A Group Nightmare in Wonderland – Part 2
We continue our group playthrough on Zoom of Alice’s Nightmare in Wonderland. Again, we have one person on Alice’s dice, one on the nightmares’ dice, one with the character sheet, and two of us with the book switching off reading. We have so far breezed through only one combat with Tik Tok Men, wandered through a garden and a fungus forest without much incident, and raided a tea party and a pantry after the attendees/occupants were found missing with signs of a struggle. We’re loaded with food and weapons, and so far have nothing to fear.
We arrive at the huge hedge maze (not at all like the medium-sized one in Belinda Blinked) leading to the palace, and in we go. Through an astonishingly remarkable stroke of luck, we’re through it in 10 minutes without a single encounter. I’m serious, that we didn’t cheat. The one time I played this book before, I spent an hour in this maze, ran into multiple combats, connected multiple mini-maps together as I started to make sense of it all… But no, they couldn’t have done the maze and quicker if they had a map. They have been remarkably fortunate this whole play.
At the far side of the maze, is a gate with some guards dressed as playing cards. Alice doesn’t know a password, and in fact hasn’t spoken to anybody at all since her fall down the hole, so the guards arrest her and take her to the dungeon. But with a 9 agility and 9 logic, and apparently some training at picking locks with a hairpin, she presently makes her escape. She then discovers the gruesome fate of the people who would have been at that tea party earlier…
The hatter, the dormouse, and the march hare have been fused together, into a metal framework and a boiler to power the new metal body. It’s really hideous to look at — doubly so when it brings down steam-powered piston-strength punches at her! But ponce again, between the shield and scissors and a 10 combat, she takes 1 hit the whole time for 1 point of damage. Alice, the unstoppable killing machine.
Moving on, she discovers another prisoner in the castle: a gryphon. The gryphon remembers Alice from her prior visit 4 years ago, but does not offer to help, instead immediately fleeing the castle. Well, it was still a good deed and we did get a gryphon feather out of it, which almost certainly will come in useful later.
Guarding the throne room is the Ace of Clubs, who is also the royal executioner. The book says it’s an epic battle, but again Alice’s hyperalloy combat chassis and microprocessor-controlled reflexes mean that she cannot be reasoned with, nor bargained with, and absolutely will not stop, ever, until the guard is dead. She steps over the body, and into the throne room.
…Where we find the Queen of Hearts. Dead. Decapitated, in fact. And the Red Queen sitting on the throne, gloating.
Oh hell. Alice’s would-be assassination plan, just took a turn.
The Red Queen makes some gloating remarks, gives Alice the vampire-style come-hither. Alice uses her reality-bending power to wake up just a little bit, and snaps out of the daze. As the Red Queen lunges for Alice’s throat, her fangs bared (holy heck, she’s a vampire!), Alice leaps aside and throws the executioner’s axe at the Red Queen, killing her instantly.
And then she starts to get back up, and her flesh knits back together in a matter of moments.
And the Red Queen comes forward toward Alice, once more…