Changeling the Lost: Shattered Dreams - Denver
Chapter 1 Session 1
Chapter 1: Session 1
Chapter 1 – Down the Rabbit Hole
October 29th, 2009
Scene 1 – Silent Hills Asylum Senior Trip
While most schools in surrounding districts enjoy adequate funding to send senior classes to museums or amusement parks for fall trips, Weir High could only afford to send its seniors on a tour of the local Silent Hills Insane Asylum. The Asylum is one of the few sources of consistent employment in the area and the likely employer of many of the graduating class of 56 students. As such, school administrators thought that it may be a good educational experience (not to mention being almost free of charge).
Having toured the facility most of the morning, the class is informed that they are to be treated to a free lunch in the Asylum’s cafeteria alongside a few of the more sedate patients of the facility. They are encouraged to not be shy and to interact with the patients who would enjoy the company.
Panicking slightly at the prospect of an embarrassing encounter with her mother, Lilybeth pauses by the entrance and scans the room for her mentally disturbed mother. Catching a knowing nod from Dr Swindell, the facility’s Chief Resident, she lets out a sigh of relief as she confirms that her mother is nowhere to be seen. Taking her place in the line for food, Brent Smith, one of the most popular (and arrogant) students at the school, sidles up beside her and tries to make small talk. Cruelly, he mentions that “you would have to be mentally insane to eat the food here”, knowing full well that Lilybeth’s mother is a patient. Lilybeth spits out a curse at Brent letting him know that he is treading on thin ice. Brent brushes off the comment and retorts that she is the only girl in school that won’t “give him the time of day” and that “maybe there is something wrong with her” and that she “should get a room at the asylum with her mother”. Infuriated, Lilybeth spits out a tirade of insults and immediately leaves the line to sit at and otherwise empty table with Kevin “Kooch” Krause, Brent’s arch rival and school rebel. Lilybeth knows that his mother is also a patient of the facility and seeks to commiserate with him.
Enroute to the table, she glances over the patients in the room. In particular, she notices a very large man who is impossibly sweaty and is apparently heavily sedated and staring obliviously out of one of the many windows in the room.
Meanwhile, Samson, also in line for food talks with Debbie Hanson who compliments him on his saving of a recent football game by recovering of a fumble made by her boyfriend, Brent and scoring the winning touchdown. Brent, putting a none-too-gentle hand on Sam’s shoulder, butts into the conversation commenting on how he “knows” that he doesn’t have to worry about his co-captain of the football team flirting with his girlfriend. Regrettably making a comment about how a friend knows to “never rub another man’s rhubarb” (miserably failed wits/expression check), Sam retorts with an inquiry regarding Brent’s sexual preferences. Frustrated that his none-too-subtle warning to keep away from his girlfriend failed miserably, Brent sits down and busies himself with eating.
Moments later, trying to recover from his humiliation by Sam’s comment, Brent loudly makes the announcement to the whole room that Lilybeth and Kooch are going to finish leading the tour of the facility since their mothers both live here and that the rest of the class would get to meet their insane mothers. Infuriated by this, Kooch stands up shouts “Hey Brent, you still look hungry” and whips his still full food try discuss-style across the room. The tray hits Brent square in the face, splattering him with mashed potatoes and “green scaly” roast beef. Seeing the incoming try, Sam semi-successfully protects Debbie from the resulting food splatter.
Brent charges at Kooch and Sam tries to grapple him stop the impending a fight. Sidestepping Sam, Brent delivers a glancing blow (1 success brawl/Str) to Kooch’s shoulder. Stepping in, Lilybeth knees Brent in the thigh giving him a nasty charlie horse (1 success brawl/str) though she was aiming for his crotch. Sam tries again to restrain Brent, with no success. Trading the physical tact for her far more deadly barbed tongue, Lilybeth successfully intimidates the much larger jock, wounding his fragile ego (losing his dodge bonus against Kooch as he turned his attention to Lilybeth). Kooch takes advantage of the distraction and clobbers Brent square in the jaw, nearly knocking him out.
Meanwhile, the other students are standing on their chairs and cheering the fight on. The ruckus obviously disturbs the patients in the room who begin whine, cry and babble incoherently. David “Running Elk” Jones, the school counselor in charge of the trip, Dr Swindell, and several orderlies rush into the room to stop the fight and to calm the patients. Dr. Swindell berates LilyBeth and Kooch (whom he knows from their visits to their mothers) as they should know how to better act around the patients.
Sitting back down at her table, Lilybeth notices that the very large patient she noted earlier sitting near her had begun rocking back and forth mumbling about “the thorns” and how they “stole his soul” and that “he is not me!!!! He never was me!!!” talking to no one in particular. Dr. Swindell approaches the man, calling him “Bob”, and tries to calm him. Bob angrily answers the doctor by saying “I’m on to you doc. I’m not going back. I am not going to say his name, no matter what you say. I’m not going back”. Bob’s head turns and Lilybeth notices that his eyes are completely white. She gets a strange feeling in her gut that she has experienced only a few times in the past and never in a good situation (hidden sight merit). He locks gazes with her whimpers and mutters “No, not her, she is too pretty, too innocent. I won’t let them take her”.
Inexplicably to Lilybeth it seems that the large man increases in size as he stands up and moves impossibly quickly toward her. Her amazement is cut short as his massive hands close around her neck and he begins to strangle her, muttering “I won’t let them take you” over and over. Rushing to her aid, Sam drops into a three point stance and rushes the much larger man. Miraculously (with a Str/athletics check with 7 successes) Sam slams into Bob, breaking several ribs and knocks the much larger man to the ground, releasing Lilybeth. Kooch picks up and metal chair and brings it down on Bob’s head twice, knocking him out. Before losing consciousness, Bob looks at Sam and says, “keep her safe…don’t let them take her. She won’t look so pretty covered in blood”. Orderlies rush in and shackle the unconscious man. Sam notices that they appear to be very nervous while working to secure him.
Running Elk asks Sam to try to restore order usher the other students out to the parking lot. Without much problem, Sam does so and he, Lilybeth and Kooch gather and discuss the situation while waiting for Running Elk to give the word to get on the buses to go back to school. Brent, glaring at Sam and the others exits the asylum’s front doors. He informs the trio that Running Elk and Dr. Swindell wanted to discuss the events of the fight with them. The three make their way to Dr Swindell’s office and note that Running Elk is not there. Dr Swindell asks about how they are feeling and apologizes for putting them in harm’s way. He seems somewhat surprised at their visit and mentions nothing about requesting them. He tells the three to get back to the busses before they are left behind.
Once outside, their suspicions are confirmed, the school busses had somehow left without them. Resigned to their fate of a 4 hour walk back to town Sam, Kooch, and Lilybeth start on their way home making small talk about the day and life in general, including the recent death of Kooch’s best friend Dennis.
After about 30 minutes of walking, Kooch says that he knows where they are and that he knows a shortcut home. Lilybeth confirms that they are on the edge of Barker’s Barrens and that if they cut through the woods, they would indeed save some time. They talk about how old man Shawn Barker, who owns the land, has hired a security team to keep trespassers out and that he prosecutes all that are caught. Without concern for private property, the three set out into the thick and foreboding woods, following Lilybeth who has an uncanny knack for knowing where she is going.
As they go through the woods, they come across an excavation site. Kooch is angered when he sees that several Native American artifacts unearthed in the excavation (including a human skull) had been unceremoniously tossed aside by the diggers. Taking a glass bead necklace, he and the others ponder why the museum quality artifacts were tossed aside and what the diggers were actually looking for.
Marking the location to come back at a later date, the three continue on their way through the woods towards town. Without warning, the ground beneath their feet collapses. Feeling the crumbling sensations, Lilybeth and Sam deftly jump to solid ground. Kooch is not so lucky and falls 20 feet into a grotto whose roof collapsed under their weight. Lilybeth gets strange feeling in her gut similar to when she saw Bob at the Asylum as she watches Kooch try to gather his wits at the bottom of the cave. With his forehead bleeding, Kooch gets up and stumbles deeper into the cave in a daze. Though Sam and Lilybeth call to him, he does not reply. Pulling out a sapling to provide assistance in climbing back out of the hole, Sam jumps down into the cave to go after Kooch while Lilybeth waits at the surface.
In the grotto, Sam sees Kooch crouching over something with his back to him. As he comes up closer, Sam sees that Kooch is tearful and looking at 4 skeletons lying on the floor, each holding onto the haft of a ceremonial tomahawk, effectively holding it vertical, even in death. Outside a storm begins to brew as angry green clouds boil overhead and thunder and lightning dance across the sky. Sam and Kooch each begin to hear disembodied sobs and coughing from all around. Then they begin to hear faint drums and chanting.
Lilybeth tries to call to her friends, but gets no response. Using Sam’s sapling to descend the hole, she locates her friends. Kooch pulls out his lighter and they note that the back of the cave has been closed off by ancient mud bricks. Lily notices that the bodies are laying in perfect compass point position, north, east, south and west. All three begin to hear the chanting, drums, crying, and coughing and cautiously make their way back to the entrance. Before leaving, Kooch grabs the axe out of the hands of the skeletons and notices that the end of the handle had been shoved into a hole in the cave floor.
As the group reaches the entrance, they see that the sapling (and their way out of the hole) had been blown in by the wind. The phantom noises begin to grow louder and become more fevered. Suddenly, the sounds stop as someone from above yells “Hello, is there anyone down there?” It turns out to be one of the Gallant Security guards, Nick Gregorsic, who was sent to find the three trespassers as they were spotted by security cameras entering the woods. The guard is actually a recent graduate of Weir High and a friend to Kooch and Sam. He helps the trio climb out of the hole with a rope and drives them in a pickup truck out of the woods. While driving, Sam and Lilybeth ask about the excavation activities they saw. Nick knew that a paleontologist had been hired by the old man Barker and that he used some of the security guards to help dig, but didn’t know what they were looking for.
Nick becomes noticeably nervous as the truck drives past the old rock quarry, now a lake. When asked about it, Nick simply replied that the place had a bad history and that some of the other guards had some strange stories about the area. He preferred to avoid the area altogether.
Upon reaching the edge of the property, Nick was ordered by radio to drop the three trespassers off and to go attend to something else.
Realizing that the school day was not over, Sam decided to head back to school. Lilybeth accompanies him as her motorcycle was left there earlier in the day (with intentions of ditching once it was retrieved), and Kooch decides to just walk home and ditch the rest of classes altogether.