You climb a trellis onto the roof of the Overland house. It turns out to be really, really hard to climb a trellis quietly.
“It’s been ages since I’ve done this,” whispers Kevin McCallister. “Is that everyone?”
There’s a sudden “Whoa!” behind you, and then a terrible cracking sound. You rush over to the edge, where you see the body of Lucy Van Pelt in the frozen garden below, impaled on a gnome.
“I… wish I… hadn’t moved the foot… ball every… single time.” She gasps, and then goes still.
A bear darts out of the hedge and drags her body away.
Lucy Van Pelt (Demyx Dancer) has died. She (they) were a Santa Aspirant (Vanilla Town).
“She fell?” asks the human half of Xmars Five.
“No,” says Kevin, studying the footsteps in the snow. “She was pushed. One attacker. We need to keep moving.”
It’s a trick to hoist yourselves up from the first-floor roof to the second. Anyone walking by inside could see you right now. This is dicey.
Through the windows, you can see the children. Borden Overland is at his desk, screaming into a PC monitor where a game of Fortnite is unfolding. His facial expression suggests he’s having a good time, even if the tone of his voice doesn’t. He seems far too engaged to notice you.
In the room next to his, you can see Orva Overland. The wall directly opposite from the window is painted with chalkboard paint, and Orva is practicing phrases in chalk calligraphy.
𝐵𝓇𝑜𝓂𝒾𝓃𝒶𝓉𝑒𝒹 𝓋𝑒𝑔𝑒𝓉𝒶𝒷𝓁𝑒 𝑜𝒾𝓁.
𝐻𝑜𝓉 𝓈𝒾𝓃𝑔𝓁𝑒𝓈 𝒾𝓃 𝒴𝒪𝒰𝑅 𝒶𝓇𝑒𝒶.
She looks dissatisfied with the results.
Scrooge is the last one onto the second-floor roof; Jack Frost and Dude Love have to each grab an arm and pull.
“I hate heights,” says Scrooge. “Bad for the constitution, you know.”
You gather around the chimney tentatively.
“Did we check if there was a fire?” asks Comet. None of you did, but when Comet waves a hoof over the chimney there’s no gust of hot air. You decide to risk it.
Carol is the first one into the chimney. At first, it doesn’t look like she’ll fit, but suddenly the chimney widens and she drops like a stone. She tucks and rolls out of the fireplace and pops into a crouch behind the tree. The only witness is a cat that’s scratching gently at the patio door to be let out.
“I’m in,” says Carol, in her best hacker voice.
The rest of you somewhat clumsily follow. The last is Comet, the Wonder Reindeer, who lands with a thud.
“Comet!” hisses Forky. Then: “This doesn’t look right. Does this look right to you?”
“Analysis indicates that her neck is broken,” says the robot half of Xmars Five. “Cursory analysis suggests attack with elf tools. Grieving cycle initiated: Rip.”
Comet the Wonder Reindeer (Mayelbridwen) has died. She was a Santa Aspirant.
You open the patio door, letting snow in and the cat out, and shove Comet’s body out into a drift.
“I’m sure reindeer die all the time in Ohio,” says Catbug. “No one will even notice.”
“So, hey,” says Dude Love. “I don’t want to harsh anyone’s mellow, but, like, do we actually have any gifts to put under the tree?”
“I will make a gift,” says Dr. Manhattan. There’s a flash, and then you’re all looking at a metal cube about one foot on a side.
“This is 300 kilograms of molybdenum,” he says. “This is what I would get myself for Christmas.”
The floor creaks ominously.
“You know what, sure,” says Kevin. “Let’s get this under the tree and get out of here.”
Pushing a 300 kilogram cube across the floor proves significantly harder than you expected.
“Why did we have expectations about how hard this would be?” gasps Rod, hauling on a string of lights lashed around the cube. “None of us has ever done this before.”
“Can’t you help?” Forky asks Dr. Manhattan.
“They need to experience adversity,” he says. “This is the human way of life.”
“Oh. That makes sense.”
The rest of you have just about got the cube of molybdenum under the tree when you hear a teenage throat being cleared behind you. You turn around.
“Uh,” says Orva Overland. She’s holding a cell phone.
“911, what is your emergency?” asks the phone.
“You know what, I’ll call you back.” She taps the phone off and pockets it. “Are you… trying to deliver a present?”
“Do you like it?” asks Dude Love. “We’re practicing to be Santa.” He slaps a stick-on bow onto the cube.
“I don’t NOT like it,” says Orva. “Do you really believe Santa is real?”
“Santa WAS real,” says Dr. Manhattan. “He exists in the past but not the present. He died in a chimney in a town called Neptune Shoals on Christmas Eve, 1888.”
“That’s… huh. Can you do magic?”
“Is singing magic?” asks Carol, hopefully.
There is an excruciatingly awkward pause.
“Would you like me to teleport you back to the North Pole?” asks Dr. Manhattan.
“Yes,” says Catbug, quietly.
You all vanish, leaving Orva alone with the cube. She walks over and crouches beside it, studying herself in its mirrored surface. She looks better than she feels, which is nice. She straightens out her poofy hair, then stands and walks to the kitchen. The casserole is burned, but less burned than last time.
Santagrad is a warzone. No sooner have you appeared on a street corner than a hail of bullets rip into the concrete above your heads. You run into a shattered storefront for cover.
“What was that?” says Jack Frost (Jack Frost!). “They were nipping at my head!”
You all hear the click of a safety being toggled off behind you, and raise your hands without saying anything.
“That’s right, hands where I can see ’em,” says an oddly familiar voice behind you. “That’s… wait, it’s you guys?”
You turn, and see Chordette’s Mom, who has an assault rifle, which she lowers immediately.
“Oh my God, we need to get you out of here. Everything’s gone to hell since the election. Follow me.”
She leads you out the back and onto another city street, where several cars are smashed and a tank is on fire. Elves are cowering behind sandbags and exchanging fire with rooftop snipers. Chordette’s mom gets off some suppressive fire as she shoos you into another building. This one is full of bullet-riddled wood paneling. Masked soldiers are slumped over beside gun emplacements. Tinsel is everywhere.
Chordette’s mom slams and bars the door. There’s a sudden, terrible roar, which sounds like a helicopter pinwheeling into a building. It terminates in an explosion so loud the sound is textureless and all-consuming. Festive pictures and fragile ornaments fall to the floor. You can’t see what’s happening because the windows are boarded up.
“There’s a dispute between factions. Glomar and Gazprom and Jingles McCoy-”
There’s another earth-shaking explosion, and the lights go out for a second. In the flash of darkness, there’s the now-familiar whack! of a sceptre hitting a head. When the lights come back, Xmars Five is slumped over, sparking gently.
Xmars Five (Mars Five) has died. They were an ELF CRONY (WOLF). The wolves are defeated. Only the serial killer remains.
“They were NAUGHTY,” says Robot Santa approvingly. He and Scrooge share a misanthrope high-five.
“This is great,” says Chordette’s mom, downloading Xmars Five’s database to her phone through a transfer cable. “We can tell Chordette! You’ve beaten the conspirators.”
“Where is Chordette?” asks Catbug.
“In her war room.”
“Didn’t I tell you? She’s gone to war with the others. It’s a four-way battle for control. And I think only a true Santa can stop it.”
- April LKD / Kevin McCallister
Demyx / Lucy Van Pelt– Vanilla Town DW / Venom– VANILLA WOLF
- E-Dog / Evaneezer Scrooge
Emm / Florence, the Little Match Girl– YULE SLEUTH (COP) Flubba Gunto / Red, of the California Raisins– S.I.C. (WOLF)
- Goat / Forky
- Grumproro / Jack Frost
Hohopossum / Tiny Tim Possum– Vanilla Town
- Indy / Dude Love
The Landstander/ Vanilla Town Lindsay / Mario Santa– Vanilla Town Mars Five / Xmars Five, Cyborg– VANILLA WOLF Mayelbridwen / Comet, the Wonder Reindeer– Vanilla Town
- Mr. I’m My Own Grandfather / Robot Santa
- MSD / Rod the Puppet
Raven and Rose / Gerald Loggins– Vanilla Town
Sic Humor / Tobias, a Make-A-Wish Santa– Vanilla Town
- Side Character / Catbug
Spookyfriend / “Dave,” Morally Ambiguous Man Wearing This Sweater– Vanilla Town
- Subsaharan / Dr. Manhattan
Sukaluski / Ambiguous In-Flight Meal– VANILLA WOLF Tobias Morpheus / Joe Camel– VANILLA WOLF
- Wasp / Carol
- 11 Pure of Heart (TOWN)
1610 Santa Aspirants (Vanilla Town) 1 Yule Sleuth (Investigator)
- 1 Christmas Prince/Princess – Constitutional Monarchist (vigilante)
- 1 Krampus (serial killer)
- 2 Impure of Heart (WOLVES)
42 Elf Cronies (Vanilla Wolves) 1 Santa’s Illegitimate Child (recruited by the wolves, now evil)
- Win conditions:
- The wolves win when they are equal to the number of town-aligned players left (if the SK(s) are dead), or outnumber the non-wolf players (even if the SKs are still alive).
- Town wins when all the wolves and the serial killers are defeated.
- The serial killer(s) win when it comes down to just them and one other person.
- A three-way standoff between the last town, last wolf and SK will result in a special ending.
- Night actions:
- There isn’t a hard order that night actions occur in. This is to allow as many of them to go through as possible. Roleblocks (if applicable) will always take precedent over the actions of the targeted player, however.
- Yule Sleuth: All town forces come back NICE, all scum come back NAUGHTY. If the Yule Sleuth scans Santa’s illegitimate child the same night they’re recruited, the Yule Sleuth gets an error message about moral ambiguity.
- Depending on the alignment they choose, the Christmas Prince(ss) cannot roleblock or jail the same person two nights consecutively (or jail themselves).
- You have the option to vote “No Kill” (or words to that effect). If that option prevails, no one dies at the end of the day.
- A majority vote for one player (or No Kill) will end the day early.
- A tied vote at twilight will result in no one dying.
- There are no secret powers or win conditions in this game. Any changes I have to make to the mechanics will be announced publicly.
- No editing posts.
- No quoting or screencapping from your QTs.
- If you have any other questions about rules, please ask in QT, and I will answer publicly here.
Day 5 will end Wednesday, December 11 at 8 p.m. EST.