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The Driftwood Incident—a Chronicle report

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  • The Driftwood Incident—a Chronicle report

    My Chronicle (full title “The Driftwood Incident and What Came After”) was inspired by the Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer. I strongly recommend these books if you like weird science fiction.

    A strange, impenetrable region has emerged in the forests of rural Florida. It is bafflingly resistant to sphere magick. There is only one way in. Inside, it is nature gone amok. The town it has subsumed is overrun with vines and impossibly fast plant growth. Giant mutant wildlife is everywhere.

    The zone proves difficult to explore. Scientific instruments read weird, inconsistent results. Recording devices bring back nothing but static. Casualties among the Void Engineer explorers are high. Even those who survive expeditions are changed by it. Increasingly, the Union finds zone expeditions a distraction and waste of resources. (Requisitions Background? Backup? Nope. Sorry; budget cuts.)

    The problem is, the phenomenon is growing. Nothing seems to stop it and it threatens to swallow the whole world if left unchecked.

    As an act of desperation, the Driftwood Institute, the amalgam formed for and tasked with researching the phenomenon, is forced to seek help from some contracted “consultants”—a group of Tradition mages. If the Union finds out who the consultants are it would be considered an act of treason, but this may be the only way to save the world.

    Spoilers in this thread, so Larry, Larry, Joe, Charli, and Richard—get out!

  • #2

    If you’ve read Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer, you’ll recognize my Driftwood Institute as the “Séances and Science Brigade” from that series.

    I’ve made some changes to the Mage canon that make this setting possible. First, the Avatar Storm hit the Technocratic Union much more severely here than in the official canon. The Pogrom actually stopped while the Union regained their bearings, giving the Traditions (those who survived the Avatar Storm) some room to breathe.

    The Technocracy simply don’t have the numbers to hunt down supernaturals the way they used to. In fact, a lot of the control mechanisms that used to be in place have slipped. They still have a Timetable and an agenda for controlling the world, and still keep up the trappings of an all-powerful conspiracy, but they currently lack the manpower and matériel to keep up a global organization that controls the world.

    And that has resulted in a shift in the Consensus.

    In 2017, we live in a post-factual world. The un-Enlightened are increasingly resistant to facts. Many people no longer even believe that empirical Truth exists at all. It’s not that people believe in magick instead of science—it’s that many people just don’t believe in anything.
    Technocratic effects are increasingly generating paradox more than at any time since the Order of Reason began. The Conventions are starting to freak out and turn on each other. The NWO and Iteration X are at odds with the Syndicate and Progenitors. Void Engineers are caught in the middle. It's a highly-charged political minefield.

    Last edited by GogariGlenRoss; 02-05-2017, 10:34 AM.


    • #3
      Core Themes:

      Post-factualism and its effect on the Consensus.
      Environmental threats and how they are prioritized (or not). The weird zone is a metaphor for global warming.
      Prejudice and racial violence. This is a crossover campaign with Changeling and the Autumn People and Dauntain are problems in the outside world. Hate crimes against changelings are happening more and more. Unseelie Redcaps (Make America Great Again) are rioting in the streets.


      • #4
        Ooh, this'll be a good read.


        • #5
          Dramatis Personae
          (I'd have more to post here if the players would get off their asses and finish and post their character sheets to the Facebook group like they're supposed to.)

          Karen Reiner (NPC)—Void Engineer, Research & Execution
          Karen is director of the Driftwood Institute, the research amalgam created to investigate Incident 2014H31 (Codename "Driftwood"). The mundane front for the Institute is a climate change research non-profit headquartered in Tallahassee. Karen is a weather researcher and I'm keeping her magick under wraps until such time as I can surprise the PCs by her calling a lightning bolt out of a cloud at something.

          Kia (Bryan)—Order of Hermes, House Xaos
          Kia and Karen became Awakened together as grad students. They were close friends and confidants, but as Kia explored the boundaries of his paradigm through increasingly chaotic practices, including mind-expanding drugs and tantra, Karen found that wasn't doing anything for her and they gradually grew apart. Eventually, he ended up joining House Thig and she dropped off the map into the Technocracy. She looked him up again when she got the idea to bring mysticks in as consultants. Kia is a master of sensory magicks in a lot of Spheres, is a skilled Investigator, occult expert, and cryptologist.
          Bryan is the reason this whole Chronicle exists.

          Arnold Lane (Larry)—Void Engineers, Research & Execution
          Arnold is based on Val Kilmer's character from Real Genius. Larry has made it clear that he wants an ambitious character who is looking for promotions up the ladder, but Arnold is going to have to work on his social skills if he's going to successfully do that. I'm building into the story arc some situations where he can take over from Karen as director, but then he'll be stuck dealing with crap he doesn't know she's been shielding him from. Arnold is the Correspondence master and will be interacting with the party a lot via holograms of himself and co-location. He doesn't like getting dirty.

          Dan (NPC)—Extraordinary Citizen
          Larry took dots in Allies so Dan is Arnold's intern. Dan has 0 Arete, but Genius 2, so his Eidolon could Awaken at some point. Until then, he's using his G.I. Bill money to get a master's degree in engineering and earning college credit by being a badass in this amalgam.

          Professor Dick A Philip III "Dap3" (the other Larry)—Cult of Ecstasy
          When I was describing the setting, Larry asked me "Wait, can I play Terrence McKenna in this?" "That sounds perfect."

          Robert (Richard)— Order of Hermes, House Ngoma
          What I've gotten from Richard so far is he wants his character to be born in America, but got deeply into exploring his roots back in Africa. When he pitched the character—he was the last person to ask to join the playgroup after my setting planning was well underway—I was a little worried (how am I going to work this in?) but he specifically asked for a Order of Hermes Ngoma, not a Disparate Ngoma, so I'm pretty confident I can fit him in as a colleague of Kia's.

          Grover (Joe)—Progenitors, Pharmacopeists
          Joe has a history of playing goofy characters who do wild, unpredictable things and here he's playing a Doctor Moreau-type biological researcher. Because it's Joe, he's going to find himself addicted to something inside the zone that he can't replicate in the lab (spoiler: because it's faerie glamour) and this is the hook to get Larry's Ecstasy Cultist in the amalgam.

          Oliver (Charli)—Iteration X
          Oliver is a cyborg with a camouflage implant. He was the lone survivor of the first expedition inside the anomaly. Now he's working for Driftwood as a programmer, but his skills as an asskicker will be needed soon enough. His personal research interests are programming compassion into artificial intelligences. Oliver has broken his social conditioning and Karen doesn't care. He desperately doesn't want to be reassigned back to another unit where he'll be made back into a soldier.

          0fe1:a "Ofelia" (NPC)—Familiar/Companion
          0fel:a is a free AI and Oliver's familiar. She lives in a handheld tablet, but can also reside in his brain, or out on the web. We don't know her story yet.
          Last edited by GogariGlenRoss; 04-01-2017, 10:54 PM.


          • #6
            First game is on the playgroup's calendar—March 5th.



            • #7
              Oh, I forgot that I did this. I shared it with the players already as a prelude to the first session.

              (Since I can't attach an image, see the spread here.)

              • Center: Five of Patterns
              • Sunday: The Mage
              • Monday: Seven of Patterns
              • Tuesday: Gaia (reversed)
              • Wednesday: Ace of Dynamism
              • Thursday: Two of Questing
              • Friday: Two of Primordialism
              • Saturday: The Hierophant

              This spread was totally random, but it follows Karen's path quite closely and explains the start of the Cabal/Amalgam merger.

              Karen is greatly concerned (5 of Pattern, in the Thoth deck this card is called "Worry"). Her mission isn't going well. She realizes this and knows she must act (The Mage). What they've been doing to control the singularity isn't effective. She must step outside of her comfort zone in order to proceed, which is frightening (7 of Patterns, which in Thoth is the "Failure" card) It's too early in the spread to be a conclusion of failure, simply that attempts at a quick resolution have not borne fruit. This is an Earth card, which often means something material. The Union has cancelled everyone's Backup and Requisitions backgrounds. No help is coming from the Union.

              The Universe (Gaia) in its reversed form reiterates this: spinning her wheels, not getting results. Literal interpretation is the world is upside-down.

              But then, a breakthrough. The Ace of Dynamism represents the potential of an idea. What if we don't go to the Union for help? Maybe, she thinks, we could reach out to the Traditions? She's had this idea for a while, but she's pushed it away. The time for decisive action has come (2 of Questing, which is explicitly a card about the Order of Hermes).

              The spread concludes with increasing harmony within the united cabal (2 of Cups) and the culmination of efforts toward Karen's increasing wisdom and leadership (Hierophant).


              • #8
                What are your plans for next moves? Do you need any help planning your Chronicle?

                Well, since you're putting techies and trads toghether, they'll prabably need a common external danger that is bigger than both to keep their bound.

                That's were the Nefandi steps in.

                Also, will you be using the Changelling from the Lost, as a sort of new kind of critter, or just changellings from the Dreaming?

                You could use some True Fae seeking to create a new legend for itself as one main antagonistic force. Some macabre, twisted destruction force working as the current encarnation of this True Fae for this legend, maybe with an avatar actor as the Grim Reaper or the Angel of Death or something like it.

                This True Fae could be working to progressively expand the opening, as a plot to lure would-be heroes into the tale it needs so much for its continued existence


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Karlgust View Post
                  Do you need any help planning your Chronicle?
                  This True Fae could be working to progressively expand the opening, as a plot to lure would-be heroes into the tale it needs so much for its continued existence
                  I hadn't thought of that angle, but it works. It works soooo good. It actually explains something I'll get to in a bit.

                  While I don't need help, every comment I've gotten on this forum is making the story better and I appreciate you all for it.


                  • #10
                    Season 1, Episode 0

                    Act 1
                    Tonight’s session opened in Jacksonville Florida. Arnold (Void Engineers) and Grover (Progenitors) with their director Karen (Void Engineers NPC) are making an appearance on Science Friday with Ira Flatow as part of their outreach to promote the Technocratic paradigm. This is clearly necessary because they field three particularly hostile and ignorant callers challenging basic science. Arnold blows his cover then saves himself with a joke (Charisma+Subterfuge). Grover fumbles an answer (roleplayed, no roll) and gets interrupted by Karen, who bails him out. These are probably not the surrogates that the Technocratic Union wants to be promoting their agenda on live radio.
                    Act 1 Scene 2
                    On the way out of the studio, they’re met with a throng of anti-vaxx, climate-change denier protestors (one of the callers was from the International Church of the Holy Rapture of Fort Worth Texas and was calling from the parking lot). Arnold goes into the men’s room, teleports to the car, and drives it on the sidewalk to pick up Grover and Karen.
                    Karen brings them to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville (a Technocracy-affiliated hospital) where four survivors of the last expedition are in intensive care with an untreatable skin condition. Grover reads their charts, Karen has a meeting in a conference room that the PCs are not privy to, Arnold waited in the car because he DGAF.
                    Act 1 Scene 3
                    They return to their base in Tallahassee. Grover’s DNA sequencing on the biological samples has finished in his absence. The data is total, unreadable garbage. The sample is a fruit of unknown species. Gordon considers eating the fruit, but doesn’t and feeds another slice of it to some rats. (This comes as a total surprise to me, as Gordon’s player Joe is all about reckless acts like eating an unknown sample. We skip the scene I had prepared where he has a 5-hour hallucinogenic Glamour trip.)

                    Act 2 Scene 1
                    Meanwhile, Professor Dick Albert Philip III (Cult of Ecstasy) (Dap3 on the Internet) is doing some online browsing and finds a forum post from Grover asking if anyone can identify the species of fruit he’s investigating. He is stunned by this post—it’s a goblinfruit, a glamour-infused manifestation that comes from the Maya/Dreamrealms. How can it be stable enough for a scientist to have it? They exchange emails and exchange Intelligence+Investigation rolls about one another and are immediately smitten with one another.
                    Arnold monitors their conversation, (as does a NWO NPC, but they don’t know this).
                    Act 2 Scene 2
                    On his way home from his campus office, Dick encounters three children around age 10. Two bullies, one of whom is wearing a red trucker’s cap that says “Make America Great Again,” push a third child into a puddle. They’re picking on him for being a “furry.” He’s wearing a headband with fuzzy fox ears on it.
                    Dick’s Perception+Awareness roll botches, so the rest of this encounter is perfectly mundane, apart from the child in the Make America Great Again hat scoring four successes on an Intimidate roll against a grown man, stealing a book out of his hands and biting it in half. Nothing unusual at all.

                    Act 3
                    We then had a brief scene explaining how Robert (Order of Hermes, House Ngoma) ended up drawing the ire of a Russian oil billionaire, prompting his return to the relative safety of the United States.
                    Robert is a social scientist studying the African diaspora populations. Robert is currently living near a community of Zimbabwean refugees. Things in 2017 aren't good for refugees. (I wasn't aware of this detail until we were in the middle of roleplay, so I didn't have time to think of this until the day after, but the refugees' community is right in the path of the growing singularity, and they will be tragically forced to move again, explaining Robert's involvement in the cabal).
                    Last edited by GogariGlenRoss; 03-10-2017, 09:08 PM. Reason: adding details, correcting errors


                    • #11
                      Act 4
                      Flashback to the Driftwood Incident of 2014. This is where it all began. I gave everyone except for Oliver (Iteration X)'s player temporary character sheets—blatant redshirts. The players immediately realized they shouldn’t get attached to these characters.
                      In 2014 category 5 Hurricane Isaias made landfall on the Florida panhandle. Shortly afterwards, a spatial anomaly was detected. A Search & Recovery squad of Void Engineers and Iteration X cyborgs were deployed to extract Technocracy personnel.
                      Several clues were revealed before the end of the scene. First, there is a gap in the event horizon that can be located with Correspondence 1, but only if you’re looking directly for it, you don’t passively get it through Correspondence Sight. Second, the survivor in the Technocracy lab was working on a machine and fought his rescuers in order to recover a component from it. It was still in his pocket when they escaped. Third, nature is going nuts in there and sensory Effects don’t seem to be working properly (Life 1 Sight didn’t detect the grass growing fast enough to entrap their legs, for example). Finally, the telepath was overcome by a voice on the wind and lost control of his mind.
                      We didn’t play all the way to the end of the TPK, but it was clearly inevitable. The captain of the squad was killed by a flock of angry pelicans. Another was entrapped by rapidly growing weeds. The cyborg with the plasma cannon arm was getting up in Paradox, so the first botch would have killed him. Finally, the communications officer botched a Willpower roll and rebroadcast the voice in the telepath’s head full strength into everyone’s mind. Game over, man!

                      Charli made a couple of very smart decisions that led to Oliver being the lone survivor without my having to fudge anything. He takes the scientist survivor that they rescued and helps him, retreating to the portal rather than fight the numerous hostiles. He also got 4 Willpower successes to resist the voice in his mind. (I was prepared to cheat a lot to make him the lone survivor but didn’t have to.)
                      On his way out, Oliver goes to find the gap in the event horizon and discovers his navigation device is lost! In an act of desperation or flash of Inspiration, he runs the Effect without the device—something a Technocrat should not be able to do. This is a secret that he’s kept since that day, since if anyone found out he was a Reality Deviant, he’d probably be Room 101’d and dissected.
                      Later, when he meets the debriefing team investigating the Incident, he asks to join the team where he’s been ever since. He’s broken his social conditioning and Karen at Driftwood Institute doesn’t seem to care. He desperately doesn’t want to go back to his old unit.
                      Last edited by GogariGlenRoss; 03-10-2017, 09:12 PM.


                      • #12
                        And in some chat-based side-roleplay, Arnold (Void Engineers)'s player has indicated that he is feeling somewhat NWO and wishes to act as a mole, reporting back to the Union that his supervisor and colleagues are trafficking with Reality Deviants. Also, he told me his long-term plans for the character which are, to be blunt, evil.

                        I'd already decided that the upper management of the Union were Nephandi. I hadn't planned on this taking as direct a role, (it explains why they were neglecting actively dealing with the singularity, but I wasn't planning on this campaign being about cultists) but now it's definitely coming front and center with regards to this one character.

                        Arnold is being groomed as a future barabbi.


                        • #13
                          Side roleplay:
                          Karen (Void Engineer NPC) has a staff meeting with all of the Technocracy staff reporting that there will be no more support from the Union. No more marines from the Void Engineers or Iteration X to conduct expeditions, meaning any more explorations will have to be conducted by the scientists themselves. No more equipment requisitions will be approved, so they're stuck with only the tools and equipment already in the building. They have about 6 months of operating expenses left from last year's grant. (This isn't really roleplay, but plot fiat. I told the players about this way back when we were making characters, which is why none of the Technocracy PCs have any dots in Backup, Requisitions, or Secret Weapons).

                          Arnold (Void Engineers)'s player initiated a chat with me on Facebook declaring that he is going to send details about Grover and Karen's contact with Traditions mages to Control via an Internet Dead Drop. He assumes that the dead drop is going to the Good Guys. (GM note: LOL) He also picked up on the possible faerie connection from the email exchange and started researching. The Void Engineers have no good observational data on faerie, but lots of folklore.
                          I posted on the game Facebook page a reminder that Nephandi are not playable PCs and he insisted in chat that he's NOT looking at joining the Nephandi. I asked if that was Larry talking or Arnold's hitherto unseen moral core, and he said he hadn't thought too much about it. In Arnold's character concept and initial couple of roleplay sessions, I can see three separate, effective ways of tempting him to becoming a barabbi. I'll have to make sure to work in several moral decision points where he can choose to be a hero.

                          Robert (Order of Hermes, House Ngoma) is a social scientist doing an ethnography of Zimbabwean diaspora. There's a pocket of refugees who have settled comfortably and are doing quite well in North Florida, but they've been approached by a man in a black suit (Mr. Glass) talking about moving them. This would be stressful under any circumstances, but fear and distrust of the government amongst refugees right now is very high (Trump is President in my game world, too). Robert argues on their behalf, but the men in black are quite insistent. Later, Karen meets with Robert, straight-up admits the cover story is a lie, and invites him to come see for himself why they need to evacuate their community. To be continued next session. I'm not sure where I'm going with this, actually. If they go with the Men in Black, they'll be resettled in a safe community; if they wait for the actual cops to evacuate them, they might be deported.

                          Behind the scenes, the infosec director of Driftwood, Mr. Glass, tells Karen about Grover (Progenitors)'s communication with a known member of the Cult of Ecstasy (i.e., Dick) . Karen tells Grover to call Dick and invite him to come down to Florida.
                          The NPC character of Mr. Glass has changed considerably since my original campaign design. Originally, he was a MiB reporting everything back to the NWO, but since Arnold is now acting as the hidden mole in the organization, I've decided that Mr. Glass is a member of the Harbingers of Avalon.

                          Next session is on the 19th. They will be going inside the event horizon into the Zone.


                          • #14
                            Episode 1: Act 1, Leftovers from last session
                            (Oliver's player is out of town)

                            Scene 1:
                            The three mystic mages, Robert (Order of Hermes, Ngoma), Kia (Order of Hermes, Xaos), and Dick (Cult of Ecstasy), are invited by the Driftwood Institute to come to visit Florida. They agree to this for a variety of personal reasons (see above).

                            Their first encounter with the singularity is a measurement ritual that Arnold (Void Engineers) conducts which involves a surveyor's transit, a bundle of grade-stakes, flagging tape, and a 300' tape measure (those are the foci for a Correspondence Procedure). The three mages along with Dan (Extraordinary Citizen, Void Engineers, Intern) are to place a stake every 300' walking through a grassy marsh flat toward the river, but somehow they never seem to be getting closer to the river. Space is fractal here and the earth has infinite surface area within a finite volume. There is no way to walk through the event horizon as it keeps retreating. Kia is able to detect the event horizon with his mystical senses of Correspondence and Dick can feel the time-shear of the event horizon with Time sphere sensory effect—something it took the Technocracy months to properly analyze.

                            This is basically "hazing the new guys" by Arnold, as he knows perfectly well that the event horizon can't be walked through in that way. The result of the ritual is that the phenomenon has grown only a few centimeters since the last time he measured it. At this point Arnold's player spent about a half hour posing "what if" questions about the event horizon that I wasn't fully prepared for. I started at this point to worry the session would run late. Eventually I have to GM fiat "that's enough" which I feel kinda bad about since he's genuinely interested in figuring out the mystery.

                            Scene 2:
                            Dick (Cult of Ecstasy) and Grover (Progenitor, Pharmacopeist) chat in the marsh flat about the mysterious fruit. They agree to go back to the lab to investigate (i.e., eat) it.
                            At the lab, Mr Glass (NPC, New World Order, secretly Harbingers of Avalon) tells Grover absolutely under no circumstances is Dick—a known member of the Traditions—allowed in the lab. (He's had the argument with Karen (Void Engineers) about their participation in missions already, but he's holding firm on security of their headquarters). Grover rolls Manipulation to persuade and beat's Glass's Willpower roll and so Glass agrees to a Visitor Pass that allows him in the lobby and the conference room, but not into the lab itself. Glass could have beaten this, but I forgot to bring his character sheet and I kinda wanted to see it play out so I just did a straight opposed Manipulation+Subterfuge vs Willpower and Grover won it fair-and-square.

                            Karen wipes hand sanitizer over the camera lens as Brenda (Extraordinary Citizen, Syndicate, office secretary) take a photo for his visitor badge so that the picture is too blurry to really identify him.

                            They eat the goblin fruit. This Enchants them both. Dick freaks out at the oppressive Banality inside the Technocracy facility. Grover suddenly realizes everything makes sense and he goes back to the lab to retrieve the ruined DNA results of the biological samples. It is actually a poem! He dictates it to Brenda, who patiently transcribes it. Dick has to get the hell out of here, goes outside and talks to a tree (dryad) on the other side of the parking lot for three hours. He meets a satyr, briefly.

                            This was a really fun scene to roleplay, but my players clearly have waaaay more experience taking drugs than I have so if Glamour trips are going to continue to be a thing, I'm going to need to brainstorm some more stuff to say about them.

                            The rest of the episode tomorrow.
                            Last edited by GogariGlenRoss; 03-20-2017, 06:30 PM.


                            • #15
                              Episode 1, Act 2, Expedition A

                              It's time to go through the breach through the event horizon into the mysterious zone. The Technocracy is no longer assigning marines to do their missions, so the scientists are stuck doing this themselves now. The mission requires them to go and get the "telemetry signal repeater" which is the spellcasting focus for Arnold (Void Engineer)'s Correspondence sensory Effects, repair it, and redeploy it. It was destroyed in the last expedition in a "sudden weather event."

                              The twist is that Karen (Void Engineer) has ordered them to avoid using force at all costs. She has a hypothesis that she wants to collect data on. No weapon use on hostiles unless necessary. I want to make it clear to the players that this isn't something they can defeat with weapons and that violence is self-defeating.

                              Scene 1
                              The team goes through on foot. They are in the same grassy estuary as before but this time there is no spatial effect blocking them from walking toward the river. Dick (Cult of Ecstasy) uses Time perception (focus: marijuana and old-style 3D glasses) to see the time shear between outside and inside. Kia (Order of Hermes, Xaos) uses his own Correspondence perception (sunglasses with sigils on them) to see the fractal bending. This is something the Technocracy took months to fully map out.

                              Robert (Order of Hermes, Ngoma) uses his Spirit 1 sensory effect (focus: a lens) to look for spirits. The place is full of spirits and the Gauntlet is completely non-existent; any umbrood they see will be physically manifested. He rolls Perception well and notices something I'd been planning to surprise him with: tiny, tiny chigger spirits trying to bite him. They latch onto him and start to bite and he uses Spirit 2 to negotiate with them. The chigger spirits don't say much ("Hungry!" "Cold!" etc.), but only Robert can hear them.
                              Grover (Progenitors, Pharmacopeist) also misses his save against their grapple and is likewise covered in chiggers. He tries treating them with his own, normal medical methods, which only causes him health levels of bashing damage. Robert manages a few successes on a Manipulation+Intimidation roll over a few turns and the chigger spirits botch their roll to hang on and fall off.
                              Looking at this from Arnold and Dan's point of view—a crazy guy got bugs on him and he talked to them and made them go away. They flee the grassy field before the rest of them get bitten and then Robert repeats the Effect on Grover, saving him from the chiggers burrowing under his skin and masticating his flesh from the inside out. Grover recognizes (Intelligence+Medicine) that this is what happened to the Void Engineer marines in the hospital.

                              Scene 2
                              They walk into a forest of red pine that once was a town. The buildings are grown over with vines, whole adult trees are growing through the pavement. They come upon what looks like a tornado struck, there's a swath of fallen trees and stripped roofs. They find the house they're looking for where the marines had previously set up the signal repeater. There's a tree across the porch and they cannot access the door. Intern Dan (Void Engineer Extraordinary Citizen) climbs a tree and drops into a hole in the roof. Kia tries, botches, and falls on his ass for 1 bashing damage. Dan rolls one success to disassemble the device then on his next roll botches and yells for help. Arnold insults him. Dan gets pissed off and shoots the plywood off a downstairs window with his door-breaching gun (an Enlightened Device). Arnold reluctantly goes inside to help him and rolls 6 successes on his first roll (Intelligence+Technology).

                              Meanwhile, Dick finds two more of the mysterious fruit growing on a tree (he rolled four successes). Grover tries to take a sample branch to graft and root sample to cultivate. He botches, probably killing the tree.

                              Kia, Karen, and Robert discover they are being watched. They see a man in a tattered feathered cloak and grand headdress. Robert rolls Intelligence+Occult for the second-longest chain of 10-agains I have ever seen and recognizes him—it's Hurakan, the Mayan god of storms. I'd intended this to be a research roll later in downtime, but that was one crazy roll.
                              Arnold is a wiseass and quotes Ghostbusters, "As duly appointed representative of the City, County and State of New York, I order you to cease andy and all supernatural activity and return forthwith to your place of origin or the next convenient parallel dimension."

                              But if he could, don't you think he would?

                              Scene 3
                              Hurakan is maaaaad. Spirits have Rage, but this was RAGE. Robert negotiates with him with Spirit 2 and some friendly talk and Dick tries reading his mind with Mind 3 (that doesn't work). Arnold looks to Karen for what to do next and she indicates that he should wait because this is what they brought the mystics along for.
                              After a minute, Hurakan's demeanor changes. He gets up, appears to go from rage to fear, and flees, conjuring a wind gale to ride.
                              This creates a problem as trees start falling. Dexterity+Athletics rolls for everyone! Except for Dick. Dick instead tries to strengthen his telepathic bond with Hurakan to ask him to come back and doesn't dodge the tree that falls directly on him for 3 damage. Dan also misses his roll and isn't injured, but his way is blocked. Grover, however, rolls 6 successes to dodge a piece of the roof flying at him in an act of John Woo aerial wirework. Somehow in all of this no one thinks to use Forces to help them dodge the falling debris.

                              They hear voices coming out of the forest. This is what Hurakan was fleeing. They don't know this yet.

                              Grover botches his Willpower roll to avoid his mind being taken by the voices and has a seizure. Dick uses some of the drugs in Grover's own medkit on Grover as a focus for Mind 3 to restore his mind. The group flees the forest before they lose any more to the voices.

                              Scene 4
                              Brief scene. They easily resist the chiggers in the field again. Near the gateway is a giant alligator but from the belly to the tail it has the body of a giant squid. It is not made of manifested ephemera, not a spirit. (They don't know this, it's a wyrd chimera.) Dick again saves the day by sending a mental impulse to it causing it to run away in fear. (Should have been an opposed roll against its willpower, but it was 11pm and time to go home).

                              They leave via the gateway. Mission accomplished.
                              Last edited by GogariGlenRoss; 03-20-2017, 09:36 PM.