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A Chronicle of Herons

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  • A Chronicle of Herons

    Reader, I humbly submit to you
    A Chronicle of Herons
    being an account of the heroes of the County of Herons
    & what they did there

  • #2
    A Narrator's Admonition:
    (spoken to the players at the outset of the Chronicle)

    Before I begin the tale, I should like to speak as your Narrator on the question:
    "Why Changeling?"
    There are a thousand other games out there. Why choose this one?
    It is because—of all the games I've ever seen—this is the one most aware of a fundamental Truth:

    We are the stories we tell about ourselves.

    We, as a culture, are a construction. We define and redefine who we are based on the narratives we tell about ourselves.
    Stories are more than stories, they are the basis of all our learning and the foundation of all of our truths.
    Not only culture, but individually, too

    We become that which we pretend we are.

    And we live in a world that is broken in so many ways.
    And it becomes more broken by tale-tellers who do not respect their role. Do not afford it the gravitas it deserves.
    They tell stories that aren't true; stories that break the world more.
    And players who pretend to be awful—and become awful.

    How awesome and terrible is the duty of the storyteller.
    To create a world. And be responsible for its care. To make Truth manifest in the World.

    In a broken world, it is our responsibility—our moral imperative— to tell stories that are true
    about heroes who are great

    I invite you, players, to share in the telling of a story,
    and to pretend to be great.

    The Chronicle begins…
    Last edited by GogariGlenRoss; 09-28-2018, 10:25 PM.


    • #3
      Dramatis Personae:

      Muirin, a Selkie wilder
      Muirin inherited her selkie skin from her mother. Her father is a lobster fisherman. She loves the sea and is a great athlete.
      Leland (Lee), a Piskie childling
      Lee lives with foster parents, yet another in a long line of foster homes. His piskie nature is trouble enough, but he also is followed by a chimerical gremlin who causes mischief on his behalf. (Most players with the Chimera background have a companion, but somehow Lee's imaginary friend is a nemesis who intentionally tries to sabotage him).
      Nikki Midnight, a Pooka wilder
      Nikki is an assertive, genderfluid, extroverted performer. Nikki has a magical microphone that increases the effect of a performance (i.e., Summer ••).
      Last edited by GogariGlenRoss; 09-28-2018, 10:26 PM.


      • #4
        Episode 0: Prelude

        Commemorating the end of the characters' Fledge period—having lasted one year and a day—Count Mathonwy of the County of Herons (in the Duchy of Freewill, Kingdom of Apples, Concordia) invited Nikki, Leland, and Muirin to a High Court at his freehold in Castle Elwyn on New Castle Island*. A Saining ceremony commenced, where their teachers, including Sir Arcite, a troll knight, commended them to the Court.
        Count Mathonwy invited everyone to dine to celebrate the Saining of these kithain, however there was no food to serve. Count Mathonwy confessed that it would be a great dishonor to him if he were to hold a Court and not feed his guests, so he charged the newcomers with a Quest—go to the McDonalds on Lafayette Road (about three miles from the castle) and bring the Court an Egg MacGuffin.
        Mathonwy gave the heroes a $100 bill and sent them on the errand with the Count's honor at stake.

        Not having a car, the three considered taking a boat up the river, but the tide was out. They took their bikes on the quest. The three heroes passed by the backyards of the rich residents of New Castle, some of which have beautiful sculptures in the backyard behind iron fences. Some of the sculptures turned and waved to the heroes.

        They then passed the Country Club. While in a beautiful location, the Club is frequented by some of the most banal and unGlamourous people imaginable and the place is surrounded by a pall of dark, ominous gloom. The banality overcame Leland's defenses and he incurred a point of Banality. The heroes rode on, successfully navigating a traffic circle, which are tricky when you're on a bicycle.

        At the McDonalds, Leland excitedly looked to go down the slide in the massive, two-story Play Place. Alas, the Play Place was closed. They placed their order of a ridiculous number of Egg MacGuffins with Michel, a classmate of Nikki and Muirin's. Michel, however, can't accept $100 bills so she called her manager, Marc, who took over the register and sent Michel on her 15 minute break. He eventually accepts the $100 (mainly because he only owes them about $4 in change due to their large order). Leland politely asked for a cup for water.

        Muirin and Nikki take note of Michel, sitting dejected and sad, eating some McD's hotcakes. She revealed to Nikki that she used to love playing here as a little kid and the job isn't nearly as much fun as she'd hoped. They only are allowed to open the playground when it's rented for a birthday party.
        Meanwhile, Leland filled his water cup with Coke from the self-serve fountain. The employees took no notice.

        A plan was hatched to save Michel from the banality of her job. Nikki goes back to the counter to engage Marc in a distracting conversation, while Muirin and Leland talk Michel into going rebel and sneaking into the Play Place with them.
        NIkki, who is wearing a ballgown for the Sainday celebration, discovers that Marc loves Food Network. Nikki does such a good job that Marc never notices anyone going into the forbidden play area. Unfortunately, Marc is so distracted that it annoys the old lady who came in for her post-church breakfast. Nikki tries to engage her in conversation, but she is quite put off by Nikki's outrageous appearance. She was too lost to Autumn to accept Nikki's kind of fun.
        Michel had so much fun on the slides with Leland and Muirin that that it resulted in three Glamour, split evenly between the heroes. She went back to work energized and happy. Furthermore, a casual acquaintance may have upgraded to a friendship.

        On the way back to New Castle Island, the heroes were beset by Dire Wolves, who were not impressed at all by the importance of the errand to the Count, and who attempted to steal the bag of Egg MacGuffins. (Here, the players realize that they had neglected to put any weapons on their character sheets, making this encounter tougher than your dear Narrator had intended). Leland made a spectacular leap into a tree with the food while Nikki camouflaged him from the sight of the wolves to keep the MacGuffins safe. This costs Nikki, however and they sustained a grievous bite. Muirin is bitten as well, but Selkie skin is tough and rubbery so she sustained no damage. She struck one of the wolves dead with her fishing knife, causing the others to flee.

        The Court celebrated the triumphant return of the heroes, where they recounted the tale of their quest. Finally, the Saining—in which each each announced a "speaking name" that they will go by in fae society.

        * Yes, it's really called New Castle. Yes, there really is an old fort that looks like a castle there. The reality of this location is very important to the chronicle going forward.


        • #5
          Narrator's notes:
          This session was highly "on-rails" by design. Even so far as explicitly telling the characters to go on a fetchquest for a macguffin.
          I wanted to introduce the Count and the Barons of the neighboring feifdoms, the freehold, some aspects of fae society, etc.
          Most importantly, I wanted to use as many different game mechanics as possible in the first adventure, just to get everyone used to what gameplay entails. There was one player who had played Vampire and Werewolf years ago, and another who had never played a WoD game at all. I just wanted to roll lots of dice.
          We managed to get in: Banality triggers, a Strength+Athletics roll, several social rolls (Lee's Manipulation+Etiquette, Nikki's Charisma+Empathy), a Reverie/Musing, and a combat encounter where they cast several cantrips. I made the McDonald's employee a classmate, effectively spotting them a few successes on the initial Kenning roll for the Musing. They seemed to enjoy doing that, which is great. We'll roleplay the harvesting of Glamour some more because it's fun and inspiring. I meant every word of my Narrator's Admonition—we should be inspiring.
          The Narrator's Admonition was delivered extemporaneously, so what is above isn't word-for-word, but it was close to what I wrote above, or at least it was meant to be.


          • #6
            Chronicle of Herons: Book 1 Canto 1
            In Which School is Attended, Friends are Helped, and Shenanigans are Had

            Scene 1
            It’s Monday and thus time for school. Nikki (pooka wilder) would like to ditch school, but cannot because the Drama Club auditions are today and students who are absent unexcused from school can’t also do extracurriculars. Muirin (selkie wilder) has promised Leland’s (piskie childling) foster mother that she would see him to school, has her own extracurricular interest (this is the first year of a new Swim Team with practice after school). Also, she has promised to stop by D’arcy’s house before school.

            D’arcy is an Autumn Sidhe, who still lives with her mortal mother (for reasons that are unclear) and her mother’s boyfriend.4 Nikki, Muirin, and Leland can hear arguing down the street before they get to the trailer where D’arcy lives.
            They arrive just as D’arcy is leaving the trailer. Darren follows her out, shouting insults and demanding that she apologize then go to school. D’arcy calls him “Earl” (she calls all her mom’s boyfriends Earl) and says she doesn’t have to listen to him since he’s not her father.

            The PCs notice as she puts on a flannel that she has fingerprint/thumbprint bruises on her upper arms. Also, she has lost her enchantment and is completely taken by Banality. She has no memory of asking Muirin to come over before school, in fact no memory of their friendship at all, and asks “What are you three losers doing here?”

            They try to convince her:
            Nikki: “You should come with us to school. Even I’m going, and you know how rare that is.”
            Muirin: “We are here to help you. If you don’t want to go to school, we should go somewhere and talk.”
            Leland: “I want to ditch school, too.” Not helping.
            They are convincing enough that she tells them where she is going, but not enough to stop her. She gets on a scooter and drives away to the arcade at the boardwalk at the beach.

            The PCs are left behind with no vehicle. They decide to steal Darren’s car. Nikki knocks on the door to try to talk to Darren. He fails miserably, as Darren is an asshole (not quite an Autumn Person, but pretty Banal). Nikki notices that the keys are on a hook just inside the door, so he uses a bunk involving a party-popper full of glitter for a Chicanery cantrip to distract Darren to steal the keys. They push the car out into the street in neutral and start the engine away from the house and drive away.
            Last edited by GogariGlenRoss; 11-11-2018, 11:26 AM.


            • #7
              Scene 2

              It’s fall, thus off-season at Hampton Beach, so the arcade is obviously closed at only 8am. Why was she so insistent on coming here?
              The arcade is a kithain hangout, and even shrouded by the Mists, D’arcy knows instinctively where to go to find Glamour (and that isn’t school). She is waiting outside when the three PCs arrive. (Leland is driving, by the way. Somehow in a party of two teenagers and an eleven-year-old, the youngest of them is driving).

              D’arcy is impressed that they stole Darren’s car and Muirin prepares to infuse the key with Glamour to give to D’arcy to re-enchant her.

              A troll parks next to them and gets out of his car. It is M’ahm, the manager of the arcade. He sees D’arcy overwhelmed by Banality but tells them to go away because they’re closed. Leland asks if they can come back after school. (They can).

              D’arcy is disoriented when she gets her Glamour back so Leland prepares to drive them back to Portsmouth. He Botches an Appearance+Drive roll and attracts the attention of a cop. Seeing blue lights behind them, Leland activates his Treasure, a pocketwatch that manipulates time to make things late. Leland cuts off a funeral procession and by the time the cop can wend his way through the line of cars, they are a couple blocks away. They pull over and abandon the car. On his way out, Leland checks the glove compartment and center console and finds an ounce of marijuana in a baggie. He stuffs half of it in his pocket and leaves the rest in the car.

              Still five miles away from school with no ride, they call M’ahm, who reluctantly comes to pick them up in his work van (his other job, leasing and maintaining vending machines) and takes them to school. It is well into second period when they arrive.
              Last edited by GogariGlenRoss; 11-11-2018, 10:40 AM.


              • #8
                Scenes 3–5
                They’re late enough that they decide to sneak in through the back door of the wood shop. Mister Brambleweft, a nocker, lets them in and Nikki sweet-talks him into marking them as “Excused” in the attendance system. Mr. Brambleweft is also the Drama Club’s technical director, so it’s plausible that they were doing something for Drama Club.

                Today is a shortened school schedule because there is an assembly planned to announce the name of the school mascot and a pep rally. (This school is newly opened and last year had no official mascot. At the end of the school year last year, there was a contest to name the school team and design a mascot. The winner is not yet known).

                Leland goes to the middle school (6–8th grades are on the same campus in another building); there’s not much Mr. Brambleweft can do to help him besides give him a pass and wish him luck. Leland is immediately intercepted by the school guidance counselor, who feigns concern. Her insincerity gives Leland a Banality trigger, but he resists it. He tells her that he’s joining the Drama Club, so he’s not entirely unfocused anymore. She lets him go to class.
                On his way to class, Leland steals the janitor’s entire ring of keys.

                At the high school, the English comp teacher assigns Muirin and Nikki a poem, then gives it “criticism.” They each roll Expression for one success, Nikki’s disappoints her with his one success, but Muirin did a “good job, dear.” Nikki resists, but Muirin succumbs to the condescending compliment for one Banality.

                At lunch, some Mean Girls harass Muirin because she is wearing a rashguard (i.e., her selkie skin). Nikki gets in a sick burn (rolling four successes) and the room turns against the girls.

                At the middle school, bully Mitch takes the Snickers from Leland that he’d stolen from M’ahm’s van. Leland tries to Chicanery Mitch into believing it’s a strawberry Charleston Chew (which Mitch won’t want because it’s awful and because of his braces), but his cantrip roll fails and Mitch gets away with it.

                Fifth period, the Drama Club kids are responsible for setting up the stage for the assembly, so they get a pass to ditch class. To avoid going back to class, they take a long time about it. Nikki does a mic check by singing some classic Queen songs.
                Last edited by GogariGlenRoss; 11-11-2018, 12:40 AM.


                • #9
                  Scene 6
                  The assembly

                  (this scene was largely improvised. I asked the players what they thought the mascot was, they figured given that the city is on the coast, it was something nautical. Guesses were bear, shark, and pirate. I chose Pirate).

                  While the assembly is going on, a sixth grade kid with autism, Ryan, paces at the front of the stage. Leland’s chimerical nemesis is flying around him, poking at him, and Ryan makes noise, walks around, and flaps his hands at it.

                  The vice principal introduces an executive from the for-profit corporation that runs their charter school. His speech threatens Banality trigger, but the Nikki starts to applaud, inducing the rest of the student body to do so as well. The vice principal (no more interested in his speech than the students) shuffles him off the stage and starts her own speech.

                  The winner of the school mascot contest is Madison Jones, a senior and in the running for valedictorian. She’s an excellent artist and in her submission to the contest, she says that her mascot idea was inspired by her imaginary friend from when she was a little girl. They used to have adventures together.

                  So introducing: The McKinley Street Magnet School Pirates!!!

                  An unknown student in a mascot suit is revealed, but it also appears as a chimerical pirate. The pirate jumps off the stage, and with its cutlass, slices poor Ryan clean in two!

                  Most of the student body and faculty see a giant-headed fursuit messing around with a foam sword, but about a quarter of the middle schoolers (far fewer of the high schoolers) see him as a real pirate who just cut a kid in half. Ryan is chimerically dead—and he’s coming for the rest of you!!!

                  Roll Initiative

                  Muirin unhesitatingly rushes the pirate to fight it. D’arcy finds a chimerical sword under her flannel shirt. Nikki rushes the stage to use the microphone, connecting his magical mic for the mundane one. Mister Brambleweft calls Leland over to him and they leave the auditorium to the shop.

                  The room goes into a panic as the autumn students becomes confused by the panic of their kinain/enchanted/non-Banal classmates. Nikki tries to calm them.

                  Muirin is a capable fighter, but the chimera is very strong. She strips it of its sword, but it still has a flintlock musket. It fires it, missing Muirin, but chimerically killing another middle schooler. The gun has a greater effect on the autumn world and the panic increases. D’arcy botches her attack roll and her chimerical sword breaks.

                  The student inside the chimerically-possessed mascot suit is saying, “Help meeeee!”

                  The vice principal motions for Nikki to get out of the way so she can use the microphone. He doesn’t resist. The microphone is a Treasure, so she becomes enchanted. She freezes, disoriented and afraid. Nikki encourages her to take control. She says, “Lockdown. The school is in lockdown.” This makes everything worse.

                  The pirate breaks Muirin’s grapple and flees, chasing the students. Muirin chases, but cannot catch up to it.

                  Meanwhile, Brambleweft finds a weapon in his classroom: a magical T-shirt cannon. He grabs it and encourages Leland to help him bring its ammunition, a box of rolled up shirts, to the auditorium. Brambleweft cannot get through the rush of students leaving the auditorium, but Leland can. He throws the T-shirt cannon to Leland and Leland brings it inside.

                  Leland takes aim and shoots the pirate. BOOOOM! The t-shirt becomes a chimerical grenade from the cannon.

                  The pirate continues to attempt to flee into the crowd of students. “Madison, where are you? Madison, don’t leave me!”

                  This is the point at which the players decide they must not kill this poor chimera.

                  Nikki gives an inspirational speech. Madison has grown up and doesn’t need you anymore, but we need you. All of the students at this school. It turns to face Nikki, and sees the banner for the first time. “Is that… me?” Nikki (his words amplified by his Summer •• microphone) convinces the pirate to stay at the school with his new children and let Madison grow up and leave.

                  Mister Brambleweft talks to his kithain students about how they need some chimerical weapons. He can help them make some if they bring in the raw material for it.


                  • #10
                    A Chronicle of Herons
                    Bridge 1

                    Dramatis Personae
                    Nikki Midnight: Pooka wilder
                    Muirin: Selkie wilder, squire of Gwydion

                    Leland’s player could not play tonight, so we are on a side-quest, not a true episode of the saga

                    Scene 0: Downtime
                    he fallout from the school assembly riot occurred over the next week. The Mists have covered over the school’s recollection, and no two people remember what happened the same way. Vice Principal Letourneau doesn’t remember what happened, but remembers feelings. She remembers Nikki as trying to be helpful, and remembers D’arcy and Muirin as brawling. They are suspended.
                    None of the cheerleaders remember who was wearing the Pirate costume when it took over, and they all deny it, so they’re all equally in trouble.

                    While suspended, Muirin has to spend the entire week baiting lobster traps on her father’s fishing boat. This doesn’t trigger Banality, since she rather likes fishing, but it is hard and dirty work. (It’s harder still because increasingly, her father needs to fish farther offshore, making for longer days in higher seas. As the ocean gets warmer, the lobsters are migrating to where the colder water is, farther away from the coast in deeper water.

                    Nikki spends the week cultivating his Dreamers at drama club rehearsals.

                    Scene 1-2:
                    Throughout the week, word gets out that a changeling party is happening at the arcade on Saturday. Muirin gets permission to go.
                    At the arcade, a little boy of about 10 barges to the front of the line, slaps a $100 bill on the counter, and declares, “Games are on me!” He distributes tokens out to everyone. Muirin and Nikki notice that that wasn’t even the only $100 in his possession, he has more.

                    They ask him where he got the money. He makes a token refusal, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” but he clearly wants to brag about it. Eventually, he shows them a handful of dried beans in his pocket and he takes them to the base of a beanstalk as thick as the trunk of an old tree growing upwards to the clouds.

                    Of course they’re going to go up it.
                    Last edited by GogariGlenRoss; 12-09-2018, 11:16 PM.


                    • #11
                      Scene 3:
                      Nikki fails a climb check, then shapeshifts into a cat, which has no difficulty with climbing. Muirin is an amazing athlete, so has no trouble with it, either. Hans is skinny and light and has no trouble.

                      Midway up the beanstalk, they feel a shift into the Dreaming. Somehow the Beanstalk acts as a rath. (The Beans are a treasure that invoke the arts of Spring and Wayfare).

                      At the top of the Beanstalk, they find themselves in a grove of trees beside a trod. It isn’t a Silver Path, but a Twilight Path. This seems sketchy, but they follow Hans to the left and the path opens up into a clearing in the trees with a log cabin. “Wait here, I’ll check if anyone is home.” Nikki and Muirin weren’t going to let him do that, so the sneak up to the cabin and see through the window in the back room, a huge woman (troll, perhaps?) is spinning yarn on a spinning wheel. They hesitate for a moment, and she sniffs the air, gets up, goes into the front of the house, opens the front door and says, “Hans? Is that you?” Muirin pushes Hans around the corner and Hans greets the lady ogre. She invites him in for tea. “Have you brought friends?” He lies and says he hasn’t and she seems to accept this.
                      Muirin, on the back side of the house, opens the window from outside and Nikki (still a cat) creeps into the spinning room to spy on the ogre and Hans. Hans is politely joining her for tea. Nikki stays out of sight, and explores the house. It’s not a big house and there’s a room he cannot get into because the door is closed.

                      Scene 4:
                      Muirin, hiding outside, hears heavy footsteps coming down the path. It is another ogre with a carcass of a goat over his shoulder. With little cover besides the firewood, she jumps into the window. She fails her stealth roll, causing the ogress to stand up to investigate, but she sees her husband through the window. “Holy shit, my husband is home! You have to hide.” She picks up Hans and stuffs him in the oven just as the ogre comes in through the front door.
                      “You’re not supposed to be home yet.”
                      “I was working and this beast came wandering out so I killed it. I figured we could eat it for dinner.” He takes it outside and hangs it up on a meat hook hanging from a rope and pulley coming off of the cabin’s ridgepole. The wife, Elenor, quickly shuffles Hans off to the spinning room. (why is she protecting him?)

                      The ogre, Hugo, butchers the animal and comes back inside. He becomes agitated. “Who has been here. I smell… children. It smells like Gwydion.” Muirin is disturbed that this is a ridiculously specific.
                      “That’s your imagination, dear. What would you like with your goat?”
                      “I don’t know. Seafood? Have any seal blubber? How about cat?”

                      Muirin and Hans have heard enough. Nikki is still interested in what’s in the closed room. He launches himself out of the open front door and outruns Hugo around the corner and he climbs onto the roof. Muirin leads Hans quickly across the trail and into the trees to hide.

                      Wait, you’re sure you want to go into the trees?
                      You realize that’s off the path.
                      Yeah. Is that bad?
                      Roll Intelligence+Gremayre
                      No successes.
                      Dunno, you’ve always been told to stay on the path, that’s all.

                      Hugo returns to the cabin. “I knew it! Somebody was here!” He goes into his closed room. Nikki sees him through the window as he hangs off the roof getting a lockbox. He brings it to his chair, opens it, and counts all the gold in it. This enrages him, he roars, shaking the ground, strikes his wife with the back of his hand, and goes outside to grab his axe.

                      The roar resounds through the glen and Muirin and Hans, off the path, are suddenly caught in a fir-chlis, the wood they had been comfortably hiding in is now a barren wasteland covered in skeletal remains. The log they’d been hiding behind is the skeleton with a rusted, chimerical sword through its rib cage.
                      Roll initiative. Muirin wins, by a significant margin.
                      Last edited by GogariGlenRoss; 12-31-2018, 10:54 AM.


                      • #12
                        Scene 5
                        By this time, they’ve figured out that Ogres are easily tricked. She pulls the skull from the body in front of them and throws it to the other side, hoping to distract Hugo. It works, and Hugo turns his back to them. Hans panics and runs. Nikki slips back inside the cabin. Hans is running the wrong way, away from the ogre, but also away from the Beanstalk. Muirin runs to catch him. Hugo sees them and charges at them, axe raised. A series of opposed Athletics checks and Muirin and Hans are able to outrun him. (Narrator note: Muirin is a three-sport varsity athlete, but Hans has to roll lucky to get out of this mess. He exactly matches Hugo’s successes, so he’s staying ahead, but failing to pull away). They run around the house. Cue up the Yackey Sax, because this is a Benny Hill chase scene.

                        Nikki changes back into humanoid form, planning to grab the cold and run with it. Elenor looms over, not allowing them out with the gold. Then Nikki does what Nikki does best—talk. “Wait, isn’t it obvious what this is?” He spins a fantastical tale about inspecting the gold for counterfeit and quality and it’s ordered by the lord (this part doesn’t help his case at all). Elenor, hindered by the ogre’s drawback, is perplexed by his fast talk (no cheating, she legit botched her resistance roll to Nikki’s bullshit). Nikki, you have one turn before Elenor takes two steps forward and strangles you (Elenor had better initiative, so she goes first next turn). What are you going to do?
                        Grab the box and run.
                        Roll Strength+Athletics
                        Uh oh.
                        Gold is heavy, you cannot lift the box.
                        Is it open? Just grab a handful and fire off a party popper full of glitter and disappear (cast Veiled Eyes).

                        Meanwhile, Muirin runs around the house singing “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” badly (zero successes on Performance, so she performs the bunk, but doesn’t have any flair about it) for Spring •• Fae • causing vines to grow up and entangle Hugo. Hugo responds by growing even larger (had been 7 foot tall, now is 13’ or more). The tangling vines delay him long enough that the three can flee down the path. Finally, Hans uses Veiled Eyes on the Beanstalk itself to hide their escape. While both ogres can smell them, they can’t actually find or catch them.

                        Scene 6:
                        Narrator’s note: In 20 years, since Changeling 1st edition, Hennessy may be my favorite character that I’ve ever created. He showed up in a Hunter campaign a few years ago as a mortal, but this Clurichaun iteration is ::chef’s kiss::

                        They take a cab to a sketchy-looking We Buy Gold place off the side of Route 1. Their big advertising sign out front and the stuff inside is full of paranoid political conspiracies. The Banality here is brutal, and Muirin and Nikki both becoming increasingly annoyed at the places Hans is leading them. The man in the army coat behind the counter isn’t who Hans was expecting to see.
                        “Where’s Dennis?”
                        “Who the hell knows? Guy has like fifty jobs. Try his office. Get out of here.”

                        Dennis Hennessy’s office is in his garage at his house almost 40 minutes north. The sign in front of the house advertises: “Bail Bonds. Small Engine Repair. Notary Public. Private Investigator” On the house itself is a sign “Never mind the dog, beware of owner” and a parody window sticker “Protected by Smith & Wesson.” There’s a car with no wheels on blocks in front of the garage.
                        Hennessy is home. He’s a grizzled clurichaun. He says to Hans, “Hey, Wee Man, I expected you back, but I didn’t expect you so soon.” He opens the garage door and they see a simple office of a desk, chair and file cabinet. In the other bay of the garage is a dentist chair and a tattoo rig set up. “Don’t mind that over there. Damned government won’t let me use it.”
                        They offer up their coins, Hennessy weighs and inspects them, looks up some prices, and offers $1000. They snap-take the offer (which was low). He takes a contract out from the desk along with a quill pen.
                        “They make me fill out these forms, did you steal this?”
                        “Do I look like a thief to you?” replies Nikki.
                        “You look like a pooka to me.”
                        “I have a very loud voice, but
                        “Really, I need you to be straight with me. Did you steal this?”
                        Muirin replies, quite truthfully, “I did not steal this gold.”

                        Alright, sign here.

                        He gives them ten, uncirculated $100 bills. Hennessy is glad to be rid of the worthless government fiat paper, anyway.


                        • #13
                          Loose thread:
                          Muirin and Nikki are in Rochester (which is kinda a shithole town) with Hans. They decide to split the money with 3 $100 each and break the remaining $100 by buying scratch tickets.
                          They go to Cumberland Farms. There’s a cop inside the store, so the cashier asks for ID and won’t sell them any lottery tickets because they are under 18. Nikki tries to proposition a rando in the store to buy them lottery tickets, but she refuses (despite his being very persuasive, she’s trying to leave that life behind and doesn’t trust them). Muirin tries to persuade the cashier, botches the roll, and the cashier kicks them out of the store (it doesn’t get much lower than being kicked out of the Cumby’s in Rochester).
                          They end up breaking the $100 at Jetpack comics buying a grab bag of comics and a pack of Magic The Gathering cards. The comics end up being the blank books they sell for artists to sketch in. The Magic cards are a defective pack with 16 advertisement/token cards.

                          They try to take the bus, but Hans doesn’t have a bus pass so he has to use the money. The bus is full and there aren’t enough seats. The driver won’t let minors stand, so they give up. They hail a cab back to Portsmouth. The cab gets onto the wrong on-ramp and starts heading north on the turnpike instead of south. It turns around but breaks down as they get back to Rochester.
                          At this point, they suspect something is up. Muirin determines that they’ve incurred a curse. Worse, it’s a curse as the result of a broken oath (the attested to Hennessy that the money wasn’t stolen.
                          They return to Hennessy, who reminds them that he gave them every opportunity to not attest that the gold wasn’t stolen, but they entered into the oath anyway. He offers to let them out of their oath, by working it off. They consider it, as Hennessy sounds like he lives an exciting life, but when they realize this would entail another oath, they think better of it. Finally, they use their bus passes and Hans uses the last of his original, non-cursed money to return to Portsmouth.

                          (They do not know the extent of the curse, but it is clear that the universe will not let them spend the money to get something they want.)


                          • #14
                            Canto 2
                            Scene 1

                            They arrive in Portsmouth to fire trucks and blocked streets. There is a major fire in one of the buildings in the city center. Smoke rolls out from the upper windows of one of the buildings around Market Square.
                            They can tell that Leland is nearby (skating and parkouring and otherwise taking advantage of the fact that cops are to busy to notice). They see Leland’s imp with a burning brand trying to set trash cans on fire. They stop him from setting a fire; Muirin grapples him and throws him in a fountain. Leland arrives and finds a sparkling, a chimerical fire spirit, cackling and skittering down the street trying to set more fires. Leland stomps it out.
                            As they stomp out the last of the chimerical arsonists, they hear a mustering horn of the Gwydion. Since Muirin and Leland have the rank of Squire, they are bound to answer the call. They rush to the rath at the fountain in Prescott Park. They see the market in turmoil as the city is on fire. The Heron Knights are there (including Muirin’s knight, Sir Arcite) forming up for a battle.
                            They see on the roof of the burning building, a giant dragon! Its fire has set the Autumn World on fire as well. Count Mathonwy and the knights confront her.
                            They hear her screech, in a voice that makes the glass windows rattle, “Where is my egg?”
                            They cannot hear what Count Mathonwy says to her, but it flies away, the knights pursue.

                            Mathonwy comes back to where his squires (and Nikki) are assembled. She looks past Muirin, not acknowledging her at all, and give a charge to D’arcy and Leland.
                            “Agamenticus the Mighty is not known to be a capricious, wanton destroyer, nor is she a dumb beast. She thinks her egg is here. Find out why. Report to me when you learn anything.” He hands D’arcy a signet ring to indicate that she has the full authority of the Count.

                            D’arcy holds the signet, confused. She looks at Muirin: “What was that all about? He doesn’t even like me, I thought you were his favorite.”
                            Muirin doesn’t hide the fact that she is oathbroken. Somehow (he is Gwydion, after all), Mathonwy already knows.

                            Scene 2
                            They enter the Market. The Mayor, Samuel Pickwick (who is also the protagonist of Dickens’ Pickwick Papers, incidentally) is trying to calm things down.

                            Muirin observes the crowds and thinks she sees somebody who is a bit less surprised/alarmed than the others. This is Mister Boz, a nocker who specializes in making animal traps and runs a shop that sells exotic/mythical animal parts. (For example, there is some sort of special fish leather, a unicorn-horn shortbow, and gryphon feathers for sale).
                            He greets Nikki warmly, but then he sees D’arcy and balks, “You’re a goddamned cop, ain’t ya?” he accuses Nikki.

                            The Market is a commoner freehold and sidhe are not generally welcomed here. Nikki asks D’arcy to make herself scarce. Mr. Boz succumbs to Nikki’s pooka charm and confesses, “I ain’t got it. If I had it, I sure as hell wouldn’t bring it here, because you saw what happened. If I had it I’d make myself scarce and would lie low for a while.” They infer that perhaps he isn’t speaking just to them, and catch him making eye contact with a boggan standing behind them. As soon as they face the boggan, he runs away.

                            He does not get far, as Nikki uses Metamorphosis to shrink him to barely 1’ tall, and Muirin grapples him. He turns invisible, but he cannot escape her grasp.

                            “She had it coming! She took my little girl. I saw it.”
                            Asked what he is talking about, he goes on,
                            “I was walking in the forest with my daughter. A shadow swept over us and she swooped down and snatched my little Maeve away!”

                            Dubious that this is true (this boggan, whose name is Bo, does seem rather nearsighted, for one thing), they talk to Mr Boz about things that snatch children. Harpies? Boz suggests perhaps a rukh.

                            Muirin uses Willow Whisper on the mud from Bo’s boots to ask where he’s been. This—doesn’t go as planned. Sarah rolls a 0 on Muirin’s Nightmare die, then 10-agains another 0, then a 9. The reply she gets is truly nightmarish, as the mud tells her about a cave, the darkness of the cave, and then proceeds to harangue her with stories of eldritch horrors in the dark, formless void from which the world emerged and will descend into again. Between this and her already shaky oathbroken status, Muirin flips to her Unseelie legacy and she becomes a Savage beast.

                            D’arcy takes Bo into custody and the PCs borrow Sir Arcite’s car to drive to Bo’s house in South Berwick, Maine (only about 25-minute drive). Leland makes the drive faster via Wayfare+Prop.
                            Last edited by GogariGlenRoss; 12-30-2018, 01:12 AM.


                            • #15
                              Scene 3
                              Bo is known to the community, so it isn’t hard to find his address. He lives on the side of Mount Agamenticus in Maine in a small cottage completely off-the-grid with solar panels and a wind turbine.
                              Nikki shapeshifts into a cat, climbs to the roof, and slips into a ridge vent. The attic is full of battery and inverters for the solar panels and solar water heater. Nothing else is stored here. They search the house. Being the house of a boggan, it is immaculately clean and organized except for one bedroom, which appears to belong to an 8-year-old girl. Leland makes all the pictures on the walls crooked. Muirin pulls up the rug in the living room and finds a trap door. Stairs lead downward into a concrete room with a decontamination shower and hazmat suits. Leland puts on a hazmat suit for some reason. A hatch leads into a nuclear bomb shelter.

                              On one side is a galley and pantry. Most of the food here is rice, uncooked oats, flour, etc. Leland finds a case of Clif bars and takes several. The other side is a living quarters. There is a tube TV with a VHS player and a shelf full of movies on cassette.

                              Nikki feels some magic in the shelter. They track it down and find a tunnel cut in the side of the shelter running into a cave. This also is a trod into Faerie; passing through the tunnel puts them into The Dreaming. They dig around in the shelter and find three flashlights and to into the cave.

                              Scenes 4-6
                              he cave descends into a rough room with columns, stalactites and stalagmites. A makeshift bridge of planks over a pool of water makes them a bit nervous. Leland tries skipping a rock (there’s not much space and he hits a column). Halfway across the bridge, something falls from the ceiling onto Leland’s head, encasing him like a wet blanket, and starts biting him. (D&D players would recognize this as a Cloaker). It’s strong, but Muirin is stronger and she pulls it off of him and is able to wrestle with it while Leland beats it with a Maglite until it flees up to the ceiling. Nikki botches and falls into the water (which is only waist-deep). The cloaker has bitten through the hazmat suit, so it is no longer airtight.

                              The next room has a pool with crystal clear water streaming down from the ceiling onto an opalescent rock formation. Muirin casts Well of Life on the pool, singing a song and a dance as a bunk, and Leland bathes to heal his bite injuries. The rock formation turns and speaks to them! She asks them where they are from and what they are called. She seems lonely as she gets few visitors other than Bo. Curious, but still driven by their mission, they leave the inanimae behind.

                              They pass through a room full of crystals, then down a staircase in the side of a cliff face that is the edge of a huge underground lake. The other side of the lake is not visible in their lights. At the bottom of the stair is a rowboat, which they take to a small island. There, in a duffel bag, is a metallic egg, warm to the touch and softly glowing. They carry it back through the dungeon and out through Bo’s house.

                              Leland takes off his hazmat suit; it’s ruined anyway. He reaches into his pocket and finds a Sig Sauer .380 handgun. On the one hand, it may come in handy, on the other hand, stealing a gun is a federal felony and he’s eleven—what happens if he gets caught with it?