Sunday Oct 23rd – The evening
The sight of the ratmen startled Mary into a stupor. She began crying hysterically as the others ran out of the cabin to help her.
Ratmen: “Oh, poor girl, she’s crying. She’s scared almost to death. What have you all done to this poor, innocent, young girl?!”
After some conversation, Mary calmed down and Johnny, Angus, and Douglas made deals with the rat people.
Several of the rat people seemed excited that they could potentially be human again. They bit off their digits and hurled them at Johnny.
A short parley later, a few rats were assigned to take everyone to the cave. They told a story about a sea-creature that uses the cave. It had, over time, collected a wall of brains which the rats couldn’t eat. The brains were webbed together, for an unknown reason. With that story in mind, everyone went back to the cabin and collected the pile of bones-in-a-net.
They returned to the cave with the bones of the creature’s mate. Before reaching the mouth of the cave, the smell of the sea washed over them. The smell of rotten fish and crabs broken and left to rot and dry on the rocks assailed them. In the dirt and debris leading up to the mouth of the cave, something heavy had been dragged along the ground. (They later realized this was caused by the shambling gate of the monstrous creature within.)
As quietly as they could, they entered the cave and followed it along some twists and turns. Mary quietly whimpered as everyone shuffled along, often slipping on the algae-encrusted ground. Douglas carried the load of mermaid-bones, and once lost his footing causing a loud clatter. Johnny and Angus readied their weapons while Douglas scrambled to pick up his dropped cargo.
From somewhere in the cavern, a light was spotted, so Johnny went to investigate. He saw that it immediately opened into a roughly 30×30 cave. Inside was a seal-like-creature: over 10 feet tall and the width of 2 stout men, with human arms, human legs, and a massive head. It stood next to a large barrel resembling those found on the docks of Portchester. Five Shaggai-Shan were working on a grim altar of brains and animal sinew. On the wall above the rows of brains were occult symbols describing the spell that would explode the brains of all humans as it emanated out from the altar.
They decided to back up and discuss a strategy. It was right at midnight when they heard cooing, sing-song sounds and other noises coming from the cave. They ducked as six Shan bugs flew out, possibly leaving the monstrous creature alone inside.
They decided to try to talk to the creature, possibly offering the bones of its lost mate in apology for what had happened to her. They entered to see the sea creature (Bunyip) scooping water from the barrel onto his face and into his mouth, and a much larger Shan working on the brain structure. They also discovered a large, swirling portal on the south wall that was emanating the light illuminating the cave. Johnny and Angus tried to talk to the beast, and Douglas stepped forward to offer the bones. In response, the beast howled a hideous roar and charged.
Johnny and Angus fired their weapons, Douglas grabbed the net and some bones to try to draw the beast away, while Annie hid around the corner and Mary ran off in hysterics. After medicating herself, Mary ran back – she burned the beast with acid while Annie ran into the room to try and destroy the altar of brains.
The beast cast magic that drowned Angus into unconsciousness while the Shan took control of Old Henry’s body, and charged into the battle. As Angus fell to the ground, Douglas started summoning a Night Gaunt, Annie tried to destroy as many things as possible, Mary poured acids over the brain altar, and Johnny shot the head off of both Old Henry and the massive Shan.
Johnny battle the massive Bunyip single handed, giving the others enough time to perform their tasks. Mary stabbed her scalpel into the one unprotected brain and scrambled it; Annie knocked over the barrel of sea water, shrimp, and fish, and used her occult skills to artfully invalidate the spell written on the wall; Douglas summoned the demon; and Johnny was crushed so violently that his ribs and organs exploded as his body fell to the ground in two separate pieces.
The Bunyip cast his drowning magic on Mary and then charged Douglas. Having no luck with the other acids, Mary shoved the green gaseous sphere into the scrambled brain and smashed it open with her knife – the acid immediately started disintegrating the protective carapace, brains, and shelving, expanding at an accelerated rate. Douglas commanded the demon to attack the Bunyip, which distracted it enough for them to escape. As they fled, Douglas grabbed Johnny’s torso, Anny picked up Angus, and they ran back to Old Henry’s cabin.
The wall of brains was destroyed, the magic spell was spoiled, the apparent master-mind Shan was dead. The spell would not be performed this year, so the people are safe. But the Bunyip still lives: will it return in 7 years to start again? Only time will tell.