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This playthrough of Elder Sign is based on our house rule:
Whenever a player cannot make up a continuous story that explains
the reasons behind the actions of their character, they
immediately loose one Sanity Token.
These are the stories of the
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The Tragedy of Michael McGlen's First Date
Most people know Michael McGlen as a grumpy face that stares at them over the barrel of a rusty Thompson machine gun, usually snarling threats or demanding money. Today, however, McGlen faces quite a different challenge from sassy bystanders: a challenge of love. You see, poor McGlen fell for Marie Lambeau, a beautiful showgirl who is twice as smart as him but also three hearts more fragile.
To prove to Marie that he, McGlen, is truly a man of considerable sophistication, he shall take her on a date at Arkham Museum. Little do either of them know that Hastur, the King in Yellow himself has chosen the same night to awaken from his deep slumber..
Kate Winthrop is sitting in her office and worries. Dark Omens speak of this very night and an ancient evil that stirs in its sleep. However, Kate acquired the Necronomicon some time ago and begins to make headway in her search for answers.
While Kate is buried in her books, Marie and McGlen arrive at Arkham Museum. Together they walk the halls and stop at a strange painting. Marie loves it and immediately claims it is, in fact, a Door to Another World. McGlen is in love and so doesn't mind his sweetheart to be slightly off the rails and is quick to agree with her. While Marie marvels at the piece, McGlen marvels at her, and together they stay by the painting, lost in the world of dorky couples -- until strange ripples run over the painting and start to reach out for poor Marie!
McGlen is furious. No one steals his girl! He pushes Marie out of harm's way, turns around, and immediately stomps towards the Museum Administration to complain about the way the exhibits are treating his sweetheart.
Meanwhile, in the cellar, Sister Mary looks for a spot In the Crates of the archives. She sometimes helps out at Arkham Museum to see what all those scientists and other charlatans are up to. She carries a small Obsidian Statue that she's been asked to stash it down here, when suddenly, the ugly little thing begins to writhe about in her small hands! Aghast, she throws it to the floor; with an angry hiss the thing knocks its head on the stone, turns back to Sister Mary, and starts attacking her ankles. Luckily Mary brought her trusty Shotgun, and she sends the creature straight to Jesus, where hopefully it will find forgiveness.
Unaware of the drama unfolding on the floor beneath her, Kate Winthrop discovers the dark omens of tonight to be part of an Ancient Curse. As an accomplished scientist, Kate uses the clues she gathered so far to promptly lift the curse. No one has time for this!
While McGlen is off to yell at the staff of Arkham Museum, poor Marie watches in horror as a Color out of Space spills out of the cursed painting and envelopes her - what a cruel Caprice of Fate! This date is not at all what she imagined it to be -- and it is at this point that she starts to compose the speech she is going to give McGlen when he returns.
McGlen, however, is facing different problems right now. While he didn't find anyone to yell at, he did stumble upon a glass of water that just .. bubbles. Almost like there was a little Storm in the Glass of Water. Now, McGlen is what you and me might call a simple man -- he only carries three brains, after all! As such, this unusual sight causes poor McGlen great distress. He does manage to pull himself together though, and angrily snatches a Ruby from R'lyeh from the office desk before he makes his way back to his date.
After getting rid of that ghastly creature, Sister Mary pulls out her Crucifix to let God know what shenanigans Arkham Museum is up to. The voices in her head tell her We Have to Call for Help and so she makes her way to the phone booth. As the reaches out for it, however, she gets attacked from behind! Sister Mary throws her Book of Nameless Cults at her foe and draws her 18. Derringer (Sister Mary never leaves the church without at least two firearms). Unloading her gun she sends another soul to Jesus, steals his Food, and calls for help.
Kate Winthrop knows when something is up, and right now, something is most definitely up. Way up. She pulls at the hidden lever in her study and enters the Secret Passage to see for herself what is going on in her museum. Ancient evils may stir, but papers don't publish themselves, and Kate Winthrop has no intention of letting the world get devoured until everyone has had a chance of learning about her opinion on things!
Marie Lambeau is annoyed. A painting tried to eat her and her date is nowhere to be seen. She goes after McGlen and promptly runs into him around the next corner -- "IEEH!", Marie shrieks surprised, and "Ambush!", yells a confused McGlen who's instincts take over immediately and proceed to punch Marie in the throat. Gasping for air, Marie slaps McGlen in the face with her purse, which makes the poor sap drop both his 38. Revoler and whiskey-filled flask of Holy Water.
Poor McGlen rubs his cheek and tries to apologize to Marie. To prove himself he suggests they escape this horrid place by climbing out the nearest window and On the Window Ledge. Marie is hesitant though, so McGlen confesses his feelings and hands her the Ruby from R'lyeh he found. Marie is taken by this emotional display and they both flee through the window.
After all her killing, Sister Mary decides to visit the First Aid Station to get patched up again. She only possesses three hearts, and two of them already gave out. Mary drags he corpse of the man she just shot dead into the First Aid Station where the nurse is happy to exchange it for two fresh hearts.
When Kate emerges from the secret passage, she bumps into a Mean Old Man who just has had it with young women constantly bumping into him. He promptly starts complaining about the general state of affairs and her lack of attention towards him in particular until Kate manages to distract him for long enough to slip away. Kate Winthrop has dealt with peer reviews before.
Still caressing the ruby, Mary decides to give back McGlen his flask of whiskey and the two of them proceed to get properly drunk. As they stumble through the halls, they accidentally fall into the rift in reality that has been widening ever since Marie opened it up within the strange painting. Being high as two kites, they both laugh off the unfolding insanity around them. Quite piqued, the strange dimension spits them back out and closes itself off to the world of man.
McGlen feels quite satisfied. Seems like this date is yet to be salvaged! He finds a Map of the Museum and drags Marie into the nearest Visitor Toilet where they immediately start making out -- unknowingly driving out a Ghost and a Byakhee, who were haunting the toilet but felt increasingly uncomfortable around the drunk and horny couple in their midst. In the middle of a passionate kiss, our two lovers notice noises coming from the adjacent mensroom: A Secret Meeting! Giggling they listen to the strange incantations of a bunch of teenage cultists summoning a Shoggoth in the toilet bowl.
Taking a few deep breaths to get used to her new hearts, Sister Mary exits the first aid station while a Guided Tour walks by. Out of habit Mary joins them, still dizzy from the meds she just took and not noticing the strange robes the people of this "tour" are wearing ..
Leaving the muttering old cook behind, Kate quickly finds her coworkers and tries to Enlist Help. Hipster artist Richard Pickman and the intern Ryan Dean, the intern, agree to help her. Together they set off to put an end to this very tragic display of ancient horror.
After all that's happened, Marie and McGlen finally pass out. They wake up in the Dreamlands but are not surprised by the the eldritch trickery their minds make up as they sleep and so close yet another portal.
McGlen wakes up first and, curious, takes a peek into the adjacent mensroom. The Door is Slightly Open and McGlen startles a hiding Cultist who promptly flees On the Rooftop.
In the meantime, Sister Mary realizes she accidentally followed a group of cultists instead of visitors! They mistook her nun's attire for their own robes and promptly led Mary into the ancient city of R'Lyeh -- whoopsie daisy! Poor unprepared Mary loses two of her brains and both of her new hearts as she barely makes it out of the cursed city alive.
At this point, Kate Winthrop has quite had it. Together with Richard and Ryan she followed the same group of cultists into R'Lyeh and they proceed to close the gate between their worlds. The two wimps make an attempt to flee, but Kate slaps a heart out of each of them to make them stop whining and focus on the task at hand. Kate Winthrop has dealt with PhD students before.
Together they make it and under a strange orange sky they place down the right dice in the right order. With a trans-dimensional shudder the cursed city erupts in a bright flash and banishes them back to their earthly realm.
Meanwhile, Hastur, the King in Yellow looks at his collection of a mere five Doom Tokens and decides to try again when Kate Winthrop is taking a sabbatical.
Marie Lambeau and Micheal McGlen will wake up tomorrow in a puddle of their barfed up dinner and a collection of priceless items that they will sell off to make enough money to move away from Arkham forever.
When their kids ask them later how they met, they tell them to not ask silly questions and to eat their vegetables.
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So go the stories of the
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That is seriously hard core.
The things some folks go through for love! Great story though, glad to see I'm not the only one who dreams up strange circumstances for why folks are fighting elder horrors in a museum.
Great Reading! I want more! More!!!!
That is seriously hard core.
Great Reading! I want more! More!!!!
Thanks! Happy to know people enjoy these
glad to see I'm not the only one who dreams up strange circumstances for why folks are fighting elder horrors in a museum.
Oh for sure, to me that's all these games are about! I even find that Elder Sign game can do a better job at this than Eldritch Horror. The large images on the cards in the former allow your imagination to fill in the blanks, while the text blurbs in the latter tend to describe very specific circumstances that tend to be difficult to string together.
Still trying though; I'll find my personal fun in Eldritch Horror eventually
Oh for sure, to me that's all these games are about! I even find that Elder Sign
game can do a better job at this than Eldritch Horror
. The large images on the cards in the former allow your imagination to fill in the blanks, while the text blurbs in the latter tend to describe very specific circumstances that tend to be difficult to string together.
Still trying though; I'll find my personal fun in Eldritch Horror
I have the same trouble with Eldritch Horror. I think the difference is that with Elder Sign you see the cards and get a feel for the theme and the event. You're more proactive as a player.
In Eldritch Horror you're more reactive. You go to some city and your event is perhaps chasing down a Mi-Go agent, or buying some rare book, or perhaps the table at the corner deli tried to eat you. You can't envision walking into the situation since it's entirely random, and I think that breaks a lot of the illusion for me.
My thoughts exactly. It is quite a shame, too, since the board and everything is crafted so nicely. I want to give it at least one more shot though, and hopefully be able to spin a yarn through the next playthrough.
Ideally it'll end up as another article such as this one and I'll finally be able to enjoy that game too!