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Chronicle Report: Keepers of the Wyck

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  • #16
    4th Session
    Brace yourselves guys, this is going to be a Long one!

    Full Cast today:

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

    ((BACKSTORY UPDATE: I introduced Helen's character to the OoH Revised book, and she's been slowly going through it. We've decided that, while Helen awakened in a rather traumatic fashion, her mentor Eve has actually been very slowly and subtly training her through most of her life. While not officially indoctrinated into a school like most Hermetics, Eve has instead been teaching via philosophical musings and discussions in order to try and make her more perceptible to accepting Awakened truth through the Hermetic ideology. Once she awakened, Eve took her into the order properly, and assumed the role of her mentor officially.

    I'm thinking Eve is a member of House Jerbiton and is probably a 6th degree member of the Order and has a number of contacts, but limited political influence due to being a part of House Ex Miscellenia. Helen, by ability alone, should be either a 5th degree member, or at the very least a 4th degree. But because she didn't have an official apprenticeship, she's stuck as an Apprentice at 3rd level until she can prove herself worthy to the Order. This is the main reason she's been assigned to this spying mission. If she can provide the Order intel on this secretive group's activities and help stop any nephandic forces in the process, she will be accepted as a full member of the order and be granted the rite of a True Name.))

    Notable NPCs include:

    Keepers of the Wyck:
    Vivian Porter: High Priestess
    Boris Mortimer: High Priest
    Camellia: Maiden
    Mica Rose: Technowitch

    Edwin Philips: Our Marauder

    and introducing our Malfeans:
    Zandros: Barabbi, ex member of the Keepers
    Malady: Widderslainte, ex member of the Keepers

    Ok, let's begin


    We start with Hanson, Helen, Aaron and Sean right were we left them, in Aaron's room. With some direction, Hanson is able to get some bandages to dress his wound. Helen's magic is still preventing him from feeling pain or bleeding out. Aaron offer Hanson a new shirt since his current one is somewhat blood stained.

    Aaron's still trying to get to grips with his new Paradox flaw. He tries to figure out a way around it, like asking someone to go to his draw, get some tape and a knife (don't ask me why), and see if he can tape the knife to his arm. Problem is that it takes a long time before anyone can get near enough to touch him, and the tape doesn't seem to stick to him very well. The knife falls to the floor, and any attempt for Arron to pick it up is lengthy and arduous.
    The party decide that the best course of action is to get Hanson back to the Verbena for healing. However, Aaron thinks he'd have a hard time getting anywhere as he is, and elects to be left behind until the effects subside.

    The three of them make it to Churchill Gardens with little incident. The only thing of not happening is their train getting delayed on the underground for a while without any real announcement. Once they arrive, their use their Tree pendants to enter to mundane door and proceed to call out for help.

    Alfred and Lydia were in the middle of their heart to heart Avatar discussion when they heard the noise. They consider going up to investigate, when Vivian walks in. These three haven't met just yet, so they introduce one another. Alfred bows one he realised that she's the High Priestess, which kinda makes her a bit uncomfortable. The calling continues, they go upstairs and find the three of them. Hanson explains the Technoracy attack, and is immediately taken into the inner chantry, past the antechamber and through the corridor leading to the node room.

    This huge room could very easily be mistaken for being outdoors. The ceiling is high and dark, giving the illusion a night sky, the space is grand, not unlike a small cathedral. Around the walls, candles are dotted around to provide light, they also mark the many doors that lead to other parts. The ground itself seems awash with grass and wild flowers, is still retains the firm feel of stone when walked upon. In the centre of it all, however, is a great tree, the central node of the chantry, huge and ancient, its man branches towering up to the ceiling. If one were to sit there long enough, they would almost be able to feel the room breathing along wit the tree itself.

    Hanson is taken to an area near the trunk as the rest follow. Camellia is called for, and she comes bringing herbs, a book, and a collection of tools and instruments. Camellia gets to work crushing and mixing ingredients in a pestle and mortar as advised by the book. Vivian learns that Helen's magic is keeping Hanson from feeling pain, and she asks her to remove it as any ongoing Life effects may lead to difficulty in healing. She does and Hanson is in immediate and severe pain. He screams out in agony as Vivian removes his shirt and rolls him over to his back, where he was shot.

    There is some discussion behind what to do with the bullet. Mica is summoned in while Vivian starts to apply part of the mixture, now a fine paste. They ask Mica to remove the bullet, but she tells them that none of her things work in the node room, Vivian gets a bit frustrated with her and asks why she can't just do "Normal" magic... Mica leaves, telling Hanson to see her when they're done. Sean offers to take the bullet out himself with his knife. Hanson is still in a lot of pain but is quite understandably against the idea.
    The paste is fully applied, Vivian starts to mutter a few words that Hanson cannot understand, and after a few minutes Hanson finds himself completely healed. Hanson gets up, thanks them, and then goes with Vivian to see Mica for some Bullet Extraction.

    Alfred starts to ask Camellia about what she is doing, and she responds. She is recording within the Coven Book of Shadows, any ritual performed needs to be documented within. She's also sorting out the herbal inventory, keeping note of which herbs have been used. Alfred asks to help and the two of them end up having a very nerdy conversation about herbs. Helen listens in, but is much more interested about Book of Shadows.

    Mica takes Hanson, turns on her computer, and places two quartz crystals with wires going down them on either side of his body. She locates the bullet and tells Hanson that she's going to be trying to draw out the bullet by enhancing the vibrational frequency of the quartz crystals. Essentially, the bullet will be moved backwards through his body while the body breaks and heals itself around the emerging bullet. She reassures him however that this part won't hurt a bit.

    It hurts a lot. A few seconds later and miraculously clean bullet emerges, Hanson decides to keep it.

    Meanwhile, Aaron is starting to have a few problems. The space in his room has started to fluctuate, he bashed his elbows against both walls, and found the ceiling to be much closer than it should have been. The walls were closing in, and it was time to get out. He made a run for the doorframe which had now become so narrow that it was a literal squeeze to get through. The stairs leading out were fluctuating as well, becoming great leaps with every step. He tried to hold on to the banister, but the banister too was out of wack. Aaron ended up dangling from the side, holding on for dear life as either side became perilous pits of increasingly greater size. He managed to climb on to the banister, which had now become so wide he could stand atop it with ease. Seeing this as his only way down, Aaron carefully crawled along it, the slope started to get steeper and steeper, and his grip harder and harder to keep while traversing. He slipped, and fell from the top of the stairwell to the ground floor, which has suddenly become incredibly close.

    Aaron looked up and realise that the floor ahead of him was much more concave than it should have been, as though he say at the bottom of a giant bowl, he walked towards the door and found that it rolled into place ahead of him. Opening the door took about a full minute of pulling. Not because it was stiff, but because the door seemed to have so much more space to cover. Aaron stepped outside and look ahead.

    His flat (apartment) sat just before a small bit of green park with a few benches around. There was something distinctly non-euclidean about the scene, the surrounding buildings jutted out at weird angles, and the ground itself seemed to ebb and flow as he walked. There was a homeless guy on the bench just sleeping. Aaron elected to sit on a bench next to him. Aaron checked his phone, which was no within easy reach, and tried to determine what the heck was happening. Value for Local Space = Fucked... Aaron wondered briefly is he had been landed in a Paradox Realm or something like that. Either way, he decided to just sit there and concentrate on not dying.

    Now fully patched up, Hanson asks if he may use their Node for Quintessence, a request which is promptly denied as they are still waiting for him to help them out with the previous amount of aid they've given him. Back in the Node room, Alfred and Lydia starts to question the fake name Sean provided them with. They talk for a while, and Alfred starts to search his mind for answers. While this is going on, Lydia starts scribbling runes into the ground trying to "guess" what his true name could be. Alfred finds a memory where he was filling out a report in the Chapter House, and though is able to find his name written on the report and the military nature of it, does not yet discover that they are dealing with a Templar Knight. Lydia makes some headway, but only discovers his name probably begins with an S and both first and last names are monosyllabic. Luck can't help with everything it seems.

    It's getting late, and Hanson and Sean discuss going back to find Aaron and see if he's recovered. Sean immediately bans Hanson from leaving the Chantry as it's likely the Technocracy are searching for him, and the last thing they need is another shoot-out. Hanson makes a quick phone call to Aaron.

    Hanson: Aaron?
    Aaron: Uhh... yeah?
    Hanson: Everything ok over there?
    Aaron: Kinda...
    Hanson: What's going on?
    Aarron: ...I don't know... I'm outside on a bench, but things are getting really... weird.
    Hanson: Don't worry, Sean is coming.
    Aaron: ...ok.

    Sean leaves. Hanson and Lydia prepare to stay the nigh at the Chantry again, and leave the antechamber. Alfred asks if he may stay the night in the Node room, as this is the closest thing to home that he's experienced since coming to London. Camellia looks at him a bit strange, but doesn't see a problem. Helen too asks to sleep by the tree. Alfred notices that there are fruits growing on the tree and Camellia explains that these fruits are Tass. Helen asks if she can eat one but is advised against this because they don't taste good at all.

    Alfred: I wonder how old this tree is...
    Boris: Possibly older than London itself

    Boris enters the room just as Camellia is packing away the herbs and tools. He lets Alfred know that this tree stands today where it stood back in the days of the Wyck, As time passed, the trees in the area had been removed as London took form, but this tree was preserved, protected by many ancient mages all throughout time. Today it stands as a powerful node lying deep underneath the city standing exactly as it had so many years ago.

    Helen sees Boris scared face and starts to get anxious. She believes him to be the man who chased her with the knife all those years ago.

    Aaron hangs up the phone, and it seems their conversation disturbed the sleeping homeless guy, who slowly woke up, look around, and started to panic. Aaron wanted to get up and leave, but felt stuck to the bench, what had seemed a flat and obtuse angle had turned out to be acute, his knees were at his chest as he tried to wriggle out. The homeless guy looked at him, and shouted that this was very bad, that they were in grave danger and they had to escape. He came over to Aaron and tried to pull him up and out of the bench.

    Aaron: What's going on?
    Guy: It's not safe here! We have to go!
    Aaron: Go where? What's happening?
    Guy: Shhh... Can you hear that?

    An deep and ominous growl is heard, as though the very ground was creaking to life.

    Aaron: what was that...?
    Guy: We don't want to find out.
    Aaron: Wait, were you at the Station the other day?
    Guy: Station?

    They looked at each other for a bit, either one's Arcane making it difficult for them to recognise each other properly.

    Then, just a bit before them, a thing started coming closer, although only a silhouette, Aaron could make out a bipedal figure coming closer. To look upon it filled him with a great sense of dread, the source of which he was unable to tell. Fear rose up in him as the ominous creature drew closer.

    Guy: We have to go, Now!
    Aaron: Look, uhh... Well I don't know your name, so I'm just going to call you Morty,
    Guy: I'm Edwin!

    ((When Hanson's Player heard this, he started getting very frantic.))

    Guy: Just run!

    Aaron follows him as they they ran away, but fell as he stepped onto a flat piece of stone and fell through it, trapped in what seemed to be a non-euclidean pit. Edwin ran ahead as the figure drew ever closer. Aarong looked up at it again, the thing was closer now, a tall and slender frame with many tentacles falling from its body and a piercing glowing stare. He could not bare to look at it for another moment as the fear grew far to great. Aaron focused on pulling himself out of the ground and getting the hell out of there, when suddenly a hand reached out to him.

    It was Sean's hand, Sean had arrived as the two of them were running, and saw that space was somewhat unstable. A quick prime check proved that there was magical activity everywhere. He found Aaron on the ground clambering back to his feet, and tried to help him. The two of them were just standing there, in what was now a normal London street.

    Aaron: Where did it go?
    Sean: What's happened?
    Aaron: There was a thing here! Something big with tentacles!
    Sean: Is everything alright?
    Aaron: (calming down) I.. I think so...
    Sean: Was there anyone else here?
    Aaron: No, well, except for this homeless guy...
    Sean: I think we better get you home.

    Aaron: I am not emotionally equipped to deal with any of this...

    [ST NOTE: While of this was happening, I could hear a lot of the other players murmur to each other what they thought was going on. At first they thought that Aaron's paradox effect was entirely to blame, but as things went on, they became less certain. Some thought as Aaron did, and that he had been flung into a Paradox Realm, but then when this creature started walking around, they began to get worried. They then wondered if it was a Paradox Spirit come to stir up trouble. Another one wondered if Aaron had entered a form of Quiet.

    If you didn't already guess, the reality of the situation was, of course, Edwin's delusions. After a night full of running away, he had managed to calm down enough to find this bench and just fell asleep. As he sleep, he started dreaming of the city of R'lyeh, and his dreams became manifest in the immediate surroundings, which Aaron mistakenly thought was a part of his Paradox flaw. As Sean approached, Edwin saw him as a Star Spawn coming slowly towards them. Sean was transformed, but was not close enough to notice. His hands looked normal to him, while his shadow took on the change where Aaron stood.
    All this guessing the players were doing was really exciting to me. I was a bit worried that putting descriptions of R'lyeh in here would be a bit of a giveaway, but I guess I was subtle enough with my descriptions that it weren't so obvious. I wonder how many more encounters with Edwin they'll go through before they realise the truth behind his nature.]

    Hanson really needs a drink, and so Lydia agrees to go with him to find a bar. They leave the Chantry and find a rather gritty little place that's good enough for Hanson. Lydia has never really experienced this kind of place before. She is initially disgusted and stays on high alert while staying. The two of them talk for a while.

    Lydia: Why do you need to drink so much?
    Hanson: Well, in a world like this, sometimes you need something that helps to keep you grounded.
    Lydia: Why do you need to keep grounded?
    Hanson: To keep control of...this.
    Lydia: This?
    Hanson: All of this. This Magic stuff. If you don't clear your head every now and again, it just piles on top of you.

    Hanson keeps going, geting up to his 3rd drink. Lydia doesn't really understand this need. To hear the world needs to be understood as it is. In this moment, he sees Hanson differently. Where before he was an arrogant fool who made a mockery of all things she put importance into, now she saw him with more pity than disgust. A tragic character stuck in a world he didn't ask to be in.

    Back in the Node room, Boris was about to leave when he noticed Camellia had absent mindedly left out the Book of Shadows. Boris picks it up and a single page falls from it. He doesn't notice and walks out the door and away. Both Alfred and Helen see this page, and while Alfred doesn't feel comfortable reading it, Helen reads it without delay. The page speaks of a ritual performed many years ago in the forest of wales, but all of the context seems cut off, part of a different page perhaps. The rest of the page is written in Galic, and as such Helen is unable to understand. She folds up the page and puts in in her pocket. Alfred is somewhat suspicious of this, but reckons that as long as she returns it in the morning, that no harm is being done. The two of them get to sleep in the Node room.

    Lydia helps Hanson stagger home. Lydia makes her way back to her room while Hanson passes out just a bit short of reaching his bed. Aaron is back in his flat and Sean has returned to the Barracks of his Chapter House.

    The night passes without event.

    That's the end of the first half. Second half to be written up shortly.
    Last edited by Saikou; 09-19-2016, 04:29 PM.

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


    • #17
      The rest of the page is written in Galic,
      Would it not make more sense in Welsh? Gaelic is Irish/West Coast of Scotland.


      • #18
        Originally posted by Michael View Post

        Would it not make more sense in Welsh? Gaelic is Irish/West Coast of Scotland.
        There is an argument for it, certainly. But because both Alfred and Lydia can read and understand Gaelic, I decided to go with this.

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


        • #19
          There is an argument for it, certainly. But because both Alfred and Lydia can read and understand Gaelic, I decided to go with this.
          Ah, that makes sense.

          I wonder how many more encounters with Edwin they'll go through before they realise the truth behind his nature.
          Do you think they will? I mean, Lovecraft stuff is so ubiquitous that at least personally I'd assume it was part of the setting long before thinking that Lovecrafts fiction existed internal to the setting.


          • #20

            Quick note - I'm going to be spelling Mica's name as "Mika" from now on, because I've recently discovered I've been pronouncing it wrong all this time ("Mee-Kah" as oppose to the correct gem pronunciation of "Mai-Kah" and rather than change the way I pronounce her name and confuse all my players, I'm changing the spelling So yeah, her name has a K in it now. (sorry if that suddenly makes it pretentious).
            ((EDIT: Screw it, I'm keeping it with a c, (welcome to Keepers of the Wyck Revised Edition))

            It's the next morning, Hanson wakes first, as usual, and prepares his morning vices. He stands on the balcony and thinks about things. He know's something not right about what Sean keeps telling them (that his name is Sam and he's a member of the Celestial Chorus). As he breaths out his smoke, he slips into a dream which tells him his suspicions may be correct, and that his name is, in fact, Sean...

            Helen wakes up while Alfred still sleeps. She carefully takes out the page and tries to take a picture of it with her phone, but her phone simply does not work. She remembered Mica saying something about how her electronics didn't work in the Node room, and assumed the same must be true for her stuff too. Helen snuck out of the room, went to the antechamber where her phone started working, though the signal was bad. She took a picture and quietly returned and folded the page away, all before Alfred woke up.

            Alfred awoke, his "green thumb" merit gave him a nice pillow of grass, and left behind a grass and wildflower shape in the ground. As the two were discussing their options, Vivian arrived and asked if they were to return to the Heath, or rather, get there in the first place... They agreed to meet with Lydia and Hanson, and then set out. Lydia had a few reservations about how safe Hanson would be, but he assured them that he'd be able to pass undetected, and keep a relatively low profile. Before leaving, Helen handed Vivian back the page, who took it with thanks. Lydia commented that Camellia didn't seem too responsible. Vivian concurred, saying she was particularly concerned about her because, as Camellia was the coven maiden, it's the job of the High priestess to train her in all of the duties and requirements so she may one day become a high priestess herself. Lydia enquired further on why it was she seemed to calm and aloof. Vivian considered it may be the tea she drinks every morning, that it may contain several different herbs and roots that allow for a potent Mind effect, keeping her calm. But why she felt she needs such a thing, Vivian thought it was not her place to say. The four of them thank Vivian, and prepare to set out towards the Heath. Hanson prepares his Spidey sense, and Alfred enhances his mind, increasing his mental attributes across the board.

            Sean awoke in the Barracks and prepared for the day, he took one of the Candle Tass and Primed the quintessence out of it and into his own body. For those of you keeping track, he now has Cleansing quintessence and Illuminating quintessence within him. He also puts on a Kevlar vest from the armoury and conceals it under his clothes along with a pistol. Aaron had an interesting night, before he went to sleep he spent a lot of time furiously drawing a picture of the thing he saw coming towards him. The image didn't leave his head and he needed some way of externalising it, so he drew. He drew until, exhausted, he returned to the bed and slept. He woke up to Seans call, and after getting ready, the two of them agree to meet up at the Heath.

            Hanson, Lydia, Helen, and Alfred got to the Heath and walked towards one of the many lakes, here they came across a cacophony of noise. A large amount of construction work was being done on a fenced of area near one of the lakes, in front of which a small number (about 15-20) protesters were standing, yelling with signs. They notice a few of the protesters have that oh so familiar Tree necklace, though not made of gold or silver, but something less precious. As they approach, a few of them give them signs and encourage them to join in, Alfred does so mostly out of politeness. Lydia approaches one of them.

            Lydia: What's going on?
            Protester: They're trying to build a dam on all the lakes
            Lydia: And you don't like it?
            Protester: No!
            Alfred: That's an interesting necklace you got there.
            Protester: Oh hey, you have one too, you go to the wicca club thing then?
            Alfred: the what?
            Protester: You know, that's where they sell them, right?

            Everyone comes to the conclusion that these are probably not mages, but rather members that attend the Keeper's open circle.

            Alfred: Great, they're Crystal wavers...

            Lydia: So what exactly are you protesting again?
            Protester: It's a natural heritage site!
            Lydia: So?
            Protester: So we have to protect it!
            Lydia: Protect it from what though?
            Protester: They're trying to ruin the lakes
            Lydia: By building dams?
            Protester: Yes! It's a natural heritage site, see, so he have to preserve it!
            Lydia: What's wrong with the dams?
            Protester: It's going to ruin this place!
            Lydia: How though?
            Protester: This place is meant to be natural, we can have dams built up everwhere!

            Lydia was getting really frustrated by the lack of explanation the protester was affording. She got away from the crowd in anger and tried to calm down.

            Alfred: Are you ok Lydia?
            Lydia: They have no idea what they're doing here! They're just saying Dams are bad!
            Alfred: They're sleepers, Lydia.
            Lydia: Beavers build dams!

            While this was happening, Helen managed to sneak into the site through an entry way and look around, and then promptly got kicked off site again by someone in a hard hat. She came back to the others to let them know where the entry way through the gate was.

            Sean and Aaron arrive, but walk a completely different path. Sean says a short prayer and asks God to provide him with a sense of his enlightened power. (Prime 1 Corr 1), he can see dots of prime all over the place, though the brighter points are near the crowd to the east where the rest of the group are. The single brightest point lay further north.

            Sean: I think I've found the node.

            The two of them continue up the path towards the node and notice just how many construction sites there are, almost one for each of the many lakes around the Heath. Stopping the construction is going to be a bigger job than they thought...

            Back at the Protest, a man in a suit and a hard hat approaches the protesters. While he draws near, Helen and Lydia decide to sneak into the construction site and see what they could do to slow things down. Alfred sets up a mental link between himself and the two girls. His increased mental attributes makes relaying their conversation two one another and paying attention to things outside of his head relatively easy, so yeah, good thing he did that.

            The man in the suit stands in front of the crowd and speaks.

            Suit: We're all aware of your concerns, however we would ask you to process them through the normal channels
            Protesters scream and start to complain
            Suit: We had everything up on our website clear to see if you had any complaints, and there was plenty of time to let us know.
            Hanson: What are the normal channels?
            Suit: All you need do is go to our website and take a look at the project information.
            Hanson: Whats the name of your website?
            Suit: It's the name of our company, you'll find all the information up there.
            Alfred: What's the name of the company?
            A couple more protesters start piping up in anger.
            Suit: You'll find company information on the website, but look, this isn't the place to air you concerns!
            Hanson: How can we complain if you won't tell us your website?
            Suit: Ford&Dent Construction!

            Alfred: Is that .com or

            Everyone in the protesting group looks oddly at Alfred who goes back to holding up a sign. Just a little further away, both Henson and Alfred notice a line of police in riot gear heading up the hill and towards them.

            Helen and Lydia sneak into the area, and though Lydia failed her steal roll, the two feel as though they got in without being noticed. Lydia decides to put up an Entropy effect around them, making it less likely that any of the workers will walk up to them or notice them as they walk by. They walk around a bit and get a lay of the land. Next to the pond are a number of construction vehicles including JCBs and the like, a small group of temporary buildings are sectioned in on area, and this is where they hide. One of the JCBs is digging into the ground while another vehicle is mixing cement and pouring it into specific parts of the lake.

            Sean and Aaron walk through some of the woodland, and after getting a bit lost, find their way towards the node. The area is a rough field-like clearing surrounded by trees, the space is rather big and the very wind feels wild and unkempt. Aaron wonders if he can meditate at this node for a bit of quintessence. All he has to do is take a look at the concentration of values in this specific area and see if he can match his own data values along side them.

            ​Problem is that Aaron has nothing in Meditation, and so botches almost immediately, falling into a semi-lucid trance and falling more or less asleep.
            Sean noticed movement of in the distance, two figures in black cloaks running away. He tries to get a better view on them but they're just too far away...

            Helen watches from behind the temporary buildings, waits for the right moment, and then runs up behind the JCB without being noticed (part really good roll, part enhanced Luck courtesy of Lydia). She gets beside the vehicle and considers using Forces effects to push the thing into the ditch it was digging, but considers this far to vulgar when infront of so many sleepers. Instead she elects to cause the driver to laps into a state of panic with Mind. Her effect works almost too well. The driver starts screaming and frantically pulling against his seat belt and the entire thing falls face first into the ditch, the man is screaming, and now bleeding, while a lot of the other workers stop what they're doing and see what's going on.

            Alfred and Hanson look at the slowly ascending police group and realise just how bad this might get. They decide to work together, building a mind effect to make every police officer there feel a sense of calm and joy, relaxed even.

            [ST Note: I told them that if they wanted this to be a proper Ritual, then it would take several minutes of in game time between rolls, but neither of them thought that was a good idea since the police would be there well within that time. Instead, they decided to do the standard extended Arete rolls in tandem. In past games, I'd insist that team based effects would need to be done as rituals, but they seemed so eager, that I decided to say "what the heck" and give it a go. There were some caveats however. As it wasn't a ritual, this meant the difficulty would steadily increase the moment one of them pooled over 10 successes, the effect would become vulgar (with witnesses) above 10 successes, and if one of them was to botch, there would be no chance to save it with a willpower point. the whole thing botches and paradox goes everywhere!

            If I had been thinking about it, I would also have imposed the Fast Casting penalty, but oh well, there's always next time]

            Having counted about 11 policemen, they came to the conclusion that they'd need a lot of successes to affect all of them and the man in the suit. They started singing together peace songs as part of their effect.

            What followed was one of the most tense series of rolls we've seen in this game yet. Quintessence was used at times, and Alfred made liberal use of Willpower as things started getting more difficult. Hanson was last to roll after about 5 or 6 turns of this, and all the pressure was on him not too botch, and my god did he role extremely well. At the end they accumulated a whopping 21 successes. This was very big. Certainly enough to target all the officers and even a few of the more irate protesters. They let their effect go just as the police got very close to the protesters and screamed at them to back away from the fence. They stopped, and started looking around in a "wow, what a beautiful day it is" sort of way. Hanson and Alfred continued singing peace songs, and the police joined them! Everyone started singing! [The room was rife with laughter].

            Lydia steps up and looks at the scene, one of the workers has rushed inside to get a first aid kit, while several others are working out how to best approach this panicked man. Lydia decides to make a huge number of plants grow within the pit, in an effort to... slow them down? Scare them off? I'm not sure, but it probably seemed a good idea at the time. She entered into a full on ritual for this life effect, doing all kinds of chanting while trying to keep discreetly hidden. The base difficulty was high, about 7, and still she rolled very well. Suddenly the pit was filled with tall grass and several wild flowers. There's no way this wasn't vulgar. She toyed with the idea of making another crop of plants grow into the shape of the words "LEAVE THIS PLACE" but thought that might have been a bit too obvious for any investigating Technocrats...

            Sean went over to the heavily entranced Aaron and managed to shake him awake. He told him that there were to people there, and he needed his help to scry on them. Though groggy and a bit confused, Aaron followed Sean over to a bushy bit of grass, and hid with him. He then took out his laptop, fiddled around a bit and tried to get some audio information on these guys. They heard a male voice (Zandros) and a female voice (Malady)

            Zandros: So, this is the place then.
            Malady: Of course it is!
            Zandros: Not much to look at.
            Malady: Well not all nodes can be great spires of stone in the ground can they? Then everyone would know where to look!
            Zandros: Yes, M'lady.
            Malady: Don't call me that... Anyway, this is where it all happens, right? Great, looking forward to it.
            Zandros: Could you, perhaps, treat this a bit more seriously?
            Malady: Serious? Why? We're supposed to be having fun with this.
            Zandros: This is official business
            Malady: And business is supposed to be fun for us!
            Zandros: Are you saying-
            Malady: We're magic! If we can't have fun while doing this, then what's the point of it?
            Zandros: ...Yes M'Lady
            Malady: Seriously, Stop calling that!
            Zandros: ...No M'Lady.
            Malady: ...
            Zandros: We should move on
            Malady: Right, yeah, we'll get back here tonight then.
            Zandros: What time M'lady?
            Malady: Night time!

            The two then wonder away and out of range for Aaron's effect.
            Aaron and Sean discuss who this might have been. They were definitely mages, that was certain, but little more could be confirmed. Sean suggested that perhaps the girl was from the Cult of Ecstasy based on her insistence that they should be having fun while doing magic. Aaron wondered if perhaps these were also technocrats, but that was brushed away because what kind of technocrats talk like this? They decide to head back down the hill towards where they think the others might be.

            Hanson and Alfred keep their singing going, but after a while the man in the suit starts to shrug the effects off. Alfred distracts him by asking him questions about the site. Hanson uses this moment of weakness to jump into his mind and figure out a bit more of who this guy is and who he's working for. He finds that he does legitimately believe he works for the company Ford&Dent Construction, and that he's just trying to do his job. Hanson also discovers the name of his boss. Jason...
            A new row of police arrive and look at the singing group with confusion, and then move on to do their job. Hanson and Alfred stop singing and realise things are about to get complicated.

            Lydia and Helen sneak back out, and Lydia overhears the conversation between Alfred and the guy in the suit and starts interjecting.

            Lydia: So what's all the construction for?
            Suit: As I've already explained, we're building a dam to prevent flooding.
            Lydia: Is this the only way to do it? Pouring cement into the lakes?
            Suit: Well, we've already started now.
            Lydia: Why can't you just stop?
            ​Suit: Because we already started, if we stop now we could cause irreparable damage.
            Lydia: That doesn't make any sense! If it was irreparable, then how are you able to continue working on it?
            Suit: Look, all the information about the dig is up on our website! Go there!
            Lydia: I don't use the internet.
            Suit: ... Where do these people come from!
            Lydia: I'm from Ireland, it's a small village which doesn't have much connection to the internet.
            Suit: Typical!
            Lydia: I don't really approve of what you're doing here.
            Suit: Then go back to Ireland!!

            Lydia is about to punch this guy but it quickly held back by Alfred. The police are drawing closer, and Aaron and Sean arrive just in time to decide perhaps they better stay out of this mess for a while. It is at this point that someone in the crowd throws a bottle at the police. Oh dear.

            Hanson builds an effect, his Mind 3 Perception Filter with the idea that everyone will be able to slip out of the crowd unnoticed, and they all try to get away before the wall of police gets impossible to get away from. Alfred looks back, feeling guilt for escaping rather than helping. Sean too feels a pang of guilt as he knows he is leaving a weaker group to fend for themselves.

            And this is where the session comes to an end.

            As Lydia's character will not be here next week, the chances are that she was the only one of the group who wasn't able to slink away, and has been arrested along with the other protesters.

            I've noticed that over the first half of the game, a lot of my players were rather timid when it comes to performing Vulgar magic. I think this is partially because of their inexperience, and partially because of what happened to Aaron, they probably still think that most of what happened to him was a result of Paradox. Well, that seemed to have sorted itself out by the end of the session, whether the quintessence was flowing and the vulgar effects were flying. Here's hoping for even more chances for Paradox Backlash in the future!

            Out of all the characters I've made for this game, Zandros and Malady took the most amount of time for me to think about. Even right up until their introduction I wasn't really clear on who they were. As I started the dialogue, I began to feel them out a bit more. I see Malady as fairly aloof but very powerful. She's lived her whole life this way, and so knows no different. Her attitude to life is fairly contemptuous, considering optimism a fundamental flaw and optimistic people incredibly irritating, though it sure is fun to watch them scream as they realise how doomed the world really is. She chose her name based on what all the people in her village referred to her as the day she was born.

            Zandros takes things a bit more seriously than Malady does. He chose to walk through the cauls earlier in the year and feels the weight of this choice with every decision he makes. He is aware of just how powerful Malady is, but can't help but feel somewhat contemptuous towards her. She didn't enter the cauls so she can't possibly know what it feels like to make such a life altering decision. Her attitude to their work trivialises it, but knows that getting on her bad side will not end well. That and the fact that her power is an asset to their group. So he begrudgingly works along side her, and mocks her lack of decorum. His birth name was Alexander Osborn. The name was shortened to make is sound more appropriate.

            They've both had heavy involvement with the Keepers, and in fact were the two members who's leaving prompted the recruitment drive for Lydia, Alfred, and Helen in the first place.
            I'm still not 100% certain on what it is these guys are planning on doing to the node, but it will have something to do with corrupting it in order to spread their entropic influence, but under the guise of trying to drive away the construction team. Any suggestions will be considered.

            So... This Jason guy... He's suddenly become a character hasn't he. He'll definitely be a Syndicate guy, because which other convention employs both businesses and street level thugs? I haven't yet figured out how high ranking he'll be. Not sure whether to make him a Financier or and Enforcer boss, but eh, I'll figure it out closer to when it starts to matter. Again, suggestions will be considered.
            Last edited by Saikou; 09-22-2016, 06:25 AM.

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


            • #21
              The suit already mentioned that if they stop now there will be worse consequences. Maybe that could be what the Nephandi want to happen. A large environmental disaster in the middle of London could have a suitably entropic effect. Mind you, that does limit the ability of the PCs to stop the dam.

              In relation to that, the dam needn't be necessarily some environmental catastrophe. I mean, you're not exactly going to be able to build the Hoover dam on hampstead heath. It sounds more like one of those microgeneration plants. Jason could just be a Syndicate mage trying to do their bit to lower carbon emisions whilst also sanitising a node.


              • #22
                Originally posted by Michael View Post
                The suit already mentioned that if they stop now there will be worse consequences. Maybe that could be what the Nephandi want to happen. A large environmental disaster in the middle of London could have a suitably entropic effect. Mind you, that does limit the ability of the PCs to stop the dam.
                That's an interesting idea. This would mean that they'd have more or less the same goal as the Players in this case, to stop the construction in order to bring on some damages. They "help" the players halt the works, then slowly but surely pollutants start to build up in the lakes and lead to a gradual corruption of the node.

                Subtle, devious, and utilises mages to unwittingly achieve their end, perfectly nephandic.

                Originally posted by Michael View Post
                In relation to that, the dam needn't be necessarily some environmental catastrophe. I mean, you're not exactly going to be able to build the Hoover dam on hampstead heath. It sounds more like one of those microgeneration plants. Jason could just be a Syndicate mage trying to do their bit to lower carbon emisions whilst also sanitising a node.
                Well, the real world reason the dam's being put in place is to guard against potential flooding of areas of North London. Having that be an excuse to neutralise the node was always on the cards. But I really like dual purpose of siphoning off the Node's power by building a microgeneration plant along with everything else.

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


                • #23
                  I was going to say that it perhaps paints the Verbena as kinda stupid but then I remembered who's giving the orders. Is Granny Elm working with Malady and Zandros?


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Michael View Post
                    I was going to say that it perhaps paints the Verbena as kinda stupid but then I remembered who's giving the orders. Is Granny Elm working with Malady and Zandros?
                    There are certainly lines of communication in place. They were once Keepers themselves, after all. Plus, this isn't the only thing the Keepers are focusing on. It's just one of the things they've had the Players look into for them.

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


                    • #25
                      Lydia isn't able to make the session this weekend, so we had a mini session today.

                      ---INTERLUDE: LYDIA'S ESCAPE---

                      Lydia was surrounded by noisy protesters, all of them shouting and calling out at the closing in wall of police. The others had somehow managed to sneak away amongst the crowed, but Lydia was not able to find an opening. Before she knew it, she was pushed up against the fence, handcuffed, and placed into a van with a number of others.

                      "You do not have to say anything" she heard as she tried to figure out what had just happened. "But it may harm your defence is you don't say something that you later rely on in court, anything you do say will be given as evidence."

                      The door slammed shut and the van drove on. Around her were a number of people from the protest, some shouted abuse at the protesters. She recognised the person sitting next to her, the first lady she spoke to when she arrived not so long ago.

                      Lydia: What's going on?
                      Lady: This is how it is, isn't it. They come here and take us away!"
                      Lydia: Why though?"
                      Lady: Yeah! Why indeed! We didn't do nothing!"
                      Lydia: So where are we going?"
                      Lady: They'll take us wherever, but it's just to keep us down. They don't like what we have to say, right?
                      Lydia: And what do you have to say?"
                      Lady: That's why we were protesting for, isn't it. To tell them they can't come over here and mess with our parks. It's our power!"
                      Lydia: You have a power?"

                      Lydia thought she meant some kind of magic.

                      Lady: Yeah, People power! That's what we're all about!
                      Lydia: Wow, so how does people power work?
                      Lady: You just saw it, it's us coming together and tell them they can't tell us what to do, like.
                      Lydia: And that works?
                      Lady: Uh... Well yeah, it does.
                      Lydia: You have the power to not do what people tell you to do.
                      Lady: Uh...

                      The Lady was somewhat confused by Lydia's response.

                      Lydia: So what are they going to do to us?
                      Lady: They'll just question us, we didn't do anything so they can't keep us.
                      Lydia: You've done this before?
                      Lady: Yeah, 'bout 5 times now.
                      Lydia: And when they ask us questions, what should we tell them?
                      Lady: You don't have to tell them nothing, they can't do you for anything.
                      Lydia: So I should lie to them?
                      Lady: Well no
                      Lydia: So I should tell them the truth?
                      Lady: Tell them only what you need to.
                      Lydia: What do I need to tell them?

                      The conversation went on like this for a while, and eventually turned into weird lecture on marxism, with Lydia understanding some parts but not really getting the whole concept or how it applied to building a dam in a lake.

                      Eventually the van arrived, and the police took her along with the other protesters in. They went through her belongings, which included a large ceremonial dagger, and confiscated them, before taking her down into a cell. The cell itself was sparse, the walls were tiled and flat, the bed was little more than a foam mat with a blue foam cushion for a pillow. The door was heavy with an electronic lock and a metal hatch. The only light that came into the room was though a small window above her. For the first time in her life, Lydia realised how Matter magic could be useful.

                      She could not see the neighbouring cells, but she could hear shouts and calls, other protesters she assumed, screaming things she couldn't quite make out. In her mind, Granny Elm's fortune floated to the front of her mind.
                      Things that might harm you: Captivity.
                      She knew she had to get out as quickly as possible. Lydia tried to calm herself down, sat on the bed and centred herself, attempting to call on Luna's wisdom for guidance. An hour or so passed before she felt her presence.

                      Lydia: Luna?

                      All she heard was a hum.

                      Lydia: Luna? Where am I?

                      No answer.

                      Lydia: How can I escape Luna?
                      Luna: Ask.
                      Lydia: Ask who?
                      Luna: Spirits dwell in every location.
                      Lydia: Even here?
                      Luna: In every location.

                      Luna's voice faded away as she sat there in the cell.

                      Lydia looked around at her empty cell, and concentrated hard at trying to perceive past the gauntlet. She worked on weakening the gauntlet around her so she may try to see better. At the base of the door she saw a few iridescent chrome cockroaches whom she knew to be Kilakac'n. She cast out her voice to them.

                      (Just so you know, the roaches kinda talked over each other)

                      Lydia: Hello?
                      Roaches: AHH!!

                      They screamed and immediately scurried away under her bed.

                      Lydia: You ok?
                      Roaches: You can speak to us?
                      Lydia: Yes, I'm a mage.
                      Roaches: Oh, a mage! Yes, mage! ok.
                      Lydia: Where am I?
                      Roaches: Here? This place is safe. Yes, safe. So safe.
                      Lydia: Can you help me leave?
                      Roaches: Why leave? It's nice here! Sometimes, but not much food. Yes food! I like food!
                      Lydia: I can get you food if you-
                      Roaches: Food? She has food? Give us food.
                      Lydia: What do you like?
                      Roaches: I like food! good food. Sweet! Yes sweet!
                      Lydia: I can make you a sugar cane if I get my tools back.
                      Roaches: Sugar cane? What's that?
                      Lydia: It's really sweet.
                      Roaches: (they whisper to each others) Ok! We'll help.

                      The Roaches scuttle off towards the door, but the hatch opens up. The roaches scream again at the sudden noise and scurry back under the bed.

                      Lydia: What are you doing?! You're cockroaches! You're supposed to be indestructible! Stop being such cowards!
                      Police: Ma'am? Is everything ok?
                      Lydia: Yes.
                      Police: Who were you talking to?
                      Lydia: To the cockroaches.
                      Police: Right...

                      They tell her that they are ready to bring her in for questioning. The door opens and they lead her into a fairly featureless room. Inside is a policeman sitting on the other side of a table, with another policeman behind him setting up a video camera. The policeman identifies himself as Detective Inspector Christopher Hunt, after recording the time and date, he starts to question Lydia

                      Hunt: Could you please state your name.
                      Lydia: I don't know it.
                      Hunt: This will go a lot easier if you please cooperate.
                      Lydia: Um... It's Morwenna.
                      Hunt: Your full name please.
                      Lydia: Morwenna of the western Glen, otherwise known as Lydia.
                      Hunt: ...right.
                      Lydia: Where am I?
                      Hunt: You're at Holloway Police Station,
                      Lydia: Oh. And what are you doing?
                      Hunt: We're conducting an investigation about the events on the Heath earlier today.
                      Lydia: So you don't know what happened?
                      Hunt: That is what we are trying to establish.
                      Lydia: Well you're not very good at your job if you don't know what happened. What are you even trying to do?
                      Hunt: Morwenna, You need to be the one to answer my questions.
                      Lydia: You didn't ask me anything!
                      Hunt: Can you tell us what you were doing at the heath today?
                      Lydia: No...
                      Hunt: You weren't at the Heath today?
                      Lydia: Yes, I was.
                      Hunt: Were you with the protest group?
                      Lydia: Yes.
                      Hunt: Do you know anyone in the group?
                      Lydia: Not really...
                      Hunt: How did you hear about the protest?
                      Lydia: I didn't.
                      Hunt: So why were you at the Heath today?
                      Lydia: To see what was happening with the construction.
                      Hunt: Did anyone enter the construction?
                      Lydia: No, no one did.
                      Hunt: Well, we've of someone entering the construction site and causing damages, this is Aggravated Trespassing. It's a serious offence
                      Lydia: Oh, I didn't see anyone.
                      Hunt: Are you certain?
                      Lydia: Yes...

                      The DI starts writing a few things down. Lydia is terrible at lying, so tries instead to tell half truths (she didn't "see" herself enter the site after all) and relies mostly on charm to get by, it seems to be working, but it's not certain to keep.

                      Hunt: Did you see who threw the bottle?
                      Lydia: No, I didn't.
                      Hunt: And you don't know anyone else who was at the site?
                      Lydia: Well, I do know some people
                      Hunt: Can you give me their names?
                      Lydia: There are five of them, I don't know them very well.
                      Hunt: Where did you meet?
                      Lydia: On a train going to Euston station 2 days ago.
                      Hunt: The night of the blackout?
                      Lydia: umm... yes.
                      Hunt: What can you tell me about them?
                      Lydia: Well, there's five of them. two of them I met in Shefield, the other three were just on the train. Only one was a woman, there other five were men. One of them isn't very good at fighting, whenever he sees people suffering he gets upset. One of them keeps smoking... Where's my knife?
                      Hunt: We have it in custody. Are you aware that it is a criminal offence to carry knives of such length in public spaces?
                      Lydia: I didn't...
                      Hunt: Why is it that you had a knife with you at the Heath today?
                      Lydia: To cast Spirit summoning Rituals!
                      Hunt: does that work?
                      Lydia: I use the knife to cut between the worlds, allowing for passage of beings from another realm.
                      Hunt: I see... (starts writing things down)
                      Lydia: Can I have my knife back?
                      Hunt: No.

                      I'm not certain, but I think Lydia's tactic was to make herself seem as insane as possible in order to discredit any information she gave them.
                      Lydia is asked by the Constable present to give them her finger prints via electronic print reader, then stand by a scale while they photograph her from the front and sides. They then ask her if she'd like anything to eat or drink.

                      Lydia: Yes, and can you get me some sugar for the cockroaches?

                      The constable looks at her strangely, and leaves. Lydia is offered to make a single phone call, and she chooses to call Aaron, she calls for a while but it doesn't go through, she leaves the following message while still in front of the DI.

                      "Arron, it's Lydia...They say I'm at Holloway police station, I don't really know where that is...They've taken my knife...The cockroaches are helpful...I could do with some Correspondence...I'm not going anywhere. We're all staying in today.

                      Lydia is taken back to her cell and is given a sandwich and a small packet of sugar. The door is closed and she is left alone again.

                      Lydia calls out again and looks into the spirit world.

                      Lydia: Hello? I got you some sugar. (She pours the sugar onto the floor)

                      The Kilakac'n rush over to it and start eating at its penumbral counterpart. They seem pretty happy with this deal.

                      Lydia: So, can you help me now?
                      Roaches: Help? She gave us something sweet! Oh yeah! What do you need?
                      Lydia: I'd like to get out of here, but wait. They have my face and fingers somewhere in their machines, I need to have that removed first, then I need to get my knife...
                      Roaches: We can help with that. just find the pictures in their data. Easy!

                      The Kilakac'n scuttle off through the door leaving the pile of sugar behind, its physical counterpart looking somewhat spoiled. Lydia waited, but for the longest time nothing happened. She didn't know what time it was, but could see it getting dark. From her window she could make out the pale light of the waxing moon. She started chanting, hoping to attract the attention of some kind of spiritual entity. A wisp of silver and gold had answered her call, the Lunes, spirits Lydia was well acquainted with.

                      Lune: Daughter of Luna...
                      Lydia: Hi, yes, I need help.
                      Lune: You need help?
                      Lydia: Yes, go to the Keepers, you should know them, find Alfred.
                      Lune: Alfred.
                      Lydia: Yes, Alfred, tell him to help!
                      Lune: Ok...

                      The lune drifts off through the window.

                      Lydia: Oh wait... I probably should have given more details than that... Let's hope he can figure it out.

                      Lydia lies down on the bed and worries as she tries to get some sleep. She's awoken in the early morning by the sound of scuttling. She brings back her Spirit sense and notices the Kilakac'n have returned. They tell her that they shorted out the database which had her details,

                      Lydia: Do you know where my knife is?
                      Roaches: Let me check (The Kilakac'n do their Information Link charm to see if they can figure out where the knife is) Yes, but it is far, quite far, on the other side of the building.
                      Lydia: I'll have to come back for it then...
                      Roaches: Do you want us to open the door?
                      Lydia: Uhh...Yes!
                      Roaches: Ok, Let's open!

                      The Kilakac'n rush to the door and short out the lock allowing it to slide open without alarm. Lydia thanks them and hands them part of the sandwich she didn't eat. They really like this and start rushing over too it for their feast. Lydia steps out of the cell, and tries to build up an Entropy effect to lower the chance of being seen as she thinks about sneaking out. She calls back to the Kilakac'n

                      Lydia: Hey, could you help me get out?
                      Roaches: Help you leave? Yes. We can help. Let's help.

                      The roaches lead Lydia away from the cell and towards the front door, where she is stopped by a large iron gate that can only be opened by a button in the reception, where a policewoman sits. She asks the roaches to press the button for her, but stops them, knowing that she will definitely be seen if she ran now. She looks around for something to draw on, and settles for scribbling runes into the dust on the floor with her finger. She wants to build an Entropy effect to make something happen which will cause this woman to get up and investigate. Her effect goes off, and in the other room something can be heard, a sound like something fell and someone is screaming. She gets up and walks towards Lydia. Lydia quickly jumps behind a door and waits for her to go. As she leaves, Lydia tells the Kilakac'n to press the button. They press and the gate opens. Lydia dashes out, pushes her way through the front door and gets the hell out of there.

                      She has no idea where she is, so she just runs, hoping to find some form of woodland to gather herself in and regroup.

                      I kinda screwed up on this one. I completely forgot that Spirit magic has different rules for difficulty when the Gauntlet is involved. We did a few retcon rolls to make up for it, and came to the conclusion that this adventure would have been a lot harder if we went with the local gauntlet rating as it should have been. Oops. We decided to just take of a few WP points and just say she was able to lower the difficulty of the gauntlet for a short while. It's been such a long time since I ran a party with Spirit users. I'll try to keep on top of it next time.

                      I've been slowly reading through Axis Mundi in order to increase the number of canonical spirits I can throw at these guys, and there's a chance that I was a bit too eager to show off these cool little Chrome Roaches that I completely forgot to check for Local Gauntlet...

                      Oh well, wasn't a huge loss this time round. I'll be sure to keep it in mind for next time though.

                      Next full length session will be on Sunday, write up to follow shortly.
                      Last edited by Saikou; 09-23-2016, 02:28 PM.

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


                      • #26
                        That was pretty awesome. I wonder if the police station will now have an infestation of roaches?

                        Is Lydia incredibly sarcastic or just genuinely naive?


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Michael View Post
                          That was pretty awesome. I wonder if the police station will now have an infestation of roaches?

                          Is Lydia incredibly sarcastic or just genuinely naive?
                          Thanks! It's possible that the Kilakac'n have been hiding out in this station for a while, they tend to like places which are good for hiding in, especially if they have lots of technology.

                          Yeah, I know what you mean. She seems to have a sliding scale of naivety. She lived most of her life either in her isolated village or alone as a nomad, so there's a certain level of genuine unawareness of how complex society functions. Though there are times when this falls away and the player's own personality shines through. So to answer your question, mostly naive, with a dash of obfuscation via weird.

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


                          • #28
                            5th Session

                            Managed to get this out all in one post. Enjoy!

                            Cast list:

                            Joe Hanson: Noir Detective
                            Aaron Gibson: Punk Hacker
                            Helen Walter: Hermetic Spy
                            Alfred WyrmKuran: Excalibur Mage
                            Sean Heath: Templar Knight

                            ​No Lydia due to imprisonment.

                            Notable NPCs include:

                            Mica Rose: Technowitch

                            Zandros: Barabbi, ex member of the Keepers
                            Malady: Widderslainte, ex member of the Keepers

                            Today was the first chance I got to figure out who these guys are and how they felt. Didn't quite expect the direction they took, but I have them in my head a bit better now.

                            ---CHAPTER 5: SEETHING RESONANCE---

                            Things picked up pretty much where they left off. The five of them running away from the heath, Alfred looked back quickly and noticed Lydia had been taken into one of the police vans, but they were too far away to do anything about it. Alfred offered to let everyone go to his flat in Camden in order to discuss what they should do next.

                            Alfred doesn't earn a huge amount, but it's enough for him. He keeps a small library on a narrow set of shelves with the rest of the books in a box beside them. His flat is filled with plants. He offers everyone some herbal tea while they sit down and figure out together what their plan of action is. They spend this time telling each other about the events the others hadn't witnessed. Sean and Aaron telling them about the two cloaked figures, and the rest telling them about what happened with the protest.

                            It was decided that Helen and Aaron would go to the node and wait until these two figures reemerged, Alfred would try to speak to any spirits within the lake and try to get their aid in protecting the Heath's node, and Hanson and Sean would go to some of the other construction sites and try to sabotage some of the machinery and vehicles there.

                            Aaron quickly called Mica up on Skype and caught her up to date with everything they were going to do. Mica told them that neither Vivian nor Boris was in the Chantry at the moment, as they were looking into to other things, that the gauntlet had been seemingly weak since the blackout and they were checking on areas that were likely to tare. They asked Mica if she knew when they'd return but she did not know, no one really tells her much. They thanked her and let her get back to whatever she was doing.

                            Until nightfall, Aaron decides he's going to do some investigation on Ford&Dent, starting with their website and then going further, Sean starts cleaning the small SMG he was carrying around in his duffel bag (all the other players were like "Where did you get that?"), while Helen asks Alfred for help translating the pictures on her phone. Hanson just rests up and gets ready for the night. They had no idea where Lydia could have been taken, and feared messing with the police so soon after the protest in case they too got arrested. So they decided to

                            Alfred hands Helen a Gaelic to English dictionary and leaves her to it while he tends to his plants. She doesn't make a lot of progress though and eventually Alfread gives it a cursory glance. He isn't able to determine much, but learns that it speaks of a fairly complicated looking life ritual which either was done on two people, or was done on one person and drew energy on the other. The ritual required the targets be tied up to a stake while the participants worked the magic, nothing more could be understood as a lot of context was cut off at the end of the page. Alfred asked where this was from, and Helen told him without even attempting to hide it that it was a picture of the page from the Keeper's Book of Shadows. Alfred was slightly shocked, but reasoned that she did return the page so she hadn't actually lied, but still thought Helen was somewhat misleading in her actions. Still, he decided to forgive her for the moment. I think her plan was to have Alfred on her side, so he appealed to his kind nature and the fact that he seems incapable of bearing any kind of grudge against anyone.

                            Aaron had started searching and learned about the Hampstead Heath project that Ford&Dent Construction was performing, that it was taking place on several lakes all throughout the winter, and that the project had been in full swing for a while. He saw a few associated companies in the Executive roles, and saw a number which were well known amongst Virtual Adepts to be Syndicate associated companies. It was time to go deeper, he started hacking into the companies computer network with the help of a cracking program. It took about an hour or work, but eventually his program found a password he could use (which was 7777777, obviously these people have no idea what security is). He rooted around in their files and eventually came across a few details about the dam, found some technical drawings about what seemed to be a wave based generator, and a sales pitch which included details about the dam and how it could be used to generate clean energy and reduce the carbon footprint of businesses in the area. The drawings didn't look like any kind of technology Aaron was familiar with, and thought perhaps this could be some form of Technocractic Sciency stuff, the email was encrypted, but with a little work he was able to get the address. Before getting himself out of there, he took another look at the companies involved with Ford&Dent, and sure enough they were companies he knew to be Syndicate associated. He brought himself back out of the system leaving no trace of his tampering.

                            Night came and the five headed out towards the Heath. They did various bits of magic in order to help them see in that dark. Hanson with Heat vision, Sean with Matter and Corr sense, and Aaron did night vision and Corr, and extended his vision outwards to both Helen and Alfred. Helen, Aaron, and Alfred walked towards the node with Aaron leading the way having been there once before. Once they arrived, Alfred decided to mediate at the node in order to refuel, giving him two points of Wild Quintessence.

                            Hanson and Sean made their way to one of the sites on the west. They saw a fence and now way to get through it, and began to climb up it, appallingly... Sean was making slow progress with his bulky armour, but Hanson was having an even harder time of it. He had only three dice to roll, and they all came up as 1's. 'Twas the Botchiest Botch that ever did Botch. His foot got caught in the metal fence somehow, and while trying to wiggle it free ended up falling and hitting his head against the ground, his foot was still trapped in the fence, however, so he was pretty much stuck there hanging upside down. Sean decided to get off and take Matter into his own hands. He made his prayers for help and lo, the metal did bend and curve about its base. And it was good. Hanson fell to the ground with a thud, and the two of them walk through into the construction site proper.
                            After a little bit of stealthing around, they come across a digger which they try to slash the tires off. Sean with his knife and Hanson with a random piece of metal he found lying around. These are industry standard tires, so they do not make much progress...

                            Alfred finishes meditating and makes his way down to the lake on the east, more or less the same direction of the protest. As he walked away from Aaron, his night vision began to fall away leaving him very much in the dark. He focused instead on the rhythmic movement of his wooden runes in his hand, letting his Life sense feel the language of the living things around him, feeling a short way before him the trees and the paths. Aaron and Helen stayed behind and waited behind a bush. The only thing they noticed for a while, though, was a fox. It walked into the node area and just stood there for a while. Neither of them paid it any head.

                            Alfred reached the base of one of the lakes on the East, one still untouched by the construction crew, he dismissed his life sense took off his shoes, placed his feet in the water, and worked on peeking past the gauntlet. He saw a small piece of the Umbra before him, in a low glow of twilight the lake was inhabited by a number of Elementals that took the form of women bathing in the water. He called out to them and one approached him.

                            Water: Who calls out to me?
                            Alfred: I am Utred Pendragon,
                            Water: And why do you come?
                            Alfred: I wish to ask your favour.
                            Water: Favour?
                            Alfred: Are you aware of what is happening to the other lakes? There are men, mortals, who are disrupting them.
                            Water: Mortals, you say...
                            Alfred: Yes, surely you must have felt them. The other lakes. Yes?
                            Water: We have felt the influence of the Wyrm... It's pull to destruction.
                            Alfred: Destruction, that would probably be them. Will you be able to help?

                            The Water elemental sinks down into the lake, disappearing from view, only to emerge again.

                            Water: What of these mortals?
                            Alfred: They are construction people, they want to alter the lakes and try to bring stasis to this place, making it more difficult for spirits such as yourselves to be.

                            The elemental confers with a few others in the lake, then approaches Alfred.

                            Water: We thank you for informing us. We shall do what needs to be done.

                            They leave, and Alfred ceases peeking into the gauntlet, returning instead his Life sense. As he gets up, he notices that the the ground is suddenly very wet. Very soon his feet are submerged. With no time to gather his shoes he backs away as the water continues to rise. Alfred walks up the Heath and away and sees the water is rising all around the lakes, flooding this Heath, flooding the construction sites, and overflowing into the streets beyond. Alfred begins to wonder if this was truly helpful, of if he merely made the case for flood protection all the most stronger for the Technocrats.

                            Hanson and Sean were still hacking away at the tires, Sean was beginning to make some headway but Hanson was going nowhere. Hanson threw his bit of metal to the ground, where it splashed.

                            Hanson: Hey, did you hear that?
                            Sean: Hear what?
                            Hanson: That splashing sound.
                            Sean: Yes, that's me. I'm slashing at the tires.
                            Hanson: No, Splashing, not Slashing
                            Sean: Oh... No, not me.

                            Hanson looked to the ground but saw nothing unusual with his heat vision. He jumped down and found it had turned to mud. He alerted Sean who could sense that the water was rising at an alarming rate. The two of them began to get away, but the water had risen so rapidly that movement was becoming difficult. Cue a whole series of botches and Hanson fell under the water, now knee high. Sean went back to try and drag him out, but he just kept slipping up and falling back in. It got so dire that Hanson resorted to Entropy magic to find the best way to get out of the mud before he drowned. Sean was able to get back to the fence hole a little dirty, but only up to his waist. Hanson, however, was covered head to toe in mud. Hanson puts on his shades and manipulates the chaotic patterns of heat into order, heating himself up a bit and trying to dry himself off.

                            Aaron and Helen had been waiting in the bush for a long time. While the only thing Helen could see was the fox, Aaron noticed two shadowy figures approach. Hanson prepared software to listen in on them as he had done before, alerting Helen out of her Fox gazing. From what little they said, Aaron could determine that they were the same people he had heard earlier in the day. They do, however, notice that they both seem to be wearing tree shaped necklaces around their neck. They stayed still and watched as these two figures prepare items around in what seemed a fairly elaborate ritual. Helen shifted her weight a little and the sudden rustle alerted them.

                            Malady: Hmm?

                            They stay very silent.

                            Zandros: Do you suspect someone?
                            Malady: Maybe... Do your scan thing.

                            Zandros stood in the centre of the field and did a Mind 1 scan. He immediately felt out the presence of both Helen and Aaron.

                            Zandros: Who's there!?

                            Helen and Aaron began to panic a little, and start looking for places to hide. Helen wasn't quick enough and was immediately seen by Zandros.

                            Zandros: Who are you?
                            Helen: Uhhh....hi?
                            Zandros: What are you doing here?
                            Helen: Uhh.... um...
                            Zandros: And you?

                            Aaron, realising that hiding was pointless, came out.

                            Aaron: Oh, hello, are you out for a nightly stroll too?

                            Zandros makes a muttered chant and thorned roots draw up from the ground, ensnaring Aaron from his feet to his waist.

                            Aaron: What the heck?
                            Zandros: Now, you are going to tell me who you are and what you're doing here, and you can either do it the easy way or the hard way.

                            Malady enters and looks at them both.

                            Malady: Well well...

                            Aaron: You guys are part of the Keepers right? We're with you!
                            Helen: Yeah, I'm training to be with the Keepers of the Wyck.
                            Aaron: We're just here to help break down the construction, make the node stronger.
                            Malady: Are you now? (She moves close to Helen, picking up the necklace she wears and examining it before letting it drop)
                            Malady: What about you? Where yours then?
                            Aaron: I'm not really becoming one, I'm kinda just on the side... Not really my style with magic down with blood, sticks and mud, you know...
                            Zandros: What do you think, M'Lady?
                            Malady: ...Just search them.

                            Zandros walks over to Aaron and cuts him across the face, letting the blood slowly drip down.

                            Aaron: Woah! I was only joking about the blood! What the heck's wrong with you?

                            Zandros focuses on the blood and looks into his mind through it. Aaron tries to fight him off but as they're so close to a node, Zandros has little difficulty pushing his way through. He quickly leafs through the last few days of memories Aaron experienced.

                            Zandros: So... You really are with the Keepers. Aaron.
                            Aaron: Yes! And did you have to cut the face?

                            Zandros walked over to him, muttering a chant, and with a single finger wiped the cut, which healed beneath.

                            Malady: Ok. So maybe you can help us then...
                            Aaron: Help you?
                            Malady: Yeah, see, we're trying to do stuff to the node too. Get rid of all the things that aren't meant to be there.
                            Zandros: If you understand Life magic, then perhaps we could use you.
                            Helen: I can do life magic, I'm Helen by the way.
                            Aaron: Who are you two anyway?

                            They hesitate for a while, unwilling to tell them their names. After some consideration and a bit of repeated asking, they eventually decide to tell them that they are Zandros and Malady. Helen got a bit fed up with getting fake sounding names, but kept it to herself. They loosened the roots around Aarons body, only binding his legs, and explained that they had a bag of seeds which they planned to distribute around the lakes, and they were going to encourage them to grow slowly with a life ritual they had just about to set up. Helen eventually agreed to help them, and they began their life ritual, chanting various things while Helen focused on the shapes drawn around what was in place of the pentagram. The process took an hour but the magic seemed potent. The seeds seemed unaffected, but a strong resonance could be felt upon them, a Seething, Void, yet Consistent resonance was held within them. They asked Aaron what he could do, and eventually decided he'd be able to distribute the seeds around easily with his Correspondence abilities.

                            They freed Aaron who started going on his computer. At this moment, Alfred emerged. Malady was all about ready to strike but Zandros stopped her.

                            Zandros: He's with them!

                            Alfred noticed that he was wearing the necklace, and could see the life pattern it held with his life sense. He asked if they were Keepers, as he was training to become.

                            Zandros: Pity, we could have done with you earlier.
                            Alfred: Are you also here to help the node?
                            Zandros: Yes, to get the node back to what it needs to be.
                            Alfred: Well then, allow me to introduce myself. Alfred.

                            Again, they hesitate.

                            Zandros: Can we trust him?
                            Malady: Think about it! They're keepers!

                            Eventually they decide to tell them their names. Alfred bows to Malady as she tells him her name.

                            Malady: See that? That's more like it! You could learn a thing from this one.
                            Zandros: Yes... m'lady.
                            Malady: Seriously... Stop that.

                            They talk for a bit longer, explaining again to Alfred what their plan was.

                            Alfred: Yes, I was speaking with the Elementals. They were talking about these worms.
                            Malady: You mean, the Wyrm?
                            Alfred: Uhh, yes.
                            Zandros: What do you know of the Wyrm?

                            I made Alfred take a Cosmology role before he embarrassed himself too much.

                            Alfred: I know that it's a spirit of corruption.
                            Malady: Ha! You know so little of its power! The Wyrm is not to be taken lightly.
                            Alfred: I see...

                            Alfred tries to pear into Malady's mind in order to see her real name. But botches, the Paradox mounts on him bringing him up to 10.

                            [ST NOTE: If I had been thinking about it, this should have caused a backlash. I usually rule that if you botch with above 5 points, it triggers a backlash, otherwise it's stable up to 10. But I was concentrating so hard on these characters and trying to figure out what they were like while simultaneously playing as them in the game, that I completely forgot about the botch part of my backlash rules. My justification is that since Alfred was really near a pretty potent node when he botched, there was a little bit more leeway in how his paradox mounted.]

                            Alfred started getting a massive headache as his mind effect botched before him. Malady took notice and immediately reacted with glee.

                            Malady: Were you trying to read my mind? You should know better than that.
                            Alfred: Yes.. (clutching his head) I'm sorry.
                            Malady: As you should be!
                            Zandros: You should go and distribute the seeds!
                            Alfred: Where are we to put them?
                            Malady: By the lakes, of course!
                            Alfred: Ah... You see, the thing about the lakes is... They've sort of... flooded.

                            Cue Hanson and Sean walking in with their mud covered clothes.

                            Malady again jumps to action, but Zandros stops her stating he knows exactly who they are.

                            Zandros: Well hello, Hanson.
                            Hanson: You seem to have me at a disadvantage. You are?

                            They ignore his request, not overly keen to keep reciting their own names. But again give in. They haven't endeared themselves to anyone. The refer to Sean as "Sam" as this is the name that Aaron knows him by. Sean is slow to react.

                            Aaron makes a quip about their rather suspicious and hostile attitude and Zandros gets angry with him, accusing him of spying on them and forcing them into secretive behaviour. Malady starts to taunt Zandros a bit as his temper is piqued.

                            Malady: Hey Zands, calm it. (to the rest) ignore him, he has a bit of a temper, don't you! (back to Zandros) This isn't the way to make Friends, is it?

                            Zandros is noticeably peeved by her attitude, but hold himself. Malady goes back to addressing everyone, explaining what they were planning to do and handing them all the seeds. Sean leaves with the seeds he has been handed while the rest stay at the node a little longer. All this time Aaron has been trying to contact Mica. He tells her about these two supposed Keepers, and asks her what she knows about Zandros and Malady. Malady notices that his attention isn't on her.

                            Malady: What are you doing?
                            Aaron: Trying to find a wifi signal!

                            Malady takes a rusted knife in her hand and throws it into the air, it lands, digging into the ground, and Aaron's computer crashes, breaks, and has smoke coming out of it.

                            Aaron: What the fuck!
                            Malady: There, now you can pay attention!
                            Aaron: Well, now I can't help you because you just broke my computer!
                            Malady: You've got legs, don't you?
                            Aaron: Yes, and I'm going to use them to leave.
                            Malady: Oh no you're not.
                            Aaron: Listen bitch, I don't have to do anything for you!
                            Malady: I don't like the way you're speaking to me.
                            Aaron: Well Fuck, You!

                            Malady takes her dagger and starts flicking it towards him, in a matter of seconds, Aarons left arme starts pealing away from him. She has cast a potent Entropy 4 effect, dealing 4 points of Aggravated damage. Aaron shouts a flurry of swears at her while Malady just stands there and smiles at his pain.

                            Zandros: Malady, what was it you said to me, this is not the way to make friends?
                            Malady: ...He started it...

                            Hanson is really fighting the urge to point out everything wrong with what Malady just said.

                            Zandros: You have to go heal him if you want him to do as you ask.
                            Malady: Don't. Speak. To me. in, that, tone...
                            Zandros: You know what you need to do...

                            Malady begrudgingly goes up to Aaron and looks him in the eye as he clutches his arm in agony.

                            Malady: I am going to do something to you. You are not going to like it. You are going to take it, and you are not going to do anything about it.

                            She spits on his arm and rubs it around. His arm slowly gets back to form, healing the damage done to it.

                            Zandros: Very good, m'lady
                            Malady: You're really pushing it...

                            Aaron gets into another angry tirade about how breaking his stuff, and Hanson, no longer able to help himself, points out just how little logic there is in breaking the stuff of someone you want to help you.

                            Aaron: I'm a Virtual Adept, that computer is how I do magic!
                            Malady: Oh, you're one of those guys. Willing away at your keys, so pathetic!
                            Aaron: I am going to kill you some day!
                            Malady: I'll meet you there. Looking forward to it.
                            Aaron: Oh you can count on it.

                            Somehow this anger match is broken up, Zandros gives the seeds around and keeps Malady from getting too out of control.

                            Aaron flat our refuses, grabbing his broken computer, getting up, and preparing his phone to teleport him home. His teleportation attempt takes a bit longer, but he doesn't want to give Malady the satisfaction of walking away on foot, she has been making fun of his slow attempt to teleport away all the while. As he warps out Malady shouts "Say hi to Boris for me!"

                            The others make their way to the lakes. Sean reached one of the lakes first, and instead of planting his seeds, he just threw them into the centre of the lake, hoping they'd drown. Everyone else, however, plants their seeds. Under the assumption that, even those these two were assholes, they were still keepers, and therefor on the same side as them. When they finished, they returned to the node, but could not find a trace of them. They then left for home.

                            Aaron assessed the damages of his laptop. The hard drive was in tact, as was the cpu, but the graphics card, the fan, and his RAM were shot completely. He also noticed a handful of capacitors on the motherboard that had blown out and would need replacing. The job would probably take several hours, but at least none of his data was lost. It was at this point that Aaron noticed Lydia's voicemail. He resolved to do something about it the following day.

                            Helen slept in Alfred's room, while Hanson went to his office for a drink, and Sean to the Barracks. Sean found a note left for him in response to the report her wrote a few days ago.

                            Brother Sean Heath
                            Permission to continue infiltration and surveillance of the Verbena chantry has been granted. Be advised that since the day of the blackout, a number of breaches in the Gauntlet have been reported following encounters with demonic entities similar to that described in your report. This rise in demonic presence is of primary concern, and units are being mobilised to protect Templar interests and sleeper well being. If this chantry has any link with these breaches, then it is imperative that the nature of this link is confirmed. Further action will be taken in accordance with the intelligence gathered. We await your report.

                            Lord preserve us
                            H.M. Preceptor Joseph Kent

                            Alfred received the Lune's message from Lydia at about this time. He was able to deduce that Lydia must has been the one to call for help via Lune, and started to wonder what he could do.

                            Aaron went to sleep, but had a nightmare. He dreamt he was on an open black featureless plane, as though he had found himself at the bottom of the ocean void of water. He walked along the cruel and harsh terrain when in the distance he saw that thing, that creature of dread. As it drew closer, he began to panic and run in the other direction. He ran as fast as he could but when he could no longer take it, he turned around. The thing was right in his face, it's horrible features striking fear into his very being. He awoke and started running, escaping through the front door and running down the street and away.

                            This is where the chapter ends, with Aaron running off in uncertain directions.

                            Wow, Malady is terrible! Alfred's player described her best as "Terrifyingly Narcissistic" and while this wasn't how I imagined her when I was first thinking her up, this is certainly what she came into being as I played her. None of the players like her, they all regard her with a slice of anger and fear, which isn't really a bad thing for a Malfean character I suppose. They looked at Zandros more favourably, but only just, and mostly in comparison with Malady.

                            I came away from this session feeling as though I overdid it a bit, made her too nasty, but the more I think about her, the more comfortable I became with the kind of nasty she turned out to be. When I thought about my Malfeans I thought there was one of two routes I could take in this story. Route 1 was to make them the obvious antagonists, people that you need to keep an eye on in case something terrible happens. Route 2 was to make them far more likeable and thus easier to side with and potentially corrupt. The problem with route 2 is it still has to make sense that they're malfeans, otherwise the player is getting cheated out of a good antagonist. "Surprise, these guys are evil!" feels too cheap. I was initially thinking of going down this second route but with the way I played her, I'm firmly stuck on the first route. But there's a twist, even though the players hate her, they still feel obliged to help her because they think she's a Keeper. This means that if they find out she's a Widderslainte, it's unlikely they'll go lightly on her. So I'll have to make that reveal much slower. Probably start with who she was while she was properly a member of the Keepers, then have the player learn more about her indirectly, build up some pathos to complicate the situation and question whether she was really at fault for what she was, or if she was doomed from birth.

                            Also, keep an eye on that fox. This fox is actually important, and I mean very important! One of our character's lives is going to be changed by this fox some day.
                            Last edited by Saikou; 10-12-2016, 08:55 PM.

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


                            • #29
                              6th Session

                              This one went a bit all over the place, with almost every player going off to do their own thing. Not a huge problem, but it really does emphasise just how difficult 6 player games can be to handle.

                              Full Cast today:

                              Joe Hanson: Noir Detective
                              Aaron Gibson: Punk Hacker
                              Helen Walter: Hermetic Spy
                              Lydia: Moon Witch
                              Alfred WyrmKuran: Excalibur Mage
                              Sean Heath (aka Sam): Templar Knight

                              (Alfred's player finally realise what "wyrm" refers to, and that since this last name was chosen by his verbena family, they would have known the lore around the Wyrm, at least a little. It's unlikely they would have chosen something that was so obviously tainted, so he's thinking up a different last name)

                              Notable NPCs:

                              Mica Rose (techno Witch)
                              Kael Bartimaeus (Talisman Crafter)

                              Edwin Phillips (Our Marauder)

                              Violet Dubois: Euthanatos Assassin from afar
                              Charles Grayson: NWO Sympathiser. Hansons's Informant

                              Let's get to this:

                              ---CHAPTER 6: CALM YOUR SPIRITS!---

                              Hanson was sleeping in the back room of his office, the first time since he took the case. He never needed much sleep, so after about five hours, he was ready to get himself a cup of coffee and have his first smoke of the day. He takes his time, gathering his thoughts. "Dubois?" he calls out "You around here?". Not a sound. Not even a flicker of her unmistakable resonance.


                              Hanson is about to sit at his desk when a gleam from the window catches his eye. He notices an unmarked van parked across the road and his danger sense starts to rise. He can sense a subtle mind effect emanating from it, one designed to make people ignore it as they walk past. Hanson can't quite recall if it was there before he got home or not. He watches them for a while, and his phone begins to ring.

                              Hanson: Hello?
                              Charles: Hello Mr Smith...

                              This was code, Hanson knew whenever Charles called him "Smith", it meant something was up.

                              Hanson: Yes, how you doing?
                              Charles: I'm just calling about a flower delivery.
                              Hanson: ...and about time too! Where are they?
                              Charles: They should be arriving at your door very soon. They've been sent a few days ago.
                              Hanson: Good...

                              Hanson checks back at the window, and notices one of the van doors has opened.

                              Charles: You'll have to sign for them, Mr Smith.
                              Hanson: I'll get right on that.
                              Charles: Very good.

                              Charles hangs up the phone. Out the window, he sees a man in a suit and bowler hat exit the van, holding a clipboard, walking slowly towards the door. Looks like his suspicions were confirmed, Technocrats were on his tail so he better make his plans fast. He took a few sips of his hip flask and got to work building up his perception filter. He opened the door to the stairwell, and locked his office behind him. He heard a sound from the ground floor, the Technocrat must have entered. Hanson crept past the stairwell and towards a window by a fire exit just as the Technocrat reached his office and started knocking on the door. Hanson made a dash to the window, and quickly ran down the fire escape. He looked up as he descended, and saw the man looking down from the window and talking into something which looked like a phone. Hanson reached the ground and looked down the ally. It went straight to a fence he wasn't sure he could climb. The other way lead to the road with the van, out of which two more suits emerged, walking hastily towards him.

                              Meanwhile, Aaron was running in fear and dread randomly through the streets of London. Having not fully awoken from his dream, he still feared capture from the strange being that haunted him. After a good thirty minutes of running, he started to calm down a bit and look around where he was. He was only wearing pyjamas and a bathrobe, with none of this electronics on him, nor any money. He didn't recognise this part of London and so set about trying to find a map or a sign post which looked familiar.

                              After some fruitless searching, he came upon a pub. He was tired and could really do with some water, so he went inside. Aaron wasn't a frequent visitor of pubs, but he knew that most pubs didn't have wireless radios playing the Charleston on them. He walked up to the bar keeper who was cleaning a glass with a handkerchief, and asked him with a old-world american accent what he'd be having. He got some water and went over to sit somewhere. There were only three people sitting. Two of them involved in deep conversation, and another who seemed fairly nondescript, huddling over in the corner. Aaron took a look at a newspaper that was lying on a table. The Boston Post, with the date of October 1927. Aaron was dumbstruck. He had no idea what was going on. For a moment we wondered if Paradox had sent him on the other side of earth, but how did he end up back in time? But Aaron didn't know anything about the Time sphere. Was this some kind of strange paradox realm?

                              [ST NOTE: This started a brief discussion about what Mage society would be like back in the 1920s, and how the Virtual Adepts wouldn't even be a thing at this time, as Charles Babbage was yet to come to prominence. It's always a good feeling when your chronicles inspire hypothetical world history]

                              Aaron tried to listen in to the conversation these two men were having. He was able to overhear their names, Elliot, the listener, and Thurber, the teller. Thurber was telling Elliot about a an artist who produced the most horrifying images unlike anything he had ever seen. Aaron couldn't quite hear the name, but listened in to the eventual description of this painters subjects, their humanoid appearance, their canine features, their monstrous proportions... Aaron drifted in and out of this conversation as he tried to think about what in the world he could possibly do.

                              Back in the alleyway, Hanson had some quick decisions to make. He ran off, hoping his perception filter would make it easier to get away. It seemed to help, they didn't notice him as he ran out, but as the three Technocrats met up, one point in his direction, and they gave chase. Hanson started running, putting on his shades and, focusing on the chaos around him, tried to speed himself up. He managed to get some distance between them, but they were in hot pursuit. None of them had started shooting, which was good, but not something to bank on. He got out his notepad and tried scribbling in it, but lost his pencil in the dash. He hastily found another in his coat and tried again to scribble down what he knew about the area, trying to figure out the most likely route to get him out of danger. An Entropy effect which botched. By sheer force of will he held back the ensuing backlash as he tried again. This time far more successfully. He ran down the road, and took a right down another alleyway. He then jumped into a box which just happened to be there and waited. One of the men chasing him went down the alley, looked around but couldn't fathom where he went, the other two beckoned him over and off they ran, leaving Hanson on his own.

                              He slowly crept out of the box, and immediately tripped and fell to the floor. 3 points of Paradox had backlashed resulting in a mild case of falling over. He then felt that oh so familiar rending resonance, looked up, and saw her.

                              Violet: Hello Detective.
                              Hanson: Dubois. Certainly took your time...
                              Violet: I've been busy, and you really do have a nasty habit of getting yourself in trouble.
                              Hanson: Don't I know it.

                              Hanson gets himself to his feet.

                              Violet: Why are they after you?
                              Hanson: Back at Euston station, I went to take a look around, ended up getting chased by one of these guys and threw some fire at him.
                              Violet: I should have guessed it was something like that...
                              Hanson: They were taking a look at those rifts.
                              Violet: Yes... We've been busy with those as well... If you happen to find out what's causing them, you better let me know.
                              Hanson: Likewise.

                              Hanson takes out a cigarette and starts to light it.

                              Violet: You know, those things will kill you one day.
                              Hanson: In this world, what won't?

                              Hanson then offers her a cigarette and even lights it for her. The two stand and smoke for a while.

                              Hanson: So, you heard of a Jason?
                              Violet: Jason?
                              Hanson: Yeah, there was a guy who wanted to sit in a very specific seat back on the train, checked his mind and he seemed to answer to a Jason. Then a suit at the heath managing the construction, he too answered to Jason. Any ideas?
                              Violet: This to do with a case you're working on?
                              Hanson: Sort of.
                              Violet: Well, I can't say that I have.
                              Hanson: Let me know if you do.
                              Violet: If I find anything. And try to keep yourself alive, not that it would be a big loss if you didn't.

                              Violet takes her knife, cuts into the air, and disappears.

                              While all this is happening, both Alfred and Helen woke up in his apartment. He tells her about the "dream" he had in the night, where the Lune came to tell him that the "Daughter of Luna" needed help. They suspect this is Lydia and get a bit worried about her. It was Monday, Alfred had work and Helen had classes to attend. They made their way to their respective obligations. On the way, Alfred took a look at a newspaper on the tube. He found a article talking about the flooding on Hampstead Heath, how those controlling the construction argued that this was evidence that the construction should have been done much earlier. In order to recover any of their machinery they would have to drain the ponds first, although for the time being all work was disrupted until further notice. This alarmed Alfred, for although they temporarily stopped construction, giving them reason to drain the lakes may do a lot of damage to the area, and would almost certainly harm the spirits there.

                              While Helen was at the university, she decided to enrol in a Gaelic speaking class, hoping to better understand that page from the book of shadows.

                              Sean was having a fairly normal morning in the barracks. He went to the chapel to worship, and in the midst of his prayer, he heard that familiar voice.

                              Voice: Sean
                              Sean: My Lord?
                              Voice: How do you judge them?
                              Sean: They... They seem to be peaceful.
                              Voice: Yes?
                              Sean: But I much still watch them.
                              Voice: When the time comes, you must bring retribution.
                              Sean: Yes.. Of course my Lord.

                              Helen had put some distance between her and the police station. but had no idea where she was going. The police still had most of her things, including her knife, and it was unlikely she'd be able to get them back without returning. Something she wasn't particularly keen on doing. She kept going along what she thought was the way back to the Heath, but ended up going in completely the other direction. She found herself a park, but being completely unfamiliar with London, had no idea which park this could be.

                              She started chanting, calling for the spirits to help. This attracted the interest of a Stormcrow.

                              Crow: 'Allo!
                              Lydia: Hi, can you help me?
                              Crow: Perhaps.
                              Lydia: Right, well you see-
                              Crow: Wot you got?
                              Lydia: What?
                              Crow: Wot you got for me if I help you?
                              Lydia: What do you want?
                              Crow: Wot've you got?

                              Lydia knows a little about Stormcrows, she knows they are fairly crafty spirits but have high regard for reputation.

                              Lydia: I can put in a good word for you.
                              Crow: You wot?
                              Lydia: I speak with Luna, I can tell her how you've helped me.
                              Crow: That old bint?

                              Lydia explains to the Strom crow just how beneficial Luna's favour can be, and how well she speaks with her. Her Charisma roll is pretty strong, appealing to the Stormcrow and making him feel more willing to help.

                              Lydia: What do I call you?
                              Crow: Just call me Moe the Crow (this is not a true name)
                              Lydia: Ok... Well, Moe, can you tell me where I am?
                              Crow: Here? This here's Finsbury Park.
                              Lydia: Can you tell me how to get to Hampstead Heath?
                              Crow: Hampstead Heath? That's a while away.
                              Lydia: yes, ok, where is it?
                              Crow: Well, as the crow flies, that way (points a direction).
                              Lydia: That way?
                              Crow: Yup, See ya! (The Stormcrow flies off)

                              Helen quickly scribbles a few runes in the grown with a stick. She wants to build up a good Entropy effect, altering the fate of the Police so they don't run in to her as she travels.

                              Aaron has been sitting to Elliot and Thurber talk for a while, and finally managed to make out the name of the artist they're talking about. Pickman. This Pickman seems like quite the unsavoury character, and he wonders for a while if he has anything to do with his sudden transportation. Aaron decides he best try to make some form of communication. He reaches for his phone, but remembers he doesn't have it. Not that it was likely to function in this time period anyway, at least not without being extremely vulgar. He got up and went to the bar keeper, and asked if he could have some change for a payphone. The man gave him a couple of cents and told him there was one not far from here.

                              The hunched over man started to move, he got up and started walking out of the bar. In a split second, Aaron thought he looked familiar. "Hold on" Aaron thought, "I'm on the other side of the world in the past, and I'm finding someone familiar? That should not be happening". He called out to the guy to wait up, but this only prompted him to escape. Aaron tried to follow him out the door but only managed to see him walk round a corner. He followed in pursuit and met a brick wall, dead end.

                              Aaron stared at it for a while. Whoever that guy was, he wasn't going to catch him now... Aaron slumped and started walking back towards where the payphone was supposed to be, but stopped when he was a red doubled decker bus pass right by him. He looked around, the roads and streets all looked like London. Had he entered a themed bar? He poked his head back in and saw a Pub, with two guys staring at a TV watching football. The guy at the bar asked if he'd found the phone, his accent distinctly east London. He looked at the coins he was handed earlier, and instead of cents, found a couple of 20p coins.

                              "I am way to tire to be dealing with this..."

                              Aaron looked around for another map and in several hours was able to navigate his way back home. He got to his phone and almost kissed it, never wanting it to leave his sight again. He found a few text messages. One from Hanson asking if he was ok, and another from Alfred saying that Lydia needed help. On replying, Hanson called Aaron.

                              Hanson: Everything ok?
                              Aaron: Sort of
                              Hanson: You wouldn't believe the morning I've had.
                              Aaron: ...Yeah...

                              They talked for a bit and Aaron told him about Lydia's message, and that she's trapped in Holloway Police station. Hanson decides to get there as soon as he can.

                              Another person rings his number, this time it's Aflred, speaking to him on his lunch break.

                              Alfred: You ok?
                              Aaron: Well... I had a morning.
                              Alfred: Quite.

                              They talk for a bit and Alfred lets tells him about the Lune's message of help, and guesses it's probably from Lydia. Aaron tells him what he knows, and adds that Hanson is already on his way. Before they end the call, Aaron asks Alfred if he's ever heard of an artist named Pickman and then describes the 1920's bar he found himself in. Failing that Aaron asks if he could tell him a bit about spirits. He takes the picture he made of the thing he saw only a few days ago and faxes it over to Alfred's work. Alfred looks at it but isn't able to recognise anything specific, though it does look like something that would come out of a horror novel. An academics check makes him attribute the creature and the feelings of dread he described to something from Poe or Lovecraft.

                              Alfred goes off to look into this a bit more and leaves Aaron to his own devices.

                              Yet another phone call, this time Sean.

                              Sean: Are you well?
                              Aaron: Why is everyone suddenly so interested in my life!?

                              Aaron lets Sean know what Hanson was doing. Sean gets worried about Hanson getting close to law enforcers, and decides to meet up later in the afternoon so as to let the Technocracy's search run cold first. They hang up. Aaron looks at the two broken laptops on his desk, decides that this is a job for another day, and goes to have a nap.

                              Sean and Hanson talk on the phone too and agree to meet up at the police station. Hanson informs him about his run in with the Technocracy. This rather alarms Sean though Hanson just brushes it off. At the end of the call, Sean takes out the SIM of his phone and throws it away, hoping to reduce any chance that the Technocracy might be listening in on them.

                              ​Alfred decides to look into the museums archives for anything they might have from Boston around the 20s. The search is long and arduous and taking several hours to perform. But he does find something, a collection of the magazine "Weird Tales", one of which features a the story "Pickman's Model". Careful not to ruin the almost antique manuscript, he goes through it carefully, reading over the story and remarking on how similar some of the events are to what Aaron described to him. During his search, Alfred receives a number of texts from Helen.

                              Helen: Have you heard anything from Lydia?
                              Alfred: Not since my dream last night.
                              Helen: Any news from anyone else?
                              Alfred: Aaron is worse for wear, but safe. Hanson is looking for Lydia. Nothing on "Sam".
                              Helen: Do you have any clues where Lydia is?
                              Alfred: At "Her Majesty's Pleasure" (meaning prison)
                              Helen: After school, I'm going to the keepers of the Wyck to inform them what happened in Hampstead Heath. Please tell the rest where I am going to be when they ask. I'll keep you updated.
                              Alfred: Do you want me to join you?
                              Helen: That'd be helpful. So meet me in front of... I can't remember the name, but you know where the keepers of the Wyck are. Let's me there!
                              Alfred: I'll meet you at Churchill Gardens.
                              Helen: Yeah. I remember now...

                              So, here's where everyone is as of the end of Part 1:
                              Lydia is heading towards Hampstead Heath, carefully avoiding being seen with still most of her belongings in police custody.
                              Sean and Hanson are making their way towards Holloway Police Station in order to help Lydia, thinking she's still there.
                              Alfred and Helen are off to the Keepers.
                              and Aaron is just asleep.

                              I'll put the next part of this chapter up later on.

                              --MID-CHAPTER NOTE--
                              This particular Marauder episode was something I've been thinking about for a while, and I decided on making it this instead of another "run from the monsters!" segment for three reasons.
                              1) When it comes to Lovecraft, a lot of people tend to focus on the weird worlds and the weirder creatures, the insanity, the ooze, the slime, the strange architecture, those alien languages, all that stuff. All of that is important, but the world Lovecraft tries to describe isn't just this, it's not just these otherworldly things. They are in a very real mundane world. This mundanity is present in all of the things he rights, whether it's in the bus that slowly drives you to Innsmouth, the quaint farming village where a meteorite lands, or the dusty halls of the Miscatonic University Library, all of which adds a sense of familiarity which slowly turns into uncanny. If Edwin truly believes that he is living in the world that Lovecraft describes, then these mundane segments are just as much a part of his delusions.
                              2) So many of Lovecraft's stories are told via 2nd and 1st person narration. He does this intentionally to add an extra layer of distance between the reader and the events being described. Everything that happens feels like you're hearing a folk tale or a some kind of heresay, making it feel much less credible, but at the same time all the more confounding. Everything is obscured through the lens of objectivity. Pickman's model is done in this way much more than the others, with the Narrator telling his tale through a slightly intoxicated daze to the reader. I wanted to bring this element of secondhand experiences into his delusions, and hint that even when Edwin isn't experiencing the horrors first hand, he knows they are out there, lurking in the shadows.
                              3) I wanted to give the players a bit more to go on. For most of them, this is their first experience of WoD, so it would be unfair to expect them to try and determine what is canon Umbra spirits and Paradox, and what is Lovecraftian delusions. So having Aaron actually step into the first few paragraphs of the novel might be a better hint than simply throwing the actual monsters at them.

                              It seems to have worked since Alfred has been prompted enough to actually research this. Alfred's player even started reading Pickman's Model after the session to get a better idea of what's going on.

                              Also, no one has yet suspected that they are dealing with a marauder. I thought this was the most obvious Marauder-esque sequence I've given them yet, but apparently not.
                              I wonder how many more interactions it will take.
                              Place your bets.

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


                              • #30
                                ---CHAPTER 6: CALM YOUR SPIRITS! #CONTINUED#---

                                Lydia is on Hampstead Heath, as she walks up the hill she can see a number of workmen wearing high-vis jackets, all them them staring out at the waterlogged remains of their construction site. The ponds had been so flooded that they had basically converged into one. She is aware that there is supposed to be a node around here, but she has yet to see it and so does not know where to find it. It occurs to her that the others are probably looking for her, and if they follow her message, they'll be led astray. Keeping her distance, she tries a few chants in order to call down for another spirit.

                                Crow: 'Allo!
                                Lydia: You again?
                                Crow: You found it alright then?
                                Lydia: Yes...
                                Crow: Good. Now how's about that good word you were gonna give for me?
                                Lydia: I was going to do that...
                                Crow: Were you?
                                Lydia: Yes! And you're in the way!
                                Crow: Am I now?
                                Lydia: How can I talk to Luna if you keep pestering me?
                                Crow: You leading me on, are ya?
                                Lydia: What do you want!
                                Crow: Wot've you got?

                                Lydia is starting to get really irritated by this Stormcrow.

                                Lydia: I don't have anything! Ok? Now push off.
                                Crow: You trying me on or wot?
                                Lydia: Fekking Crow!! Get away!
                                Crow: Right!

                                The Stromcrow looks a bit peeved off himself. He flaps his wings and creates a great bellow of wind around him.

                                Crow: You think you're gonna get one over me? Now I'm gonna teach ya good.
                                Lydia: Teach me what?
                                Crow: You never trick the trickster!

                                The wind picks up with intense speed. Trees star to sway and bend, the workmen fall to the ground. Lydia battles hard just to stay on her feet.

                                Lydia: What do you want from me?
                                Crow: I keep sayin'. What've you got?
                                Lydia: I don't have anything! I've got the clothes on my back. This pendant. But that's it. (Lydia pulls out the Keeper's Tree necklace she wears)
                                Crow: That'll do nicely!

                                The winds violently pick up, blowing the pendant right out of her hand. The stormcrow looks down at Lydia, catching the necklace as it's tossed in the wind. "Cheers" he calls down right before flying away. Lydia looks around. The wind has died down and the workmen, though confused and shaken, don't seem to be in any real danger. All signs of the stormcrow, and her necklace, are gone. She feels dreadful for having lost it, a great deal of shame pressed down upon her just thinking of returning to the Keepers without it.

                                She tried to get herself together and try again, hoping to call down a less hostile spirit for aid. As she had cast her call beyond the gauntlet before, once again her call is answered. This time by a Hrafan. A large raven spirit.

                                Raven: Hello!
                                Lydia: Uh...hi, I need a message delivered.
                                Raven: And you are?
                                Lydia: Lydia, I'm trying to contact the Keepers of the Wyck, you know them? They talk to spirits all the time.
                                Raven: Perhaps.
                                Lydia: Right, well, can you help?
                                Raven: First, a challenge. How good are you with riddles?
                                Lydia: Go on then...
                                Raven: What lies bellow yet floats above?
                                Lydia: Uhh...

                                It's a good thing Lydia is good at rolling Enigmas....

                                Lydia: Clouds
                                Raven: Correct.

                                [ST NOTE: I made this one up off the top of my head, and yeah, we all agreed it was pretty contrived. Had I known we were going to have riddles ahead of time I might have constructed some better ones, but there you go.]

                                Raven: Now for yourself?
                                Lydia: You will always find me in the past. I can be created in the present, But the future can never taint me. What am I?
                                Raven: Memories?
                                Lydia: Very close, but no. The answer is History.

                                [ST NOTE: I had not heard this one before. So the Raven's answer was actually what I guessed.]

                                Raven: Very good! What Wit there is to it! How may I be of service?
                                Lydia: You know the Keepers of the Wyck?
                                Raven: We are quite familiar with them here.
                                Lydia: Good. Go to them, find Alfred, talk to him and tell him I'm at the Heath, and that they shouldn't go looking for me at Holloway Police Station.
                                Raven: Very well! (flies away)

                                Alfred and Helen have left their respective institutions, met up, and arrived at Pimlico station. As they get closer to Churchill Gardens, Alfred begins to sense a spiritual presence. He continues walking for a bit, but the presence does not lift. Just as he reaches the door he decides to push his senses out beyond the gauntlet and sees the Hrafn. Alfred recognises the creature, though knows little about it. He decides to err on the side of caution and bow before it in respect.

                                Raven: Keep going...

                                Slightly confused, Alfred obliges, bowing lower.

                                Raven: A little more.

                                Alfred bends further, not entirely sure about his actions anymore.

                                Raven: Go on, a bit more, you can almost kiss the ground.
                                Alfred: (stops bowing) What is it you want?

                                The Hrafn laughs at this, and eventually relays its message. Alfred thanks the creature but before flying off, it asks him:
                                Raven: Aren't you going to bow to me before I go?
                                Alfred: No.
                                The Hrafn laughs again and flies away.

                                Helen is not entirely sure what just happened.

                                The two of them enter the Chantry and knock on the door to the inner levels. Kael answers them holding a gemstone and welcoming them into the antechamber. They sit and inform him on what has happened at the Heath, with Alfred expressing his concern on the planned draining of the ponds. Kael nods.

                                Kael: It is a concern, but perhaps something we should think about later on.
                                Alfred: I'm worried about the water nymphs there. I asked them to help and that's how it all flooded.
                                Kael: Ah yes. You need to be very specific when dealing with nymphs.
                                Alfred: Also, another thing that happened that evening, we met two others who said they were of the Keepers. At least one of them even had a pendant.
                                Kael: Oh...
                                Alfred: They said they were here for the same reasons as us, and asked that we plant some seeds to help drive away the construction workers, except we weren't certain whether or not we could trust them. It was a man and a woman, the woman was particularly worrisome as she attacked one of us without hesitation. They called themselves Zandros and Malady?

                                The room fell silent for a moment. Kael sat there and thought about what Alfred just told him.

                                Kael: I think it's best if we speak to Vivian about this.
                                Helen: Where is she?
                                Kael: Out, there's been another breach in the gauntlet and she along with Boris and Camellia have gone to sort it out.

                                Mica walked through from beyond the corridor, very obviously frustrated.

                                Kael: Mica, have you finished your studies?
                                Mica: Yes. and I'm going back to something that actually works!

                                She storms past them and into her room on the side.

                                Kael: I must apologise for her. Horrible temperament at times. I'm her mentor you see, I taught her the ancient ways of crystal magic, but she insists of perverting it with all this technological nonsense. I've been trying to set her right, but she can be quite stubborn.
                                Alfred: Well, crystals can be found to grow in the most unlikely of places.

                                The analogy goes straight over Kael's head, who starts to rant a little about how crystal magic should be performed. He leaves the two of them for a while, saying he needs to clear up after Mica in the node room. Alfred uses this opportunity to Aaron in order to relay the Hrafn's message.

                                Aaron wakes up somewhat peacefully from his nap. As he gets up, a flash of inspiration crosses his mind, the reason that man in the 20s bar looked so familiar. It was the very same man he met in the station and in front of his house. It was Edwin. For some reason, things seem to get weird whenever he's about. Aaron decides that the next time he encounters him, he's going to go straight to him for answers. Aaron notices a new message on his computer from Mica.

                                Mica: Malady? Wait, do you mean Mel?

                                Aaron responds

                                Aaron: Maybe... The one we met was really nasty. She destroyed my computer and almost unravelled my arm.

                                It took a while but eventually Mica responded.

                                Mica: Wow, Mel was never that bad...
                                Aaron: So who's this Mel?
                                Mica: I think we need to talk about this with Vivian. She'll be back probably around night.

                                Aaron's phone rings, he hears Alfred's message and gets ready to transfer it along. He tries to call Sean but can't get through, so instead goes for Hanson.

                                Hanson and Sean are at Holloway Police station. They agree for Sean to sit and wait opposite the building in case things get hairy, while Hanson goes in and scopes the place out. He enters the station and talks to the policeman sitting at the desk.

                                Police: Hello sir?
                                Hanson: Hello. I'm was told I could find Lydia here.
                                Police: Just a moment... What was the name again?
                                Hanson: Lydia
                                Police: ...No, I can't find the name, what did they look like.

                                Hanson proceeds to give them a description of Lydia. The policeman steps away and reaches for a phone. Hanson pulls down his shades and concentrates on the sound from the phone, amplifying it so he can hear them.

                                Phone: I'll take a look... What did he say the name was?
                                Police: Lydia.
                                Phone: Hmm... Well, there was one person who matched that description, that's the one that escaped this morning.
                                Police: Oh really?
                                Phone: I think you'd better keep this guy in for questioning.
                                Police: Right away.

                                It's at this point that Aaron gets through to Hanson's phone and lets him know where Lydia is. Hanson suddenly finds himself, again, in a tight spot.

                                Police: Could you take a seat please sir?
                                Hanson: Certainly

                                ​Hanson immediately leaves through the front door and out into the street before they can say anything. He turns to Sean, explains the situation and immediately heads towards the Heath. Sean decides to go in a completely different direction. In case the police come after the, he'd rather not be captured by association. The wind is picking up, and Sean feels alert. Something is about.

                                Kael returns to the antechamber and informs Helen and Alfred that there's been yet another breach in the gauntlet in London. He tells them where and asks if they can go and tend to it. Meanwhile Hanson gets to the Heath and finds a distraught Lydia sitting down on the grass. She isn't exactly pleased to see him, but any form of discussion is cut short when they both notice a strange site. From their vantage point they can see a great build up of wind in a specific part of London, they decide to go investigate.

                                Sean holds is crucifix and says a prayer of guidance (Corr 1, Prime 1) and he can see the flow of energy around him. Not far from him is a large build up of quintesential energy in the sky, as he draws near it, the wind begins to get much stronger. Turning a corner, he sees it, a great mass of wind circling around, and at its centre, a face so contorted with rage just to glance at it is to feel threatened. Helen and Alfred arrive and behold the scene. Sleepers are rushing around trying to get away from the storm as this thing creates a path of destruction in its wake. Alfred is able to confirm that this thing is a spirit, known as a Sturm, but knows little else. Sean enchants his gun with primal energy and prepares for combat. Alfred's general outlook is summed up in one sentence: "Why is this here?". Aaron quickly gets to his computer, does some coding wizadry, and is able to get a visual on both Alfred and Hanson on his computer. He is able to watch the fight and participate from a distance.

                                Alfred tries to speak with it, but the Sturm is so filled with rage and the desire to destroy that it seems inconsolable with words alone. It starts firing lightning bolts down on them and Helen is hit. She gets to work tracing shapes around her and Alfred in an effort to ward away electric energy. Aaron does a Forces analysis on the spirit and determines that, while it is in the material world at least, it is made up of high winds and a great many gigawatts of electric energy. With this in mind, he goes about constructing a lightning barrier around Sean. Sean takes aim at the quintessence laden core of the thing and commences shooting.

                                Alfred gives up on talking to it, and decides instead to try and calm it down with Mind magic. Helen joins in, though their progress is somewhat hampered by Sean's shooting. The wind picks up and objects go flying all around, broken glass, rubbish, trash cans, and all sorts go flying around. Sean loses his grip and his gun goes flying. Alfred jumps to help him get it while Helen patiently continues imposing her calming shapes upon it.

                                Hanson and Lydia arrive, and she recognises immediately for what it is. She calls out over the wind that the Sturm will fall into slumber if it becomes calm. Hanson disregards this and instead throws fire at it. Lydia tries to talk to it but finds it just as impossible to reason with as Alfred did, It's great screams of anger and the proclamation of its desire to destroy being the only things it would utter.

                                The winds blow, objects are thrown, and lightning is struck, though luckily it gets harmlessly absorbed by Helen's barrier. Hanson switches tactics and tries to push calm upon it while Sean gets another few shots in. The Sturm is weakened severely, and soon falls to the overwhelming sense of calm given off from the others. The wind settles and the face dissolves back and away. Aaron's effect starts to come apart, and after buffering for a few minutes, the feed completely dies, leaving him unable to see what the rest of them are doing.

                                Lydia and Hanson hear police sirens and the two of them panic. Hanson tries to put up his perception filter and extend it to include Lydia. But he botches. Hanson's rolls never cease to amaze me. This effect is a rote, and his method of casting is well within his ability. The difficulty is down to 3, and still he manages to botch. Paradox swells and 5 points backlash upon him, causing him to be completely unable to see Lydia at all. Lydia gets anxious waiting for Hanson to sort himself and chooses to run off, away from the sirens. Though confused, Hanson pulls up his effect again and puts it into action. Allowing him to slip by unnoticed in case the police arrive. Alfred is the only one to notice the sirens, but he ignores it and searches out for where the breach in the gauntlet might be.

                                Eventually he comes to a street where his Spirit sense shows him a distinct gap in the rhythm of the gauntlet hovering in the sky. When he looks down, however, he comes face to face with a man in a black suit and a bowler hat.

                                And that's where the session ended.

                                This session was really complicated to keep track off. Everyone had their own little adventure, and so keeping track of time became a huge challenge, both in game and out. I'm always really conscious of when my players are left doing nothing for prolonged periods of time, and when each one has an individual segment to deal with, that becomes all the more problematic. I usually remedy this by constantly jumping back and forth between the players scenarios, allowing 2 or 3 stories to go on simultaneously. Unfortunately, especially with 6 players, it's not always possible to ensure that everyone gets an equal share of the spotlight, and today's victim of sidelining was Helen. I spoke with her player about it afterwards, and she did feel that, apart from the very end with the Sturm fight, that her character didn't have much opportunity to act. I'll try to make it up to her next week with a few Helen specific events.

                                See you all next week.

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