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Chronicle Report: Keepers of the Wyck

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  • #76
    My imaginary character joins the fray! Lol. I'm still trying to sell my current group on a mage game.


    • #77
      Session 23

      I'm a little behind on my records. We've already had the 24th session last weekend, but I've only just finished typing up what happened today. Hopefully I'll be able to catch up before too long.

      Cast List
      Alfred Camlan: Excalibur Mage
      Sean “Sam” Heath: Templar Knight
      Helen Walter: Hermetic Spy
      Joe Hanson: Noir Detective
      Aaron Gibson: Punk Hacker

      Notable NPCs Include:

      Gwyn: Gate Keeper
      Camellia: Coven Maiden

      Edwin: Our Marauder


      Sean, Hanson, Alfred, and Helen were all stood in the room within the keeper’s chantry. Edwin sat asleep, face on a desk. Though he still seemed safe, none of them really felt at ease as long as he was still there. The idea that he could wake up at any moment hung over them like a lead weight.

      That plan was to enter into his mind in order to find out exactly what had happened to him, how the breaches started, and if there was any way they might be able to cure him. To enter into his mind would require a great ritual in order to create and then maintain a mental link with Edwin. Alfred, having done this sort of thing before, proposed that he would fashion the illusion of a library and allow Edwin’s mind to populate it with books and other accoutrements in order for them to get a better idea. Hanson and Helen would contribute to the building of the effect while Sean, having no understanding of Mind, would be brought in with the others effect.

      Helen had very particular ideas on how the ritual should be carried out.

      Helen: Here’s what we need to do. We will have to draw a seal on the ground with chalk, then we need to place three mirrors at three equidistance points of the circle, forming a triangle. We have to stands outside of these mirrors with Edwin in the centre.
      Hanson: Mirrors?
      Helen: It’s to enhance our power so we can make the connection. I will try to stand as the bridge, linking our mental patterns together so that we can have a clear look into Edwin’s mind.
      Alfred: I… right. Well, if rather than pure lines, I was able to write in runes in chalk on the floor, I could do that. As long as there’s a narrative thread I can draw from, this should work.
      Hanson: Narrative I can get behind, but these mirrors…
      Helen: They are necessary.

      At this point, Aaron arrived and was brought up to speed on what they were planning to do.

      Aaron: So, you’re going to hack into Edwin’s mind?
      Alfred: Not hack, we’re trying to pass through his mental defences, aligning our conscious energies together so we may explore his mental landscape.
      Aaron: Yeah. Hacking.
      Hanson: You could call it that, yeah.
      Aaron: Cool, so how are we doing this?
      Alfred: Helen needs some mirros so we can, amplify shape energy or something. Then we can work our way into part of Edwin’s narrative, aligning our conscious minds into similar flow.
      Aaron: That made absolutely no sense to me…

      Explanations continued like this, but Aaron just had no idea what it was they were trying to do. After a while, he just agreed to come along for the ride but wouldn’t be able to help. The next problem was where to get the mirrors Helen demanded. Aaron went out looking for mirrors around the chantry, bumping into Camellia.

      Camellia: Oh, hello.
      Aaron: Hi, I was wondering. Do you happen to have any mirrors around?
      Camellia: I think so. Do you need them?
      Aaron: Yeah…
      Camellia: What for?
      Aaron: It’s a… ritual.
      Camellia: Does Vivian know about this?
      Aaron: Uhh…
      Camellia: Oh well… We’ll tell her when she gets back. I’m sure she won’t mind.

      Camellia took Aaron down to the undergrove and into a side room where she looked around for a number of mirrors, just as Gwyn arrived.

      Gwyn: Hello?
      Aaron: Uh… hi? Who are you?
      Gwyn: Gwyn Green… And, who are you?
      Aaron: Aaron.
      Gwyn: Are you a new initiate?
      Aaron: No, I’m just staying here.
      Gwyn: I see. And what are you doing here?
      Camellia: We’re getting mirrors so his can perform a ritual.
      Gwyn: What?
      Aaron: Uh. It’s not my ritual. It’s Alfred’s.
      Gwyn: Alfred… What would he want our mirrors for?
      Aaron: Beats me, It’s all mystic mumbo jumbo to me.
      Gwyn: Probably wants to scry and speak with this grandfather.
      Aaron: Sure. That’s probably it.
      Gwyn: Ok… Well, make sure nothing happens to them.
      Aaron: We’ll be careful.

      Gwyn helped them take the mirrors out of the cupboard for Aaron to take back upstairs. He was quite relieved he didn’t have to explain the Edwin situation to them.

      Aaron: Ok, got the mirrors.
      Helen: Good, now we need to place Edwin in the centre of the room.
      Hanson: Wait what?
      Helen: He needs to be in the middle of the ritual space.
      Hanson: I don’t think we should move him. What if he wakes up?
      Alfred: He has a point… If Edwin wakes up while we’re setting up the ritual, or even during it, may be quite dangerous
      Hanson: Geometrically placed mirrors and chalked up runes, he’d be convinced we were cultists.
      Helen: But he needs to be in the centre.
      Alfred: Wouldn’t we be able to draw the marking around him?
      Helen: Around him? He’s up against the wall.
      Hanson: So? Just draw your circle on the wall.
      Helen: It has to be a closed circle, any gaps and the geometry will be lost.
      Alfred: Aaron, would you be able to, err… reorganise the space between the wall and the floor to make it a continuous plane?
      Aaron: You mean reformat space?
      Alfred: Just so Helen can draw an unbroken circle between the floor and the wall.
      Aaron: That’s master level shit you’re asking for, not really something I can do.
      Alfred: Damn.
      Hanson: Ok… I don’t think this is going to work. If we can’t do this.
      Helen: If we just moved him to the bed, maybe by levitation.
      Hanson: Nobody’s moving Edwin. Helen, I don’t think we’ll be able to do this your way. You might have to sit this one out.

      There was a bit more back and forth, but eventually it was decided that Hanson and Alfred would lead the ritual and Helen would just observe along with Sean, taken along with them into Edwin’s mind, but not as part of the caster. Hanson and Alfred reorganises the ritual to be based more around language and narrative design.

      Aaron: You’re chanting at him now?
      Alfred: So we may insert ourselves into the flow of his narrative by use of language.
      Aaron: Huh… that’s sort of like code.
      Alfred: Perhaps.
      Aaron: Maybe I can help out, all I need to do is lower the defences, getting rid of those security barriers between minds.
      Hanson: Yeah, that can work.

      And so, they started their ritual. For about an hour, Alfred began chanting various forms of ancient and current poetry while Hanson focused meaning out of this chaos. Aaron got to work looking for backdoor entries around Edwin’s mind. Together they were able to create a bridge of sorts between the five of them, passing through Alfred and Hanson, and on to the others, so that each may share in the same illusion, created by Alfred, and populated by Edwin.

      They started out in the Earth house, that familiar rustic building where Alfred makes his mental home, but already something was slightly off. A pillar was bent at a strange angle, and cracks were forming around the walls. For a moment, Alfred felt a presence, as though something were inside his hut. This was not supposed to happen. They needed to hurry up before things got even stranger.
      They stepped through the door and into an incredibly chaotic library. Shelves stood strewn in bizarre arangements, some lay on the ground, some were just books floating in the air. There was a dark atmosphere to the place, with a faint smell of decaying fungus.

      Alfred: This… isn’t what usually happens. Though we’re not in a normal mind, are we.
      Hanson: I don’t think we should hang about here.
      Aaron: Yeah… there was something crawling around in that house. I think that means you we might get his madness.

      Aaron looked about at some of the books flying around and could make out titles like “The Rats in the Walls” and “A Shadow out of Time”. Alfred and Hanson recognised what these titles were with little surprise. Sean grabbed out at another book he sees, feeling strangely drawn to it. Emblazoned on what felt like a leather cover was a words “Necronomicon”. From behind him a figure approached asking for the book. The figure was tall and gangly, standing with an awkward gait, with a voice as deep and concerning as the dark. Sean was about to hand the book over, when Alfred and Aaron intervened, grabbing hold of it. Whatever happened, they did not want whatever this guy was to have a book so potent. They each grabbed at it and wrestled it away. Hanson imagined up a gun for himself and shot at him. He fell to the ground revealing a hideous body more monster than man before dissolving into the ground. Alfred recognised the character as Wilbur Wately, straight out from the Dunwich Horror.

      Alfred: None of this should be happening.
      Aaron: Yeah… We’re in way over our head here.
      Hanson: We have to keep looking. There’s got to be something here.

      A familiar sounds came from somewhere, one that Hanson knew too well. A swarm of Mi-go were on their way. In Edwin’s mind, who knew what they would do if they arrived. Before they had a chance to see them, The group ran through between the shelves and away, until the found themselves in an unfamiliar landscape, a crimson red sky against a foreboding stretch of obsidian. Before they even had a chance to catch their breath, a hole opened up beneath them. Helen stumbled through it. Hanson made to grab for her along with Alfred, but the two of them only fell into the void. Aaron and Sean stood and watched as the three of them were swallowed up into what looked like oblivion.

      In the darkness, neither one could see the other, their presence only vaguely felt over the great mass of activity which at once felt so close and loud, yet distant as though only barely peering from the corner of their periphery. Helen tried to grow herself some dragon wings in order to fly, but her body modification seemed to amplify beyond her control, giving her several extra eyes. Around the three of them, the darkness filled with glimpses of strange undulating forms, with tentacles and pulsating lobes throbbing about their bodies. It wasn’t long before they realised they were not in a void, but underwater, surrounded by hideous fear inducing creatures. Alfred recognised them as starspwan from his research into Lovecraft’s creatures.
      In the depths, Hanson spotted the wreckage of a car. As they drew closer to it, the car start to rise. Time began to flow backwards and the car lifted above the surface, Hanson saw two figures in the front seat he recognised. Sarah and Edwin. In a flash, Hanson, Helen, and Alfred found themselves inhabiting the same body and looking through the same eyes on the passenger seat of a car. They looked around and saw Sarah, someone they knew to be their sister, driving the car. She was talking, saying something intelligible. Alfred turned their head and looked out the window, he recognised the area as Glastonbury. Suddenly the car swerved out of control, they couldn’t tell what happened as tires skid and metal scraped. Before they knew it, they were in the water. The three of them looked down, they had somehow slipped out of the car, but Sarah was still in there. The water now seemed impossibly cast, the surface so far away. Around them the starspawn began to gather. Hanson urged to help Sarah while Alfred battled to evade the starspawn and head towards the car. But it was Helen who won out, forcing the body to swim towards the surface. A brief look down and they saw this hideous creatures dismember Sarah’s body. The three of them now found themselves in separate bodies again, but Hanson knew there was no longer anyone to save. He resigned to following the misshapen Helen to the surface.

      Aaron and Sean look down into the hole, but something else catches Sean’s attention, a shrill cry of “tekelili” coming from somewhere near. He called out to Aaron, and the two of them scarpered back into the tunnel they thought they came from, though it did not lead to familiarity. Before long the pair found themselves in a strange plaza with bizarre monolithic buildings all around them. In the distance, the spied alien creatures, conical in shape with four protruding limbs. Aaron recognised from what little Lovecraft knowledge he had that this was likely the Great Race of Yith. Relatively speaking, this was not bad. He knew they were not an outright hostile group, but were very protective about their information. They elected to sneak around the buildings and evade detection.
      It didn’t take long for the landscape to shift, however. As they walked deeper into the city, the tall alien structures began to morph together into more recognisable architecture. The two of them stand on a street. Aaron recognises it as somewhere in Birmingham.
      Before them, a great tare in space splits apart before them. Sean avert his gaze, but Aaron looks within and sees the tendrils of yog-sothoth peering back at him. Aaron can feel the edges of is mind being hit by something trying to get in, so he backed away and refused to look again.
      Soon, they noticed men in suits, all of whom looked the same, appearing out from everywhere. They were watching them, following them. Aaron and Sean sped up their walk, slowly turning it into a run.

      Hanson, Alfred, and Helen emerge to an eerie sky. The horizon is great as though they had somehow found themselves within the ocean. Their time to ponder this is cut short as the water drains, presenting them is a great black landscape of featureless rock going on for as far as the eye could see. With little option before them, the three of them began to walk along it, and bump into a running Aaron and Sean.

      Aaron: What the… How did you guys get here?
      Alfred: Edwin’s mind must have looped around.
      Hanson: We’re in the same space… what did you see?

      They discussed what they had encountered. Hanson recalled what Sarah had told him, that Edwin hadn’t been the same since the crash.

      Hanson: Perhaps that was the crash we witnessed. That’s what started it all.
      Aaron: Then we saw the first breach, the one up in Birmingham.
      Hanson: Sarah managed to calm him down after that, but it happened again… But why?
      Alfred: He came to London.
      Hanson: Sarah said they had friends here.
      Aaron: The nephandi ones right?
      Alfred: We don’t know that.
      Hanson: It’s likely though. They would have met him in Birmingham and tried to get him to London.

      Alfred tried to focus his mind and enforce Edwin’s to do the same. He wanted to know what happened to Edwin to set him off in London. He cast his effect, and suddenly everything went dark. Around them they could make up the dim outline of trains and platforms.

      Aaron: Is this… Euston station?
      Hanson: Looks like it.
      Alfred: What are we doing here?

      A great scream of movement could be heard, rats within the walls, followed by the machinations of a terrifying machine. On first glance, Alfred thought it was a pattern spider, a large one, but it looked different. It moved much more fluidly, and had a human face upon its back.

      Alfred: Is this how he saw the spider?
      Sean: I think we should go now.

      The eldritch pattern spider started swiping at them. They ran towards the entrance of the station, but it proved to be too nimble to outrun. In desperation, Hanson turned his gun to it and fired. As the bullet hit, everything slowed down, the image shattered as though shooting a pane of glass. The shards broke up in every colour and soon the whole image cracked around them, breaking up into millions of pieces. Each one held an image too small to make out. They had returned to the broken library.

      Aaron: Ok, I think we can all agree that this was a terrible idea.
      Helen: We need to get out of here.
      Aaron: Yeah, it’s too dangerous to keep going.
      Alfred: …agreed.

      Alfred lead them back to the Earth house and dismissed his effect. Each one awoke back in the room with Edwin still gently sleeping on the desk. Less than a minute had passed.

      Alfred: Everyone alright?
      Aaron: I could have done with that.
      Alfred: Sorry… this didn’t go to plan.
      Aaron: Didn’t seem like you had any kind of plan at all. We just jumped into a marauders mind, one of the most unstable places around, without any idea of what we’re doing.
      Alfred: Yes, in retrospect, we could have thought it out a bit better.
      Hanson: We did what we had to. I’m not sure what we’ve learned from it though.
      Alfred: We’ve seen what the world looks like to him… poor bastard.
      Aaron: I think we can agree, though, that Edwin is much more dangerous than any of us realised.
      Hanson: I’m not sure if he can be cured… And if he can’t, then there may only be on option for him.
      Alfred: One thing’s for certain. Bringing him to the technocracy can only be a bad thing.

      They started to put the mirrors away. Helen swore she saw something move in them, a shadow of some kind, but couldn’t be certain. She began to question her sanity, and wonder if perhaps linking minds with Edwin may have some yet unknown repercussions.
      Everyone felt this fear, and lamented the fact that, in her absence, Lydia may have defaulted to the sanest member of the group.

      Oh yes, there will be repercussions. I made everyone do willpower roles periodically while inside Edwin’s mind, with the worst rollers having more adverse effects. I’ll be starting up a tally on Quiet. What happens to them now will determine just how badly things become.

      So, this session didn’t have the greatest of outcomes. I’m not sure what they expected traveling into the mind of a marauder, but there was a real sense that they had failed in some way. I had to talk to them for a while afterwards to make them feel a bit better about it all. Changing the mental landscape of the insane is a downright godlike feat, and if Masters had trouble with it, how could they put such expectations upon themselves?
      This little episode did nothing to quell Hanson’s player’s frustration. He came away from this feeling as though they had learned nothing, and that he was being railroaded into killing Edwin, or at least in helping instigate his death. I’ll admit, I created this scenario without thinking up golden “way out” as it were, but that doesn’t mean death is the only answer, it’s just the most apparent one.
      Still though, I’ll have to do something to make this endeavour not feel like a total waste of time and sanity. Hopelessness seems to be a growing theme in this story. The challenge now is trying to prevent my players from giving up because of this and dismissing any form of agency.

      I find that when players feel they have no agency, they tend to stop caring about their character and allow them to do careless things, becoming apathetic to the consequences. This kind of attitude is a death sentence for any game, and while it’s not that bad yet, I can see it developing if I don’t do something to curb it soon.

      Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running UPDATE Chapter 26: Towers of Glass


      • #78
        Session 24

        Since people's schedules and locations have changed somewhat, I have not been able to do catch up sessions or alternative sessions like I had done previously. I'm not sure what impact this will have on the game or its story.

        Cast List
        Lydia: Moon Witch
        Sean “Sam” Heath: Templar Knight
        Helen Walter: Hermetic Spy
        Joe Hanson: Noir Detective
        Aaron Gibson: Punk Hacker

        Notable NPCs Include:

        Vivian: High Priestess

        Edwin: Our Marauder

        ---CHAPTER 24: FINAL PLANS---

        The cool air blew around her hair as she stood on the grass. The dark of night gone, bathed in glorious moonlight the starlight with the intense cosmos around her. Lydia made a tentative step and felt Luna’s presence guide her feet. It wasn’t long before she came face to face with a pale women in a silver sheet.

        Lydia: Luna?
        Luna: Hello Lydia. I sense that you are concerned.
        Lydia: I’m worried about my vision. I want everyone to be able to work together, to move beyond the barriers of their belief, but everyone seems determined to work against each other.
        Luna: Don’t give up. With such adversity, your vision is needed more than ever.
        Lydia: But how can I get them to hear when they refuse to listen?
        Luna: That is a very good question.
        Lydia: I see…
        Luna: I also notice that you worry for the battle to come.
        Lydia: Yes. What can I do to prepare myself for this?
        Luna: It will be a difficult time, but it will be a pivotal time for yourself and the coven.
        Lydia: What should I do?
        Luna: You should fight to keep alive that which you hold dear.
        Lydia: I see…
        Luna: There is one more concern I sense in you, that about your family.
        Lydia: Well… I suspect my uncle Michael is actually my father. He seems to act that way. But why should I worry about that?
        Luna: To know one’s lineage is to better understand one’s roots.
        Lydia: It’s never been that important to me before.
        Luna: But it may be of benefit to know where you and your powers come from.
        Lydia: How can I do this?
        Luna: The Green Fairy of Ireland. She will help you find the way.
        Lydia: Thank you Luna.

        Lydia awoke to the bright of day, with a slight chill. Vivian stood over her.

        Vivian: Ah, you’re awake.
        Lydia: Uh… Where is everyone?
        Vivian: They already left. They woke up in the morning.
        Lydia: Did you just wake up as well?
        Vivian: I never slept.
        Lydia: Are you ok?
        Vivian: I am fine. I do not need to sleep.
        Lydia: I’m not sure that’s healthy.
        Vivian: With Melonie about, we cannot risk an attack by her fomori. But we cannot allow this to ruin our ceremonies. If I must stay up and keep watch then so be it.
        Lydia: What are we going to do about her?

        Vivian recanted the plan to Lydia, to bring the open circle to the heath, lead them in a ritual to cleanse it while going to the spirit world to rid the site of banes and protect the acolytes from harm. After this, they return to the chantry together.

        Vivian: Tonight we will be properly inducting you and Alfred into the Keepers. But first, there is one last rite you have yet to pass.
        Lydia: What is it?
        Vivian: To meditate at our node.
        Lydia: I did that.
        Vivian: But did you speak with the spirit that resides within?
        Lydia: No, not really.
        Vivian: Then you must, while the spirit still has strength to speak.

        [ST NOTE: So, by this point, Lydia’s Player has missed about 3 or so weeks of Mage, and we have no time to do a catch up session since she’s no longer living in the same city as the rest of us. This little bit at the beginning was an attempt to reintroduce her to her character, as well as recap what’s going on in the story.]

        The group stand in Edwin’s room, still recovering from Edwin’s madness. None of them quite expected just how potent the imagery and emotion actually was. Alfred had left in a hurry to meet with Lance, and had already gone. Sean too decided to leave, go for a walk to clear his head, leaving Hanson, Aaron, and Helen alone with Edwin, who quietly slept.

        Helen: I don’t think he should stay here.
        Hanson: For now there’s not much choice.
        Aaron: Guys… I have something I need to say. But I don’t want to risk him hearing it. Could we do this in another room?

        Aaron led them to his own room, closing the door before they began to talk.

        Aaron: Ok, so I think we can all agree that Edwin is way more dangerous than any of us actually thought, and far too dangerous to ignore.
        Hanson: I can’t really deny that.
        Aaron: Right, so… I don’t want this to come across harsh, but it might be that we’ll need to think of some kind of backup plan in case we have no other choice.
        Helen: Back up plan?
        Hanson: As much as I hate to consider it, but Violet might have a point.
        Aaron: Euthanatos lady?
        Hanson: Yeah.
        Aaron: Right.
        Helen: Are you saying we need to kill Edwin?
        Aaron: We need a contingency plan. The alternatives aren’t really that much better.
        Hanson: The blackout was enough to trigger him, anything could set him off.
        Aaron: Right. Even if we get this sorted now, it’s going to happen again, and when it does who do you think are going to be after him? The technocracy, and I can’t think of anyone worse to hand over a marauder to then them.
        Hanson: Leaving it to Sarah, she would just take him to her friends.
        Aaron: And we’re pretty certain her “friends” are just Malady and Zandros, aren’t we.
        Hanson: We don’t know that.
        Aaron: It’s pretty likely. So, really the only one left is the euthanatos.
        Hanson: Hmm…
        Aaron: And since killing is pretty much their thing, she’d be the most capable person for the job.
        Hanson: She would…
        Helen: I don’t like this.
        Aaron: Helen.
        Helen: It reminds me of what happened to my parents.
        Hanson: We don’t want to kill him.
        Aaron: Yeah, this is just a contingency plan. If all else fails. Just to be safe.
        Hanson: Violet would need something of his in order to reach him.
        Aaron: If only we had that book.
        Hanson: Helen, do you still have that page?
        Helen: Yes.
        Aaron: Why did you rip out a page?
        Helen: I didn’t, Edwin did.
        Hanson: We could give it to her, and she might be able to use it to kill him from a distance. If we need to.
        Aaron: Right, that’s settled.

        Aaron jumps to his computer and starts coding, wanting to increase his own mental attributes. He looks up and notices they are still standing there.

        Aaron: Oh… meeting adjourned. Bye.

        Hanson leaves and returns to Edwin, wanting to check on him and see if he’s still asleep. Edwin stirs slightly, lifting his head and eventually opening his eyes. Hanson braces himself, but decides to try speaking with him first.

        Hanson: Hello, Edwin?
        Edwin: Uh…
        Hanson: You ok there?
        Edwin: Uh… You… I remember you.
        Hanson: Yes, we’ve met.
        Edwin: I had a dream… You shot at this terrible monster. Part spider.
        Hanson: Yes, that was a dream.
        Edwin: It felt so real. Just like that time on the boat.
        Hanson: That wasn’t real…

        Once again, Hanson tried his luck at convincing Edwin that his delusions were not real, but as ever he was getting little more than resistance.

        Edwin: What are you talking about? I know it happened, I was there. I saw it.
        Hanson: You think you saw it, but you didn’t. You know Lovecraft right?
        Edwin: Of course I do. He wrote about all the things he saw outside our world. The horrible things, as warnings.
        Hanson: No, it’s fiction.
        Edwin: You might think it’s fiction. But that’s only to preserve your own sanity. I don’t expect anyone to understand and know the things I’ve seen, the monsters that lurk in the corners of our reality, but they are there. They are coming, we must protect ourselves.

        Edwin starts to draw his symbol down, the five pronged twig.

        Hanson: You trying to go somewhere?
        Edwin: What?
        Hanson: Your symbol.
        Edwin: This… It’s for protection. I don’t know they reason behind it, but the elder sign keeps the horrors at bay. Wards them away.
        Hanson: Is this how you do your magic?
        Edwin: It is not magic. These are ancient symbols of power, a holdover from a time long lost to human memory, or delivered from distant worlds.
        Hanson: That’s how you do your magic.
        Edwin: You don’t know what you’re talking about. But perhaps that is safer…
        Hanson: Edwin, it’s not real.
        Edwin: I can tell you. I’ve been there. I’ve seen the other worlds, I’ve seen where they live. There is much more to this world than what humans can see.
        Hanson: That’s true, but not in the way that you think…

        Hanson started to explain his view of Magic and the way it can be manipulated. How there is no meaning in the world except for what you put into it.

        Hanson: you put meaning into these books, so it becomes important, it becomes real. That is how you do your magic.
        Edwin: This is not magic. This is different. Did you not hear me explain it to you?

        Hanson decides to take out his lighter and perform a blatant vulgar feat of magic, creating a fireball in the air and allowing it to fly about. He created it so not a shred of doubt could explain it away. Edwin was left stunned.

        Edwin: What…
        Hanson: Magic. That’s all it is.
        Edwin: What are you?
        Hanson: I’m the same as you. We’re awakened.
        Edwin: I don’t…
        Hanson: You are right, there is more to this world. But you are looking at it from the lens of lovecraft. It helps you better describe it, better understand what is inherently lacking meaning. But it’s just a lens, and not real. You’re belief makes it real to you, and then to everyone else. But it’s only because of you that it exists.
        Edwin: You speak like… some kind of warlock… Why have you come here…

        Hanson noticed his clothes begin to change, his coat became darker, and started to flow like a robe. Edwin’s face grew from confusion to fear, and Hanson was not about to let this continue. He took out his flask and took a very long drink, putting as much energy as he could into causing Edwin to fall sleepy before he could change anything. Within a minute, Edwin began to calm and rest, and Hanson’s clothes faded back to normal.

        Edwin: The crash…

        Edwin murmurs as he starts to fall asleep.

        Hanson: It’s ok Edwin.

        Edwin: I dreamt… I dreamt about the crash… I have to get back… Back to the first time I fell…
        Hanson: Rest.
        Edwin: The crash… I have to get back… Back home.
        Hanson: You are home. Sarah is waiting for you. Remember her.
        Edwin: Sarah… died… died in…
        Hanson: She didn’t Edwin. She’s ok.

        Hanson helped him to the bed just as Edwin fell asleep. Hanson sighed, hopefully he was able to get through to him at least a little.

        After about 30 minutes of coding, Aaron looks up and noticed Helen is still there.

        Aaron: Uh….hi?
        Helen: Hi, I wanted to ask you something.

        Aaron froze. He wasn’t accustomed to people waiting for him like this, especially women.

        Aaron: Uh… ok?
        Helen: You’re going to talk to the Technocrats, right?
        Aaron: …why?
        Helen: I was wondering if you could help me find someone.
        Aaron: Why do you want to find them? And what does the technocracy have to do with this?
        Helen: Personal reasons. I can’t explain it.
        Aaron: Ah… I can understand that. So who are they?
        Helen: Peter.
        Aaron: Peter…
        Helen: Yes, Peter.
        Aaron: That’s all you’re going to give me?
        Helen: Can you help?
        Aaron: …Maybe?
        Helen: Thank you.
        Aaron: Right… well… I have to get ready to go and meet with people.
        Helen: Are you going to the technocracy? Can I come with you?
        Aaron: Ah… This is not quite that. It’s VA stuff, I don’t think they’d appreciate you tagging along.
        Helen: Oh… I understand.
        Aaron: Ok… well… bye.

        Helen leaves slightly dejected. Aaron breathes out. “Girls…” he thought, “They’re really weird!”

        Lydia arrives at the Chantry, she shortly meets up with Hanson and Helen.

        Hanson: Ah, Lydia. You’re back.
        Lydia: Yes. Are you still on your case?
        Hanson: Things with Edwin are… well, they’re getting complicated.
        Lydia: I see.
        Hanson: I was going to go to Granny Elm, see if she had any advice on the matter.
        Lydia: That’s a good idea. I was thinking of speaking with her too.
        Helen: I’ll come too.
        Lydia: Oh, You’re still here.
        Helen: Yes, I am still here.
        Lydia: Wouldn’t you prefer to be with your scholar friends?
        Helen: I have to help this coven.
        Lydia: Yes. I’ve seen how you help. Perhaps you’ll turn us all over to the technocracy.
        Hanson: Ladies… Please.

        Mica walks in looking as though she hates the sun.

        Mica: Uhhh…
        Hanson: Mica. Good thing you’re here.
        Mica: Don’t talk with loud voices, thank you.
        Hanson: Could you let us into the undergrove?
        Mica: Why?
        Hanson: We were going to consult with Granny Elm.
        Lydia: Are you ok Mica?
        Mica: Yeah… I think. Genevieve and I went a bit overboard last night…
        Hanson: Ah, I know how that feels. Want to try some hair of the dog?
        Mica: We did. That’s why we’re still like this.
        Hanson: Oh.
        Lydia: Can’t you just focus on Life to cure yourselves? That’s what I did.
        Mica: I don’t know… Can’t concentrate. I could try it… Wait, you guys wanted to go downstairs right?
        Hanson: Yes.
        Mica: Ok.

        Mica opened the door for them with her necklace and slowly dragged herself to her room to rest. The three slowly approached Granny Elm’s room and knocked on the door. There was no answer. They knocked again and called but still not a sign of her presence was found.
        Hanson pressed open the door and they entered slowly. The room was no without its eerie feel, strong as ever even in her absence. A darkness hung around them, like a dark billow of smoke hanging like mist.

        GE: I see you have come for guidance.
        Hanson: Granny Elm?
        Lydia: Where are you?
        GE: I am speaking from beyond.
        Lydia: You’re dead?
        GE: No, not dead, but not in this world. I have matters to tend to in preparation for the coming battle.
        Lydia: I see.
        GE: While you are in this room, I may speak and hear you as normal. I sense you have questions.
        Hanson: Yes, I want to know what we can do to help Edwin.
        GE: The marauder… Though help may be difficult, I sense he will have a role to play in this battle yet.
        Hanson: And what of Sarah?
        GE: You are right to be suspicious of her friends. Perhaps you should check on them.
        Lydia: I’m starting to wonder about my family.
        GE: You question your lineage. This is good. The mysteries of your past will only open themselves to you if you search. It may be worth your time to search.
        Lydia: Where should I search?
        GE: Consult your spirit guide.
        Lydia: With Luna? I did, she told me to search for the Green Fairy.
        GE: Then perhaps you already know your path.
        Helen: Where can I find someone named Peter?
        Hanson: I really think you need to give people more to go on that just “Peter”.
        GE: The one you search for… He may be closer to what you call the enemy than you believe.
        Helen: You see him?
        GE: Almost… If I had something of theirs then it would be easier… For now, this is all I can offer.
        Hanson: Thank you, Granny Elm.
        GE: I am always happy to offer to you advice.

        The presence faded, providing a cue for the three to leave. Hanson left to find Aaron, showed him his Technocractic gun asking for more information on it. As Aaron checked it out, Hanson gave a quick call to his contact to ask about any info on a Peter Walters.

        Lydia went to the node room and meditated, the tree itself looked just as weakened as it had done the last time she saw it. Her concern grew as she noticed a few leaves fall as she approached. As she concentrated, the spirit pressed against her mind, and she let it in. She could see a field, untouched and wild, filled with primal energy and a great full moon. Day turned to night, and back to day, faster and faster. She saw a tree grow from the ground slowly rising into might. The surroundings changed around it with buildings appearing, being destroyed, and reappearing around. The moon was ever bright as the tree grew, until darkness surrounded all. The tree cut off from light.

        Lydia: That was awesome.

        The tree barely whispers in response

        Lydia: Are you ok?
        Tree: I can feel… my grip loosen.
        Lydia: Is it the nodes?
        Tree: Their energy fades… As do I.
        Lydia: We will help you. We’re going to fight and cleanse the nodes.

        While Hanson went upstairs to speak with Aaron, and Lydia was in a trance downstairs, Helen started hearing a strange noise. She followed the noise and soon it grew into frantic whispers. Something big was happening from beyond the door, something that drew here ever closer to it.

        Sean is sat in a church quite a long walk from the chantry. He is having a moment of spiritual uncertainty and prays for guidance, the peaceful building allows for a clear voice to be heard.

        Voice: What is it that troubles you?
        Sean: My Lord. I wonder about how long I must keep up this work.
        Voice: The path is long, and ideals must be maintained.
        Sean: But if I keep on this path, there may be no going back.
        Voice: You must not deviate from your values.
        Sean: But what if my actions lead to further problems?
        Voice: Act not because of what may be. Act for it is good to act.
        Sean: I see… Thank you.

        Sean makes a prayer in order to feel out the presence of other nodes around him. He feels the faint sensation of quintessence all around him, but not in any large quantities. It serves as a reminder of how all things hold essence of the One within them, a reminder which brings him a moment of solace.

        Just as he’s about to leave, however, someone stops him.

        Knight: Hey, I know you.
        Sean: Hello?
        Knight: You were getting chewed out a few days ago, weren’t you?
        Sean: Uh… yes.
        Knight: You’ve not been back at the chapter house for a while.
        Sean: Well… I still have my work to do.
        Knight: Where exactly have you been?

        Sean does not mention his dealings in the spirit realm in case they think he started dealing in the demonic.

        Sean: I’ve… been investigating the verbena.
        Knight: Oh yes, those pagan lot. The ones who were on trial because of the nephandi they have.
        Sean: Yes…
        Knight: You think they’re the ones carrying out the breaches?
        Sean: No, I don’t think they were.
        Knight: You know who is actually was then?
        Sean: I believe it was stated to be caused by a marauder.
        Knight: Oh Yeah, well if you learn more about where this marauder is, let us know.
        Sean: ….of course.
        Knight: There were talks about finding where these pagans keep their chantry and liberating it. You know, in case they were causing those demonic creatures to run around the city.
        Sean: Liberate it?
        Knight: You weren’t told? Oh right, you’ve been reprimanded haven’t you. Probably not given the info yet…
        Sean: I’m not sure that would be necessary.
        Knight: No?
        Sean: I’ve been watching them, I really don’t think they are involved.
        Knight: So you know better then, do you?
        Sean: I… can’t say that I do.
        Knight: Right, probably best to just finish up your report, then we can get things started.
        Sean: I shall.
        Knight: Lord Preserve us.
        Sean: Yes, may the Lord Preserve us.

        Sean leaves the chapel as casually as he can muster before speeding away. This marauder needed to be dealt with soon or he would no longer be able to protect the verbena.

        This session had to perform a lot of connective roles at once. I had to make sure Lydia’s player still knew what was going on after being away for three weeks; I had to give Hanson’s player a bit more time with Edwin so that he remembered why he mattered to him in the first place; and I had to give the players a chance to discuss what it is they were going to do in the run up to the big battle.
        Originally I planned that Alfred and Aaron would have their technocracy meetings simultaneously while Hanson, Lydia, and Helen did their discussing, but that didn’t quite happen. Perhaps next session.
        One thing you might notice is that neither Helen nor Sean has been doing much for the last few sessions now. I spoke with Sean’s player and he told me this was intentional, he wanted to Sean to lay low and not attract any more attention to himself, while also resting up in preparation for the big battle. Helen’s player was a bit more at a loss. Now that the tribunal had taken Boris away, she wasn’t as certain what she wanted Helen to do. I think she was waiting for me to throw plot at her and have her deal with it. Except that I had already done this with the mystery of her father. I’m not sure she realised just how “open world” the concept of this game was, though she seems a bit more receptive to the idea of going out to find answers for herself rather than waiting for them to fall into her lap.

        I swear, players sometimes want you to do all the work for them…

        Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running UPDATE Chapter 26: Towers of Glass


        • #79
          Originally posted by Saikou View Post
          Session 24
          I swear, players sometimes want you to do all the work for them…
          Lol. A few of my players tend to be everywhere but where I thought they would be.

          I once ran a game where I described the landscape and then had a toucan fly to the PCs boat, do its toucan squawk, and then fly off simply as a way to emphasize that they were on a river that was in a tropical forest where animals had little contact with humanity. Thanks to one player's brilliant idea, that session and the next one were devoted to finding and catching the "magical toucan" and discovering its mystical significance.
          Last edited by Spacecat; 04-07-2017, 10:08 AM.


          • #80

            Session 25

            I've been really slow at writing these up. Hopefully I'll be up to date if I can finish writing up last weeks session before Sunday.

            Cast List
            Alfred Camlan: Excalibur Mage
            Helen Walter: Hermetic Spy

            Notable NPCs Include:

            Lance Armstrong: R&E Engineer
            Mr Steed: NWO operative

            ---CHAPTER 25: GOING DOWN ---

            Having just finished dealing with Edwin’s mind, Alfred hurriedly went to the node in the undergrove. Soon he would need to meet with Lance and who knows who else in the heart of a known technocratic base. He was also worried about whatever Edwin had done to his mind, and whether there was some measure of insanity which bread within him. He spent a several minutes in the presence of the ancient tree putting up mental defences, both to keep prying Technocrats out, and trace insanity within. He also made a few prayers to ancient Norse gods, pressing him within the background of other people’s stories, the Narrative shift. Hopefully he may be able to pass by unnoticed as he travels.

            Upon leaving, Alfred notices Lydia and Vivian returning, neither of whom notice him. As Lydia steps beyond the threshold, Alfred approaches the High Priestess, wishing to seek a short consultation with her.

            Alfred: High Priestess.
            Vivian: Alfred? Did you just arrive?
            Alfred: I was leaving, actually.
            Vivian: I see. I hope last night offered you some relief.
            Alfred: And you as well. Is everything ok?
            Vivian: I have a lot on my mind. Preparations need to be made.
            Alfred: Of course
            Vivian: Tonight, I will properly induct both you and Lydia into the coven.
            Alfred: High priestess…
            Vivian: You will fight with us while holding our name.
            Alfred: It would be an honour.
            Vivian: Once everyone arrives, we will do our ceremony.
            Alfred: Yes, about that. I’m about to go off to meet with people regarding our unexpected guest.
            Vivian: I see…
            Alfred: They are the people I told you about.
            Vivian: Be careful, and do not trust what they tell you.
            Alfred: I will.
            Vivian: Be careful, and return before the night is out. We have much to prepare.
            Alfred: Of course. And thank you.

            Alfred takes an unconventional route in order to reach Guy’s Hospital, not wanting to be followed or tracked, and especially wishing to make it difficult to guess exactly where he was coming from in order to keep the Keeper’s chantry a secret. He arrives at the hospital and asks front desk where the meeting is, then heads to the cafeteria to buy some oatmeal. Alfred had left a number of his materials with the Keepers, and so had to improvise for foci, the seeds should be good enough. He went into the bathroom and tried to grind up the seeds into a paste which he intended to put upon his face to change it, not wanting to be recognised by anyone. However, the effect botched. Alfred concentrated hard and kept the paradox within him, a total of 16 points hung over him, his skin felt as though it were peeling away.

            Quietly, he went on the lift and found a number of men in suits who lead him to a small room with a number of tables and chairs. Lance sat at the other end. A number of suited men stood behind him, their bowler hats casting shadow over their face making it hard to distinguish between them.

            Lance: Alfred, glad to see you’re ok.
            Alfred: Quite… So, it won’t be just us then?
            Lance: Unfortunately not.
            Alfred: Figures.
            Lance: Hold on. (to the suited men) Would you mind giving us a bit of space?

            The men speak to each other quietly before leaving the room. Lance and Alfred are alone for a moment.

            Lance: So, you remember us talking about Aaron?
            Alfred: I do.
            Lance: Is there anything you can tell us about him? Do you know where he is right now, for instance?
            Alfred: I do not know where he is, sorry.
            Lance: Or how we can find him?
            Alfred: I honestly could not say.
            Lance: Here (handing Alfred Aaron’s phone) Give this to him, we need to contact him as soon as possible.
            Alfred: What is all this about?
            Lance: I suspect he might have something we need, a file. There’s only one of it, and we need to get it back as soon as we can.
            Alfred: I’m not sure if I can promise anything.
            Lance: It would be a great help to us.

            The door opens, and the room fills with a heavy sense of tension. The tall imposing figure of Mr Steed enters.

            Steed: Is this the one?
            Lance: Yes, sir.
            Steed: Alfred Camlan. I understand you know the whereabouts of the deviants.
            Alfred: The marauder?
            Steed: Where are they?
            Alfred: They?
            Steed: The marauder.
            Alfred: What will you do with them?
            Steed: They are a threat to the masses, a danger to all. We merely wish to contain this threat.
            Alfred: How will you go about this?
            Steed: I assure you, they will be contained. Now, I recall reading that you had an agreement with us.
            Alfred: I was speaking with Lance about a handover.
            Steed: So you know where they are.
            Alfred: As I said, I was discussing with Lance, and I would prefer to speak with him about it.
            Steed: Very well… (to lance) be seeing you.

            Mr steed steps up and leaves with a number of men following behind him. Lance breaths out.

            Lance: I’m sorry about this.
            Alfred: You never told me Steed would be here.
            Lance: I can’t get out of this. The moment he found out we were meeting, that was it.
            Alfred: This is not ideal.
            Lance: I’m not sure what else can be done. They’re always there, breathing down your neck, it’s what they do.
            Alfred: Never mind. It’s done, and we can’t exactly evade him now, can we.

            The begin to discuss a plan. Alfred offers to bring Edwin to a meeting point for the technocracy to get to him. At first he tries to make is somewhere outside of London, but realises he needs to remain close by to Hampstead Heath in order to aid in the ritual and battle. He decides then to make the hand off point on a different side of the heath itself. This may always allow the progenitors to get caught up in things, allowing for more diversion.

            Lance: And that’s where you’ll give us the marauder then?
            Alfred: Edwin, yes.
            Lance: And what of Hanson?
            Alfred: Hanson? I didn’t say anything about Hanson.
            Lance: We have him listed as a Marauder.
            Alfred: Hanson is a lot of things, but he isn’t a marauder.
            Lance: The NWO are looking for him, they believe he’s connected with the breaches as much as Edwin. He’s been at almost every breach sight, and he’s on record of attacking one of our own.
            Alfred: Hanson is a good man. He may have acted rash, but he has nothing to do with the breaches. He is not a danger.
            Lance: They don’t see it that way. They see him as a threat.
            Alfred: Well take my word for it, he’s-

            The door opens and Mr Steed returns with two men filing in behind him, both in suits, difficult to distinguish between. They stand by the door.

            Steed: So, Mr Armstrong. As a decision been made.
            Lance: Yes sir. We’ve decided to have the handover be during the night at Hampstead Heath tomorrow.
            Steed: Hampstead Heath… Interesting choice.
            Alfred: It was the sight of one of Edwin’s…moments. I figured he’d be more likely to show up there.
            Steed: And what of Hanson?
            Alfred: I have told you where Edwin will be.
            Steed: We intend to take them both.
            Alfred: I agreed to cooperate with giving you the man who caused the breaches, that is Edwin.
            Steed: Yes, Mr Camlan, and you have been very cooperative with us. Perhaps there is something we can do to extend this agreement.
            Alfred: What do you mean?
            Steed: The Union provides, Mr Camlan. Perhaps there is something we can make easier for you, give you less to worry about in your normal life. Trouble at work perhaps?
            Alfred: Actually… There was something I was hoping to ask about. Something happened.
            Steed: The police at your door?
            Alfred: Uh… yes. I stole something from work, something I intend to return, mind you.
            Steed: Say no more. We can very easily have that dealt with.
            Alfred: I think they might have seen me take it.
            Steed: That should not be a problem. Allow us to take care of it and you can go to work the next day without any concerns.
            Alfred: Really?
            Steed: The Union provides, and we look after those who help us.

            Alfred thought for a moment. It pained him to admit it, but it seemed like the only real solution he had before him. Alfred really did not want to lose this job, and especially didn’t want to be placed in jail, though he knew making such agreements with the technocracy were dangerous and felt in some way like a betrayal of sorts. However, he conceded, and agreed for them to help him. Mr Steed smiles and leaves, the men in suits following behind him.

            Alfred turns to Lance and started talking. He knew that Lance’s field partner Hector really didn’t like NWO pushing in on their work, and he had seen first-hand how uncomfortable Mr Steed made Lance. Now that the man had left them, he decided to construct a plan with Lance.

            Alfred: What do you think they will do to Edwin when they get him?
            Lance: I couldn’t say. Those kinds of answers are beyond my clearance.
            Alfred: What would you do if they weren’t involved?
            Lance: Well, we’d want to learn more about this ability he has, see what changes he causes to create these extradimensional rifts, perhaps even use this for further technological development.
            Alfred: So you’d probably want to find him first.
            Lance: Now that Mr Steed’s involved, I don’t think we have a say in this.
            Alfred: I think you might. If you get him away before Steed and co can, you could argue you have priority.
            Lance: Perhaps…

            Alfred started laying out a plan, the idea would be they could use Hanson as a distraction, leading the NWO on a wild goose chase while Lance and other Void Engineers would come to gather Edwin, even positing that Hector could assist, providing he made peace with the vendetta he held against Hanson.

            Lance: That could work… Though it would be tricky. Perhaps we should meet up ahead of time to prepare.
            Alfred: Yes, That would be a good idea.
            Lance: I’ll need to talk to Hector about this first. If you’ll excuse me.

            Lance gets up and walks into the corridor to make a phone call. Alfred creeps towards the door and listens.

            The strange sounds of voices brings Helen to look out of the window. She sees a man in a suit walking by. It was only a glimpse, but she had the feeling she had seen this person from somewhere before. A surge of energy shot through her as she realised that this may be her father, and she ran out the door. At least, she would if she could open it. Having lost the right to a necklace, she had no choice but to awkwardly try and prise her way out of a window before trying to find out where this suited man was. She followed who she believed to be his father down the underground and towards London Bridge station. Her bracelet felt a momentary blip of heat as the underground train railed past.

            Emerging from the station, a group of suited men walked from the shard and towards Guy’s Hospital. She had a feeling that this group might lead her where she needed to go, and so followed them from a distance, watching as they entered one of the buildings, and then an elevator. Helen did her best to follow in a non-suspicious manner, but on reaching the floor these men arrived at, she was immediately halted by another.

            Man: Excuse me miss, you can’t enter here, this is a restricted area.
            Helen: Oh, sorry, I didn’t realise.

            Helen went back down in the elevator, got out and went back up the stairs, but the man was still there.

            Man: I said you can’t be here. Do you need help finding your way back?
            Helen: Sorry, I thought this was a public area. What’s happening here?
            Man: I can’t tell you that miss, please leave and do not try to enter here again.

            Helen obliges, returning to the lift, and then climbing up the stairs. She puts up a silencing effect around her and sneaks into the floor again. Down the corridor, she sees a man in a bowler hat on the phone, she listens in to his side of the conversation.

            Lance: Yes Hector. He says that Hanson will be there… I don’t know, but I think it’s worth a try... I trust him, he hasn’t lied to us yet has he?... I don’t like it either, but if we can get this guy before the agents do, we’ll be able to get back to our research, and this little distraction will be behind us… We’ll just have to see it through. We’re meeting Alfred tomorrow on the Heath…. I’ll go over the details in person….

            Lance looks down and notices Helen hiding there, her effect did nothing for how easily visible she was.

            Lance: Who are you?

            Helen tried to speak, but remembered her effect, and promptly dismissed it.

            Man: Hey, I thought I told you this was a restricted area!

            Alfred opened the door, wondering what all this commotion was and stared in stunned silence at Helen. He knew he had to do something.

            Alfred: She’s with me.
            Lance: You know here?
            Alfred: Yes, but she isn’t here because of us. She’s looking for her father.
            Helen: I’m a patient at this hospital!
            Alfred: …what?
            Man: Right, we’re escorting you out.
            Steed: What’s going on here?

            Mr Steed emerges from around a corner and everything gets quiet. He walks straight towards Helen. She looks up at his face and gives up any more attempts at lying.

            Helen: My father is Peter Walters, I am looking for him, I think he might be a technocrat.

            For a moment there was silence. Mr Steed spoke quietly to one of his entourage before speaking to Helen.

            Steed: Come with us, and we’ll get this matter sorted out quickly.

            Helen was stood up by two men who encouraged her to follow Mr Steed as they walked back to the elevators. Alfred considered acting but thought against it. He needed to stay out of trouble with the technocracy if his plan was to be of any use. Helen came here to search for a technocrat, so perhaps these men where in fact the right people to speak to about it.

            As the elevator doors closed, Helen started to panic. She was in a small room with three of these people, one of whom was the terrifying Mr Steed. She was likely being taken away to a technocratic base, and the chances of getting out were far too uncertain to count on. She needed to get out and get away as soon as possible. She started drawing shapes on her arms discreetly, playing it off as a nervous attempt to scratch. The shapes she drew were designed to augment her life pattern, and form sharp spikes as a means of defence. She built the effect and released it just before the elevator reached ground level.

            The doors opened to screams of people as blood pooled on the floor. Helen glanced back and saw that all three men were on the ground, puncture wounds on their body…

            [ST NOTE: Helen had intended to make spikes on her body to make herself more difficult to touch. I think she originally intended they be some kind of deterrent so they would let go of her, but instead she described the effect as spikes spontaneously slashing out of her body not unlike X-men’s Wolverine’s claws. She managed to roll about 6 successes. With 3 to target and 3 into damage (6 points lethal), it turned out to be an incredibly deadly bit of magic within in the confined space of an elevator room. The lesson here is if you want your effects to be non-lethal, you better make that clear before you start rolling dice.]

            A code was called over the intercom.

            Lance: That’s… strange
            Alfred: What’s going on?
            Lance: The hospital’s going on lockdown. That code means there’s a shooter at large…
            Alfred: What?
            Lance: Something might have happened with that friend of yours.
            Alfred: I better go down and check, would you be able to get me to her.
            Lance: I can try.

            The two of them headed down the stairwell towards the ground floor. Meanwhile, A crowd of people had gathered around the lift with official looking security personnel ushering them away. Helen’s clothes were bloodstained and horrible torn where the spikes burst out. They assumed her a survivor of the shooting and tried to get her away. Alfred arrived, with Lance giving the two of themselves access to approach. Alfred looked bloody mess seeing three bodies on the floor. “What did you do Helen” was the first thought that flew across his mind, though before he had a chance to articulate this question when Mr Steed stood up. He was the only one of the three to move, and his suit was uncannily immaculate.

            Steed: Get that girl!

            He pointed while addressing one of the guards. Helen backed away while slowly with drawing her wand and tracing out her shapes. Alfred could see what she was doing and started some magic of his own. He needed to stop her, or at least make a show of stopping her if Lance and Mr Steed were to trust him long enough for his plan to work. He tried to enter her mind and cause her to be too distracted to concentrate on her own spell, but Helen’s iron will won out and her effect was cast. She increased her speed significantly, allowing her the means to escape.

            Her escape was cut short, however, as she ran head long into a suited agent. The two of them fell to the ground where the guard tried to hold her down, a guard stood over the two with a taser pointed at her. Helen struggled but even with her speed increased, was not strong enough to push away and unable to perform the gestures required of tracing new shapes.

            Alfred looked on, feeling conflicted as to how best to approach. The voice of Excalibur echoed in his head. “Coward! Help those you are allied with, do not allow their demise at the hands of the enemy!”. With deep reservation, Alfred started muttering rhymes and poetic verse in prayer to create an illusion for both the guard, the agent, and Mr Steed, in order to have them no longer able to see Helen.

            Guard: Hold still.
            Agent: Stay on the ground.
            Guard: Hey… where’d she go?
            Agent: What do you mean, she’s… what?
            Guard: Wasn’t she right there?
            Agent: She must has slipped off. Did you see where she went?

            Helen was freed, she looked around and saw Alfred’s stern face. He mouthed the words “go!”, and she ran off the hospital grounds.

            Steed: What are you doing!? After her!
            Agent: Where did she go?
            Steed: She ran of that way! Get her! She’s a Deviant!
            Alfred: Mr Steed… Sir, those men in the lift. I might be able to heal them.
            Steed: There’s no need.
            Alfred: I understand we’re in a hospital, but I might be able to-
            Steed: They can be easily replaced.
            Alfred: …oh.
            Steed: You said she was with you?
            Alfred: I might have…
            Steed: See if you can hand her over along with the others. She’s proved herself to be rather dangerous.

            We’ve had our first lethal dose of magic! Our first killer of (arguably) human kind is Helen! Ok, so it could be argued that she didn’t actually intend to kill anyone with this effect, but the Technocrats aren’t exactly going to split those kinds of hairs, are they.
            Paradox wise, things are getting rather interesting for Alfred. His vulgar use of “make person you are looking at suddenly not visible to you” pushed it up to 19, and the roll gave us a grand total of 3… Alfred’s player was none too impressed by this since he still has 16 points hanging over his head. The bright side is that the backlash effect he got was a really minor one, he saw Helen’s face flash across his eyes for a few minutes. Also, I impose a threshold on small backlashes over 10 accumulated points. This means he’ll need to get over 19 points total before I roll for backlash again. I do this because otherwise it’s very easy to go from 20 to 8 with a series 3 points backlashes in a row, turning high paradox into something much less scary than I want it to be. If Alfred’s player’s reaction to having to wait until 20 before I roll backlash is any indication, this rule is doing its job pretty well.

            Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running UPDATE Chapter 26: Towers of Glass


            • #81
              Session 26

              So funny story. I actually finished writing up these notes last week but put off submitting them until just now... My discipline has just been taking a bath or something.

              Cast List
              Lydia: Moon Witch XXX
              Alfred Camlan: Excalibur Mage
              Sean “Sam” Heath: Templar Knight
              Helen Walter: Hermetic Spy
              Joe Hanson: Noir Detective
              Aaron Gibson: Punk Hacker

              Notable NPCs Include:

              Lance Armstrong: R&E Engineer
              Mr Steed: NWO operative

              ---CHAPTER 26 TOWER OF GLASS ---

              Aaron looks over the gun that Hanson handed him, examined the shape and checked the rounds it held.

              Aaron: What you got here is an X-5 Protector. Standard for black hats and the like. These things are pretty good as far as guns go, and by the looks of it, you’ve got a few rounds of custom ammunition. Lighting style.
              Hanson: I see.
              Aaron: Yeah, not bad, though you might want to be careful. The technocracy might have a trace on these kinds of things.
              Hanson: A trace? But I’ve brought it here!
              Aaron: Yeah… You should probably through that thing in the river… but it is a neat gun so… your call. Anyway, I got to get going. Plans are in the works.

              Aaron heads off to Be4kers place. He arrives and hears that things are already getting underway. Rubrix and Eskim0e are plugged in, all Aaron needs to do is head to the Shard, the tallest building in London an Technocrat stronghold, call a meeting with Jason Stavero, plug in a USB into his computer for them to get access.

              Be4ker: The idea is if they can get in this way, they’ll be able to bypass all the security that usually ties us up.
              Aaron: Right. So any ideas on the escape plan?
              Be4ker: Yes, actually. Now, these technocrats make good wards on their turf, but here’s the thing, they built the thing too high for their cover. Climb to the top and you should be able to warp yourself out of there.
              Aaron: And what if things go south? Any way to signal?
              Be4ker: Just plug in the USB to your own computer.
              Aaron: Isn’t that dangerous if the other guys are in here?
              Be4ker: They won’t actually be in there, they’ll be here with me watching them. Their icons are going in the USB, and if it gets transferred to you, they’ll see it, log out, and we’ll know.
              Aaron: Right. Well then… I best get going.
              Be4ker: Yeah, also, Don’t screw up.

              Hanson sets out to a bookie with the idea of enhancing the money Sarah gave him through a bit of Entropy laced gambling. Sean decided to keep an eye on him, fully aware of how much trouble an unattended Hanson can get in. Hanson chooses a fairly clean betting place, one of a chain with tv screens displaying races and newspapers pinned to the wall. He takes out his notepad and starts drawing the names down along with the odds, tracing rings around the ones he starts to get a feeling for, and then betting an appropriate amount.

              [ST NOTE: He did this as an Entropy 1 effect, meaning he’d get an idea as to which horses were likely to win. The effect lasted for a scene and he made a series of bets. The way we played it out is by having the successes equal dice I would roll to see how well the gamble went, increasing the difficulty with each race.]

              Sean stood there. Though he did not approve of Hanson’s activity, he didn’t see much need to stop him. Hanson, he figured, was on a self-destructive path and would need help far beyond his ability to get away from it. As long as he, and everyone around him, was safe, that would be enough.
              Hanson ended up breaking even by the 5th race, and decided to call it off and find a new bookies to attempt business, since this one wasn’t working out.

              Aaron arrived at the Shard, the tallest building in all of London. This was a meeting he’d been resisting for a long time now. He stepped through the glass doors and approached the front desk. He gave the person at the desk a false name (I am having a lot of trouble keeping track of all the false names this guy uses, but I think this one ended in Wight).

              Reception: And what can I do for you?
              Aaron: I have an appointment with Jason Stavero
              Reception: What time is he expecting you?
              Aaron: Tell him it’s about the Esther Project.

              The reception makes a phone call, and then returns to Aaron.

              Reception: Take the lift to the 55th floor.

              Aaron enters the elevator, which quickly speeds upwards. The elevator itself is glass and allows an easy view of things outside. For a moment he notices what he thinks is Helen walking away from London Bridge station and towards Guy’s Hospital. He starts to wonder what exactly she was doing there, when the room comes to a stop at the 32nd floor. A man in a suit steps in, a cold expression on his face. Aaron watches the man out of the corner of his eye and notices him take out a phone and speak quietly into it the words “Subject found”. Aaron tries to peek over to see what is written on the phone and spies a phone number which he tries to commit to memory while acting uninterested. The elevator continues to rise and the man does not react. Once the 55th floor arrives, Aaron waits for a moment, then steps out. He walks ahead to another desk. Behind him the man steps out and stands by the elevator door, speaking something else into his phone. Aaron is wary but thinks it best not to draw any more attention. Instead he approaches the desk and is directed to a waiting area further up the corridor where he sits. Aaron glances back quickly and sure enough the man still stands by the elevator door.
              Trying to distract himself, he roots around the reading material and finds a few day old newspaper with a headline that grabs his attention. “Blackout Terrorist Investigated”. It speaks of what the police suspect is the cause of the black out only two weeks ago, and tying it to the recent “bomb threats” that have been springing up around London. Aaron recognises the locations to be exactly where Edwin’s portals had been. The article went on to state that, while Police were not ready to disclose details, there was suspicions that the blackout and the bomb threats were linked and that the same terrorist group may be behind them.

              At a different bookie, Hanson decides he needs something a little more certain. He knew that constantly winning would only draw suspicion. What he needed instead was a single big win from something that would be difficult to implicate him in. In the corner of the room was a number of fruit machines. In front of one was a man putting endless amounts of coins into it. Hanson decided to stand aside and wait for him to leave. The man hit the machine in anger and then walked to the bathroom. Hanson got out his notepad and clear a space in the chaotic maelstrom around, forcing machine to give him a jackpot the moment he pressed the button. He pressed, waited, and sure enough a stream of 7’s followed with a flow of coins. He had managed to win around £400.
              As Hanson gathered up the change and took it to the desk, the man returned.

              Man: Hey! What are you doing? You just win on that machine?
              Hanson: Yeah, lucky day.
              Man: I’ve been on that machine all day. That’s my money.
              Hanson: What can I say? You left it.
              Man: You can give me back what I paid for. It’s mine.
              Hanson: You left, I pushed the button. I won it.
              Man: Oh did you! Come over here and say that!
              Sean: Is there a problem here?
              Man: Who the fuck are you?

              Aaron is called in, informed that Mr Stavero will see him now. The office is big with a glass wall overlooking the London city skyline. Ahead of him is Jason Stavero sitting confidently and gesturing at the chair apposite him.

              Stavero: Please, take a seat.
              Aaron: …ok.
              Stavero: We Mr Gibson, you are a difficult man to find.
              Aaron: I’ll take that as a compliment.
              Stavero: Let’s get right to this shall we? You have something which belongs to us, and I’d like to get it back.
              Aaron: And what is it you want?
              Stavero: Please Mr Gibson, we’re well past that. We both know what you have taken from us.
              Aaron: …The Esther file.
              Stavero: Yes, where is it?
              Aaron: I’m not going to give it to you.
              Stavero: Do you even know what this file is?
              Aaron: …
              Stavero: You are dealing with things far beyond your reach.
              Aaron: I don’t care. I know you want it, and that’s enough.
              Stavero: Perhaps there can be some sort of arrangement made. I understand that you’ve been having money problems recently.
              Aaron: Yes, I bet you know why.
              Stavero: I can sort that out for you, just a few calls and it’ll be done. I could even add a few zeros on to the end of it.
              Aaron: You’re bribing me?
              Stavero: Please, Mr Gibson, we’re negotiating. You have somethingthat I’m willing to reward you for returning.
              Aaron: Something which you probably stole in the first place.
              Stavero: I don’t think you’re in much position to take the high road here Mr Gibson. Not with your activities.
              Aaron: My activities?
              Stavero: I’m sure you’ve read in the news about the recent terrorism activity that’s been going on. The black out a few weeks back, an act of cyberterrorism if I remember correctly. If we were to run a few checks, how easily do you think it would be to tie these events to you?
              Aaron: Are you threatening me?
              Stavero: Merely stating a few facts. Are you aware how difficult life can be when under suspicion of terrorism? I don’t think you’d want to find out.
              Aaron: You really don’t want to be threatening me, because if I get cornered, if I have no other options, I turn pretty nasty in an instant. Don’t push me!
              Stavero: Then let’s return to negotiation. Your equipment must be quite costly.
              Aaron: You’ll need more than money get me to help you.
              Stavero: Then perhaps something else. I’ve heard about some activity at Hampstead Heath. Some friends of yours seem really eager to prevent some work I’m overseeing.
              Aaron: Friends of mine?
              Stavero: Yes, people on the ground have said as much, wanting to prevent the wheels of progress as it were. Already we’re experiencing delays. However, if I had something else to occupy my time, it’s likely these delays will be extended indefinitely.
              Aaron: Construction would stop on the Heath?
              Stavero: For as long as I had my hands tied with more important matters.
              Aaron: I see… Well, it certainly sounds like a good deal. But it just doesn’t seem sweet enough to me.
              Stavero: You have something specific in mind?
              Aaron: I want to know what the Esther file is! What does it do?
              Stavero: Well, that level of information comes only at a need-to-know basis.
              Aaron: I need to know!
              Stavero: Secrets like that can only really be afforded to the most senior of workers, but perhaps arrangements can be made.
              Aaron: Arrangements? What kind?
              Stavero: If you were to become an employee of mine, I could see to it that your journey through the ranks will allow you the position needed to learn.
              Aaron: You mean, come work for you?
              Stavero: For the company, for the union. A man of your apparent talent would be highly valued in this day and age. It would of course come with a very good salary and, subject to performance, a number of other benefits.
              Aaron: Hmm… very tempting. I’ll need a moment to think it over.

              The phone rings, Stavero picks it up and speaks.

              Stavero: Hello… I’m in the middle of a meeting right now- When? …Right here? …Are you sure? …No, this needs to be dealt with!... (looking up at Aaron) Excuse me.

              Jason Stavero hurriedly gets up and leaves his office. Aaron sits for a few moments in silence before getting to work. He rushes behind the desk and immediately plugs the USB into the computer. He tries to look through the machine himself, but a screensaver password stops him. Not wishing to waste any time, he takes out his own computer and starts running a password cracking algorithm on it. While this runs Aaron takes a quick glance out the window onto the streets below and notices something unexpected. On the ground running towards the shard is Helen with bloodstained tattered clothes. Whatever she was doing, looks like it bought him some time.

              Alfred looks out of the hospital with Lance behind him.

              Alfred: I’m sorry about this. I honestly didn’t know she was here.
              Lance: Hopefully this won’t put too much of a dent in our plan.
              Alfred: I’ll have to speak with Hanson, but otherwise, nothing should change.

              Mr Steed approaches quickly.

              Steed: Lance, you should get going and prepare for tomorrows handover.
              Lance: Yes Mr Steed.
              Steed: And Mr Camlan.
              Alfred: Uh… yes?
              Steed: Have a safe journey home.
              Alfred: …
              Steed: Be seeing you.

              Alfred watched for a moment as Mr Steed walked nonchalantly away. He then turned and ran in the direction he saw Helen go. He later found her in a charity shop trying to buy some clothes to cover up her somewhat ruined ones. Quickly thinking, he rushed inside and pushed her into the changing room saying “Darling! You’re not wearing that shirt correctly, here let me help you with it”.
              In the changing room, he spoke quietly with a serious tone.

              Alfred: What are you doing!?
              Helen: I was trying to find my father.
              Alfred: In there!?!?
              Helen: I thought he would be there. I saw him.
              Alfred: You know you might have ruined a plan I was setting up with them?
              Helen: I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for that.
              Alfred: You also might have killed someone.
              Helen: What? No! I didn’t want to do that.
              Alfred: They might have been clones, but either way. We have to get out of here now. Technocrats will be swarming the place looking for you.
              Helen: I’m sorry, really.

              Alfred starts his chanting to evoke the narrative shift upon himself and Helen, and the two of them slip out of the charity shop and towards the station. Helen sees the shard and stares at it. It glows in her mind as a place with answers, answers about her father, answers about what happened to him. As they walk by, Helen stops.

              Alfred: Come on, we have to be quick.
              Helen: Alfred… I understand what you’re saying, but I’m really sorry for this.

              She runs to the Shard. Alfred stares in stunned silence as Helen runs straight into the maw of a technocratic stronghold.
              Helen dashes to the front lobby, ignoring the person at the desk. She gets an intuition that there is something on floor 55 for her to see. She makes a dash for the elevator and calls it down, looking behind her a number of men in suits and bowler hats enter the door, speak with the front desk, and are pointed straight towards her. Desperately pressing the buttons within the elevator, she them walk towards her just as the doors close.
              Aaron follows this men, cloaked by his narrative shift from their sights, and watches the doors close. Alfred walks towards the stairs when a message announced on the intercom. “Richard Davenport to floor 55. Richard Davenport to floor 55.”
              One of the bowler hat wearing men starts to head up the stairs. Alfred follows him cautiously, making sure he stays at least half a floor behind him.

              The cracking complete, Aaron starts to delve into the many files within the computer, searching for anything that might be of interest to him. He notices a number of emails between Jason Stavero as a Mr Steed regarding the Esther file, it seems the two of them are sharing information in order to find it. More curious is a large database that Aaron finds in Jason’s own documents. A small list of about 200 people with numbers and values attached to them along with their activity, times, dates, and other factors, along with a confusing array of numbers and codes. Aaron got to work, taking out his own hard drive and transferring the entire document over.
              It takes a while to transfer over, the document is much bigger than he expected. While waiting, Aaron anxiously starts to look around for anything else that might be of interest. He tries the drawers, by they are locked. Unwilling to waste any time with opening them, he takes his weaponised stylus out and shoots at the keyhole, and the draw slides out. A great number of files lie within, far too many to take, so he skims them and one catches his eye. It is labelled Peter Walter, the same man Helen was looking for? He grabbed the file and placed it in his bag. Glancing back at the progress bar, 95%... Aaron did not feel good waiting for this.

              Helen heard the announcement, Richard Davenport to floor 55, and assumed it must be referring to her. She took out a pen and began drawing shapes and patterns on her skin to change its colour to a much darker tone, hoping this would throw people off, and then got off on the 35th floor, waited a while, and slowly climbed up the stairs.
              Alfred had arrived on the 55th floor, slowly slipping past the man who stood guard by the stair well. Not knowing where she went, he decides to sit in the waiting area where he overhears a man’s phone conversation.

              Stavero: Yes… They’re here now….Where do you suspect the reality deviant is… my office?

              Aaron looks back at the screen, finally, 100%. He pulled the Harddrive out and put it away. Rubrix and co have probably had plenty of time to look around, Aaron thought, so he unplugged the USB and put it into his own laptop to signal the need of retreat. He decided he needed to do something to slow the technocrats down. He tried to take the entire computer terminal, but was unable to lift it, and dropped it on his foot. Stifling a yell he tried again only to get the same result.

              The sound of Aaron’s clumsy computer antics where heard by Alfred, who recognised his voice. He slowly walked towards the door, opening to find a swearing Aaron.

              Alfred: Aaron? What are you doing here?
              Aaron: I’m on a mission. What are you doing here!?
              Alfred: I’m looking for Helen.
              Aaron: What’s she doing here!!?
              Alfred: She’s looking for her father.
              Aaron: What’s he doing here?
              Alfred: She thinks her father’s a technocrat.
              Aaron: He’s a WHAT!?

              Helen climbs to the 55th floor and is stopped by the man waiting for her.

              Man: Excuse me ma’am, do you have your badge?
              Helen: Badge?
              Man: ID Bage
              Helen: Uh… no.
              Man: (into a mic) We’ve found her.

              Helen tried to run but the man grabbed a hold of her.

              Alfred: We have to get out of here.
              Aaron: Couldn’t agree more, now this may sound a bit crazy, but the fastest way out will be up.
              Alfred: Up?
              Aaron: Trust me, I know what I’m… what the heck?

              Aaron and Alfred looked through the doorway at the man trying to keep a hold of Helen, but couldn’t recognise her with her new skin colour. They watched as Helen manages to wrestle herself free. She runs to the threshold of the room where the other three stand stock still as two men pull out guns on them. Jason Stavero returned on the scene and spoke.

              Stavero: Well Mr Gibson? Is this your idea of an escape?
              Aaron: No. This is!

              Without hesitation, Aaron aimed his stylus at the glass wall behind them and fired. The glass cracked with a tiny hold in the centre. Aaron ran to the glass in an effort to break through it, but the glass held firm. Alfred panicked. His narrative shift would not help with so many onlookers. He called on for the strength of Woden and charged at the window, smashing through it and falling. Aaron quickly jumped after him screaming “Sic Semper Tyrannis Techoncucks!” with two fingers in full display. Helen, on seeing no other alternative, followed the two in their fall.
              Glass shards flayed in every direction as the three of them plummeted at speed, the ground getting ever closer by the second. Helen and Aaron worked up their Forces, Helen trying to reduce the speed of her decent, and Aaron lowering his kinetic value. Alfred, unable to perform such feets, attempted instead to strengthen his skin, but was in no frame of mind for prayer and concentration as the effect failed. Seeing this, Aaron tried to extend his programme to Alfred’s code, executing the function just in time. The two of them gently touched down to the ground while Helen landed a bump, made painful by the shards of glass.

              Aaron: What the heck was that all about?
              Helen: I didn’t know…
              Alfred: There’s no time for this. They’ll be looking for us. We have to leave now, I suggest we take the sewer.
              Aaron: No.
              Alfred: It’s the easiest way to get by unnoticed.
              Aaron: We are not going in the sewer.
              Alfred: Why not?
              Aaron: We’re just not, ok?
              Alfred: Where do we go then?
              Aaron: We need to get away from this building, find a place to hide. Hopefully someone’s looking out for us.

              The three of them dart away, dangerous looking agents file out of the building in all directions. They find a remote alleyway to sneak in when Aaron starts to feel the pixels around him flicker.

              Aaron: Ok, it’s happening, grab on to me!

              They hold tight as the world around them begins to flicker and shake, compressing all around them until they are left with nothing but a dark room with a screen.

              The man swung a punch at Hanson, who backed away in pain. Sean stepped in and directed the mans attention, deftly avoiding his shambling hits while Hanson alerted the staff. Soon the manager approached.

              Manager: Right you two, get out.
              Sean: Me?
              Manager: Both of you, before I call the police.

              The man protested, calling Hanson a thief before being shown the door. Hanson went to convert the coins into notes while receiving profuse apology from the staff. Outside, the man hit at the windows in anger before turning to Sean.

              Guy: You got me kicked out!
              Sean: Sir?
              Guy: Yeah, this is your fault!
              Sean: You do not want to fight me.
              Guy: Wanna bet? Eh? Think your tough do you?

              Sean refuses to engage but this guy just doesn’t back down. As the guy approaches, Hanson exits the bookies, takes a swig, and endorses a mind effect on him, calming him down, removing the edge of his aggression.

              Hanson: Look buddy, I get it. You’ve probably been putting cash into that thing all day. And yeah, it sucks you didn’t get the payout. That happens sometimes, it’s luck.
              Guy: …what am I gonna do now…
              Hanson: Here.

              Hanson hands the guy £30 of his winnings. The guy slinks off muttering “How am I going to explain this to her…”

              Hanson: You ok?
              Sean: Yes, he wasn’t much of a threat.
              Hanson: Better avoid the attention though.

              Helen: Where are we?
              Aaron: Someplace safe.

              Aaron walks up to the screen, upon which are the words “Who dese guys?
              Aaron: They’re fine, I know them, they’re safe.

              A door opens and Rubrix steps in.

              Rubrix: Theseus! Nice one.
              Aaron: You get what you needed?
              Rubrix: Found out some things, that’s for sure. Might have a better idea of what we’re dealing with.
              Aaron: You know what the Esther file is?
              Rubrix: Maybe. But anyway, what happened to you? I thought you were going to teleport from the top of the building.
              Aaron: The plan changed suddenly, had to bust out of a window during a hail of gunfire.
              Rubrix: Woah… That’s dramatic.
              Aaron: I know. I’m going to get so much Rep for this!
              Rubrix: So what happened?
              Aaron: Helen happened. (pointing at Helen)
              Alfred: Yes, Helen, about that. What in the world were you trying to achieve with this?
              Helen: I had to find him, I knew there’d be something.
              Alfred: Did you really though? You have jeopardised a great deal of trust building and planning all for this single minded pursuit of yours. Your actions were reckless and completely without thought of consequence.

              Aaron and Rubrix slink away, watching the action from a computer terminal

              Helen: I admit that… I’m sorry.
              Alfred: You have a good life as a Hermetic mage. Why risk that? Why throw it away just because of a guess?
              Helen: My family is important to me!
              Alfred: He isn’t look for you is he? Seems to me like he’s forgotten all about you and moved on!

              Helen slaps Alfred across the face.

              Helen: How dare you say that! My father is not that kind of man!
              Alfred: How do you know that Helen? Did you know he was a technocrat? Maybe you don’t actually know him at all.
              Aaron: That’s enough Alfred. She was acting reckless, but that’s no reason to start being a jerk.

              Rubrix shows the group where their first aid box is, and Helen heals herself and Aaron while Alfred heals himself.

              Aaron: So, your father, you said his name was Peter right?
              Helen: Yes.
              Aaron: Well, I think I might have found something.

              Aaron gives Helen the file on Peter Walter, and immediately disappears reading it.

              Voice: You have much to do Utred

              Alfred looked around, the voice of Excalibur sounded different. Not as internal as it usually does. He looked down and noticed a sword sheathed in his belt.

              Alfred: Excalibur? Have you manifest?
              Excalibur: You have still much to do.

              Whether a reward from his avatar, or some kind of strange quirk of paradox, Alfred could not say.

              Aaron: So, what did you find?
              Rubrix: Well, we didn’t have a great deal of time before you called for help, but we did manage to find something. Turns out this Esther file is about condensing humans into numbers, or attaching a value to them.
              Aaron: A value?
              Rubrix: Yeah, not easy to tell, but from the emails we sifted through, and the documents written about it, it’s about modelling human behaviour, knowing what people will want and do at each decision they make, and the Syndicate are trying to use it to work out how to sell people more stuff.
              Aaron: That’s surprisingly mundane.
              Rubrix: There’s probably more to it. Even so, being able to condense people down to a predictable number and know exactly what they’ll do and where they’ll go, that isn’t something you’d want the Technocrats to get too comfortable with.
              Aaron: That’s for sure. So, you say that it’s about making people into numbers?
              Rubrix: Yeah, probably an algorithm for creating databases.
              Aaron: Right, because I think I might have found the database for that.
              Rubrix: Nice one!

              Hanson and Sean sit in a café. The battle would be the following day, and Hanson was intent on finding out who Sarah’s “friends” were before then, but knew it was unlikely they’d let him meet them if they were in fact who they thought they were.

              He receives a skype call from Aaron who brings him up to date on what’s just happened, specifically mentioning he found a file on Peter Walter that Hanson was looking for. He hadn’t finished the call for a moment when he got another one from his technocratic informant. [Can’t recall the name]

              Call: Hanson.
              Hanson: Everything alright?
              Call: It’s been madness here. The building is on lockdown, there are rumours that someone snuck into an office, stole some documents, and tried to break through a window.
              Hanson: Sounds rather hectic.
              Call: Yeah, though I doubt it’ll ever make it to press. Anyway, I’ve done some digging on this Walter guy you were asking about.
              Hanson: What did you find?
              Call: Definitely an agent in the union, his name has been linked with some pretty serious missions, really dangerous ones from what I can make out.
              Hanson: So an field agent.
              Call: Here’s the weird thing. I’ve been checking the accounts, and his name vanishes from the payroll about three years ago.
              Hanson: He stopped working?
              Call: That’s the weird part, it goes quiet, but then a year or so ago, suddenly his name pops up in all kinds of places. Missions, reports, memos, and still nothing on the payroll.
              Hanson: That is interesting…
              Call: If you ask me, his name is being used far more than if it was just one person. I suspect it’s some kind of codeword.
              Hanson: Something to consider. Thanks, as always you’ve been very helpful.
              Call: Sure, I’ll see what else I can find, though security is probably going to slow me down for a while.

              I think we can all agree that Helen is an absolutely terrible spy. Even Helen’s player has admitted as much. Speaking of Helen, her player recently started asking me about her Avatar, and why her avatar hasn’t tried to communicate with her. I’m guessing she’s forgotten all the times Helen’s heard voices calling her, flames that only she could see, and the general feeling of answers lying just a bit further ahead. Either that or I’ve been successfully subtle enough about it.

              I don’t think Jason Stavero is going to be doing much negotiating with Aaron anymore. The next chance he gets, it’s going to be a much more forceful approach. After all, he broke his window. I'll just add this to the list of "stuff that will bite the players sooner or later".

              If I was to produce that list now it would look like this:

              Alfred: Norns, Stealing from work, indebted to crows, Making deals with the Technocracy, Traumatising a progenitor, Quiet,
              Helen: Disobeying her mentor, Betraying the coven (still paying for that), Quiet
              Hanson: Violet, Sarah, Edwin, Hector, Quiet
              Sean: Stealing from the Chorus, Norns, Receiving orders, Quiet
              Aaron: Officially pissed off a Syndicate manager, Cyber terrorism, Paying rent for a trashed room, Rats, Quiet
              Lydia: Unicorn promises, Still wanted by the police, possibly the last sane member of the party.

              Let me know if I've forgotten anything. (I have not forgotten the fox).

              This has probably been the most action packed sessions for a while, with major development for almost everyon arc wise. Aaron got info on the Esther file, Alfred tried to further his plan with the Technocrats, Helen managed to cause a bunch of trouble but inadvertently enabled Aaron to get info for her.
              Hanson and Sean, however, were a bit more isolated from the action. Sean’s player let me know he still enjoyed watching everyone else though. I’m thinking of making the next session a bit more Hanson centric to make up for this imbalance.

              Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running UPDATE Chapter 26: Towers of Glass