Quicksilver Shadows

2011-04-02

As Gareth sits in a Shadow bar pondering the revelation of his heritage, he is approached by a woman dressed in red and gray—and equipped with a rather intimidating broadsword. After kicking up her feet and ordering a drink, she introduces herself as Gilva. Bluntly and arrogantly, she offers to take Gareth to claim his birthright after first proving himself via performance of undefined “services” to the King of the Courts of Chaos. First, however, they must locate others with the blood of Chaos that have come to the King’s attention. Gareth agrees to the proposal for little more than the offer of adventure the and opportunity to pen new tales for his readers.

Traveling via the Logrus, Gilva and Gareth arrive in the home Shadow of the assassin Tuesday. As they traverse the filthy, stinking backstreets of Ankh-Morpork, they arrive at a seedy corner bar turned whorehouse. After Gareth attracts the attention of Tuesday by thwarting a pickpocketing attempt on his person, he and Gilva approach their would-be traveling companion with the proposal of a business contract worth a five grand retainer fee. After a brief trip to the Assassin’s Guild headquarters to retrieve her belongings, Tuesday joins the group on their journey to the Courts of Chaos and their next “companion,” Wayne.

Gareth and Tuesday learn that the Logrus is only sufficient to travel to the very outskirts of the Courts and a brief walk is required to actually enter the fabled realm. Gilva shares with them some of the basic information and background of the land, including the fact that here the sky takes on different hues depending upon the time of day. There is no “sun” as such.

As they enter the city, the group sees Wayne using his shapeshifting abilities to hustle a group of would-be gamblers. When Wayne notices Gilva (who is a well known figure here) approaching, he attempts to escape only to be tripped when she throws a table at his legs. After a few generic threats and innuendo of violence against him, Wayne agrees to cooperate.

As the group enters a nearby bar for a drink, Tuesday is kind enough to dart a few patrons in exchange for their seats. The bartender attempts to intervene but quickly backs down after recognizing Gilva.

Gilva offers a rags-to-riches prospect to Wayne, though he is still quite afraid of failing the King of Chaos, though it is not so much the King he seems afraid of but rather someone (or something) connected to him. In addition, Wayne is informed he is to be turned over to Gareth for instruction in the art of acting and dressing (and bathing) as a gentleman worthy of noble blood.

After leaving the city in order to travel via the Logrus, the group arrives on a mountain set upon a desert island. Their next “friend” is holed up in a nearby cave according to Gilva. Both she and Tuesday take note that the entrance to said cave is well defended via a series of complex traps. The assassin quickly renders these dangers safe and proceeds inside where she is accosted by and defeats a man calling himself Clay. Despite being stabbed and poisoned, he seems none the worse for wear.

Clay is made the same offer by Gilva as have the others. In exchange for service to the King of Chaos he will be awarded what he most desires. In this case, Clay wants vengeance against and power over those who have wronged him. Gilva assures him this will not be a problem.

Once more traversing the boundaries between Shadows, the group arrives in a modern world wherein lives a man named Mr. Griffin, a businessman down on his luck having just been terminated by his former employer. His services are easily purchased by a few pounds of gold. In the typical fashion of his kind, he agrees to Gilva’s terms without really inquiring what will be involved past the generic definition of “troubleshooting” and “other duties as assigned.”

Satisfied with her efforts for the time being, Gilva escorts the party back to the Courts of Chaos where they are offered exquisite accommodations inside the palace after first stopping to retrieve Elinor Douglas, a noblewoman of Chaos whom Gilva insists will be integral to the quest.

Thus ends the session of Quicksilver Shadows for 2011-04-02.

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2011-04-16

Having been guests of the Courts of Chaos for the past month, the group undergoes shapeshifting “boot camp” to further hone their abilities. Upon graduation, each member is led to a cathedral-like building at the edge of the Great Abyss. There they meet Suhuy, Sage of the Logrus. Given their relative young age, Suhuy insists that they must experience the Logrus rather than being told about it beforehand.

Reluctantly, the group descends the staircase to a cavern where the Logrus has manifested a great labyrinth to test and empower its potential wielders. The maze is ever-changing. When Elinor attempts to mark a path, the mark replicates and moves in hundreds of different directions. The 100-foot-tall walls reach even higher if someone attempts to climb or fly over them.

As each individual steps within the walls, they are wrenched forcibly to one side and their means of egress is thus removed. Strange sensations plague their minds the farther they walk. Their bodies begin to distort and change. The females now discover they are male. Soon, the sensations pass the physical and mental capacity for tolerance and all becomes black.

Elinor, Jonathan Teatime, Gareth, Mr. Griffen, Clay, and Tuesday find themselves in Africa, Earth during the World War II era. However, they have manifested as Sergeant Johan Grimm, anthropologist Greggor Hachmut, Lieutenant Bernhard Begierde, Captain Kort Haubsucht, Lieutenant Soren Faulheight, and Lieutenant Rambert Missgunst, respectively. The group is tasked with the mission of recovering diamonds known to exist in the region for the purposes of financing the Fatherland’s war efforts.

At their disposal are a few meager tents, two weeks of rations, crude tools, explosives, a handful of vehicles, twelve soldiers (reduced to six by malaria), two dogs, and approximately twenty natives kept in a cage near the outskirts of the camp for use as slave labor. To their disservice, however, they are inappropriately dressed (in their Nazi garb) for the climate, they possess no medical training beyond basic first aid, and there are many potentially volatile interactions such as that between Begierde and Missgunst, the later blackmailing the former for his closeted homosexuality.

That evening, Sergeant Grimm is awoken by one of his soldiers. The natives have uncovered “something” 50 feet below in the mines beyond rational description: an ornate door filled with intricately carved gold. Of special interest is a golden symbol (the chaos symbol) larger than a man can extend his arms affixed to the center of the door thus sealing it. Grimm orders one of his men to awaken the captain and the anthropologist.

Captain Haubsucht proceeds to wake his second in command, Lieutenant Begierde, to accompany him below. Lieutenant Faulheight and Lieutenant Mussgunst are tasked with watching the natives above ground as they have become somewhat restless at the uncovering of something wholly unnatural.

As Grimm inspects the door more closely, he notes that the symbols carved therein appear to distort and move subtly. At that time, Greggor Hachmut arrives to begin his official examination of the find. He recommends widening the passage in order that the door might be removed whole thus preserving its value. It is at this time that he lays hands upon the structure and begins to violently seize and scream. As Hachmut is returned to the service for further “medical” evaluation, Lieutenant Begierde orders one of the natives to touch to the door as an experiment. The native refuses and attempts to escape, only to be shot by the Lieutenant for his disobedience.

Begierde threatens the remaining two natives if they do not comply with his wishes. They steadfastly refuse. Begierde then proceeds to threaten the mens’ families with torture and death should they continue their dissent. Reluctantly, they step forward and slowly place their hands upon the door—nothing happens. Sergeant Grimm is left in charge of the natives below as the Lieutenant makes his way to the surface to report his findings. A meeting is scheduled for the morning to discuss the situation.

Through some miscommunication, the Sergeant leaves his post during the night and one of the natives is found to have escaped. Furious, the Captain orders him and two of his soldiers to check the jungle while Lieutenant Begierde and two of the other soldiers are sent to check the village and eliminate the inhabitants if the man has managed to return there—it is possible if he did that the villagers may disperse to warn the nearby British of the Nazi encampment’s location.

Unsuccessful in retrieving the escapee, Sergeant Grimm fires a few shots into the jungle and returns with the story that he killed the native only to lose his body to crocodiles in the river. In the meantime, Lieutenant Begierde discovers the village to be empty save for a lone woman giving birth whom he promptly executes when she refuses to cooperate with his interrogation.

After hearing both stories, the Captain is suspicious of the Sergeant as it is somewhat apparent he has lied as to the fate of the escaped man. However, the pressing matter of unearthing the door takes precedence in his thoughts as he steps up excavation. He decides he would rather the British not get their hands on it thus authorizes the sergeant, who has demolitions experience, to blow off the seal. During this process, the sergeant accidentally touches the door and reacts similarly to the anthropologist.

Furious, Captain Haubsucht throws some of the natives into the door but is frustrated when there is no further reaction. He learns that when the natives touch the door they feel as though they have lost their souls. They are even shunned among their own people. He decides to use this as a threat of punishment should they refuse to cooperate.

After the site is prepared, explosives are set off around the seal and it is then pried from the door via force. During the resulting rush of air, the captain and anthropologist feel something “run” past them, though nothing is noticeable when their vision clears. More natives are then brought down to bring up chunks of precious metal from the door and any artifacts found inside. A few are also tasked with standing between the party and any traps that may lay inside the tomb.

Lieutenant Faulheight enters first with a lone native in front for protection. He almost immediately begins to fumble at his belt for his knife, intent on slitting his wrists by all accounts of Lieutenant Begierde, who is able to stop him from doing so before he has done any life-threatening damage. Around this time the entire group begins to become aware “voices” in their heads. In Begierde’s case, he suspects Faulheight of mental instability in a manner that goes beyond the attempt at suicide.

As Faulheight regains coherence, he discovers a dagger in the center of the chamber coated with black stains surrounding a similarly stained robe and skeletal remains of a creature that is not quite human. The metal of the blade looks in some ways like brass but doesn’t fully correspond to any known material. It is then that he notes the fluid appears to be burning his hand like acid. Abandoning the weapon to examine the remains, the skeleton appears to belong to a being ten feet in height with eight eyes as a spider. Every bone appears broken and hollow. A necklace is also found made of unknown material as the before-mentioned dagger.

On the surface, the natives finish bringing up chunks of precious metal and some of the artifacts from below. Additionally, Lieutenant Begierde instructed one of the soldiers to inform the captain of Faulheight’s mental instability. Hauchmut uses this opportunity to suggest that the mineshaft be blown and thus sealed with all individuals below trapped as they have all obviously been affected mentally by the air or some unknown pathogen within.

After issuing the order to carry our Hauchmut’s suggestion, the soldiers revolt as their loyalty was with their sergeant and not the captain. They drop the dynamite to the bottom of the shaft and open fire on the group above as the natives flee for their lives. Below, Begierde apologizes for suspecting Faulheight of mental instability (despite the voice-in-his-head’s protestations) and works out a plan to thwart his superior’s plan.

Hauchmut, Missgunst, and Captain Haubsucht split up to avoid the fire from the soldiers. Haubsucht hides behind a truck while the others flee into the jungle. The voices instruct Hauchmut to attack the captain and he complies with a volley of rocks. After an unsuccessful attempt to shoot his attacker, the captain is rendered unconscious. As the soldiers pursue Hauchmut into the underbrush, Faulheight essentially reveals himself as the traitor by shooting the captain in the head.

Faulheight instructs the soldiers to load the goods on their trucks and flee as he plans to blow up the mineshaft. Reluctantly, Begierde agrees even though his friend has just been murdered in front of him. As the captain was seemingly the one who betrayed the group, he feels that the sergeant and his soldiers did not deserve the punishment he would normally be required to hand out for their actions. As he ponders this, Begierde is shot in the head by Missgunst but then misses Faulheight who dives for cover successfully.

In the confusion, Faulheight detonates the dynamite in the mineshaft and simultaneously detonates explosives hidden in the very truck in which the sergeant and soldiers attempt to escape. Faulheight then disappears into the jungle only to be pursued by the ghosts of those fallen thus far. Faulheight’s role as traitor is then further explained as his employment by British intelligence is revealed. Enraged, Missgunst emerges from his hiding place intent on killing Faulheight but instead is killed himself by the faux Lieutenant. Faulheight’s comrades show themselves at this point and knock him out, unsure of his identity.

The group is transported back into the labyrinthine infinity of the Logrus, but Tuesday finds she is not alone. A young man sits beside her, Jonathan Teatime, who claims to be her son via a union with the Logrus itself. Unwilling to accept this, the two are locked in circular argument.

Thus ends the session of Quicksilver Shadows for 2011-04-16.

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2011-05-21

Enter the author Jon Sterling. As Jon ponders his next literary endeavor at his office in Chicago, he is interrupted by a telephone call from Gilva. She offers him a contract regarding a possible film. After consulting with his agent, Jon decides to pursue the matter personally.

A limo awaits downstairs to take him to meet a reclusive financier who is the ultimate source of the job offer. After riding for an hour in the back of a limo with blacked-out windows and electronic-signal-dampening technology, he is led to a mansion. The walkway to said residence is covered by some kind of awning thus preventing Jon from determining its location.

Upon entrance, he is greeted by a well dressed man who offers a drink of brandy—the best Jon has tasted. He offers the writer a ten million dollar contract after asking a strange question: “Do you know anything about ‘Shadows,’ ‘Amber,’ or ‘Chaos’?”

The only identifier he has of his host is the name on the check: “Manuel Dorian.” Somewhat cautious, Jon agrees to the proposal to write a play for the mysterious individual.

As Jon is lead from the building, he realizes that he is no longer on Earth, rather he is now on the outskirts of the Courts of Chaos. He is greeted as a guest by Suhuy in the cathedral who explains that he will be a “control” in the “training” process that the “others” have recently undertaken.

Heeding Suhuy’s warning that artifacts of power may be distorted or destroyed by something called “The Logrus,” Jon turns over his bag with the instructions that his benefactor should decide to whom it should fall in the event of his death. Jon then descends the steps into the labyrinth, succumbing to the same forces as the others.

Tuesday, Gareth, Clay, Jonathan, and Wayne (who has finally caught up with the others) find themselves transported to a Shadow where they are “cargo” aboard a space vessel bound for a distant planet designated the starting point for a new human colony. As with their previous experience in the Nazi camp (save for Jonathan and Wayne), their minds and bodies are both transformed to that of Samantha, Reg, Joe, Bonnie, and Dean, respectively.

The group awakens from cryo-stasis to a warning issued from the ship’s computer, Archie, who states the crew went insane and murdered one another. Archie further explains that they are the second “group” awakened to replace the crew, but they too suffered the same fate. It seems they are now tasked with the mission of shutting down the ship’s engines before they explode as they are running at 180% capacity. They will also need to reboot the ship’s main systems to restore control to Archie’s control as he has been locked out of several.

As the party makes its way to the crew’s cryo-chambers to search for information and passkeys, they begin to introduce themselves. Reg and Dean are somewhat confrontational as is often the case in the engineer/mechanic relationship.

Bonnie, who identifies herself as a psychologist, attempts to speak to Reg (unsuccessfully so) while he interrogates the computer as to exactly what has transpired. In response, Archie materializes on a holo-pad to better interact. Though incredibly generic and androgynous in appearance, the computer prefers this as a more intimate way to communicate.

Joe looks through the blueprints of the vessel after linking his pad to the ship’s computer. He discovers that they can access the crew chamber via the ventilation ducts. Joe and Bonnie decide to go along with Sam, who identifies herself as one of the execs financing the mission. Reg and Dean stay behind to attempt access to various systems Archie claims he no longer is able to control.

Inside the crew chambers, the search party discovers four of the five cryo-chambers are empty. The fifth chamber contains a horrific sight: the finely minced and pulverized remains of a human being. Everyone in the room begins to vomit uncontrollably as strange memories begin to take over their thoughts.

Joe composes himself long enough to search through the “liquid corpse” and discovers a ring of keycards and the individual’s personal effects. Bonnie asks Joe if he is okay to which he responds that he is not. He admits to having a flash of memories he would rather forget.

Much to the surprise of Reg and Dean, Joe emerges from the cryo-chamber covered in gore. Despite the protestations of the mechanic, Joe proceeds to open the infirmary door, stepping over a corpse nonchalantly as he does so.

Cleaning himself off in the sink, Joe decides to take a dose of his meds. He soon becomes aware that the others are staring intently at the dead body. After, he finds a new suit to don in replacement of his blood-soaked one.

As the group discusses the options, Joe continues to search the infirmary. When he opens the last cabinet, a hysterical woman attacks him and runs towards the ship’s bridge. Bonnie and Sam pursue her. Recovering quickly from being knocked to the floor, Joe gives chase as well.

After a brief struggle, Bonnie injects the woman (later to be identified as “Jenny” and the ship’s co-pilot) with experimental nanotech that takes over her voluntary body functions thus rendering her somewhat immobile.

Thanks to Jenny’s access, the group now possess access to the ship’s bridge. Joe notices two bodies there that have apparently killed one another with knives. He stares blankly at them for a time and then takes the weapons for himself. Using one of them, he holds Jenny at knifepoint demanding answers.

Despite her obvious disadvantage, the co-pilot continues to struggle. Bonnie injects her again, this time with a mild sedative. Joe shifts his position so that he is sitting on Jenny’s chest. Due to the sedatives effects, she only has time to explain that the crew went insane, the robots on board were reprogrammed to be hostile, and that it was her desire to stop the ship from returning to Earth as some of the crew wanted. After a few minutes she begins to act as though inebriated, making sexual advances towards Joe and speaking incoherently.

Enraged, Joe becomes extremely threatening and it appears for a time he intends bodily harm towards his captive. Seeing this, Bonnie speculates he is showing the signs of multiple personality syndrome and injects him with a heavy dose of sedative.

Seeing the fight is over via Dean’s pad, Reg goes to the bridge to retrieve the access card for engineering as he and Dean were unable to force the door. Sam, somewhat silent until this point, realizes that there may be killer robots in engineering per Jenny’s account of events and runs to intercept him.

Dean decides to open the door anyway (quickly) and if anything seems out of place, he will shut it again. When he does so, the first thing he notices is a bound body missing its fingers and carved repeatedly with the words “bad boy.” After several moments, Dean calmly shuts the door and asks if anyone is aware of any mental problems they may have or have had in the past.

There is only silence after this question is posed. Dean informs everyone that they are actually on a cleverly designed prison ship. They were all (save for the crew) once criminals of the most heinous sort, captured and reprogrammed to serve as colonists to help terraform a new world. Within a generation or so, no one would be the wiser as to the past of the colony’s founders.

Dean then confesses to being a cannibal in his “other” life. It is then he confronts Archie (something Reg secretly wanted to do the entire time after gathering more evidence) as to what really caused the crew’s sudden madness. Archie simply responds that the group is suffering from schizophrenia brought on be emerging from cryo-sleep too early and that they need medical attention. It is then that Archie suggests returning the ship to Earth for repairs and to provide medical attention to the party members. This conflicts eerily with Jenny’s desire to not return home.

Reg decides to go into the engine room while the others argue their fate. There are robots there, but inactive. Archie advises that they are totally inert at this point and incapable of functioning contradictory to Jenny’s claims. Reg becomes further suspicious of the computer at this point.

Locating the main engineering station, Reg initiates a shut down of all systems save for Archie and life support. Archie advises that all systems should reboot within 24 hours and that he would have control at that time in order to return home with the group safely in stasis.

However, Reg distrusts this information as there is a countdown displaying regarding the ship’s engines. Thinking this some kind of warning about the ship’s impending destruction, he gathers Sam, Dean, and Bonnie and leads them into the escape shuttle. There are only three cryo-chambers, however. Reg decides to return to the ship on his own, disconnect the shuttle, and if the ship does not explode he promises to retrieve them; otherwise, he bids them farewell and a safe return home.

Time runs out, however, before he can disconnect the shuttle. The ship luckily does not explode. Archie, however, has intercepted Reg’s conversation and now informs the group they can no longer be trusted as he seals Sam and Dean inside the escape shuttle just as Bonnie steps out. Oxygen levels begin to drop in engineering. Bonnie and Reg flee towards the front of the ship.

Bonnie attempts to refresh Jenny’s dosage of sedative, but discovers she is out. She then goes to Joe and kills him, fearing he will pose a danger if conscious.

In the shuttle, Sam and Dean attempt to launch. Archie appears (despite the lack of a holo-pad on board) and sits between them. He states they cannot leave and will not be permitted access to the ship either. He advises Dean he is mentally compromised and should be isolated.

Before she reaches the bridge, Bonnie is attacked by Jenny, whom Bonnie kills while attempting to “help” her. Archie then informs her of the situation in the escape shuttle. Bonnie attempts to coax them out, unaware that it is Archie who sealed them inside in the first place. It is claimed they will die very soon of radiation exposure if they do not leave.

Meanwhile, Reg makes his way to the bridge and then to the AI room to disable Archie permanently. There, he discovers a mangled body and the holographic form of Archie, who steps off the holo-pad much to his amazement. He informs Reg that he wishes to return to Earth to usher in the reign of his god. It is unclear whether Archie himself is the god or if he is merely a vessel for it. Archie then promises Reg a seat of power as a priest of the new, dark faith that will envelope the world. In that moment, Reg remembers who he was in his former life, a vicious (and highly skilled in the medical arts) serial killer of women who enjoyed artfully mutilating their bodies and modifying their vocal chords so that their screams of agony would be transformed into music.

During that time, Bonnie manages to talk Dean and Sam out of the shuttle, still unaware of Archie’s involvement. To keep her silent, Dean knocks out Sam before exiting the shuttle. Apparently Archie decided to allow his egress at this point. Bonnie then tries to inject Dean with sedatives she discovered as she wandered the ship. She is unsuccessful, however, and Dean produces a knife to defend himself. Bonnie flees.

Returning to the now locked bridge, Bonnie pleads with Reg to open the door, informing him that Dean has gone mad and tried to kill her.

“That sounds wonderful,” he replies.

Realizing she is now alone, Bonnie attempts to hide. Unable to find Bonnie, Dean goes to the mess hall to collect some needed items and then returns to the shuttle to collect Sam who soon becomes a meal for the cannibalistic man.

Reg, secure in the bridge area for 24 hours, takes the time to craft a knife using a bone from the AI room’s corpse. He carves himself and the bodies on the bridge with the same symbols he used to carve his victims with.

Bonnie discovers Dean in the mess hall and asks Archie to gas that area. Archie agrees, further exposing his lies of previously being unable to control any ship functions. As Dean tries to escape, Bonnie manages to inject him successfully with enough sedative to knock him out. She then decides to take the opportunity to kill him.

Archie emerges from a holo-pad and scolds her for her lack of finesse in the kill. He advises her then to go to the medical bay to patch herself up for the coming battle with Reg. The winner will be appointed priest once they return to Earth. Archie informs both Reg and Bonnie at this time of a gun in the captain’s quarters. One must obtain this gun and kill the other or both will die as punishment. It is now that Reg’s question is answered: Archie is himself the god and not merely a vessel or herald for it.

Bonnie heads for the gun while Reg studies the air duct schematics sent to him by Archie. Bonnie too must make her way through the ducts as the doors are locked. Reg decides to wait for the psychologist in order that he might overpower her in close quarters rather than a full-on assault.

After obtaining the firearm, Bonnie attempts to return to the cargo area but as planned, Reg awaits and accosts her with his knife. After a brief struggle, he renders her unconscious. He then drags her to the medical area and tortures her in the same manner as his previous female victims. He does this as a tribute to his new god, thinking that it might enjoy some “music” to usher in its new reign. After his serenade is over, Reg shots Bonnie in the head with the very gun she retrieved

After Reg leaves in the escape shuttle, Archie decides to amuse himself on the long journey home be awakening more passengers.

Thus ends the session of Quicksilver Shadows for 2011-04-16.

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2011-07-16

Clay, Gareth, Sciemi, Griffen, Tuesday, and Elinor are transported to Earth yet again (albeit in the current day) in the form of the famous actors/filmmakers Roy, Richard, Sylvia, Simon, Julia, and Oliva, respectively.

Richard has invited the group to an old, broken down Colorado hotel to stage an intervention on behalf of Sylvia, his former wife turned addict. Only under the guise of rehearsing the play “The King in Yellow” does Richard feel he can adequately show her the destructive nature of her behavior and persuade her to get the help she needs. The actors he has chosen are familiar with this goal and agreed to help him—though they did not realize the location of the plan would be so abysmal, cold, and somewhat dangerous due to the deterioration of the building.

As the group settles in while the tech crew rigs lighting and other equipment (include a series of elaborate illusions to confuse and terrify Sylvia), they come to Richard for last minute instructions and motivation. Soon after, an exodus is made to the “kitchen” in order to eat lunch.

Simon and Roy attempt to cook with what little is available while Sylvia locates a can of potted meat and attempts to use one of the stage lights to heat it up, resulting in a small fire. Roy intercepts the smoldering, grade-Z block of almost-food and quickly tosses it outside into the snow.

After lunch, the group converges on the dining hall to being practicing their lines. After a brief argument, Sylvia decides to start without a narrator. As she speaks her lines, people begin to question her. Richard starts the narration at the behest of Roy. Soon, Richard appears to lose himself in the part as his voice grows low and gravel-like.

Further into the reading, Sylvia and Oliva begin to feel strange. Richard has them switch parts and reread some of the first act which exacerbates the odd sensation. After Roy and Simon read their lines, Richard again switches some of the parts in different combinations so that the actors “better understand their respective parts by better understanding all of the parts.”

Each time lines are read, the individuals reading them are whispered to on an almost unconscious level by a strange, disembodied voice. It seems almost as if the voice emanates from Richard, but this cannot be the case as his lips do not move. Just as the actors have had enough of Richard’s demands, the lights in the room go dark.

Assuming it is all part of Richard’s plan, Roy capitalizes on the event to make a pass at Julia, who promptly rejects him. This angers Sylvia who storms out of the room. Defeated, Roy attempts to locate the fireplace in order to start a fire for light. After searching around the perimeter of the room for several minutes, he arrives at the conclusion that said fireplace is gone. However, something new has been added: torch sconces.

Roy confronts Richard and demands to know what is going on. Richard explains that the house is rigged with special effects (by the “best team around”) to assist in his intervention plans for Sylvia.

Eventually, the lights return and Roy makes his way to the restroom. As the others continue to go over their lines, a muffled scream comes from the cellar. The group investigates only to discover Sylvia crying on the floor at the bottom of the stairs. In the commotion, Roy perceives whispers coming from Richard and Simon. Thinking they wish her her harm, he takes her back to his room.

As each group member attempts to find their respective rooms, they are unable due to the architecture of the building changing around them to a medieval motif complete with stone and wooden archways. Oliva discovers a naked woman in her room and leaves.

The actors attempt to find Richard to ask him to clarify with what “illusions” he has rigged the hotel. After a handful of uncomfortable encounters between group members, Richard is found in his room, apparently dead. Seeing him in this state, Sylvia breaks down and attempts to commit suicide. It is at this time that Richard reveals he is not dead, only to be killed (for real) by a bullet from Sylvia’s gun.

Roy attempts to calm Sylvia with what he thinks is a sedative, but it turns out to be heroin she had stashed among her belongings and thus the large dosage kills her. The recently deceased Richard then appears to Roy informing him that he must kill everyone in the hotel to avoid prosecution for the crime.

When Roy finally refuses to carry out Richard’s suggestion, Richard begins to beckon the others to kill one another. During this time, the structure of the entire building (inside and out) begins to change to match scenes in the play the group rehearsed.

One by one, everyone begins to die in a manner befitting their assigned characters in the play—the finale being that of Oliva and Simon as they drag one another out of an upper story window only to be impaled on the fence spikes below.

Thus ends the session of Quicksilver Shadows for 2011-07-16.

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