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 violence.
Jessy’s left shoulder has started to hurt, the wound from her clash with the monster getting worse by the hour. She talks with Honey about her plan – go back to the sewers they found themselves in earlier, and try to find a way up from there. Honey has his doubts, but Jessy has the flashlight. They snake their way back the way they came, often turning off the flash light in the long corridors to conserve battery. Darkness and silence, interrupted only by their own footsteps and the occasional flickering emergency light embedded in filth.
They find their way back to the stinking sewage, and explore from there. Somewhere out in the darkness, a person calls out for help. Jessy turns the flashlight off and makes sure both her and Honey stay quiet. Splashing in the water and the panicked voice of a young woman pass them by, and Jessy waits until she’s long gone before they continue moving. She can’t afford another person slowing them down, if it even was a person. Hard to know in this place.
|A ladder up to a hatch becomes their rescue. Jessy wants to get away, wants to see the sun and more than anything get out of her filthy, blood soaked clothes. The ladder rungs are of rusted iron, bolted into the wall. They look rickety, but hold her… until they don’t. One rung falls out as Jessy grabs it1, and in her panic to hold on several more rip out underneath her. She makes it to the hatch, but Honey is stuck below her. The ladder is too busted to climb.||
Act Under Pressure
Honey is understandably pissed, but Jessy gave him the flashlight while she climbed so she can’t very well leave him behind now. The two argue about their situation while Jessy devises a plan. She ties together her clothes, filthy as they are, creating a makeshift rope that could help Honey past the broken ladder rungs. Amazingly it works, her jeans only ripping slightly in the process. The two orient themselves in the small room above the hatch, and leave out the only door available.
They step into a massive hall, a hangar with many doors where the far wall and parts of the floor consist entirely of massive, churning machinery. Pumps, pistons and pipes lead in every direction while cogwheels and pendulums perform ancient and incomprehensible functions at a snail’s pace. The grinding and pounding noises of this marvel feels implacably recognizable. No matter its function, it feels important and imposing. A large ramp snakes upwards along a wall, a way up and out which Jessy heads towards with no time to lose.
|As they close in on the exit, a new noise down in the hall of machinery alerts Jessy. A metal door opens with a loud clank, and someone wielding a blue flashlight steps out of it. Or something, the movements and body structure doesn’t seem entirely human even at a distance and in the darkness. Curious, and at what she considers a safe distance, Jessy stays still and watches2. On further inspection, the thing is clearly inhuman, though it may once have been. Plastic or metal seems as though part of its body, making up its three slender legs and the thick ridge up its back. Judging by the way its many-pronged arm reaches into the strange machinery it’s tampering with, Jessy figures that this thing was created in this place. By whom, she may not want to know.||
Eye for Detail
When Jessy suggests they approach it, Honey outright refuses. He is frightened more than curious, as he has acted since Jessy first met him. They argue briefly about his paranoia, but for once Honey’s poor attempt at reasoning wins out and the two escape the room. The creature on the hangar floor either does not hear them or does not care.
“Is everything down here evil and trying to kill you?” – Jessy
“Everything and everyone everywhere is evil and trying to kill you. There’s just no reason to pretend otherwise down here.” – Honey
After heading far away from that place, the two continue aimlessly in search of a way to the surface. The worry, thirst and hunger are all taking a toll on Jessy when Honey finally recognizes their surroundings. He knows how to get to Wilma. Jessy knows better than to hesitate; the opportunity presents itself, and with knife in hand she intends to take it. Red emergency lights and signs warning of radioactivity are their welcome committee. The large vault door is already open when they get to it, and they enter some underground bunker. Honey warns Jessy to keep her head down and not to speak with people. She barely listens, her one track mind puzzling over ways to get away with murder. Or at least get away.
The bunker complex is vast, and desolate. They pass by a woman who clearly recognizes Jessy but does nothing, and a few strange people all dressed in the same gray overalls mulling about in unremarkable rooms they pass. Honey picks up the pace to avoid confrontation. There is light here, simple ceiling lamps casting a dirty yellow tinge onto the filth around them. The emptiness is challenged only by one room, where a large group of filthy men and women huddle together among makeshift fires and crates of half-rotted food.
Honey tries to get Jessy and himself to Wilma, but a fight breaks out from the confusion over what’s happening. All of them know Jessy as their target, but exactly what to do with her turns into an argument which turns into a brawl. Blood, shit, mold and strangely the smell of roses accentuate the violence until a shrill voice from another room cuts through the crowd, demanding to see Jessy. Wilma has woken up.
Jessy is brought in, leaving the bloodied Honey outside, by a group of strangers eager to shove and grab at Jessy despite her keeping a knife in her hand throughout. Wilma’s temple, if it could be called that, looks much like in the dream where Jessy first met her: crates, rotted and wet sleeping bags, and a haphazardly built mound of old, soiled mattresses at its center. Wilma lays atop it, though except the bulging brown eyes with their hateful look she is nigh unrecognizable. Old, and haggard, clad in rags and fine jewelry and covered by stained mattresses, she is anything but the beauty Jessy saw in her dreams. She wouldn’t be able to fight back, if Jessy decided that violence was the answer. The rosy fragrance from earlier comes into the room with Wilma’s underlings, and they close the door behind them.
Jessy pushes the conversation, asking questions and demanding explanations. Wilma again and again asks for the ring, she needs it to reach the city beneath the world, for liberation from the prison they’ve all been put in. The ring can break the prison, tear down its walls and take Wilma to freedom. She’s ceased caring for the ring’s unsavory creation process, though Jeremiah still has a lot to answer for that. Wilma allows for the conversation to continue, to a point, and it becomes clear that she will eventually just snap and order Jessy dead.
A plan forms in Jessy’s head. She has a knife, she’s quick on her feet, and it would feel so good to stab the old hag. She could pretend to give Wilma the ring, kill her when she’s close, and be done with it. The people Wilma controls listen to her because they fear her. Why should they oppose her death?3 Jessy is again accused of stealing the ring, that Wilma knows that the ring was meant for Gale Trenton before he was murdered. Jessy pretends that Wilma’s argument finally gets through to her and starts taking off her ring. Wilma has already seen through her flimsy plan, though, and orders her goons to take the ring from her.
Jessy refuses, shoves her guards away, and makes a run for it. One stab is all it would take4, but she’s not quick enough. Jessy is soon held down by multiple people, and a horrible clawed appendage sticking out of someone’s coat, while Wilma laughs at her and tells her strongmen to cut Jessy’s finger off. Jessy tries her best to incite chaos5, convincing her assailants that Wilma is weak, that she doesn’t control them and if they just rise up and kill her that all of this could be over. A fight breaks out among Wilma’s goons, angry yells and inhuman growls filling the room as Wilma’s angry shrieks for obedience go unheard. One more chance. Jessy goes for it6.
Read A Person
4 Engage In Combat
5 Influence Other
6 Act Under Pressure
She runs through the violence and plunges the knife straight into Wilma’s chest. A moment of euphoria, the scream music to Jessy’s ears, the warm blood spurting against her hands a welcome feeling. The metal and wooden planks leaning along the sides of the room, meant to represent many doors, all fall over with a loud crash. The joy, the relief, the sheer fucking brutality of it, gets cut short as an iron pipe hits Jessy in the back of her head and the world goes black.
This concludes the first “arc” of Jessy’s Story. Wilma is hopefully dead, but what will happen to Jessy? You will have to wait a while to find out, as this story will now go on hiatus until at least the end of the year. There will be other content on this blog in the mean time, including a session recap for And The Rockets Red Glare, and (the Demiurge willing) some Kult Takes. I also have some other Kult-related writing projects in my life right now, so who knows what will show up on the blog in the future.