Due to two players being unable to make it, this session covered a previously unseen event from earlier in the campaign.
In the run-up to Christmas, Hampden was having bad dreams. He would find himself at a high-desk in an office, studying books of magic. He knew he was expected to do something, but he had no idea what, or where to begin. He continually woke up frustrated and stressed and the pattern would repeat itself the next night.
The exact situation became clearer when he was taken from his studies to a room deep underground that he recognised from his childhood. He was revisiting his education in the sorcerous arts – the very background he had left New York to escape. The underground room contained hooded figures and a trapped sacrificial victim, although he woke up before anything happened. On subsequent nights, he began trying to twist the dream into his control, changing small elements such as altering the spell he’s working on. Eventually, he succeeded in creating an illusion of himself studying so that he could slip away from his desk.
By this point, Folden was also having nightmares, specifically based around memories of sparring with Chang in the gym from his teenage years. Needless to say, he was only just holding his own. At the end of their bout, Folden went in search of their master and finding him lying dead in his quarters. At this point, Chang walked in and, seeing him standing over the corpse, assumed the worst and attacked.
Hawkeye was meditating with one of the more friendly Sioux elders, learning about walking the spirit world. On one trip they were exploring the huge tree that allows transit through those realms when he became aware of an increasing number of evil spirits passing. Eventually, they arrived at a realm resembling the Great Plains, near a small circle of tipis.
Hawkeye felt something was wrong and went to investigate, finding a demonic-looking figure next to the fire at the centre of the circle. He could hear voices and cries from inside the tents, and caught glimpses of a dark office and a large room covered in straw mats. At this point, the demon noticed him so he returned to his colleague for help. The colleague did not react and, when Hawkeye attempted to talk to him, was rapidly dessicating into a pile of dust.
As the demon laughed at him, he realised he had been drawn into his own nightmare.
He could hear Hampden in one of the tipis, and realised that he seemed to be trying to escape something. Hawkeye reached into the tent and pulled him out. By this point, the demon was beginning to react, so Hawkeye began to try and distract it, while Hampden retrieved Folden in the same way. The shaman realised that the fire might be significant and attempted to put it out, causing a powerful explosion.
At that point, everyone woke up, except Hawkeye, who found his colleague waiting for him. As they left the spirit world, Hawkeye found himself in a valley near Deadwood.
A few days later, Folden was approached by Chang for help with a problem in Chinatown. He had been trying to track down a number of Chinese residents who had gone missing, all considered good workers. He had finally found them, but they were being held captive by a poweful creature, and he needed help to free them. Folden, Hampden and the newly-arrived Hawkeye agreed to help, so they arranged to meet the next day following Chang’s planned reconnaissance.
The four of them met on the edge of Chinatown early the next day, and Chang led them to an apparently empty warehouse at the end of the main street. As they walked, he informed them that the kidnapper was a Chinese ogre, big and strong, but not too bright. There was a possibility it may have some kind of sorcerous ability. He wanted them to tackle the ogre, while he freed the slaves.
Venturing to the door, they looked in. The ogre was pretty obvious, white-skinned, with colourful markings, and about 9 feet tall. It was also easy to identify its followers, a selection of labourers, apparently in some kind of trance; the prisoners were in a cage at the far side of the room.
Hawkeye began by teleporting into the shadows in a nearby corner of the room. Hampden, meanwhile, opened fire from the doorway, covering Chang and Folden as they charged in. The defenders rallied quickly, and Folden rapidly became bogged-down in a fistfight at the doorway, although Chang was able to leap clear and head towards his objective. Unfortunately, he too was surrounded and caught up in a slugging match. Hawkeye was successful in his attempt to surprise the followers from the corner, but was unable to take advantage.
The ogre reacted by heading straight for the door melee and attacking Folden, whereupon a war of attrition began. Ultimately, the ogre went down and the followers awoke from their trances, surrendering immediately. Chang, who had been tied up for the entire fight, was finally able to release the prisoners, thanking the heroes for their help.
Following this event, Hawkeye returned to the snow-covered hills to resume his studies.