So my husband's character Colin and NPC Billy (15-year-old Billy Prescott from Dunwich) are in Arkham where Billy is learning a bit of magic in the hopes that they and Peter Crait (another NPC from Dunwich who's also reluctantly in Arkham with them) can go back and defeat the Son of Yog-Sothoth. Colin is dating Marie Bishop (the Believer/teacher from Dunwich), who is currently in town visiting him. I led him into "The Condemned" backwards, so he already has "Strange Legends of New England" (so he knew the Witch Bridge/Bishop story) and the "Testament Of Carnamagos." The storm has happened, Sermon has escaped, and Colin and Pete found Cardigan's body and Atwater trapped in Bishop's body. A whole bunch of time in the library has also explained the use of the Testament, and that it can be used both to make Sermon immortal again and to kill him. But Colin's decided that he's gotten too caught up in Arkham's problems and since he still considers Dunwich his home, he needs to quit trying to help everyone in Arkham and focus on getting back there before the Son escapes. (A dramatic increase in earthquakes seems to indicate the Son may be renewing his attempts.) So now that Colin is in the exact mindset I want him, I want to mess with him a bit.
Through a roundabout way I won't bother explaining, Sermon is going to find out Colin has the Testament and decide to kidnap Marie and hold her hostage in exchange for Colin giving him the book. So here's where I'm stuck.
- Marie has no idea who Sermon is or what's going on. Colin has no idea she's a Believer and has kept her sheltered from stories of his adventures. But she's not helpless. If she starts trying to defend herself, would Sermon conveniently bind her with the Sign of Barzai? It'd be a nice way for Colin to end up with it for future use...
- The only reason he wouldn't kill her outright would obviously be because Colin would demand to know she's alive before even considering a trade. But it's not like he can make an untraceable cell-phone call. Maybe they face off on opposite sides of the Miskatonic?
- Hostage trades are obviously tricky when Sermon can just kill both of them in a number of nasty ways. Exactly how would the trade work? And what possible reason could he have for deciding to let them live?
- Or maybe he doesn't have any plans to let them live, but "helpless" Marie casts something or other catching him completely by surprise and allowing them to escape? That would be worth it just to see Colin's reaction. I just noticed that Sermon and Marie actually are equal in POW... If she successfully bound him, that would only protect her, not Colin. What happens if she casts "Call Horned Man"? Nyarlathotep wanders in and hilarity ensues?
Bishop's nasty and I know it's REALLY stretching it to let them out of this alive. I'm not going to make it at all easy on Colin if he decides to go after Bishop after this, but right now I just want to give him the chilling realization that he just barely escaped someone a LOT more dangerous than anything he's met before, including the Son. (That, and have him have to live with knowing he give Sermon his immortality back in exchange for the woman he loves. Especially nasty once Sermon starts killing people left and right. Unless he surprises me by deciding her life isn't worth giving him his immortality, in which case he has to live with that.) As much as I love the idea of Marie surprising everyone involved with her power, I actually find it more chilling for Sermon to decide to let them live for some reason that works in his favor. I just can't think of what that might be. I did decide that he and Marie are actually distant relatives, but I don't see Sermon being sentimental enough to spare her just because of that.
Thoughts? The more dramatic the better. I'm in the mood for something mind-blowing.