Rupture

Chapter 2, Old Bones, No Stones

Upon entering the park, a stalwart, grizzly, older man approaches the two adventurers. He introduces himself as Shaw, the owner of a gun store that was destroyed when the neighboring museum was blown up. He requests that the two give him reparations for his losses, but quiets down when they tell him that they will be making a great deal of money if they continue to work for Mattius. Shaw agrees to help the group so he can earn the money back to fix his store.

The group continues into the park. They see two fountains: one clear and blue and the other murky, filled with a deep purple liquid and a few bodies. Owen also finds a ceremonial blade and a half devoured heart next to the fountain, a strange symbol on the ground and a trail of blood leading away. The symbol is identified as the mark of Vexion, the Light Bringer, a 13th century human protector, demi-god. Suddenly, a strange, diabolical pharmacist approaches the group. He identifies himself as Ian and he claims that he was drawn to the crime scene by rumors of a strange liquid that he wishes to harness for himself. He invites himself to join the group to investigate the unusual liquid and its properties. Quickly, Ian approaches the tainted fountain and tests the liquid. He determines that once the liquid is consumed, the consumer loses all cognitive and nervous activity as well as free will; thus changing them into shells of what they once were and susceptible to suggestion. Isaac decides to throw a body into the fountain. The body transforms into a zombie and is quickly killed by Owen. The group decides to go back to Sulphera Cultura to analyze the liquid and find out who is behind it.

Once back at Sulphera Cultura, the group discovers that Stormage died in the back of Maxwell’s truck, because apparently no one in the group liked him enough to check up on him in his comatose state, (Translation: he got a job and can’t play anymore). The four adventurers proceed inside the base, but end up bumping into Maxwell and knocking him down the stairs. Maxwell drops several papers, some of which have notes on the strange liquid encountered earlier. Maxwell gets back up and tells the group that if they want to know more about it, they should ask somebody in the base.

Ian splits off from the group and goes to research the liquid and its uses while the rest of the adventurers go to confront Mattius. Mattius states that he knows nothing about the liquid and will not be bullied around by newcomers. Isaac remembers that his inside friend, “Bothersome” Bill, a research scribe, might know some more information about the liquid and strange symbol. Bill tells the group that Vexion is a fickle demi-god, capable of resurrecting the dead and other amazing feats. He also says that Vexion gets her power by eating the hearts of supernatural beings, and that she ultimately wants to eliminate all supernatural creatures and leave the world purely human. However, if Vexion is not fed enough hearts, she turns on her master, essentially changing sides. Bill claims that his medical co-worker, Alvin, has been experimenting with the liquid and its relationship with Vexion, and has been missing for nearly a week. The group gets an address from Bill and sets off for Alvin’s house.

The adventurers find Alvin’s house and knock on the door. No answer. Isaac kicks in the door and barrels inside. The room is dusty, sparsely furnished and white cloth covers all of the tables, couches and chairs. Owen spots a trap door in the corner and opens it. Maxwell comes running out claiming that Alvin was insane. Isaac kicks him back into the cellar and knocks him out with his terrifying presence. The group finds themselves in the cellar. Alvin is in the corner, praying in front of a statue of Vexion.

Owen steps out into Alvin’s view and claims that he is from Department 7. Alvin is alarmed and pulls out a strange syringe gun, filled with the toxic liquid from the park. Thinking that the group is there to take his dead wife away from him, he casts a barrier around himself and calls upon Vexion as his protector. Vexion appears as an angel and multiplies herself to match the group’s size. The entire time, Alvin is on his knees pleading for the group to go away and allow Vexion to bring his dead wife back. The group destroys the statue of Vexion and the demi-god as well as the barrier disappears. Alvin is prepared to shoot the liquid into his head, but the gun is knocked away from the blast. The group can now see that the cellar is filled with bodies, all failed resurrections. According to the now conscious Maxwell, Alvin attempted to turn average people into mindless drones with the liquid he was given by the mysterious reporter and then he would lead them to his house and remove their hearts to feed to Vexion. Alvin proposes a deal to the group. If the adventurers spare his life, he will accept his wife’s death and allow Vexion to be controlled by the group to do their bidding. The group would have to feed Vexion, but still could command her at will. The group declines and ties up Alvin to deliver him to the police.

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