, or he coming with me to see Father Legrand?"

A moment later, Hackett returns with a burlap potato sack he located in one of the huts.


An hour later, the three investigators have returned to the mysterious clearing, the bodies of the decorators having been swallowed up by the uncaring waters of the swamp. The sun is nearing its high point in the cloudy sky as the noon hour approaches. Granny Goudreau is gone, presumably off to visit her relatives.
Simon d'Anjou
 player, 272 posts
Mon 27 Jun 2016
at 22:41
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
"I think I'm going to walk home," d'Anjou says, holding his coat in the crook of his arm in place of the skull given to Granny earlier. His skin's a little cleaner now and he even managed to sink the nameless trio of ragged folk calmly and competently before shock left him retching helplessly on some cypress roots.

He's almost chipper now, if a little skittish at swamp noises. "Hopefully catch a lift. You think De Marigny is going to believe it was sky alligtors?"
Kirby Hackett
 player, 176 posts
Tue 28 Jun 2016
at 13:58
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
"I don't know," Hackett says, "We're a long hike from the city, even from any road that might bear some traffic. Let's go home the quick way." He nods toward the shacks.

He extends the shotgun to Travis: "You want to tote this, colonel? I don't know that I can use it again, just now."
Colonel Travis
 player, 219 posts
 Age 54 APP 6 SIZ 12
Tue 28 Jun 2016
at 14:30
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
"Hopefully it doesn't come to that just yet, but I'm more comfortable with my sidearm in the case that it does. You go ahead and hang onto that for now," he said. "I'm for the quick way as well," he said, making for the huts.
Simon d'Anjou
 player, 274 posts
Tue 28 Jun 2016
at 19:27
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
"I'd rather know my way back by daylight and look around the wider area some more, maybe talk to people about where to find sky alligators, or what these whirly sign folk bait them with," d'Anjou protests a little, hanging back. "I doubt we could find it by dark right now should we need photographic evidence of whatever they're doing on Monday - they'll be guarding Fowler's house by then, for sure. You go ahead and I'll catch you this evening."
Colonel Travis
 player, 220 posts
 Age 54 APP 6 SIZ 12
Tue 28 Jun 2016
at 23:32
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
"You can make your way back on foot and by hitching rides if you insist," he said. "I'm too old for all that. I'll take my chances in the house. Ring me up when you've returned, so that we know you made it back safely," he added.

He looked at Hackett, and waved to d'Anjou, and headed toward the house, keeping a weather eye out for trouble all along. His intention was to go back through the portal carefully and to attempt to leave the house without notice.
Kirby Hackett
 player, 178 posts
Wed 29 Jun 2016
at 12:11
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
"Come on, Simon. Strength in numbers."

Hackett follows after the Colonel.
Simon d'Anjou
 player, 276 posts
Wed 29 Jun 2016
at 20:37
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
d'Anjou manages a slightly tense half-smile. "I'm sure you'll be all right," he says, then raises a hand in farewell and heads off in the direction previously indicated as roadward by Granny.
Kirby Hackett
 player, 179 posts
Thu 30 Jun 2016
at 13:23
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
Kirby stops and turns back toward his departing friend. "Hey, Simon!" he calls out, "Do you want my shotgun?"
Colonel Travis
 player, 222 posts
 Age 54 APP 6 SIZ 12
Thu 30 Jun 2016
at 15:33
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
"I've got a rifle and a spare pistol, if you feel either of those would suit you better," he said, stopping to join Hackett in the offer of armaments to d'Anjou.
Simon d'Anjou
 player, 278 posts
Thu 30 Jun 2016
at 19:17
Re: IVD - Of Dark Designs
"I'll...take the rifle," d'Anjou agrees, coming back for it.

"Less loading concerns,"
he half-explains to Hackett with a smile of thanks-anyway. He hefts the weapon when it's given, trying to forget the moment when the cultist had gone from raging to empty, dead and never to be calmed again, ever. How fast the weighted sack had sunk. "If I manage to bag a sky alligator we can have it for dinner."