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[Story Vignette] The Eaton Girls

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  • [Story Vignette] The Eaton Girls

    I posted this on reddit and got a good response before realizing that it would probably be appreciated here as well. Over the years I've written some 30 or so story vignettes. This is one I wrote for a Discord campaign a few years back that I unfortunately never got to see played out (I had to bail before the action started). It was originally for a Manhattan-based M:tAw2.0 campaign but I imagine it could be tweaked with little adjustment to fit a lot of other settings. If there is any interest I can clean up and post the rest of them, too.
    Cheers...


    The Background

    A homeless man's body is found on the shore of Brighton Beach. An unfortunately common occurrence with an uncommon twist: his body had ruptured from the middle, with a large tear from his groin up to his sternum. He has clearly been eviscerated and ritualistically disemboweled. There are no known suspects at the time and police are advising people to stay clear of the area at night and call 911 if they see anything suspicious.

    Weeks later, another body appears. Another man, not homeless but destitute, killed and disemboweled in the same fashion. The public is frightened over the possibility of some serial killer on the loose.

    Just a month after, a shocking discovery. Three bodies, scattered around NYC, all killed in the same fashion. Fears of serial killers, Satanists, copycat murderers, are at a fever pitch. Police still lack a suspect and people are staying in at night instead of going out. It's started to have a noticeable impact on the city.

    One of the three slain in the most recent attacks is Dr. Alan Eaton, a psychiatrist at the Bellevue hospital. His death in particular is shaking the community. A reputable doctor living in Manhattan was murdered with no witnesses and found dead by the water... no one is safe.

    There is a girl in the Bellevue asylum, Alexis Doe, who was found wandering the streets one morning and was taken in by the police. Unable to locate or even identify her parents, she is a ward of the state and is hospitalized against her will because of disturbing behavior including physical harm to self and others. Alexis demonstrates a strange compulsion: when interacting with other individuals she insists that they eat her, asks questions like "Do you ever wonder what my skin tastes like?" and sometimes tries to forcibly insert her hands into the mouths of her physicians and orderlies.

    Alexis refuses to eat anything required beyond her basic sustenance (a few crackers and some water each day). She was being treated by the late Dr. Eaton prior to his murder, and had developed a special rapport with him and only him. She is not told about the murder but is very distraught to learn that Dr. Eaton has disappeared and will no longer be her physician.

    Police discover a second homeless girl, also claiming the name Alexis but vastly different in physical characteristics, roaming around the streets of NYC. A judge and social worker are preparing the paperwork necessary to declare her a ward of the state while she is admitted to the Manhattan Psychiatric Hospital. The judge, the social worker, and the hospital workers are all unfamiliar with the resemblance to the other case at Bellevue.

    The original Alexis is actually a strange creature, human in almost every way, with the distinction being her means of reproduction. She has the aforementioned desire to be eaten, and when her flesh is consumed by mortals, it begins to gestate into another broken copy of Alexis, residing within the flesh and muscle of the host until it breaks free. The gestation period is only a few days, however it does not begin until several months after the victim ingests Alexis's flesh. The repeated suggestions she makes to taste her skin are supernaturally fortified and the longer one is exposed to Alexis, the more difficult it becomes to reject her offers.

    After an Alexis infects multiple hosts and produces several copies (3-5), the copies attempt to track down the original. All Alexis copies are roughly aware of the existence of other copies and try at all times to get nearer to each other. The offspring do not demonstrate the same compulsion to be eaten until after their Reunion, which requires all copies to be present.

    The Reunion Event is spectacularly horrific. The original Alexis lets out a shriek that paralyzes all onlookers, while the copies begin to consume her alive. The original is delighted and smiles and laughs the entire time she is being consumed, and is apparently conscious up until the very last bits of her flesh are rendered away by the copies.



    Playing it out

    The characters can and should be troubled by the news of the "serial killer" on the loose. They may do some investigating and find that there are several things not-quite-right about the murders. Medical Examiner reports will indicate that the wounds more closely resemble exit wounds than entrance wounds, as if the stomach expanded too fast and ruptured rather than was cut into from the outside. Similarly internal organs are vastly displaced from where they should be, looking like the murderer carefully pushed them around inside the victim's body.

    Players may not link the murders to the little girl for quite some time, and in fact there is no obvious connection prior to the death of Bellevue's Dr. Eaton. Dr. Eaton was employed at the Bellevue hospital, but he in fact was not the first victim affiliated with the asylum. Players can do some digging and discover that one of the other victims used to be an orderly at the asylum six months ago before being dismissed for unspecified reasons.

    Players visiting the asylum will encounter the original Alexis throwing a tantrum as they walk through the facility. Asking other physicians or surreptitiously looking through the late Dr. Eaton's notes or computer will reveal his obsession with that particular patient. Actually interviewing or making contact with Alexis is much more difficult because the hospital takes its state wards very seriously. Somehow or another (through magical means, pretending to be interested in adopting Alexis, pretending to be a physician or researcher, etc), the characters should get the chance to talk to Alexis , who will of course invite them to taste her. Because this request is supernaturally assisted, players will immediately be alerted that something is awry due to their peripheral mage sight. Further investigation will reveal that, by all means, Alexis is apparently human. Whatever is wrong or different about her is not Supernal in nature.

    Alexis is pleasant to talk to, and aside from the few odd suggestions the players should eat her, behaves like a normal 12-year old girl. She is unaware of her condition and does not view it as strange. If probed about the murders, she is genuinely clueless, however, she does want the players' help in tracking down her "friends," who she claims might know something. (Alexis is supernaturally aware of her "friends", the other Alexis copies, but has not connected them to the deaths. She is lying and does not believe her copies know anything about the murders, she just wants help getting all of her copies in the same place).

    As mentioned, one of the other Alexis copies is in the Manhattan Psychiatric Hospital. Players can review public police records to see a little girl also named Alexis admitted to psychiatric care just a few weeks prior. The original Alexis will also point the players north, but give no more explanation than that.

    Tracking down the Alexis copies becomes a priority for the players, especially if they've put together (through deduction or magic) that the copies are responsible for the gruesome murders. The number of copies out in NYC can easily be adjusted to make this chronicle as long or as short as desired. Time should be a factor and the scenes should encourage fast thinking and risk-taking.

    Players have a few options for how they want to handle this:
    1. Track down and kill each copy [breaking point for the character doing the killing]
    2. Track down each copy and bring them all together in the same place, per Alexis's request [results in the Reunion Event, which is a breaking point for all characters]
    3. Secure and experiment on Alexis or her copies
    Killing any one of the copies immediately turns all others hostile physically. However, Alexis is no more powerful or intimidating than a regular 12 year old girl. The only weapon she has at her disposal is the ability to compel others to eat her and a powerful paralyzing shriek that she can only use once per week. The power of the shriek is multiplied, however, if combined with the shrieking of other copies. Both powers are easily suppressed by preventing Alexis from being able to use her mouth (such as with a gag).

    Depending on the players course of events they may walk away with Contacts (Hospital), Allies (Alexis clones), or more like than anything else, a little less humanity but more experience.






  • #2
    Upvoted.

    I have a question, though. What happens if Alexis Prime dies before the Reunion Event?


    ~

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Teatime View Post
      Upvoted.

      I have a question, though. What happens if Alexis Prime dies before the Reunion Event?
      Sorry for not responding earlier! I tried to, but I guess the forums were having some difficulties. Honestly, I would play it by ear to maximize the drama. There are a few options:

      1. "Well that didn't solve anything" The entity is supernaturally spread out across the clones, and as soon as the original is killed, one of the copies takes over as the primary, and has their compulsions and suggestions supernaturally enforced.
      2. "I should not have done that" The clones immediately supernaturally recognize the death of the original, let out their paralyzin shriek, and escape confinement. They have superhuman stamina (no need to sleep or eat) trying to converge on the corpse of the original. They still participate in a reunion event, except that consuming the corpse is extremely demoralizing and mindbreaking for them. Instead of continuing the cycle "per normal," they become extremely feral and violent, and if dramatically appropriate, supernaturally physically gifted. You robbed their original of the thing she wanted most, and they're going to make you pay for it. Depending on how gruesome you want to get, maybe they try to exact revenge by forcing the players or an NPC to consume parts of the corpse.
      3. "You killed my sister, prepare to die" Killing the original did the trick. The clones are free. They no longer demonstrate the same compulsion to be eaten. But they don't have parents. They don't have family (other than the copies of which they are vaguely aware). All they know is they feel a tremendous sense of loss and confusion, uncertain about their history, and a supernaturally powerful hatred of the player who committed the killing, even if they've never met. They see the murderer in their dreams. They can almost feel his/her presence in the city. They still try to seek each other out, and down the road make trouble for the players...
      4. "Just the beginning" Maybe this is the beginning of a larger phenomenon. Maybe Alexis was some sort of odd inversion or perversion of a spirit of pride or narcissism or self-loathing. Later on, a similar phenomenon occurs... something is trying to spread by convincing people to give into disgusting vices (you could even cycle through wrath, envy, sloth, lust, gluttony). I wouldn't actually go down this route unless I had a whole major story planned around each escapade, as you don't want every encounter to just feel like "more of the same" without a lot of discovery and mystery.

      Comment


      • #4
        Also, how are the players alerted of the strangeness if they are not Mages?


        A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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        • #5
          Wow, you went beyond the call of duty for that answer. Props!


          ~

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Master Aquatosic View Post
            Also, how are the players alerted of the strangeness if they are not Mages?

            The fun way would be to have them be the targets of the compulsion The players will get a meta-awareness that something strange is going on when a child asks them to taste her and they have to roll [potency]+resolve to resist. You can also have the characters roll Wits+Occult to notice something funny is happening. If you have a particular splat in mind I could maybe help you adapt that interaction.

            Originally posted by Teatime View Post
            Wow, you went beyond the call of duty for that answer. Props!
            Thank you for reading and for feedback!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Master Aquatosic View Post
              Also, how are the players alerted of the strangeness if they are not Mages?
              A Gut feeling that something’s Paranormal going on?

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