The Setting: Drawing, a large forested country town in New South Wales around an hour from the coast, at Saint Valentine’s Academy, a Catholic high-school.
Our Cast (this session):
Kafka – a striking Ghoul with hollow eyes who was killed in a car-accident a month ago, bare days into the school year, but woke up afterwards confused and hungry. (He pronouns) [Played by Kaj]
Sabrina – a brooding Witch with calculating eyes whose sanctuary from the stupidity of her classmates (an old and abandoned bathroom) is full of occult paraphernalia. (She pronouns) [Played by Jacqui]
Mika – a distant Infernal with calculating eyes chosen to receive power and influence by an unknown patron who asks only the smallest things in return. (They pronouns) [Played by Liv]
Sad and confused, Mika was left wandering through the empty streets and ruined industrial buildings on the western part of town as they begin to drift into a trance-like state. They felt the cold and damp of the night intensify as the sounds of a pack of hunting animals on their heels were accompanied by the appearance of a great dark golden-eyed hound in front of them.
As the hound let out a terrifying howl, echoed by the pack behind them, Mika snapped out of the vision and the fearful hunting hound was reduced to nothing but a mangy cur that slunk off into the shadows. Reaching an overgrown section of the industrial ruins nearer the south Mika had an emotional breakdown, sobbing and shivering, and turned to the Dark Power – in its raven-like shape – for comfort.
Half-waking to the realization that Adam had departed during his sleep Kafka was unable to get back to sleep and, prompted by his uncertainty as to whether his gravely-injured victim had survived, wandered over to Mika’s house to check in on them and Lauren. Finding the house empty and overcome with the realization of his brutal and monstrous actions, Kafka lay down on the floor and began to bitterly weep.
Driving home in a panic to escape whatever it was in the woods that had taken a sympathetic token from her, Sabrina arrived home and shut herself up in her room to do some desperate research. Spreading her occult books around her in a huge circle on the floor, she searched until her eyes were drooping and sleep was nearly upon her, but couldn’t find any hints as to what creature might leave the inhuman footprints she’d spotted when she woke up.
Staring at the tangled sheets and discarded clothing on Mika’s bed from his encounter with Mika and Lauren, Kafka’s concern over the absence of his almost-girlfriend sent a series of increasingly-dreadful scenarios through his mind that culminated with a too-real image of Lauren pale and bloody and pinned by a great iron spear to a treetrunk in the forest.
Falling into a deep and exhausted sleep, Sabrina dreamed. She found herself in a small clearing within a dark and tangled woodland, small dead animals spiked to the trees around her with iron nails and their blood pooling among the branches. From the shadows outside of the dim moonlight, within the trees, a dark and shadowy figure watched and then identified itself as the Hunter.
Speaking longingly of the days when born witches roamed its forest and kept fear and memory of its name alive, the Hunter offered to give Sabrina the power of a born witch and teach her ancient secrets if she would carry out its ancient rites and bring back the fear of the ‘mortal flock’ when they heard its name. Despite sensing that blood and cruelty lay down that road Sabrina’s desire for knowledge and power overcame her and she agreed, the Hunter mingling their blood to seal the pact before she woke in her room with her missing pendant back in her hand and leaves and dirt on her feet.
Dehydrated and with no more tears to shed, Mika let the Dark Power guide them back home with a side-stop so they could wash their face and clean up in a frontyard fountain. Arriving back at their home to find Kafka still curled up on the floor, Mika retrieved a knife from the kitchen and the two exchanged tense and guarded words as an increasingly suspicious Kafka demanded to know where Lauren had gone and an untrusting Mika tried to find out whether the real Kafka had in fact survived his death or if all that was left was a dead and hungry thing that wore Kafka’s face.
Unwilling to wait any longer, Kafka made to leave when Mika pinned him up against the doorframe with a knife against his throat to stop him. Leaning slightly into the blade to kiss Mika, Kafka manoeuvred them back into the centre of the room during a violent and angry series of further kisses before pulling back and walking away, leaving Mika confused and alone and turned on.
As Kafka left, Mika offered the Dark Power yet more influence over them if it showed them one of Kafka’s secrets and was given a direct impression of Kafka’s feelings for them and desire to regain some of their childhood closeness and intimacy. Still emotionally devastated from sacrificing Lauren to the Dark Power and Kafka trying to kill and eat them and confused from Kafka’s sudden abandonment of their kiss moments ago, Mika was overwhelmed by a sense of abandonment and helplessness to fulfil their wants and needs and became their Darkest Self.
Now willing to do anything to feel again, Mika smashed some plates and glasses before bed as the Dark Power suggested that maybe destroying something much larger – like a person – beyond repair would make them feel even better and then went to sleep. Outside Sabrina’s window, a great raven watched over her with unblinking golden eyes and delivered a scroll of cracked and ancient bark to the windowsill. And in the forest an increasingly fearful and desperate Kafka staggered through the trees shouting Lauren’s name until, exhausted, they tripped over a tree-root and fell at the foot of the ancient tree from their vision only to spot no sign of Lauren or anything stranger than the trees still-green leaves, unusually vivid and alone among the autumn reds and browns all around.