Contains spoilers, possibly mild colorful language:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Investigators: Carolyn Fern with the Lamp, Ashcan Pete with the Sword, Harvey Walters with the Draught of Phan, and Mike McGlen with the Mysterious Heirloom.
Waking up in the foggy woods, Harvey and Mike begin to explore, while Pete and Carolyn walk to the campsite where the Dark Stranger is warming himself by a small fire. Carolyn talks to the Dark Stranger for the first time, the moves off the map to the North while Pete talks to the Stranger on the following turn.
Carolyn’s off-map exploration triggers what is to become a circus of misfortune. She finds herself in a wooded ritual site with the Dark Stranger, and she is immediately attacked by a zombie. She fires at it and misses, and calls for help. Mike McGlen and Pete quickly join her – Pete attacks the zombie with the Sword, misses, and picks up a Curse token, while Mike sprays bullets everywhere, none of them hitting.
Meanwhile, Harvey explores North from the old oak tree, and finds an old well – and oddly, the Dark Stranger yet again. He speaks with the Stranger, concludes West is a poor escape choice, but is then halted in his exploration by a manhole, and the fact that a cultist and cult leader have suddenly appeared right next to him and the Stranger. Luckily, they attack the Stranger – the leader missing completely, and the cultist injuring himself. Dissatisfied, their next target is Harvey, who flees back past the old oak tree and injures himself by falling in a pit.
After 2 turns of her, Pete, and Mike missing, Carolyn finally drops the zombie with her Walther. What they had taken for a tree suddenly stoops down, its many (branches? Tentacles?) lashing out viciously at Pete. The terrifying vision draws 3 special attack cards in a row – each time inflicting a single point of damage, but continuing to attack, until finally it ends with a final body blow for 3 points … having done 6 total to Pete, not to mention the Horror – in a single attack round. When Pete and Mike look to counterattack, they see only a tree, and hastily leave the area with Carolyn.
Pete, undeterred by his pile of Curse tokens, moves West to attack the cultists that have been troubling Harvey and the Dark Stranger, and actually runs through a cultist as he wades in. He isn’t quite as lucky with the cult leader – Pete intends to impale him on the point end of his Sword, but instead somehow punches the cult leader with the hilt instead, causing only minor injury and dropping the weapon. However, Mike comes up about then and daylights the cult leader with his tommygun, ending that engagement decisively.
Pete speaks with the Stranger, acquires a map fragment pointing North, and announces to the group that they need to escape that direction. When he shows the fragment to the others, however, they loudly protest, arguing that there is a skull shown in the northerly direction on the map fragment, and insinuate that Ashcan Pete has been drinking the rubbing alcohol again. Carolyn, meanwhile, has remained at the ritual site long enough to explore, finding a lucky rabbit’s foot and and axe – just the weapon for the team psychiatrist: “Let the healing begin!” Harvey meanwhile finds a tome and gains the Voice of Ra, and discovers a manhole cover near the old well.
The momentary upturn doesn’t last. Pete, gifted with The Blessing of the Goat (or hitting the ethanol again, who can say?) runs wildly South before he is able to pick up the Sword … and when he stops running, he finds himself unarmed in a pigpen with a snarling, naked goat-woman; the Dark Stranger inexplicably brooding on the far side of the pen. Not good.
Harvey picks up Pete’s Sword and heads generally South, the rest of the investigator team converging in that direction as well; precious few clues have yet been discovered. When the rescue team arrives at the pigpen, they are disillusioned to discover that co-ed mud wrestling isn’t sexy or hot at all … its actually pretty off-putting, at least when the contestants are a tattered, bleeding hobo and a mutant goat-girl rolling around in an ankle-deep mixture of mud and pigshit – and if that’s not disturbing enough, there’s a dark-robed, creepy voyeur impassively watching the whole sordid spectacle.
Mike has the same answer for every problem, and quickly puts an end to the repulsive tableau by riddling the mutant goat-woman with bullets; struggling out of the muck, Pete rejoins the investigators and they head up into a cemetery. Comparing notes, they conclude that the escape from this nightmarish other-world is either through the manhole, or East. Noting all the hazardous-looking pits to the East, they conclude that option looks so uninviting it *must* be the right way. They set out East just as the last
Event card turns, the trees and mist close in around them …
Spoiler (click to reveal)
… and they wake up back in a strangely familiar clearing with splitting headaches, with precious little recollection of the last few hours – but perhaps that is a mercy in disguise. The Keeper privily smiles.