Tales of New Camelot

The Monster Mash

... It was a Graveyard Smash!

CONTEXT/RATIONALE: One of the short Tuesday sessions with Ray and Alex this time and an opportunity to explore how ‘the People’s Troll’ Bors of Ganis fared during the Tourney. Now this runs the risk of contradicting events established on Sunday during Last Troll Standing and it constrains Bors to abide by the pre-established outcome (i.e. Gawaine wins). We established also that Bors took with him as squire the ‘Mystic Cabbie’ so this is a chance for Alex to create and play a secondary character.

Bors of Ganis listens to King Lot of Orkady outline the rules for the Tourney and goes out into Catford to track down a potential squire. He phones the Mystic Taxi Company but is met by Benjamin Legba who says he’s lost his car, Talulah. In fact, the mage has foreseen the need for the car later tonight, smoked a bag of ganja and lost the car as part of a Time/Entropy/Correspondence rote that ensures it will be close at hand when he needs it tonight, despite the Mists. Bors enchants him and they prepare for the Tourney.

At Hilly Fields Stone Circle at the start of the Tourney, Bors gets into an ugly confrontation with Cei Hir the Ogre. Instead of a squire, Cei has brought along an 8-year-old boy he has kidnapped “in case he gets hungry”. Nonetheless, the unnoticed Benjamin is able to study other contestants and their squires:

Entering the Mists, Bors and Benjamin are beset by visions. Bors sees himself risking his life for someone else and Benjamin sees himself buried alive. They recover their senses a few hours later in The Venue, a nightspot in New Cross. A girl handing out flyers guides them to a nearby folk club, Knotted, but on the way they hide from an axe-wielding Cei Hir.

At the folk club the band Ruined Tower are warming up. Benjamin sights an old acquaintance talking to the lead singer but the girl, an urban druidess called Bronwyn Briar, is squire to another contestant, the female troll Redhilda. Bronwyn uses the music to bind Benjamin to the carpet, but the cabbie sends out an omen to warn Bors, who comes to his rescue. Benjamin unweaves the druidess’ spell and Bors’ danger sense warns him of Redhilda’s attack as the audience starts dancing to the music. Bors uses Meteora to turn the floor to ice and Benjamin adds Entropy to the outcome, causing a moshing crowd to collapse on Redhilda. However, Bronwyn’s spell collapses the floor under Benjamin, dropping him through the cellar and into an Umbral pocket realm.

Bors confront Blodwyn, who tries to banish him into the spirit world and draw in the spirits of death described in the song Ruined Tower are performing, The Battle of the Trees. Half-in and half-out of the spirit world, Bors is seized by monsters. He uses Meteora again, this time on Ned Ludd, the band’s lead singer, to make him muddle his notes. The music falters and Bronwyn’s spell breaks. Bors kicks the crow-demon away, but not without seizing its clawed gauntlet away from it. Singer/violinist Selene takes over vocals and the song resumes, but Bors has escaped the Umbral trap.
Ruined tower live
Since the club is built in an old church, Benjamin finds himself falling through the cellar into a crypt in the Penumbra where zombies come crawling out of the brickwork. He plucks a silver stake from one old cadaver to defend himself, but ineffectually. Bors leaps into the crypt, uses the Claw to tear open the pocket-realm, seizes Benjamin and uses Wayfare to leap straight up and out.

Back in the club, even the Mists can’t hide the growing mayhem. Cei Hir has arrived and duelled with Redhilda, knocking her to the floor. Bronwyn tries to snatch the terrified child away from the ogre, but this provokes Cei to round on the druidess. He flings his chimerical axe of burning blood at her. Bors throws himself in the way and Benjamin slows down time for the axe, enabling the troll to grab it and crash into the stage with it. Cei swats Bors and Redhilda aside once more and batters Bronwyn senseless. In her beaten state, the druidess tries to banish Cei the way she did Benjamin and Benjamin throws his magickal power into her attempt. This time, however, the spell backfires horrifically. The Paradox brings the crypt-realm into the real world and flesh-hungry zombies start punching through the floor. The audience stampedes and even Ruined Tower decide that the gig is over. Undead arms seize Bronwyn and pull her through the floor into a hideous Paradox Realm and Redhilda is too stunned to save her.

“Where’s my $@%!?ng axe?!?!?” roars Cei.

“Right here,” replies Bors, swinging it at the ogre’s face.

Bors puts everything on this and invokes the Dragon’s Ire. It’s a devastating blow, blasting the ogre back into his human Seeming and leaving him injured, unconscious and on fire.

Zombies are now everywhere, kept at bay only by Cei’s burning body. Bors and Redhilda join back-to-back to fend them off, the female troll only sustained by Willpower. Then the stage explodes and a driverless car crashes through from the back of the building. It’s Talulah. Benjamin has summoned his faithful taxi and slides into the driver’s seat, Bors gets iin beside him and Redhilda collapses in the back. As they reverse out, Bors grabs Cei’s comatose body and drags it alongside the car.

Zombies spill out into New Cross Gate and mingle, largely unnoticed, with the late night crowds. Some drift into buses, trains and soup kitchens. Over the coming months, they find themselves working in fast food bars, as nightclub bouncers, pushing trolleys as hospital orderlies, riding the overland line to Richmond and Barking reading the same newspaper over and over. They assimilate.

Bors and Redhilda declare truce and return to King Lot’s grotto. Redhilda is honoured for her courage but Bors does not get the credit he deserves, because a scarred and vindictive Cei, once recovered, declares him a Dragonizer and a Bedlamite and insists he be disqualified from the competition.

EVALUATION: Another very enjoyable tactical/combat story with a strong setting and the imaginative collision of cantrips, axes and Mage spheres. When Bors botches his Subterfuge roll to keep his dragon invocation secret, it explains why he didn’t win acclaim at the Tourney – he’s under a cloud, pending suspension. Unseelie Fae aren’t particularly bothered about cheating, but the Dragon gives most Fae the creeps and Cei is very vindictive. On another topic, it was nice to guest star Ruined Tower again, a mixed troupe of supernatural musicians who featured in several sessions of the Torchlight chronicle. Moreover, the several uses of Meteora prompted me to re-tweak the rules for the new Art. [Acting point to Ray/Bors]

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