Three On A Match

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Mina, back her day, relied heavily upon the subway to get about town. It was reliable, after a fashion, and she knew not to linger. Some lines were more predictable than others, and some platforms were best avoided, even if it meant a hike to your final destination. Aside from the day-to-day subway tribulations, Mina had experienced nothing otherworldly in the tunnels. Captured in the local zeitgeist, like anyone who called Easthaven home, she steeped in superstitions.

These days she wholly avoided the metro. It wasn’t a conscious decision, just a curiosity she noticed upon picking up a hitchhiker. Her mind swollen with otherworldly knowledge; Mina understood why the subway was best avoided. Now, Mina made do with busses and rideshares. Besides, Mina had more efficient means to get about town when her uglier half surrendered to her will. It worked out in the end.

This was not one of those days, however. Recently, like the lure of a siren song, the subway weighed heavy upon them. Something thrummed from the deep hard enough to feel in her bones. And so, like Odysseus in days of old, Mina descended into the darkness beneath. Neither her nor her passenger knew what awaited them below.
Train Station of the Dead Event | Outfit
Cinder, Collector, Critical Hit with familiar
Item: Nails of the Dead
Charm Used: Metal Sculpt

“ Rusty stay with me and bark if you see anything , ” he began “ ,anything we can use, document, or map out. ” He shook his flashlight and a bright light burst from the bulb. Rust flinched and spun around Mac dramatically.

He took out the map with multiple lines marked off: train tracks, potential leylines, missing person reports, etc. After making a few marks on the wall with a marker he adjusted his travel case and tool belt.

Odd thing,

“ Odd thing? ” Mac asked. He walked over towards a bit of broken track and train nails. There was an odd…energy that came off of them. Something Mac knew he would use later. He placed his hand around the object and bright sparks followed by steam erupted from his palm. The nails were now straighten and ready to be used for a later time.

Person! Lady! Rust zoomed after the other individual coming up to a platform. He started to bark excitedly before plopping down in front of the young woman.

“ Hey, I’m sorry about that, ” Mac yelled as he made his way over “, he’s excitable about new people.” Mac adjusted the lights as to not blind the woman.

“ Hopefully, we didn’t startle you?”
The dog’s approach was all but silent and Mina was first aware of her peril when its bark echoed in the shadowed confines of the platform’s tunnel. With a sharp gasp, she spun to face the animal, and drew her hands to her chest. Mina didn’t dare move and panicked eyes snapped from the dog to the workman approaching.

Fortunately for her, the dog settled to his haunches with his master’s approach. She brought her hands to her side and forced an air of calm, though her heart still pounded in her breast. The smile Mina offered the workman was tightly strung with anxiety, and she kept a watchful eye on the dog.

“It’s fine.” Her voice was clipped and her smile faded almost as the lie passed her lips. She was about to ask a pointed question about leash laws when the situation settled enough for her to consider it. A workman with a dog? It didn’t seem like a working animal, and the man didn’t seem like a commuter. Did he bring his pet to work? Confused, Mina frowned. Far from the strangest thing to cross her eyes, but still odd enough to make her reconsider.

“Just wasn’t expecting a dog down here, that’s all.” But then, what was a descent into the underworld without a hound guarding the gates?

“ Rusty and I weren’t expecting another person down here, ” he said, marking their location on the map“ ,usually he’s on a leash when we’re out in public but trekking underground we cover more ground when he can run ahead of me. ”Mac could tell that Rusty made the situation more awkward than it needed to be. He then took a silver sharpie followed by a blacklight marker and drew a few markings on the walls and floor.

“ There, that should help keep track of things…just in case,” he said to himself. He looked at the new person and extended his hand.

“ I’m Mac, currently researching this location for a project… ” Mac began as he pointed to Rust “,this my project assistant Rusty Goodboy…good at sniffing out abnormalities and helping me search places easier.” Rust barked.
He scrawled upon the wall in silver and with a pen that… didn’t seem to work? Mina frowned, not considering UV reactive ink, and stacked curiosity upon her reservations.

The curious frown she wore didn’t last long before the likes of project assistant Rusty Goodboy. Faced with such a disarming name, she looked at the dog which startled her in a new light. Who could be afraid of a project assistant? However, still hesitant, Mina snagged across his explanation. Abnormalities had her raising an eyebrow.

“What kind of abnormalities is your assistant good at sniffing out?” She asked, and not for entirely unselfish reasons. Peering down at Rusty Goodboy, Mina wondered what her scent gave away.
Charms Used: Metal Sculpt & Tuning

“ Abnormalities like gas leaks, open wiring, broken objects ” he said, checking for a phone line or data box “ ,also he can bark at the ghost down here. ”Mac let out a chuckle while still searching. When he found the phone line, he detached one of the connectors and grabbed it. A spark shot from his fingers down the multiple lines. He could see that a new box needed to be installed and some of the wires were rusted. Lucky for him, he brought a few things down with him.

“ That last one is a joke, but they say animals are sensitive to the supernatural,” he said cutting out the old wires, and attaching the new ones. Threading the wires with his fingers, he could feel that sizzle and heat from his charm. He took out a small metal black box and needled the new wiring through the holes.

“ If you’re waiting for the next train…it might be awhile ” Mac began as he installed the machine.
“Ah.” It came more as a breath than a fully fledged word. Gas leaks, open wiring, and anything broken. His explanation made sense if she overlooked his assistant. No doubt Rusty Goodboy could stiff out a gas leak better than she could, but the rest?

“I’ve heard similar.” Mina replied with a smile, nodding along, watching as he installed a device inside the junction box. She wrinkled her nose, catching the whiff of smoke and burnt plastic.

His following question gained an inquisitive sound. Having not descended with a metro trip in mind, Mina hadn’t looked at the timetables. “Oh, are they delayed again?” Reliable, after a fashion.
Cinder, collector, Complete Success
Item: Recording tuned to haunted white noise
Charm Used: Tuning

“ Okay this baby should work ” he said, placing his hands on the box and sending a spark “ ,wires connected, signal connected, no abnormalities in the hardware...Rusty we’re good to go. ” The canine jumped onto his feet and let out a large booming bark.

“ Anyways, station’s down for maintenance so it will be awhile before anyone uses this one, ” he said taking out a recorder and holding it towards the tunnel. Mac could feel a connection between himself, the old recording device, and the sounds coming from the tunnel.

“ It was nice to meeting you, the two of us have to be going further in, ”
Mina winced as the dog barked in the platform’s echoing confines. She turned away, touching her ears as if pained by the sound. Then Mac told her about the station. Mina shook her head and blinked, dumbfounded at her surroundings.

“Down for maintenance?” She repeated with a frown. Had she really wandered past signage and barrier without noticing? So sleep deprived or so focused on her task, she hadn’t even noticed the lack of people. The platform was silent all but for their conversation and Rusty Goodboy. “Huh, we’ll thanks for the info.”

And then Mac looked to leave. There were precious few directions either of them could take from here, and even coincidently, they’d likely walk the same path. Mina wrinkled her nose, not liking the idea of following at a distance and pretending otherwise.

She sighed and put her hands on her hips. “Look, you seem very busy with this project of yours and I don’t want to get in the way, but I’m heading further in as well.” However unlikely that sounded, Mina forged onward. “I’d feel more comfortable heading down there with someone else. You’ve heard the rumors, right?”
Cinder, Collector, Partial Failure
Item: Poor Rusty Nails.

Well that’s different,

Mac shrugged his shoulders. It was an answer for both Rusty and the young woman. There seemed to be a confusion between the two of them. He waited for the young woman’s next move. Was she going back? Was she waiting for something? He decided to continue onward. Even picking nails up from the ground. That was until…

“ You want to head in with us? ” he asked. He looked over at his partner.

I told you, different.

“ I can’t stop you from heading in, ” he continued “, so sure I guess, and we’ve packed enough salt because of the rumors.” Mac handed the new companion a hard hat and work jacket with salt packets in the pockets. The two of them continued to walk in with little hesitation.
Bewildered, Mina took the hard hat and work jacket. She hadn’t meant they should dress alike, just continue together, but when in Rome… Hands in her pockets as she walked alongside Mac, Mina crinkled the salt packets. The hardhat pinched and the jacket was too long in the arms, but she made do.

He was a busy bee, seeming only to take a breath when up to his elbows in an electrical box or stooping to pick metal scraps from the ground. While curious to one unacquainted to the conjuring arts, Mina held a familiar lens to his scrounging.

“You collecting for anything in particular or just for a rainy day?” She asked out of curiosity and to just make some conversation as they walked. “Oh, and I’m Mina, by the way.”
Item: Good Train Track Moss

“I figured, if I have to venture inside the tunnels, I might as well gather a few things on the way,” he said, marching onward with his new party member. He stooped down to a patch of green on the ground and scooped it up.

“ Something to keep grounded with…”

And mark off locations.

“ And Mark off locations, ” he continued “, especially since I’m looking for a certain spot.” Mac took out his map and started to mark certain areas like power boxes, fiber optic wiring, and former operator boxes.

“ It’s very nice to meet you, ” he said, still peering at his map “ ,but tell me, why would you want to venture down here, tell me all the deets.”
“Can’t tell you all the deets.” Mina said before realizing how that must have sounded. She was used to lies and half-truths, it had been something she had to get comfortable with to make any of this work, but this time she aimed for honesty.

“I mean, I don’t really know myself.” She found herself flagging after Rusty’s surprise and suppressed a yawn. “Guess you could call it an impulse. We’ll probably figure out the reason soon enough.” She said, still yawning, and otherwise unconcerned.
Charm Used: Tuner

“ Can’t fault you there, ” he said as continued to make notes. There was an energy there. He didn’t think it was a supernatural one, but more aetherial than electrical. Something he had to get his hands on before someone else.

“Pull of destiny or sense of adventure my aunt would say,” he sung “, maybe a question for an answer? ” Rust let out a yawn following the young woman’s lead. Mac continued to lead onward.

“Me, I’m mapping out a few projects…one part reconstruction, one part excavation, another part repurposing energy. ” he pointed out another power box. Like clockwork, Mac placed his hands on the door and shot an electric pulse through it. A few wires were fired, but it wasn’t anything he couldn’t fix and repurpose.
“Yeah. Destiny, Fate, that sorta thing.” Mina agreed easily enough, though she thought to the Moirae and less to random happenstance ascribed to the will of the three. Almost a throwaway comment, Mina turned to his further comments as she paced alongside.

“Reconstuction, excavation, repurposing.” She repeated the words without any real understanding of what Mac meant. “Sounds cool and all. What do you want to get out of all that?”
Item: Good Broken Track Piece

“Me,” he chirped “, I’m building and infrastructure…think of this as going green, but with occult sciences, ” Mac held up a broken track piece and waved it up in the air. He continued forward, following the map and a feeling coming from further inward. He could feel that the real prize the three of them were seeking was further in.

“Also, I’m here to solve a rumor…” he said pointing further down. Rust moved in front of him. There was something off. Too quiet about the rest of their trip. He put away the map and turned to Mina.

“ Now’s your chance to turn back…”
Mina chuckled. “Not an option. Don’t think I could turn back now even if I wanted to.”

She was here for a reason, and while Mina had some sway in the day-to-day decisions, going against her passenger’s nature ended badly. If she fought too much, the other could reach across and wrestle the wheel from her hands, sending them both careening into oncoming traffic. Maintaining balance that hadn’t come naturally to Mina, but she learned not to overreact to the backseat driving.

It was only then she realized the tone had changed. Rusty had ears up and was fixed on the tunnel’s end. Mina stopped, peering ahead and straining her ears.
Two Steps From Tartarus
DC 3
Enigmatic, Hostile
Fire, Necromancy, Shadow
The first thing you feel is the heat. It is like opening an unseen oven, blooming across your face, making you blink against the dryness. It's trapped against your skin, in the pockets of air between your clothes. Then, the lights dim, the tunnel seems to blacken, and some odd material grows to cover everything. The walls, the floor, the tracks.

The world around you warps, and changes. You are no longer in a train tunnel, but a tunnel of some blackened material. Adamantium, Tisiphone whispers, stirring inside Mina's mind.

Then, far ahead, you see a glow in the darkness. You hear water, trickling, then flowing, then pouring--a steaming, boiling river, rushing toward you, inexorable as a lavaflow. With it come the wails of the wicked and the damned. Fortunately, it seems only to fill the channel that the train used to run in, and Mina and Mac can climb up onto a ledge of stone that runs along the train tunnel, if they haven't already.

Either way, the tracks flood with water that shimmers with rainbows in the darkness. The waters of the river Phlegethon, heated by the fires of Tartarus.

As they watch, ghostly skeletal hands appear on the edge of the walkway, gripping and heaving themselves out of the burning river. These are the souls of those locked away for eternal torment, twisted by their evil deeds in life. Skeletal, broken, their faces wrenched into screams. Some rush the way Mac and Mina had come, others turn their wicked gazes on the two humans. All of them are being pursued by something else in the river.

It is a ghostly thing, only a shadow of itself, but so immense in its power that the two humans know it is only the finger of a god reaching into the mortal realm. A hydra rises from the water and begins to snatch these souls from the platform, dragging them screaming back to hell.

However, the guardian does not know the difference between the living and the dead. For now, it is preoccupied with the Tartaran escapees, but if it spots the pair of humans, it will lunge for them.

The object of this encounter is to Escape by rolling Strike or Cinder against the encounter's DC. A successful roll can be finding a hiding place, fending off a hydra head, fending off a soul of Tartarus, or just running. The water is not too hot to swim in, but it's fairly uncomfortable.

However, before you may take down the encounter's luck, both PCs must get their bearings and find their way back to the train platform with two successful Strike or Cinder rolls each. You have two rounds before the hydra notices you in the swarming crowd. Only after you find your way back will you be able to beat the encounter's Luck and find your way out of the depths of hell.

The empty platform will be much transformed, with the ghostly image of Tartarus creeping over reality while the veil between worlds grows thin. However, at the very far end, you recognize the stairs up to the surface, the bright green Exit sign glimmering on the heated water.

Note: In mythology, Tisiphone exists in Tartarus, so feel free to use what she might know about the river Cocytus and the realm of Tartarus to play with the encounter. However, the hydra guardian does not recognize Tisiphone in Mina's body.
Cinder, Understand Situation, Complete SUCCESS

The first thing he felt was heat. Hot air slowly suffocating him. Sweat instantly started to stick to him like glue. His movement halted by the rush of hot water. Instinct told him to jump on the platform to not get flooded. His boots were already soaked and swamped. It was at that moment that he truly took in surrounding.

“ Fucking hell, ” Mac yelped as he made his way backwards. He looked around at the blackened metal and at the river that was formed. The Mage in him was screaming in excitement. The more practical side of him was calculating their escape. It was then he noticed the skeletal hands trying to push themselves upward. He continued backwards as far as he could get while helping Rust up.

“ Mina I think we’re going have to rethink this exploration,” Mac began as he threw around a ring of salt“, tactical retreat or somehow deal with that. ” Another shadowy creature swam past them and ripped a skeleton down into its depths.

Do we fight that thing…?

“No, yes, ” he stumbled “, it all depends on whether we can get our other party out of here.”

Mac's Luck: 4/4
Hydra's Luck: 4/4
Bearings 1/2
Cinder Understand situation: Partial Failure

Heat like that of an open furnace made Mina squint and turn, shielding her face. The air baked her exposed skin, tingling the flesh. It reminded Mina of sitting beside an autumn bonfire, warming her hands, basking in the heat and letting it drive off the November chill. Heat cooked the sweat from her brow and left Mina parched. It was as if she marched through the unending dunes of Arabia beneath a merciless sun. She pulled at the jacket Mac gave her, eager to shed the layers. The memory plunged deeper than a subterranean chasm in the lightless depths.

Darkness fell and Mina drew a sharp breath. Déjà vu stoked the fires of her heart. Never had she felt Tisiphone so close to the surface. In the shadows beneath the earth and shying away from the blistering heat, she yearned for the black gates and her sisters. Mina longed to rejoin that which was denied her in this binding. But most of all, she craved vengeance and let out a keening wail, joining the chorus of the damned.

The metal of the gods, unbreakable and untarnishable, gleamed like gemstones in the darkness. Mina’s fingers brushed the tunnel’s metallic curve as Tisiphone stirred and the Phlegethon rose. The damned clawed from the boiling river, heaving their racked bodies onto the embankment in whorls of steam. Mina recoiled from their grasp, only they weren’t attacking, not yet anyway. The tortured remnants fled the snapping black jaws of a hydra, wreathed in the shadows between realms.

Mina startled to hear her name. She turned to Mac with anguished eyes, remembering she wasn’t alone. Tartarus sang and Mina wanted nothing more than to answer. The banks of the Phlegethon were waters she knew well, and she feared no spirit in the shades of the adamant gate, yet the same couldn’t be said for Mac.


Bearings: 0/2
Cinder,Wytchgun, Exceptional Success
Strike [Ballistic] Failure

He ripped off the jacket. It was soaked with sweat and whatever hellish water was flooding the tunnel. Something was odd about the whole endevour. His companion wasn’t running fast enough for his taste. The dead seemed to be more agitated with each bashing from the creature at large. Rust barked in panic. The situation was out of control.

“ Rust run to the entrance ahead of us, ” Mac yelled as he pulled out flintlock. He hurriedly shoved his fingers into the gun’s rings. With little hesitation, he started to load rounds into the chamber. The skeletal figure crawled up his mechanical arm.

Hammer, Splinter, Ruin, Shatter...Wytchgun rip apart…

His arm jerked as he watched a metallic skeletal arm guided his hand up towards the creature. The force of the gun over corrected his aim, and he fired a blast ripping through the walls and railing instead of the creature.

“ Fuck,” Mac yelled as his arm broke “, tactical retreat miss Mina. ”

Mac's Luck: 4/4
Hydra's Luck: 4/4
Bearings 1/2
CinderUnderstand situation: Exceptional Success

Mina followed behind Mac. Fatigue running deep, Mina panted and struggled with the shades of the dead clambering about her. Each step was hard fought in the panicking and claustrophobic confines of the former metro tunnel. The Phlegethon lapped at the edges of the embankment and disgorged more of the damned. It was a riot, and she was on the wrong side. None of these dark souls could be allowed to make it to the surface.

Mac lost his shirt and jacket somewhere in the fray and was bare from the waist up now. He drew a pistol, some baroque muzzleloader. The gun felt out of place, even in a realm between worlds like this. Metal glinted off his hand, and at first Mina thought it jewelry. A second glance in the panicked confines showed it to be too large and too cumbersome to be the creation of any jeweler. Who was this man with which she ran for her life?

A deafening bang echoed painfully in the adamant tunnel when Mac pulled the trigger. The explosion shook Mina, and she stumbled, hands pressed to her ears in her clamor. Mac’s next words were dulled beneath the high-pitched tone squealing Mina’s her ears.

He called it a tactical retreat. She called it running away, but the result was the same.

Bearings: 1/2
Hydra attacks next round
Mac: Cinder, Analyzing the Situation, Complete Success
Hydra: Strike Complete Success 4 Strike vs 2 DC

It happened so fast. Mina was taking off, finally finding her footing. Rust was chugging along ahead of them. Concern yelps with each leg of their exit. Everything seemed to being going fine on their way to the exit. Then suddenly, he felt an invisible force sending him into the metallic wall. With a thud he crumpled to the floor. It took him a moment to regain his thoughts. His ears rang and his body ached. That’s when he saw it. The monster that was so preoccupied with their skeletal escapees that it turned its attention to something living. Something that didn’t belong. Mac got up on his feet and continued to make his way for the exit.

“ That fucker hits hard, ” Mac yelled as they continued onward. He took out the map to see if there was anyway of ducking the monster, or at least find some landing to make there stand. His fingered then pointed to a maintenance box near their exit. A place where they could duck around and reach the maintenance platform.

“ We’re cutting around ,” Mac yelled as he popped a few rounds into his gun “, we’ll use the maintenance platform to get to the exit, and duck around these monsters. ” Mac steeled himself for what was about to come. He used his earlier markings, the ones not completely overwritten, as a guide.

Mac's Luck: 3/4
Hydra's Luck: 4/4
Bearings 2/2
Cinder Understand situation: Partial Failure
Hydra Cinder Fire vs Mina (DC3): Hit

One of the hydra heads drew back, its throat swelling, and fiery light bled through the shadows. Heat bloomed from the darkness and Mina stole a glance over her shoulder and into the furnace. Her eyes widened as the hydra’s shadowed form opened a tuck-sized maw toward her. Fire dripped from between dark fangs onto the concrete embankments. The flames fizzled and spat as globs fell to the waters of the Phlegethon.

Then with a breath, the tunnel flared bright with fires. Mina squealed as she fought the press of bodies and pushed for the Phlegethon. She stumbled at the embankment’s edge and plunged into the river’s murky depths, just as a gout of flame flash broiled the unfortunate souls caught in the onslaught. Brightness bloomed overhead, and Mina held her breath in the sauna-like channel. Her jeans and the water-logged jacket did well for ballast.

Mina broke the surface, heaving to breathe, once the light died. The reek of sulfur and accelerants made her gag. Sputtering, she waded through the Phlegethon, weighed down by wet clothes, with the hydra in her wake.

Mina’s Luck: 3/4
Hydra Luck: 4/4
Bearings: 1/2
Mac: Cinder, Assisting Mina, Exceptional Success
Hydra: Strike Complete Success 3 Strike vs 2 DC

Fire erupted behind them as they continued forward. Mac turned around to see his fellow companion in the firing range. Luckily, no one took the full brunt of the assault. But the continued bodies, and heated water was enough to deadly on their own. Not to mention the heat and sulfur filling the air. His first instinct was grabbing the mask on the cart and throwing it on. His second was to continue forward. Although, something kept him from moving forward.

“ Dammit, ” Mac yelled as he grabbed another mask and two salt canisters. Making his way in between Mina and the creatures filling the tunnel, Mac tossed the first canisters at the creatures. He watched as it exploded on impact and raining down on the creatures trying to push through.

“ Put this on ”, he said, tossing the gas mask over. He then prepared the second canister and launched it towards the other wave. Again, it made its mark, only for him to met with a second heavy attack, sending him tumbling backwards. He scrambled back to his feet and made his way towards the exit.

“ Keep moving ,” Mac yelled as he continued to sprint for the exit “, hopefully we can hit it with the things I’ve prepared there. ”
Mac's Luck: 2/4
Hydra's Luck: 4/4
Bearings 2/2
Cinder Understand situation w/ assistance: Exceptional Success
Hydra Strike vs Mina (DC3): Hit
Mina Cinder Illusion vs Hydra (DC3): Hit

Wading through the Phlegethon mire, Mina fumbled to catch the gasmask Mac threw to her. She continued forward, fighting the waters and the disgorged undead surging about her. All the while, struggling with the rubberized contraption of straps and gussets. Yet she eventually fit it about her face, the seal clogged with lank hair.

Now the adamantine tunnel was more claustrophobic than ever, oppressively cut down through the gasmask’s eye covers and muted with her own breathing loud in her ears. The dead still clamored about her, jostling her more with the reduced peripheral vision. Somehow, through it all, she heard Mac urging her onwards. Keep moving.

Fatigue weighed her limbs down almost as much as her waterlogged coat. Each breath was a struggle in the mask and she felt on the verge of hyperventilating, but she forged on. The hydra, unrelenting, bared down upon them. One of the many heads flashed towards the knot of undead which Mina found herself amidst. Jaws as wide as the channel she waded plowed behind her. A surge of water picked her feet from the floor and pushed her on.

A maw of needle-like teeth snapped shut not six inches behind her and tore a host of lost souls back to the underworld. The mask muffled Mina’s scream and she momentarily went under the Phlegethon again. If she didn’t do something soon, she’d be counted amongst the lost. Time—she needed time. Just a moment to catch her breath and figure out what to do next.

Turning in the swirl, she threw out a hand, partially to shield from the hydra. Deep in her mind, dredged from the depths of consciousness, Tisiphone stirred and crested. Even bound to Mina’s corporeal form and blunted to her vengeful glory, the sensation tingled through Mina’s every cell like she touched a live wire.

With a breath of creation, the tunnel wall bricked up. Hydra one minute, then replaced with solid and venerable brickwork. The flow of the Phlegethon assuaged, cut off as it was by the illusory blockade. Her ruse wouldn’t dissuade the hydra long, and already it pressed its shadowed bulk against the defenses.

Mina made it to the embankment and heaved herself onto the lip. There she lay panting, the gasmask pressing uncomfortably into her face. Her mind was awash with unwanted sensations. Sodden, she pushed to her knees, then to her feet. This alone felt like a moment to be applauded. With a grunt, Mina stumbled after Mac and onto what remained of the metro platform.

Mina Luck: 2/4
Hydra Luck: 3/4
Bearings: 2/2 – Hydra Luck vulnerable
Mac: Cinder, Witchgun /w familiar Assistance, Partial Failure
Mac: Strike Complete Success 4 pass vs 4 DC
Hydra CinderWillpower Failure

The canisters might have provided them a good cover for the bodies, but the real monster was still on their tail. The tunnel was becoming more haphazard the longer the two of them stayed there. Not helping was the speed at which they were moving compared to their pursuers. He just need something to turn everything around. Time, magic, a miracle. Anything would have been welcomed at their current predicament. Rust turned back to Mac barking and yelping.

Wytchgun, try switch material, like the walls

“ The walls?” Mac yelled as he kept pushing forward. He reloaded the chamber on the flintlock hoping he could conjure an image of what Rust was saying. He tried to think about the compound. Nothing. It was a material alien to him. Fantastical and stronger than anything he could conjure. The gun in turn rejected his attempts in turn. His fingers started to burn from the heat of the gun and the heat of tunnel. He was starting to feel fatigue from the smog of gasses, steam, sweat, and being battered multiple times. There was also keeping with Mina, making sure was alright. He could tell, she wasn’t doing alright. No one would in their shoes. But she was still pressing forward at least, with the addition of the mask on.

Getting to the next leg of their race for the exit he could see the signs of the train station. The brick walls and exit sign were in reach of them. He desperately wished there was something to slow the Hydra down. It was at that moment that he realized the creature was slowing down. It was banging at something. The air mostly. He couldn’t see what it was, but he decided to use that opportunity.

No magic words were going to help this time. He took a second to scan his surroundings to see if there was something to aim for. If not a part of the Hydra’s person…something to hamper it’s movements. He looked up a beam, not fully connected to the ceiling and not engulfed by whatever magic was twisting the tunnel. Mac aim his firearm at the faulty latches holding them together.

The gun erupted with shrapnel slicing into the latches and screws, causing large bits of the beam to collapse on the Hydra, causing it to lash out at its surroundings and then back at the unseen wall it was fighting against. Mac continued dashing for the exit.

Mac's Luck: 2/4
Hydra's Luck: 2/4
Bearings 2/2
Hydra Strike vs Mina (DC3): Miss
Mina Strike vs Hydra (DC3): Miss

The wall bought them precious time, but it couldn’t last forever. In the dwindling waters of the Phlegethon, the dead fled, and Mina huffed along the embankment. It wasn’t easy to breathe in a gasmask, harder still when exerting herself. Each breath was a struggle, yet she made it to what remained of the platform behind Mac.

He fired his gun again and she flinched, the gas mask doing nothing to dampen the sound or the ringing in her ears. The crack of gunfire should have rolled around the platform, but the clear note fled as quickly as the dead. Through condensation-smeared lenses, Mina started across a cyclopean hellscape too large for a simple underground metro platform. The mask robbed her gasp as she succumbed to dredged-up memories not her own.

Tartarus welcomed her in a gloomy embrace. The twisting peaks beneath the earth, the rivers—she could see the black gates! Hearth and home on the horizon, she could have wept. Her heart ached for her sisters, and yet Mina was an only child. Two lives intermingled and forced to share the same mortal husk raged inside. But for Tartarus was only a mirage. The veil weakened, but not open. There was no way through for the likes of her.

Mina stumbled backward, the ache in her chest a rending of two hearts. She turned for the bright green Exit sign glimmering above a very normal set of stairs. Mac already dashing toward them.

Mina Luck: 2/4
Hydra Luck: 2/4
Hydra Strike vs Mac (DC2): Miss
Mac Cinder Wytchgun 7 (Net Pass): Exceptional Success
Mac Strike vs Hydra: Hit
Fatigue was coming down him hard. There was only so much he could take. Especially with a creature he couldn’t exactly pin down. Undead monsters still on their ass. And the exit felt both very close and very far. There was also the fact that at every turn it felt like the monster was getting closer and closer to them. He needed an out. A plan. Something that could close the gap and allow them to get out of there. As if a warning to focus on what’s in front of him, another collapse of pavement and metal peppered him. He had barely escaped another wallop from the Hydra. He needed something to close the gap between the two parties. Something to wall the monster off from them.

“ Close your ears and keep running, ” He yelled as he turned to face their pursuers. He hammered on the gun’s flint. Popped in another round. He could feel the gun heat up in his hand. The way it snaked and pulled from him as if to guide him to the better option. He rubbed on the skeletal head. And waited for the ammunition to shift and change. What he wanted was Tungston. Strong enough to crack the ceiling. He aimed his gun at the ceiling.

Wytchgun, Roar and Destroy

An explosive roar and scream erupted from the gun. The shrapnel carved up the walls and pavement creating debris and breaking up the path between them. It cracked the ceiling, raining down the alien material on their pursuers. It gave them time, enough space to jump at the last leg. Just one more push and they were home free.

Mac's Luck: 2/4
Hydra's Luck: 1/4
Hydra Strike vs Mina (DC3): Hit
Mina Strike vs Hydra (DC3): Hit

Mac turned and aimed that strange gun of his again, shouting to cover her ears and keep running. Mina didn’t need to be told twice. Even with her hands pressed to her ears, the gunfire was deafening, buffeting her with a pressure wave as she fled towards the exit.

There was a titanic crack, a ring of splitting metal, and the ceiling collapsed. Dust billowed and pelted her back with debris. Mina felt something sharp thump the back of her head and she stumbled. The green exist sign glowed in the dust, a beacon to their escape. She picked herself up and hauled herself towards the stairs leading from Tartarus.

Mina Luck: 1/4
Hydra Luck: 0/4: encounter complete
Mac, Cinder Collector: Complete Success
Item: Average Coin
Mac, Cinder Fast Cast: Complete Success

Mac flew back upstairs. His feet echoing his steps as he followed behind Mina. Rust sat there barking at the two of them sitting in front of his cart. Mac turned back to the opening and grabbed the emergency gate. He slammed the gate shut and placed his hand on the lock. A spark followed by heat erupted from the lock and twisted itself.

“ Absolutely not,” he started to shout “, the last thing I need is that thing and those things running through the city. ” Mac looked around the floor for anything he could find. On the ground he grabbed a coin and nodded to himself.

“ Miss Mina, I’m going to seal off this entrance if you don’t mind…” Mac said as he grabbed a marker and quickly jotted down a circle in front of the mangled lock. He grabbed the coin, two rings, a lighter, and a silver ingot.

“ I’m going to create a ward, We’re going to seal it with our blood…”
Cinder to assist: Failure

Although soaked to the bone, Mina took the stairs two at a time, her long legs made quick work of the ascent. She saw little through the eyes of the gasmask and heard nothing other than her own heaving for air. Driven by adrenaline and self-preservation, she burst from the subway entrance and Mac was close on her heels.

The first thing Mina did once they broke the surface was to tear the gasmask off her face. She gasped as if this was the first clean breath she’d taken in her life. The night’s air was cold against her clammy skin and the chill started into her wet clothes.

Mac was already working, pulling the gates shut, as she spluttered in recovery, doubled over with hands on her knees. Sealing the entrance was smart, and she nodded, throwing in a gasped “okay.”

What he said next made her back away from him and the doors to the underworld with a startled gasp. She almost blurted a panicked no, but breath was too precious a resource to waste. Mina shook her head, eyes wide. Just a drop of her blood could have disastrous results in the ritual.

“You can’t use mine.” She said with a rising note, and took another step back.
Mac, Cinder Fast Cast: Exceptional Success
Ability Used: Metal Sculpt

Mac took a magic marker and started to draw out the rest of the runes. He didn’t need the perfect ritual. Just one that would close up the gates for anyone else thinking about crossing. What he was attempting to do was going to be ugly work. And on any other day he would have bothered to make sure that it looked natural. However, he didn’t have time.

No Malik Cartwright was in panic. And the last thing he wanted was too many folks going down and discovering what was down there. At least, not until he gathered his wits about him first. Five pentagrams were drawn followed by Five Ley Line Maps. He pricked his finger and drenched the lock with his blood. He looked over to his partner who was in shock herself. He realized what he had asked her and shook his head.

“ Right sorry,” he fumbled “, ummm... fu…okay, Salt canister grab that off draw a line of salt outside.” Mac grabbed a taser from the cart and began to chant.

Salt, Iron, Silver…Twist and bar entry to this plane. Wall off the physical to the underworld. Wall of mortals from this plane. May Ogun and Leguba close off the way. Let the dead see a Red veil made of Salt, Iron, and Silver. I’ll deliver the lightning to ward off the living.

Mac slammed the taser down on the circle letting sparks fly from the device. His mechanical arm began to jerk, twist, and short circuit. He sacrificed his arm to the ritual to seal off the gate.
Mac and Mina escape the creeping grip of the Underworld, leaving behind the boiling waters and the enraged hydra. They've torn their way back into reality.

However, the final ritual Mac tries to perform to seal off the gate is too rushed and fails. First, it drains the tazer, then the caster. Then, it reaches for any other energy source present, blowing out lights, killing plants, and siphoning from Mina.

Fortunately, the spirits' foray into the land of the living is a temporary thing. A momentary rip in the veil between the Underworld and our world. Others venturing into the subway would find a normal abandoned platform, even if the scent of sulfur lingers on--anyone who witnessed what happened here knows it's not over.

Without three preparation rolls before the activating roll, the ritual fails. Due to this catastrophic failure, it reduces everyone's luck by 2. The players may flavor this as they see fit. You have successfully escaped, but at what cost?
Mac took her sputtered refusal in stride, leaving her to salt the threshold. Mina took to her work sullenly, knowing she could have helped more. While memories of Tartarus stirred like silt in a riverbed, Tisiphone was silent. That silence left Mina confused and frustrated as she poured a heaped salt line outside the door. She listened to Mac’s melodious chant, the words of power prickled at the base of her neck, and she prayed it was enough to seal the gates.

Mina backed away, her work done, and set the salt container aside. After retreating a distance, she slumped to the sidewalk, exhausted and soaked through, shivering in the cold. Mac’s words rose to a crescendo. There a spark, a crackle of electricity, and Mina’s world went black.

Mina Luck: 0/4
The ritual seemed like it worked. The energy was the same. But something in the process became out of sorts. In the pursuit of trying to close up the gate, he made a bigger mess. Mac tried to course correct, but found himself in over his head. Everything around him lost power. The spell fizzled out. His mechanical arm exploded. The last thing he remembered was a figure standing at the gate and everything around him going black.
Luck: 0/4

Mina’s body stirred. She twitched where she fell, her cheek mushed into the concrete with lank strands of sodden hair veiling her face. Black as midnight, a snake slid behind the shroud of her hair, its scales glinting in the half-light. A hiss caressed the darkness as a second asp made itself known, and curled in Mina’s hair.

In the blink of an eye, the sprawled figure changed. The modern clothes she’d worn not a moment before were replaced with a robe the color of pitch. It lay about her, across the pavement, a yawning abyss hungrily lapping at the light. The color drained from her skin, more of which was visible now, and cast her in a mortician’s pallor.

In less time than it took to breathe, the woman was upright. Prone one moment and standing the next. There wasn’t even a blur of motion to mark her passage. It was as if she was captured in a flip book with half the frames missing. Barefoot beneath the robe, she took a step, and then another. Her movements were twitchy at first and smoothed to a funeral procession by the third.

The woman once called Mina approached the gateway to Tartarus. Her hair was a frizz of black serpents writhing in agitation. White fangs winked, intertwined in her hair. Dark eyes, not black, but close enough, festered with a fury that beset millennia. Eyes that damned Oedipus regarded the man known as Malik Cartwright. In an instant, she flayed back layers of personality and falsehoods to glare upon the truths of his soul. Her expression pinched, and pale lips cracked into a sneer for what she found there. But now was not the time.

Tisiphone stooped for the marker at Mac’s side, and her robe pooled about her. When she stood, her pale and claw-like hand held a death grip on a coarse horsehair brush. Ewes blood dripped onto the concrete from drooping bristles, the belly pregnant and sopping with red. In language predating the pantheon, she left a warning for those who cared, or a curse for those who didn’t, smeared onto the wall in eight-inch letters.

Angling her face towards the stars, she waited like a hunter stalking prey, listening for the crack of a twig. Blood dripped from the brush’s bristles, pooling at her feet. Her snakes hissed and writhed. A moment became an eternity. The brush fell from her fingers and the marker clattered to the concrete instead, settling in the pool of blood.

Then Tisiphone left with Mina, leaving Mac where he lay, tonight’s work hot on her mind.