Mythic Russia playtest session 6
In the Khant camp, outside the anomously summer-foliated patch of forest around Novosibirisk, the heroes noticed a few things. Bear noticed that he was feeling quite sleepy again. The bear wasn't sleepy at all, and where he rested some buds burst open. After the feast, Valvo and Bear went to sleep (Bear into a very deep sleep) while Volk howled at the full moon and Ten Penguins (as Tengujin was temporarily renamed) stayed awake as a vigil to purify himself before crossing into the Ideal World at dawn.
At about midnight, Tengujin heard something crashing through the trees in the direction of Novosibirisk. He and Volk went to investigate. As they crossed over into the summery woods near Novosibirisk, they were attacked by four almost-people. Tengujin struggled to get away from them and climb a tree; Volk tried to rip the throat out of one of the attackers, managed to dismember it too easily, and was repulsed by the smell and taste of long-dead meat. Bear and Valvo soon arrived in the fracas. Valvo looked at the spirits of the attackers and realised that they were zalozhniy, the Unhallowed Dead. Bear didn't spend much time on such philosophical niceties and simply bowled in and shattered the zalozhniy, just as Tengujin managed to get up a tree. Bear's effects on the zalozhniy confused Valvo, as he wasn't used to purely physical attacks destroying spirits.
The heroes rushed back to the Khant camp, woke Satyga and told him about the zombies in the woods. Satyga replied that he knew all about them and warned the heroes not to enter the woods, because they were haunted at night. Strong words were very nearly spoken to him.
Bear went back to sleep; Tenjugin returned to his vigil. Volk noticed that Olga's crystal eye was pointing towards the Novosibirisk. Valvo and Volk decided to go into the village to find out what they could about Olga. (At about this point, some comments were made about Ribena which were deemed to be hysterically funny. You had to be there.) They evaded the few remaining zalozhniy and made it into the village. Olga's eye continuted to look at the river. The area either side of the river was very marshy and several of the houses there were sinking into the mud. They picked their way across the few remaining sections of wood-paved path towards the river. There they saw a man picking up some stray bits of waterlogged wood. After a brief conversation ("He must be evil," said Jo, Tengujin's player, "he's being nice to us." She was right), Valvo realised that the man was a vodyanye, a river spirit. At about this point, the vodyanye introduced Mary, a rusalka (a beautiful Siren who tempts men into the river then drowns them), then turned himself into a large, fanged eel-like creature. Volk rushed towards Mary (slowed by the mud) and jumped into the river with her, where he shredded her. Valvo managed to confuse the vodyanye by asking some naïve questions. When Volk emerged from the river, the vodyanye was about to leave when Valvo asked about Olga. The vodyanye offered to take him to her, and opened its mouth for Valvo to climb in. He was about to do it when Volk held him back. The vodyanye left and Valvo and Volk returned to the Khant's camp.
At daybreak, Tengujin brewed some birch tea, drank it from his fox skull totem, and mounted his horse. Assisted by Valvo, Volk, and Bear, as well as some of the Khants, Tengujin led them all towards the rising sun and easily beyond it. Once in the Ideal World, Tengujin led the group into the forest around Novosibirisk. Volk found some of the best-tasting rabbits he'd ever found and handed them round. They quickly found the leshy, the forest spirit, who made some cryptic comments about what was going on with the woods, said that the heart was missing so it couldn't sleep, denied knowing about Br Daniel, and blamed everything on the vodyanye (or perhaps the heroes). The leshy gave the heroes some moss and an interlocked piece of wood to help them defeat the vodyanye. ("What do we do with these?" asked Tengujin. "The moss is for the vodyanye and the wooden thing is for the rusalka," replied Bear. "We shove the moss where the sun don't shine and put the wood where the love is." Much hilarity ensued.)
The heroes then decided to try to find Br Daniel, still in the Ideal World. While wandering, Bear rescued an injured crow from Volk's attention, and the crow showed it gratitude by promising to aid the heroes later ("Call my name three times and I will come."). Just after that, they came across a stream of blood running uphill. Following it to its course, they came across a man with blood fountaining from his hands.
And that's where we left it.