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Date: April 1st, 2019.  An hour or so after sundown.

 

[GM Post]

 

April Fools' Day.  A day to play jokes, spring pranks, and spread hoaxes.  A day where everything must be taken with a grain of salt, even in a place like Freedom City, where fantastic things happened with some regularity.  But there are some things that even the citizens of Freedom would consider "unusual."

 

Long-time residents of West Freedom know of Lantern Jack, the spectre that haunts Lantern Hill.  Or, rather, haunted -- not a spark of his eerie lamplight has been seen for years.  Some hope he had finally passed on to Heaven, others fear he had been dragged down to Hell, or banished to some Limbo.  But now, an eerie, blue-green light -- similar to the one from his lamp -- shone again on Lantern Hill, slowly wandering about the graveyard.  Was it Lantern Jack, back from... wherever he had been?  Or was it something else?

Edited by Dr Archeville

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Sea Devil fearlessly landed in the middle of the graveyard, shivering a little at the eerie place. It wasn't that she expected it to be haunted by the souls of Surfacers (if there were such things, she thought guiltily) but she would never get used to their custom of simply throwing the bodies of the dead inside the cold dry earth and leaving them to decay. She sniffed the air, found her suit too clogged from the bass she's taken earlier that night to smell anything, then rolled back her helmet. She blinked a few times as she looked around the cemetery, the darkness of the surface nothing before the power of her eyes, nose, and tongue. She inhaled deeply, a powerful snort from wide nostrils, and padded forwards on her armored feet, dropping prone as she went to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of this place.  

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Lucy “Revenant” Harker

Lucy often spent her time up in this area, she tended her own grave and had tea and a chat with the pastor. It was always a quiet thoughtful time that was a relaxing break from her generally hectic lifestyle. After helping lock up she was wondering what to do for the evening when she’d seen the eerie lights up on the hill.

 

With her unnaturally black eye she could see almost as clear as day and she quickly spotted Aquaria skulking about. She strolled forward fairly confidently, being as cheerful as she normally was.

 

“Hello there!”

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Posted (edited)

[GM post]

 

     The first thing to hit Sea Devil were the scents: fog, rich earth, stone markers, and something else.  Rot, but not too pungent, masked by spices and herbs.  There was a corpse nearby, a preserved one (some odd Surfacer custom?), but she was given to understand that this particular cemetery had not had any new bodies placed in it in over 80 years.

     Her keen ears and tremorsense let her know there was something moving out there, in the gloom.  And her Deep One ears picked up something else: the sounds of necromancy.  Powerful, yet passive, for the most part.  Not someone raising up the dead, but an animate corpse was out there.  And it was moving south-southwest, towards West End.

     And then she saw it, in the distance.  A humanoid figure, with a cyan light in front of its face.  A lantern?  No, its arms were by its side -- the light was coming from its eyes!

     And then, a second animate corpse!

 

     Revenant sees Aquaria, and also the odd figure, its head limned in a greenish-blue light.  A moment's examination shows her it is not carrying a lantern, but rather that its very eyes are the source of the weird glow.

Edited by Dr Archeville

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Sea Devil exhaled violently, a loud croak that bellowed freely through the night, instantly recognizable as a Deep One's call to any who'd fought in the invasion of some years earlier, and stamped on the ground. "Coax! Coax! Pfagh!" She peered at Revenant with her big bulging eyes and croaked "There are many dead things here that are moving. Are you a bad one?" she asked, her voice a booming, echoing bass from inside her passive throat. She had met walking dead Surfacers who were friendly enough,  but she also knew that when they rose they often were possessed with terrible hungers. This is why one takes the flesh from corpses, to make sure they cannot be inhabited! she thought to herself. While they talked, she tried to get a better look at the other figure, his eerie light covering him as he went. "You are not like the other one." she added, pointing in that one's direction.

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Posted (edited)

Earlier that day

 

Ever since the... incident with Eldritch last May, the Hypno-Hippie's initial belief that the Super Freaks ideology could easily fix all the world's problems was essentially flushed down the toilet. Still, she'd continued to do some heroics, just in a more low-key kind of way. Stopping a mugging here, interfering with an armed robbery there... while posing as Lucy Smith Dawnes, who'd by now gotten used to her job as an assistant art director at the Kirby Museum of Fine Arts. She'd entertained the idea of going out and facing bigger threats, but she did not want to risk damaging the Super Freaks' reputation further.

 

Today, however, was different. While overseeing a new arrival to the museum, she'd overheard from two of the movers about some strange lights coming from Lantern Hill. After months of deliberation, she'd decided she would go to investigate... and continue her mission. She wouldn't be standing on, in hindsight, what essentially amounted to standing on a soapbox preaching to the public. She could instead rebuild her reputation by starting to tackle seemingly smaller paranormal phenomena, then working her way up. Because honestly? It was time. What was the saying? The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step? She felt like an idiot for not thinking of it before.

 

Now

 

After she got off work, she made her way to the graveyard, and at one point, turned to a tight alleyway, albeit one a car like hers could fit through. When she was absolutely sure nobody was looking, she dismissed the "lingering perception aura" around the Hypnobus from appearing as red, to appearing as its true, tie-dye coloration with a graphic of a peace symbol on its side. She parked the Hypnobus in a free parking space nearby the graveyard, and got in the back to change clothes. Once she was done, the door slid out... revealing her in her Hypno-Hippie costume. Deep breaths, Lucy. You can do this. 

 

She then proceeded with caution through the graveyard, ever ready to be ambushed by something, until she spotted two figures conversing with each other... and a third one in the distance. Friends or foes? It was too early to tell, but she could at least try the diplomatic approach first. She was never one to fight unless someone else instigated one. She walked towards them rather casually, trying to act natural, throwing up a peace sign... "Peace, friends," She could feel the light had something that felt to her of the divine. She hoped it wasn't the kind of divine that imposed its will on mortal kind without their consent. "I'm personally a big fan of how that one's "lightening up" this place of gloom and doom, so to speak, but I can't lie, it's freaking out some of the cats here who pass by here." She paused. "I sure hope he's not planning on raising an undead army to attack people or anything, 'cause I really ain't down with that, solid?"

Edited by Sylinator
Fixing an error

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Lucy “Revenant” Harker

Lucy stopped and put her hand up to show she didn’t mean any harm, she’d wished she worn her sunglasses as well, her eye tended to unnerve many people.

 

“I may be undead, but I promise I’m one of the good ones. And I don't think I'm like any other undead you'll find here!”

 

Obviously she’d been to long concentrating on her cases if people had already forgot about her superheroics, she should really get back into the business a little more.

 

“I’m Lucy Harker, but some know me as Revenant, Lucy will do fine though!”

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What the heck is goin' on here?

 

Dead Head stopped when he heard the sounds of two, then three people.

 

I think I recognize th' pale lady, she was runnin' 'round here back before I'd left.  The other two, though, never seen 'em.  And the one in armor -- is that a Deep One?  I'd heard some chatter about there bein' one in Freedom, but I thought that was just talk from that invasion a few years back.  I definitely gotta check this out.

 

The figure turned and began trudging towards the trio.  As it approached, more details could be made out.  The smell hit first, the mix of decay and spices and dried herbs.  The figure was tall, a bit lanky, and swayed slightly as it walked.   The light from its eyes momentarily obscured its face, so until your eyes adjusted you could only focus on the rest of it.  Whoever or whatever it was, it was dressed like a biker -- worn black boots, torn blue jeans, a torn white t-shirt, and a well-worn leather jacket.  In addition to their old and worn condition, all were also dirty, mostly with dirt but here and there with... other stains.  Its silhouette indicated something was strapped to its back -- a shotgun?  No, too thin.  A sword?  No, the handle didn't match.  Now your eyes had adjusted to the light from its eyes, and you could make out its face... and you wish you hadn't. A tiny upturned nose peeked out from under its sunken eyes, and its mouth was pulled open into a hideous rictus grin, exposing yellowed teeth set in blue-black gums.  Its skin was a splotchy bluish-purple, like his entire body was bruised, and the whole head was framed in a wild mass of gray-white hair, like a ghostly shroud clinging to it.

 

"Evenin' folks," he said in a gravelly yet affable Southern drawl.  "How we doin' t'night?"

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Sea Devil looked at the foul-smelling Surface-Man and snapped her suit shut before she could catch more than a whiff. Pfagh! Everyone here is so disgusting! From inside her armor came a distinctive, amplified booming bass. "I am Sea Devil!" she croaked loudly enough for the others to hear, and perhaps even people outside of the graveyard's environs. "Why are there so many dead things that move here?" she asked Lucy and Dead Head. It was hard to tell through that electronically modulated voice, but she sounded more baffled than afraid. "Are any of you the kind that eat meat?" she added suspiciously. She had heard about those - and knew how to deal with them. As Hypno-Hippie approached, she waved her way and said, "These two are dead!

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Posted (edited)

Another Lucy, huh? Small world. After the zombie in biker gear made his grand entrance, Hypno-Hippie turned towards the person in strangely-shaped power armor after she had addressed her.  "Oh...! Yeah... Lucy here already told me she was. Unless it's supposed to be an illusion of some kind, which I really doubt it is." She placed her hands on her hips as she was just happy everybody was chill at the moment, but she couldn't help but wonder what everybody was doing here, all the way out in Lantern Hill during the evening. "In completely unrelated news, I hope it's cool with you guys if I ask what we're all doing out here. Is this like a secret mission kinda deal, or is this like, a social visit? I mean, I'd offer a place to stay, but I kinda have a secret identity to keep."

Edited by Sylinator
Adding a detail

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Lucy “Revenant” Harper

“We’ll I can’t speak for our new friend but I don’t often eat meat, and never off of the bone. Don’t worry both of you are safe!”

 

She walked towards the newly risen zombie and offered (her still attached) hand towards him, he looked vaguely familiar to her somehow. Still that wasn’t a reason not to be polite to the newcomer, at least until they knew exactly why here was here right now.

 

 

“Hello there pleased to see you, we were brought here by your lights apparently.”

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The walking corpse stuck one finger in its ear as Sea Devil bellowed, "ya mind turnin' that down a bit?  Yer bein' loud enough t'wake th' dead!"  A dry chuckle escaped his throat.  "An', no, I ain't th' kind that eats meat, or blood, or souls, or anythin' like that.  I'm self-sustainin' -- perpetual, even!"

 

"Ain't no illusions here," he said, turning to Hypno Hippie, "whatcha see is whatcha get with ol' Dead Head.  That's me, by the by.  Pleased t'meetcha!"  He extended one hand to her, and the other to Revenant.  "But y'all say my lights is what broughtcha here?  Well, that is a bit embarassin', seein' as I was tryin' t'keep a low profile an' all... and a might peculiar, since Lantern Jack's lights is usually seen 'round these parts.  Although..." he paused a moment, looked around, "that would explain a few bits I heard on my way over, 'bout him bein' gone.  Any o' you hear tell 'bout that?"

 

Dead Head's handshake with Revenant went off without a hitch.  His handshake with Hypno Hippie went off... in that his hand came off in hers, snapping off at the wrist.  He gave a quick wink to Revenant as it popped off.

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Aquaria was about to try and modulate her voice before everything seemed to go crazy. "Oh no!" Sea Devil bellowed. "His hand!" There didn't seem to be any blood and he did not seem to be in any pain but she was almost certain that was not supposed to happen. "Quick," she urged Hypno-Hippie as she raised her trident, the black undersea metal glowing with the energized power of her Spectrum Knight armor in a color that gleamed opalescent green and blue and colors beyond the range of human vision. "Hold it back and I will burn it there!" she said, forgetting the word for solder in her surprise. This was clearly not the monster that haunted Jessie in her still-sporadic nightmares, and they had to fix him before he broke further. Perhaps he was decaying where he stood - a terrible fate indeed. It is because they do not respect their dead, she thought sadly. 

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Hypno-Hippie held back her feelings slight queasiness when she touched his hand, but even though she was surprised when it popped off, she didn't freak out. Well this is awkward. That was her last though before the armored person began to panic and raise her trident towards the hand. While the armored person's knee-jerking raising her weapon to solve any manner of problems kind of disturbed her, she knew that reacting might makes things worse, and she could tell the person in armor was only trying to help, in her own way. Besides, who knows what she might do if her demands weren't satisfied in the heat of the moment? So she composed herself and placed the hand where Aquaria needed it to be, before turning to the undead biker saying, rather awkwardly, "Um, here's your... hand! I hope it's cool if we try to put it back on your arm!"

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Lucy “Revenant” Harper

Lucy managed to give Death head a smile back before the other apparently panicked about the whole thing, obviously they hadn’t met the wide variety of undead that she’d encountered. Which kind of made sense really.

 

She stepped between Aquaria and Death head and waved her hands emphatically, trying to stall thing whilst calmer heads (ie hers) prevailed.

 

“Whoa, whoa hold on a minute there! Why don’t we check first that it’s not something completely normal for him? You wouldn’t try to re-weld a human duplicator after all!”

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"Aww, my hero- er, heroine," Dead Head exclaimed, fluttering his eyelids at Revenant.  "I's jes' havin' a bit o' fun.  And I must say," he looked to Hypno Hippe, "ya handled that well."  He let out a dry chuckle again as he took his hand back from her and held it to the stump.  They melded together seamlessly, and he held the reattached hand up and wiggled the fingers at Sea Devil, "see? No lastin' harm done!"

 

"So I'm guessin' neither o' you two have had much experience dealin' with th' undead, which means ya probably ain't heard boo 'bout ol' Jack.  With that fancy armor o' yers," he turned to Sea Devil, "I'd guess yer one o' them hi-tech types, 'cept that trident is... well, I don't reckon I know what it is, but I can tell it ain't tech.  An' you," he turned his head to face Hypno Hippie, rotating it far more than any living person should be able to, then a moment later turned his body to follow, "well, I don't know what t'make o' you, 'cept that ya look like the kind o' person my pappy warned me 'bout when I went off t' college.  But ya look harmless enough, and I've chatted with enough Grateful Dead fans to know y'all're alright in my book."

 

"But you," he lolled his head in Revenant's direction, "I know you know a thing or two 'bout the undead.  Heard a lot o' good things 'bout you, too.  I seen you here several times, always meant to say hi to a neighbor.  I'm sorry I never did so 'till now."

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Sea Devil paused, then set down her trident on the ground, butt-end first. "That is good," she croaked after a moment's pause, having modulated her tone slightly, reducing her voice to a low rumble. "I have met dead people here," she said. "There is the ice man, the one who mates with the volcano woman, and I have heard that there are others. I have not met one like you." She leaned close and peered at Dead Head. "Some dead things are monsters hungry for flesh and souls," she said, "but I do not think that is you. Not everything is like the thing that it is." If Jessie were here she probably would have helped her hit the thing, but that was what one did for friends. 

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Hypno-Hippie knew that the biker zombie having his hand popped off probably wouldn't have harmed him too much, but she was afraid that Sea Devil, as the person in armor called herself, would have done something drastic had she not complied, so she had to humor her. Now that Sea Devil had regained her composure, she could relax as well. When Sea Devil mentioned "the ice man," her curiosity was piqued, and she perked up. Finally she spoke, ""The Ice Man"... you mean Comrade Frost? The city hired him to be one of the guards at the Super Freaks sermon I preached at last May. I consider myself to be something of a woman of faith, after all." She looked downcast again when she mentioned the event again. "It was supposed to be a message of peace. But it... things went bad. One of our own... Eldritch... turned out to be a real square and went against the other Super Freaks' wishes. Tried to take over the city by mind-controlling some of our members and turning them against the people. It was... it was just awful, for everybody. Things got real hairy. Thank all the gods in existence for Comrade Frost and his friends stopping him." She paused after she realized what she just said. Did I seriously just say all of that out loud? Jeez, Lucy, you're stuck in a rut and you gotta get out of it. 

Edited by Sylinator
Clarification

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Lucy “Revenant” Harper

Lucy couldn’t help but smile at the charm of this old undead, even though she was apparently older than him.

 

 

“I have one of he last spot up here apparently, though it’s empty obviously, but I like to keep it neat and tidy. And hero is fine we live in the twenty-first century after all!”

 

There was a lot going on with everyone chatting away, but she caught enough to join in with them as well

 

 

“I’ve done my share of dealing with the various hungry dead, though not all are bad or dangerous.”

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"Ice Man?  One who... with a volcano woman?"  Dead Head was clearly taken aback by this, "how the- dang, I been outta the loop more'n I thought.  Ya take one trip through the deadlands and ev'rythin's changed on ya when ya get back," he says with an exaggerated sigh and shake of his head; a few bugs shake loose.  "An', no, like I said, I ain't one what hungers, fer flesh or souls, thank Ghede.  Only thing I crave now an' again is a good book or a cheesy movie."

 

He did a double-take at Hypno Hippe, "you're a preacher?  Dang, a lot has changed..."  He patted her on the shoulder, and his rictus grin widened, "always nice t'hear folks spreadin' messages o' peace.  We should all get that in the end, but it's nice for folks t' see it while they're breathin', too.  And th'Ice Man, Comrade Frost, helped out?  Sounds like he's a real n-Ice guy!"

 

He chuckled, then turned his head to Revenant, "I'll keep that in mind, ma'am.  Though I'm afraid I'll have t'disagree with ya a bit on th' hungry dead thing."  He turns his whole body towards her, "true, th' hungry dead ain't all bad -- though I ain't met a one that weren't dramatic as all get-out," he said, remembering a certain hockey mask-wearing vampire fondly, "but I think it's a mite disingenuous to say they ain't all at least a bit dangerous.  'Cuz ya can never fully control that hunger, not really, it's always lurkin' there, waitin' for ya to slip up.  An' while some'a them is victims, more often' than not, that hunger comes from some hunger they had in life, which lead 'em down dark paths."  He sighs again, this time more sincerely, despite the lack of needing to breath, "I've managed t'help a few, but most," he unslings the item from his back, a shovel, apparently made of fused bones, and sinks the blade end into the dirt, "I had t'put down t'final rest. Most were grateful, though."

 

He turned back to Sea Devil, "I really should meet with those two ya mentioned 'fore I go.  You got a line on 'em?"

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"Oh, the ice man? I do not like the way he sounds but he is not an enemy." She lightly tapped her trident against the ground, then said, "Comrade Frost is his name. He lives in Freedom Hall. Sometimes his lover visits him there, the one who is the champion of the Surface volcano gods." Great Ghatanothoa, who waited Below for when the lands would erupt, but who helped create through fire was not really a god Surfacers worshiped. "I have been there, but you should tell people you are coming, or they will shoot you. Sometimes people do that," she said, her croaking tones sounding apologetic, "if they think you are an enemy.

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"I always knew at least a few super beings had some relation to the divine!" Hypno-Hippie beamed, "The folks I belong represent, the Super Freaks... we like to consider ourselves pilgrims trying to explore that relationship. Though it depends on the commune, really. Sometimes it's through smoking whole buttloads of weed, other times its through preaching to the people, others still, it's experimenting with our own powers. There's lots of paths to enlightenment. It's just that... people don't always dig that kinda thing, y'know?" A short pause, "And then there's the squares, who try to stop people from expanding their minds so they can think beyond them," she huffed, "And the crazies who just impose their will on everyone else, making it worse for everyone and tearing things apart." The then sighed, "Anyway, that's enough out of me on that. I shouldn't hog the limelight too much."

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Lucy “Revenant” Harker

“I have enough trouble catching up on the last hundred years of popular culture, let alone trying to expand my mind! Not that I those kinds of things generally work on me anymore...” Lucy replied with a note of humor in her voice

 

“And apart from helping out with the odd case here and there I’ve not had much dealing the big heroes like Frost. After all, I’m just a simple undead lawyer, one that admittedly can press a truck without a sweat...”

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"Yeah, lotsa folks tend t'have a 'shoot first, ask questions later' ways 'bout 'em," Dead Head said, "and them Leaguers can be 'specially jumpy.  But I don't think I'll be stoppin' by their place.  It's smack dab in the middle'a the city, and I try not t'go there 'less I haveta."  He looked in the direction of downtown Freedom.  "I'll keep an eye out for... Comrade Frost, was it?  Yeah, I'll keep some feelers out fer the feller."

 

"Had a relation with th' divine," Dead Head corrected Hypno-Hippie.  "Well, still do, in a way, seein' as how Samedi's still out there causin' no end'a trouble, an' I'm always up fer stoppin' 'im.  But the one I had in me -- Papa Ghede -- he ain't here no more," he said while knocking on his skull.  "You Super Freaks sound alright, though.  I ain't never tried th' wacky tobacky myself, back when I was breathin', an' I doubt it'd do anythin' fer me now," he said while giving Revenant a conspiratorial wink.  "Y'all jes be careful where ya get yer weed from, there's some folks out there'll give ya bad stuff."  He locked his flaming cyan eyes with hers, and a tone of concern crept into his voice, "like, 'bad' as in 'you'll wind up like me but not have no will'a yer own.  That's what Samedi an' his boys do."

 

"A simple undead lawyer?!," Dead Head repeated, exaggerating his southern drawl even more.  "Why, I do declare, you must be busy as the night is long!"  He brought his hands up to his chest and ran his thumbs up and down imaginary suspenders, "tell me, counselor, have there been any landmark cases concerning either the undead or resurrected persons in the past few years?"

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Lucy “Revenant” Harker

Even after all her years of experience it was still difficult to believe in some of the things she’d experienced with gods and monster, but she also didn’t ever feel phased by ‘em. Even this entire encounter didn’t seem that odd to her, just day really.

 

“It really helps that I don’t sleep, plenty of time to work on things and explore everything I missed over the last century or so.”

 

With a touch of pride she added.

 

 

“After catching up I help push through law to get undead legally recognized in the City, it means taxes but you can’t have everything!”

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