Last night we played our final session in The Severed Bridge. Last time, the characters were on Dwight’s boat headed out into Lake Erie. They figured they’d go to Kelly’s Island, not far from Cedar Point, and see if anyone was there. As they headed out, Ichiro was in the cabin, seasick (his player got held up at the hospital getting insulin). As they got closer to the island, they got a radio contact. Someone on Kelly’s Island asked if someone named “Ee-Chy-Ro” was on board. Dwight said there was, and the man said that this guy had shot his friend.
Dwight asked Ichiro about this, but Ichiro claimed the only one he’d ever shot was Jack (last session). Dwight said that maybe there had been a mistake, but then the guy on the radio said that he’d heard Ichiro was shipping out with someone called Dwight…and Trey heard a motor. And then they saw the helicopter coming in.
Cherie went into the cabin (her player had to go pick Ichiro’s player up, and she didn’t have enough cards in her bank to be part of a Removal Challenge anyway). One guy was leaning out of the chopper with a gun. Dwight took a shot at the rotor and missed (which gave him enough cards in his bank to be part of the Removal Challenge).
Trey and Dwight both took shots at the rotor, while Darla (who had experience hunting with her father) shot at the guy with the gun. All three of these actions were lighting a candle. Darla’s player drew Fail/Stay, meaning she missed and I would normally get three Between Points. But seeing as how I already had two, her player didn’t want that to happen, so she decided to curse the darkness, making her essential choice. That means her character can’t light a candle in subsequent Removal Challenges, but I don’t get my Between Points.
Meanwhile, though, both Trey and Dwight drew Succeed/Stay, meaning they immediately gain a section of Wick. That was three for both of them, which allowed them both to make the essential choice and light a candle.
The rotors shredded themselves and the chopper went down. And here we paused and played Rock Band while the other players returned.
OK, then, they got back. Everyone made Stamina Challenges to avoid flying shrapnel. Dwight and Ichiro were hit and wounded (card-capped in Stamina). Trye patched them up and Exhausted himself in both Stamina and Focus, so he sat down for a while to rest. Darla saw that the pilot of the chopper was trapped and beating on the glass. Not wishing to let the guy drown, she turned the boat around and pulled up next to him. The characters broke the glass and hauled him to safety.
His name was Bert, and he claimed that he wasn’t told anything about what he was meant to do, only to fly out to the boat. Dwight took his gun and had a little powwow with the others. Ichiro favored throwing him in the drink, maybe with a plank of wood, since the folks from Kelly’s would likely be here soon. Cherie didn’t disagree, but Dwight and Darla weren’t comfortable with that. Darla said: “Meredith would have let him stay,” which sparked a nice Memory Conversation about Meredith that resulted in some Memory Points getting tossed around, which was welcome.
In the end, they put the choice to Bert: Float here and wait for rescue or come with us. Bert said that he didn’t figure he’d be in demand on Kelly’s now that the chopper was gone, so he came with the characters.
They decided to head to North Bass Island, skipping by Kelly’s Island. They could see the rides from Cedar Point in the distance (and Dwight mentioned that he’d gone through there, just to see an abandoned amusement park). As they headed north, a speedboat zipped up. A man in it asked if they were heading toward North Bass. Dwight said they were, and the man said they were welcome – there were about 100 people there, they had electricity and so on, and were happy to have other people around. Just one thing – no guns.
This sparked some conflict with the characters, because they’d already seen that folks were still quite willing to shoot each other. But the man was adamant – they’d had gunplay before and it had called down Them, so they instituted a no-gun rule. The characters eventually agreed to lock their guns in a lock-box on the boat and leave it moored here for the time being, and the man was amenable to that. Ichiro tried to conceal a gun, but Dwight noticed and relieved him of it before they got on the raft, left the boat moored, and the speedboat towed them in.
When they got there, though (and by now everyone had three cards in the bank again), there was smoke in the distance. They ran into the island and found a house burning…which started our last Removal Challenge. They also saw hulking shapes in the trees…Them.
Cherie grabbed for a stick to use as a weapon. Ichiro raced into the building to find anyone still alive. Trey joined the bucket brigade, and Dwight grabbed a fire extinguisher to use on Them (all of these actions light a candle). Darla, who had to curse the darkness, just waited for instructions.
Darla drew Succeed/Stay, Dwight and Ichiro drew Succeed/Leave, Trey and Cherie drew Fail/Stay. Cherie and Dwight decided to swap, as did Darla and Ichiro.
So Ichiro ran into the house and found a woman under a table, yelling for help. He picked her up and headed for the door, but his leg wounded, he yelled for Darla. Darla ran in and helped them get out, but then the house collapsed, killing her.
Dwight fumbled with his extinguisher as one of The loomed over him. Cherie grabbed a stick and smacked the monster, and It simply turned, grabbed her, and retreated into the Between. Dwight never had a chance to react.
Trey, and the rest of the bucket brigade, did their best but simply weren’t successful. The house burned.
Now, at this point, Ichiro lit a candle because he filled in his last section of Wick. Succeed/Leave strips me of five Between Points, while Fail/Stay gives me three, so I net -4, or zero. So Cherie’s player is the only one who hadn’t made the essential choice. It was late, and we didn’t feel like doing a whole other session for that, so we took the ensuing Memory Conversations as read and let her light a candle so we could resolve the game. She did write Bert into memory, though, so she would have someone to play during the last scene.
The man they talked to earlier said that he wasn’t sure what had called down Them (something else we’d have explored with more time), but that the characters were welcome to stay. Trey, the only character left who’d seen the bridge fall in Cleveland, said he was tired of running anyway, and Dwight agreed that this would be a fine place to hang around. They went back out to the boat to collect their supplies, achieving their goal – to find a place to stay that’s safe, or as safe as possible.
And that’s it for that story! I’m hoping to get to run a few more stories (or maybe even play!), but I’m going to start the actual words-on-screen writing process on Monday. It’s all comin’ together! Watch this space!