Zack: Just as you are certain they are about to close in and slaughter you, hands reach up from the ground and drag you into the earth. You are pulled with great speed down into the earth, deeper and deeper, helpless with your arms above your head, until you drop into a chamber with a thud. Everyone in the group is with you and you are all immediately attacked by horrible beaked men that tear and peck at you.
Steve: "Snake AND bird? Does any beast not hate us?" I fight back with my punches and kicks.
Zack: You bash in a beaked face and club another horrible beak-beast unconscious as they tear strips from your arms and try to peck at your eyes. Regina screams and you become very afraid as you see a beaked beast tear out her eyes.
Steve: "Only woman who is romantically interested! Nooooo!"
Zack: Wanda is losing fingers, Cecil is losing a wrestling match and it looks like Sharon is about to be killed by a beak man wielding a horrible saw weapon. You can only save one of them.
Steve: What about Chang?
Zack: Chang successfully escaped and is currently floating on a stolen boat.
Steve: "I am sorry Cecil, you are good friend, but Sharon is sexy and save my life."
Zack: "Up your ass, baldy!" shouts Cecil, followed by a prolonged "AUUUUUGH!" as the beakman tears off his face.
Steve: This is distressing. I will pummel the beakman attacking Sharon.
Zack: You successfully dispatch it with a snap of its neck just as Regina succumbs to her beaked foes. With a last kick and a scream they begin dragging off Cecil, Regina and Wanda. All three are still alive, but horribly mutilated.
Steve: I will help up Sharon and look for a way out.
Zack: "I will still never date you," she says. "I only like Chinese men."
Steve: "I don't want date anyway. You are like a harpy. Forget about it. I have standard, lady. I'm too good for you."
Zack: The only way out is the way the others were dragged.
Steve: I guess that is where we are going. Very carefully. I wish I had a weapon.
Zack: "Like this?" asks Sharon. "Cecil gave it to me after last time." She hands you a pineapple hand grenade.
Steve: "Aha yes this makes up somewhat for your cruel ways, harlot."
Zack: You arrive in a large chamber of ancient construction. You can see blood trails up stairs towards a raised platform of stone, but there are no bodies and the beakmen are gone. Kneeling on the raised platform is a beautiful woman clad in diaphanous gowns. She smiles at you and says, "Come to me." Her lips do not move.
Steve: "Sorry lady I do not trust you."
Zack: "Please," she beckons. "I have much to tell you. Come closer."
Steve: Okay. She wants to eat me or something. I have something she can eat. Here is my plan: walk close and try to be ready for her attack. When she attacks I will throw the grenade at her mouth.
Zack: You ascend the staircase. She watches you but does not react. You realize all the blood trails stop about ten feet away from her. As you approach that spot her mouth suddenly opens to an impossible size and she lunges towards you. At the last moment before she swallows you in a single bite you throw the grenade into her maw and leap down the steps. A gory explosion destroys the illusion. It is no beautiful woman but a ten ton snake creature with a mouth big enough to swallow you whole. Its neck is ruptured and gushing blood. It begins flailing, slamming its huge body into pillars and shaking the entire chamber.
Steve: Is this one of those "Run as fast as we can to escape the collapsing temple" scenes?
Zack: You guessed it. There is a staircase hidden behind the flailing snake woman.
Steve: I run with Sharon up the stairs and escape the collapsing temple.
Zack: You crash through a wall and end up in an underground river. The swift waters carry you out of the cavern and to the surface and you are propelled into a wide, slowly-flowing river. You bob to the surface gasping for air, Sharon beside you, just as Chang slowly drifts past on a boat. "Do you want to come aboard, senor?" he asks.
Steve: "Yes, Chang. I want to come aboard. To crush your skull."
Zack: Epilogue: You did basically everything the worst way possible from the point you arrived at the plantation, but there was no real right way to do it. Even Joe and his sister are pretty much screwed no matter what. The plantation people are yig cultists and they are enemies of that horrible snake woman. It's actually extremely complicated and you're just a pawn, so even if you had done everything right you still probably would have all died. At least half of you lived.
Steve: I will miss Cecil.
Zack: Don't worry, I will come up with a suitable replacement for next time.
If you're hankering for more horror from Zack Parsons, check out his novel Liminal States. It won't kill your entire party, but it may ruin a weekend.
Sometimes I dream that I'm sitting in the back of the defunct Weinermobile as it careens driverless down the highway. At first I thought this was symbolic of the powerlessness I feel in life, but then I realized it's actually the Weinermobile's dream of being able to drive again.
Three years ago, when we were burying my uncle, Cleaver and some gross lady dog (Solstice???) showed up at the cemetery and starting going at it really loudly. It ruined everything and we had to have a "re-do" the next day and it cost a fortune. I've hated him ever since for that.
Ignore the hype. Find out how these games will likely go right or wrong.
Zack Parsons, Steve "Malak" Sumner, and friends tackle bizarre role playing game products that make them wonder, "What the fuck!?" From the early days of Gygax to contemporary role playing games, none will be spared.