Not having played it for a while I decided to play a solo hunter game.
Random Draws gave me Karl the Soldier vs the Banshee.
As usual with this game and Arkham Horror I decided to play the game depending on where the story led me rather than necessarily making what I would consider the best moves and I'm hoping that this makes the session report interesting and coherent.
Report into the Affairs of Shadowbrook February 7th, 1811.
Sgt Karl Jacobson reporting.
February 5th 1811
As ordered by Captain Hawkins I approached the town of Shadowbrook on the morning of February 5th in order to provide some training to the local militia who were recently formed and consisted mainly of able men with little or no experience.
My first stop in town was the local Magistrate's office. It was hear that I first learned of the local legends of “The Banshee of Shadowbrook”. Paying little heed to such wilderness legends I proceeded the the woods to the South East of the town where I was informed the Militia would be waiting for me.
As I approached the old woods I quickly became aware of an eerie sound that seemed to echo throughout the land. I could not swear to it but I believed it originated from the Bog to the west and, with my opinion that it warranted further investigation, I decided to pass through the woodlands towards the source of the sound. I admit that the tales of the Magistrate had put me somewhat at edge and so I continued with caution.
It was whilst exploring the boggy moors that I heard an unearthly scream from the direction of the ruins of Fort Bauer. I cannot swear to the fact, but it is my belief that this scream was in fact coming from two sources, one was strangely feminine and the second I believe must have come from the youth, Jack Preston, a local servant lad.
I am ashamed to admit that my mind was overtaken with fear and I retreated to the woods in order to gain reinforcements from the local militia. However they were nowhere to be found and the only trace was a mysterious Trail of bones, of which I must assume represented some attack on the militia by wild beasts.
As my duty demanded, and with reinforcements unavailable, I proceeded on foot to Fort Bauer where I found the corpse of the aforementioned servant. Standing above him was some ghastly creature that attacked me as I approached. The creature was not something that I recognised but it was no match for my training and when it looked as though its defeat was certain it retreated into the woods behind the fort. I was about to follow when I heard the unearthly feminine voice behind me. I turned and it is then that I caught my first glimpse of the legendary Banshee. All in white and floating at least a foot off of the ground, the creature merely smiled at me and floated out of view.
I immediately followed the creature but found no trace of it along the Shadowbrook road and soon found myself outside the offices of Doctor Manning. I do not accurately recall what happened next. I remember catching a glimpse of a spectral figure from the corner of eye but, by the time that I had registered it, the creature was upon me.
February 6th 1811
I awoke inside the town hall, where I had arranged to bunk for the night. It seems that some of the villagers had found my unconscious in the street and brought me back here. It seemed clear to me now that the threat to this town was very real indeed and I intended to head for the Blacksmith to purchase some more ammunition for my musket and a great coat to protect me from attack. As I was doing so the church bells began to ring out and I immediately hurried over.
The Banshee had struck one more time – one of the villagers lay dead in the aisle of the church and the Reverend Harding was desperately fending off the dread banshee. At the sight of me the creature broke off her attack and fled the church.
I felt it best to take the Reverend to see Doctor Manning and we left for his office. A heavy fog had descended on the valley and my hand never strayed from my musket as we proceeded. The Reverend, I am saddened to report, seemed to have lost his wits and jumped at every little noise along the way.
I left the Reverend in the care of Doctor Manning whilst I guarded the door from attack. Outside the door, I could hear the Banshee's call, taunting us. This seemed to drive the Reverend even further into his delirium. When the doctor had finished his treatment the Reverend begged me to escort him back to the church for his safety.
Upon doing so I returned to the Town Hall and summoned the town elders and asked for their assistance and the command of the militia to destroy this evil that plagued their town. To my surprise Lady Hanbrook accused me of dealing with forces outwith my understanding and implied that it was me that had brought this curse upon their town. She had her men strip me of my coat and escort me to the crossroads and the outskirts of the town.
With little clue about my next move, and the lateness of the hour I decided to make camp in the woods for the night.
February 7th 1811
I awoke in the early hours to another scream. This time it seemed to come from the road to Shadowbrook and I immediately picked up my musket and headed off in that direction. I found the body of one of the town's nightwatchmen on the covered bridge but it was too late, there was nothing that I could do for him. As I said a quiet prayer for the man I glanced up to see the Banshee taunting me once more and I managed to get a shot off at it before it faded from my view. The ground above which it had hovered showed signs of some other worldly substance. This I took to be the creature's blood and, though it was barely a scratch worth, it gave me confidence that my musket, when fired with a steady eye and with the grace of God, would be able to cause this creature harm.
I strode into town with this new information, only to learn from another watchman that the Lady Hanbrook had been murdered in the night. I retrieved my Jacket and questioned the man further and he told me that they had heard awful cries from the direction of the Windmill. This must be the Banshee's lair, thinks I. He also informed me of rumours of strange and terrible experiments being carried out by the Doctor. I ordered the watchman to gather up the town militia and report back to me.
I proceeded to the Doctor's house and found him in a state of extreme drunkenness, but little evidence of the supposed experiments. Among his papers however I did discover that he had links to a mysterious secret order that is suspected to operate in the surroundings. With this knowledge I felt it best to keep an eye on the doctor, though he did not seem an immediate threat. I order half the militia to keep the Doctor's office under guard and the remainder to surround the Windmill.
I returned to the Town Hall to prepare my equipment for the battle ahead. My equipment ready I headed to the church to offer up my prayers for the forthcoming struggle and it is then that I discovered the body of Reverend Harding. He had been dead some hours.
I rang the Church bell, summoning the townspeople. This time they did listen to my speech and I think they were a little reassured by it. The town blacksmith indeed approached me afterwards and told me that Lord Hanbrook was on the hunt himself after the death of his wife.
I had however, noticed that Magistrate Kroft had not come to the church with the rest of the townsfolk and our worst fears were realized when one of the Militia found his body in his office.
My prayers were interrupted by the appearance of one of the Banshee's evil spirits but it's power was weakened in the church and I dispatched it with ease.
The door of the church opened and Lord Hanbrook and the Militia entered, he had driven the Banshee off to the covered bridge and was planning a final assault to destroy the beast and requested my help.
I slung my musket over my back and, stopping only to rouse Doctor Manning, we proceeded to the final battle.
It was just as Lord Hanbrook had said, the Banshee was awaiting us at the bridge. I ordered the Militia to set up a firing line as Lord Hanbrook and myself forded the stream to flank the creature. Doctor Manning remained with the Militia to see to their wounded. By the time that we had crossed the river I am saddened to say that many of the Militia were dead, their lack of experience and training being no match for the creature. As I lined up my shot the final Militia man fell. My shot was true and the creature was definitely hurt. She spun around, but as she did so she struck the Doctor almost out of hand and the man fell to the ground. Lord Hanbrook engaged the creature with his sword as I reloaded, and looked to wound the creature further. His Lordship however was wounded in return and feel to his knees. My reloading by this time was complete and I lined up my shot, which struck true. The creature was defeated. Lord Hanbrook I am pleased to say made a full recovery and the curse of the town is lifted.
I'll have to admit that I was really lucky with the Elder secrets and the Banshee made some terrible rolls. Still I'm not going to complain...it did save the town after all ha ha.