Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fighting the mara

A farmer's wife has come to Wilno, asking Father Dobrogost for help; her husband has been having nightmares that prevent any hope of sleep,  and he's weary unto death. The priest agres to come, and gathers up a few men; there have been tales of troubles, possibly bandits. One of the men, Bogdan, has some dynamite, and he and his cousin Casimir animatedly talk about using it to clear their fields of stumps and boulders. The third man, Andrzej, rides a little ahead, with the priest; and they talk of eternal matters. When they get to the Darga stead, there is no smoke from the chimney.  Father Dobrogost and the farmwife open the door as the others care for their horses. The woman steps inside and shrieks, the priest cries out; they stumble back away from the house. A burly figure appears in the door; it's the farmer, but he has a woman riding his back, her legs locked around his waist, her teeth in his neck. The farmer holds an axe in his left and but is making no effort to resist; the hag has him enthralled. Father Dobrogost says something sharp in French, then adds "Get it off him, kill it, kill it!"

Scene: Polish style farmyard, with house to the east, chicken coop to the southwest, smokehouse to the northwest.
Personae: the mara, Walenty and Oliwia Darga (farmer and wife), Father Dobrogost, and Andrzej, Bogdan, and Casimir (riders). The mara has Walenty under a puppet person spell, per the Elder Vampire ability.

Round 1:

Oliwia: Ace of clubs
Casimir: K spades
Father D: K hearts
Mara: K diamonds/J hearts
Bogdan: 9 clubs
Andrzej: 2 diamonds

Oliwia moves to the mara and tries to pull it off her husband. She rolls a d4= 4 + raise 1 = 5 on her strength check, versus the mara's d12+3 = 14.
Casimir doesn't really believe in the supernatural but Father Dobrogost was pretty vehement. He moves closer and draws his pistol.
Father D steps back and chants in Latin (to try to Intimidate the demon). He rolls an 8+1; the mara's Spirit roll is d10 = 10 + 10 + 7.
Mara darts over to the priest and makes two claw attacks, rolling 1 and 9. The Father easily dodges her first swipe but this leaves him open to her second, which scores with a raise. She does d12+3 = 14 for strength, d4 =3 for claws, d6 = 1 for the raise, total 18 vs Father D's Toughness 4, for three raises. The father goes down; his intestines, liver and appendix paint the wall of the house.
That's enough for Bogdan to take things seriously. He draws his pistol, moves a couple of yards left for a better line of fire, and shoots from a range of 8". He rolls a 5, -2 for taking two actions (Draw and Shoot), and misses.
Andrzej's horse shies violently but Andrzej manages to get the shotgun off the saddle before the horse runs off. Andrzej moves behind Bogdan and left, but does not fire.

Round 2:
Bogdan: A diamonds
Mara: 6 hearts, 2 spades
Oliwia: 4 diamonds
Casimir: 4 clubs
Andrzej: 3 diamonds

Bogdan fires, missing with a 1.
Mara decides that Oliwia is messing with the mara's prey, and flies at her in a jealous rage. She attacks twice, rolling 4 and 7 against Oliwia's parry 2, giving one hit and one with a raise. The first does 14 damage, the second does 18; the mara's claws tear through Oliwia's face and breasts in a splash of blood.
Casimir moves to the right around the smokehouse, trying to shoot the mara rather than Walenty, who is standing motionless despite his wife being clawed into gobbets right behind him. Casimir's shot goes wide right, through the farmhouse door.
Andrzej no longer has a shot, the mara has moved behind the farmer and the farmer is in the way. He Holds.

Round 3:
Andrzej: on Hold
Casimir: 9 spades
Bogdan: 8 hearts
Mara: 4 hearts

Casimir takes another shot and hits with a 5. His pistol does 2d6+1 for 8; the mara's toughness is 10, so there's no effect. Casimir starts having serious doubts about his participation in this little adventure. 
Bogdan moves right and fires past Walenty. Well, with a 1, it's through Walenty. Damage is 8, and Walenty's toughness is lower than normal because a vampire has been sucking on him; the farmer drops. Bogdan curses.
Since Bogdan has so helpfully removed the mara's cover, Andrzej has a clear line of fire. He raises the shotgun and fires, rolling d6 = 3 and wild die 5 for a hit. At close range, the shotgun does 3d6 for 11; the mara is Shaken but not wounded.
The hag rolls d10 = 3 but a wild die d6= 6 +6 + 1—she is unshaken and can take an action. She runs towards Andrzej but rolls a 1 on her Run die, and doesn't cover all the distance.

Round 4:
Mara: Q hearts, 7 spades
Andrzej: 10 diamonds
Bogdan: 4 spades
Casimir: 2 hearts

The mara moves up to Andrzej and claws at him. She hits with one attack, doing 16 damage—one point shy of three wounds.
Andrzej rolls a spirit check d8=8+2; he is unshaken and is able to take an action. He scampers back and fires the other barrel. A d6=5 hits; the point blank blast does 3d6 = 10 points, just enough to Shake it again.
Bogdan takes a few steps back and fires, missing with a 1 again.
Casimir aims and fires, hitting with a 5. The bullet does 2d6+1 for 5 damage; the mara doesn't notice.

Round 5:
Casimir: Q spades
Mara: J clubs, 7 hearts
Andrzej: 10 clubs
Bogdan: 3 spades

Casimir takes careful aim and fires, hitting with a d 6 = 6 +6+3 for two raises. Damage is 2d6+1 plus d6 for the raise = 15, enough for a wound. The mara elects to use the one GM benny for a soak roll...and blows it, with d12 = 2.
The mara is irritated. It rolls a d10=10 for its Spirit check and becomes unshaken. Andrzej has hurt it but it's smart enough to realize that Andrzej has fired off both barrels, and if it goes after Casimir it'll be out of line of fire from both the others. It goes after Casimir. She doesn't have quite enough movement, so elects to Run for an additional d6=5", which is plenty. Her attack rolls are 8 and 2, each -2; she gets one hit, for 13 damage. Goodbye, Casimir.
Andrzej's extra shotgun rounds are on the horse, and the horse has run off. He draws his sword. "Bogdan, you had that dynamite in your pack? I think we have a more urgent need for it than tree stumps!" He moves to Bogdan's horse, sword ready.
Bogdan doesn't realize that Andrzej wanted him to get out the dynamite while Andrzej fended off the hag; he figures Andrzej is at the horse, the dynamite is on the horse, Andrzej is going to get the dynamite. Bogdan steps around the smokehouse corner and shoots the mara in the back, hitting it for 2d6+1 = 6. The mara is annoyed.

Round 6:
Andrzej: Q diamonds
Mara: 10 and 6 spades
Bogdan: 9 diamonds

Andrzej keeps the horse under control and searches the for the dynamite, but doesn't find it. "Which bag?" he yells.
The mara, somewhat slowed by its wound, goes after Bogdan, who's closer. She claws twice and hits with both, on a 7 and 8. Damage is 12 and 13, and Bogdan falls shrieking and clutching the stump of his arm. Now it's just the mara and Andrzej...and God.

Round 7:
Andrzej: joker
Mara: 3 hearts, 3 clubs

Andrzej, realizing he'll never get to the dynamite in time, turns to face the hag. 
There is a sudden white light, far brighter than the sun on fresh snow, and a Voice. 
"What art thou about, son of Adam?"
Andrzej has no answer; he is crushed with shame and embarrassment under the gaze of the Glorious Judge. The fact that a monster is about to tear him apart isn't even worth mentioning--it is far less than his sins deserve. 
"Wilt thou then serve Me?"
Andrzej whispers, "O Lord, I am not able, for I am unclean. Remake me, that I may serve Thee."
And everything changes. 

The man raises his sword, yells "To God be the glory!" and charges. He rolls a 5 on both the regular die and the wild die, with +2 for the joker--the mara's parry is 7, so that is, barely, good enough. Damage is str d6 = 5, weapon d6=5, holy damage 2d8=9, joker damage +2, total 21—enough for two raises over the mara's toughness, doing two wounds. The mara, skewered by the glittering blade, sags against the man, hissing and clutching, and then she dies. The man, whose back and chest have been raked by the things claws, staggers and falls...but does not die. 

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