Alex Jacobs
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Race Against Time

The words of the shaman have made clear that only a seer with visions of the Dark will know how to defeat it, and it's clear who that seer is: Becky Anderson. The heroes race to the Anderson homestead only to find the door bashed in and the house empty. The trail leads to the mines...

Deadline
All games must report by Sunday, January 11, 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time in order for their result to affect the storyline.

Reporting
Please use the following link to report your results:
(this episode is now complete)

Set Up
This mission uses the standard set up and all Heroes start on the Mine Entrance Map Tile as normal.

Mission Goal
The Andersons have been dragged into the mines and pulled down different paths to distract the heroes. Each posse is searching for a member of the Anderson family, though which one will not be known until they are rescued.

Special Rules
Surrounded by Darkness
As you frantically Search for a way to defeat the Dark, it closes in around you. Any time the Heroes find an Exploration Token with a Clue Icon, it moves the Hero Posse marker one extra step forward on the Depth Track, but also adds an extra Threat card ot the Token. If it is already an Attack or Ambush Attack, this is an extra Threat card for that Fight (the additional Enemies will Ambush as well if it is already an Ambush Attack). If the Exploration Token was an Encounter, this makes it an Attack as well with a single Threat card.

Immediate Dread
For this Mission, Growing Dread cards are revealed immediately when drawn rather than being placed on the stack.

Objectives
Rescue the Anderson's
Any time a new Map Tile is placed, move the Hero Posse marker as normal and then roll 1D6, or 2D6 if in an Other World (this roll may not be Re-rolled). If the roll is equal to or higher than the current position of the Hero Posse marker on the Depth Track, the Heroes have found one of the Anderson's.

When the Anderson family member is found the Heroes must defeat his or her kidnappers. Ignore any Attacks or Encounters listed on the final Exploration Token. Also, ignore any Door/Gate Icons ont he token, as the Objective Room has no exits. The Heroes must face an Epic Threat. Once all Enemies have been defeated, the Heroes have successfully completed the Mission!

Town
There will be no traveling or Frontier Town visit after this mission.

Reward
Each Hero gains 200 XP. In addition, each posse will gain an additional reward based on which member of the Anderson family they save (randomly selected). Examples include:

Randolph Anderson (father) - Each member of the posse receives a free upgrade, as listed on the Blacksmith chart, for any one item.

Rachel Anderson (mother) - Each member of the posse gains an additional Side Bag filled to capacity with any mix of Bandage and whiskey.

Becky Anderson (daughter and seer) - Each member of the posse begins the next Mission with maximum Grit.

Failure
If the mission is failed all posses will suffer a penalty based on which which Anderson family member is killed. Examples include:

Randolph Anderson (father) - Each Hero immediately develops one Mutation.

Rachel Anderson (mother) - Each Hero randomly loses one of their Traits (Law, Performer, etc.).

Becky Anderson (daughter and seer) - All Heroes start the next mission with 0 Grit.
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Adria D
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Looks like lots of fighting. I'll have to see if Mongo can afford that Cross of Vengeance before we head out...

Any special town rules?
 
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Alex Jacobs
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Sorry, forgot to post that. Yes there are; I've updated the story post in Episode 4 with traveling and town information.
 
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Chris Leigh
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Wowsers, what an intense session!

We were doing so well, then in a few quick turns, both heroes went down (luckily I had a revive so I managed to continue) and on reaching the final lair my card draws were

Darkness: Move darkness on one
Trigger growing dread
Growing dread: Move darkness on one

Meaning I was only 2 away from the evil escaping!

Somehow I managed to down the new elite enemies (my guys just hit level 3) but it was really tense. Only one stop off at the town meant no corruption cleansing for the rancher and no dynamite for anyone!

Cleverly I sold ALL my darkstone before the mission (she made her visit to the frontier outpost count) and then in the mines she proceeded to dig up 9 pieces on her own! So now she has a mustache. A tentacle mustache...

Lots of fun though, both chars got something nice (Serpent man helm and Ring of Tar'Kal? (Ring of free grit)) even though White Paw got injured the loot from the same battle was swamp salve that healed him back to fighting form!

Can't wait for the next installment!
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Adria D
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Woodinvale Adventures Episode 5: The One in Which Mongo and Miles Traverse the Worlds

Mongo and Miles' trip to town after the last mission was uneventful, if hurried. They went straight to the church on arrival, both looking for Spirit Armor Auras. They also proved their worth to the priests, handing over the Hell Sword for destruction, and returning an Iron Cross, grimly closing the case of a missing priest. Between those items and a substantial donation to the church, Mongo was allowed to leave with his Prehensile Tail wrapped tightly around the Cross of Vengeance.

Mongo and Miles set off to the mines. Remembering that Becky was initially drawn to the Targa Plateau, Miles was convinced that they would find the family in the frozen wasteland. Mongo dropped some Void Crystals, hoping to take a shortcut there. They got lucky, and quickly found themselves in the bitter cold of Targa. They went down a forked path and into a cryochamber, dispatching of a Snow Terror and some Targa Pylons along the way. The only exit from the cryochamber was a gate. Back to the mines they went.

Undeterred, more Void Crystals were spent. But instead of going back to Targa, they found themselves in the Swamps of Jargono. Damn! But wait - didn't some heroes get stuck there between missions? That has to mean something, right?

They decided to keep going and set forth, soon coming upon a heavily guarded clearing. They charged in, dispatching the Harbinger, Slasher, and Stranglers that surrounded their quarry.


---
It seems that clue icons are boom or bust for this posse - either they find lots of clues early, or they find very few. In this run, the first two exploration tokens had clue icons, and a successful encounter ensured the next token had one. Coupled with going to the Other Worlds, it made for a relatively quick rescue.

Mongo's mutating has slowed its pace. He's up to 4 mutations right now, two of which I don't plan to remove any time soon (Eye Stalks, Prehensile Tail). The Slippery Skin and newly acquired Fused Fingers will likely be removed as soon as he has time and funds to do so.

After one mission of obscenely good rolling, Miles has had some rough dice luck for a couple missions now. We're waiting for that to turn back around. I think he's around 1000XP from level 6. Mongo is only 250 XP from level 6, so he should level early in the next mission.

--
FYI - The poll was missing the Bandido as a hero class option.
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Alex Jacobs
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First, I want to apologize to everyone for being late with the update and the next episode. The short of it is the holidays didn't exactly provide a holiday and work has been crazy. I thank everyone for their patience. Things at work are good now but very stressful and thus I haven't been able to keep the update schedule I set for myself.

Second, my aim is to have the episode 5 and alternative travel/town information up by early afternoon tomorrow. The mission will hopefully be up Tuesday evening but may take longer; as the finale and with a couple of twists due to the last two missions it may take me a bit longer.

Third, when the final mission does go up it will have a two week deadline. I want to give everyone who participated in the previous missions a chance to jump in and play the final round.

Thank you all for your patience.
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Alex Jacobs
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"You know," said Inara, her beautiful face hidden for some reason behind a bandanna, "I'm getting a mite tired of saving this girl."

Becky Anderson smiled. "And I'm getting a mite tired of being saved, but thank you anyway, ma'am." Suddenly she saw Mongo and Miles leading her father into the homestead. "Pa!" Becky cried, running up to hug him. Randolph Anderson pulled his daughter close to him. "Where's Ma?" she asked, breaking the hug at last.

Uncas looked down. "She didn't make it. I'm sorry." He paused. "Jed didn't either." There was silence in the home. Death, the power of the Dark, was becoming far too personal.

Shortly after John Gow and Joseph Anajodi arrived with Tom, Becky's younger brother, in tow. The younger boy took the news as well as could be expected. "What now?" John asked as they settled in.

"You heard the shaman," said Uncas. "We need the ancient Medicine Man."

"We ain't need no red-man snake charming," said Miles. "We got God on our side. We've been touched."

"How's that working for you?" asked Inara. Something moved under her bandanna.

"He's right," interjected Joseph, pointing toward Uncas. "This is too much for us alone. How many more have to die?"

"Sure, side with the other savage," Monogo practically shouted.

"Y'all quiet!" bellowed Randolph Anderson. To his surprise they did. "Now I lost my wife today but y'all saved my family and for that I'm powerfully grateful but that does not give you right to start bickering in my home at a time like this. You did all this on account of my daughter? Whyn't you hear what she has to say?"

Almost as one they turned to Becky. She swallowed but spoke bravely. "The medicine man isn't gone, he's hiding, watching. I saw him in my visions. I think that's what brought me to the snow plains. I can find him. We're going to need him."

"Why's that?" asked White Paw.

Becky went on. "The Dark is rising in the town. It's coming after them. If it gets a hold of them it'll be strong enough to escape these parts. Wherever the Dark Stone goes, the Dark will be able to follow."

"The Dark Stone..." mused Inara. "It's headed for the fort. The Dark Stone banks."

Becky nodded. "And when it gets there it'll make whatever happened to Brimstone look like a Church picnic."




Special Rules

Replacement Characters
Anyone who lost a character (or a new player) may choose to play one of the surviving Andersons:

Randolph Anderson - Rancher (level 3)
Becky Anderson - Nun (level 2)
Tom Anderson - Gunslinger (level 1)

Create the characters as level 1 characters. Roll for appropriate upgrades and choose new abilities for their final level. Draw a number of pieces of Gear equal to (Level + 3) and keep a number of pieces equal to (Level). Start with 0 money, Dark Stone, Corruption, XP, and no Injuries, Madness, or Mutations.

Rescue Rewards and Penalties

Inara and White Paw - In rescuing Becky you are each brought more in tune with your destiny. You start the next mission with Maximum Grit and each may choose to gain either the Aura of Endurance or Armor of Fortitude as listed on the Church card. Note that you must still make your Spirit 4+ test to gain the benefit.

Mongo and Miles - Randolph Anderson is grateful to you for saving him. He offers to repair and improve any item you wish. Each of you may choose one item with an unused Upgrade slot. You gain a free Upgrade as listed on the Dark Stone Forge Upgrades on the back of the Blacksmith card. You do not need to pay the gold or Dark Stone cost.

John Gow and Joseph Anajodi - For a young boy, Tom has a surprisingly impressive collection of firearms. He eagerly offers to share his collection wtih you. You each gain one gun listed on the General Store card.

All Characters - The loss of Rachel Anderson weighs heavily upon you and you are forever changed. Randomly lose one Keyword (Law, Traveler, etc.). You may not use items or abilities that are dependent on that Keyword.

Town

There is no travel to town or town visit associated with this mission.
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Jon Dennis
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Heh heh... sorry fellas! Old Jed double dipped a Child of the Void mutation and left Uncas in the lurch. He was two turns from winning when Growing Dread jumped the darkness ahead and we lost.
I'd like to take Randolph if that's okay with everybody.
 
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Alex Jacobs
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Just wanted to say yes I'm still working on this. Sorry for the backup at work.
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Chris Leigh
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No hurry, i'm trying to paint all the minis so I can take photos of the final mission!
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Adria D
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We were taken out of town for the week by a family emergency so we're OK with the delay.

I'm hoping my randomly lost trait will be outlaw rather than spirit - it seems fitting with Mongo's holy conversion.
 
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Adria D
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Any updates?
 
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Alex Jacobs
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Spent most of this past week sick. gulp
 
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Adria D
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Yuck! soblue

I hope it's not the same bug that went around here. That knocked me on my ass for a week, and 3 weeks later, I still have a bit of a cough.
 
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Chris Leigh
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Inara and White Paw arent in any hurry Hope you feel better soon!
 
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