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A Time of Trouble - Werewolf: The Forsaken Actual Play

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  • #46
    "Unfortunately, they hadn't been fast enough to save Aaron's eyes, but they'd grow back eventually."
    Classic.

    Aed to Scarred Beast Burning: "B#&$h, you do what I say!". Seriously, that PC's Social is a deadly weapon.

    "Orla bound the spirit to a single bullet, "
    ...What? A single bullet?

    Yay, some good thinking led to happy outcomes.

    What is with Aed? Presence 5+ or something?
    Last edited by Vent0; 11-11-2018, 11:08 PM.


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

    Comment


    • #47
      Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
      "Unfortunately, they hadn't been fast enough to save Aaron's eyes, but they'd grow back eventually."
      Classic.
      Thanks

      Specifically, Aaron is currently on 8 Aggravated damage. His first eyeball grows back once he heals 4 of that, the second eyeball heals after the other 4.

      Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
      "Orla bound the spirit to a single bullet, "
      ...What? A single bullet?
      Yeah, just the one. Given Scarred Beast Burning's nature, I was discussing with Orla and Regan's players what sort of Fetishes they could make. The spirit is basically an animalistic fear creature, so we settled on two different options. If bound to the gun, it would provide an enormous bonus to intimidation checks if fired to make a point rather than to wound (i.e. up in the air or something). If bound to a bullet, they could create a bullet with teeth that would tear into victims from the inside. The bullet is particularly durable and can be retrieved from the flesh of a victim with an extended medicine roll, and reforms itself to fit the barrel of any gun it's loaded into.

      Main problem with it is it's a bit nippy. Tries to take your fingers off as you're loading it.

      Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
      Yay, some good thinking led to happy outcomes.
      Well, first it was the RPG equivalent of random button mashing. "Let's see, new gift. Let's do this effect. And this effect. And... whoops. Uh, about that second effect...? And why was I rolling a Clash of Wills for that?"

      But yes, good thinking then followed and turned a bad thing into a very good thing.

      Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
      Aed to Scarred Beast Burning: "B#&$h, you do what I say!". Seriously, that PC's Social is a deadly weapon.

      ​What is with Aed? Presence 5+ or something?
      I want to say Presence 4, but I don't know for sure off-hand. His main advantage is, well, partly it's a player who knows the Social Maneuvering rules like the back of his hand. He's got a very high Socialise, high Persuasion and Intimidation, and then a selection of merits like Striking Looks, Fame, and Sympathetic. The latter is why he's Leveraged/Swooning with half the NPCs he's ever met, although a lot of those Conditions were resolved this session. Obviously, not all of those are useful when dealing with spirits, but he's had a good eye for gathra so far and with the Scarred Beast Burning he had no qualms about just brute forcing the roll.

      Oh, the other thing in his favour is the Voice of Glory Gift and a Socialize specialty in "Strangers". So he makes a really good First Impression, and then leverages that to allow him to complete what would ordinarily be a lengthy social maneuvering sequence in a convenient time frame. He often uses Voice of Glory twice a session, I honestly don't know if we've had one where he didn't use it at least once.

      Comment


      • #48
        To keep track, Aed has Social-Fu'd:
        • Sent a full Suthilu cave into retreat
        • Talked a Death-god into granting them power
        • Made a Spirit his bi$#h a Fetish
        • Brought peace to warring Forsaken and Pure Packs, when the Pure were clearly winning
        • ...And failed to impress a human girl.

        Oh, and random Darkness and Claimed fawn over him.


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

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
          To keep track, Aed has Social-Fu'd:
          • Sent a full Suthilu cave into retreat
          • Talked a Death-god into granting them power
          • Made a Spirit his bi$#h a Fetish
          • Brought peace to warring Forsaken and Pure Packs, when the Pure were clearly winning
          • ...And failed to impress a human girl.

          Oh, and random Darkness and Claimed fawn over him.
          A part of me finds it endlessly fascinating that my players have been more willing to talk their way through problems in this game, where they are probably as powerful as they have ever been short of Mummy, compared to any of the other games I've run.

          Aed is certainly an impressive social-fu artist though. Voice of Glory really can't be understated I think. After he defeated the Suthilu, his Glory rose up to 3. Activating it for the cost of an Essence point is like spending Willpower on every Persuasion roll. Except he can spend Willpower on top and, if he really needs it, use his Cahalith auspice ability to get +9 to a single roll. When you can leverage that you can get by with even mediocre social skills, and mediocre is not how I'd describe Aed.

          Comment


          • #50
            Session 14

            Without the worry of war with the Cleareyes, the Harbingers returned to their homes and began to relax. They spend the next few days on their own affairs. Aed began to organise a New Year's Eve party, splashing out with some of his film earnings and using his affinity for local politics to arrange the local school's hall as the set for a big public gathering. He convinced Andersonstown's pubs to supply the alcohol, and Lizzie and her band to be the entertainment. He had Regan help him put up flyers throughout their territory, and even took out an ad in the local paper.

            During a break among these activities, Aaron had his pack escort him through the Shadow so that he could recuperate in the Glade and try to restore his connection to the place. He asked Aed to escort him, and Aed asked Regan and Orla to come along to keep his entourage of minor violence spirits entertained while he was settling Aaron in safely. He told the two women that the little spirits liked being told stories, the bloodier the better, so Regan had the bright idea of just describing action scenes from Aed's movies to the spirits. They listened with rapt attention, almost too entranced to squabble among themselves. Orla, for her part, seemed just as entranced by the vivid descriptions of broken noses and shattered bones, sitting in the midst of the crowd of gremlins with an almost identical expression on her face.

            Inside the Glade, Aed propped Aaron against a tree and left him there. He asked the trees of the Glade to watch his friend, and to thank Silkenspun for the information that had led them to Cairnbreath. The trees whispered their acknowledgement, and he left promising Aaron that he'd be back to pick him up the next day.

            Unfortunately, the next day saw Aed get invited out to the pub by Lizzie, where she introduced him to the rest of the band. The afternoon's fun ran into the evening, and when Aed made his way home he had quite forgotten about Aaron. He only remembered early the next morning. He leapt out of bed and raced through the Shadow to the Glade, pulling a shirt over his head as he ran, and found a frustrated Aaron largely unaware of how much time had passed. Aed managed to play it cool and pretend he was on time, and he helped Aaron back to the Locus as Aaron bemoaned the fact that he'd been unable to restore his connection to the Glade.

            On New Year's Eve, the day of the party and the day the Harbingers were due to return to the Old Man's court and determine whether they had successfully resolved the problem of the Broken and the quarry, Aaron found himself waking to a heavy pressure on his chest and a hot breath on his face. A voice snarled at him, a voice he recalled from the tunnels beneath Blackstaff, as the wolf spirit he'd allowed to possess him named him Chainbreaker and accused him of striking at the very legend upon which Belfast's packs had been founded. Freeing Cairnbreath was a betrayal of the ancient packs, the founders who had fought to tame the Spirit Wilds around the city. Aaron kept his cool and asked why Cairnbreath had been imprisoned in the first place, for he'd seen nothing to indicate why the ancient god had been sealed away. That, the wolf refused to answer. When Aaron then asked who the wolf spirit was, he was interrupted by a knock on the door. A moment later, the pressure on his chest disappeared.

            Aaron found that Peter, his Wolf-Blooded deacon, had come to get him because a police officer was asking to speak to him. Regan had explained to him just the day before what had happened with Constable Arthur Cosgrave, so Aaron asked Peter to show the man in. Arthur was a little more calm than he'd been when Regan had spoke to him, even confronted by an oracle-like blind man claiming to be a Werewolf and, on a spiritual level, a cousin of sorts to him. Aaron explained a few of the basics of Wolf-Blooded and their relationship to the Uratha, and asked Arthur how he was coping. Arthur confessed that he was worried his position at his job would be in jeopardy soon, and that he was hearing whispers. Several times during this conversation he broke off to talk to himself. At last, Aaron asked Arthur to describe what was happening with his eye. Arthur talked about how he could sometimes feel something pushing through his eye and into anyone he made eye contact with. The sensation was impossible to truly describe, but Arthur found it deeply unpleasant. When Aaron suggested he might have developed the Evil Eye due to his Wolf-Blooded nature, Arthur finally hit his limit. He babbled some excuses and left, swearing to himself the whole way.

            In the aftermath, Aaron received a phone call from Iule. She was worried, she'd been trying to get in contact with him for the last day, but he hadn't been answering. Aaron explained that he'd been in the Shadow, and they arranged to meet on the border of their territory in around an hour. Aaron called Aed, interrupting him during a final party planning meeting with Lizzie, Regan, and Orla. Aed agreed to come and meet with Iule and to bring the rest of the pack, and told Lizzie she was in charge of the decoration budget. They didn't have a lot of cash and only a few hours to sort something out, but he wanted the night to have a rough Hollywood movie theme in his own honour.

            OOC: We called the session around then as a couple of players needed to leave. It was a nice breather given the drama and tension of the last session, but the little character moments that we spent all of this session on don't translate terribly well to how I do these write-ups sadly. Still, there's some stuff building in the background there and next session we should finally get to see some of the ongoing ramifications of the players' first Siskur-Dah, with both spying on the army occupation of the quarry and visiting the Old Man's court for a final judgement on the matter.

            And, amidst it all, a party!

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            • #51
              So after missing a session because I was out of town playing other games, we returned to the Harbingers for:

              Session 15

              With Lizzie and her crew busy preparing for the New Year's Eve party, the Harbingers collected Aaron and prepared for their meeting with the Silent Sons. Make-up and fashion advice from Aed and Regan respectively conspired to make Aaron quite difficult to recognise, in case he ran into any parishioners while wandering the streets in his eyeless condition. They made their way to the border of their territory with the Silent Sons then, to the prearranged meeting spot on Glen Road. Iule was there, and Aaron was able to introduce her to the others. The other Silent Sons were a bald, heavily tattooed man that Regan vaguely knew by reputation as a local criminal named Bull, an older man with long greying hair named Gilroy, and a voice Aaron vaguely recognised from his school days long ago as Sammie Johanesson. Those of the Harbingers with eyes could also see the reflection of pale eyes in the window of the closest building, watching them, and Iule introduced her pack's totem, Farraige the Silence in the Mist.

              The two packs moved on from introductions to discuss why they had gathered. The Silent Sons had been hunting, and been hunted in return, by a unit of soldiers operating out of the military fort in Andersonstown. The fort, code named Silver City, had recently started shifting large numbers of men and material to the Black Mountain quarry. The Sons wanted to work alongside the Harbingers to set up a watch on the fort. Nothing overt yet, they just wanted to figure out what Silver City was up to and monitor the situation. They warned the Harbingers to be on the lookout for heavily armed soldiers packing silver bullets, many of them veterans of enough fights with Uratha to have become scarred and resistant to Lunacy.

              The Harbingers were happy to help, though Aed warned that there were few members of the pack that were good enough at stealth to keep watch. Iule pointed out that, with herself as the exception, every member of the Silent Sons was an Irraka. They would be able to help the Harbingers in an emergency. She asked if the others wanted to go and take a look at the quarry now. The Harbingers unanimously agreed to allow it, but Aed said he had an errand he needed to run. The others, even Aaron, set off towards Black Mountain in the hopes of getting high enough on the slopes to see into the quarry and scope it out.

              Aed, for his part, headed across to the Cleareyes territory. His car turned into the compound in time to see all six of the Cleareyes spilling out of the different buildings, many of them shifting to Dalu in preparation for a fight. Eaven held them back from attacking when she saw who it was, but she was a little more hostile towards Aed than he expected. He'd come to invite the Cleareyes to the Andersonstown party, and was a little surprised to hear that the Pure might consider that a violation of their borders. To him, territories only existed for what he called "Werewolf business", and more mundane matters shouldn't be impacted. Nevertheless, he was able to convince Eaven to bring her most eager packmate, Aine, along to the party.

              Back on Black Mountain, Regan hoped to impress her fellow Irraka. Like them, she melted into the shadows, though the fumbling efforts of her packmates drove her to distraction and made her worry that it would reflect poorly on her. She used Pack Stalks the Prey to quiet Orla's thunderous passage through the undergrowth, and guided Aaron up the slope to the lookout point.

              They found a spot where they could all look down into the quarry. Orla and Regan were the most observant of the group, pointing out to Iule and her compatriots that there was a small tunnel in the mountainside that seemed to be the hub of activity. Stretchers and body bags lay outside it, though none appeared to be occupied. Regan also noted that barbed wire had been used liberally even inside the quarry's perimeter, as if the soldiers had prepared multiple fallback points in case their outer defences were breached.

              After a short few minutes, the two packs agreed to leave Gilroy of the Silent Sons behind on watch. The remaining members of the pack were invited to the New Year's Eve party, which they happily accepted. The Harbingers split, with Regan taking Aaron home and then heading to the corner shop where Steph worked to chat. Aunt and niece debated for a while what sort of Hollywood-themed costumes they could dig up at short notice, eventually settling on Han and Leia from the new Star Wars sequel as the best bet since they could cobble together approximately the right outfit just from what they had in their cupboards.

              Orla, for her part, wrapped herself in a white blanket and put a discarded Christmas wreath on her head and declared herself Julius Caesar.

              All of the Harbingers, save Aaron, reunited at Regan's school hall. The party was already getting started without them, with Lizzie and her band, the Broken Commitments, playing loudly at the head of the hall. Many of the more conservative members of the community were visibly put out by the music choice but the beer was flowing liberally enough that no one seemed too unhappy. Steph ran into Aed, who was wearing a Diamondman outfit taken from the set of his last movie, and they struck up a conversation complimenting each other on their outfits. Regan slipped away, spotting Orla surrounded by a group of similarly heavy drinkers and making a determined effort to get through all the kegs supplied by the local bars. Roger and Jo Austin spotted Aed's Diamondman costume and pushed their way over to him, bloating his ego considerably by exclaiming their excitement over it.

              Hours in, each of the wolves noticed a heavy thump on the roof. Independently, they all managed to sneak away from their conversations without notice or being followed. They convened outside and decided to boost Orla up to check out the roof. She found toeholds where there shouldn't have been any, hauling herself up the side of the hall with a few immense thrusts from her powerful thighs, and reached the lip in time to come nose-to-snout with something huge, winged, and covered in fur.

              Orla reacted by instinct, seizing the creature by the snout. It reared back, hauling her up onto the roof, momentarily out of sight from Regan and Aed. Before the alarm could truly register they saw the creature lift up from the roof, grappling with Orla, until it wrenched itself free far above the ground. Orla twisted in the air, barely grabbing the edge of the roof before she fell to the ground.

              Conscious of the fact that they were barely out of sight of the party, Regan and Aed circled around towards the school's oval trying to draw the creature away. They managed to get a better view of it as it circled towards them. Han and Diamondman squared off on a white field against the beast out of darkness. It had once been human, there was no doubt of that, but its nose was broken and folded up into its face by a protruding maw, and its body was covered in patches of thick, rank fur. Membranous wings connected too-thin arms down to its waist and covered a wing span almost half a dozen metres in width. It lashed at Regan with its claws, and her body shifted reflexively into Garou to keep herself conscious as those claws raked open her chest. Aed moved to flank the creature but it moved faster than either wolf could believe, dodging attacks from both wolves and slicing open Regan's gut in return. Her flesh knit together almost as quickly, but then the beast was leaping onto Aed and lifting off with him clutched in its claws.

              As they fought, the two wolves could hear the beast talking constantly. It moved its head back and forth, shaking its ears with irritation as the punk rock blasting from the hall a short distance away seemed to interfere with its hearing. The constant babble had a few clear fragments.

              "The Herald must be raised up, uplifted."
              "Blood and fire will rain from the sky. Birth a beautiful wound. Beautiful."
              "Stupid wolves. Fear the Scream of Slaughter. I will drain you, drink you whole."

              Back on the rooftop, Orla could see that her pack was in trouble. Even as she moved to assist, however, she stumbled across a duffel bag left behind by the Scream. The sound of ticking reached her ears, and she pulled it open to see a rudimentary bomb. Luckily, she was the only member of the pack that would have had any idea what to do. Vague memories of similar devices let her check quickly to see how much time she had time left, and she set to work pulling wires and working the detonator free. If she failed, she knew in the back of her mind that she would have just enough time to try and cross the gauntlet with the explosive and let it detonate there away from the people below.

              Aed slammed into the snow-covered fields and rolled onto his back with a grunt. The Scream circled and dove again, but the music from the hall only seemed to be getting louder. At the last moment the immense Suthilu veered away, screaming its frustration, and Aed had a glimpse of its blind, milky eyes. The noise was interfering with its ability to see. Cursing them loudly, the hybrid took off into the darkness, vanishing swiftly from sight.

              When the others reached the entrance to the hall, they found a happy Orla dropping to the ground beside them with a duffel bag in her hand, pleased that she'd disarmed it. Regan did a quick circle of the hall, looking for signs of any other bombs, but couldn't find any. Aed sent Orla back to his home with the bomb, hoping that it wouldn't be recognised, and then he and Regan came up with an excuse for their dishevelled state. When they went back inside, they claimed they'd been using Aed's knowledge of make-up and special effects to give Regan's clothes a blood stained affect, as if she'd just been attacked by one of the more monstrous aliens from those movies. Jo, in particular, proved hugely impressed by this.

              Aed circled around the party as the last minutes before he needed to leave ticked away. He spent some time talking to Roger, and began to understand the full scope of the hardship the Harbingers had inflicted on the community by closing down the quarry. To make it up to Roger, Aed tried to call over Martin Coveney, the local journalist, to take a picture of them together in their matching Diamondman outfits, but the man he thought was Martin turned out to be a confused man with a slight English accent with roughly the same build. Aed apologised, not recognising the man at all, and then spotted Martin a bit further away. Then, finally, he spotted Eaven leaning against a wall, watching her packmate Aine dance with some of the younger men. Aed pushed through to Aine and moved close enough to strike up a conversation. Aine's guard dropped quickly in the face of Aed's literally supernatural magnetism, and he started to ply her for information about Eaven. Aine revealed that Eaven didn't have a job, the Pure all allowed their Wolfblooded to provide for them, but she did let slip that Eaven was a big fan of dogs. They didn't keep any on the compound because of the landmines, obviously, but there was a farm run by a Wolfblooded vassal of theirs that Eaven went to in order to relax.

              Armed with this knowledge, Aed departed to flirt with Eaven with the little time he had left. He failed to notice the starstruck look Aine cast after him as he left. Eaven was a little less impressed than her packmate, but even her guard started to lower before Aed realised that he needed to leave to make the scheduled meeting with Old Man Mountain to discuss the closure of the quarry.

              He was on his way to the exit when the Silent Sons confronted him about the presence of Pure at this party. Aed persuaded them, barely, that it was an effort to keep the peace. War didn't benefit either side at the moment, and the Pure would be leaving soon anyway. The Sons seemed to buy this, but it took Aed pulling rank as as a Blood Talon to persuade them that he knew best.

              A short time later, with the party still raging, Aed, Regan, Orla, and Aaron passed into the Shadow and began their track up the slopes of Black Mountain. It was time to stand before the Old Man and see if their first ever hunt was deemed as much a success as they felt it was.

              Comment


              • #52
                That... didn't seem to end in nor lead to disaster this time. I'm impressed.


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

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                  That... didn't seem to end in nor lead to disaster this time. I'm impressed.
                  More importantly, it featured Aed dressed as a Superman knock-off squaring off against a bat-man across an icy field on New Year's Eve with punk rock blasting in the background.

                  Sometimes you get a single scene and just know you're onto a winner with a campaign.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Azahul View Post
                    More importantly, it featured Aed dressed as a Superman knock-off squaring off against a bat-man across an icy field on New Year's Eve with punk rock blasting in the background.

                    Sometimes you get a single scene and just know you're onto a winner with a campaign.
                    That, I did not know, because I wasn't up on the context.

                    Which just makes that session all the cooler.


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

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Vent0 View Post

                      That, I did not know, because I wasn't up on the context.

                      Which just makes that session all the cooler.
                      Also featured: Han Solo helping out the Superman knock-off, and Julius Caesar the bomb disposal expert.

                      It was pretty awesome. I did try to work those elements into the fight description but I might have neglected to specifically call out how darn cool the actual fight scene was and just left it to inference.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Session 16

                        The Harbingers climbed the slopes leading to the Old Man's court. In the Hisil, they could see the party lighting up the school hall in a brilliant display of light. The creeping darkness and despair they'd been accustomed to in the Shadow appeared absent for once, and they could see Luna's shifting children dancing in the skies above the Old Man's peak. When they crested the summit, minutes before midnight, they could see the entrance to the court was open once again. They passed through the darkness and its shifting cavern of chains to step out into the crater sheltering the court.

                        The changes in the court were few and subtle, but the Harbingers did notice that there were fewer Broken huddled beneath the eaves of the Willow Wardens. Those that did sit there in shadows did not wail or cry out as they watched the Uratha pass. They arrived before the Old Man's throne, with Aed keeping a sharp eye out for Clifford. The human did not appear to be anywhere in sight.

                        Regan raised her hand in greeting, and the Old Man bowed his head in acknowledgement. His gaze swept across the pack, examining each wolf in turn, but he paused when he reached Father Aaron. A moment later and he was on his feet. Never before had any of the Harbingers seen the Old Man rise from his throne, and as he stepped closer he began to shift. His jaw jutted forward, distending into a muzzle, and the mane of moss he had in place of hair flowed out across his neck and shoulders. He looked like a Werewolf shifting from Dalu to Garou, and he closed the distance between himself and Aaron in two shift strides.

                        "I took upon this duty for you, at your own request, and yet you go behind my back! Why? And how has he broken free? The chains have told me nothing!"

                        Aed reacted the fastest, asking the Old Man if this was something to do with Cairnbreath. The ancient mountain spirit took a few moments to reply, the expression on his face moving from anger to confusion. "No. What has happened to that old creature?"

                        Moving right along before that avenue of questioning could be pursued, Aaron thought of the wolf spirit he'd encountered far underground. He described it to the Old Man, who grew increasingly concerned and more than a little baffled. A moment later, the Harbingers felt the ground give out beneath them. The sensation of falling was unpleasantly familiar to Aaron and Aed, but they found themselves safely on their feet somewhere new. They were underground, the Old Man still standing before them, in a cavern the likes of which they had never seen even in all their underground delving. It stretched out into the darkness, the shadows illuminated by four torches taller than a man placed in a diamond up ahead. Each torch stood at a cardinal point, and though the fire in them remained lit they looked to be ancient constructions. Bands of bronze wrapped around crude wooden shafts, pitted and corroded with age. And in the midst of this diamond, at its centre, lay the wolf.

                        He was clearly male, an Uratha in his Garou form. He was big, larger than either Aaron or Aed in their war forms, but perhaps a little smaller than Orla. In spite of that his presence seemed to distort the entire chamber, as though he were the centre of his own gravity well. The stink of him assailed their noses, nearly overwhelming the blind Aaron in particular, who pleaded with the others to tell him what was happening. They could hear his heavy breathing, though he didn't stir at their presence. His fur was pure white, and around his limbs and torso were bound lengths of shining gold chain.

                        Aed took a wild stab at what was happening, and asked the Old Man to confirm his theory. An old wolf had gone into the Death Rage, and the Old Man had taken him here to keep him from hurting anyone. If he woke up, his rage would continue where it left off. But hearing this, the Old Man shook his head. He had begun to calm upon seeing that his prisoner was still bound, in spite of his fears. Aed's incorrect guess confused the spirit though. He asked the Harbingers why they did not know who this was, when they had been the ones to ask him to act as warden. It took a little bit of probing, but eventually they worked out that the Old Man had a pretty poor grasp of Werewolf lifespans and was confusing them with other wolves from centuries, maybe even millennia, prior. The Old Man sobered at that, and told them that this story was not his to tell. They should seek out a loremaster of their own kind, one who would know the tale.

                        And then they were all back in the Old Man's court, as suddenly as they had left. The Old Man's form shifted away from its wolfish aspect as he returned to his throne, and with a wave of his hand a fissure in the earth opened and spat out a frozen-looking Clifford. Without mention of what had happened, the Old Man asked Clifford whether he considered himself satisfied at the closure of the quarry. Clifford announced that he was, and thanked the Harbingers for doing what they had to help the spirits of the mountain. Aed, however, wasn't satisfied. He urged Clifford to turn himself in to the constabulary for the murder of the mine's foreman. At least bring closure to the man's family. This was not a suggestion that Clifford was particularly open to, and in spite of Aed's best work he couldn't convince him to do more than make an anonymous tip-off to the police so that they could locate the dead man's body. Aed wasn't helped by overly aggressive packmates, who tried to harangue and intimidate the human into following through while Aed was trying for a more emotive angle. At last Clifford thanked them one more time for what they had done, and told the Old Man that their business was concluded. Another Shadow Gateway was torn open through the earth and sent the human back to the flesh.

                        The Harbingers returned via their own locus, and held a quick meeting. They needed to give Aaron time to recover from his wounds before braving any conflicts, but Aed would do what he could to dig up information on the wolf in chains buried beneath Black Mountain. Aaron was insistent that their next hunt would be to track down the Scream of Slaughter, but he acknowledged the need to give his eyes time to regenerate.

                        Aed's best opportunity came over the next week, when he was meeting with Iule to discuss the quarry's sentry roster for the next few days. She told him that Laurence of the Symphony Cascade was the oldest Cahalith she knew in the city, but he wasn't the only other loremaster. Reynard of the Kallakalat, a Wolf Blooded, was renowned for his knowledge. Aed took this information back to Regan, and had her perform the Message Rite to send word to Reynard. They offered an invitation for him to visit the Harbingers on their own ground, and gave Aed's address.

                        School had resumed by Regan by this point, but Reynard's arrival fell upon that Saturday when the pack was already gathered at Aed's home. Reynard turned out to be an old man with tobacco-stained teeth and poor posture, but he greeted the Harbingers warmly. His attention was particularly fixed on Regan, and she saw his Adam's Apple bob nervously before he approached her. Back as stiff as it would get, Reynard held out one hand and introduced himself as Regan's grandfather. His son was Joseph Parnell, a name both Regan and Aaron immediately recognised. As they shook hands, Aaron started laughing softly to himself before exclaiming that Joseph had been the one in charge of Aaron's initiation rite into the Hunters in Darkness. Regan, for her part, struggled to process what she was hearing. She retreated into herself, backing away after mumbling a greeting in return, and the anger inside her built slowly in the background while Aed turned matters back to why they had summoned Reynard.

                        First, the Wolf Blooded made it clear that Joseph expected something in return for this favour. In return for Reynard's help, the Harbingers would be called upon in the future to offer something of equivalent value. That was a promise Aed felt comfortable making, and they settled down around Aed's kitchen table. Aed described the wolf they had seen, bound in chains of gold, and Reynard didn't take long to work out which myth they were talking about. He said the spirit Sliverbug had told him this tale, and began his story.

                        There was a time after Urfarah's fall, when the People were hunted across the Earth. The Firstborn had not yet formed the tribes, and spirits hunted the People in retribution for the Great Wolf's death. This was when a great hunter rose in Ireland, a wolf born beneath a blood-red moon. He slaughtered his way across the Hisil, binding and dominating spirit after spirit, until even the primal forces of nature had been forced to boy before him. His pack grew and grew, absorbing all others he came across, until he had unified every pack in Ireland beneath his banner. There were whispers that he was akin to a new Firstborn, and this mighty alpha heard these whispers and pondered.

                        The Celestines had grown increasingly concerned with this wolf's actions, as he and his followers scoured the Hisil bare without regard to balance. Yet Luna could not bring herself to act directly against one who had won such renown in her name. Her maddening songs of praise in his name called up the tides, raised Leviathans and mighty beasts from the ocean's depths, but the alpha slew them in turn and cast their broken bodies upon the rocky shore. Serpents shattered the cliffs and were sundered in turn. The alpha was winning even this war, against the ocean's relentless might, and the adoration of his followers turned inexorably to worship.

                        Helios watched this, and knew that something must be done. His Hellions sought out those dissenters who yet remained among the alpha's pack, and forged for them chains of gold and sunlight that could restrain even the mightiest of the Uratha. This secret brotherhood hatched a plan, to seal this champion beyond Luna's sight somewhere far beneath the earth. Their moment came at the height of the war, when the ocean spat forth its greatest champion. The stories of what happened that day are muddled, confused, and the fate of the conspirators and the ocean's champion are unknown. The ocean receded, leaving only bloated bodies in its wake, and the great pack fragmented without its leader to guide it. What is clear, however, is that the alpha was never seen again after that day, and the story of the alpha's golden chains is one that still resonates with the spirits of Belfast.

                        His story finished, Reynard made to leave. He told Regan that he hoped to see her again, and got only a surly grunt in reply. The mood in the room after his departure was somber. Reynard had that the Kallakalat would keep the actual, verified existence of the Wolf in Golden Chains a secret. For the Harbingers, they were grappling with the knowledge that their territory was sitting atop, as Aed put it, a living weapon of mass destruction.

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                        • #57
                          I enjoyed reading this session, but what gets me is that we were on the egde of an important reveal, and then everybody got distracted.


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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Teatime View Post
                            I enjoyed reading this session, but what gets me is that we were on the egde of an important reveal, and then everybody got distracted.
                            Which reveal was that?

                            Looking back I did miss a couple of potentially relevant details. Namely:

                            -Aed did take the opportunity to ask Reynard who Ur-Baal was, it was a name he'd heard a few times in the Shadow. According to Reynard the name refers to one of the Court of the Union's generals, a war spirit rumoured to have been born at the dawn of the 20th Century by the conflicts in Ireland.
                            -The characters did suss out that, based on the murals in his tomb, Cairnbreath (and the enemy spirit he was depicted fighting) were the "primal forces" mentioned as the first significant victory of the Wolf's rise to power.
                            -In case it wasn't explicit, the players did put two and two together and assumed that the wolf spirit that Aaron agreed to let possess him was likely a manifestation of the Wolf in Golden Chains of some kind. Hence the Old Man smelling the Wolf on him.

                            Also, just in case anyone needs the reminders, we've got chains as a recurring motif in Belfast (the Wolf aside, Aaron broke the chains in Cairnbreath's tomb and the entrance to the Old Man's court is decorated with a series of chains) and the Cahalith Laurence that they opted not to contact belongs to the Symphony Cascade, which is a pack Aaron heard of during the Hunter's Run in the house on Longwood Avenue (the story sung during the Run was that they had allied with Hellions and braved Helios's scorn to drive all shadow from their territory so that they could hunt a Shadow Claimed that had crossed over from Blackstaff, and the litany of thanks they gave to Helios at the end was probably the first explicit reference to the "Alpha's Golden Chains").

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Azahul View Post
                              In case it wasn't explicit, the players did put two and two together and assumed that the wolf spirit that Aaron agreed to let possess him was likely a manifestation of the Wolf in Golden Chains of some kind. Hence the Old Man smelling the Wolf on him.
                              Ah... that's the bit I missed. I assumed neither Cairnbreath nor Wolf in Golden Chains were what the Old Man was speaking about.


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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Teatime View Post
                                Ah... that's the bit I missed. I assumed neither Cairnbreath nor Wolf in Golden Chains were what the Old Man was speaking about.
                                Well, it isn't confirmed that it was why the Old Man became so riled up. The other theory was that the wolf spirit might just be an agent of the Wolf in Golden Chains. But they're pretty confident that the wolf spirit must have some connection because there aren't too many other things that Aaron has been exposed to that the rest of the pack hasn't, and the odds that the wolf that lived underground being the one linked to the werewolf kept prisoner underground seems high

                                Edit: Rereading the bit in the Old Man's court again, I can see how you got a bit confused. To break down the scene a little further, the Old Man was accusing the Harbingers of going behind his back and making deals with the Wolf in Golden Chains, which confused him because he didn't entirely understand that the Harbingers had no connection to those ancient conspirators who persuaded him to lock the Wolf away and act as warden for all these intervening centuries. That left the Old Man confused, because he'd had no sign that the Wolf's prison had been disturbed, and betrayed because he thought his old allies were going behind his back. The players eventually managed to persuade him that they were way too young to have been involved in events thousands of years ago. So yeah, that initial accusation of betrayal levelled at Aaron was all about the Wolf to begin with, the players deduced it must have something to do with the wolf spirit during that conversation.
                                Last edited by Azahul; 12-19-2018, 12:28 AM.

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