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A Time of Trouble - Werewolf: The Forsaken Actual Play

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  • A Time of Trouble - Werewolf: The Forsaken Actual Play

    Hi guys. Yesterday my roleplaying group finally had the first session of our Werewolf: The Forsaken game. It's taken around eight months to actually get this game off the ground, and it's been easily the most difficult game for me to do setting write-ups for. The last couple of months in particular have involved substantial rewrites, and there is a lot I'm still working on. It's been a daunting project, but at long last we're actually getting into the meat of it.

    Setting:

    The game begins on the night of the 16th of December, 1981, in Belfast, North Ireland. This is the city of the wolf-in-chains, a city roiling in the midst of the Troubles. Peace lines divide communities already split by faith and ideology, and the British army patrols in force. The IRA, UVF, and other groups contest the city, fighting each other and the army. But while the world of the flesh sees guerrilla combat and "low intensity" conflict, the Shadow experiences the war in full. Anger, hate, and fear unrealised feed the powerful spirit courts, dominated by the Court of the Union and the Court of Bloody Communion. Open warfare raged between the courts, and great hosts of spirits slaughter each other anew in the battlegrounds of Belfast's burning shadow. And of course the Forsaken find themselves taking the brunt of both conflicts. Hunts are filled with the unpredictable danger of military patrols in the flesh and spirit armies in the Shadow. Pure rule beyond the city limits and prey on isolated Forsaken packs, but both factions are just as liable to hunt their own kind from opposite sides of the mortal divide.

    In the south of the city, a fledgling pack has recently claimed a corner of the suburb of Andersonstown and the surrounding stretch of countryside. At the centre of their territory is Black Mountain, once known as Wolfe Hill. Long neglected by Pure and Forsaken alike, their territory is overrun by spirits who fled the Shadow war to dwell in the flesh, and beset on every border by other threats. Protestant Forsaken to the north, Pure to the south and west, and a British army base ominously named Silver City not far to their east.



    A quick note. The Troubles are well within living memory, and pretty complicated subject in their own right. I'm not going to stick to the exact chronology of events as they played out in our history, more to allow the game some narrative freedom than anything, but I have drawn quite heavily from actual events as inspiration. Chances are if some particular act of conflict shows up in the game, it probably didn't happen in reality. But that said, something similar probably did happen (or was thought to have happened, exact details can be a bit muddy in places).

    Also Regan's player wants an excuse to tie in pop songs that technically might be a year or two out from release at the time of our game so we might break time a little there just for the sake of it.

    On that note, here is our cast:

    Father Aaron Aching - A Rahu/Hunter in Darkness. Father Aaron is the pastor for St Hubert's, a small church in the territory. He is a big man, intimidating in both voice and physical presence. He regards his "flock" as a sacred responsibility to be protected at all costs. He can be more than a little condescending towards those under his protection, as he takes their respective positions as sheep and sheepdog just a little too seriously.

    Aed Flynn - A Cahalith/Blood Talon. Aed has led an interesting career, rising from a moderately successful stint as a cage fighter to the star of a number of cheap and violent B-movies, trading hard on his fighter persona. The most successful of these, the Diamond Man franchise, was in the midst of its second movie when the First Change hit him. He managed to fumble his way through the remaining shoots, grappling with the transformation overwhelming him, before taking a hiatus from acting and returning from Hollywood to his home country. His first encounter with others of his kind was violent, falling into a rage at the sight of Uratha assaulting a human woman. The woman was a Hunter, and she took advantage of his intervention to slip away, but she returned once the rage had passed and struck an alliance. She offered to teach him about the world in return for his help hunting down the surviving members of the Pack, a Pack Aed still hasn't been able to learn anything about in the months since, and taught him what she knew about Werewolves. When he found others of his kind, he moved to join the Blood Talons, reasoning that hunting Werewolves was clearly what he had experience in. Aed is a handsome man now that his innate regeneration has repaired the legacy of his fighting career, although this change has caught the attention of a few gossip rags now spreading the news about his new addiction to plastic surgery.

    Regan - An Irraka/Blood Talon. Regan is the daughter of Joseph Parnell, the patriarch of one of Belfast's most powerful packs. The Parnell family have an extraordinary legacy of Uratha and Wolf Blooded offspring, with Joseph and all of his daughters having experienced the First Change. The only problem in Regan's case is that she is not one of Joseph's legitimate children. Her mother died when she was very young, leaving her to be raised by her aunt, and she deeply resents the way her father's family has ostracised her and left her to fend for herself. While the other members of the pack experienced the Change late, she has only just turned seventeen. She has her father's eyes and blonde hair, framing a pretty but serious face, and gets her kicks out of antagonising her older packmates. When she met Aed she begged him to help her join the Blood Talons, figuring that if she couldn't have her father's love, she could at least force out his fear and respect.

    And, while not a player character, there is one other important member of the Pack:

    "Hope" - The weakness called Hope is an insidious thing, at once a decrepit representation of the future and a whispered promise that your life need not end this way. Its form is fluid, usually looking like an aged, emaciated version of whoever has its attention. It exults in weakness, urging the pack to spread gifts like crippled limbs or moon-touched madness to those they encounter. Aed discovered the spirit when he was hunting for property to purchase in Belfast, finding himself drawn to a particular mirror in a particular house in Andersonstown. Hope was there, living in the mirror, a small Locus responsible for drawing Aed in. Hope is fond of each member of the Pack, in its own way, delighting in the deficiencies in each that leave them vulnerable.

    A territorial pack dominated by Blood Talons and with a Spirit of Weakness as their Totem. Suffice to say that no one in Belfast is particularly excited to see this new pack grow strong...
    Last edited by Azahul; 10-04-2018, 04:39 PM.

  • #2
    Oh hell yes!


    Freelancer (He/His Pronouns): CofD - Dark Eras 2, Mummy 2e; Scion - Mysteries of the World

    CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon (TBA) | Deviant (TBA) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf (WIP)

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    • #3
      Session 1

      The pack was gathered beneath the watchful eyes of their totem on a cold winter's night. They met at Aed's home, where they could sit around the mirror and allow Hope to watch their gathering. Aaron was growing increasingly annoyed at Regan's attitude, sitting in a corner of the room and listening to a Walkman rather than joining in on the conversation. Before the argument could devolve into a shouting match, however, Hope raised a hand towards to the front door and spoke in a laboured whisper.

      "Mazdarix... waits... beyond."

      Without waiting for the others, Aed went straight for the front door and flung it open. There was no one outside, for just a moment, and then a wasp-like creature the size of a dog manifested in front of him. It prostrated itself before him, begging an opportunity to speak. The colony wished to earn the Uratha's favour, that they might be protected, and came offering tidings of one who would subvert the pack's tenuous hold on their new territory. Father Aaron was more than a little bellicose, wanting nothing more than to throw the errant spirit back through the Locus and into the Hisil, but Aed remained calm and teased out the wasp's message without offering any of the reassurances the spirit craved.

      There was a human dabbling with spirits in the territory. Mostly those already through the Gauntlet, on the side of the flesh, but word was that the Broken were making their way across in spite of the Old Man's instructions, and the Old Man himself had announced that he would hold court tonight with the human. The human had been seen to converse with the Weeping Tree and the Scarred-Beast-Burning, though to Mazdarix all this news was second-hand. The colony had not seen the human in person, nor witnessed these acts.

      Aaron grew increasingly furious as the story unfolded, and almost snapped at Regan's apathetic response to the news. All of the names Mazdarix had mentioned were known to the pack. Old Man Mountain was the most powerful spirit in their territory, a personification of Black Mountain and ruler of a large brood ostensibly in service to the Court of Bloody Communion. The Broken were his subjects, spirits of the Earth rendered damaged and more than a little insane by the presence of a quarry in the mountain's flank and their interactions with the spirits of machine and industry found there. The Weeping Tree was a place Regan in particular was familiar with, a tree Claimed by a spirit of grief marking the site of a local tragedy, and the Scarred-Beast-Burning was a damaged survivor of a bloody battle fought in the territory's Shadow only a few months ago, who had fled to the flesh side of the Gauntlet to escape its attackers.

      The pack dismissed the Mazdarix, sending the spirit on their way infuriated and without the alliance the colony had sought. At Aed's insistence they invoked the Siskur-Dah, declaring this human dabbling in the Shadow as their target.

      The pack went after the Weeping Tree first. It wasn't a long walk to the tree from Aed's place, but they took his car regardless in case the next part of the hunt took them further afield. Aaron attempted to bully the tree into giving up information on the human, but it was Aed's offer of his grief that earned the tree's cooperation. Through words whispered in the First Tongue, heard among the fall of water from his leaves, the Weeping Tree told them that a man named Cliff Faulkner came to him and asked for his help in snaring another mortal man. The Weeping Tree fulfilled his side of the bargain, luring the man in with a call to sorrow, and Cliff had bludgeoned the man and taken him away. Aed investigated a little further, shifting into Urhan, and determined that there wasn't a lot of blood left at the site and that the second man was probably alive. Aaron tasted the blood, but they wanted to check on the Scarred-Beast-Burning before they went after Cliff directly.

      The Scarred Beast had last been seen near St Hubert's, so the wolves went there to try and pick up the trail. They were investigating the churchyard when torchlight fell upon them. Aaron had just enough time to shift from Urhan to human by wrenching his body through the transformation with the expenditure of essence, and was climbing to his feet when the newcomer came into sight. It was a young woman named Ciara, a regular at Father Aaron's church, who was relieved to see Aaron there. She'd been keeping an eye on the church with her father after seeing some strange activity there earlier that night. She thought it might have been Satanic practices, although she conceded that someone just attempting to deface the church was more likely. Whoever it was had run off at the first sign of company, and she and her father had been taking turns to keep watch on the church until Aaron returned. She was quite flustered when Regan asked her why she was being so reckless by being out on her own and watching for dangerous company, but Aed intervened and offered to walk Ciara home while Aaron gave Regan a talking to.

      It was a short walk, a fact both of them were thankful for. Aed attempted to strike up conversation, and Ciara seemed interested at first, but Aed struggled to keep that interest for more than a few minutes. By the time they parted ways at her front door it was evident that she was quite, quite bored.

      OOC: Everyone had a real laugh at this. Between Fame, Striking Looks, and Willpower Aed was rolling 13 dice on his efforts to make a good first impression with Ciara. He didn't get a single success.

      Aed wasn't gone long, and by that point Aaron had the trail. They tracked Scarred-Beast-Burning out into the fields, but failed to spot the beast lurking among the hedges. It leapt out, tearing a savage wound into Aaron's flank, then tried to flee. Aed dropped into Urshul and brought the rampaging spirit down before it could get away, but though they hardly scratched it and tried to interrogate the beast about the human who had spoken to it the spirit was too scared of the Uratha to offer anything other than mewled pleas for mercy.

      Reasoning that the beast wouldn't be a problem, whatever deal it had struck, the pack headed towards Black Mountain. Father Aaron led them unerringly, following the blood he had tasted on the tree. They found an abandoned car at the end of a narrow lane in the middle of nowhere, up on the side of the hill. There were Broken everywhere, making no move to attack, looking like they were keeping vigil. When the Werewolves tried to get close the Broken stirred, but refused to answer the wolves' questions.

      It was getting late now, and the pack had been told that the Old Man would hold court at midnight. They only had a couple of hours to return to their Locus and cross over into the Hisil, then return almost to where they were standing now. They left the Broken in peace, and hurried back to Aed's home. With Hope in tow, they crossed the Gauntlet and entered the Shadow. The Shadow reflection of the room was small and rotted, wood splintered and every piece of furniture collapsing from the flaws imposed by the weakness resonance around them. As they walked towards the front of the house they could see small flames licking up the walls. The front door fell apart in a shower of ash when they touched it, revealing the hellscape of Belfast's shadow ahead. The city was on fire, with winged shadows dancing among the rising embers overhead. Demihuman beasts ran from their sight and hid within the shadows of the buildings.

      Behind them rose Black Mountain, in the Shadow a towering edifice of dark stone. Hope whispered to Regan that the Old Man would hold court near his own summit, drawing their eyes up. Luna, waning and gibbous, hung just above the mountain's peak, looking for all the world like she were conversing with the ancient spirit.

      With time running out, the wolves began to climb.
      Last edited by Azahul; 07-02-2018, 12:12 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Second Chances View Post
        Oh hell yes!
        It's been a little while since the last game. You sure know how to make a guy feel appreciated.

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        • #5
          This is enthralling. If it don't hurt, keep it up, if you would be so kind?

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          • #6
            Uuuh, this looks nice. Looking forward for more!


            Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

            I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot

            This is what I'm working on

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Azahul View Post
              The pack dismissed the Mazdarix, sending the spirit on their way infuriated and without the alliance the colony had sought.
              Yeah, this won't have any long term consequences.

              Originally posted by Azahul View Post
              It was a short walk, a fact both of them were thankful for. Aed attempted to strike up conversation, and Ciara seemed interested at first, but Aed struggled to keep that interest for more than a few minutes. By the time they parted ways at her front door it was evident that she was quite, quite bored.

              OOC: Everyone had a real laugh at this. Between Fame, Striking Looks, and Willpower Aed was rolling 13 dice on his efforts to make a good first impression with Ciara. He didn't get a single success.
              Hilarious. So he struck out with all those advantages? And he spent WP, too? At least he didn't need to impress her - since she's part of Aaron's church, it's not like there are going to be tense social repercussions.

              Originally posted by Azahul View Post
              The city was on fire, with winged shadows dancing among the rising embers overhead. Demihuman beasts ran from their sight and hid within the shadows of the buildings.
              So, night after a football game?

              Originally posted by Azahul View Post
              Behind them rose Black Mountain, in the Shadow a towering edifice of dark stone. Hope whispered to Regan that the Old Man would hold court near his own summit, drawing their eyes up. Luna, waning and gibbous, hung just above the mountain's peak, looking for all the world like she were conversing with the ancient spirit.

              With time running out, the wolves began to climb.
              Dun, dun, DUNNNN!


              Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
              Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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              • #8
                Originally posted by hoodedclaw View Post
                This is enthralling. If it don't hurt, keep it up, if you would be so kind?
                Certainly! I use these write-ups as much as a way to track the game's events myself as anything, so I fully intend to do write-ups as we continue.

                Originally posted by Cinder View Post
                Uuuh, this looks nice. Looking forward for more!
                Thank you The next session won't be for another two weeks, but we're hoping to settle down into a weekly pattern soon.

                Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                Yeah, this won't have any long term consequences.
                I'm pretty certain that parasitic wasp spirits have a reputation as easy going.

                Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                Hilarious. So he struck out with all those advantages? And he spent WP, too? At least he didn't need to impress her - since she's part of Aaron's church, it's not like there are going to be tense social repercussions.
                Yeah, it was all kinds of amazing to watch. Aed is something of a social juggernaut in the right circumstances, but no amount of dice stacking can help you if your luck is just that bad...

                From Aed's perspective, it was less that he needed Ciara to like him and more that he wanted the pretty young woman he'd just met to like him.

                Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                So, night after a football game?
                Would have been a great visual shorthand to use if I'd thought of it during the game. Now I'm annoyed at myself for wasting all that time with flowery language.

                Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                Dun, dun, DUNNNN!
                I was hoping to get to the Old Man's court before the end of the session, but we were about an hour late to start in the end. Hardly a poor spot to end though.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Azahul View Post
                  I'm pretty certain that parasitic wasp spirits have a reputation as easy going.


                  Originally posted by Azahul View Post
                  Yeah, it was all kinds of amazing to watch. Aed is something of a social juggernaut in the right circumstances, but no amount of dice stacking can help you if your luck is just that bad...

                  From Aed's perspective, it was less that he needed Ciara to like him and more that he wanted the pretty young woman he'd just met to like him.
                  Well, he can always try again and parley that earlier awkwardness to something endearing. Depending on his Blood/Bone, he might even get Willpower for it.

                  And if he bombs out again, everyone can mock him mercilessly.

                  Originally posted by Azahul View Post
                  I was hoping to get to the Old Man's court before the end of the session, but we were about an hour late to start in the end. Hardly a poor spot to end though.
                  Poor for closure, but a great narrative cliff-hanger.


                  Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                  Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Session 2

                    OOC: So it turns out I missed something of significance in the previous write-up. As the pack was leaving the Weeping Tree, they heard the Tree address Hope and say something to the effect of, "The Other is on Pilgrimage, traveling down Glen Road. Should we fear?" The characters weren't able to discern their Totem's response, if any.

                    The journey up the Old Man's slopes was shorter than it should be, the winding trails covering inexplicable ground and height. During the walk, Aed interrogated Hope about the "Other" the Weeping Tree had mentioned. Hope informed him that the Other was a fear spirit, Hope even considered them a cousin of sorts. They were known to wander back and forth across Belfast, seeking out neighbourhoods were tensions were on the rise and feasting on the fear wafting from the humans there.

                    Upon reaching the summit, a walk that took them little more than half an hour, the pack found themselves at the entrance to a cave that Hope referred to as "the third eye". Luna drifted just overhead, so large that she seemed to dominate the whole of the sky, only a thin wedge of darkness creeping across her eastern face. One by one they entered the cave, finding its walls adorned in thick iron chains and with simple wind chimes hanging from the ceiling. Darkness descended, and once they were out of sight of the entrance the wolves found it nigh impossible to navigate. They stumbled in the dark, disoriented by the gentle echoes of the chimes around them.

                    At long last they spotted light ahead, and emerged unsure of how much time had passed. They were standing on the lip of a great caldera, stretching several hundred metres in each direction. They knew that this was a place with no true reflection in the world of the flesh, and descended towards the Old Man's hall with caution. Great tree-like spirits, the Willow Wardens, formed the walls of the spirit court. Their interlocking branches linked together into a roof, blocking out most of the open sky above the court, bathing them in Luna's light. In their shade rested scores of the Broken, the sobbing, wretched earth spirits turning to watch the passing Uratha with barely concealed hostility.

                    At the far end of the hall stood a throne of stone. It was unworked, a seemingly natural formation creating the impression of a grand, if lopsided and asymmetrical, seat. The Old Man was seated there. He looked like a large man with dark grey skin, a ragged mane of pale moss around his head and neck. He bared his teeth at them as they approached, revealing long, wolf-like incisors. The pack could smell freshly turned earth and taste stone dust on the air, a smell they knew shouldn't be present in a spirit as ancient as the Old Man. Worse, a heat like a fever emanated from him, and they could seek cracks in the skin of the Old Man's chest.

                    So large and powerful was the ancient spirit's presence that they almost missed the scrap of flesh kneeling at his feet. It stirred at the sound of their footsteps, and they found themselves staring at an overweight, exhausted looking man. He stank of sweat and a nicotine-infused death, and greeted their arrival with a look of absolute bafflement.

                    Aed was all set to snatch the man immediately, but Aaron arrested his packmates and pressed his palms firmly into their backs, forcing them to make slight bows to the Old Man. He led the introductions, greeting the Old Man respectfully and explaining that they were on the hunt, but he hadn't gone more than a few words before he was interrupted by the human demanding to know what was going on.

                    Here, Aed's temper got the better of him. He shifted up to Dalu, and proudly declared to the human, Cliff, that they were the Harbingers of Hope, the wardens of the Black Mountain, and that he had trespassed against them. He named Cliff a murderer, and, turning his attention back to the Old Man, asked if they might remove him and conclude their hunt.

                    The Old Man considered the scene carefully. When at last he spoke, he told them that gathra had been paid. The human had come to make a request, and he was bound to consider it. He welcomed the pack to the court, however, and asked that they abide by his rules so long as they were beneath his roof.

                    Aaron then turned to Cliff, who had managed to regain some control of himself. For all his unimpressive appearance, there appeared to be steel in the human's spine. Aaron asked why he had sought to treat with spirits, even kill for them, and Cliff turned towards the Broken.

                    The story emerged slowly, haltingly, with Cliff stumbling occasionally under Aed's feral glare. He'd been working as a temp at the local quarry, and noticed that there was an accident on site every six months. They happened on the equinox, like clockwork. He did some digging, tried to be around at the site of the next "accident", and discovered that the culprits were the Broken. Twice a year they appeared to duck the Old Man's prohibition on meddling with the Flesh, and tried to eke out a little spiteful revenge on the humans they perceived as the cause of their injury. Cliff had been moved by their plight, and with some difficulty began to talk to them and learn a bit more about the world of the spirits. At long last he had come up with a suitable offering for the Old Man, so that he could convince the court's ruler to intercede. He had come to convince the Old Man to grant him the power to crush the quarry into rubble and end the Broken's suffering.

                    At around this point Regan cracked a grin and muttered to Aed, "A temp found out about spirits, figured out how to deal with them, and is trying to get the power to start an earthquake? Is it bad that I think he's a badass?"

                    Personal feelings aside, the pack was in agreement that the potential loss of life was too great. Cliff had already killed one person on his crusade, and he didn't appear too concerned at the prospect of collateral damage. Aed tried to threaten Cliff, telling him that he wouldn't live to make it out of the court, but Aaron interceded by demanding his packmate show more respect at court. Cliff looked momentarily worried, but the Broken shifting around behind him clearly gave him the strength to stand up to the angry wolfman.

                    At that, Aed seemed to come around. He conceded that he could understand Cliff's point of view, that he even wanted to help him, but that dealing with spirits should rightly be left to the pack. Cliff hesitated at that. He didn't have any reason to believe the odd group standing in front of him could actually achieve anything, but he didn't want to fight them. Aed convinced him to allow them a chance, however, and he asked the Old Man to put their bargain on hold. The Old Man agreed. The wolves had two weeks to resolve the matter of the quarry. If they succeeded, Cliff would never set foot in the Black Mountain territory again. If they didn't, whatever the Old Man and Cliff had agreed upon before their arrival would come to pass.

                    With their business resolved, Regan asked if she could have a few minutes alone with the Old Man. She hadn't met a spirit as strong as him before, and was interested in just speaking to him for a while. Aaron departed, intent on seeking out a small Glade he knew of and had been tending to. Aed and Cliff left the hall and stood with those of the Broken clustered outside. Aed returned to Hishu to wait.

                    Regan asked the Old Man if he spoke with any other great spirits. The Old Man took a while to reply, but told her that he had spoken with others in his time. Even her mother, which made Regan stiffen in shock for a few moments before she realised that he was talking about Luna. She asked him if he liked music, and he told her that he could at times appreciate the choirs of the Lunes. With his permission, she took out her walkman and stuck the headphones around his head.

                    The Old Man stared off into space, apparently listening, for a full minute. That was when Regan began to hear voices, snatches of phrases on the edge of hearing. The whispers drifted across her, growing slowly louder, and then the Other was standing in front of her as if they had always been there. They were tall, humanoid, with pale skin unmarked by any features. Only strange folds and creases in the skin marked the Other's mouths and eyes. The being appeared to turn its attention to her and reached out with a crooked left hand as in greeting. Regan cautiously grasped it to shake, and but on contact with the Other's skin she felt an almost overwhelming urge to scream. It was like something had just kicked her amygdala with an overwhelming fear response, but it was directionless, not even aimed at the Other itself. A moment later she let go of the hand, her heart racing.

                    The Other's voices spoke a fragmented greeting to the Old Man, declaring that it had come once more to the Black Mountain on pilgrimage. It was simply here to respectfully inform the Old Man of its own presence, lest that knowledge come to him through gossip or some other means, and that it would inform again when the time came to leave. The Old Man removed Regan's walkman and laid it on the floor for her to collect. He didn't appear terribly interested in the Other, but he acknowledged its presence. When the Other asked about the wolves at court, the Old Man responded with something almost like pride that the Black Mountain had a pack once again.

                    When a lull in the conversation presented itself, Regan asked the Other if they could show her how to do the fear trick it had pulled on her. The folds on the Other's face moved, perhaps it was smiling with one of its mouths? The Other conceded that it was always happy to trade. It liked to collect whispers on its pilgrimage, and if Regan could find something of interest it would perhaps grace her with a Gift. That left Regan feeling pretty smug, and she told the Other that if it should ever want to contact her then it should find her at Aed's home. She privately felt that she didn't want it turning up at her own house when her Aunt might be around, for her Aunt's sake as much as anything.

                    As suddenly as it had come, the Other was gone. Aed and Cliff returned, and the Old Man opened a chasm in the stone to serve as a gateway back to the flesh for them and Regan. Aaron, in his own time, would make his way back through the Locus at Aed's home. Cliff left them on the mountain slopes, and they each returned to their beds just before the light of dawn began to turn the sky grey.

                    The next day, around midday, the pack reassembled to try and nut out a concrete plan for closing down the quarry. They decided to begin with the accidents that Cliff had mentioned, and managed to find articles in the local paper from those dates to give them the names of those who had been injured in the three most recent accidents. They also found the name of the journalist who had written the articles, a Martin Covoney, and decided to track them down.

                    Aed knew a thing or two about small newspapers and their operations, apparently cultivated during his time in the spotlight. He managed to tee up a face to face meeting with Martin, and the pack headed off to begin this next stage of their hunt.

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                    • #11
                      Session 3

                      The arrival of a minor celebrity to push for an investigation into the local quarry clearly took Martin Covoney by surprise. Off balance as he was, he fell easy prey to Aed's force of personality, with a little help from Aed's Gifts. He coughed up a handful of names as quarry workers injured at worksite accidents in the last couple of years, and agreed that the recurring problems at the quarry might warrant some further attention from the press. He was reluctant to promise to try and get a story turned around in the four days before the next Solstice, when the wolves expected the Broken would strike at the quarry next, but in the end he found himself agreeing to do what he could to get an article out by then. The Pack's plan was to have the attention of the public on the quarry already when the next "accident" occurred.

                      The pack returned to St Hubert's to discuss how best to track the workers down. Aaron was flipping through the phone book to try and find the addresses of the injured workers when they heard a disturbance in the rafters. As one, their heads turned upwards, to see a creature that resembled a grotesquely distended bat peering down at them. It had two pairs of wings and a stretched torso to accommodate them. Its head turned completely around and its fox-like snout yawned wide to reveal rows of small, sharp teeth. It hissed down at the pack in the First Tongue.

                      "I have been sent. Eaven Cinderflesh of the Cleareyes waits on your border. She asks for an audience."

                      Of all the Pack, only Aed had spent enough time in the company of his fellow Blood Talons to recognise the pack name. The Cleareyes were a Fire-Touched pack who controlled the fields south of the Black Mountain territory. He could recall being told that they were six in number, but only four had been seen in recent months, and that they kept a handful of pet Wolfblooded. He shared this with the other members of his pack, who agreed that they had best meet with the Pure.

                      The drive down was only slightly complicated by Aed allowing Reagan to drive his car, which prompted Aaron to decide he'd be best following in his own vehicle behind them. They followed Glen Road south for a few minutes before turning west and out of the city. Here they began to sight the bat-like spirit the Cleareyes had sent as an emissary, flitting between the shade of the nearby trees, never visible in the sunlight. It led them to a copse on the southern boundary of their territory, and vanished beneath the trees. Aed, Aaron, and Reagan followed carefully.

                      Sitting in the shade was a wolf with charcoal fur, one that grew quickly into a woman at their approach. She smelled of cinders and burning ruin, her skin flushed and visibly emanating heat. Her hair, like her fur, was run through with grey even though she otherwise looked to be in her late twenties. Gentle wisps of steam rose from her exposed skin, for even in the cold of winter she appeared to feel that a simple singlet and jeans were enough to keep her warm. The singlet had another purpose as well. As the Forsaken approached her Eaven, they assumed, flared her Honour brands. That act told them that she had never taken a foe unawares, that she never lied, that she treated fairly with those she saw no need to destroy.

                      Aed took the act as the challenge it was intended as, of course. He stepped forward, a big smile on his face, and greeted her happily. They had a spirit problem in their territory, he declared, a few rogue Broken stuck fleshside causing problems, and he had hoped someone would step forward to help them deal with it. Eaven raised an eyebrow at that, but the subtle influence of Aed's Gifts and her own flared Renown worked well to make her amenable. When she spoke, in a soft, clear voice, she told them that she would happily hunt the Broken for him. She had come to warn him that the Whispers of Raul had been trespassing through the Harbingers' territory, striking at her own Pack.

                      Again, Aed was the only one who knew the local Werewolves enough to know the name. The Whispers were a pack to their north, from the neighbourhood of Blackstaff. They were Protestant wolves, he knew, but he had never met them in person. All he knew for certain was that they countered no Blood Talons among their number.

                      The news that another pack had trespassed on their land did not go over well with either Aaron or Reagan, who both felt an instinctive prickling along their spines at their news, accompanied by a building rage deep in their cores. Eaven mentioned, as if it were no big deal, that if they gave her permission to enter their land to hunt the Broken then she would happily use that access to play havoc with the Whispers too. Aaron sought to impose some limitations, but she stared him down. The Harbingers agreed, seeing it as a perfectly fair arrangement. Eaven would hunt the Broken, and any Whispers she could get her hand on, and in return she would have the run of Black Mountain.

                      Reagan, meanwhile, had been growing more and more starstruck as the conversation went on. The confidence and aplomb with which Eaven handled herself greatly impressed the younger Uratha. A strong female role model to aspire to, perhaps? When she let slip how cool she found Eaven, the Fire-Touched smiled and rested a hand on Reagan's shoulder.

                      "Should you ever wish yourself rid of the Moon-taint you bear, I would be happy to oblige," she said, eliciting a loud growl from Aaron.

                      With the agreement settled, Eaven shifted again into Urshul. Her grey-and-black fur rippled and burst into flames, and she raced forward towards Black Mountain itself.

                      "I'm sure that will be easy to explain," Aaron muttered as they watched her go.

                      The pack returned to the church and quickly tracked down the address for one of the injured miners. They went to his home, a small, orange brick affair like many of those in their corner of Andersonstown, and knocked on the door. They'd agreed that Reagan would largely take the lead, pretending that she was being chaperoned around by Father Aaron while she worked on a school project. A young woman's voice asked who it was. Father Aaron replied, and the door opened to reveal one of Reagan's classmates, a girl named Jo. Reagan switched gears smoothly and pretended instead that she was working on a community survey of some kind. Father Aaron asked if they could come in. For her part, Jo appeared to recognise Aed and seemed somewhat baffled and nervous at his presence. She let them all inside, into the living room, and went to get her dad. Looking around the small living room, the pack could see just two old armchairs pulled up opposite the television, without anywhere for the rest of them to sit. Aed perched on the arm of one of the armchairs, while the others stood around awkwardly.

                      Jo hurried back in, saying that her father had been sick but was getting out of bed now. She made friendly conversation with Reagan for a little bit, shooting nervous glances at Aed out of the corner of her eye the whole time, until Roger Austin walked into the room. He was a tall, rangy man with shadows under his eyes and a reddened nose, bundled up tight against the cold. He didn't bear a terribly close resemblance to his daughter, who was a bit more plump with bushy brown hair where he was darker. He greeted Father Aaron and was about to turn to Reagan when he saw Aed and froze. Aed, for his part, had been noting that one of his Diamond Man movies was in the small pile of video tapes beside the TV, and recognised the expression on Roger's face as that of a fan. He strode over, greeted Roger enthusiastically, and quickly segued into asking whether there was anything he could sign. Roger struggled to get a word in, but eventually Jo ducked out of the room and, when she returned, shyly presented Aed with a Diamond Man poster.

                      While Aed put a slightly excessive amount of effort into signing the poster, Reagan managed to sneak a few questions in. Roger had been injured about six months previously, which had made things truly difficult for him and Jo. He'd broken his leg when the brakes on one of the trucks had failed and rolled back into him. Reagan nodded along, quietly insinuating that she'd heard the conditions at the quarry were so unsafe that other workers were beginning to consider not even showing up for work until safety improved. Roger accepted this readily enough, but then started to look a little guilty and nervous. He'd gone back to work a few months after the accident, and he mentioned how grateful he was for the work. After he lost his previous job, he'd been beginning to despair at finding more work before the quarry took him on. He considered it the only way he'd kept his and Jo's heads above water the last few years. The pack all exchanged somewhat guilty looks, before thanking Roger for his help. With the dawning knowledge that their campaign was going to catch a lot of people in the crossfire, the wolves headed back to their respective homes for the night.

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                      • #12
                        Letting a Pure walk all over their Territory. Yeah, that won't have consequences.


                        Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                        Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                          Letting a Pure walk all over their Territory. Yeah, that won't have consequences.
                          "This will have consequences" is something of a recurring refrain of these first few sessions. As well it should be, I think.

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                          • #14
                            I'm just waiting to see who is going to turn Bale Hound. It seems like every one of your games, at least one player's character goes "Why not join the Dark Side?".
                            Last edited by Vent0; 07-31-2018, 05:05 AM.


                            Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                            Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                              I'm just waiting to see who is going to turn Bale Hound. It seems like every one of your games, at least one player's character goes "Why not join the Dark Side?".
                              I'll need to tell them that we've become too predictable!

                              We have actually been taking some care to make a more-functional-than-normal party this time around because we wanted to try and emphasise the pack nature of the game a little more, but we'll see if that holds up to the test of a year or so of playing. Funnily enough I think it was Demon, of all games, where everyone held true until the end (though our imagined epilogue got pretty... dysfunctional).

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