Session Recap: Murder, Loss, and a Fist Fight at a Wake

 After a hiatus of a couple of months where we played a one-shot that ballooned into a mini-campaign run by E for R's birthday, we finally got back to lotfp. It was a slightly calmer, less eventful session, but it was a lot of fun and there's lots of total madness to come in the near future. 

So anyway:

We picked up where we'd left off - with Asenath, Felicity, and Porphyria stumbling back into town naked and hung-over, Asenath beaten shitless and recently raped. They decided to go to Felicity's house, since there's good food there, a big bed, and a big bathtub. 

When they got there, they found countless people of various ages and genders passed out naked in Ooms' living room, and Ooms holed up in the bathroom, sitting in an empty tub, naked, writing feverishly, ranting about how he'd finished his play - The King in Yellow - and would be starting rehearsals soon. Felicity congratulated him, then Ooms noticed that she was naked and accompanied by two naked women. 

Ooms flirted with Asenath and Porphyria. Porphyria just brushed him off, but Asenath lowkey panicked and hid in the corner. Porphyria calmed her down while Felicity talked with Ooms. He congratulated her for finally becoming one of the people who fucks, and tried to make her promise not to get killed while she's out adventuring. This led into the two of them rambling about death and poetry - Felicity arguing that it would be better to live forever, while Ooms argued that immortality isn't poetic, and that what's important is a poetic death. He told her about how when he was young he received a vision of the time of his own death, fucked to death by catamites in a seraglio in the East. After a while going in circles, Felicity finally convinced Ooms to let her and her friends use the bathroom in peace, claiming that they wanted to have sex in the bathtub.

Ooms cleared out and Asenath ran a bath. Porphyria fell asleep lounging on the rim of the tub, and Asenath talked to Felicity about how she has so little sense of self nowadays, how the past few days have broken down everything about her prior understanding of herself, and how if herself from a week ago, before all this, had met the present Asenath, she wouldn't have recognized her as the same person. She mentioned how she'd like to get out of town for a while. Felicity tried to comfort Asenath, but couldn't really get through to her, so after a while she left to get breakfast and some robes for Asenath and Porphyria to wear while they were staying at her house. 

Asenath soaked in the bath for a while, then dried herself off and examined her wounds in the mirror. Her nose broken, a cut on her forehead, her left eye blackened, her face looking like a hunk of meat. Her hands split and bloodied from bashing in Thomas's head with her bare hands. Her sides bruised, at least one or two ribs broken. Her genital area bruised, the wounds inside her vagina, from when she'd inserted the E'lehten'kehrena idol into her vagina in her sleep, had reopened. She leaned against the counter and watched Porphyria sleeping. With Asenath and the water out of the tub, Porphyria rolled into the empty tub and curled up at the bottom. Asenath felt conflicted, questioned things, and worried. 

Meanwhile, Felicity ran into Ooms while getting some food for Asenath and Porphyria. He told her that the men in the walls would provide all, and this time, Felicity could actually see the men in the walls - little football-shaped midgets who talked only in squeaks and produced various types of food from inside the walls. She and Ooms revisited their prior discussion about poetry, death, etc. Felicity told Ooms that she'd heard a group of players were coming to town from Nuremburg, which panicked Ooms because he was afraid that Felicity's mother - the queen of Nuremburg - was with them. Felicity told him that it might be good to leave town and produce The King in Yellow elsewhere. Ooms momentarily considered the poetry of performing the play in the plague-ravaged city of Staroznka, but a very concerned Felicity talked him out of it. She suggested instead that he should perform the play in Argenti (a neighboring country that we've defined before as basically Renaissance Italy by way of 70s and 80s Italian Horror films - especially giallo films), and Ooms latched onto the idea, especially when Felicity reminded him of the legends regarding the sexual openness of Argenti and the stories of the sexual prowess of many people in Argenti. Felicity made plans with Ooms to travel to Argenti - separately, on Ooms' suggestion, to avoid rumours that Ooms is gathering a harem of young women - and take up residence there. He gave her a purse full of gold coins for the journey, and they agreed to part ways for a while until they met again in Argenti. And then Ooms rambled a little bit about how after he plays The King in Yellow, he's going to buy a tiny crown that he'll wear on the head of his cock and parade around wearing only it and a royal robe.

Felicity went and got the food from the men in the walls and took the robes to Asenath and Porphyria. Asenath woke Porphyria up, and they got dressed, then went into the living room as Ooms' hangers-on and sexual partners left the mansion in a mass exodus. Asenath, Felicity, and Porphyria ate breakfast together, and Felicity managed to keep Asenath distracted and actually make her laugh a little with her incoherent mad ramblings (which, now having been inside Ooms' house, Asenath attributes to the chaotic architecture of the space). Felicity told Asenath about her idea to travel to Argenti, which Asenath and Felicity liked. Asenath told Felicity that she needed to talk to her father and handle things regarding Thomas's death, and they made plans to leave in a few days. They went to bed together and slept through most of the day, with Asenath in the middle and with promises from Felicity and Porphyria that they'd try to stop her if she started sleepwalking. 

When they woke up, Porphyria borrowed a dress from Felicity, but since Asenath is a head taller than Felicity and muscular as hell, she couldn't wear Felicity's clothes. Felicity offered her some of Ooms' clothes, mentioning that Ooms sometimes crossdresses. Felicity and Porphyria then got into a flirtatious argument, and Asenath wandered off to look for Ooms' room. She accidentally stumbled into a series of surreal and elaborate sex room designed by Ooms, then finally found the bedroom, which was dominated by a massive painting of a three-dicked dogman fucking two men and a woman, all of whom had Joop Van Ooms' face. A parody of Alice Pickman's paintings, with all the hallmarks of an Ooms painting. Felicity identified the painting as Fernando the Three-Donged Ghoul, a friend and companion of Ooms'. 

While Asenath picked out some clothes from Ooms' closet, and Felicity started rambling to Porphyria, telling her about stories she'd heard about a place on the other side of the mirror called Voivodja. Felicity didn't believe her, and when Asenath finished getting dressed, Felicity filled her in on what they'd been discussing. Asenath didn't believe her either, and Felicity told her that Ooms had told her he could get to Voivodja through the mirror in his bedroom. Asenath insisted that she prove it, so Felicity punched the mirror as hard as she could, believing that her fist would pass through it. Instead, she shattered the mirror and wrecked her hand. 

Porphyria panicked at the sight of blood and ran out into the hallway. When Felicity processed how much blood she was losing, she passed out from panic, and Asenath dragged her into the bathroom to clean her up and try to patch her up. She laid Felicity down in the bathtub and washed off the blood. She doesn't really have any medical knowledge though, and she couldn't get Porphyria to help her because Porphyria is deathly afraid of blood. So Asenath extracted the glass shards with a lot of difficulty, managed to stop the bleeding, then started suturing the wound with needle and thread she found in Ooms' costuming room. Felicity woke up from the pain halfway through, and in total shock and panic yanked her hand away, nearly hitting Asenath in the face, and accidentally slammed her hand into the wall at full force, breaking two fingers. Asenath managed to calm her down and finish the sutures, set the broken fingers, etc, with pretty good chances of Felicity's hand eventually healing correctly. Asenath talked a little about unlikely their friendship had seemed two days ago, and then they talked idly about various things and Asenath felt almost okay. Asenath told Felicity that she'd need to hire some workers to help her father on the farm while she was away, especially during the winter, and Felicity gave her money for it from the money Ooms had given her. 

Felicity and Porphyria got into another  mock-argument that turned into sex on the bathroom floor, and Asenath took the time to sneak away to talk to her dad about what had happened. On the way, she overheard people talking about six murders that had occurred during the harvest festival - Thomas's murder, the two murders that the players knew were Irnessa's fault, and then three more. A young prostitute, and an old shopkeep and his daughter. The people were scared in the wake of the three murders that had happened over the few days leading up to the harvest festival - three murders Asenath hadn't known about, and that she thinks she might be responsible for because of her father's stories about her sleepwalking and coming back covered in blood. One of the people she was listening to suggested that they should talk about something less depressing since it's getting close to Christmas, so they started talking about a group of players who had arrived in town that morning who were going to perform soon.

Near the house, Asenath ran into a man she didn't recognize who was headed towards the Wake farm. He identified himself as Luke Von Brower, and told her that he and his wife Marev had just come into town that morning with a few of his cousins, seeking work (If you don't remember who the Van Browers were, or haven't read some of the earlier posts, they're people from the village in Fuck for Satan, and Luke was part of the Satanic cult that Evi La Rue and Marie Argento busted way back in the beginning of the campaign). Asenath asked Luke how many people were part of his crew, their ages, their experience as farmhands. After Luke explained, Asenath offered him and his crew a job for the winter, helping out her father on the farm. When Asenath offered him two gold coins (twice the going rate), Luke happily accepted the job, rambling about how he would thank God for her, and about how he hadn't been lied to after all when someone told him that the Wakes are good people. Asenath tried to grab her crucifix necklace while telling Luke that she would thank God for him too, but found that the necklace had been torn off her and lost during Thomas's attack.

Asenath sent Luke away and told him to come back with his crew in a couple of days, then milled around in the yard for a while, trying to decide what to say to her dad. She went to Irnessa's house to talk to her about what to do, but found the house empty and abandoned. She tried to hook up the brain jar that Irnessa had left on her bedside table so that she could ask advice from her crazy cultist great-great-great-great-grandfather, but she couldn't figure out how to work the machine, so she left the abandoned house and went inside her own house.

She found her father sick in bed, withered and depressed after his son's death, panicked because he didn't know if his daughter was alive or dead. When he saw Asenath, he perked up and started to recover. She took off her boots and climbed up onto his bed, and Isidor held her like he had when she was a little girl. Isidor tried to communicate to Asenath what had happened, but Asenath interrupted and told him that she already knew. They both talked in circles for a while about Thomas' death, Asenath not giving up everything she knew but also not claiming she didn't know more than she was saying. Isidor told her that people suspected that that Thomas had been killed by a foreigner named Irnessa Pavlovna, who had left town in a hurry in the night, the same Irnessa who he had given a farm to a few days before. Asenath tried to play along, but kept giving up little snippets of information. Isidor told her that even though he'd lost Thomas, he was happy because he still had her, and then the two of them discussed for a while how unfortunate their family was, what with Asenath's older sister's death/spiriting away, Asenath's mother's evaporation, Thomas's death, etc.

Asenath told Isidor about her plans to travel to Argenti with Felicity and Porphyria. At first, Isidor started  to sink back into a depression, but he quickly realized that it would be good for her. He talked about how she'd always seemed like a caged bird in Vohlespil and how he was happy that she was finally getting to spread her wings and fly. She told him about the farmhands she'd hired, and he thanked her for her forethought, then the discussion moved back to the subject of Thomas. Asenath mentioned that she had seen Thomas die, but when Isidor asked her who had done it, she clammed up. Isidor asked her about the wounds on her face, and Asenath told him that Thomas had done it. Isidor said that if Thomas had done this to her, maybe it wasn't such an awful thing that he was dead, as tragic as it was. They talked about how Thomas had seemed like a young boy trapped in an old man's body - which is literally what he was - and Isidor talked about how boy's often go wrong when they grow up too fast. He told her that usually he thinks of that as a metaphor, but in this case it's literal, as metaphorical statements often are when talking about the sort of occult business Thomas and Asenath were both involved in.

Thomas asked Asenath if her friends had killed Thomas for what he did to her, then Asenath stumbled through the entire story, the whole truth. She told him about Thomas's attack, about Thomas raping her, about how she killed Thomas. Everything. Isidor understood, and told her that knowing what he knew now, he was glad that Thomas was dead, unable to hurt people again. He asked her if the occult business was over now that Thomas was dead, and Asenath insisted that it is. This time, Isidor believed her. They agreed to remember Thomas as a child, not as the man he became, and to pretend together that he'd never returned from the aelf-barrow. 

Asenath helped Isidor out of bed, then set out to buy some liquor so they could drunk together and reminisice. On the way back, she ran into a young boy who asked her why she was carrying so much alcohol, and she let slip that they were having a wake for Thomas. She took the long route home, and by the time she got there, news had travelled fast like it does in small towns, and huge groups of mourners had arrived at the house for the wake to remember Thomas.

Meanwhile, Felicity and Porphyria lay on the bathroom floor and talked about love, sex, and manipulation. Porphyria put forth a hypothesis that people travel in orbits of people they believe can help them survive. She talked about how she believes her relationship with Asenath is likely a product of this Orbit Theory, since Asenath is a badass and Porphyria is weak, so Asenath can definitely help her survive in the world, and as an adventurer, can help her get some money by letting her hawk the things she pulls out of dungeons. Felicity argued against the Orbit Theory, insisting that love and sex are about more than the pragmatics of the struggle for survival, but Porphyria pointed out that Felicity's obsession with Asenath proves her theory, as Felicity couldn't survive as an adventurer without Asenath's help. They debated a while, then agreed to disagree. Eventually, Felicity fell asleep, and Porphyria went out to get some food, then came back with news of the wake at Asenath's house. She suggested that they go to support Asenath, then they discussed a little how they're both worried that Asenath is going to do something impulsive and get herself in trouble.

On the way to the Wake house, Felicity and Porphyria encountered a beggar wrapped in bandages from head to toe who claimed to have the Red Death. They kept their distance, and Felicity tossed him a gold coin. The beggar thanked her and told her that he would use it to buy himself a nice coffin, and to leave a little something for his son. He told her about how he'd escaped from the quarantine zone, as many do to raise money so they can leave something for their children. A little scared, Felicity and Porphyria hurried to the Wake house. 

Outside, they met a man who talked to them about how bad he feels for the Wakes, how awful the lot of the family is, how much he loved young Thomas and how much he loves the Wakes as a family. Pushing past him, Felicity found Asenath inside, sitting in an armchair looking pissed, Isidor passed out drunk in a nearby chair while the Roughnecks played (and sang offkey) a sad song about young boys going off to war and coming back in a pine box. The Roughnecks sat just behind Asenath's chair and played and sang very loudly. Asenath had decided not to get drunk, at first out of fear that her father would take advantage of her the way Thomas had, then out of fear of all the guests at the wake. Felicity and Porphyria tried to talk to Asenath, comfort her, but she brushed them off and acted strange. Porphyria migrated to the drinks table and started drinking alone, and Felicity, exhausted, passed out upstairs in one of the spare rooms. 

Angry about the wake, Asenath decided to start a fight. She found the leader of the Roughnecks' girlfriend and tried to seduce her to make the men jealous. She pulled the girl into a corner and started talking, flirting, then kissing her. Surprising Asenath, the girl flipped the tables on her seduction and came onto her, kissing her desperately. Asenath asked the girl if her boyfriend would be upset, but the girl told her that Victor (her boyfriend, the leader of the Roughnecks) had always told her that he believed that sometimes things just have to happen, so if things happen, it's all right by him. The girl then asked Asenath if she could go under her skirt and fuck her, and confused as hell, Asenath agreed. The girl went under her skirt and started eating her out while Asenath leaned against the mantlepiece and tried to ignore the party entirely. 

A while later, another of the Roughnecks came around, angry at Asenath for sleeping with his girlfriend. She gestured at the girl under her skirt - who the Roughneck hadn't noticed because she was completely concealed by Asenath's skirt - and said that she thought this girl was dating Victor, not him. Confused, the Roughneck told her that Julianne was his girlfriend, the mask-seller who Asenath, Porphyria, and Felicity had slept with at the harvest festival. He talked about how he tolerates Asenath's 'stocking-chasing' because of how important her family is in the town, but it's a step too far when she does it with his girlfriend. He hit Asenath in the face, but she shook it off and invited him to take it outside. 

They went out into the yard and fought - Asenath in bare feet and a floor-length skirt, as unprepared for a fight as you can get when you're Asenath Wake. A crowd gathered to watch them, and Asenath quickly broke the Roughneck's nose and knocked him out cold. The wounds on her face from Thomas's attack reopened, and Victor came at her now, angry that she'd humiliated his best friend in the fight. He ambushed her, and she quickly dispatched him after taking a few hard hits to the head. Enraged, she started kicking Victor in the sides while he was down, breaking a few of his ribs, then sat on his chest and kept beating on his face until she was sure he wasn't going to keep fighting. 

Asenath was ambushed by two more Roughnecks - one small and smart, and the other even bigger and stronger than her. She took out the small one with a kick to the face that broke his jaw, knocked out half of his teeth, then went toe-to-toe with the big one, who got the upper hand for a while, charging her like a bull, knocking her down and beating on her face with his fists. With a swift punch to the jaw, Asenath pushed the huge man off of her. Another of her punches broke his nose, then a swift kick to the face sent him sprawling, his teeth scattered across the lawn. Bleeding and battered, Asenath looked around and saw no more men coming to fight her. 

Walking back into the house, she shouted for Julianne, telling her that if she was at the wake, she should show herself. Julianne came out of the shadows and told Asenath that she was glad she'd beaten up her boyfriend, since she'd never liked him much in the first place. Asenath laughed and invited Julianne upstairs, where they fucked until they both passed out.


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