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Changeling: Malibu Dream House (Actual Play)

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  • The Motley goes exploring an Abandoned Sanatorium outside Santa Barbra. I am sure it will be quiet and nothing exciting will happen.

    Session CXXXIX

    Lorelei’s Diary

    That was terrifying… one of the most harrowing experiences of my life. I’m not sure if it was intrinsically more frightening than the Bulgarian facility, but due to… certain circumstances, that place had me far closer to the edge of terror than I’ve been since… well, since we went back to Arcadia, I guess.

    So following my last entry, the nine of us got dressed and packed for urban exploring and piled into the van together. It was me, Maria, Marguerite, Julia, Calamity, Jacob, Luna, Becky, and Stasia (who Calamity insisted must come along, and who frankly would have just followed us on her own anyway if we’d tried to make her stay behind). The ride out there took almost two hours, most of it spent driving along the Pacific Coast Highway. Calamity and I swapped stories about racing along that street (though in my case it was more of a high-speed chase than a race), and I spent a lot of the trip singing along with the radio. I even got to do that thing where we went into a tunnel and lost the radio station for a minute, and I kept pace with the song so that we were still synced up when we exited the tunnel.

    It was edging on toward late afternoon when we arrived on the outskirts of Santa Barbara. We were not in the city itself, and as such we did not experience any supernatural feelings of being watched or anything like that… but the place was creepy enough without any help. We parked around the back of the building, on the opposite side from the security guard’s post. The whole complex was surrounded by a high chain link fence, but it was obvious that the guards weren’t the most vigilant of sentries.

    Most of my companions clambered over the fence without much trouble, though Luna and I opted to fly over instead. I also took pity on Julia. She’s never been the most athletic of ladies, and even though she’d consented to wear pants on this expedition instead of one of her typical long skirts I could tell that the fence was going to give her trouble. So I carried her over in my arms. As we began to descend, I thought I heard her whisper “can you read my mind?” Not sure what that was about.

    We circled carefully around the outside of the building, scoping out the possible points of ingress. One window was open, and a power cord dangled out of it, though none of us were particularly optimistic about it supporting our weight. I flew up to scope things out, and found that the cord was attached to a surge protector, which in turn was connected to an old-model television (though none of this was actually connected to any power source that I could see). The room also contained a bed with associated linens… and the bed was made. The room looked like it had seen recent use.

    We opted to enter at a different window; one that overlooked a large storage bin (there were no windows on the ground floor, which I suppose makes sense for an asylum). It wasn’t difficult to climb on top of the bin, climb up a short distance along the wall (a single foothold had been helpfully gouged out of the masonry) and slip in through an open second-story window. Of course, once again Luna and I just flew up there as per usual and slipped in behind the rest of the party.

    Here’s where things start getting a little weird. So as soon as we were all in the room, we started noticing things flickering and flashing on the edges of our peripheral vision. It was distracting, and the temptation to try to track the movement was insidious. Several of us (namely myself, Calamity, and Jacob) gave in to the temptation and turned toward the strange will-o-the-wisp lights.

    We immediately found ourselves in the same hospital, and yet not the same. It was lit, and inhabited, and clearly still in operation. Though we could see and communicate with each other, there was no sign of our other friends. A nurse approached us, told us that visiting hours were over, and asked to see our visitor’s badges, but I managed to talk her down, and she walked away pushing an orderly’s cart as she went.

    It soon became clear to us that we were still physically in the abandoned asylum; we could feel gentle taps and tugs on our clothing as our friends tried to communicate with us. Eventually I realized that someone was using Morse code and started jotting down a series of dots and dashes. Calamity remembered how to translate it… well, she remembered enough in any case; she and Stasia had learned it as kids so they could communicate in secret. She translated a brief message communicating our friends’ anxiety about our state. They could hear us when we spoke, but stated that we were for the most part just standing around gazing blankly at whatever was in front of us.

    After a few minutes of this Calamity suggested that we try using meditation techniques to focus our perception on reality. It wasn’t easy; that hallucination was pretty damned persistent, but after a few moments of closing my eyes and regulating my breathing I found myself back with my friends in the present. Most of them expressed relief that we had returned to them. After a moment I noticed that Julia was holding Maria’s wrist. My wife was silent and subdued, but gave my hand a squeeze when we returned to ourselves. She was obviously reverting at least a little bit, but her pupils hadn’t dilated, she wasn’t skulking in the shadows, and she didn’t try to shy away from me. Maria had come to the surface, but D was still there. And I smiled, kissed her, and let her know that I loved both aspects of her.

    Once we’d regrouped we decided to head for the stairs and make our way down to the ground floor. We passed an orderly’s cart as we approached the stairs… and it was moving back and forth with the wind, mimicking the motions of the cart in our shared hallucination. The sparks and flashes on the edges of our vision intensified as we entered the lobby, and those among us who had not already succumbed to the otherworldly visions found themselves driven to distraction by the visual pyrotechnics. Calamity suggested that they try a few meditation techniques, and that seemed to reduce their irritation to manageable levels.

    Unfortunately we weren’t given a lot of time to look around. There was an unearthly scream, and Calamity – who had used her contract to be able to see and hear ghosts, and had inadvertently included Stasia in the effect – told us that a spectral girl rushed past us and fled up the stairs. Reevaluating our strategy, we decided to pursue her upstairs and see if we could learn anything from her.

    Luna had brought a walkie-talkie, and managed to find the frequency used by the security guards. The guard on duty noted the disturbance in the asylum, but apparently strange sights and sounds aren’t unusual in that building, and he indicated that he wasn’t going to enter the building to investigate it.

    We followed the sound of the ghost girl’s yells until we found her, though only Stasia and Calamity could actually see her. With a bit of patience and an effort to reassure the ghost girl that we meant her no harm we were able to glean a bit more about the asylum itself and its tragic history. She said that her name was Holly, and that she had been committed to the hospital while she was still alive. Her information was incomplete (and possibly not terribly reliable), but it was still more than we’d had before we spoke with her.

    Holly told us that there were bad things on “the lower levels,” implying that there was more than one basement or sub-basement. She also told us that “something bad” had happened upstairs, on either the third floor or in the attic. She didn’t know exactly what this “something bad” was, but she told us that it had something to do with a woman who had magma for eyes. Her description of this woman bore a striking resemblance to the strange thin woman we’d seen on Stasia’s video footage. Holly offered the opinion that whatever the “something bad” was, it was what was keeping her spirit tied to the hospital. She was unable to do anything about it herself, however. Most of us took pity on the poor girl, and we unanimously decided to head upstairs to see if we could do anything to help her find the rest she’s earned.

    Holly either wouldn’t or couldn’t join us upstairs, but told us that whatever “something bad” had happened up there had happened in a secret chamber of some sort. Stasia looked at the maps she’d brought along and found two possible locations for such a chamber. We found a door into the first space in the back of a closet. The room inside didn’t tell us much; everything inside it had been burned to a charred, blackened mess. Though we have no way to be certain, it seemed likely that someone had set the fire specifically to conceal evidence of some past misdeeds.

    The second secret room provided a bit more fuel for our speculation. We found the remains of a young man… presumably the urban explorer who had been lost in the hospital, as the body was only a year or two old. He looked like he had hanged himself, though he may have had help with that. Though I found no evidence of defensive wounds on the body, it was obvious that his hands had been bound at the time of death.

    The ceiling of this room had partially collapsed, allowing access to the attic space above. Maria became very agitated as we entered this room, and began gently trying to pull away from me… not like she was attempting to escape my grasp, but more like she had spotted something and was eager to investigate it. “Maria,” I said softly, and she turned to regard me seriously. “I’m going to let you go, because I trust your instincts in this place. But please don’t go far… I need you. Okay?”

    She nodded. I released her hand, and she scampered up into the attic. The rest of us followed. We found the remnants of a large ritual circle up there along with several more bodies, though these had obviously been dead for much longer. We also found a large number of bullet holes in the walls of the chamber, implying that those bodies had died through violence rather than as part of some magical ritual. While we were looking around, Maria found the source of her agitation, and tackled someone that the rest of us could not see.

    Our unseen observer turned out to be one Cara, a vampire who believed that she was a mouse. Once we’d convinced her that we did not mean her any harm, she was friendly enough. She was able to fill in a few of the blanks about what had happened back in the 70s and 80s. She remembered the “bad people” doing a ritual back then, and whatever they did was indeed responsible for converting the area’s kindred to that strange hive-mind cult. She was not affected by the ritual because the hospital itself was apparently warded against supernatural influences of that sort. As she had only left the hospital for brief feeding periods in all of the intervening time, she wasn’t certain what had happened to the area since… though she speculated that something had gone wrong with the ritual, as the original perpetrators no longer seemed to be around.

    When we asked about the woman with the magma eyes, Cara confirmed that she had been a part of the rituals in the hospital, though she had never perceived the woman to have lava for eyes. She also confirmed that the basement levels were incredibly dangerous, though she expressed those dangers in terms of “cats.” But she told us that not everything in the basement was dangerous... apparently the Crawler – which she called “Nathan” – is merely mischievous and likes scaring people. She also mentioned a friend named Dave, who is apparently a cockroach. I asked if he was a real cockroach or a metaphorical one, but she didn’t seem to understand the question.

    So while we were questioning Cara, a few of us detected the sound of someone coming up the stairs. I kept Maria with me while Marguerite went to check the noise out. A few moments later I caught sight of Marguerite’s arm beckoning me from around the corner. My heart dropped like a stone, but of course I headed for the stairwell like a shot. I had a horrible feeling that I knew what I would find there.

    “Dad?” I asked incredulously. Sure enough, there he was, wearing his cassock-and-body-armor ensemble, wielding a shotgun with a flashlight taped to the barrel.

    “Hello, Juliette,” he said with a slight smile.

    “What the f…” I began, then had the presence of mind to self-censor. “What are you doing here?”

    “Come now, Juliette,” he said with maddening calm, “surely you did not expect me to sit at home and do nothing when I knew you were venturing into a dangerous supernatural hotspot such as this?”

    “Uh, yeah,” I said, inexplicably fifteen again. “Kinda did, Dad. I’m a grown woman; protecting me isn’t your job anymore. Technically it’s Becky’s, and she’s here doing that job. You… don’t take this the wrong way, but you’re not a young man anymore, and I can’t lose you… not again.”

    “I might say the same thing about you, Juliette,” he replied softly. “And besides, I am your father. It will always be my job to protect you.” He turned and began walking down the hallway with the air of someone who had concluded his conversation beyond the shadow of a doubt. I had no choice but to follow him. I honestly did not know that he still had the capacity to infuriate me like that. It reminded me of my teenage years in Defiance… which was paradoxically kind of nice.

    In any case, back with Cara the others had managed to put together a few more things. The warding spell that protected the asylum from whatever the big ritual was had required a human sacrifice, and based on what Cara told us about the process it seemed logical to assume that Holly had been that sacrifice. She was bound to the premises by the magic, and Julia thought that if we managed to free her spirit the protection spell would fail.

    That being the case… we offered to take Cara with us when we left. It seemed like the only decent thing to do. The poor girl has been relying upon the protection offered by the spell for more than thirty years, and her isolation has clearly taken its toll upon her (well… maybe… we don’t actually know how crazy she was before the isolation). We discussed a few options, including using Dad’s contacts to find her a new safe haven and handing her over to our kindred contacts in L.A. Pretty much anything would be better than leaving her there.

    So there was nothing for it after that but to venture down into the basement at last. It was pitch black down there, and most of us opted to wear glow-sticks around our necks so that we could find each other easily if we got incapacitated and separated (Marguerite demurred, and as she was our forward scout and stealth expert, it was hard to argue with her reasoning on that point). It wasn’t hard to find the records room… but I don’t think any of us had fully appreciated the difficulty of the task set before us until we saw it for ourselves. The room was a shambles, with papers strewn all over the floor with no rhyme or reason to their location.

    We were in that room for several hours total. After about an hour I’d managed to locate Holly’s file, and Jacob had found Cara’s. Both suffered from some form of paranoid delusions according to the attending psychiatrists, though we posited that in Holly’s case it was possible that she was actually seeing supernatural creatures that others simply couldn’t recognize. The file also recorded the fact that she’d had a child while in the asylum and recorded the details of the girl’s later adoption. Dad posited that reuniting Holly with her lost daughter might help to resolve whatever issues are binding her spirit to the mortal plane, so we kept the file for later reference.

    It took more than an hour more to sort the pile of files by date of admission, but we eventually managed to find what we had originally come for… a week in early 1979 in which almost a dozen new patients were admitted with similar symptoms, diagnosed for the most part as schizophrenia. Their files had addresses and the details of the incidents which led to them being committed, so we have a few more avenues of investigation open to us now. Hopefully this will help us track down some residue or remnant of the ritual that caused all of this madness.

    The whole time that we were going through the files nothing happened… but as we were making our way back to the stairs, Maria became very agitated. She took hold of my arm and started pulling me urgently toward the stairs… not like she was trying to get away from me, but more like she really wanted me to get out of that basement as quickly as possible. After a few seconds of this we heard a rushing sound, which got louder and louder as whatever it was approached us. Finally the rushing resolved into a series of overlapping babbling voices. Only Calamity and Stasia could see the creature due to her earlier use of contracts… and I’m not sorry about that even a little bit. Calamity described it as a sort of conglomeration of spirits bound together by unearthly forces… but spared us any further details. Since we already had what we had come for we fled before it and retreated back up the stairs.

    So all that was left after that was to gather up Cara and head out of the facility. Before we left, Dad had Calamity use her contracts again so that he could speak directly with Holly. He promised to do what he could for the poor girl, and begged her to be patient for a few more days while he looked into the matter. A short climb down from the second story later and we were ready to depart.

    Maria and I opted to ride back to the Dream House in Dad’s car, partly so that Cara wouldn’t be too crowded in the van but mostly so that we’d have the chance to talk. And as we got further and further from Santa Barbara, two things happened.

    First, Maria came back to herself and became more talkative. I think this little excursion was good for the two of us. I think she was able to get in touch with the dark parts of herself that she keeps hidden from the world, and she realized that those parts have their place within her. She used the gifts the Hospital had given her to keep us safe and to help us reach our goals. And this time I wasn’t afraid of her… and I wasn’t even afraid for her. I was glad when she started talking to me again… but I never doubted that she would even for a second.

    Second, my irritation at Dad faded as we got further from the danger that the asylum represented. I started to really think about what he had done and why he had done it, and I found it hard to stay mad at him. I mean… my Dad cares enough about me to put himself in that sort of a situation just to make sure that I’m safe. And while I’d still prefer that he not place himself in jeopardy on my account… I’d do exactly the same thing for him, and it’s heartwarming to realize that we have that sort of relationship.

    So as we sped along the dark Pacific Coast Highway getting closer to home, I gently pulled away from my wife’s arms, leaned forward, and placed a hand on Dad’s shoulder. “Dad?” I said quietly.

    “Yes, Juliette?” he responded, sounding tired but resolute.

    “Thanks for looking out for me,” I said, giving his shoulder a squeeze. “I may not approve of you taking on risks like this, but… thanks. I love you.”

    “I love you too, Juliette,” he replied, reaching back with his own hand and giving mine a pat. I leaned back after a moment and allowed a smiling Maria to kiss my happy tears away.

    And honestly, I can’t think of anything else that needs to be said.

    Lorelei de la Rocha

    Jacob’s Journal

    Well today was one hell of a day as it turns out. We went to the abandoned hospital to explore. It was me, Luna, Lori, De la Rocha, Insincere Marguerite, Julia, Calamity, Becky and Stasia. We all piled into the van and headed out. Before that though we packed for the upcoming adventure. We made sure to pack flashlights, glowsticks, chalk and markers, rope and water. Marguerite also brought along a mirror big enough for each of us to climb through should the need arise. Thankfully it didn’t, but it was a near thing.

    So, we got to the hospital and parked around back, opposite of where the security guard was stationed. We then looked for a way in. In the process we found an outdoor extension cord hanging out of an open window. Lori flew up to find out what was up and discovered that the power cord was plugged into a power strip and a television. The end on the ground wasn’t plugged into anything so I’m not sure where or if the person that was staying there got power. Yeah, there was someone staying in the room. There was a bed all made up and the place was relatively clean. Lori flew back down. We couldn’t go in that way, so we found another way in through a second story window. We climbed up on an adjacent shed to get in. It looked like others had used the same entrance over the years, so we followed suit. Once inside we noticed that there was a sort of light just at the edges of our vision. Everyone saw this except Stasia so we figured it was a Changeling thing. We also heard wheels moving down the hall outside the room we found ourselves in. At the same time Calamity, Lori and I gave into temptation and concentrated on the light. We then found ourselves in a well-lit, clean and in use hospital. There was a nurse in front of us asking for our visitor passes. It was as if we’d been transported back in time. I let Lori and Calamity do the talking. If we had actually found ourselves in the 1980’s it would not look good for one of our number to be speaking with a Russian accent. Calamity eventually convinced the nurse that we were with the government and she left us alone.

    Not long after that Lori said that she felt someone gently pulling on her hair and we figured it was probably the others trying to get our attention. This put to rest the idea that we’d actually been transported in time. Lori noticed that there were taps coming in patterns and figured out that it was Morse code. Stasia and Calamity apparently knew Morse code when they were younger. We translated most of the message and discovered that we hadn’t gone anywhere. They said that we were just standing around, though they could hear us when we talked. Calamity suggested that we all meditate to bring ourselves back to reality, and a few minutes later we had all centered ourselves enough to do just that. We investigated the sound that we’d heard from the hallway and discovered that there was a cart moving of its own accord back and forth in the hall. Stasia insisted that it was the wind, but we had seen the nurse also pushing a cart. Calamity then decided to see if there was a ghost pushing it and activated her ghost sight. She accidentally included Stasia in the power and neither of them saw anything pushing the cart. So, apparently it was just the wind. How mundane.

    Just to be complete we checked the room that had the power cord coming out of it and found just what Lori had seen. A relatively clean room with a made-up bed and a TV. We continued down to the first floor and were in the process of looking for a way down to the basement to find the records when Calamity opened a door and a screaming female ghost literally ran through her and up the stairs. We all heard the screaming, but only Calamity and Stasia had seen the ghost. And as it turned out Luna had found the guard’s frequency on her walkie-talkie and had tuned to it to listen in on their conversations. Apparently, the guard had heard the screaming too and was letting someone know that the strange stuff that didn’t happen was happening again. So, it seems that the lady ghost had a habit of screaming and it wasn’t just our presence that caused the disturbance. Good to know.

    We briefly investigated the front desk but didn’t find much that was useful. While we were there Julia suggested that some of us, or at least she, let herself give in to the strange light we all kept seeing at the corners of our vision to see what we could find out from the past. The rest of us, mostly me, Calamity and Lori all said that it might be a bad idea to try and go there again. It might be too hard to get back from. The light was getting more annoying for some, so they tried the meditation exercises that Calamity had shown us and they said that the light retreated a little bit. So that was good. After that Calamity said that she wanted to go upstairs and talk to the ghost. So, she and Stasia made their way upstairs. The rest of us followed a moment later. De la Rocha was quiet like she seems to get in institutional situations, but she held Lori’s wrist and followed where her wife led. A short while later Calamity found the ghost and got some answers. We ended up with more questions but we did find some stuff out. We got her name, Holly, and that she’d been in the hospital for a while before she died. She did not remember what caused her death. In fact she had a lot of gaps in her memory. She did remember a very tall, thin woman that would come to the hospital, but she was not a nurse or doctor. She wore civilian clothes. The distinct thing about her from Holly’s perspective was her eyes. The ghost said that the woman’s eyes looked like they were full of lava. We weren’t sure exactly what was going on with that, but it seemed to us that the ghost might have in life seen supernatural individuals as they actually are. We found evidence later in her file that corroborated that, but I’ll get to that in a bit. First thing’s first. We asked Holly about the rest of the hospital and she said that there was something in the basement but it wasn’t a ghost. She did say that it could hide. All she would say about the upstairs was that it was bad. Bad things happened up there. We mentioned the ritual and she said that she knew that a ritual of some kind had taken place up there but didn’t know specifics.

    After that we checked Stasia’s map of the place and went upstairs. Insincere Marguerite managed to find a very well hidden door in the back of a closet. It led to a very small room that showed evidence of having contained a fire at some point. There were burn marks on the floor and walls and it looks like some furniture and books were burned in the middle of the floor. From what was left of the pages it seems like it could have been handwritten journals. We couldn’t really make anything more out about them. That discovery prompted us to look at the room’s mirror image on the other side of the hall. There’s something to be said about symmetrical architecture. Anyway, we found another hidden door in the back of another closet. This one also led to a small room, but this one was not empty. It contained the body of a young man. It appeared to be the young man that went missing and was never found a year or so ago. He was lying on the floor but there was evidence that he’d been hanged. A rope was around his neck. A chair had been kicked across the floor, and part of a rope hung from the rafters. The thing that was odd about the scene was the fact that his hands were tied behind his back. Lori took a closer look and couldn’t find any signs of a struggle, so if he was hanged by someone else then they didn’t leave a mark. It could be that the teen stood on a chair with a rope around his neck and intentionally tied his own hands behind his back so he couldn’t save himself if he changed his mind mid-hanging. Unless we find his ghost however that is likely to be a mystery that we won’t be able to solve.

    We did see that some of the ceiling tiles had been disturbed in the small room so Insincere Marguerite went up to take a look, since she can see in the dark. As she was doing so De la Rocha was kind of freaking out. She really wanted us to follow her. Marguerite came down a minute later with news that there were several bodies up there but they had been dead longer than the young man. They were mostly skeletonized. De la Rocha climbed up through the ceiling and pretty soon we all followed suit. We found eight skeletons in the attic and bullet holes in the walls. We did not find any guns so it was not likely a suicide pact. Whoever did the killing, or at least some of it, survived and took all the guns with them. While we were looking at the bodies De la Rocha was following something in the attic. We didn’t see anything, but in this particular situation we figured that she was on to something. Her durance molded her into a consummate hunter, and now she was stalking something. Suddenly she pounced and whoever she’d tackled let out a cry and became visible. Lori kenned the woman and found out that she is a vampire. We knew that they could turn invisible, but we hadn’t figured that there would be any vampires living in an abandoned hospital. She is tall and gaunt and has no hair. She is also not the prettiest woman out there, but I believe there are extenuating circumstances at work here. She said that her name was Cara and that she’d been a patient at this hospital long before she had been turned, and long before it had been shut down. She kept referring to herself as a mouse. She also confirmed that the made-up room downstairs was hers.

    Cara also mentioned that whenever she leaves the hospital to go into town the other vampires in the city try to kill her. She is not affected by whatever caused them all to go crazy and join that cult and they seem to want to kill her because she won’t submit. She always runs back to the hospital and they chase her until she crosses the fence. They won’t follow her that far. They won’t cross the fence. We’re not sure why but we surmised that it was because there was some sort of protection that had been put up around this place. Cara said that there had been some ritual done in town and then those same people took over the hospital. She said that they were in conflict with another group, and eventually it seems like the other group won. If the bodies upstairs are any indication anyway. I think there was a second ritual here that might have been putting up some sort of protection from the town. Not that it did much good in the long run.

    We also asked about the crawler in the basement and she said that it was actually a “he” and that he was a nice guy. His name is Nathan. He creeps around in the dark lower levels and tries to scare anyone that he sees go down there away. Cara said that there were bad things in the basement. That there were cats in the basement. And given that she keeps likening herself to a mouse, we figured cat equaled something dangerous. We also asked Cara if she knew Holly. Cara asked if we meant Holly Dare, and we assumed we did. We didn’t know Holly’s last name. I don’t even think Holly knows her last name. Cara said that the bad people killed Holly to power their sacrifice. She also said that Holly had been able to tell that she was a vampire. She had apparently seen something off about the people that came to the hospital and kept telling the doctors that something was wrong, but they couldn’t see it. The other people decided to do something about the problem that was Holly and they killed her in a ritual. Still not exactly sure what the ritual did and if there was more than one that happened. Holly did not look like the woman from the video tape, so there must have been more than one woman killed to power a spell of some sort. Half of me understands using the inconvenient problem people to solve another problem, but the other half of me balks at the needless death. I used to kill people frequently in my line of work. You’d think I’d be less affected by it, but maybe the fact that I am bothered by it is a good thing. Maybe it means I’m thawing out from who I was when I served The Lady?

    At that point I heard someone or something coming up the stairs, so Marguerite went to check it out. She came back a moment later with Lori’s father in tow. It turns out that the good Reverend knew that his daughter was coming here and decided that she shouldn’t investigate such a dangerous place by herself. We assured him that his daughter was fine in our company but he elected to stay anyway so we caught him up on what we had discovered so far. This included Cara and Holly. The Reverend Wells elected to talk to Holly to see if there was anything he could do to help her move on. But more on that later. After catching him up on our activities so far we decided to go to the basement as per our original plan. Because there were no windows down there it was very dark and we took precautions. We all carried our flashlights and wore glowsticks around our necks or on our belts so others could easily see where we were. The exception to that was Insincere Marguerite. She elected to not wear a glowstick since she was our literally invisible eyes and ears. Cara stayed on the lit floors waiting for us to return. She refused to go to the dark lower levels due to the “cats.” We also promised to take her with us when we left so she wouldn’t be here alone and starving in the hospital.

    We found the file room in short order and started looking for files on Molly Dare to start with. We found her records and discovered that she’d been in the hospital for several years before supposedly attacking a guard and being killed in the fight. She had supposedly been delusional and was considered borderline psychotic. It is likely that she was just seeing supernatural people for who and what they were and others thought she was crazy for it. The fight in question took place in 1984, right around the time the hospital was closed down for good. It also turns out that she had a child some three years after getting here. The child was adopted by a family in L.A. and given the name Molly Hart.

    We also found records for Cara Teague, who had been in the hospital since she was eleven years old. She came from a troubled home and honestly seemed to think that she was a mouse. This delusion has continued over the years. She was considered a well-behaved patient though she kept finding ways to get out of her cell and wander the halls. This was apparently not allowed. I assume that she lived up to the animal that she thinks she is and slipped out of her room to do what she wanted to. She seems the curious if a bit cautious type to me. The only thing she did when we showed up was try to hide and I can’t fault her for that. People in this place have not been exactly nice all around.

    After looking for a while longer we found records from around the time that we were looking for. We found eleven new patients all admitted within the same week. All with psychotic breaks, and all from the downtown area at the time of their break. They were all also talking about the same things. The ocean, waves, and the full moon. We’re not sure what this means but we think that it might have to do with a possible ritual that was performed downtown, or near enough. We decided to take the files for the staff that worked in the hospital at this time as well as the eleven folks that had been admitted within a week of one another. We also discovered that the Chaplain from this place killed himself in 1987. Interesting if you ask me. Perhaps he felt guilty for what happened there? We’ll never know.

    At that point De la Rocha was desperately pulling on Lori’s arm trying to get her to go back upstairs. It took us all a minute to respond. Eventually we all started hearing something coming down the hallway. It sounded like whispering and it was getting louder and louder. I will admit that I was getting a bit freaked out. Calamity I think saw something and she stood transfixed by the sight. I pulled on her arm and got her to move and follow us out of the basement. She later said that she saw a group of ghosts that seemed to be fused together and coming down the hall towards us. We all scrambled up the stairs and out of its reach. Revered Wells helped Calamity compose herself and we all made our way back up. The Reverend Wells wanted to talk to Holly one last time before we left. He was able to determine that if he was able to talk to Holly’s child and possibly get the two together it might be possible to resolve Holly’s ties to this world and she could finally pass on. It’s definitely something worth looking into. After that we made our way to our cars back out the way that we’d all come in. Lori and De la Rocha all rode with the Revered, while the rest of us, including Cara, went back to the Dream House in the van. We had promised that we wouldn’t leave her behind and we didn’t.

    End Session CXXXIX

    Fun fact: We figured out Insincere Marguerite had enough Willpower to get everyone out via Contracts of Reflections…but only if she spent absolutely no Willpower at all. Fun!

    So I anticipated a lot more transition between the two versions of the hospital. It’s fine the PCs stayed in their lane, understandable and frankly safer. But they explored the real (?) version of the hospital and just got clues from there. Which…was a lot. Because they will certainly be back in the hospital (though may or may not visit the other hospital) I don’t want to give away precisely what it is. Yet. There is much left to find.

    Cara is obviously a Nosferatu. She is not associated with any Covenant or Bloodline.

    But those answers come later. Comments and Questions welcome.

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    [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]