Thursday, February 20, 2020

Just a Little Darkness

The students took a little while to spend some of their new-found wealth on new toys; after a shopping spree, they started looking around for someone that might have some holy water. Real holy water, that is, not the weird stuff Alistair keeps making.

After asking around a bit, they found a fellow interviewee of the Lurk Until Dawn show, one Rev. Michaelse, of the Risen Church of Longview. It's a little church, fairly conservative, but well-liked. And, more importantly, the Reverend believes that demons walk the earth, and indeed has battled them himself!

The church was guarded by one Bob, the usher - a man built like one of LeTourneau's earth-moving machines. He seemed to be the janitor, as well, and kept the church spotless. The Reverend was in a meeting with the Church Secretary, Mrs. Eliza Dolouse. As they exited his office, she kept up a string of prattle - "...just need to buy a few more bottles for service on Sunday, not the good stuff you know, just good enough that Mrs. Applebottom doesn't complain, you know how she loves to complain, oh and I think I'll get a few more boxes of tissues as the ones at the ends of the pews are running low, such a good sermon last Sunday Reverend..."

She scuttled off to her car, leaving Rev. Michaels to speak with the students. As it turned out, he didn't have any holy water - there's not really such a thing, it turns out. Just normal water, though sometimes that's enough... After listening to some of the student's stories, he finally nodded, and handed over a fairly ordinary candlestick. "I've used this myself - it's a very powerful artifact, that allows you to dispel the demons that walk among us!"

The talisman, known only as the Candlestick, can banish demons, if Rev. Michaels is to be believed. To activate it, it must be defiantly held above one's head, directed towards the demon; then, roll Spirit at -1. On a failure, the wielder is Shaken, and the talisman is unusable for 24 hours; on a failure with 1 on the Spirit die, the wielder takes 2d6 damage (directly, ignoring armor); on snake-eyes, the talisman is destroyed, in addition to the other effects. They agreed to weekly meetings with the Reverend, in trade for being allowed to use the device.

A few days later, Alistair got a text from a Veronica Nails, who asked for the group's help. They agreed to meet, and she explained that she had accidentally spilled some chemicals on herself while working in the Organic Chemistry lab. She was afraid that the lapse in lab safety would be enough to ruin her already faltering grade, and didn't want to go to the professor directly... but she felt very strange, and not in a way that getting chemicals spilled on her would be expected to make someone feel.

The group immediately set off to investigate the professor's office; after some breaking-and-entering, they managed to unlock a very expensive filing cabinet, and revealed that the professor did a little on-the-side chemical testing of materials sent to him by Homeland Security. No one knew enough about O-Chem to decipher which write-up pertained to the chemicals Veronica may have spilled on herself, but they could tell that they must have been fairly unsafe...

After carefully locking everything back up, they moved on to the lab; inside, they found the chemical, and managed to isolate some of it. They waited until the next day for Alistair to buy a book on organic chemistry, and conducted a ritual of knowledge. Now much better at O-Chem, he carefully studied the chemical; while he wasn't able to isolate the exact chemical makeup, he was at least able to tell that it was very, very dangerous, being highly toxic... and able to be inactivated with high intensity ultraviolet light.

After a very spirited discussion on where and how to find the correct lighting (including, but not limited to, using X-Rays), they finally agreed on taking Veronica to a spa for a fairly inexpensive 20-minute tanning bed treatment. Veronica was only barely persuaded, as her eyes had turned entirely black - though her night vision was awesome!

She relented, and after an uneventful 20 minutes in a tanning bed, she was happy to report that her eyes were no longer bothered by light; indeed, her irises were returned to normal!

Unfortunately, the treatment only seemed to last a day. Undeterred, the students moved to plan B: subjecting her to half an hour a day of intense UV light, created by using the TIG welder! While her tan-lines were very uneven, the treatment worked - no more light sensitivity, and no more all-black eyes.

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