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Geist: Balance of Shadows (Actual Play)

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  • Now on to Golden Eagle.


    • The Krewe does all they can for now with the Kindred. A relationship advances. An offspring arrives.

      Session CXC

      Sara’s Stories

      Sara poked her head into Tommy’s room and, finding him there, walked in and threw herself down on the bed. “People are complicated Tommy.”

      He looked over at her from the desk and raised an eyebrow. “Trouble in paradise? I figured things were going well with Emily.”

      “Could you tell from the all-but-literal hearts flying around her head?” Sara smiled over at him. “No, that’s fine. Last night was wonderful in fact. Though...” She sighed. “I am having to try really hard not to get spooked. It was her first time, and that's special. I know she’s not being clingy, not really.”

      “Clingy people are rarely OK with their lovers attending coke orgies without them,” Tommy said, maintaining a straight face.

      Sara sat up. “Ix-nay on the oke-cay orgy-yay, remember?” She grinned. “That is true though. And she is even this very minute getting a drink with Tatum, so...” She obediently turned to the side as Tommy came over to sit next to her, and he started rubbing her shoulders. “Nah, Natalie’s the complicated one.”

      Tommy frowned a little behind her, his hands working on her neck. “Her daughter?”

      “Yeah. Coffee had the temerity to ask lil Natalie what kinds of music she liked.” She made an appreciative noise, then shook her head. “That’s not really fair. Coffee was flirting. I mean, when someone who’s clearly into you asks ‘getting to know you’ questions, it is flirting.“

      He paused briefly. “I thought she said it was alright?”

      “She did, technically,” Sara said carefully. “But not in front of her. Or such that she could find out ever in any way. She threatened Coffee. I managed to intervene, and get her to calm down before things got more heated, or before things got left that way, but there was brewing negative potential there. And that was with Coffee!”

      He frowned. “I don’t follow.”

      “She loves and trusts Coffee. What’s gonna happen when it’s one of her more casual partners, or some random guy?” She thought for a moment. “Or a random girl, but that’s the least likely to be problematic, either from worrying about lil Natalie getting hurt or feeling like she’s competing with her.”

      Tommy made a considering noise. “Surely those aren’t so complicated.” Sara turned her head to give him a wry look. He shrugged.

      She rolled her eyes. “They’re not new, no, but that doesn’t mean I understand them. I mean... OK, I understand not wanting her to get hurt. I don’t want anyone I love to get hurt. But I’m not going to lock them away in a bubble. Just because she’s her mom, it doesn’t mean she gets to lock lil Natalie away in one either.” She shook her head. “I think I stretched that metaphor a little too far.”

      “Perhaps.” Tommy smiled.

      She leaned back into him and he wrapped his arms around her. “Bah. You’re not supposed to agree with me so easily.” He shrugged again and she chuckled. “Anyway, the whole competing thing is the harder thing to understand. I just hope we can keep her reassured at least.”

      Tommy nodded. “Be easier if you didn’t sleep with lil Natalie.”

      “I didn’t have any particular plans to. She is cute, and if she showed interest...” Sara trailed off. “I’m sure between her unreciprocated interest in Karen, and Coffee’s obvious interest, it’s likely I won’t be invited to that briar patch. Honestly, if I thought Natalie really meant what she said about not being hurt by us sleeping with her family, it’s Julie I’d be after in a heartbeat.”

      “Her mom, right?”

      “How’d you guess?” Sara looked back at him and grinned. “I wouldn’t have said I had a thing for older ladies before I moved here, but what can I say, Natalie has good genes, and Julie is intriguing.”

      Tommy raised an eyebrow. “Plus, there's vampires.”

      “Plus there are vampires.” She tapped him on the tip of the nose and hopped up. “Well, now that I’ve complained about all my problems, time to head on downstairs and meet the lady about whom such drama swirls.” He looked to the side uncertainly. “It’ll be fine, love. Don’t worry - if we need a quick escape, Emily’s been unchaperoned with Tatum for, like, twenty minutes.”

      “That may become a problem.” He stood slowly and took Sara's hand, nodding his head gravely. “She may have fun.”

      Natalie’s Diary

      I don’t think I am asking too much of people. Yes, my friends are a bit on the bohemian side. Okay a lot on the bohemian side. Yes, my daughter, like myself and her father, is attractive. But could they not openly ogle her and flirt with her?

      Coffee, of all people, went and was flirting though. Smiling, asking about her interest, and mean she…

      Actually I have no idea how old Coffee is.

      Anyway, Coffee was certainly macking on Natalie and she had just landed. And I think Sara is keeping her options open. Sara did come to Coffee’s rescue when I went at her, but she managed to calm me. She is so good at that.


      Yesterday went well. Some prep for the wedding. Picked up Kestrel’s violin and showed it to Nicolette in trying to convince her that Kestrel was safe. She resisted, but eventually agreed, though I have no idea if she believed us. Chat with Maria getting the violin was interesting. She asked us about the vampires and Dulcinea. Honestly I think she was laying groundwork for alliance. Off the record, Maria is really cute. She does not seem interested, though.

      That evening we were discussing it, and I decided, perhaps unwisely to just trust them, and asked them not to flaunt if they hooked up with my (admittedly single) relatives. It seemed obvious to me not to, but apparently not them. Well, Alexia and Doc volunteered they would not. Ah Doc.

      Sara spent the night with Emily, and they apparently made love. Emily was so…blissful at breakfast. It was wonderful. That girl is so in love. I’d say I hope Sara is careful with her heart, but I know she will be.

      I could not focus enough to sleep, or make love worth a damn, so I rested, and snuggled with my girls.

      After breakfast today Tatum came by, and we went to pick up Natalie. Doc helped get her bags to the car. Coffee was quick to talk to her, while Tatum was more interested in talking to Emily than making trouble with Natalie. Which is good, Natalie rather liked her and Karen. Fortunately Karen has no interest. The same cannot be said for Tatum, but she is very distracted.

      Natalie is beautiful, even walking beleaguered from her plane. I could not help but run up and hug her. She was happy to see me too, even if she sort of pretended not to be. And we come around to the earlier discussion. Mostly good natured chat, Karen teasing me mercilessly, but some flirting with my little girl from Coffee. Tatum was distracted by Emily, as Sara was sort of.

      When we got home. I buttonholed Coffee, though Sara followed. I don’t remember clearly what happened next. I know I yelled at her. I know Sara intervened but Sara, who I love deeply, always knows how to handle me. Thank the Goddess for Sara. In the end, Coffee and I hugged, though I think I hesitated, and she was up to help Natalie. Sara gave me a supportive smile and went to get Tommy.

      So I am taking a deep breath. This upsets me. Natalie is my flesh and blood, but only thirteen years my junior. Close to Sara, Karen and Tatum’s ages. I will meditate, center, and join the family.

      And hope it does not get even crazier when mom gets here. I mean, I have a wedding to focus on.

      End Session CXC

      Not sure there is much to tell from a GM’s perspective here. Between Natalie and Sara you have a pretty clear version of events here. Natalie has good genes, and having soon to be three single or open women in the same place from her bloodline will be exciting. She gets more from her mother than she realizes.

      The group has a mix of parents and non parents, which hopefully adds interesting perspectives.

      Okay all I have for now, Comments and Questions welcome. In two weeks I will be out of state so the next update will be in four weeks, as I will be away from my computer in two and unable to update.
      Last edited by Baroness Nerak; 10-01-2017, 04:34 PM.

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      • It’s been a hell of a month, but we are finally getting back to Geist tonight. Here is the journal for the session four weeks ago, enjoy.

        Session CXC

        Sara’s Stories

        Hello Sasha

        Things are still good here. Complicated, but good. Alison (Natalie)’s daughter (Natalie) arrived. Coffee really likes her, which made things awkward. Bad. A little. At the club (Murder Ballads) tonight they waited until Alison was off making out with a pretty lady (Maria) to head back to the VIP rooms. That helped. Both things, the waiting and the making out.

        We go to clubs here almost as much as when the troupe is on one of those tours. Sara always makes me dance. It is fun, so I don’t mind (much). Emily being there helped. Sara had to split her attention. Karen distracted her too (a lot) after Natalie and Alison both were back in the VIP rooms. She felt left out. After a while, Emily and Tatum went off (to the catwalks) so I got to just watch people.

        Emily’s sister (Teresa) was at the club too. Sara and Emily and Tatum talked to her. Sara says it went well, but Emily was embarrassed. She is not good at talking (like me), and had to try hard not to call her sister (instead of cousin). She (Teresa) doesn’t know. That will be hard. When they tell her. Sara will make it OK though.

        Those three (Sara, Emily, and Tatum) slept together last night. Sara is glad (I think) for her to find other connections. To go along with theirs, not replace it, of course. It’s just the other two tonight. I think Sara is staying with Alison. Us new folks (me and Emily) have been taking up a lot of her nights.

        Last night was fun for everybody else too. Alison wanted to have a “jam session” since Natalie had just arrived. It went until late. Lots of singing and dancing and music. I sang along a little. Quietly, I thought, but Alison asked if I wanted to get on stage (I didn’t). Sara did convince Emily to since some with her. She had spent all afternoon figuring out how best to do it too. Coffee wouldn’t sing Cotton Eyed Joe. Not even Sara could get her to. She said she didn’t know what it was.

        Doc is a good masseur. Even if he said Sara wasn’t as good at it. They are different kinds of good massages. He gave a lot of them today. He offered because Alison (and Natalie and Coffee, but mostly Alison) had bad hangovers. They looked just alike (Alison and Natalie), pale with their heads on the table. And very uncomfortable.

        Tomorrow they won’t be hungover (probably). We have to distract Natalie (somehow) from the visitor we’ll have (in the library). I hope Coffee doesn’t volunteer. I don’t think Alison would like that.


        End Session CXC

        Unfortunately, this session was, as noted, like a month ago and I don’t have tons to add.

        Maria was, as a reminder, the reincarnating Immortal who has the rivalry with Barry and stated the rival club. She made a point of not noticing Natalie’s flirting (without telling her she was not interested) so Natalie tried harder. Natalie is damn near vampiric when she tries harder, even without powers.

        The music night was fun, throwing out song names and deciding who and how people were going to play and/or sing. Unfortunately, It was a very busy stressful month ago so I don’t recall too many examples.

        Still, it was a fun session, and Tommy covered the basics.

        Comments and Questions welcome

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        • pologies for no update two weeks ago, we had a rash of illness that left much of the group unable to play. This is from about a month ago. Hopefully these updates will stop being monthly, though we shall have to see how the Christmas holidays play out. I won’t be missing any more Balance of Shadows sessions if I can help it. Anyway, enjoy.

          Session CXCI

          Sara’s Stories

          “Good morning sleepyhead.” Sara poked her head into the room after knocking. “Well, afternoon, really.”

          “Sara...?” Emily woke up slowly. She looked around disoriented. “Where...?”

          Sara chuckled and sat down on the bed. “Well, after you fell asleep as I carried you upstairs, I tucked you into your bed and went to make sure Tommy knew he could stand down too.”

          Emily frowned. “I wanted to make sure you were safe.”

          “And you did. You were up until 4 AM. Dozing or not, I’m sure you would have risen to the occasion, had something happened. Don’t even think of comparing yourself to Coffee - when that much of your bloodstream is caffeine, I think it makes you immune to sleepiness.” Sara brushed a stray strand of hair out of Emily’s face.

          Emily smiled slightly up at her and sat up, her back to the headboard. “Things went well?”

          “Mm-hmm.” Sara smiled absently. “Teresa was charming and remarkably forthcoming. Well, except about her interest in the Underworld, though I imagine that will come up at a later date, now that she can more knowledgeably negotiate for library access. On a more immediate note, from what I could tell, Lynne was right - blood sacrifice is more of the pagan Kindred’s schtick. The Lancea et Sanctum’s style of blood magic is fueled by the practitioner's own Vitae.”

          Emily nodded seriously. “That is good to hear.”

          “What about you guys? Alexia sacrifice anyone to the pizza gods? Alison bite Coffee’s head off? She seemed alright when I came round for you, but she plays things close...” Sara raised an eyebrow.

          “Not while I was there. We watched movies, Natalie, Alison, Karen, Coffee, and me. One called Heathers, and another called Beetlejuice.”

          Sara smiled brightly. “Alison did mention expanding Natalie’s cinematic education. Have fun?” Emily nodded. “Good. And the pizza sacrifice?”

          Emily frowned, a hint of confusion. “I don’t... think so? She went to bed earlier than the rest of us. She was muttering about espresso powder in white chocolate.”

          Sara sighed, a rapturous look on her face. “I love when Alexia starts experimenting. ‘Failure’ never tasted so good.” She kissed Emily on the nose. “Don’t worry. I’m sure only delicious sacrifices were involved.”

          Emily looked at her dubiously. “Is today more planning and talking about sex?”

          She looked away, red, as Sara waggled her eyebrows. “On the latter - probably. But that’s everyday. I believe plans are made as well as will be. No, today is packing day.”

          “Packing?” Sara nodded. “All day?”

          “All day.”

          End Session CXCI

          As previously mentioned, things are a little quieter until the wedding, after which I will have more plots as usual, just the schedule is pretty packed. It was mostly a RP session and, unfortunately, my memory is shit right now as a lot is stressful. Natalie/Allison and Coffee are still clashing over Natalie the younger, Alexia is working on coming up with some wedding food, and Doc is trying to be helpful, and Sara is being Sara.

          Sorry about the break and short recap, a lot going on right now. Hope to see you in two weeks. Comments and Questions welcome

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          • Hey guys, so we had Session 192 two weeks ago, but there did not wind up being any journals. Nature of the beast, for the most part; Doc’s player was unable to show, and we did not hear from him until we had like 30 minutes left of the game, so the main thing that got done was some packing, some RP, and a lot of kibitzing while we waited.

            Short version of the RP would be everyone packed over Thursday. Alexia was super grumpy. Sara and Tatum would up talking with her awhile. Sara talked about her philosophy of life. Tatum apparently tried to convert Alexia into being an anarchist, which did not really happen. Everyone agreed Coffee was weird. Meanwhile Karen and Natalie (Allison) had a huge row over how much they were packing, which turned into Karen accusing Natalie of “Creeping up on Doc like an alley cat in heat every time [Natalie is] ovulating” and accused her of going to New York in part to pick up Natalie (Jr)’s father. Natalie (Allison) insisted she was not going to do that, but was going to sleep with strangers as per her stated plan. They have weird arguments. Anyway, both accused the other of overpacking and there was discussion of how many boots one woman needs for a single trip (spoiler: a lot). Sara intervened and spoke to both separately about communicating worries and insecurities healthily, that they might not need that many clothes for a single weekend, and certainly not several pairs of boots. Crisis was averted.

            Next session should start them in New York City (or at least en route) even if Doc is late. Half the group is sick this Sunday and the roads are clearing from snow so no session. We will be continuing soon. I’ll see you then, Comments and Questions welcome.
            Last edited by Baroness Nerak; 12-11-2017, 08:08 AM.

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            • We are back! Apologies for the previous session. The group travels to New York. Old acquaintances are reignited. No Natalie this time, she is not quite in a fit state at the end.

              Session CXCIII

              Sara’s Stories

              Sara slid into the booth next to Tommy. “Enjoyed your afternoon in New York?”

              He shrugged. “There are lots of people.”

              “That there are. Made any friends?” He raised an eyebrow at her. She grinned, stealing a glance over at Emily, who was talking to Noriko. “I guess it’s not a new friend, but Emily does seem to have taken to you.”

              He smiled shyly. “She’s very protective.” He looked over at her quickly. “We’re not so different.”

              Sara laid a hand on his. “It’s always nice to find a kindred spirit.”

              “Where are yours? Alison, and Karen?” He looked concerned.

              “Karen is fine.” She smiled reassuringly. “And Alison will be. The guy we met with, Natalie’s dad... he has a life, and a family, and commitments that he’s chosen over Alison.” Tommy frowned in confusion. “There was clearly still chemistry between Mark and ‘Stripe’. If we weren’t there, I’m not sure he would have been going home to his wife for a bit. Which would be damaging to his relationships, the life he’s built and his sense of self, if I read him right. He’s going to meet with Natalie tomorrow, but then wants to not see Alison again. Something about playing with fire.” She sighed. “He’s a very handsome man.”

              “Stripe?” Tommy’s brow knit.

              Sara chuckled. “She has a blonde streak, apparently, when she doesn’t dye her hair. Two, actually. Mark babbled about it adorably for a bit.”


              Sara took a sip of her drink. “Everybody else seems to have had a... less stressful ending to their fun times. Alexia and Chandra escaped the children and their drinking to see Sweeney Todd, Tatum is trolling the gay bars, Natalie isn’t blushing everytime she glances at Doc, so their sex talk probably went well. Natalie even got her ‘really strong’ drink.”

              Tommy smirked. “A Fuzzy Navel...”

              Sara chucked him on the shoulder. “This way she can have more than one. And still enjoy herself.”

              Lynn sauntered up to stand next to Sara. “You up for a dance?”

              “Always.” Sara stood quickly, taking Lynn’s hand and giving Tommy a wink.

              End Session CXCIII

              Lynn is the vampire Doc threw out the window that one time, if you need reminder.

              We RP’d the drive quite a bit. Natalie (Allison) was separated from Natalie (Jr) by different cars; the latter rode with Alexia. After the spat in the kitchen Tatum was with Sara and Natalie in Doc’s car, along with Noriko, Emily, and Tommy. Coffee and Chandra were with Alexia.

              Alexia and Chandra hit several restaurants to talk shop before the theater. Doc took Natalie (Jr) off for awhile to show her around and keep her from her original plan of hitting all the bars. Also give her the sex talk Natalie (Allison) was too embarrassed to. Natalie (Allison) Sara and Karen met Mark Schoonover, Natalie’s ex who got her pregnant so long ago. He was an investment banker for several churches now, and he and Natalie barely kept their hands off each other but as noted he thought seeing her was bad. She took it poorly. Well, politely then, but poorly overall.

              Then of course most of the group went clubbing, save Alexia and Chandra and Natalie (Allison) and Karen. Almost ironic, those latter.

              Hope you enjoyed Comments and Questions Welcome.

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              • I may have said this before, but I'm kind of amused at how this game has really evolved into a social game. When at the start it was full of fight and tasks aplenty, in more recent times the Middle Shadows are about connecting with people, helping them through trauma and, well, being a family. True, it was like that from the very start, but that aspect has really become the focus. It's nice to see everyone having carved their own niche for their lives, even if there's plenty more for them to do in life.

                Sorry, that's a bit of a ramble. Long and short of it, it's interesting to see how the game has evolved from its start.


                • Yeah, small group but tight. When the wedding is done there will be new cases. Till then, we see them all interacting.

                  But yeah, it's a very social game.

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                  • The second day of the New York trip. More time with Lynne and Mark. Wedding getting closer.

                    Session CXCIV

                    Sara’s Stories

                    Hello Sasha

                    Alison came down to breakfast today with no makeup on. It was very odd (for her). She looked nice. She looks nice with makeup too. It was just different. She said she wanted to remind Mark (Natalie’s father) what she looked like when they slept together. She (Alison) told Natalie about Mark. Natalie was more confused by the makeup thing. I was more confused by Coffee. She started talking about government baby making labs (secret ones). She is very strange.

                    They (Alison, Natalie, Sara, and Karen) went to see Mark this afternoon again. Alison was happier. He agreed to email her (with his wife reading it). She (his wife) was there. Sara said she was pretty. Natalie thought her dad was handsome. Sara said she was bothered by that. But it went well. Sara was pleased.

                    Before that, we went shopping. Sara bought me some boots (work ones, but nicer). She helped Emily get some too. And Natalie, so she wouldn’t get ones like Alison gets off to.

                    There was some trouble there. Natalie has the Sight too. She Saw something (secret) about Coffee and asked a personal question. Sara had to make sure Coffee was OK. She was. But she didn’t want to talk about it. Natalie kept seeing it though. Sara says Coffee’s not mad (probably). But Natalie is worried.

                    Doc took me and Noriko to tattoo shops (nice ones) since everyone else had something to do while people met Mark. I got a new tattoo (owl). Alexia and Chandra talked to the cupcake chef a lot. Emily and Tatum went walking. She (Tatum) got her (Emily) a nice necklace. Emily was concerned at first when she said it was because things were serious. English is very hard to learn. Emily does well.

                    Doc left with Noriko to eat at a different place (very fancy) but then met the rest of us (not Alexia and Chandra) at another club Lyn knows. Lyn seems nice. She likes to dance (especially with Sara).

                    It has been fun (so far). Tomorrow we drive back, and then the next day, Alison’s mom shows up. That should be fun (especially for Sara).


                    End Session CXCIV

                    Few gaps to fill. Mark’s wife is Janice, and apparently according to her Mark just talked about his teenage adventure the night before and fessed up about the kid. Natalie (Allison) made a point of being nice to her and things were civil; ah the advantages of 7 Manipulation.

                    Natalie (Jr) saw Coffee reflected as being decapitated. Being 17, she asked her if she really lived long enough to look at her body after being decapitated, causing Coffee to freak out. Natalie had a private word with her daughter.

                    Back in New Haven this time. May skip some time soon to get through the wedding and onto more storylines, will see. Not too far now.

                    Comments and Questions welcome.

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                    • Balance of Shadows is having some scheduling hiccups, but should be back before too long and we get these gals hitched. I apologize for the gap in updates.

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                      • Apologies for the break in updates. The game has four players and one has had a lot going on recently and had trouble making, which means any one other player missing means no game. So we had a couple sessions not happen. We also had a fairly short session where Julie arrived, but little happened beyond that because the player cancelled. Unfortunately, he was not there for this last session, but the rest of us were, and we had a wedding. It seemed the thing to do at the time. Here is Natalie’s take on it.

                        Session CXCVI

                        Natalie’s Diary

                        May 22nd, 2011

                        World Goth Day

                        I am married.

                        I have been a swirling vortex of emotion. It’s been hard to keep away from the candy as I try to get my brain in gear. Technically, legally, I have been married for months. But now I am spiritually married as well.

                        Bachelorette party was on the Yacht, and it was wild. All girls. Alexia had dessert pizzas, and actually suggested a wet T-shirt contest. She actually entered, with Eve, Deidre, Cindy, and Tracy. Karen, Sara and I judged. I was pretty hands on, though not with Alexia. Then a dancing contest, Alexia did not participate, but Deanna did with a cabaret number, and Eve, Cindy, and Deirdre, along with Sarah, had somewhat poppier numbers. Eve gave us a lap dance each. Natalie complained a bit she wasn’t able to be a judge.

                        It was fun, and spirits were high. Spent the night with my girls, and all went well.

                        Then Murder Ballads had their “Bachelorette” party, an event I hosted. I actually talked to mom about it before she went so she knew it was all choreographed (she did not go to the real party thank the goddess, opting for a wine bar instead.) I had a few acts when it started, first having the light fall on me while making out with Emily (who was not supposed to be kissing me in real life, but oh my goddess her lips are soft and it was fun) then “groped” by Sara, then biting Tatum’s neck, then Karen popping up from between my legs, then both Cindy and I standing and her running off with her arms over her chest. It was good fun and we all had a laugh. I spent some time making out with Emily after, but I am going to not take it further till I talk to Sara; not asking permission, just heads up and such.

                        Oh yes, and Mom came…all dressed sexy like. It was awful, I was so embarrassed, so was Natalie. And all these guys were giving her attention and Sara danced with her and ugh! Kinda a downer.


                        At first light of sunset the music began, and Karen strolled out in her black dress. Then Sara in her more colorful dress, finally, I in white. Mom, Tatum, and Emily had been keeping us apart in the house so we had not seen our dresses. When we last bit of light from the sun failed, we were declared wives and the floodlights came on. Sascha sang “Apple Blossom Time” and I sang “The Star of County Down.” We danced. Tatum was DJ.

                        I was so happy. I am so happy.

                        So Happy Today.

                        End Session CXCVI

                        Not a lot to add, few dice rolls.

                        Going to be back to poking around the supernatural world next session. Exploring the characters personal lives here has been fun, but not the most focus friendly activity. So we will give them a bit more to do.

                        So we have started a new game. Blue Rose: Cat’s Cradle is a Blue Rose 2nd edition game using the AGE system. The game includes 3/7 of the total players who have played in this game and ¾ of the current roster. It’s my first real Fantasy game since Exalted, short a brief flirtation with the D20 Warcraft game. It’s not WoD or CoD but we are having fun with it, and would love to have you join us for it. Journals and discussion can be found here. Hope to see you there.

                        Anyway, onward ho then. Sorry about the gap without updates. This is a smaller game at this point, and they are somewhat more at the mercy of schedules when any two players missing can mean no game. See you soon, Comments and Questions welcome.
                        Last edited by Baroness Nerak; 03-04-2018, 05:20 PM.

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                        • The team is back in form, taking on new cases. Let’s peek in on them.

                          Session CXCVII

                          Sara’s Stories

                          Sasha -

                          No rest for the wicked, I suppose, even those recently married. We have a new job! It’s an interesting one too - the world is ever full of new things to learn about.

                          Technically this is somewhat off the books. Erika, the librarian who approached us via Karen, has been discouraged from contacting us by the higher-ups at the public library. But it was certainly a serious situation she approached us with. The library had been haunted for a long time, by a ghost girl who lurked in the elevator, occasionally blocking the door or letting the car plummet for a few floors. She’d never hurt anyone though, or even been seen far from the elevator. Recently, the hauntings had taken a different turn.

                          The tipping point was when a girl had gone missing for a full 24 hours, then casually walked out of the elevator, claiming to have been studying for the past hour. Another girl claimed that the elevator had taken her to a blue tinted place whose books looked ‘different’. Others, mostly teens and tweens, had reported being freaked out by utterly silent ‘ghost librarians’ that ‘didn’t look normal’. Most of the sightings were centered around the fourth and fifth floors, where a number of lights kept burning out, seemingly due to very localized power surges. A very strange situation, well worthy of our time.

                          We stopped by to see Marcy first, just in case the ‘Scariest Ghost on the East Coast’ had expanded into Ghostbusters territory. She’s been doing well, very scary, very upbeat, but not responsible for anything at the library. She did come along to see if there was anything she could do to help out (and to get some Ghostbuster-y haunting in, now that it had been brought to her attention).

                          Taking a look around, we didn’t find too much, other than a severe atmosphere of threatening stillness on the upper levels. It was clearly getting to the students doing work there. We confirmed what she’d said about the lights, and also found that all the mirrors were cracked, foiling any efforts to use them to scry, or any such thing.

                          We got a lot of information talking with Felicia, the ghost girl in the elevator. She told us about some sort of place that had opened up between the fourth and fifth floor. Things had come out of it, she said, that looked like people, but weren’t, things that were cords covered in clothes stuffed with gauze. Old clothes too, more to her fashion than the current fashion (which we discovered was 50s era, after some digging). She felt like they were lost and definitely didn’t like enclosed spaces - one freaked out when it got in the elevator with her, though it didn’t seem to be able to see her.

                          We also talked with her some about her death. Our Sight let us know that she had been beaten to death, and she told us her body had been left in the library, down in the basement behind the wall, sometime while the library was being expanded. Since we were at the library and everything, I did some poking around and figured out the whole 50s thing. Her parents were both dead at this point, but had no connection to the library or its expansion, so if she had been killed by an abusive parent, it was an odd place to hide the body. We’re going to be doing some more digging, to see if we can’t figure out her story.

                          We took advantage of our woman on the inside to hide out in the bathroom and stay in after hours. Natalie and Alexia made sure we had surveillance on the whole place and weren’t being surveilled ourselves, and we settled in to wait. It wasn’t too long before Natalie found someone, a human figure wearing a mask of a woman’s face, an obvious wig, clothes that went all the way up to her neck and gloves - ie, no skin showing at all.

                          I was standing guard over Natalie, but Tommy was with our away team, and had the excellent idea of communicating with the strange spirit via text - it wouldn’t talk, or even really acknowledge Doc’s questions, but it spent most of its time reading. It even shifted to use the team’s flashlights to read better. It seemed not to realize it wasn’t home, wherever that was, until they’d asked it if we could help and if it was lost, answering no at first in both cases, then changing to yes to the lost question after it looked around. It claimed there were many of its kind, though whether it meant here in the library, or back home, we didn’t know.

                          Conversations ceased after Doc tried to convince it to come with back to between the fourth and fifth floor - ie in the elevator shaft. It seemed terrified, and very concerned for Doc when he went to go stand inside to show it was ok. Even when he came out, that had pushed its agitation up a level, and it disappeared back into the stacks, soon disappearing from even our Sight.

                          We still don’t know what we might find in that 4.5th floor, but we certainly have a better idea of things overall. Next order of business is to do some research into spirits of those types. And maybe reassure Erika that the recent pentagram of books and “hacked” computers (whose browsers had all searched for ‘your death’ and had ‘You will die in 7 days’ as their background) were the work of completely benign spirits...


                          End Session CXCVII

                          Marcie was, as always, a blast. Many Beetlejuice and Ghostbusters references were made. When libraries were mentioned Marcie was all “Do they have real card catalogs?” She also made a huge, horrific blood golem…by controlling fake blood. The effects were amusing.

                          Half the group have library degrees so libraries proved a popular choice.

                          Yesterday was rough, so not much comment written. I was in a lot of pain. Should have the journal in two weeks. if not, the next journal will cover both sessions (again, I was in a lot of pain) but hopefully a journal in two weeks.

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                          • The investigation at the library continues, and the group hears of another potential case nearby.

                            Session CXCVIII

                            Sara’s Stories

                            Sara stood near Tommy, a short ways away from where Doc and Alexia were poking through the slashed and exposed wiring, with Deirdre giving color commentary and Ildefonso keeping a Boneyarding Natalie company. The fun of the sci-fi adventure, complete with voice-activated and touchscreen computers, was wearing thin, and the dim blue lighting of this odd Shadow pocket realm and the smell of scorched metal that permeated this part of it were reminding her more of the last time she died than of any holodeck. She huddled under Tommy’s strong arm, putting her own around his waist.

                            Emily approached them, fixing Sara in her intense gaze. “What happened at the radio station?”

                            Sara broke eye contact first. “A college student went missing. She was a DJ at the college radio station and we managed to find out she’d been approached to play a particular series of songs at a particular time by a young woman. When she refused, the young woman killed her and hid her body. We managed to lure her out by pretending we would play it, then suddenly changing the night of, so she came to the radio station to force us, revealing her robot form then.” She leaned into Tommy, who squeezed her shoulder.

                            “The fight went poorly?” Emily asked.

                            “Quite well, actually. Well enough that she saw she was going to lose, and self-destructed instead. That took Coffee and me out.” Sara tangled her fingers in Tommy’s shirt, thankful for his presence.

                            “So they’re evil,” Emily said matter-of-factly.

                            Sara took a deep breath. “That one that we met certainly didn’t feel any compunction about using evil means to accomplish whatever her goals were - we never actually knew.”

                            Emily looked thoughtful. “The odd computer screen showed these broken robots here fighting other robots though.”

                            “That’s true. It seems that they are not all on the same page at least.” Sara sighed, trying for a smile. “It’s a shame, really.”

                            “A shame?”

                            Sara chuckled wryly. “The woman who broke the mirror, according to Alexia - the tall attractive James Bond villian’s assistant with the rakish scar? She’s probably a robot. Probably one of the ones who attacked this place, but really, who knows which side the robot from the radio station was aligned with. If either... I liked this better when it was ghostly kidnappers or indecipherable spirits of the concept of libraries.”

                            “I will destroy anyone who tries to hurt you, Sara,” Emily reassured her earnestly. Tommy nodded.

                            “I know you will...” Sara began.

                            “Even that Sonia,” Emily continued. Tommy raised an eyebrow.

                            Sara looked concerned. “Emily... you have nothing to worry about on that front. I have absolutely no desire for the type of attention she gives. And Natalie is a grown woman who can make her own decisions. They’re not great for each other, but they’re not doing lasting harm, at least not with us in the picture. She does care about Natalie – she didn't make up that whole story about the hotel-turned-dorm with multiple floors that only showed up at night and had ghost residents who played up your issues just to get close to her. Sonia did it because she was worried about Natalie...” She paused in her mini-lecture, looking at Emily closely. “You were trying to change the subject, weren’t you?”

                            “I was succeeding.”

                            Sara laughed, a real laugh. “You were at that.” She pulled Emily closer and kissed her. “Thank you, love.”

                            End Session CXCVIII

                            So some filling in is needed.

                            Sonia Black of the Skull and Bones Society Krewe, Natalie’s ex, came by to tell Natalie about a “Night Floors” situation at a building that was a hotel converted into a Dorm bought by Yale, but all the students there had major issues and often failed out, so they wound up closing it and sealing it off, though students often snuck in for trysts, drinking, or other such things. Sonia had seen the posting on the Twilight Network (being the Charonite for the S&BS) and wanted to mention it to Natalie, as the levels seemed to have people which only individual Krew members could see, and who tended to stir up violent emotions and trauma. They left as it caused a lot of infighting in the Krewe and they realized it was the Night Floors as the trigger.

                            Sonia’s reappearance stirred up the girl’s on again off again to everyone’s annoyance, and Natalie and she were texting all session. It also lead to arguing about her, with Alexia and Karen being intensely trying to keep them apart, Sara agreeing she was a bad influence but trusting Natalie and saying they were there for her, Emily trying to decide whether to kill her or not and Coffee just confused (but thought Sonia was pretty hot, which did not help matters.)

                            As Tommy had pinged the librarian creatures as Spirits, being one of the Begotten, they called the Werewolves, and Deirdre and Ildefonso came along. They confirmed they were Spirits, and managed to find a way into the base. It rapidly became apparent they had stumbled across Infrastructure, though the PCs only really understood “more robots” and the Forsaken understood less.

                            Oh yes, and they interviewed Queen, the wide eyed girl who had lost time. They managed to press her into recalling the base, and would up meeting her there so the Werewolves could make sure she was still fully human. Karen, for whom she was a previous conquest, wound up hooking up with her in the unisex bathroom. Which annoyed Queen, given that sleeping with a girl twice made her officially gay in whatever strange set of rules existed in her head.

                            I think that covers everything if I think of anything else I will add it. Comments and Questions welcome.

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                            • Having solved the mystery, it is now time to repair the damage. Cue in a certain pair of twins.

                              Session CXCIX

                              Sara’s Stories

                              Hey there Alice!

                              Yeah, I guess I should have expected I couldn’t sweep “finding a bunch of dead robots” under the rug, not when Ildefonso and Deirdre were there too. They were all very dead, mind, a few months... cold? Is that still an appropriate euphemism for a dead robot?

                              And yes, I am using dark humor to deflect my fear, but it is still true that we seem to have resolved the whole deal without any actual threat to ourselves appearing. The knowledge spirits that were so menacing to your average teenage library user were dears, even if they did suffer from light fingers as far as books were concerned. We have done what we could to return the books to their rightful places in either the Underworld or the living world, and what remains will be the work of a moment.

                              We did manage to shut the doors to the strange pocket dimension the spirits had used to traverse between the realms (otherwise moving the books would have be a fairly pointless exercise), both the definitely manufactured one that Deirdre had found and the probably manufactured one that led to the Underworld. Timothy, one of the twin mages in Alexia’s Underwater Storyweaving Club, stepped up to the plate and hit it out of the park, coming up with a spell to seal the doors, then actually casting it twice, all within a few hours of being told about the situation for the first time. I was impressed, if a little distracted - Tracey was there too, you see.

                              Things wrapped up pretty well, even the fall out. You might remember Sonia - I think she came up during the whole Balehound thing, Natalie’s ex - she’s come on to the scene again. To be completely fair to her, it was prompted by her concern for Natalie after the details she posted on the Twilight Network about the deal with the library, the “Night Floors” situation. Her krewe had had dealings with an ex-hotel dorm that had places you could only get to at night, kinda like our pocket dimension, though theirs was more reminiscent of the haunted hotel we dealt with. Anyway, this re-ignited Natalie’s interest. Everyone else disapproves and Emily took note, offering to sleep with Natalie if she’d not go spend the night with Sonia, snipping that potential drama in the bud. Don’t worry, this wasn’t a pressured sacrifice on Emily’s part. She’s been looking for the right moment for a bit, and apparently found it.

                              Speaking of blasts from the past, Dulcinea, our favorite red-headed Beast, waltzed into our lives again. Or the other way around, I suppose. We interrupted her plotting with Rebecca, actually. We were looking for her because she ran into the robots too, the ones who attacked the pocket dimension, and presumably right after they attacked. At least, she saw them coming out of the strange Shadow pocket into the Underworld. When she challenged them, on our behalf of course, they took offense, claiming problems with authority. When one’s arm turned into a giant gun, she decided to go with that better part of valor thing and turned into a swarm of bees.

                              Don’t you worry - I’ll be taking her very prudent example to heart. If we run across them, we’ll be very careful. And open minded, of course. If they are fighting each other, they are clearly not of one mind, so just being a robot doesn’t mean someone’s an enemy. Just someone to be cautious around. Anyway I, for one, will hope that we don’t run into them. Don’t you forget to take care of your own self too.


                              Natalie’s Diary

                              June 3rd, 2011

                              The case has run about as smoothly as it is going to. Timothy and Tracy, being Mages, were brought in to help seal off the exits to the strange facility in the Shadow where the Librarian Spirits were coming from. This after the Werewolves got us in. It’s a seal the twins (And Tommy, apparently) can open, but people and spirits should not be slipping through. Many books have been returned to the Autochthonous Depths, where they should rightfully be. Others returned to the library in the real world. The librarians have a run of the facility it’s all lovely.

                              There is still Felicia to deal with, and the hotel Sonia was talking about, but we can count a small victory here or there. The Mages may help with the hotel, but I am reluctant to bring them without looking around first.

                              So on the romance side it has been crazy. Karen and Queen have rekindled, and Queen was adorably clueless about whether sleeping with a woman a second time “made her gay” or not and if she needs to replace her posters in her bedroom. That was the less weird thing that happened.

                              So Sonia and I had been chatting and I was planning to hook up with her after we were done with the twins and all that to celebrate and such. However circumstances prevailed preventing it. There had been a great deal of flirting between Tracy and Emily, mostly on Tracy’s side, and while Emily sent her crashing and burning at first, while Timothy was sealing (and the rest of us were moving books) Tracy went with Sara and Emily to go make out awhile. They really could have helped us with the books we might have gotten done.

                              Anyway, that got Emily’s motor running, so after we had dinner with the twins (and Sara made plans for later in the evening with Tracy) I said I needed to go up and get dressed to go out and see Sonia (after the obligatory Alexia trying to talk me out of it) Emily got in my face and said if I didn’t go see Sonia tonight she would go to bed with me. I was speechless. Socially awkward or not, Emily is CUTE, with her short hair, ice blue eyes, Dutch accent and masculine-of-center clothing style. I was scared of her for awhile, but Sara and she were super close and I know she got close to Tatum too. Looking in her eyes I could not say no. She looked triumphant and said she was going upstairs to change, and I messaged Sonia to say my Krewe had other plans for me (technically true).

                              That was dirty pool. But she said it firmly, she looked in my eyes, and I love it when women put their foot down. And she did not disappoint; what she lacked in experience she made up for in fiery enthusiasm, plus she is terribly athletic. I am not sure quite when I passed out but it was before her.

                              This morning she mastered me again. I distinctly remember her whispering I did not need to go anywhere as I went back to sleep, and I woke up again to a note she was at breakfast. When my legs work again, I will join them.

                              No wonder Sara has been in such a good mood.

                              Anyway. Will investigate the other stuff. Sonia may be awkward…

                              End Session CXCIX

                              Obviously using Mage Arcana to fix problems is cheating, but the twins don’t have a wide range though this does fall into what they can do. So it seemed a good fix.

                              Session 200 is tonight, and that is absolutely a record for me. I had something planned that fell through but will hopefully happen soon. I hope it is fun for all Comments and Questions welcome

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                              • Oh man sorry about the lack of updates. We have had like two games not happen due to sickness and/or soreness and/or family issues, and one game wound up not being journaled (again, due to sickness and/or soreness and/or family issues) but we had one for a month ago and I was going to put it up when it was the next session, and it is the next session, so here you go.

                                Session CC and CCI

                                Sara’s Letters

                                Sasha -

                                Turns out when you take a few weeks off for a wedding, there’s lots of work built up when you’re back. That is to say, we have a new job. We haven’t finished the last one, the haunted ex-dorm building, but something has come up with considerably more urgency. Besides, the case does bear a remarkable resemblance to the hotel case we had a while back, so we’ve put out some feelers to the allies and such that helped us then - we really couldn’t have done it without them.

                                Anyway, as I said, this new case is much more urgent. Our client is Desiree Nash,a strikingly attractive police detective with deep purple hair and a devil-may-care, cooler-than-you attitude that apparently hasn’t helped her make friends at work. Thankfully for her, she’s too damn good at her job for that to have a serious effect on her career. But the case didn’t involve her work, not directly.

                                It involved family, another aspect of her life she held at arm’s length. A stranger named David O’Rourke had left her a house, a stranger that even a quick (technically mis-)use of police data banks didn’t reveal any record of. Actually, they’d left it to her and her “useless” (by her estimation) brother Luke. He hadn’t been able to hold down a paper route, much less a job or a lease, in quite some time, so he moved in immediately. She was a bit more taken aback by the line of bullet holes in the hallway and the ritual carvings and bloodstains in the basement, so she called Catherine, the police’s on-call psychic. Catherine took a Look around, and called us.

                                It was a nice house, if you could get around the bullet holes and evil magic ritual rooms. To be fair, the magic itself, while blood magic, wasn’t evil in and of itself, but it was being used towards evil ends - my Sight showed that the O’Rourke family was a family of magicians, that had a Outsider trapped and were siphoning energy from it, using their blood as a catalyst. All well and good (barring the Outsider/subjucation thing), and then they went and doubled down by sacrificing the matriarch of the time, which was about 50 years ago, one Teresa O’Rourke, a woman who Desiree was the spitting image of.

                                So, it seemed fairly likely this whole inheritance deal was something designed to get Desiree into the house, to revenge Teresa, or refresh whatever effect her sacrifice had, or to renew the family magics. With some questioning, it came out that Desiree knew nothing of her mother’s side of the family - making Teresa likely to be her maternal grandmother - and Luke was her half brother, on her father’s side. So, he himself was likely safe, taking a load off of Desiree’s mind.

                                Alexia’s Sight found a few hidden rooms, one where the being’s prison was presumably kept, as well as a collection of old-timey film reels and some books on local history they had clearly been cross referencing - we took those to look into ourselves. The other was full of their ritual implements, and had been the site where Teresa had been ambushed. Unfortunately, I didn’t get much more than that; they weren’t kind enough to explain why they were turning on their matriarch as they were doing it.

                                The bullet holes showed up shortly after that. Someone was upset by the change in power, and sent the most zen man firing an automatic pistol with deadly precision that I had ever seen. He open with a shotgun blast, and killing everyone on his direct path to the basement. I wasn’t able to follow him in my visions for very long - once he killed everyone, there wasn’t enough emotional resonance for me to grab onto. Alexia was able to find that Teresa’s husband - one of the ones responsible for her capture and death - survived, at least, as he was the one responsible for cleaning up the blood from the massacre.

                                We got interrupted for a bit by a watcher. Desiree noticed someone watching from the neaby woods. The house was about an hour out of town, and a little isolated, so it wasn’t someone from a nearby house. They have left by the time she rushed out there. Doc’s Sight came into play then, and he tracked them, even when the watcher turned into an owl. We did lose them over a lake though.

                                A very strange situation it is, but one we have some resources to deal look into. A couple of our friends in the area might have some knowledge of that aspect of Touched life, and some even might have some knowledge of that point in time as well. We’ve got those film reels to watch, and a bunch of libraries to peruse. I’m sure we’ll be able to put her concerns at rest.

                                Another interesting mystery that Karen noticed doesn’t involve Desiree, but rather her grandmother. She is the third Teresa that we’ve encountered in the last couple of months. What it means, we don’t know, but with three accounts - we would be fools to not note it, and pay attention.

                                Life runs apace, always with new and interesting friends. I hope things are going well there - let me know of any Teresas that earn your eye!


                                End Session CC and CCI

                                So Session 200 mainly reviewed past stories, and discussed the need to get in touch with Mr. Ox at some point.

                                Then we kicked off a new story. Nothing bad ever happens from suddenly inheriting an old house from someone you had never heard of, right? I enjoyed playing Desiree being all tough with people over the course of the session, and her being so headstrong naturally has the PCs a bit concerned. There is definitely something sinister going on, and the PCs aim to find out what. They do know they are dealing with some stuff involving capital M Mages and Scelesti. And there is definitely a possibility Desiree is a potential Mage. Or Sin-Eater.

                                Our group unravels the story further next session. Comments and Questions welcome, and again apologies for the delay.

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                                [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]