The Dark Crossroads
Chapter 0 - Out of the Hole
You wake up, as you always do, when the sun goes down. Not uncharacteristically, it looks like you two are the first ones awake; Wendy, the responsible one, ready to gather everyone else up and shepherd them along, and Slightly, unwilling, even in sleep, to let anyone else be first at something. The room you share with the other Lost Boys is small and cold, but you’ve been told you don’t mind it. The walls, like the floor and the ceiling (and most everything else, really), are made of concrete from which the paint will very soon have completely peeled away. By the flickering light of a single ancient florescent tube, you can see that Tootles, the oldest of the Lost Boys, is already going ahead to see to The Pan, leaving you to round up Nibs, Curly, and the Twins. Nibs and Curly manage on their own, and you each haul a Twin out by the ankles. As First and Second Twin roll up the thin paperboard mattresses, they say in unison, “Can’t have any fun in a pigsty.” After the beds are stowed in a beat up locker, Curly holds open the door to the tiny chamber, saying “Can’t have any fun if you’re late!” You all file out into a concrete hallway lined with heavy metal doors on one side, lit at irregular intervals by more dying fluorescents. As you walk down the corridor, you see Tootles come out of the last door with a covered tray, which he turns and carries through the doors to the Great Hall. You follow Tootles through the doors into another concrete chamber, this one the largest in The Pan’s domain. Piles of electronics surround the room, and the table you all gather and sit at has many holes in its surface where wire and cable used to run. The walls are covered by dark and indecipherable panels, meters and bulbs, save for the wall opposite the door you entered. The far wall is dominated by a empty window frame, looking out over a shadowy cavernous space. There is a door next to a bank of panels by that window that leads into the cavern, but none of you have ever ventured down there. First Twin reaches for the cover on the platter that Tootles has placed in the center of the table, and Wendy gives him a stern look.
(At this point, Wendy should read the line she’s been given, “Can’t have fun without The Pan.”)
As if summoned, The Pan comes over the wall at the far end of the room, climbing quite nimbly over the few shards of glass that remain, his heavy workboots hitting the concrete floor with hardly any sound at all. His slender form is dressed in greys, jeans and a dark workman’s shirt, under a filthy denim jacket. His hair is also grey, shot through with streaks of white, shoulder length, stringy and very thoroughly unwashed. You’ve never seen him shaven, nor with a beard; his thin, deeply lined face always sports the same degenerate scruff. The Pan sits down at the head of the table, and his bulging stare takes each of you in turn. As you become caught up in The Pan’s wild-eyed gaze, everything else in the room gently floats away for a moment, and then you are returned abruptly to the Great Hall, as The Pan uncovers the large platter and Tootles begins passing around large breakfast mugs.
- Today is a Hunt Day
– Wendy and Slightly are sent out to teach the Twins the finer points of the Hunt
– May only hunt “grown ups”
– Best places to hunt
– How to lure prey (street urchin/gypsy prankster style)
– How to subdue prey
- The group is tasked with bringing back approximately 300 lbs.
– Return the catch to Tootles in the kitchen
– Assist in clearing out the leftovers from the last Hunt
– Paper wrapped packages need to be incinerated
– Stew pots need to be scrubbed
– May accidentally locate a small unlabeled bottle ( Tootles Secret Ingredient)
If Wendy stays quiet, any Lost Boy approached in secret will want to leave with Wendy (with the exception of Tootles).
If Wendy reads the note aloud, or is heard to say the name “Geno” by Slightly or The Pan:
- Slightly, upon hearing the name Geno, should make a WIllpower check. If he fails, he will go immediately into shock and pass out for some time. If he succeeds, he will feel a debilitating sense of deja-vu, but only for a few moments.
- The Pan, upon learning Wendy may have knowledge he does not, will become enraged, labeling Slightly and Wendy as being too “grown up”
- If Slightly is awake, The Pan will likely attempt to kill him and Wendy
- If Slightly is passed out, The Pan will imprison the pair in a set of animal cages in his cavern behind the Great Hall until he can figure out what they know and how they know it
- In either scenario, The Twins and Nibs, terrified now of The Pan and scared for Wendy, will stand against The Pan, and flee or become captive accordingly
- An escape can be made once Curly, who avoided The Pan’s attention, frees the group from the animal cages the following night
- OPTIONAL: There is a length of heavy chain securing the cage, and a short steel bar The Pan uses to bar the door to his cavern. Geno may Choose one of these as they rush from the room.
During the escape:
- The best time to plan an escape is right when The Pan is about to go to sleep (right before dawn, but none of them know that’s dangerous)
- If the group did not alert The Pan, Tootles will warn him of the escape attempt
- The Pan will join the chase, diverting the group from their planned escape route toward the train tunnel
- First Twin has a breakdown once their escape route is blocked, but Curly carries him along
- A train rushes past as The Pan comes screaming down the tunnel toward them. The train is moving quickly, but some of the cars are open, and they should be able to make it into one if they run. The race is too much for Curly, and he collapses underneath First Twin as Wendy boards the train car.
- First Twin is still catatonic, but Slightly should be able to carry him and make the train car. Curly says he can make it if he isn’t burdened by the extra weight, but he is clearly injured
If Slightly rescues First Twin:
- Activate No Rest
- Curly can catch up with the train car, but not before it exits the tunnel…into the sunlight.
If Slightly rescues Curly:
- Activate Half Mad
- Seeing The Pan jolts First Twin from his stupor, and he makes a frenzied dash for the train car. His fear lends him speed, and it looks like he’ll be able to catch up, but not before the train exits the tunnel…into the sunlight.
Slightly, the closest to the door of the train car, must Choose whether to wait (in defiance of all his instincts regarding CERTAIN DEATH) or to shut the door.
- If Slightly leaves the door open, all characters receive damage from the sunlight, and get to watch the Lost Boy they left behind burst into flames as he runs out of the tunnel
- After Slightly closes the door, the group quickly succumbs and passes out.
The man across the bar from you shakes his head and lets out a low whistle.
“Man, that’s one hell of an origin story. And look at you. Only a year ago, you were some madman’s twisted cast of characters in an absurd fantasy, and now you’re here, bringing down the tone of my very respectable establishment, on this, the anniversary of your emancipation. I must say, most of the young…night-people…who come through here keep that shell-shocked look at lot longer than you two did. The Wyrm isn’t an easy thing for you people to come to grips with, and even worse for a pair of Caitiff, I’d imagine. You know how I love idle gossip, Wendy-lady…anything in particular about being a…night-person…stick out for you?”
- Wendy should be encouraged to detail (in character) some facet of her vampiric “breaking in period” that was particularly difficult or desirable, which will translate into points added to her character sheet, and then Geno should do the same.
- Geno and Wendy retire to Thorn Row for the evening