This is a session recap for my current Kult: Divinity Lost roleplaying campaign. Jessy Button is played by my wife, who also does the art, and I am the game master.
This post contains blood, gore, violence and sex.
Friday morning, Jessy decides that she needs to talk to someone about all that’s happened to her. She doesn’t want to seem crazy to Tan, her friends wouldn’t understand, and she’s already putting so much on Carl. Luckily, she has another option. Jessy has for the past two years been tricking miss Agatha Dupont, a lady in her nineties who suffers from alzheimer’s, that Jessy is her granddaughter. The staff at the elderly care like Jessy, she visits once every month or two. As Agatha can’t remember conversations, Jessy feels safe confiding in her.
When she visits Agatha the tiny old lady is sitting in her bed and looking at the snowfall outside. She comments again and again how beautiful it is. She’s nothing but skin and bones, save her large blue eyes. Jessy speaks softly to her, trying to talk about Agatha’s past, nightmares, and that she thinks she saw a monster. Not quite able to keep up with the conversation, Agatha goes on about how her doctors are putting things in her medicines and how angry her dad got after Korea. It is a long conversation, the two talking past each other at different speeds. At least Agatha seems to be listening, a little. When she finally leaves, Jessy feels as though she has gotten a weight off her chest.
Her nightmares of jumping into an endless abyss to get away from hidden pursuers and Elise’s suffering keep Jessy up most of the night. She spends all morning preparing for the party she is to go to with Tan in the afternoon, her shaking hands firm only when she’s applying her makeup. She flirts a lot with Tan throughout the car ride up to the Bridle Path, and Tan tells Jessy about the host. He’s a film and show producer named Eduardo Sarmento, and the party is mostly a fun little get-together for TV personalities, actors, and some models Eduardo is fond of. Eduardo knows Tan through Cliq, a streaming platform they’re both invested in. When they roll up to the massive mansion and hurry through the snow to get inside, Jessy feels at least a little revitalized by sheer awe.
After brief introductions, Eduardo gives Jessy permission to take pictures and video of the pool, but the rest of the place he’d prefer to be a private space. The glassed-in pool area, with its ‘tribal’ decorations and lush plantlife, is plenty enough for the guests to sit around, swim, and hold private conversation without ever feeling crowded. A bar serves free alcohol, and the atmosphere is relaxed and joyful with nice ambient beats playing from a surround sound system. Jessy feels right at home. She takes plenty of pictures and video, keeping Tan visible in the background whenever possible, though for a while he is off somewhere else, most likely with Eduardo.
Jessy drifts around the party in her bikini, drink in hand and chatting up anyone who looks interesting. She sits down for a conversation with an Instagram model, Sasha Giordano, when several men stomp the snow off their shoes in the entry hallway. They greet Eduardo with smiles and spread out to enjoy the party. Among them, a tall man in a black suit. Jessy has seen him before – he is one of the men who came into her hotel room at the Fairmont Hotel to take Elise away.
|The man moves slowly, stiffly, and walks over to talk to Eduardo and Tan for a moment. Jessy overhears him presenting himself as Artyom Sokorov. When she looks around, noticing how some of the men in Artyom’s entourage immediately approach the girls by the pool, she realizes that Artyom is there for the same reason he was with Elise at the hotel1. Someone will disappear with these men tonight. Jessy feels a desperate need for another drink.||
Eye for Detail
Jessy sits down with Tan once she spots him, eager for more attention. Tan suggest the two of them slip away somewhere more private to have some fun, and Jessy almost agrees. She points out Artyom to Tan, and remarks that he looks especially ‘spooky’. Tan finds him more interesting than anything, and invites him over for a talk. If the stone-faced Russian man in his strangely ill-fitting suit recognizes Jessy, he does not show it. They learn that Artyom is there as part of the friend group of a man called Abbas. Abbas, it turns out, is currently down by the pool flirting with Sasha. Asked about his own work, Artyom explains with his thick accent that he offers ‘personal, discreet experiences’ to the rich, allowing them to experience any of their desires. Tan acts interested, but without speaking in private Artyom does not seem willing to give details.
A lot of things happen quickly. Tan reaches forward and whispers to Artyom while holding his hand, that he is the Twins and that Artyom will kneel for him. As he begins to speak in some unknown language which Jessy doesn’t recognize and stroking Artyom’s face lovingly, the Russian stands up violently and in that commotion the Illusion concealing him crumbles to reveal what he truly is.
When Artyom stands up, Jessy realizes that he must be well past eight feet tall. A white plastic, expressionless mask has been crudely stapled onto his face with thick, metal clamps. The suit is ill-fitting: Artyom is much too tall, his flayed body stretched and ripped beyond any repair. Gangrene spreads from his head and down his neck, dried and cracked black tissue. Mid-thigh, his legs have been cut off and rusted metal stakes have been forced into his body and screwed into his legs with iron bolts and wires.
|Knee-less, he stomps across the floor with an unnatural gait and punches Tan straight in the face to send him flying half-way across the room, landing against a small tree planted indoors. Jessy can do nothing but stare, unable to parse what she’s looking at but desperately craving more of it2.||
Keep it Together
Artyom yells a threat to Tan and leaves, his entourage leaving with him. Sasha leaves with Abbas, as do two others from the pool. Tan seems to be okay, just a tad shaken. After feigning confusion as to why Artyom attacked him, he is offered some privacy in a small living room to recuperate. Jessy comes with him, sitting down next to Tan in a lounging couch. She has so many questions, especially since Tan seems so calm about this experience. He tries to explain to her that what she saw wasn’t human, that ‘Artyom’ was a guise. Tan knew that Artyom was something else, that’s why he wanted to get closer to him, but clearly that wasn’t a great idea. When Jessy asks about the words Tan spoke to him, he makes excuses about the inability of the English language in expressing what he was doing, but eventually settles on telling Jessy that he tried to make Artyom serve him.
Jessy still has concerns. Sasha was taken away by those people, after all. Tan shrugs and tells her that whatever Artyom and Abbas intend to do, it will need to happen. They can not stop it. Since Artyom plans to stay in Toronto until spring, it will probably happen again. Their conversation inevitably turns to flirting, which turns to making out, which faster than thought possible turns to sex. Tan takes the reigns, playfully dominating Jessy. Her mind stays on the vile creature that was Artyom, even as Tan ravishes her. Rather than frighten her, it only serves to turn her on more. Time disappears while the two make love, and once it is over Tan and Jessy slip back into the pool. They flirt more with each other, and with others in the pool. It is all a very good time, until a scream from the hallway puts the party at a standstill once more.
|Eduardo is falling to pieces. Having come from his bedroom, his flesh seems to be ripping and falling off of his body in gory chunks. No amount of screaming, scratching or squeezing seems to help, and Eduardo helplessly tries to hold his flesh together as it shears off the bone like wet clay. Any attempt to help is in vain, and it is not long before Eduardo dies as a stinking, broken mess of blood and flesh on the floor3.||
Keep it Together
Police and medics arrive, and the corpse falls to yet more pieces even as they try to lift it up onto a gurney. A foot, half an arm and Eduardo’s entrails need to be carried off in a separate bag. The police investigate and interrogate all guests, holding everyone there until preliminary lab results return several hours later. They show nothing unusual. Jessy and Tan leave, speaking sincerely at first about the terrible death they witnessed. Tan has no explanation for it, but does not seem too torn up about it. Soon enough, the two return to jokes and flirting, and on Tan’s suggestion they take in to a nearby hotel. Jessy leaps at a chance to spend her night with Tan.