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[IC] [Mage: the Awakening 2E] The Supernal Suburbia

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  • rwknoll
    started a topic [IC] [Mage: the Awakening 2E] The Supernal Suburbia

    [IC] [Mage: the Awakening 2E] The Supernal Suburbia

    The Supernal Suburbia

    Close enough to Chicago for an easy commute, but far enough away to avoid the...less than savory aspects of the Windy City, La Grange is a Cook County suburb that some would say is a boring alternative to city living. Many families choose to live in this area for a number of convenient factors: less congestion than its neighboring villages to the east, quick CTA access to the city and nearby towns, and a downright pleasant feeling that scratches the suburban itch that so many middle-class American families are seeking. Locals are quick to brag about La Grange's quality schools and that, yes, the actor David Hasselhoff is from here. What more could you ask for?

    However, very few people, locals or otherwise, will let conversation linger on topics about the strange occurrences that have plagued parts of their town for years. It's a simple fact here: If you don't talk about it, it's not really a problem. Suburban lives goes on...except when they don't.

    So no one talks about, for example, the way that kids from Lyons Township High School sometimes go missing for a week or two at a time, only to show up in town with no memory of where they've been or what they have been up to. People prefer to quickly change the topic when someone asks about the distant howling they heard coming from the woods at night on the north side of town. And no one really knows, and certainly never talks about, why these disruptions to their idyllic suburban life happen in very specific pockets of town while others have almost never reported these same problems. No one in their right mind discusses how absolutely dreadful all of those bizarre experiences are in Chicago, only a short train or bus ride away.

    But you have Awakened. You don't just talk about these odd happenings; you can't get enough of them. And suburban life, it turns out, has a lot of secrets hiding behind its white-washed fences and nicely furnished homes.

    Current Player Characters
    1. Kvitebjørn Kong Valemon - Lynx, Thyrsus Mystagogue, animist/college student (old character sheet here: Lynx)
    2. Second Chances - Eurydice's Heir, Moros Arrow, neopagan obsessed with ephemeral beings
    3. DrSteve - Morganna, Mastigos théarch, soccer mom / con-woman
    4. DArchon5 - Fatewise, Acanthus Mystagogue, high school grad with supernatural family problems
    5. squidheadjax - Caliginosa, Obrimos Guardian, magical thief and artifact remover

    Inactive Player Characters
    1. Beans - Dr. Asphodel, Moros theoretical physicist
    2. MagicSwordsman - Binder, Mastigos bookstore owner/family man
    3. Caladriu - Moonstone, Mastigos Sleepwalker-turned-mage
    4. crapcarp - Phoenix, Obrimos Hunter-turned-mage
    5. Haberdasher - Ragnar, Acanthus Renaissance man
    6. Thorbes - Ouroboros Ophis, Moros occult physician

    ----------------

    Table of Contents

    OOC Thread

    Storm Chasers (Old group - Game no longer active)
    Chapter 1: "Eyes Wide Open"
    Chapter 2: "All in Order"

    ----------------

    Taken by Storm
    Prologue: “The Calm Before the Storm”
    Chapter 1: “Distant Rumbles”

    ----------------

    Awakened La Grange
    In many ways, La Grange is a stereotypical Midwestern suburb. It has picturesque streets, a healthy blend of chain restaurants and unique local attrractions, and convenient access to the city. For mages, there are also additional perks of living in the city. Suburban "culture" means that no one looks too closely at strange occurrences, creating a natural layer of protection that allows mages to practice their arts with minimal intrusion. While mages, Kindred, and Uratha battle over territory in Chicago for ease of access to crucial resources, conflict between these supernatural in the suburbs tends to be less deadly and less common. Sleepers aren't the only ones who might turn a blind eye to strange occurrences in the suburbs. With this kind of atmosphere, it's no surprise that many mages would gravitate towards suburbs like La Grange for their sancta.

    The weight of suburbia can cause other problems for mages, however. In some places around the city, the Lie settles in more strongly than other regions -- as if the city itself feeds into the Lie. Spellcasting in these areas can be impacted unexpectedly in a variety of ways, such as risking higher Paradox, being more vulnerable to Dissonance, or worsening Quiescence in Sleepers who observe obvious magic. Awakened Scholars haven't been able to pin down precisely why some regions are affected more than others, but they have observed that local events -- LT High School winning a big football game against a rival, a headline news story about an armed robbery in a wealthy neighborhood -- can cause the Lie to settle more heavily on different parts of town. This can be particularly frustrating when one of these zones moves over a sanctum.

    The Guardians of the Veil are very active in the suburb of La Grange. They are charged with protecting the secrecy of Awakened society, and the moving "Lie zones" make their jobs easier in many cases. However, more than once they have needed to race to the scene of a ritual gone wrong because a mage overreached and summoned a monster from the Abyss. The Silver Ladder, in contrast, work even harder to guide Sleepers to Awakening to compensate for the heavy weight of the Lie in this suburban town. Their work has understandably led to tension with Guardians in La Grange, as well as the Adamantine Arrow, who more recently lean in support of the Guardians' mission.

    Over the past few years, there have been additional unusual occurrences targeting the youth of La Grange. About every month, a student from La Grange's Lyons Township High School has been going missing. In almost every case, the teenager suddenly showed up a week or two later, with no memory of what had happened to them or where they had been. There have been two notable exceptions, in each case of which the teen's body was found with no identifiable causes of death. For the adolescents who go missing and do return, the community has made it a habit to just pretend that nothing strange happened, and that the teenager was out of town on some kind of vacation -- or perhaps it's the Lie that prevents them from remembering? So far, no mages have been able to figure out what, or who, is causing these teens to disappear.

    Places of Interest:
    Brookfield Zoo: Although technically in Brookfield rather than La Grange proper, the zoo draws crowds of Sleepers and mages alike. mages in particular visit the zoo because there are several hallows scattered throughout and around the area. The Gauntlet also fluctuates here in a peculiar fashion; it is thick during the day, but razor thin during the quiet hours of the night.

    Bemis Woods: This 480-acre forest is located on the northwest side of La Grange. Sleepers come here for a fun, outdoorsy day of hiking and enjoying nature. mages come here primarily to collect mana from its many hallows, and some reclusive mages even hide away in their sancta here. However, Uratha frequent the area as well, usually because dangerous or powerful spirits try to use Bemis Woods as an access point to the material world.

    Rumors Nightclub: This gay bar has only opened in the past year, and already it has been received with excellent reviews. The welcoming, raucous atmosphere inside provides a great cover for mages trying to hide in plain sight while they meet and discuss recent Awakened politics. However, Kindred and their ghouls also frequent the bar, using the popular night scene for easy feeding.

    Marlin's Books: Marlin Matheson's bookstore is located here in La Grange. Although he hasn't previously known it, mages have come here investigating to see how much true occult knowledge Marlin has accumulated, especially thearchs and Mystagogues.

    Flying V Martial Arts: The martial arts studio where Garrick Royce works part-time as an instructor is also located in La Grange. He has good relationships with a number of quality students and other instructors. It also provides him with opportunities to keep honing his physical skills, and it does help pay the rent.

    ----------------

    Awakened Chicago
    Chicago is a busy city with a richly diverse urban atmosphere. Men and women from around the world travel here for business or pleasure. There are many large and well-respected universities and colleges, a thriving entertainment industry, a vibrant music and art scene, and a wealth of knowledge available through museums and public seminars. It also has its fair share of corruption, scandal, and poverty, as well a potpourri of gangs and common thugs.

    For "normal" humans, Chicago can be a dangerous but exciting place to visit or live. For the Awakened, both of these extremes are sharply magnified.

    On one hand, Chicago is home to some of the richest, most compelling, and most potentially lucrative Mysteries in the Midwest. Legend has it that Chicago rests on an ancient battleground where the first mages made war against the Exarchs, before the fall of Atlantis. Despite the fact that modern cabals of brave mages have scoured the city for over a century, forays into the heart of Chicago today still often find imbued items, pieces of Supernal lore, and even the occasional artifact. The exact reason for the sheer number of these items appearing is unclear. Some Mystagogues believe that the city's core resonance allows for Irises to other realms to form at regular intervals, opening into parallel worlds or Emanations where this Atlantean war is still being raged. Mages who return from these Emanations only come back with glimpses of knowledge that don't seem to fit with where or how they remembered discovering these objects -- if they remember anything about their journeys to these otherworldly realms at all. Regardless, it is now common knowledge that these items are more likely to be found after unusual weather patterns, which may be related to their Supernal nature: thunderclouds with red lightning, hail falling in the height of summer, and other odd events. Mages with Prime Mage Sight can identify these magical weather fronts and refer to them as Highstorms. In fact, mages are experimenting with ways to incorporate these storms into their spell casting as a yantra, which has so far enhanced Prime spells and other magic that connects the material world with other realms.

    But this knowledge comes with a price. Some of the items are cursed, or at least cause extreme damage to those who use them without proper precaution. Many appear tainted with the Abyss, tainting an unwary mage's imago or calling attention from horrific beings that have no known name. Mages have not been able to consistently identify and purify these items of their curses, although Masters of Prime have been the most successful to date.

    Furthermore, mages are not alone in Chicago. Kindred and Uratha alike have flourishing societies or pockets of influence throughout the city, and they are constantly on the prowl for any sign of supernatural beings out of fear of predation. The safest times for mages to travel into the city relatively without fear of harassment are at peak hours during the day, but obviously at the risk of being surrounded by a sea of Sleepers. Even those times are not safe, as werewolves and their wolf-blooded kin have no problem being active during the day, and vampires' ghouls can equally act in sunlight without their masters' same limitations. Kindred and Uratha may lack mages' knowledge about Highstorms, but they can detect mages in their own ways, and they know that each Highstorm often leads to an influx of Awakened invaders on their home turf. Many a cabal has met its untimely demise searching for artifacts downtown -- but not enough to entirely deter the hubris of others. And there are other supernatural beings that may be fewer in numbers, but not necessarily less dangerous.

    Most of the Orders still hold regular meetings downtown, due to a desire to have central meeting locations. The meetings often occur in private meeting rooms at public institutions during the lunch hour, with strict rules about not casting any spells on the premises. Each month, they also meet in varying outlying suburbs on a rotation system, where they are allowed to practice magic more freely. Guardians of the Veil are tasked with ensuring that mages follow these protocols during Order meetings, but also serve to protect mages when downtown. The Silver Ladder has been at odds with them for years; they believe that Mystery Cults downtown are especially important to give Sleepers a chance to have their eyes opened, believing that the Highstorms may be used somehow to facilitate their Awakening. The Free Council has been pursuing humanitarian efforts downtown with the homeless population of Chicago as well as the local LGBT community. They're also actively allied with researchers, including both mages and Sleepwalkers, at several universities downtown.

    ----------------

    Recent Events & Awakened Politics
    The game begins on October 3, 2020. Until very recently, the Chicago Consilium was headed by a Hierarch named Atlas. Historically, the Chicago Consilium has been a republic by nature, with the leader from each Pentacle Order serving on a council that is overseen by the Hierarch. Atlas, an Obrimos Mystagogue, encouraged communication among the Order leaders but was primarily interested in his agenda to study and catalogue artifacts discovered after Highstorms. He had few policies or care for issues involving Kindred or Uratha, except to caution mages from causing more trouble than was necessary. Atlas was a pleasant but relatively reserved man, clearly brilliant and gifted but not always practical; most mages had nice things to say about him, but thought he could be more decisive or involved in major decisions pertaining to Awakened society.

    On September 8, 2020, a particularly large and powerful Highstorm struck the city around dusk. Pitch-black fog seeped up from the ground beneath the entire span of the city proper, rose like mist into the sky, and formed boiling, black clouds lit by red lightning. A surge of mages traveled from the Chicagoland suburbs into the city in hopes of finding artifacts or some rare knowledge.

    That evening, 32 mages were killed.

    The victims were fairly equally distributed across Path and Order, although the Adamantine Arrow and Guardians had relatively fewer, while deaths among the Mysterium and Free Council were higher. With a previous population of mages somewhere between 300 and 400, the sheer number of deaths was a sizable blow to the Orders. Disturbingly, many of their bodies were found in isolated areas with a powerful Abyssal taint; Death spells to ascertain the nature and time of their deaths caused more than one Moros to scream in agony and fall comatose for a period lasting hours to days. Most of the mages killed included Nameless or newly Awakened, but a few were even verified masters. All of them had a look of horror transfixed on their face.

    As a result of this incident, infamously referred to by many as the Deathstorm, a sudden shift in political power led to Atlas grudgingly stepping down as Hierarch in place of a Latina woman known as Cielo, a Thyrsus mage who was serving at the time as the Adamant Sage of the local Adamantine Arrow chapter. Cielo is part of a small but influential, all-Latina cabal known as Medianoche. Cielo and her "sisters" Luna and Estrella are all masters in their own right, but Cielo is a local legend rumored to have never lost a fight or a Duel Arcane.

    Cielo's chief policies are straight to the point: Defend mages from danger. Subdue Kindred and Uratha if they pose an immediate threat; otherwise, don't pick a fight. And above all, strike down those who willingly seek to support the Abyss or Exarchs. With the full support of the Consilium, she and her cabal led strike teams against several Seer pylons and even some Scelesti in the city and routed them. Her approach has been criticized by a minority for being too extreme, but most have applauded her emphasis on getting results.

    The Deathstorm has had some other subtler effects on Pentacle mages, too. The Free Council has been severely restricted in their ability to pursue some of their humanitarian efforts among the homeless. The relationships between the Silver Ladder and Guardians have grown even more tense. And a number of Nameless and newly Awakened mages have turned to the Adamantine Arrow, either out of admiration for Cielo or fear of being killed by some Abyssal monster without means of protecting themselves. Mystagogues have been arguing amongst themselves about whether it is more important to keep seeking new artifacts and knowledge from Highstorms, or if they should focus on studying the knowledge they've already accrued to ascertain what might have led to the events causing the Deathstorm.
    Last edited by rwknoll; 11-22-2020, 06:59 PM.

  • rwknoll
    replied
    Morganna
    When you view the text message through the lens of your lie-detecting spell, you are reassured to see that every word in Valentine’s message, brief as it may be, is true. You sense no falsehood in his message.

    Leave a comment:


  • DrSteve
    replied
    I tell Lynx I'll pick him up at ten unless he wants to meet earlier for breakfast (Morganna called, did not text) and look at Valentine's text with pierce deception active.

    Leave a comment:


  • rwknoll
    replied
    Caliginosa
    As you finish your ritualistic incantation, you feel your Imago settle upon your eyes and eyeshadow, and you sense that you will be able to call upon this spell to open your third eye and glimpse the Supernal unfolding around you.

    Because this spell normally has an immediate effect that allows you to ask questions equal to Potency of a subject at the time of casting, per the rules about duration on p. 113 of the Mage 2E corebook, I will say that once every 3 hours until the spell ends, you can study a person, place, or location for one turn and ask one question using the normal questions from the spell listing on p. 166.


    Lynx
    With instructions drilled into you from Raven soon after your initiation into the Mysterium, you stumble a bit with casting your rote but manage to pull it off well enough. An electric-like energy courses through your veins as you feel more alive.

    When you text Valentine back, you unfortunately get no additional response.

    This doesn’t matter for this post, but it looks like you used the wrong dice expression for your spellcasting roll. “2d10o9h7” means that it will roll 2 dice, reroll 9s and 10s, and anything 7 or higher counts as a success. This was used in some older World of Darkness systems. In Chronicles of Darkness, only 10s are rerolled by default, and anything 8 or higher counts as a success. The simplest expression is “Xd10h8”, which will roll X dice and automatically assumes that 10s reroll.


    Morganna
    Vivian sends only a cursory response: Ok. This isn’t out of the ordinary for her, especially when she is preoccupied with something, but she usually does respond. Valentine, perhaps unsurprisingly, does not respond to your text.

    You assert your will upon the world, drawing power from Pandemonium, and your spell easily snaps into place.

    For dice rolls, as noted above for Lynx, use the expression “Xd10h8” for standard rolls that reroll on 10s and hit on 8, 9, or 10. FYI, Praxes are only considered exceptional successes on 3 successes, not 2.

    As far as aspirations go, these are meant to be significant efforts spent in a scene on accomplishing a task that your character (or you as the player) want to make happen. As noted in the OOC thread, you can only earn 1 Beat from completing aspirations per scene. I would rather wait to award you the Beat until you actually complete the task of picking up the clothes, which requires at least some effort on your part. If you would rather replace it now for free and just start with a new aspiration, let me know.
    Last edited by rwknoll; 11-25-2020, 10:18 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kvitebjørn Kong Valemon
    replied
    Lynx


    Mage Sight: Peripheral | Conditions: None | Spells: Body Control (Potency 5, 1 Week)
    Health: OOOOOOOO | Willpower: 5/5 | Mana: 11/11
    Tilts: None |3 Beats/Exp: 1/0 | Arc. Beats/Exp: 0/0



    Originally posted by squidheadjax View Post
    Yes exactly, getting by, better than in a while, not long enough.
    Glad you're sleeping better! Didn't have too bad a night myself either. Were you awake when Val messaged you? Do you have any clue what it's about?

    Lynx grinned to himself as he sent his message. Before he had time to put down his phone, he received another one.


    Originally posted by DrSteve View Post
    "Lynx this is Morg. Somebody from the Concilium wants to meet at eleven today. Did you get the same message? Can I pick you up on the way?"
    Yeah, I got the same message. Don't know if I need a lift, am thinking of walking there and exploring the region a bit! Though I might get lost in the suburban jungle if I do, so probably best if you do pick me up. Did have a time in mind?

    Lynx hit send before he pondered his message. It had been rather lengthy...

    Leave a comment:


  • DrSteve
    replied
    Morganna

    Mage Sight: Peripheral | Conditions: None| Spells: Pierce Deception (Potency 1, Duration 1 day).
    Health: OOOOOOO | Willpower: 5/6 | Mana: 11/11
    Tilts: None | Beats/Exp: 1/0 | Arc. Beats/Exp: 0/0


    Ugh, Viv said that wizards do things differently. So somebody with a burner phone was sending messages without encryption. Well good for him, the FBI, and any lawyer who could get a subpoena for the texts -- not to mention everyone else who might have a way to listen in. Making matters worse, whoever sent the text was either a morning person or had been up all night. Both possibilities were disturbing. "Keep your eye out for trouble." Well from the meeting last week trouble seemed to come calling, but still if you had to look out for trouble you had probably already made a mess of a job.

    Ok first things first. Quick text to Viv, "Somebody who says they are Valentine wants to meet later today. I'll keep you posted." We told people at the company to always make sure somebody knew where you were going when you went on a sales call. Since Viv's friends could see through time and space, hopefully, that would be enough - or she'd call.

    As for Mr. Mystery caller, Texts never die. Next time call. Will be there.

    Breathe, stop freaking out. You've done things like this before, not with people who control the fabric of the universe, but you've done this time of thing before. Don't freak out about some strange text.

    Time to get some, good looking, backup. Hope he was awake and not hungover. Picking up her cell phone and cycling through contacts,

    "Lynx this is Morg. Somebody from the Concilium wants to meet at eleven today. Did you get the same message? Can I pick you up on the way?"

    Spells. God so strange to think like that, not that everyone doesn't have some superstitions about a job. This stuff actually works.

    Focusing sheer will Morganna briefly shown brightly forging a path through darkness of the Abyss. As undescribable things beyond began to intrude her soul stood before the screaming darkness and shouted "I stand against you today, I stand against you tomorrow and for the rest of my existence. BE GONE! " And in a blaze of light the darkness was gone. The memory quickly fading in Morganna's mind other than the vague feeling that she had just done something brave.

    Welp, time to get cleaned up and game face on. With luck, there was enough time to grab a quick breakfast at Wendy's. Looking down at a little red string around her finder, oh yeah and pickup a scout uniform from the cleaners on the way.




    Pierce Deception
    Primary Spell Factor: Duration
    Type: Praxis
    Target: Self
    Potency: 1
    Duration: 1 day
    Casting Time: Instant
    Yantras: Shadow Name, Dedicated Tool
    Base Dice Pool: Gnosis 2 + Prime 1 + Shadow Name (3) + Dedicated Tool (1) + WIllpower (+3) -2 (duration) 9 (oops! 8)
    Reaches: +1 Advanced Duration, +1 Instant, +1 See a Symbol of the Truth
    Free Reaches: 0
    Total Reaches used: 3

    Paradox Dice Pool: 1 (Containing Paradox)

    Casting Roll Praxis First POst: 9d10 48 Sorry learning the roller the dice are, [9d10=8, 7, 2, 6, 5, 9, 4, 2, 5]
    -And I miscount and roll one too many dice. Dropping the 5 from the end does not change the result.

    2 Successes so a crit success with a Praxis.

    Paradox Roll:

    Paradox Roll: 1#1d10 6

    No Paradox this time.

    Resolving pickup scout uniform Aspiration for one beat and replacing with get backup for the meeting.





    "
    Last edited by DrSteve; 11-24-2020, 02:02 AM.

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  • squidheadjax
    replied
    Caliginosa
    Mage Sight: Peripheral | Conditions: None | Spells: Supernal Vision (+all paranormal)
    Health: OOOOOOO | Willpower: 5/5 | Mana: 11/11
    Conditions: None | Tilts: None | Beats/Exp: 0/0 | Arc. Beats/Exp: 0/0
    Originally posted by Kvitebjørn Kong Valemon View Post
    With a sign and a smile, he was about to pocket the phone when another message came through.

    Hey, you gonna be there?

    Morn! I assume you mean where Val asked us to be? If so, yes! How're you today? Did you sleep well? Did you sleep at all?

    Lynx sent the message without a second thought as he pocketed his phone. Still another couple of hours before 11am. Breakfast would probably hold for the rest of the week, but instinct told him that it might be smart to eat something. Just in case.
    Yes exactly, getting by, better than in a while, not long enough. Truth be told, she does somewhat miss the schedule of debauchery and stealing at night and sleeping all day, but... there were other problems with that.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kvitebjørn Kong Valemon
    replied
    Lynx


    Mage Sight: Peripheral | Conditions: None | Spells: Body Control (Potency 5, 1 Week)
    Health: OOOOOOOO | Willpower: 5/5 | Mana: 11/11
    Tilts: None |3 Beats/Exp: 1/0 | Arc. Beats/Exp: 0/0

    Morning had come early. Always did. He'd managed to finish his Body Control spell without much difficulty before he headed out into the Bemis Woods for his morning walk, just to shake off those last drops of sleep that clung to him. Not that he was particularly tired these days, but it was good routine. Raven had approved of it. Midway through his wanderings, the hour broke, and then the message arrived.

    Valentine...

    Lynx bristled.

    Mastigos, Sentinel, right? Why'd he want us?

    He pondered for a bit as he leaned on a nearby tree, drinking in the morning, as he googled a map over La Grange. He'd gotten to know many a path through the Bemis Woods, sure, but the suburbs themselves were still a mess of street names that he'd yet get accustomed too. The size of it all contrasted his home village in scope, and the suburban jungle was not quite as alluring as the woods. Yet.

    With a sign and a smile, he was about to pocket the phone when another message came through.

    Hey, you gonna be there?

    Morn! I assume you mean where Val asked us to be? If so, yes! How're you today? Did you sleep well? Did you sleep at all?

    Lynx sent the message without a second thought as he pocketed his phone. Still another couple of hours before 11am. Breakfast would probably hold for the rest of the week, but instinct told him that it might be smart to eat something. Just in case.

    Man vet jo aldri...

    He returned to his apartment to grab a quick bite - some crispbread with butter and cheese, simple enough - before he went over his schedule. Lessons at 10 am. Group project at 1 pm. He texted the unknown number back, assuming Valentine would be on the other end.

    How long will this meeting last?

    It didn't really matter how long it'd last, though. Lynx knew that. He sent a warning to his teacher and his study group, informing them that he might not show due to reasons. He went through his studies for about half an hour before he set off to Downtown La Grange. The suburbs were a mess of street names. Might as well get accustomed to them now.
    Translations & Spellcasting Rolls



    Translations

    Man vet jo aldri... - You never know...

    Body Control
    Primary Spell Factor: Duration
    Target: Self
    Potency: 5 (-8)
    Duration: 1 week (Base)
    Casting Time: Instant
    Yantras: High Speech, Rote
    Base Dice Pool: Gnosis 2 + Life 3 + High Speech 2 + Rote 3 - Potency 5
    Reaches: +1 Advanced Duration, +1 Instant, +2 to halve healing time for lethal
    Free Reaches: 4
    Total Reaches used: 4

    Paradox Dice Pool: 0

    Spellcasting Roll: Body Control - 2d10o9h7: 0 [2d10o9h7=2, 3]

    Spellcasting failed, defaulting to Take 1 due to no paradox risk.
    OOC notes



    Hot damn I forgot how tricky this used to be. Good fun.

    IRL, 3rd of October is a Saturday, not a Friday, but wrote the post as though it was Friday.

    It's also been a while since I played Mage, so if I fuck up the numbers, apologies in advance. For some reason, it's harder for me to do the maths on a forum than IRL.

    Text message font: Times New Roman 14
    Last edited by Kvitebjørn Kong Valemon; 11-23-2020, 05:20 AM.

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  • squidheadjax
    replied
    Caliginosa
    Mage Sight: Peripheral | Conditions: None | Spells: Supernal Vision (+all paranormal)
    Health: OOOOOOO | Willpower: 5/5 | Mana: 11/11
    Conditions: None | Tilts: None | Beats/Exp: 0/0 | Arc. Beats/Exp: 0/0
    Michelle - Candace to the mailman and her landlady, Caliginosa to the truth of the world - wasn't woken up by the text message; she'd already been blearily sipping at a bleak mug of cheap instant coffee since waking up shortly after the sun rose to shine in her eyes through the threadbare curtains of her window a half hour before. Best to be awake for what the day might throw at her, according to her mentor. Even if her professions - temporal and mystical - were both best plied at night. A midday nap would usually be enough if she needed to work late.

    And so she starts texting the others, with variations of

    Hey, you gonna be there?

    The meeting time gives her plenty to weave a spell to hint towards whatever weirdness she might encounter during the day. Invisibility would be awkward, and she wasn't expecting to head right to a job after the meet anyway. She wears her long robe and signature silver wig as she slowly works the magic into a dusting of her smoky grey eyeshadow, chanting all the while, before applying it.

    By the time it gets close to the meeting, she's switched to her grey hoodie to blend in more on the street as she makes her way on foot.

    Supernal Vision
    Primary Spell Factor:
    Potency
    Target: Self
    Potency: 1
    Duration: Day (-2 Dice, 1 Reach)
    Casting Time: Ritual
    Yantras: High Speech, Shadow Name
    Base Dice Pool: Gnosis 2 + Prime 1 + Shadow Name 3 + High Speech 2- Duration 2 = 6
    Reaches: +1 Advanced Duration, +1 Detect other supernatural sources -1 base = 1

    Paradox Dice Pool: 1
    Release/Contain: Contained
    Roll for Paradox: paradox contained: 1d10h8 0
    Roll for Wisdom: n/a

    Spellcasting Roll: spellcasting roll - supernal vision: 6d10h8 2

    Last edited by squidheadjax; 11-23-2020, 08:57 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • rwknoll
    replied
    Chapter 1: “Distant Rumbles”
    Saturday, October 3, 2020. Mid-morning. Two and a half weeks after the Deathstorm.

    Caliginosa
    At around 7 am, you receive a set of short text messages on your prepaid phone, the one you reserve for the cabal and Guardian business only. It matches a number that your new mentor, Valentine, gave to you.

    Callie, I need to meet with you and your cabal. Today. Not an emergency but it’s urgent. I’ve contacted the rest of them, but make sure they come.

    The next message includes an address that a quick Google Maps search shows as some random house near the intersection of US-34 and Madison Avenue, a block or two west of Trader Joe’s in downtown La Grange.

    Meet at 11 am. Call this number when you’re all at the front door. Keep an eye out for trouble. Stay safe.


    Everyone Else
    Shortly after 7 am, you receive a series of short texts from an unknown number. The sender identifies himself as Valentine, whom you know as Caliginosa’s mentor within the Guardians and also one of the two Sentinels in the Greater Chicago Consilium.

    In his messages, Valentine instructs you to meet up with the rest of your cabal at 11 am sharp at an address he sends to you. It appears to be a nondescript house near downtown La Grange.


    I'd like everyone to include in their first post a description of what you would do in the morning before gathering with the cabal. For any spells you cast, please make a roll for the spell as usual (see the OOC thread on page 1 for info about posting and rolling conventions).
    Last edited by rwknoll; 11-23-2020, 07:10 AM. Reason: Fixed the date. Thanks Lynx!

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  • rwknoll
    replied
    Prologue: “The Calm Before the Storm”

    You always suspected that there was something more out there, something Beyond the life you knew. There was an itch inside of you that you could never scratch. It haunted you, sometimes made you want to tear your hair out. For those of you fortunate enough to be born here, on some nights when the crazy Chicago storms swelled and rolled by, you swore you could hear, see, even feel something on the edge of your consciousness. Lately, the storms have made you restless. To your family, friends, coworkers, you played it off as just a bad night’s sleep. But inside, you questioned it, and wondered if there was something true to those urban legends about the Windy City being built on the bedrock of chaos.

    Then, one night, a different storm came and changed your life forever. That storm shook your soul and jolted you to consciousness, even for the one who landed on U.S. soil just as the Deathstorm was forming.

    You have Awakened.

    It didn’t happen instantly for all of you. Some of you fitfully Awakened a few hours, or even a few days, later. But each of you changed in the aftermath of that Storm on September 8, 2020.

    The past few weeks have been the most bizarre, but probably the most intensely rewarding, of your lives. It’s not just because the actual experience of Awakening is incredibly strange but inspiring for each mage who survives the process. Since having your eyes opened to the Lie that you have always known, you’ve learned an all-important truth.

    Ignorance is bliss – but so is power.

    You soon met another mage who explained the critical social nature of a mage’s reality: Thrive in numbers, or die in isolation. Some of you, without realizing it, had been involved in a Guardian Labyrinth or a Silver Ladder cryptopoly. Members of those Orders watched closely from a safe distance during your Mystery Play and approached you soon after you scribed your name on your Watchtower. For others, you stumbled across another Pentacle mage who introduced you to mage society and helped guide you to an Order that matched your calling, values, and goals. Eventually, you found the one that best suited you, and you completed your first true rite of passage by completing the initiation tasks set by each Order. With your Order as your new home, you were thrown into studies, drilled on the basics of Paradox, mana, High Speech, and other vital pieces of occult knowledge.

    After learning these basic skills, your mentors instructed you to form a cabal. Seek out other newly Awakened mages, they explained, and form a group that will become your new family. Pick people you feel like you can trust, they told you, because few other bonds in this world are stronger and tighter than those of a cabal. And so you found each other. You’ve only just met each other, although some of you think you’ve crossed paths before in your life. Was that a twist of fate, too, or a Supernal calling?

    You attended your first Consilium meeting last week, an emergency meeting to discuss the gravity of the Deathstorm and its implications for the Greater Chicago Consilium. There, you were introduced to Cielo, the newly elevated Hierarch, and the Councilors for each Path - including Atlas, the Obrimos Mystagogue who had previously served as Hierarch and replaced Prism, a Councilor who had inexplicably died along with 31 other mages in the Deathstorm. Cielo vowed to protect the lives and livelihood of the local Consilium, and promised to mete out swift justice against all who serve the Exarchs or the Abyss or use Left-Handed practices. Various statements from other mages, including an awkward announcement from a mage known as Mathias who admitted defeat in a Duel Arcane to a newly Awakened Nameless mage, have already made it clear that it is very easy to be swept away by political undercurrents here.

    Now you are ready – at least in your mentors’ eyes – to take off your training wheels. What will you do now that the Lie has been lifted from your sight? What Mysteries will you Obsess about and pursue? And what more storms might still be on the horizon?

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  • Haberdasher
    replied
    RAGNAR
    Mage Sight: Peripheral
    Active Spells: Exceptional Luck
    Conditions/Tilts: Inspired, Steadfast, Horrid Whispers (-1 to all rolls)
    Health: BOOOOOOO I WP: 3/4 I Mana: 8/10 I Wisdom: 7
    Beats: 0/5 I Arcane Beats: 2/5
    Experiences: 1 I Arcane Experiences: 1


    As the Imago falls into place, Ragnar feels the spatial loop he snared himself in unfold like the petals of a flower, and suddenly, he can see everything: There is no up and down, no obstructions. It's like he's suddenly viewing the world from up above. No, scratch that: it's like he's suddenly seeing everything on the same plane, even stuff stuff below him and above him. For a moment, he's completely distracted from the task at hand as he stands completely still, eyes gazing ahead has he tries to take in the sheer wonder of what he's seeing. There is no "there," he thinks,only an innumerable number of places to call "here." There is no "then," only an innumerable number of moments to call "now." No there and then, just here and now... With a flash of inspiration, he suddenly remembers reading that, if God is omnipresent, that God must be able to observe all places and moments simultaneously. To be a mage is to brush up against what he was raised to regard as the divine. It's both deeply humbling and exhilarating.

    Making that Perception Roll. Wits 2 + Composure 2 - Horrid Whispers 1 = 3 dice -> 1 success.

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  • Thorbes
    replied
    Ouroboros Ophis
    Mage Sight:
    Active (Matter/Death/Life) | Active Spells: Ghost Shield, Mental Shield, Control Ghost
    Health: ././OOOO | WP: 4/6 | Mana: 9/10 | Wisdom: 7 (Understanding)
    Conditions: None | Tilts: Horrid Whispers (-1 to all rolls) | Beats/Exp: 2/2 | Arc. Beats/Exp: 1/0

    The doctor quickly asses the situation, some of his cabalmates are a bit bruised but nothing inmediately worrying, most are fine and Moonstone's injuries, although the most griveous, are beyond his ability to heal. The spirits have been dealt with, for the time being, thanks to Phoenix's magical prowess and quick thinking. The old man cannot but feel a certain paternal pride at the young man's acomplishments so far, its already the second time he saves the situation when most needed. The ghost woman and child are no longer a danger, bound as they are by Moonstones and the doctor's own magics. The body, then, is what requires his attention.

    He runs towards the center of the room, where the inert figure lies on the floor. He kneels and looks for vitals he doesn't really expect to find and any indication of the possible cause of death.

    Preliminary medical examination: Wits+Medicine-1(Horrid Whispers)=4 Successes


    The voices crawl inside his head as he tries to investigate the body- ShE'ssss DeAd, WhAt A FaiLUre YoU Areeeee. YoU couLDn?t SavE Her, >SamE as YoUr WiFEee-

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  • Caladriu
    replied
    wits 3+composure 4-horrid whispers 1-environment 1: 1 success. thought guilty might apply a -2 composure penalty since you mentioned alux, but it would be a success anyway i think.

    fear goetia does nothing this round except maybe harvest essence, not that it needs any.

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  • rwknoll
    replied
    Lynx
    You reach out to rescue Ragnar from...whatever it is that he's done to himself. But when you reach out to grab him, your hand simply misses him in a way that you can't wrap your mind around it. It's like trying to catch something out of the water, but the water distorts the light and you can't connect with the target even though it's right in front of your eyes.

    The sudden motion is so unexpected that you lose your balance and fall hard onto the floor. It will take you a moment to stand up and regain your bearings.

    Take the Knocked Down tilt.


    Moonstone
    The room is a whirlwind of action -- both figuratively and, now thanks to Phoenix's simple Forces spell, literally.

    The whispers in the room may not be coming from your own mind, but they dredge up a fraction of a memory of Alux whispering to you from beyond the Abyss -- a memory that gives you chills, because you can't remember anything else about that moment. Almost everything else you experienced across the Iris during the Highstorm was lost to you.

    You wrap Space like a cloak around you, nimbly creating space for you to dance through the chaos without moving too closely to danger, and scan for the ring. All the while, the whispers fill your ears and threaten to tear at your mind.

    Please make a Wits + Composure roll for perception at an additional -1 penalty, due to the general environment in the room right now.


    Ragnar
    Your earlier training with Moonstone must be helping, because now that you are again trapped in the illusion that is physical separation, you're able to overcome the pressure and distractions here to form an Imago of being and seeing in all directions at once.

    The Imago forms, and in an instant, you see the error in your efforts. You didn't need to run away or forward. Distance and directions are Sleeper constructs. You simply needed to relocate. As your spell forms, you see everything around you, inside this home, outside this home, all simultaneously. It's a little difficult to adjust to at first, but from an academic perspective, it's fascinating.

    You may make a Wits + Composure roll for perception, at no additional penalty other than the one for Horrid Whispers.



    Everyone
    The ghostly woman holds up her hands to her head and cries out wordlessly in anguish. But with Moonstone's spell in place, and her command not yet fulfilled, she is unable to leave. She extends a pointed finger into the middle of the room, where some kind of person-sized figure lies on the floor in the center of the room.

    Meanwhile, the death spirits buzz in their swarms on the far side of the room, contributing to the confusing caucophany here. But in response to the presence of new mages, or perhaps to escape the horrible Abyssal whispers, the spirits crawl into the shadows and scurry away, sneaking into cracks or air vents in the floor to escape the room.


    We are just about out of initiative currently, unless someone wants to try and prevent the death spirits from leaving the room. They'll be gone on their next turn.

    Initiative
    Lynx (18): Failed attempt to help Ragnar
    Moonstone (17): Dodge and look for the ring
    Ghostly woman (16): Dodge
    Ragnar (15): The Outward and Inward Eye
    Death spirits (13): Retreat
    --> Ouroboros Ophis (12)
    Fear Goetia (10)
    Phoenix (8)
    Ghostly boy (5)

    Thorbes is up next.

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