Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Insylum: First Three Days

I can't believe I forgot to post this up as it was set ages ago.  I won't be finishing this Actual Play (naturally) as it occurred several months ago and I've moved on.  Still, for those who want to run an Insylum type game or want to play around with vampires in asylums, this might still be of interest.  The part of the campaign I'm up to is listed over here, though there's no real Actual Plays there.

Day One

James awakens in a white room with no memory of himself.  He discovers the intercom but learns from a nurse that it's not 7:30 yet so it's not time to get ready.  As he is an amnesiac, he has no reason yet to be anxious about the situation.  Instead he makes a pillow body and dresses it in spare clothes out of boredom.  He also notices that the windows have been replaced by paintings of the outside world with light bulbs placed around the frame behind the glass.  The orderly arrives and takes him alongside five other men to Bath 2 for a group shower and then into the room adjacent to Bath 2 to brush their teeth.  James noticed he had a blurred reflection in the mirror and muttered: "The mirror's not working."  No one else seemed to notice.  He learns that he's an amnesiac on a schizophrenic ward from the orderly whom he stirs up a little.

He goes to the Day Room for Breakfast but isn't hungry.  The food smells nice in the same way that sawdust smells nice.  Not a bad scent but certainly one that doesn't make him hungry.  An attractive young woman comes to sit next to him and he discovers that he never eats because he thinks he's a vampire.  This young woman introduces herself as Molly and states that she has Al Capone as a boyfriend and has been put here because her mother doesn't like the relationship.  Apparently she has a direct phone line to him in her bedroom.  Other than that little detail, she seems just like a fun loving ordinary woman from what he can see.  She encourages him not to take his pills when they're handed out and once the breakfast tables are packed away, she takes him over to a couch and turns it to face the corner.  She then proceeds to talk him into letting her give him a hand job.  He blushes of life instinctively.  It gets all the more tawdry when an orderly notices just as he, err, finishes.  Molly is returned to her room for a week as punishment.  

Two of the women gossip, one of whom is known as Hester, is totally outraged and bitches about James to another woman who seems more disappointed that she didn't get to perve at him.  James, feeling deeply ashamed and therefore doubly defensive, confronts Hester as a prude and the other woman walks away. The two have an argument with Hester reinforcing how stupid and vulgar he is though luckily James' defensiveness doesn't give way to a frenzy.  

James also meets Nora, a catatonic schizophrenic who just moves where she's taken and sits where she's placed, who nonetheless is brought out daily and gently moved around by the other patients.  He also plays cards with a paranoid schizophrenic who thinks the government has inserted robot neighbours to watch the civilian populace so that they don't realise that the Nazis infiltrated America when the Third Reich temporarily collapsed in Germany.

Just before bedtime he is fed a blended meat shake due to his psychological issues surrounding food.  In truth, it's luke warm blood but the orderly and nurse swears that it's not.  It's alleged to be simply blended meat with vitamin supplements.  It tastes good but not fantastic.  Drinking it makes his fangs slip out but when he shows the orderly and the nurse both of them say that he has normal teeth.

Day Two

James awakens early again.  He takes his pills today, reasoning that Molly was crazy and so he shouldn't take her too seriously.  He notices Ron staring at him in the shower and, feeling cross and exposed, snaps him with a towel which sets Ron off in an angry rage.  James doesn't get hurt and manages to stay clear of him until the orderlies can calm him down.  James is sent into the therapist, Dr. Kelly, who explains Ron's difficulties with social situations and how his schizophrenic symptoms and low IQ only make things more problematic for him.  James feels guilty but it's Ron who is the first to apologise.

Dr. Kelly also explained to James that he's only been there two weeks and that he came in due to his delusions of being a vampire and his memory lapses which have since extended into retrograde amnesia that seems to come over him in waves.  He can remember himself for some time but then starts to forget again.  When he mentions feeling condemned by Hester, Dr. Kelly says that it's a shame as the two were good friends for awhile despite the incident when James had a violent episode and chased her into the toilets whereby she locked herself in until he calmed down.  Dr. Kelly also expressed hope that he could go outside during the one Outdoor session that he has in his calendar.

That night he hallucinates a presence in the bed next time which makes a sound like bones rubbing against each other.  He lays there for a long moment but when he feels it begin to move as though someone were turning to regard him, he shoots out of the bed and lands by the door tangled in sheets.  There's nothing on the bed but he now senses a presence under the bed reaching for him.  He passes out instantly as, unbenownst to him, the sun came up in the world outside.

Day Three

James discovers that he likes swimming as he has no fear of drowning.  He doesn't test this, however, as he's pretty sure he's schizophrenic and he worries that he'll accidentally drown himself if he puts his head under for too long.

He browses their small book selection when it's brought out in a trolley in the hopes to find something to tide him over between going to his room and lights out.  Most of the material is informative and all of it isn't imaginative.  No tales of Magic Faraway Trees here.  He does find a novel about a British drama set in the quiet months before the Blitz and borrows that.

That night when he goes to bed and starts to read it, he hears the sound of 1930s crooners over the speakers and his door creaks open.  He's in his pyjamas and peers out the doorway and sees a movie set with individuals hurriedly putting up walls and faux building fronts.  There's a single street light on despite the fact all the buildings (British) are dressed for the black out.  He goes to his closet to get some better clothes and finds a nice suit complete with a wallet, leave papers (Australian Army) and cash.  He heads into a British pub and meets the bartender whom he chats up.  She teaches him how to play Chopsticks on the piano before the sirens start and they all head to shelter in the basement.

James feels very conscious about the hurricane lamp she uses for lighting (she has no batteries and apologies for the fire risk) and so James sits by the stairs.

Ten minutes later, a dusty Air Raid Warden brings in four soldiers on leave (two Americans, a Polish man and a Greek man) who immediately start gambling with various odds and ends.  The Greek man has a sausage (who knows how?) whom he puts onto the pile.  James gets involved and discovers that he's quite good at gambling by spending a Memory chip.

He recalls similar occasions sitting in basements and dusty buildings with folks speaking French around him, gambling with folks in uniform while mortars go off in the background.  Finally he knows something about himself - but did he truly serve as a soldier or was he in an administrative capacity?  Dawn rises (though he can't see it) and he passes out.

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