Chapter 5: Into the Void (Ray, Nat, Julie)

1976, South California
The Sandoval couple is worried sick: their daughter, Elizabeth, ran off and joined a cult, the Temple of Concordance. They had no contact with her until recently, when she called them, clearly in a state of distress. The call ended abruptly, without any answer from Elizabeth about her status. The police checked up on the Temple, but found everything to be in order: Elizabeth is 21, practicing her right to worship as she wishes. The Sandovals decide to take matters into their own hands...

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Chapter 5: Into the Void (Ray, Nat, Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:50 am

Three of the Investigators, Ray, Nat and Julie, are reunited. They now stand near the entrance of the hangar...
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 5: Into the Void (Ray, Nat, Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:52 am

Inside, the chanting continues. With each cycle of the mantra, the humming of the congregation becomes louder. Ray recognizes this as a sort of trance-inducing technique. The voices are in very near unison, so it's hard to judge the number of people involved. Ray's estimate is more than five, but less than ten people.

The lead voice (Cavendish), which was reciting the Bible verse, slowly starts breaking up. The words are still there, but sometimes the syllables are garbled, or replaced by strange guttural noises.
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 5: Into the Void (Ray, Nat, Julie)

Postby aine » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:18 pm

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Nat creeps over to Julie and waves a 'hi'. His teeth gleam momentarily as he smiles. He points at her bosum where the mic is, points to himself and towards Ray and gives a thumbs up that he hopes she can see. Then he motions towards where Ray went and creeps over to the hanger door to peer in even though the voices are giving him the creeps.
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Re: Chapter 5: Into the Void (Ray, Nat, Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:54 pm

Nat takes a peak inside. Heavy curtains close off the space a few steps after the entrance. They are hanging from rod suspended halfway in the space of the hangar. Above the curtains, it's open. There is a weak light source (a lamp?) somewhere between the curtains and the main facade of the hangar. On the other side of the curtains, where the congregation is gathered, there are some other light sources, giving off flickering light (like candles or torches).

The curtains are covered with dense "oriental" patterns: a cross between a psychedelic head shop and the temple of some kind of an exotic religion. As the humming and chanting intensifies and the curtains slightly move, the patterns seem to dance in front of Nat's eyes.




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"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 5: Into the Void (Ray, Nat, Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:24 am

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Julie smiles back and nods, listening while keeping an eye out to make sure nobody is walking around who might see them here.
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Re: Chapter 5: Into the Void (Ray, Nat, Julie)

Postby aine » Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:56 pm

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Nat pulls his eyes away from the maelstrom, and whispers to the others. "We can't help Elizabeth right now but we might be able to get some rock samples and then get out of here; come back tomorrow to extract Elizabeth. Unless you think it's urgent we do it tonight? Jules, is she being initiated tonight or anything - you know, the point of no return?"
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Re: Chapter 5: Into the Void (Ray, Nat, Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:42 am

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"Not that I know of," whispers Julie with a shrug. "For all I know they do this sort of thing every night."
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Re: Chapter 5: Into the Void (Ray, Nat, Julie)

Postby Cotton » Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:19 am

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"I think getting a sample of that rock for someone to analyze is important," Ray whispers. "We could very possibly get them kicked off this land, maybe get Cavendish arrested for keeping that girl you saw from getting the medical attention she needs. I think that Julie and I should go in for a better look. We'll see about getting a sample, and if someone hears us she can pretend like she just got curious and wandered over. Nat I want you to stay behind and be lookout, same signal as before. Sound like a plan?"
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Re: Chapter 5: Into the Void (Ray, Nat, Julie)

Postby aine » Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:55 pm

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Nat thumbs up and positions himself for the best vantage point across the compound.
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Re: Chapter 5: Into the Void (Ray, Nat, Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:17 am

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Julie nods silently and follows Ray.
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Re: Chapter 5: Into the Void (Ray, Nat, Julie)

Postby Cotton » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:34 am

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Ray creeps in for a closer look.

Spoiler:
stealth 60%
Cotton rolled 1d100:
45
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Re: Chapter 5: Into the Void (Ray, Nat, Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:14 am

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Julie follows Ray from a decent distance back, so that if anyone does happen upon them, it will not look like they are together.

Spoiler:
Stealth roll (40% skill) following Ray:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d100:
68
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Re: Chapter 5: Into the Void (Ray, Nat, Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:21 pm

Ray slowly and carefully opens the hangar's door.

Inside, it's hot, like in the desert during daytime, but, unlike the desert, it's also humid.

The hangar only has walls, but not a floor or foundation: the floor of this area is the same dirt as the courtyard.

A row of colorful, densely patterned curtains divides the hangar into two parts, creating a sort of a narrow antechamber. They are hanging from rod suspended halfway in the space of the hangar. Above the curtains, it's open.
A single lamp is standing in the left corner of the antechamber. It's on, giving some light.

On the other side of the curtains, where the congregation is gathered, there are some other light sources, giving off flickering light (like candles or torches).

Julie follows Ray inside. She makes some noise, but hopefully it's not audible over the voices in the hangar. As the antechamber is quite narrow, she cannot really make it look like she doesn't belong with Ray.

The chanting behind the curtain intensifies. The congregation hums as a single entity. They must have trained a lot to achieve such a unity. Cavendish is now speaking in tongues... All words and distinctive phrases from the original passage are replaced by weird gutturals, clicks, growls and throaty noises. The uncanny syllables are reflected from the arched ceiling of the hangar, and amplified.

The air and ground vibrate. The curtains slightly wave, and their patterns seem to pulsate.
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"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 5: Into the Void (Ray, Nat, Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:39 am

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Julie feels a sudden shiver of fear. She looks at Ray, prepared to follow his lead.
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Re: Chapter 5: Into the Void (Ray, Nat, Julie)

Postby aine » Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:26 pm

Nat sniffs the night air; at least it's fresher than what it must be like in the hanger. Those curtains gave him the creeps.
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Re: Chapter 5: Into the Void (Ray, Nat, Julie)

Postby Cotton » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:43 am

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Ray registers that either he or Julie made some small sound while entering the hanger, but he is too enraptured by the sudden increase of intensity in the chanting before him. He slowly reaches for the curtains before him, and, ever so slightly, he moves them aside just enough so that he can see what is happening beyond.
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Re: Chapter 5: Into the Void (Ray, Nat, Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:17 am

Ray parts the curtains...

Spoiler:
...and looks behind.

A pool of blackness covers the ground... Like a tar pit... But its surface is completely smooth, undisturbed.

The split rock, glowing with an otherworldly black light, stands erect in the very middle. The dark substance seems to flow out of its crevice.

Cavendish stands before the rock, with his back to Ray. His palms (fingers extended), are laying on the surface of the massive boulder. His whole body shakes as he chants - no, shouts! - the garbled syllables into the crevice.

The members of the Temple are scattered around the rock. Some are kneeling, some have fallen forward and now lay there, half-submerged in the blackness. Those still above the surface carry on the chant and the humming. Only the whites of their eyes show.

---

Roll Sanity (1d2/1d8)!

If the Sanity roll succeeds, also roll a Spot Hidden!

---

Hangar pool.png

---
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 5: Into the Void (Ray, Nat, Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:16 am

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Julie stands tense, not daring to look herself, waiting to see how Ray reacts.
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Re: Chapter 5: Into the Void (Ray, Nat, Julie)

Postby Cotton » Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:54 am

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Ray simply doesn't understand what he's seeing. He moves back from the curtain, and tries to make sense of what he saw.

Spoiler:
Sanity: 70%
Cotton rolled 1d100:
55

Cotton rolled 1d2:
2

Spot Hidden: 25%
Cotton rolled 1d100:
80
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Re: Chapter 5: Into the Void (Ray, Nat, Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:52 pm

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Julie shrugs and looks at Ray, as if asking him what they should do now.
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