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Chronicle Report: Keepers of the Wyck

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  • Chronicle Report: Keepers of the Wyck

    So, we've just played our first session for the game and I thought I'd record it for all to read.
    This is also the first time in about 6 or 7 years that I've Played/Storytold a Mage game, so I've had to do quite a bit of reviewing.

    Just a quick note before I start. If any of my players are reading this then I ask you, please don't.
    EVERYTHING BELLOW MAY CONTAINS SPOILERS (and you wouldn't want to ruin the surprise for yourself, would you?)

    Right, let's begin.


    I'm using a hybrid of Mage Revised and M20 rules. We're using Revised Character sheets (so Resonance is a thing) and using the Rev rules for Combat, Actions, Magic, and the Sphere mechanics. We're going with M20 regarding Paradox, the updated histories for the Traditions, Conventions, and Crafts, the continuing Meta-Narrative, and also for M20's rules of Quiet since is makes a heck of a lot more sense. Also, Reality Zones will be very much a thing.

    - The Paradox Storm happened and is still a thing, however it has calmed down a bit over the years and may deal Agg, Lethal, or Bashing damage depending on the role.
    - The Spirit Nuke in the Dark Umbra happened. The 6th Maelstrom has calmed down too, though visiting is just as treacherous as ever.
    - The Rouge Council stuff happened, but since the initial events things have become rather quiet. There are rumours or a new Council of Nine establishing a chantry in New Zealand, but it's not very well publicised.
    - The Technocracy is somewhat divided but not at the point of civil war. As much as they hate to admit it, NWO and Syndicate are aware of just how much they need each other and just how bad turning them into an enemy would be. It's sort of like the situation between China and Japan. They are at each other's throats, but they'll be damned if that stops them doing business with one another.

    As an aside, I've decided that Brexit came about through a power challenge between NWO and the Syndicate. NWO supported Remain while the Syndicate backed Leave. Neither side really expected the UK to leave. The only reason the Syndicate backed Leave was out of response to NWO lording over them how much more control they had over the masses. Their choosing to back the opposing campaign was more flippant display of one-upmanship than anything else, while in the middle where the other three conventions, not knowing exactly who to support.
    In the end, the Syndicate managed to prove their point a little too well.

    This is fairly relevant as this Chronicle is taking place in London


    Details of the first draft of my story can be seen on this Reddit post:

    Here's the short version:

    There's a Marauder who believes that the works of H.P. Lovecraft are real and he's living in them. When he gets particularly agitated, he'll start to see people, animals, objects, and places as Lovecraftian monsters or Other Worldly Locations. His very presence also has an effect on the Gauntlet around him, twisting and tareing it apart allowing all manor of Spirits through the tares (this, as you can imagine feeds into his delusions quite effectively).

    - He has a sister who is looking for him.
    - There are some Malfeans who wish to exploit him for his Gauntlet rending powers
    - Two Void Engineers, a R&E Scientist, and a NSC Cyborg/Boimoded Soldier, are investigating the sudden disturbances in the Dimensional Barrier.
    - A Euthantos mage begins to take notice of the Marauders effects and will try to hunt him down to give him the good death.

    Since then, my Players have finished building up their characters, and so I've had to make a number of additions, the biggest one being the Titular Keepers of the Wyck.

    The Keepers are a coven of Verbena Mages (obviously) who stay in their Chantry in London with the main goal of keeping the ways of the Verbena and the legend of the Wyck alive within the heart of the city. They do this by hosting Open Circles for Sleepers interested in Wicca and Paganism; providing a safe place for other Verbena to stay and practice, while also keeping an eye on the ever shrinking Glens in the various parks around London.
    They have also been infiltrated by a Nephandus. They are a trusted member of the Coven, and they use their influence to bring out the more negative side of this group. Aversion to outsiders, Stubborn adherence to old customs, Internal division, and Secrecy. They also use the groups contact with sleepers to start spreading undertones of destruction within their teachings, setting up the groundwork for something nefarious.
    None of the other Keepers suspect a thing.


    This will be a list of my Player's character's, their Sphere rankings, and a brief bit on their Backstory. All of them have Arete 3.

    Aaron Gibson: Virtual Adept Hacker
    Corr. 3, Entropy 1, Forces 2, Mind 1

    A punk hacker who thinks he knows it all. Accidentally hacked into the SchreckNET (don't ask me how) and was promptly kidnapped by Nosferatu Vamps, triggering his awakening. He was eventually rescued by a group of Virtual Adept Cyberpunks, one of whom became his Mentor.
    To this day, he's not very comfortable in enclosed spaces.

    Alfred Pendragon: Verbena Archivist
    Life 2, Mind 3, Spirit 2

    Having grown up in a coven family, his awakening came as no real shock to anyone. His grandfather took him under his wing and trained him in their ancient arts. A distant descendant of King Arthur, his family are part of a group who study the bloodline in the hopes that one day the king will return and unite England once more. He left his family for London. Mostly because he craved a greater access to genealogical records in order to better fulfil the family quest, but also so he could get away from his somewhat smothering family.
    His avatar contains a Primordial Essence, embodied as the spirit of Excalibur.

    Lydia: Verbena Moon Mage
    Entropy 2, Life 2, Spirit 2

    She lived most of her life in a small village by the west coast of Ireland. When she awakened to the magic that the moon allowed her to perform, she eventually found her way to an old witch who taught her how to cultivate her powers. But unfortunately, her studies were cut short by the dementia which slowly rotted her mentors mind, and eventually claimed her soul. Lydia had no option but to take to a nomadic life, travelling both to teach and to learn, with Luna as her guide.
    Her powers wax and wane along with the phases of the moon, and indeed her Avatar's essence contains a primordial piece of Luna herself.
    Also, probably because of this, Lydia is a bit mad. Think (appropriately enough) Luna Lovegood but with fewer reservations for hitting people.

    Sean Heath: Templar Knight and Former Soldier
    Corr. 1, Matter 3, Prime 3

    A corporal in the British Armed Forces. While touring Afghanistan, his platoon was ambushed by the Taliban. The Army Chaplin assigned to them conjured up a barrier of prime to fend them off while the soldiers gathered their barrings in time to retaliate. That moment stuck in his mind and, years after leaving the army, sought out the Chaplin, who started to train him as a Knight. He is now stationed at a Chapter house in London as a Brother, ready to do his duty.
    He is the oldest character in the group.

    Joe Hanson: Hollow One, Film Noir Detective (not a goth)
    Entropy 2, Forces 2, Mind 3

    He started out as a cop in America (State not specified, though most likely somewhere on the east coast). An investigation of a series of murders lead him to London where he came face to face with a Jhor heavy Euthanatos mage. He shot him dead just as his ex-colleague arrived to witness the scene. Although relieved that his killing would stop, she resented Hanson for denying him the good death. Since then, she's been keeping an eye on him, and is always eager to remind him what will happen if killing becomes a habit.
    He spends his days in London solving cases as a private detective.

    Helen: Order of Hermes Spy/Psychology Student
    Forces 2, Life 2, Mind 2

    Many years ago she went on a camping trip with her parents. A loud scream during the night awoke her, and she found herself alone in the tent. She started searching for her parents in the night, and found their torn up clothes discarded in the bush. Eventually she came across what seemed to be a cultist ritual with her parents tied to a stake in the centre, surrounded by hooded figures all chanting and dancing. She screamed, alerting the attention of one of the cultists who, brandishing a knife, started running towards her. She ran away and the cultist gave chase. She was almost clear of the forest until she tripped and fell. As the cultist drew near she screamed, and accidentally conjured a ring of fire around her. The light from the flames illuminated his face. It was a man with a long scar cut across his face. He disappeared into the forest. She never heard from him or her parents again, and no trace of the ritual was ever found.
    Through a family friend, she was accepted as an apprentice in the Order of Hermes, and has been studying her arts ever since.
    Due to her promise as a pupil, the Order saw fit to start training her as a spy.

    That's a total of 6 players. Out of whom, none of them have ever played Mage before, only one of them has even played Vampire. And that's not all, for two of them, this will be their first ever Tabletop Role-Playing Experience.
    What a way to return to Mage!

    As you may have noticed, none of the party have any points in Time. I'm somewhat relieved by this as I used to play a Time mage quite frequently, so I know first hand just how many headaches Time mages can cause for the ST.

    That's all for now, I'll detail the events of our first session in the next post.

    Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy

  • #2
    First thing you'll probably notice is my players backstories are wildly different, creating very different goals and personal interests for them.
    So the first challenge was to think of a not-so convoluted reason for them to be in the same room.
    I elected to go with the "It just so happened" reason. In this case, "It just so happened" that they all boarded the same carriage of a train going to London.
    I thought a good way to introduce all the characters, then, was to do a prelude showing the events that lead up to them boarding the train.



    Lydia (Moon witch) was holding a Seminar in Sheffield about Celtic history, which would eventually meander into more magical territory. In the audience was Alfred (Excalibur mage) and Helen (Spy).
    Alfred was there because of his general interest in the subject matter, and Helen was undercover as a Verbena witch with the goal of infiltrating the Keepers of the Wyck and reporting back on their activity. There was also an NPC there named Gwynn Green, a Keeper who came on the advice of one of Lydia's ex students.
    After Lydia gave a bizarre creation story about how the land came to the ocean by the will of a giant hippo in the sky, things settled down a bit and I gave her some Wyck lore to tell the rest of the group. The sort of stuff you'd see on a brief wiki article on the Wyck.

    After the seminar, all the mages stayed behind to talk with Lydia, and it turned out that Gwynn was also familiar with Alfred's grandfather. He had come here specifically to find new Verbena mages to join the Keepers as they had a few departures earlier in the year. He didn't recognise Helen at all (as he wouldn't) but chalked that up to her being from Scotland and not having many contacts up there.
    He showed them all his necklace, a golden tree pendant with a tiny amount of life enchantment upon it. All Keepers wear this pendant as a secret sign to others. He gave the three of them a miniature silver version to show them as associates, to become full members after being initiated properly. Although he business elsewhere, someone will be waiting to meet with them in London, when they arrive.
    With much to talk about, the three of them boarded the train.

    -THE CASE-

    Joe Hanson (Noir mage) was sitting in his office, when a woman knocked on the door (this is the sister). Her name was Sarah Phillips, and she was looking for her brother Edwin (not revealed yet, but he's the marauder). She gave Hanson an old photo from before their awakening and told him that the last time they were together was in a Hotel in Bedford. He had disappeared during the night and has been looking for him ever since. He takes the case and immediately travels to the hotel.
    After a bit of detective work (sneaking into security to watch footage, asking questions to the receptionist and a homeless guy outside) he deduced that Edwin left the room of his own free will, and may have entered a near by building now covered in police tape.
    Turns out there was a robbery on the night of Edwin's disappearance, in which the assailant is thought to have escaped on a train to London.
    Hanson boarded a train in lukewarm pursuit.


    Sean (Knight) was assigned the duty of escorting one of the more senior members of the Celestial Chorus who had business in the north. His job was to accompany him to Leeds, where he will be relieved and another would take over the role. The Mage in question was one Exarch Timothy Richmond, Master of the Light. During the trip, the Master spoke with Sean about a large number of things. Of note he spoke to him about a break in one of their Bedford based Chantrys. He suspects it was one of the "Pagan Heathens" that they've had a lot of trouble with in the past. The place was an utter mess and many of the people who witnessed it claim seeing strange monstrous creatures and weird transformations. Curiously, the only thing that was taken from them was a book. A fairly important book. Master Richmonds lets Sean know that if he ever gets an idea on where this book is, to try and track it down for them.
    He leaves Sean, thanking him for his company and tipping him with a few candles as Tass.
    Sean boarded the train to return to London.


    Aaron (Punk Hacker) receives a message from his mentor (Rubrix) saying he has a job for him. He needs him to go to a specific office in Leicester, use the Username and Password they got him to log into the company's intranet. He needs him to find a specific Executable file, take it and prepare to run it at exactly 10:30pm no earlier, no later. Rubrix avoids giving details about the what's going on, stating that the less he knew, the better. Oh, and teleporting would be a really bad idea since that can be traced, and the last thing he'd want is to lead them back to his home.
    He makes to the company, and finding security to be quite tight, he just teleports himself from the gate into the building. After getting to the breakroom and pulling out his laptop, he gets to work. He finds the files relatively easy, except there are three of them.

    He asks Rubrix which one he should take, but Rubrix is just as surprised as he is. Aaron decides just to take all three of them and hope for the best. Instead of just calling it a day and going then and there, he decided to have a little nose around. He learned that the company has something to do with the National Grid and that the login he obtained was a Mr Charles Jay Grayson, someone in middle management for Maintenance. He went through a lot of his emails but the content went over his head, mostly consisting of jargon and techno-speak.
    After a job done, he teleported back to the gate (very lucky that no one spotted him materialise before them) and got back to the station.

    This leaves us with the following situation:

    Sean gets on at Leeds
    Verbena guys at Sheffield
    Aaron at Leicester
    and Hanson at Bedford

    I'm running short on time, so I'll detail exactly what happened on that train in the next post.

    Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy


    • #3

      The session proper started with Sean (Knight) on the train. The carriage was more or less empty, with the exception of one person on the opposite end.
      The train shortly arrived in Sheffield, and the Verbena crew, Lydia (Moon), Alfred (Excalibur) and Helen (Hermetic Spy) arrive and take their seats. They get a little bit self conscious on the train, not wanting to talk openly about magic in case a sleeper hears them. Lydia even went as far as to suggest using the code word "Celery" in place of "Magic". Fair enough being cautious, but this is a Mage game, and if they don't start doing something magical, it's unlikely that Sean is going to involve himself with them. Time for a small conflict.

      The man sitting away from them starts to react painfully, he gasps, clasps at his arm, gets up, and collapses to the floor. This gets all the players attention. The Verbena crew start discussing what they should do. Alfred starts with some mundane medical procedures, but as the man's lips start to turn blue, things get a bit more frantic. Lydia and Alfred discuss what could possibly be wrong with him, and then argue for a bit about whether they should do magic to help this guy or just call the train staff to deal with it. The guy's face is now blue and Helen wastes no time and takes out her wand and causes the guy to start breathing through subtle Life and Forces manipulation. Lydia then casts a Chance Encounter ward to make it less likely that people would enter the carriage while the others do their magic.

      While this was happening, Sean slipped out for a moment to try and look for a defibrillator, though didn't find much success. He saw the others had done something...magical to keep the guy breathing, and so tried to slink back into his chair and pretend to be asleep, fooling no one.

      Alfred tended to the man while the other two started to talk about Sean. The discussion went something like this:

      Lydia: Do you think he's a sleeper?
      Helen: I don't know, maybe we should ask. (To Sean) Hello?
      Lydia: (To Helen) We can't ask him directly! Wait, (To Sean) What's your favourite flavour of ice cream? Mine's Verbena!

      They talked for a bit after this, with Sean being criticised for not helping while he maintained his stance. At least now everyone knew each other as mages.
      The man was starting to come to, the colour returning to his face. But the breathing enchantment was making it hard for him to speak, and then he started to panic. At this point Aaron (Hacker) arrived on the train and witnessed the scene. Helen eventually dismissed her enchantment, and the man began to calm again, breathing at a normal pace. Alfred lead him to the trains exit, advising he seek a doctor, and the man left just as the doors closed, leaving behind his luggage. They discussed whether or not they should open the bag or give it to lost and found. They actually spent quite a lot of time focusing on this suitcase, as well as how lost and found works.
      Aaron eventually just sat down at a seat with a table, took out his laptop and dismissed the rest of the group, keeping a close eye on the time.

      Thing's started to settle down after that. Everyone returned to their seats and kept to themselves. It was a nice little moment of peace as they travelled through the British countryside. So naturally I had to throw in some more conflict.

      A rather big guy entered the the carriage, took one look at Aaron, stood right over him, and started talking.

      Guy: You're in my seat
      Aaron: It's not reserved.
      Guy: You trying to be funny, are ya?
      Aaron: There are empty seats everywhere, get your own!
      Guy: I said this is my seat. Get out
      Aaron: No
      Guy: (In Aaron's face) I said Get. Out!
      Aaron: Fuck. You.

      The guy punched Aaron right across the face, and he retaliated with little effect. Seeing this obvious power imbalance, Sean stepped in and grabbed him from behind and tried to wrestle him to the floor. Lydia joined in, first by trying to ask the guy what was so important about that seat, then by swinging the Lost Luggage suitcase at his head when that didn't work.
      Aaron threw in a few punches, but Sean was doing everything he could to keep him restrained. Alfred mostly stayed out of it.
      Helen took out her wand again and removed as much of his kinetic energy as possible. All of a sudden, the guy felt like he was moving through treacle. He still managed to land a blow to Arron, but was rather quickly brought down by Sean. Aaron took this chance to stomp on his back.

      The guy had a really hard time getting up, all movement was laboured. He was about to get up to give Sean a punch when Hanson (Noir detective) got on the train, saw what was going on, took a sip of his hip flask and conducted a mind effect, giving this guy a feeling of peace and calm. The fight was now over.

      Hanson tried to suss out what was going on, though wasn't able to get much out of the guy.

      Guy: I don't know, I tried to sit down here, and this guy wouldn't let me, he just started at me.

      Some of the other characters started to question what this seat in particular was so important to him, this made the Guy a bit uncomfortable. He slowly made his way to leave the carriage just before the doors closed. Hanson managed to get into his mind first, however, and saw the thought "Boss ain't going to like this". Further probing got the name of the boss as "Jason".
      They were now well on their way to London. Alfread applied a salve of his own making to Aaron which should help heal his bruises a bit quicker. Everyone was talking and many of them were all wondering what the deal was with that seat.

      As they arrived in London, Aaron noticed it was 10:29, he had only 1 minute left. He frantically got on his computer, connected to the station wifi, and ran all three of the executable files. Suddenly everything went dark. All lights went out, in the train, in the station, everywhere. The only light coming from the glow of Aaron's laptop screen.

      Aaron: Did I do that?
      Hanson: Do what, exactly?

      Before this could be settled, however, a few of them realise that there was something else within the carriage with them, something spiritual. The mages that could use Forces started to turn on their "night vision", and a few of them saw what looked like a cross between a Slug, a Snake, and an Eel. Black and slimy, slivering not to far away from Sean.

      This was an Epiphling of my own creation. I called it a Fatigue Leech. Charms include Cling and Suck Energy (again, made up by me, it just means they can suck Quintessence of anyone they cling to). They are Gaffling beings of pure exhaustion, they have an insatiable thirst for energy and will find ways to suck it out of anything they find.

      ((Just so you know, I'm ruling that spirits that fall through the gauntlet are in the physical world and act as though they have materialised, but without the essence cost. That means physical stuff will hurt them, and they can hurt physical beings))

      The Leech made a jump for Sean, who tragically was both one of the only characters unable to see in the dark, and carried the most Quintessence. A lot of the others weren't too sure how to react to this. Sean made for his knife and tried to cut the creature of him, but it writhed far too hard for that. Hanson was going to punch it, but again, it thrived too much. Then, he had a rather brilliant idea. Since this creature was a being of the pure emotion: Exhaustion, perhaps filling it with the reverse emotion would neutralise it in some way.
      This idea took me completely by surprise. I never even thought of how Mind magic might affect an Emotion Epiphling. Partially because I thought the idea was so inspired, but also because it was a fairly low ranked spirit, I decided to not only allow it, but to forgo the rolling of damage dice,and just allow each damage die from the Arete roll to contribute two whole points of essence removal automatically without soak.

      Most of mind mages got to work of projecting emotions of potent Alertness. One of the mind mages (I think it was Helen. Damn there are a lot of Mind mages), projected to the Leech a feeling of Fullness, that it had enough energy for the moment. The Leech released Sean and started darting around, all the while being assaulted with pure Alertness from the others.
      Lydia tried to speak with it, but the only thing she could get out of it were the words "Energy....Energy...". This thing wasn't much for conversation.
      Aaron then grabbed the Lost Luggage suitcase, charged it up with pure momentum and threw it straight at the Leech. With it's power dwindling to nothing, the spirit let out a soft squelch as it faded away across the Gauntlet.

      They were a bit shaken, but all in all they weren't that worse for ware. They slowly stepped off the train and on to the platform. The darkness was all encompassing. The only source of light coming from the distant glow from outside, where the half moon peaked from behind the clouds. Those with night vision were able to make out a slime trail leading off around the corner. They do not know this yet, but this is the trail of a H'ruggling
      Alfred wanted to use the slime to trace some runes on the floor for...some reason (probably a Sense Spirit spell), and the ensuing Stamina roll ensured that he would never touch this stuff again.
      Aaron quickly dived back into the train to retrieve the Lost Luggage suitcase, which had now been smashed open. The only thing of note was pretty battered looking laptop with a massive dent. He took it, feeling somewhat responsible (read: Completely responsible) for its destruction.

      Not far from the slime trail was a curious lump of twisted metal. A few of the mages went over it to investigate, and immediately it sprung to life, a Pattern Spider about the size of a bicycle. Again, Lydia tried to communicate with it, though all she got was the constant mantra of "We must fix the holes, we must build the web and fix the holes". The Spider shot up and started spitting web into the air. A little mind magic was used to calm it down and eventually they realised that there was a massive gash in the gauntlet right where the Spider was spitting, and indeed where the slime trail seemed to originate.
      The party decided that if this thing closed the Gauntlet before it was on the other side, it would effectively be trapped here. Alfred pushed his senses beyond the gauntlet and looked into the penumbra. He saw the station was filled with spider webs, and pattern spiders were swarming all over them. Whatever they did, they had better do it soon. They elected to just push the spider back through the Gauntlet. The mind magic was removed, and the spider sprung up, walked up to the hole and started closing it. The other mages then charged at it, pushing the poor spider through the hole quicker than it could react.
      In the penumbra, Alfred could see the spider land, alerting the rest of the hive mind to the presence of danger. The hole was quickly sealed from the inside thereafter.

      This is where our session ended. With all the mages standing in the dark on a station with a huge slime trail leading away. Welcome to London!


      If you couldn't tell, what happened here is Edwin was at the station at the same time Aaron caused the blackout, the sudden darkness agitated his Quiet, resulting in the tares in the Gauntlet and the spirits falling through. While the mages were distracted with the Leech, Edwin ran off long before they even caught wind of his presence. Aaron's player kinda thinks he's responsible for causing the tares in the Gauntlet as well. I'm kinda curious how long he's going to think this.

      That Lost Luggage Suitcase is being seen as way more important than I anticipated. I'll have to think of reasons behind its importance is Aaron starts to fiddle around with it and access it's storage. Same goes for the Guy that they fought with.
      That's one of the things I love about storytelling this game, originally arbitrary details made just to introduce conflict can suddenly become plot hooks just because the players think it all has meaning behind it. In many ways this embodies the very meaning of Mage. They believe it's important, and thus it becomes important.

      Funnily enough, I still haven't thought up a name for the book that was stolen in the Bedford Chantry back in the Prelude. Any suggestions would be welcomed.

      Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy


      • #4
        If the thief is in Quiet then the book could be irrelevant. The players can work themselves up about what the guy intends the do with the book but when they get it he's done something to it that makes it illegible. If he's a Lovecraft reader, maybe he's just burnt the thing: he believes the chantry had some kind of kowledge that man was not meant to know, so he picked a book at random and burnt it. Maybe around him his quiet makes the book appear as the Necronomicon or something but away from him it reverts back to it's original state.

        Hell, you could have the Exarch tell them not to open and read the book. It may not even have a title. Just make sure he makes it very clear how terrible it will be if the book is read.

        I'll have to think of reasons behind its importance is Aaron starts to fiddle around with it and access it's storage. Same goes for the Guy that they fought with.
        That has all the hallmarks of a traditional red herring. Could be an interesting juxtaposition; the players are chasing a Maurader whilst themselves becoming obsessed with something completely mundane.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Michael View Post
          If the thief is in Quiet then the book could be irrelevant. The players can work themselves up about what the guy intends the do with the book but when they get it he's done something to it that makes it illegible. If he's a Lovecraft reader, maybe he's just burnt the thing: he believes the chantry had some kind of kowledge that man was not meant to know, so he picked a book at random and burnt it. Maybe around him his quiet makes the book appear as the Necronomicon or something but away from him it reverts back to it's original state.

          Hell, you could have the Exarch tell them not to open and read the book. It may not even have a title. Just make sure he makes it very clear how terrible it will be if the book is read.
          That would certainly be true for the Marauder, and I do indeed plan for him to transform the book into some kind of other worldly ancient text. But it needs to be important to the Choristers, it also gives the Knight a reason to look for this guy. If all else fails I can just make it a new edition print copy of The Theophanies.

          Originally posted by Michael View Post
          That has all the hallmarks of a traditional red herring. Could be an interesting juxtaposition; the players are chasing a Maurader whilst themselves becoming obsessed with something completely mundane.
          That's certainly true. One idea I had was that the mages interrupted what was supposed to be a simple drop-of exchange. The Lost Luggage guy was going to sit there and wait until he saw someone sit by the window on that particular seat. He'd then leave the suitcase under the chair for the Big Guy to take and return to his boss.
          Except the guy got a heart attack and was so shaken that all thoughts of this left his mind.

          This would give an explanation as to why the Big Guy wanted to sit in this particular seat, with the smarm of Aaron being the trigger for violence. It could then mean that the Big Guy was some kind of Grunt for a criminal organisation, in which case there may be a link or two for the Syndicate. But all of this would have very little to do with the actual story of the Keepers and the Marauder.

          But hey, any chance to allow the players to piss off the Syndicate is always great for upping the stakes.

          Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy


          • #6
            2nd Session

            Full cast of Players here today, which include:

            Lydia: Moon Witch
            Joe Hanson: Noir Detective
            Aaron Gibson: Punk Hacker
            Helen: Hermetic Spy
            Alfred Pendragon: Excalibur Mage
            Sean Heath: Templar Knight

            Important NPCs making an appearance today:

            Edwin Phillips - our Marauder
            Camellia - Maiden Witch of the Keepers of the Wyck

            The last thing that happened is the party managed to push a Pattern Spider through a gash in the Gauntlet, which was promptly sealed. They now stand in a dark station platform with a trail of sludge leading away.

            ---CHAPTER 2: RUNNING IN THE DARK---

            The first thing everyone did was recast their "see in the dark" effects. The Force wielders (Helen, Hanson & Aaron) gave themselves heat vision. The Life mages (Alfred and Lydia) gave themselves Life Sense, allowing them to see each other, the bacteria on the sludge trail, and just how disgusting Alfred's finger was [pro tip: never touch a H'ruggling trail]. While Aaron gave himself a Corr. Matter effect to get a feel of the general area.

            After a bit of discussing about what the heck is going on, the group realise how strange it is that no one else is on the platform with them. Some of them can hear a weird scuttling sound in the distance, but aren't quite able to make it out. A few of them notice a lot of noise and commotion coming from the driver's cabin of the train. Alfred is able to deduce that there is something in there which has a human mind...sort off. It's more of a mix between human and a lower animal mind. Life magic determines that there is definitively a life pattern in there, and it isn't small.

            Aaron just opens the door and out comes out a human sized rat. Only the Life mages and the Force wielders can see this though. Sean instead is able to see the tattered remains of a train driver's uniform in the seat. Everyone now suspects that the driver has somehow been turned into a rat. Hanson improves his hearing via Forces and can pick up that scuttling again, this time he's certain that it's coming from just beyond the far wall. They go over to investigate but as they approach the wall, the noise stops. Only to come back again in waves. The wall goes off in a different direction from the sludge trail, which the life mages suspect is where the Human sized rat wondered off.

            The mages aren't too sure where to go, and a few of them go off in fairly different directions. Alfred and Lydia decide to examine the sludge a bit better. However the smell proves too much for Lydia, and as she gets close to it, she vomits. Alfred moves away from her and starts running his own investigation. The only thing he can determine, though, is that there are a large amount of lower life patterns, bacteria and the like. He decides to bottle a sample of it in case someone with greater experience can tell him more. Lydia takes a moment to gather herself, and a bit of Life magic later, is more or less back to normal.

            While that is happening, Hanson and Sean keep following the trail, soon able to see the Rat up ahead. Hanson takes a swig of his hip flask and concentrates on the Rat. It's thoughts are confused, it doesn't quite know where it is, but has a strong instinct to follow this trail. The H'ruggling is just ahead of it. Lydia and Alfred eventually catch up to them and after a few cosmology rolls, they now know exactly when this creature is [Alfred also knows exactly what he stuck his finger into, and what he now carries around in a vial, needless to say, the look on his face was beyond entertaining]. The Rat turned and stared at them while the H'ruggling moved ever closer to the Rat.

            Aaron and Helen have been preoccupied with the wall. Every now and again they can hear a flurry of movement from beyond it, and each time it follows a rise in heat, like a wave travelling across the surface of the wall. He suspects that this may be what happened to all the other people in the station, that they too have become rats and are now running around the station. He cannot find a single opening in the wall, however, though is able to determine a strange Corr. effect within the wall itself. Helen comes to the end of the wall, witch just leads to a closed shop in the station. Another wave of noise but not a sign of rat. They are just about to turn and join the others when Aaron notices a shadowy figure moving not too far from where they stood.

            Alfred tries to call out to the Rat, to tell it to move out of the way, but though it is able to comprehend his words, doesn't seem to understand the intent. Eventually with a lot of pointing and running around, Alfred is able to communicate to the Rat that the H'ruggling is just behind it. But too late as the creatures tail has become encased in putrid sludge. Lydia runs to pull the Rat out while Hanson and Sean get ready to fight this thing. Sean says a prayer and enchants his gun with prime while Hanson prepares to Mind the heck out of it. Alfred runs to help Lydia pull the Rat out. While doing this, Alfred tries to communicate with the H'ruggling, only to hear about the creatures mantra like sense of needing to absorb others and spread corruption where it can. This thing is clearly beyond reasoning. Unfortunate too, because now it's grabbed on to Alfred's foot.

            Sean starts firing his gun at it relentlessly, dealing aggravated assault after aggravated assault. Hanson, on the other hand, thinking he could do what he did with the Energy Leech to the H'ruggling, tried to give it a blast of emotion, this emotion being the very embodiment of cleanliness. All he did was anger it. Alfred was able to pull out his foot, though lost his shoe to the sludge. Lydia managed to sedate the Rat, letting it fall into a deep sleep. The creature tried to make a grab for the rat again, but Lydia pulled out her chalk and started writing runes on the ground, creating an Entropy effect to decrease this creatures accuracy. She pulled away at the Rat again and the Sludge kept slipping in its hold. The Rat was pulled a safe distance away while Sean kept shooting. Each shot sprayed the rest of the party with Sludge. All the while the H'ruggling was causing Umbraquakes, giving everyone a headache, as well as causing the mages a lot of distraction from the smell alone.

            Alfred then remembered that he could control simple life, and started directing the bacteria on the Sludge's body to eat away at the spirit, this along with a few well placed Prime enchanted bullets, along with some more mind distractions from Hanson, the creature was defeated, leaving nothing but a disgusting pile of raw sewage in its wake. There was much rejoicing.

            Aaron took chase after the figure, and Helen followed suit, not certain what they were chasing. They came unto a corridor rich with sound and heat. Aaron spoke to the man just ahead, who was patting the walls in manic fear.

            Aaron: Who are you?
            Man: Who are you!?
            Aaron: I asked you first!

            Arron approached the man

            Man: Stay Back!
            Aaron: Why?
            Man: Can't you hear them?
            Aaron: You mean this noise? Yes!
            Man: They're everywhere!
            Aaron: Do you know what's going on
            Man: Run... RUN!
            Aaron: Why?
            Man: It's the Rats in the Walls!!!

            The walls then starts to crack as the noise reaches its crescendo. Aaron uses a Force effect to speed himself up and follow the man around the corner, leaving Helen behind. She witnesses the walls crack all around her, and crumble away, allowing a torrent of rats of various sizes to spew forth. Helen ran violently in away.

            Aaron sees the man run down some kind of hole in the ground, past an open grating. He follows him down but looses him in the darkness. When he gets to the bottom he notices something very...odd... Aaron stands in a vast expanse of space, there are bones everywhere, what he thinks are human remains, all of which seem gnawed on. Some of the skeletons seem quadrupedal, yet the skulls look just as human as the rest. Further away he can make out a great number of ancient buildings that look to be standing for hundreds of years. This was definitely not the London her recalled. He tried to use his phone to Corr. and figure out where he was, but wasn't able to get anything useful. There was some very weird Corr. effects going on around him.

            He later returned to the surface and regrouped with the others along with Helen, who was frantic about the great number of rats she had just run away from. They talked about the rats for a moment, when suddenly they noticed where once the Man-sized Rat had been, there was not a Man-sized...Man. They assumed him to be the driver, now restored to human form, and proceeded to try and put his uniform on him again and replace him in the train driver's seat, hoping he'd think this all a dream.

            Aaron went to lead them back to the place where he saw the great plane of bones, but on their way, Helen noticed that where she had seen the walls crumble, no sign of damage could be seen. The walls were completely in tact, and not a single rat could be heard. Similarly the grating which Aaron passed before was firmly in place, and even after Sean melted it out of the way for him, it only lead to a maintenance shaft a few feet down. Aaron deduced that he must have stumbled into a portal into another world, and was lucky to get out before said portal closed.

            They party left the station behind, with at least half of them covered in Sludge, when the familiar clicking and beeping of a Patter Spider could be heard. This time, it was a big one, and it had a wrapped up person in its mouth, Camellia, with her Golden Tree necklace dangling in full view of the others. Both Aaron and Sean readied their guns at this thing, while Alfred tried talking to it.

            [ST Note: The way I run effects is like this: If you build a big effect, it has to go off one way or another. If you want to dismiss the effect after you set it off, then that's fine. If, however, you want to dismiss the effect before you set it off, you'll have to roll Arete equal to the number of Successes you scored in the effect, and a single failure leads to the effect going off at however many points it has left. If you want to hold off on releasing an effect, then that's a WP roll which get progressively harder with each turn you hold the effect]

            The conversation went something like this:

            Alfred: What's going on?
            PS: We must protect the web, fix the holes
            Alfred: And what does she have to do with it?
            PS: You threaten the web
            Alfred: Who? Us?
            PS: All of you!

            The PS then ensnares Lydia in a web. Helen tries to free her but ends up getting stuck herself. Aaron starts to build a fireball with his lighter while everyone else aims at the spider.

            Alfred: We're not trying to do anything to the web
            PS: There is a disturbance, reality has been broken
            Alfred: Yes, we know, and we're trying to stop it.
            PS: Stop it? You caused it. Just like this one.
            Alfred: We're not all trying to break reality, some of us try to help
            PS: We sense danger, danger from you, danger from those who break reality, harm the web. If you cause breaks in the web, then you are all the same.

            Lydia and Helen manage to free themselves, and start to try cutting away at the strands of web holding Camellia to the spider. Hanson keeps building his effect, unwilling to let it go while Alfred is still talking to it. "Whatever you're doing, Alfred, You better do it quick!"

            Alfred: Please, listen. We mean you no harm.
            PS: No harm? Then what of them (gesturing over to Hanson as he builds his fire blast effect)
            Alfred: Uhh... Self defence?
            PS: Then we must defend in kind!

            Lydia and Helen almost cut Camellia free, Hanson keeps building his effect, reaching 7 successes. He can feel the energy of his fire blast surge through him and is having a hard time keeping it still.

            Alfred: We really don't wish to harm the web or reality, really! We're mages! We just wish to help.
            PS: Mages? Mages ALWAYS harm reality!
            Lydia: That was probably not the right thing to say...

            Hanson does a WP roll to avoid letting his effect go off while Helen and Lydia tare Camellia down. Just in time as Hanson's effect sets off, dealing quite a bit of fire to the PS, and giving burns to everyone close by. Aaron and Sean start firing bullets at it while Alfred gives up talking to it and instead helps the others bring Camellia away from the PS. Sean holds it off for a while and then runs to follow the others, who are now hiding from the PS. The PS heals itself and then gives chase, though after a convoluted set of Stealth rolls, and one projected sound effect, loses them and goes off elsewhere.

            Camellia is cut free, and seems unnaturally calm all things considered. She then reveals her Necklace to be a Fetish, containing a small Spark spirit she calls Lum. She uses Lum to help light her way in the darkness and, after realising that three of these people were indeed the group of mages she was supposed to meet up with, leads the others to somewhere safe.

            They make it to Regent's Park. One of the islands in the sailing lake is a Node, and everyone gets to it via various effects (be they teleporting, conjuring giant lily pads to serve as a bridge, or just swimming across). She then informs the other verbena that this node leads to one of the ancient Pathways of the Wyck, which will take them somewhere safe in moments.

            The Verbena groups that have Spirit magic help bring everyone across into the penumbra where they are told to stay on the path. Rather disappointingly, none of the Players stray from the path.

            The Penumbra is strange in its view. Though it's dark, it seems to have it's own ambient glow, negating the need for magical ways of seeing in the dark. Those with Astral Videre (AV) include Sean, who sees the penumbra as areas of God's influence, Aaron, who sees the penumbra as strings of code and binary, and Helen, who sees the penumbra as a mixture of shapes in constant metamorphosis.
            Those with Videre Spiritus (VS) are, unsurprisingly, Alfred and Lydia, who both see roughly the same things. Spirits are clearer, Wilderness is wilder, and webs hang at many places of high technology. Lydia would see the moon as much bigger than Alfred, while Alfred can hear the songs of spirits with greater clarity.
            Those with Videre Mortem (VM) are just Hanson, and he sees the swirling maelstrom of chaos which ravages the land, peeling away at any semblance of order, leading to cracks and decay of all structures and beings.

            They came across a car accident near some switched off traffic lights (power is still completely off it seems)
            AV people saw the flames fiercely rise from them car as dark hazy shapes gather around
            VS people saw what seemed to be a spiritual entity standing away, they seem to be crying but they cannot tell what it is.
            VM people saw this entity too, but knows that they are a Wraith, they are the body that lay in the car, soon to be dragged beyond the veil.

            The next scene they encountered was a fire. A raging inferno which blazed within a building, possibly subsisting due to the lack of power.
            AV saw the great emotional resonance in the area, filled with feelings of being trapped and scared.
            VS people saw the flames filled with fire elementals who both guided and played in the blaze
            VM people saw the growing number of Wraiths doing what they could to escape the burnt building.

            They then arrived at another node. Camellia guided them to a social housing estate known as Churchill Gardens. She opened the door with the necklace, and offered the entire party a place to sleep for the night. While the power was still shut off, some were delighted to discover that the water still ran, so they could at least wash off the sludge.

            And that's where we left it. The players now asleep in unknown beds, courtesy of Camellia, the Maiden Keeper of the Wyck.

            The man was Edwin, and if you didn't know, the Lovecraft story this particular delusion was referencing was, obviously enough, "The Rats in the Walls". I thought it would be a good one to start with as it wasn't too blatantly Lovecraft, but still had all the style and tone of his work. For those of you who know how this tale ends, I'm sure you agree with what a good idea it was that Aaron left the cavern when he did.

            Also, that H'ruggling fight took forever! I was really conscious about how long it was taking because two of the players weren't involved, and so were just sitting there waiting to do something. The thing had the standard 40 Essence, and I started making it do Umbraquakes more often just so I could help cut it's health down a bit and speed things along. Part of that, I think, was because the only one who was trying to harm it was Sean with his gun, possibly because the Players were a bit confused as to how they could approach a giant pile of sentient sewage.

            The Penumbra stuff was really well received though. None of my players had ever experienced the Umbra before (though their characters may have), so I wanted to give them a taste of what the spirit world was like, and the Pathways of the Wyck seemed to provide the perfect taster session for it. Plus, I had some really eerie music playing throughout the Penumbral traversal, so the tone was thoroughly nailed, if I do say so myself.

            Next week, it seems that two of my players may not be able to attend, what's weird is that those two happen to be both True Verbena characters. I'm thinking the best way to explain this away is by having both these characters become severely sick since they had the closest contact with the H'ruggling. Depending on their availability, we may run a small session between the main ones with just the two of them to figure out what they did in the mean time. But, we'll see how that goes.

            I know that the High Priestess of the Keepers is going to be pretty angry that all these outsiders have been taken to their secret Chantry, so the next session will probably involve a heck of a lot of charisma rolls in order to get on their good side, and perhaps may require them to do a task for the Keepers to show how grateful they are for their hospitality.

            Let me know your thoughts, and if you have any suggestions.
            Last edited by Saikou; 09-04-2016, 09:39 PM.

            Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy


            • #7
              2.5 Mini-Session

              Because the players for Lydia and Alfred weren't able to make our usual weekend session this week. I thought I'd do a mini-session with them to see what they got up to while the other characters went of doing things. That just happened today.

              Cast list include:

              Lydia: Moon Witch
              Alfred: Excalibur Mage

              Important NPCs making an appearance today:

              Boris Mortimer: High Priest of the Keepers
              Granny Elm: Seer and Crone of the Keepers, she is also or Nephandi infiltrate.

              Quick note: Alfred actually has two names. His given name is Alfred, though his seldom used mage name is Uhtred. Further more, he made a small addendum to his last name.
              So, final name is this:
              Mage name: Uhtred Pendragon
              Given name: Alfred WyrmKuran

              According to his player, he wanted Alfred's last name to be reminiscent of "Pendragon" while not being obvious. So he did some name meaning checking and went like with like. However, I don't think he actually understood just how bad having a name like "Wyrm" makes you sound in the eyes of spiritual mages. Especially since he tells me that Kuran is supposed to mean "King".

              If it ever comes up, then it's going to make life interesting for him. Let me know if you think I should tell him, or let him find out in game.

              ---INTERLUDE: THE WITCH'S CARDS---

              Alfred and Lydia have been horrendously sick all morning and most of the day. While everyone else did...something...they've been in their rooms trying to recover. This is what happens when you start touching the sludge of a H'ruggling. After reaching a plateau in their illness, Alfred started making some Life charged herbal tea in an effort to help their conditions. And it worked, a few minutes sipping and they started to feel a bit better.

              It was then that they realised how alone they were, the rest of the party was nowhere to be found. They did, however, manage to find a pair of dark green Wellington Boots (also called Galoshes). Alfred decided to use one to replaced his destroyed/tainted shoe.
              There was a knock at the door, Boris had arrived to see if they were well. Brief introductions were given as Boris explained who we was, and his role in the Coven. It turned out that he was quite familiar with Alfred's grandfather, having known him personally back when they were both in Glastonbury. He was also familiar with a young Sorcerer, Rowan, who had been taught methods of magic and occult by Lydia. This was the main reason the two of them were asked to join the Keepers.

              Boris started to lead them to the ground floor and down a corridor, which made no real sense to be there, and to a fairly nondescript door. He took his golden tree pendant, pressed it against a door, and spoke in Gaelic "Blessed be the spirits who allow us entrance". They walked into an antechamber, the walls of witch was teaming with leaf-like veins, and the floor a great tapestry of roots. Even the air felt alive. A few doors were situated on the sides of the room, with a long corridor going down the middle. Boris kept the two here as he explained to them more about the Keepers.

              The Keepers of the Wyck are a group dedicated to keeping the ways of the Wyck alive within the Tehcnocratic stronghold of London. They do this by maintaining their practices, providing a safe place for other Verbena, spreading their knowledge to sleepers interested in Celtic tradition and culture as well as Wicca, and by protecting the few remaining natural Glades of London.

              Earlier in the year, two of their members had left them, more on this he didn't say, but since then they had been looking for more members to make up their coven. In order to become a member of the Keepers, a number of Rites needed to be passed first.

              They included:
              - Being a member of the Verbena tradition
              - Meeting all other resident members of the Keepers
              - Doing something to aid the intent of the Keepers
              - Travel to the Spirit Wilds
              - Meditation at their node, a tree which lies at the centre of their chantry (yes, it's an indoor tree)
              - Attending a ritual sacrifice
              - Having a Tarot reading done by Granny Elm

              There is no set order to adhere to. As long as all these criteria are satisfied, then an initiation ceremony can take place and the new initiates are welcomed into the coven.
              Initiates are free to use the resources the Keepers have, so long as they are used to aid in their efforts.

              Anyway, after Boris informs them of these facets, he describes to them their more recent trouble with a node in Hampstead Heath. An area which is due to be under some serious terraforming construction as they reorganise the lakes in something they call "flood control". The Keepers suspect that this is a cover for Technocratic neutralisation, and if they cannot stop it, they want to do anything in their power to delay it. They are then informed that Granny Elm is ready to meet with each of them individually for their reading.

              [ST NOTE: I used to practice Tarot reading quite frequently, and could quite comfortably do readings on my friends and anyone who was interested, so I know my way around a good pack of cards. One of the reasons I set up this character to use Tarot cards was so I could have an excuse to put Tarot readings in the game, and for them to act as a sort of puzzle for the players to muse over. To those of you who are familiar with Tarot, understand that I'm taking a lot of liberties with the meaning of these cards in order to satisfy the needs of the story.
              I used the Mage Tarot set, and I fixed the cards ahead of time. Random chance is fun and all, but I've got a story to tell!]

              (I recommend google searching what these cards look like, because a lot of this reading is based on the picture).

              Lydia entered the room and found Granny Elm sitting at a table. She could barely feel it, but there was a sense of power within her, as well as a vague resonance of Loss,

              GE: Lydia, I've been expecting you
              Lydia: Really?
              GE: Yes, please sit down.

              They talk for a short while, talking of Lydia's home village, and how she suspects that, even if there were more mages there, they locals are so strange in their mannerisms that none of them would consider it out of the ordinary.

              Granny Elm spreads her cards like this:

              [1] [2] [3] [4]


              .....[8] [7] [6]

              1: The self. It is LUNA (The moon). Lydia is not surprised.
              2: What you were. It is THE HERMIT.

              GE: The hermit is a character of caution. They are careful in their traversal, always certain to know where each step takes them. They move slowly but carefully.

              3: How you developed. It is THE FOOL.

              GE: The fool represents limitless potential. In this case, it may refer to your awakening, and how at the moment you realised your powers, that you were able to let go, become untethered and start your travels properly. Though with no clear direction.
              Lydia: I feel that I didn't have much direction before I awakened though.
              GE: While the Hermit is cautious, they are no less directionless than the Fool. The Hermit sees only what their light can show. If you imagine a dangerous mountain pass, the Hermit will light the path ahead of them, and only take a step they can see it safe, while the Fool simply jumps into the air. Neither one understands where they may end up.

              4: Your avatar's will. It is THE QUEEN OF DYNAMISM (Swords)

              GE: Dynamism often corresponds with understanding of the flow of the world, as do swords with intellectual pursuit. The Queen of Dynamism is someone who has attained a great deal of knowledge and has forged it into understanding. She is someone who feels confident with her experience.
              Lydia: Is this me then?
              GE: This is what your avatar wishes for you. Though that is only the literal interpretation. A more metaphysical one is the idea of understanding itself. Perhaps you wish to better understand the world around you. What is interesting is that your Avatar seems to represent Luna, and Luna has a deep association with madness. The Queen of Dynamism is certainly a force of madness herself. Even here, spirits swarm around her whispering secrets to her. Perhaps this too reflects the madness your Avatar holds dear.

              5: Your Future. It is FIVE OF QUESTING (Wands)

              Lydia: This looks like a rave.
              GE: What we see here are five people, all of whom are looking in different directions, perhaps they are searching for something, perhaps they are lost themselves. What this card refers is confusion. Perhaps a moment of confusion and frustration awaits you. How long that moment may be is not possible to say.

              6: What you desire. It is TWO OF PATTERN (Coins)

              GE: Here we have a woman who has achieved a form of balance. She is comfortable, suspended above danger as she may be, yet feels completely safe. Perhaps this is a trait you yourself wish to attain, balance in your understanding in order to wield it effectively against the oncomming confusion. The danger element links back with the Queen. Perhaps in order to attain the balance you seek, a decent into temporary madness is required.

              7: What can help you. It is TWO OF PRIMORDIALISM (Cups).

              Lydia: This one looks weird
              GE: This is a card about companionship. Here we see a woman who shares a glass with an entirely alien creature. It may be telling us that, even if the other is foreign to us, it may do us well to make peace and work with them.
              Lydia: Hanson...
              GE: Yes?
              Lydia: One of the people I met on the train. ((Noir Detective)). There's something about him I just don't like.
              GE: Is there?
              Lydia: Yeah, I don't like his attitude, so showy. And his magic, it's like a perverse mockery of everything magic really is.
              GE: Hollow one, yes?
              Lydia: Probably
              GE: Well, it takes all sorts I suppose. This card may refer to him, or it may refer to others. Perhaps even consorting with spirits.

              8: What you dread. It is THE HANGED MAN REVERSED

              Lydia: He looks rather comfortable for someone who's being hanged.
              GE: Usually the Hanged Man is where he is by choice. The card represents willing sacrifice, perhaps even martyrdom. However, when reversed, it can often be much less willing.
              Lydia: I dread being sacrificed?
              GE: Perhaps, though the more metaphysical meaning of this card is that of Paradox itself. Do you find yourself turning away from using vulgar magic?
              Lydia: Well, yes. I think it's a bit arrogant to just shoot vulgar effects around.
              GE: Our magic is not truly vulgar. There is nothing more natural than the techniques we employ. There was a time, long ago, when the spirit world and the mundane world were one. This is the time that we try to bring back, the very roots of reality, when magic and nature were but a single force. The only reason what we do is vulgar is because of them. The Technocracy. Their efforts have forced us to adhere to their beliefs. Do not be ashamed of your magic. Vulgar or otherwise, as to cast it helps in bringing the world back to where it should rightfully be. Wield your magic with pride and purpose.

              9: What can harm you. It is FIVE OF PATTERN (coins)

              GE: Impoverishment. Losing liberty in some form. Perhaps even capture. At a metaphysical level this may refer to your fear of paradox, and how said fear imposes a limit to your capability. However, there may be a more literal meaning. This man. He is captured in a technocratic stronghold. You can see that by the clothes he wears, and the technology that surrounds him.
              Lydia: And this can harm me?
              GE: If you were to be captured by the Technocrats, there's no telling what might happen to you.

              10: The Unexpected. It is THREE OF PATTERN (coins)

              GE: Interesting...
              Lydia: Is she painting the moon?
              GE: Perhaps yes, but she is being watched by two men in the shadows.
              Lydia: They look like Technocrats.
              GE: Tell me Lydia, have you done any magic that has involved drawing or painting?
              Lydia: Not really. Well, I did draw some runes on the floor in chalk.
              GE: Perhaps this card is indicating that these runes have been seen.
              Lydia: So is it telling me not to use runes? Or that I should rub them out when I'm done?
              GE: This card does not necessarily suggest instruction, danger, favour, or even events that have happened, are happening, or have yet to happen. Only what is.
              Lydia: What does that mean?
              GE: This card may be simply informing that your runes have been seen.
              Lydia: By technocrats?
              GE: It would appear so.

              Lydia: So, What should I do now?
              GE: The cards do not offer instruction, only guidance. You will have to decide what to do next by yourself.

              Wow... This write up is taking a lot longer than I thought it would, and I've only reached the half way point!
              I'll continue the rest of this write up tomorrow.
              Last edited by Saikou; 09-09-2016, 07:13 AM.

              Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy


              • #8

                Lydia returned to the Antechamber, swaping with Alfred. He was less able to sense Grany Elm's ressonance, but was able to feel her power. They talk for a bit and Granny Elm learns that Alfred was once a member of a small family coven in Cornwall before he left for London. As before, she laid out the cards in the same spread.

                1: The self. It is ACE OF DYNAMISM (Sword).

                GE: Ace cards allude to beginnings. The Ace of Dynamism is a powerful point of initial force and a presence of will. It can also refer to the Avatar, the powerful force that drive you.
                Alfred: avatar...
                GE: Yes?
                Alfred: It takes the form of Excalibur...
                GE: Then perhaps this card has a more literal meaning behind it too.

                2: What you were. It is THE EMPRESS REVERSED.

                GE: The Empress is a common card for Verbena to see, as it in part represents the entire tradition. However, there is also a sentiment of nurturing, and of motherly care. When reversed, this meaning is distorted to one of smothering, of being held back within kind and overbearing environment. Perhaps it refers to your life with your family.
                Alfred: Perhaps...yes.

                3: How you developed. It is SIX OF DYNAMISM (Sword).

                GE: Voyage. Here we see a man on a boat travelling towards a cold and ominous city, yet in his boat you can see a unicorn. He takes part of his mysticism with him as he travels to new and difficult places. This could certainly be your travel away from your overbearing coven and towards London. This journey was an important step for you as it has shaped you into who you are today.

                4: Your avatar's will. It is SEVEN OF QUESTING (Wands).

                GE: Valour. A need for strength, but more towards standing your ground and being resolute. Perhaps your avatar wishes you hold more integrity in your actions. Your avatar is a sword after all, and a sword is designed for direct combat, so being passive may lead to conflict.

                5: Your Future. It is JUSTICE REVERSED

                GE: Ah... Injustice, perhaps against you or inflicted by you, it is difficult to say. Though it may also refer to prejudice. Perhaps prejudice against yourself.
                Alfred: Like that spider...
                GE: The spider?
                Alfred: Last night I was talking with the pattern spider that attacked Camellia, it seemed very prejudiced against mages...
                GE: Pattern spiders are notoriously difficult to reason with, especially for those that do not acknowledge technology as an authority.
                Alfred: They probably get on well with the technocracy then.
                GE: Not quite. The Technocracy have no real dealing with them. They tend to deny the existence of spirits entirely. This means that when beset by spirits, of course, they are completely unable to cope.
                Alfred: What a strange thing to deny...

                6: What you desire. It is KING OF PRIMORDIALISM (Cups).

                GE: The primordial king, a man in control of his emotions, able and ready to teach others in kind. This may be the ideal that you seek, a source of control over your avatar's wishes and your own. One must accept their own feelings before they can control them.
                Alfred: You say you know my grandfather?
                GE: I know of him, yes...
                Alfred: Then surely you know our quest, to seek King Arthur.
                GE: Then indeed, this may be your primordial king. A many of greatness lost in the annals of history. The seas of time. Surrounded by mythical beasts and monstrous stories with no clear answer between truth and tale. An idea floating on the edge of oblivion.

                7: What can help you. It is SIX OF PATTERN (Coins).

                GE: What do you see when you look at this man?
                Alfred: He looks like a trickster...
                GE: Perhaps, but this card symbolises generosity. The main is dropping coins down to another. Do you notice the symbol on his clothes? It is that of the Technocratic Union, taken literally, this may mean that the generosity of a technocrat may be in you favour.
                Alfred: You mean a technocrat might defect?
                GE: Perhaps, though I cannot say. I am uncertain what punishments Technocrats have for defection... Taken metaphysically, it may mean that you yourself must extend an arm of generosity to something in need.

                8: What you dread. It is FOUR OF PATTERN (Coins) REVERSED.

                GE: A man surrounded by a universe of stars. The card depicts the idea of inheritance, but in the reverse state, shows this as more of a burden than a boon. Perhaps you dread the expectations laid upon to find your primordial king. Perhaps you fear to be unworthy of your Avatar's legacy.

                9: What can harm you. It is THE STAR

                GE: A mysterious card. On one level it refers to hope and trust. Perhaps a warning not to trust those around you too quickly, lest they do you harm. The star also symbolises the Umbra itself, though the umbra is always treacherous to explore...

                10: The Unexpected. It is SEVEN OF DYNAMISM (SwordS) REVERSED.

                GE: Hmm... This man, what do you see?
                Alfred: Burns... Like he has a lot of burns on him.
                GE: He bares the mark of the Marauders, indeed dynamism is well associated with the mad. You see this figure walking a tightrope, to continue is a fool's task, but to turn back is even more dangerous. He is trapped along his path, with oblivion awaiting the faintest slip. Perhaps this marauder is one you may need to show generosity towards in order to further your goal to seek your primordial king. The reverse meaning of this card is that of betrayal. Perhaps there is someone about your group of whom your trust should not be granted...

                Before Alfred left, Granny Elm informed him that he was always welcome to seek her advice if he ever needed to.

                Alfred was led back to the Antechamber, and the two of them talked for a short while about what they experienced, though neither spoke directly about their own fortunes. Boris appears, and for the first time they notice that he has what seems like a scar going right across his face. They ask him to give them a bit more time to process what Granny Elm had told them.
                Lydia wished to consult with Luna, and started meditating into a trance like state.

                Before her, a silvery woman appeared. This is a rough account of what happened.

                Lydia: Sup Luna
                Luna: Hey
                Lydia: What do you think of all this?
                Luna: It's certainly a lot.
                Lydia: Do you think any of it has something to do with the blackout last night?
                Luna: It may do
                Lydia: And the rips in the gauntlet and the spiders coming through? Do you think it's all connected?
                Luna: Maybe they are connected, but I don't think they share a cause.
                Lydia: If they are connected, then surely what ever caused one then caused the other.
                Luna: They one triggered the other, but the root cause would only start the one.
                Lydia: Like a chain of events then?
                Luna: Yes, like that.

                Lydia: Is darkness a sign of something bad?
                Luna: Not necessarily
                Lydia: Do you think darkness is something to worry about?
                Luna: I live in the darkness, and all my children thrive in the night.
                Lydia: There's so much negative symbolism for darkness. Maybe that's just the technocracy though, turning the dark into something bad.
                Luna: That would make sense, the Technocracy provide their lights and tell the sleepers to avoid the dark by using them.
                Lydia: And then they avoid the dark...

                Lydia: What do you think of Hanson?
                Luna: He's a dick, isn't he?
                Lydia: (laugh) I'm glad someone agrees with me. He subverts magic with his flippant approach, making it all so meaningless.
                Luna: What about the computer guy?
                Lydia: He's ok. He takes Technocratic tools and subverts them to make magic. I like that.
                Luna: I see.

                (Luna starts to fade away)
                Lydia: Before you go, tell, what do you think I should do now?
                Luna: Keep an eye on the people you met..

                While this is happening, Alfred decided to follow suit. He takes a few of his wooden runes, cuts his hand and fiddles with the runes in his own blood. Eventually he too enters a trance. In his hand he can feel the hilt of the sword Excalibur.

                Ex: Uthred!
                Alfred: Excalibur...
                Ex: Speak!
                Alfred: Yes, well. I know we don't get on too well. You're the singing sword and I have yet to make you sing...
                Ex: I only sing for those worthy enough to wield me.
                Alfred: Are you saying I'm not worthy?
                Ex: Fool! How can one proclaim worthiness without honour?
                Alfred: I'm a scholar, not a warrior. I didn't choose to have you in my head.
                Ex: Nor did I choose you.
                Alfred: So we're stuck with each other. We might as well get along.
                Ex: Honour is not owed by birthright.
                Alfred: I know a lot of scholars who would disagree with you!
                Ex: Honour has to be earned!
                Alfred: And how do I get honour? How to I become worthy?
                Ex: Did Arthur ask the Lady of the lake is he was worthy of me? Did they ask the sword in the stone? No, they took the sword and claimed their honour. It is not for me to explain to you how honour works!
                Alfred: So what am I supposed to do? If I don't know what you expect then how can I possibly-
                Ex: You're rambling...
                Alfred: Right... I'm sorry to have troubled you.

                The sword fades away from Alfred's hand, as he drops his runes to the ground.

                The two talk for a short while. Lydia consoling Alfred, thinking it not right for a Mage to be on bad terms with their Avatar. He explains to her a bit about Arthurian legend, and she to him on what she believes about the relationship between sleepers and magic. After talking, they both realise that neither of them is particularly sure about what to do next. They both felt a connection with the few people they met of the keepers, and Lydia certainly felt a connection with Granny Elm. That she was the only person so far to understand her.

                This is where we left their story, to resume in a week, after I find out what happened with the other four.
                That's going to happen this Saturday, so I'll report on it then.


                This one reminded my why I love running two player sessions. You have a lot more time to focus one the individual aspects of the characters, delving into the idiosyncrasies of their paradigm, their avatar, and their general place in the world. It was much slower paced compared to the previous, more action focused sessions, and I like that. Further more, I think it was good for these Verbena to have some time for a quasi-philosophical discussion about the nature of magic, the Keepers, and where they felt they stood in all of this.

                Lydia's player is the one with the least amount of RP experience out of everyone. I noticed that she was the least willing to use vulgar effects, and I think this might have been because I overemphasised a bit how dangerous paradox can be when it builds up. Part of this was to try and encourage her to be a bit more bold with her magic. After all, if you're not dipping into vulgar magic when you really need it, are you really a mage?

                Something that struck me as funny was what Alfred's player remarked out of character at the end of his Sword talk.
                Him: So Excalibur is a dick who prefers actions over words?
                Me: Swords have always been phallic symbols...
                Him: Ha, clever. But yeah, he wants me to become worthy but won't tell me what becoming worthy entails...
                Me: Welcome to primordial avatars! Cryptic bastards, aren't they?

                Granny Elm is playing the long game here. Her goals are to be genuinely useful and insightful for these mages. She wishes to gain their trust, and if they start relying on her to help them with knowing what to do or where to go next, so much the better. Even if she can't become the crutch they rely on, she intends to give each mage this feeling of being able to truly "get" them unlike any others around them. That's when she'll start to lead them astray, tell them what they want to hear instead of what they need. Get them to do things which inadvertently further her own goals. If they isolate themselves in the process, so much the easier to turn them. Otherwise she'll just play it out as long as she can until, by the time they've realised what's going on, it's too late.
                Last edited by Saikou; 09-09-2016, 10:51 AM.

                Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy


                • #9
                  3rd Session

                  Oh boy... I did not expect what happened today.

                  Here's the cast list:

                  Helen: Hermetic Spy
                  Joe Hanson: Noir Detective
                  Sean Heath: Templar Knight
                  Aaron Gibson: Punk Hacker

                  Notable NPCs include:

                  Violet Dubois: Euthanatos Assassin from afar

                  Keepers of the Wyck
                  Vivian Porter: High Priestess
                  Camellia: Maiden
                  Mica Rose: Technowitch
                  Kael Bartimaeus: Crafter of Talismans

                  Lance Armstrong: R&E Scientist of the Void Engineers
                  Hector Howard: Cybernetic Biomod NSC Soldier of the Void Engineers

                  This is all happening while Alfred and Lydia are doing their stuff. Oh the things they've missed...

                  ---CHAPTER 3: ZENO'S PARADOX---

                  It was the early morning. Most people were still asleep, trying to recover after their night at the station. Except Hanson. He never needed much sleep. He looked around. The place was a fairly unremarkable flat. Three rooms, bedroom, bathroom, and the main living space not unlike a studio apartment. He lit himself a cigarette, stood out on the narrow balcony, and stared out into the dark void of the city. He reminisced over the prior night's events. What was going on, and what did it all mean? Was any of this connected? As he watched the smoke fly, he slipped into a dream, the smoke formed pictures, strange images before him. He saw the cityscape of London, unmistakable, before it transformed into a strange and alien landscape, only to form back to familiar London. He turned on the gas stove and started brewing himself some coffee.

                  The others were slowly waking up. Helen go up and started looking around the flat, though could find little. Then she got a series of telepathic messages from her mentor.

                  Eve: Helen? This is Eve. Is everything ok?
                  Helen: I sense there is magic around here. I want to find out what it is.
                  Eve: Have you met with the Wyck yet?
                  Helen: Yes I have. Her name is Camellia, I also met two other Verbena on the way.
                  Eve: Anything to report?
                  Helen: Nothing important. Just that I found Camellia a bit suspicious. I will keep an eye on her.
                  Eve: Good, let us know if anything happens.
                  Helen: Of course.

                  [ST NOTE: The above exchange happened through the passing of covert messages, none of the other players knew what was being said]

                  Suddenly, the power returned. Hanson checked the lights, everything seemed to be working. But before he turned around, he could feel that all too familiar resonance, a feeling of rending, like the air itself had been ripped apart. She was here.

                  Violet: Good morning Detective
                  Hanson: Du Bois, spying on me again are you?
                  Violet: Have to keep my eye on any that may become...dangerous.
                  Hanson: How about that blackout? Anything to do with your guys?
                  Violet: It's certainly been keeping us busy, but no. We thought it might have been one of you lot...
                  Hanson: Figures... So you've been watching us for a while then.
                  Violet: What can I say?
                  Hanson: Perhaps why you're so obsessed with what I'm doing.
                  Violet: You denied my colleague The Good Death. I can't simply let that pass.
                  Hanson: How many others you planning on killing then?
                  Violet: We do not merely kill, Detective. But I don't expect you to understand that.
                  Hanson: I know what I understand, and I know murder when I see it.
                  Violet: We do what we need to
                  Hanson: Yeah, well so do I.
                  Violet: Careful Detective, an attitude like that can be quite, consequential.

                  They stand face to face, Violet's hand is in her pocket, unseen, but Hanson can feel a sharp edge poking into his back, as though a knife were lightly pressing against him.

                  Hanson: You certainly know how to make your point...
                  Violet: Let's hope you take it this time...

                  With that, she slices a hole into empty space with her knife and disappears between the slits.

                  Hanson: Dames...

                  Sean wakes up and starts moving around, eventually bumping into Helen. They both sense something magical just happened. Sean determines that someone may have teleported into the area, this place is not secure... Helen tries to find where the others are, only hearing a lot of vomiting from both Lydia and Alfred's rooms.
                  Meanwhile, now that the power is back, Aaron is trying with limited success to get a good wifi connection going.

                  Sean makes his way to the exit, and on his way overhears a lot of shouting. In a communal space, Vivian is shouting at Camellia for allowing outsiders to walk the paths of the Wyck straight to their Chantry Sean tries to leave but the door outside is stuck. He attempts a bit of matter manipulation, but the door somehow resists, that's when Vivian walks in on him. Vivian looks stern, but a lot younger than her voice would suggest, while Camellia looks just as calm as she had the night before. Strange considering how much of a telling off Vivian had given her.

                  She rounds everyone up and starts asking a lot of questions. Sean chooses to go by the Alias Sam, and pretends he is off the Celestial Chorus. For some reason Aaron decides to Alias up too, only with the name Rusty... This is taken less seriously. After a lot of discussing. The consensus is reached that these people helped Camellia escape the Pattern, potentially saving her life. Vivian greets Helen a bit more favourably, but tells the rest that, as they were allowed to escape using ancient pathways and given room to spend the night, they will need to show their gratitude for the Keepers hospitality. Everyone silently agrees, and Vivian leads them off to the Antechamber.

                  She briefly explains who the Keepers are and what their main purpose is. She then asks them to stay where they are for a while, while she consults with a few other members. She takes Camellia with her, down a corridor and away.

                  Helen, for whatever reason, uses this chance to start some rather blatant investigating. She opens one of the doors of the Antechamber and comes face to face with Mica.
                  Mica, who is understandably a bit confused and annoyed by the sudden disturbance, asks Helen what she's doing. Her attitude changes completely when she notices Aaron on his computer trying to get a connection. She mistakes him for a Verbena Techy (as she calls it). Really excited that she met another Verbena Techy she asks him all kinds of questions. Aaron eventually explains to her that he's not actually a Verbena, and the only Verbena here was Helen (as far as they know, anyway).

                  Mica is a bit deflated by this, but allows Aaron to enter her room to use the Wifi. Her room, it turns out, is the only part of the inner Chantry where modern technology seems to function, it is filled with oddly shaped crystals, computer parts, wires, and is about four times the size of a broom closet. She tells him that many of the other members, of which there are Seven in total (including Mica) aren't really comfortable with what she does, so they give her this tiny room and leave her to it. Preferring she leave her "toys" behind when it's time to do real magical ceremonies and rituals. Connected to the net again, Aaron tries to contact Rubrix, he responds but the connection doesn't feel secure, so he says he'll talk to him later. Before leaving, Mica and Aaron exchange Skype names (Her's being Rose_Quartz.

                  While this was happening, another keeper came around and started talking with Hanson and Sean. Kael, as it turns out, was the man responsible for the door that Sean was having such a hard time opening. They talked for a while. He explained a bit of detail on how one joins the Keepers, and a few of the rites involved. Hanson asks Kael if he has ever heard of Edwin Phillips, and that he is looking for him. Kael suggests he speak with Granny Elm who may be able to help shed some light on his question. Helen tries to sneak down the corridor, but not to far in she comes face to face with Vivian. The two of them return to the Antechamber. Vivian tells them that, after consulting with Granny Elm, that she has concluded that the visitors do not mean their Chantry direct harm. She then tells them about Hampstead Heath, and what they suspect the Technocrats are trying to do to it, and that this is currently their most pressing concern. The group makes vague noises suggesting that they will look into it, and the High Priestess gives them all Tree pendants, by which they can enter and leave the residential part of the Chantry. The pendants will glow if the Keepers wish to call on them. Vivian asks Helen to accompany them on their task.

                  The moment they leave, they pretty much disperse, planning to meet at Hampstead Heath later.

                  Aaron returns home to contact Rubrix and ask him about what the heck happened last night. Turns out he's just as clueless about the Guantlet rifts as Aaron is, and that they only intended to cause a localised power out so they could proceed with their mission. Their mission being a full scale assault against The Feed. They never intended the entire city lose power. The internet icon vividly flashes on the screen, and leads Aaron to check a few new sources. Euston station is closed pending investigation for what seems to be an occult ritual, based on runes drawn in chalk on the floor. Police are investigating.
                  Someone else comes on-line, Screen name: T-JattZ. They are not happy with Aaron, saying his conduct was sloppy and almost lost them the entire mission. T-JattZ links them to an article which talks about the blackout, and that it's being linked to Cyberterrorism.
                  One of the photos is one of Aaron, sitting in the break room of the company back in the Prelude session. The only thing masking his identity being his two points of Arcane.
                  T-JattZ makes a vague threat about how he has to shape up and cover his tracks better, and signs out.

                  Helen makes a quick call with Eve just to update her on what's going on, that she didn't have much of a chance to look around the Chantry, and that the Keepers asked her to do help them around Hampstead Heath. She asks her a little about the Node there, Eve tellers her it's a fairly powerful Node which is highly contested.

                  Hanson meets with one of his contacts in the bar. A Charls J Grayson, who works for the NWO as a sympathiser. While he wears a number of hats, he frequently deals with a lot of the clerical work that NWO require. He tells Hanson about the investigation in Euston station, the concerns about the blackout, that they think someone hacked into his own account to trigger the blackout, and that internal investigations are starting. When asked about Edwin Phillips, he is unable to answer, not aware of the name coming up in any documentation he's dealt with.

                  Sean reports back to his Chapter house, fills out a few reports, then meditates at the node in the chapel nearby. As he meditates, he hears a heavenly voice speak with him.

                  Voice: Judgement...
                  Sean: My lord?
                  Voice: Judgement must be made
                  Sean: Yes, the pagans..
                  Voice: Do not judge without reason. Thou must watch.
                  Sean: Of course, my lord... What is it I should do now?
                  Voice: Follow their request. Stay close and apply justice.
                  Sean: Yes my lord.

                  Each of them start to travel to Hampstead Heath, but as the line is suspended at Euston station, they end up having to get off early. Rather than continue on, however, they decide instead to take a look at what's happening at Euston station. The scene of the first ordeal...

                  Right, It's getting late, so I'll type the second half of the session tomorrow. Euston station is when things start to get ridiculous...

                  Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy


                  • #10
                    ---CHAPTER 3: ZENO'S PARADOX #CONTINUED#---

                    Quick thing: Just before heading off. Hanson gives himself a Day long Entropy effect, giving him a sort of Spidey Sense for danger.

                    Anyway. Hanson arrives at the station and sees the whole thing has been blocked up with police tape. A policeman on duty blokes the entrance, advising that the station was closed and that there would be a replacement bus service. Hanson started conjuring a potent mind effect. Anyone within a short - medium length radius to him would think that he is "supposed to be here". Duration of a Scene. He asked the policeman to pass through, and the constable obliged. Hanson then proceeded in taking some coffee from someone nearby, basically saying "ah thank you" and taking it with the guy thinking something like "oh, I must have been bringing it to him", just because he could...

                    He was back on the station platform, where this whole mess started. Ahead of him were two men in suits, one had a strange technological device in his hand, not unlike something you'd have seen in Ghostbusters, the other wore a bowler hat and a stern expression. This was Lance and Hector respectively, not that any of my players bothered to ask their names... Hanson walked up to them and started asking them what the situation was. Under the mind illusion, they both accepted him as being where he was supposed to, and so proceeded in talking.

                    Hanson: So what's the situation?
                    Lance: There's seems to be a number of disturbances in the Trans-Dimensional Barrier.
                    Hector: The driver of the train was in a state when found, wearing tattered clothes. Not really suitable for questioning.
                    Hanson: I see, Any idea on the source?
                    Lance: Not that I can make out...Hold on!

                    Lance's device starts beeping with a steady rhythm, they walk towards the station Hanson remembers only too well as the place the H'ruggling emerged from.

                    Lance: Here! There seems to be a high reading of ectoplasmic activity! Perhaps this trail was made by an Extra-Dimensional Entity.
                    Hanson: That makes sense, if there's a breach in the Gauntlet then anything could have gotten through
                    Hector: Yes... which group were you with?
                    Hanson: I'm just an Observer.
                    Lance: Sorry, what was your name again?

                    Hanson gives them an alias which I can't quite remember, Let's just say Sam.

                    Lance: Ah, Not sure I know you... Which convention are you with?
                    Hanson: I'm from the New World Order.

                    Yeah... Anyway, while this was all happening. Aaron was still at home, he had the other three's phone numbers, and using this was able to scry on Hanson form his computer. He was able to see the whole thing and was watching the entire time.

                    Lance: NWO? Here?
                    Hector: You've no right being here! This is Void Engineer work. There's an agreement, you guys don't get involved until we've scoped out the area.
                    Hanson: Sorry guys, you know how it is. Orders from higher up.
                    Hector: Orders to what? You keeping an eye on us? Is that it?
                    Lance: Come on, this is what they do.
                    Hanson: I'm just following orders, we've been keeping an eye on this place for a while.
                    Hector: So what are you then? Operative? You a Black Suit?
                    Lance: Didn't he say he was an Observer or something?

                    I decided that it would be an Etiquette roll to know anything abou the varrying methodologies of the Technocracy, and that only Aaron, being a Virtual Adept, would have the chance to know any of this. Aaron called Hanson on the phone, Hanson made like we was receiving a call from his superiors. Aaron was telling him how close we was to blowing his cover. He told him to tell them that he was a Watcher, which is an actual Methodology.

                    Meanwhile, Helen had arrived and was met with the same Policeman. Just as with Hanson, the man refused to let her in. Helen got out her mirror and tried to do mind magic, but instead wanted to target it straight at him, and make him think that she was a friendly and harmless person. This is what happened next:

                    Helen: Hi, can I come through?
                    Police: I'm afraid not, the station has been closed.
                    Helen: Is it an investigation?
                    Police: Yes, and there is a replacement bus service in operation.
                    Helen: I am a reporter, may I come in?
                    Police: There will be a press release scheduled once we have carried out our investigation, at which point you may ask your questions.
                    Helen: But one of my colleagues is already inside.
                    Police: Really? Who?
                    Helen: Um...

                    It was at this point that Hanson's player looked at Helen's player and started to panic a bit...

                    Helen: I don't remember his name.
                    Police: ...(what?)
                    Lady's and Gentlemen, our spy!
                    Needless to say, this doesn't go very far. Sean arrives not long after this, but doesn't see away past the policeman, so he stays out of it for the most part.

                    Back in the station. Things were not going much better.

                    Hanson: I'm a Watcher, we've been keeping an eye on this place for a while.
                    Hector: Oh really? So why didn't you report what was going on last night?
                    Hanson: Look, we weren't watching it last night, I just said we were keeping an eye on it.
                    Hector: So what were you doing instead?

                    Lance starts to fiddle with his VDAS equipment, which he wears like a watch.

                    Hanson: I'm on the look out for someone. Have you come across a Phillips? An Edwin Phillips?
                    Hector: Can't say we have...

                    Hanson's Spidey Sense is starting to kick in as Lance starts his searches, he takes a sip of his Hip-flask and causes it to short out.

                    Lance: OW! That's strange... My VDAS equipment seems to be malfunctioning.
                    Hanson: Yeah, that happens, I never use the stuff personally.
                    Lance: You're a Watcher who doesn't use VDAS?
                    Hanson: ...Yeah, a living Paradox, I know.

                    Aaron phones Hanson again, and tells him that he just better get the heck out of there, because they almost certainly know by now that somethings up.

                    Hector: Who are you?
                    Hanson: I told you who I am, now can you help me or not?
                    Hector: Who are you speaking with? If it's your supervisor, I want a word with them.

                    ​Aaron immediately hangs up the phone.

                    Hanson: Look, no big deal. I just came to ask if you new about Edwin Phillips, if not, then fine, I'll take my investigation elsewhere.
                    Hector: Hold on a moment, I think we'll need to talk a while
                    Hanson: I've got a tight schedule, maybe later.

                    All this time, Hanson has been building up a Mind effect to make them think he isn't actually there, writing furiously in his notepad and slowly backing away. Lance is phoning someone else, declaring a possible infiltrator and requesting information on the Sam alias Hanson used.
                    Hector: Well then. Send my regards to Esther.

                    Hanson stops for a moment, looks at him and senses a trap

                    Hanson: Who's Esther? Anyway, I've got to be on my way now.

                    Hector smiles as he takes a final good look at him. Hanson turns to leave, still building his effect.

                    Hector: Actually, I think you'll be coming with us, Hanson.

                    [ST NOTE: Just so you know, Hector is a Biomoded Cyborg. His biomod includes increases Strength and Dexteirty, and his cybernetic enhancements include a Primal Energy powered shield for mental manipulation (which hasn't been turned on just yet) and a Bionic Eye which allows for zoom functionality and contains an inbuilt VDAS feed. Hector has been doing a database search on Hanson for a while, first starting the Alias he gave them and getting nothing, and then focusing on his actual face. Hanson's Arcane rating made it more difficult to find him, but was able to buy enough time to find his real identity]

                    Hanson freaks out, sets off his effect, and rushes the hell out of there. In his haste, however, his effect was only able to last for the length of a scene.

                    The four of them are outside the station and walking hurriedly away towards Hampstead heath. Aaron has to recast his Virtual Scrying on Hanson again, and botches, and gets three dots of Paradox, giving him a grand and slightly concerning total of 8 points...

                    Helen isn't all that comfortable with the idea that Aaron can potentially spy on them at any time, but Hanson is quite used to being spied on by now. They don't get very far before Hector starts to pursue them. He calls out to Hanson to stop and Hanson starts to run away. Hanson tries another mind effect, but the effect is directly absorbed by Hector's enhancements. Hector warns Hanson that he will shoot if he does not stop. Helen tries some mind magic of her own, but all this does is alert his attention to her...
                    Sean is unable to keep up with Hector's pace.

                    Aaron, watching from his computer, quickly puts up his Forcebuilder programs and tries to reduce the value of Hectors momentum, stopping him dead if successful. He is not, the effect fails and paradox is provided
                    Aaron paradox count: 9
                    Undetered, he then uses his Probability Algorithms to determine the quickest route for Hanson to escape. This leads Hanson down an allyway and, in theory, climbing up a few fire exits. Before Hanson get's to the allyway, however, Hector catches up, and takes the shot.

                    Hector is a very good shot. Hanson loses 6 Health levels immediately, he collapses down in the ally, just out of sight. Hanson takes out his lighter, takes a big sip of his hipflask prepares to chuck fire at the guy the moment he arrives. Willpower is used, Quintessence is used, and Hector receives a big blast of fire right into his face. 6 levels of Aggravated damage. Hector staggers back from the impact, trips, and is knocked out.

                    Helen quickly runs to Hanson, quickly stops the bleeding, and then starts drawing shapes like crazy on his arm (using his own blood for lack of anything else). She conjures a Life 2 effect which will temporarily take away his pain for the rest of the day. He's not healed, but he'll be able to walk around without penalty for as long as the spell is active.

                    Aaron sees all of this and decides people they are going to have to disappear NOW. He takes out his phone, and starts dialling in coordinates. He teleports right next to Hanson.
                    Aaron Paradox count: 10

                    Aaron gets everyone to get together, link hands, and after a round of rolls and all his willpower used up. Teleports everyone back to his room at home.
                    Aaron Paradox count: 11.

                    8 points backlash

                    Everything seems normal. Aaron only receives a single point of burn, and everyone is relatively safe. Hanson can walk but he knows he's going to have to be seen soon or things are going to be difficult for him. It might be a good idea to return to the pagans to get back to health. Aaron gets ready to teleport again, but when he reaches for his mouse, he can't quite get to it. No matter how hard he stretches, it's always just a bit out of reach. He tries to sit down, but falls to the floor, the chair being much further away than he first though. He tries to reach for his phone but his hand doesn't get close enough to his pocket to reach.

                    Aaron: Guys.... Something's wrong! I can't touch myself!!

                    He then tries to run into the wall. The wall is much further away than he expected, and ends up running for a good 20 seconds before he bashes right into it.

                    Aaron: Ok... So I can touch things. But space is fucked...

                    Aaron gets someone to have Rubrix get on Skype, and Aaron explains to him what happened. Rubrix's only response is "Paradox is a bitch, you'll have to wait it out".

                    And that's where the session left. With these four in Aaron's room, a crippled detective, and a space screwed Hacker.

                    What a way to introduce yourself to the Technocracy.
                    I initially thought that they would only stop by Euston station and then head off to Hampstead Heath where they'd find out a bit more about the proposed works, and how they might be able to delay them. At Euston, I expected that they would just see the Technocratic investigation, and maybe be clocked by Lance and Hector. The idea being that these guys would notice the mages keep turning up at later Edwin caused investigations, and then start to become suspicious about them later.
                    However, this works too. Now they've got direct reason to approach Hanson with caution if he ever shows up again.

                    Aaron's Paradox effect is probably going to last for a while during the beginning of the first session. I'll also have it fluctuate a little. Go from having more space than he thought, to having much much less, to the point where he's having a hard time walking through doorways.
                    I might even throw Edwin in there again, make them walk through some non-euclidean streets. Make them question if it's his paradox effect causing the problems or something else.

                    Also, DAMN, Giving Hector 6 points of Dex made him pretty formidable. I get why it's called the "Wonder Stat" now.
                    Last edited by Saikou; 09-16-2016, 06:08 AM.

                    Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy


                    • #11
                      I love that Hector asks him to stop first. Your British cyborg killing machines are just more polite.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Michael View Post
                        I love that Hector asks him to stop first. Your British cyborg killing machines are just more polite.
                        Why kill if there's a chance they'll be intimidated enough to come quietly?

                        That being said, I don't think Hector will be so "polite" with Hanson if he comes across him again...

                        Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy


                        • #13
                          I'm not saying it's unreasonable, I just found the image funny. The way you wrote it made me imagine Hector running after Hanson saying 'excuse me sir, I just need a moment of your time'. The bowler hat also excentuates Britishness.

                          I know that's almost certainly not how it actually happened.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Michael View Post
                            I'm not saying it's unreasonable, I just found the image funny. The way you wrote it made me imagine Hector running after Hanson saying 'excuse me sir, I just need a moment of your time'. The bowler hat also excentuates Britishness.

                            I know that's almost certainly not how it actually happened.
                            Awesome! Also yeah, that is a pretty funny image.
                            Sorry, didn't realise what I wrote could come across as defensive. Completely not intended!

                            If you're interested, this is the music that I played as Hector approached Hanson.

                            Glad you're enjoying the story. The next session is this Sunday, so I'll have the next chapter up shortly after that.

                            Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Saikou View Post
                              If you're interested, this is the music that I played as Hector approached Hanson.
                              I can see why Hector got a fireball in the face. It's very well chosen.