Strange #1: The Colonial Nightmare

Prepare for a wall of text! This is the synopsis of our first game. Each of the players contributed from the point of view of their character. I’ll break the entries up with a horizontal line. Note, we were missing O. G. Wells for the first couple of games. Enjoy!

The characters started off in Seattle. They are unaware of their ability to move between recursions and don’t know much about The Strange at all. They are attacked by some goons and one of them pops a portal cypher whic hurls them all to the Liberty and Death recursion. We played through the adventure The Ghost of Cotter’s Field for the first game.

Kyle Awerbuck writes

It was just an ordinary Wednesday afternoon in Seattle. Skinner and I were hanging out in my 1964 GTO, listening to the new Pink Floyd album, and trailing this punk Norwegian brunette. Not a bad job I must say. We had been hired by the Estate to follow this lady and report back anything out of the ordinary. I was just finishing my vanilla malt when we noticed three thug types converging on our target. A local professor friend of ours, Dr. Mendal, who we have worked with in the past, had also bumbled onto the scene, sporting a severe case of condition white. As the three thugs boxed the lady in, Mendal, texting instead of watching where he was going, collided – full stride – with one of the thugs. The thug spun with the collision, indicating someone experienced in combat, and I saw his hand instinctively go for his weapon. Time for Skinner and I to earn out keep. We leapt from my car and I was luckily able to drop the rear thug before he fired upon our professor friend. The lady performed some action that stopped the lead thug dead in his tracks. The third thug pulled a machine pistol and started peppering my car, MY CAR!!!. This, really pi**ed me off, so I spun, focused on my front sight, and dropped him as well. In the meantime, some local drunk came roaring up and smashed the last standing thug upside the head with a brick-sock – seriously, who the heck uses something like that in a fight? We started to advance when Skinner noticed the first thug I dropped pull some type of canister out of his pocket, and then pull a pin from it. “Grenade” he yelled as we spun around and then everything went black.

I awoke laying on my back on the ground. A little hazy on what had happened. I reached for my sunglasses and my .45 but they were gone. In their stead was a bulky tricorn hat, a brace of black powder pistols, and a sabre. And for some reason this seemed right?? I surveyed my surroundings and noticed I was in a cornfield, in the fall, and there were others laying near by. We gathered up. There were five of us who awoke in this foreign field, with no sign of the thugs. The Norwegian lady, now unfortunately dressed in a much less revealing colonial dress, our professor friend with a grey wig, Skinner and I dressed in common colonial wear, and fifth, the drunkard with the brick-sock. He calls himself, R. Keith Yanders, and claims to be some type of monster hunter. He does carry a pretty wicked looking large crossbow.

The lady saw a little girl running away from us through the field and took off following her. We were led to a creepy-looking scarecrow with a pumpkin head. As we neared the thing, it started to move and climb down from its wooden perch. Its intent was obvious and we all attacked the thing. Yanders ended up dispatching it with a shot from his crossbow. Then I noticed a whole slew of these abominations advancing on us through the field. I led the group in the one direction that seemed to be void of the soulless creatures, but one was still close enough to attack us and it was also quickly dispatched. The professor and the lady both seem to have some power to harm these things without physical weapons, something I will have to ask them about in more detail at a later date.

We fled from the pack of straw and pumpkin monstrosities and eventually came to an old dirt road. Once we were clear of the field, I had every intention to burn that unnatural corn field down when we were suddenly approached by a sooty old man, calling himself John Woodward. He was surprised we emerged from this field and he indicated it was haunted and the locals left it alone. We inquired about where we were and found out we were somewhere in the Massachusetts colony and that the year was 1765. He asked our names and I had the urge to not reveal my true name so I told him I was Samuel Adams, a cousin of the famous Sam Adams. I believe our lady friend was also unwilling to reveal her true name as she identified herself as “Abigail”, hmmm, “Abigail Adams”, I wonder what this lady may be hiding.

The sooty old man lead us to his camp where we were able to rest and recover from the days weirdness. He mumbled on a about some poor farmer, Abraham Cotter, who had lost his daughter, in the aforementioned field some 15 years ago. He then led us the to old Cotter cabin and as we approached it “Abigail”, again, saw the little girl peering out at us from one of its windows. For some reason “Abigail” is able to see this little girl while the rest of us can not. Skinner and I cleared the cabin before letting the others enter. The cabin was old, cobweb-ridden, and had obviously not been used in many years. As we were searching the place ,”Abigail” found a doll that seemed to have no wear and tear. Obviously it was the little girls doll. Professor Mendal found a box on the table with some type of puzzle/map on it. At some point in the night “Abigail” also heard the little girl singing a creepy lullaby song. I am glad I was not able to hear it.

The Professor and “Abigail” determined that we needed to go back into that haunted field to help free the spirit of the Cotter girl. They told us the doll would render us invisible to the pumpkin head monstrosities. How do they figure this stuff out??? The next morning we headed back into the haunted field. The professor’s deduction was correct and we wound our way into the field where we found the spirit of Prudence Cotter playing in the dirt. She told us that the thing we sought – a tanglewyrd – was in the next row and warned us to dig it up and burn it. As she said this, she began to shrivel up before our eyes. It was pretty awful to watch. We pushed through the stalks and emerged into a small clearing. A mound of bone was in the center. Suddenly, the pile erupted into a mass of human skeletons animated by the vines of some weird plant, hell-bent on adding more skeletons to its ranks. We started by instinctively attacking the skeletons but soon switched to attacking the vine itself. Once a vine limb was severed all the skeletons attached to it would clatter to the ground. After a hard fought battle we were eventually able to dispatch the upper portion of the vine and free ourselves from the vine-skeleton onslaught. One of the skeletons in the fight was that of the little girl, creepy. Then we dug up the root of the vine and we plan on bringing it to Woodward, a charcoal burner, to fully destroy it.

This place seems to be some type of strange dream and I hope that we will eventually wake up. But then again it all seems so real and natural, like I have been here my whole life. I hope my GTO did not take too much damage and can be fixed fairly easily. The Estate better cover the bill! I think it is time to have a talk with “Abigail” and Professor Mendal to see if they can shed any light on what is going on.

Keith Yanders – journal entry

Ever since the Pottery Barn debacle of ’09, I’ve learned to keep a record of my whereabouts for later legal/alibi reasons.

Entry 4568

My day off started out like any other day off. Took a few hits of weed, grabbed a six pack, and headed for the Mary K. Worthington Community Park and arboretum. I was listening to some sick jams on my walkman when I noticed two dudes just hanging out in a car. They were kind of creeping me out, and I think I saw one guy keep ducking under the dashboard – but hey, who am I to judge right. Reminder – find new park to hang out in.

Saw this girl getting hassled by some “men in black” type of guys. This was a sh&* or get off the pot moment and my security specialist teacher Gertrude Rosterfargehnhamsclucker would have been proud of my actions and improvised weapon. After I freed this chick, I think we were having a moment before it was interrupted by those dudes from the car running in our direction either yelling “grenade” or “I just got laid”. It must have been the former because everything went black.

What happened next I can only attribute to a bad trip? This is not the first time Joey Finkelstein sold me a bad bag, little punk. Woke up in a cornfield with 4 strangers – again. Reminder – next time I see Joey Finkelstein punch him in the face.

I won’t try to explain the next several hours other than I am officially stating that there are witnesses that can speak to my whereabouts and I was nowhere near the Piercing Pagoda. I am headed to an Inn to drink heavily and wait to come down from this trip. Reminder – keep an eye on the dudes from the car.

Lab notebook of Dr. Mendal

  1. Texting while walking control experiment worked as expected. Ready to test sonar app if only I can remember where I left my phone
  2. Found significant evidence supporting the many-worlds interpretation of QM
  3. Time travel w/teleportation may require less E than originally thought
  4. Intelligent, mobile vines as new way to work with hazards instead of glove box?
  5. Homunculi as way to out-source politicians?

B. F. Skinner

Case journal (remember to get this in my actual journal if we ever leave Pumpkin land):

This Yanders guy seems odd. He reminds me of a person of interest in an assault on a psychiatrist 7 years ago. I consulted on the case but never met the guy (suspect K). I just remember he was employed in mall security. Plus, this little tidbit: he suffered from koro, an anxiety based on the fear of penile retraction, possibly resulting in death. It’s also known as shuk yang and rok-joo. Of course in slang it is: hong Kong dong. Obviously it’s mainly in China but it has been seen in the west.

Why would I suspect this Yanders yanker? Well, there is the career connection and occasionally he walks funny like suspect K did. Is he ‘anchoring?’

I’m going to have to keep my eyes on Mr. Yanders!   I mean, really, who hits people with a brick in a sock. Something is not right! Watch how he walks.

From the desk of R. Keith Yanders:

Journal entry 4569

Leg day at the gym tomorrow. Reminder – pick up some more jock itch medicine at Walgreens.

From the desk of R. Keith Yanders:

Journal entry 4570

This bad trip has me freaking out man. It’s making me remember some really dark times, things I kept hidden for years. I gotta tell someone, anyone….maybe if I write it down I can get it off my chest.

It was about 7 years ago, I was court ordered to see a Psychiatrist, Dr. Eugene Humperschmitz, after the Banana Republic mishap of ’08. I was only there for 2 weeks before I started banging his wife, Mrs Humperschmitz. We went at it like wild rabbits, knocking boots 5 maybe 6 times a day while the “doc” was at work. I would get so sore in the nether regions I had to make up some stupid story about why I walked like I had a load in my pants. The dolt bought it hook line and sinker. Ended up nailing her for about 8 months before it ended with me giving her the clap. The doc found out she had an STD and slapped her around. When I heard that, I gave Eugene Humperschmitz a little visit during the night. Fool still has no idea what happened. Whew….. i feel better. Reminder – give Mrs. Humperschmitz a call when I get home.


in seattle to connect with k. for work and living set up. 1400 went to meeting place at counterbalance park—highly unlikely spot–made me uneasy. am i being tailed by those guys in the gto, or are they just cruising for ass? 70’s throwbacks on every corner here. chester the molester on the bench nearby pounding cheap beer like they stopped making it. thought this was supposed to be a nice city. some crazy haired guy moving through quickly—is that a tiny midwestern politician sitting on his shoulder? blink and it disappears. a sonic disturbance and 3 black suited thugs materialize. had almost allowed myself to forget the name “hirudo” until they utter it. one grabs me and I give him my psychic dagger and he lets go. then he gets plugged by the gto guy. suddenly every gun owner in the city is here firing at each other. all hell breaks loose and another hirudo henchman drops. as he goes down he releases a device that opens up….what, a portal?

5 of us awake in a cornfield in different clothes, in autumn. what the hell just happened? gto guy is strapped with flintlock pistols—better stop leering or i may have to taser him in the nuts, crap no taser. his buddy looks somehow different and carries a sword. erratic looking guy with the little man is still erratic looking. drunkie looks like he belongs here with his big ass crossbow. somehow i know i can see things that no one else can. a girl in calico dress appears and leads me deeper into the field—can anyone else see her? over to a scarecrow with pumpkin head which tries to claw our faces off, go figure. we escape from the field and wind up in the cabin where the little girl lived. her voice stabs at my mind but gives a clue to how to destroy the pumpkin heads. kook (mendel?) deciphers a poem and homework that leads us to the source of the evil. after a long battle that uses almost all our resources, the wyrd is destroyed. nts: do not follow creepy girls into fields. question remains: why are we in this time/place and what does it have to do with the hirudo? how are these people connected to this? where’s the freaking internet when I need it?



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