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CtL: Water Under the Bridge (2e Playtest AP)

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  • CtL: Water Under the Bridge (2e Playtest AP)

    This is certainly a very pretty quarrel as it stands, and if the two sets of guardians of honest people will unite their energies and efforts for the apprehension of rogues the Chicagoans will derive benefit from the quarrel between their high civic officials. But if these two factions of policemen should fall to and arrest one the other, the rascals, who are numerous in the great city of winds and fires, will have matters all their own way.
    — Philadelphia Inquirer, 4 February 1873

    So it's been a while — the better part of four months, in fact — but ArcaneArts et al and I have finally gotten the preliminary setup done for our Chicago game. Preludes were run over the course of the past week, and the full sessions proper begin tonight. A rudimentary directory to posted sessions and setting information can be found below; questions about the setting and characters are always welcome.

    Table of Contents
    Courtly Intrigue in the Chicago Underwood
    The Player Characters

    Freehold Fun Facts #1 (The Bulwark of Hoyle and Kerosene)
    Freehold Fun Facts #2 (The City Gray)

    Chapter 1 (Fair Folk and Masked Markets)
    Chapter 2 (Double-Dealing in the Second City)
    Chapter 3 (A Lot to Learn)

    Last edited by Satchel; 10-09-2016, 08:17 PM.

    Resident Lore-Hound
    Currently Consuming: Demon: the Descent 1e

  • #2
    You know we're off to a good start when I'm reminded of all the ways I can be a better roleplayer.

    I mean, Danica's prelude was always going to be soft-she lived her durance in the dangers of every lullaby-but some of the other players did a fantastic job. Hell, they did it just with their character ideas.

    Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
    The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
    Feminine pronouns, please.


    • #3
      Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
      she lived her durance in the dangers of every lullaby
      Okay, vaguely ominous lines like this are one of the things that keep me hooked on learning about Changeling.

      Alternatively, I'm imagining a baby and cradle falling from a tree, and an egg falling from a wall.


      • #4
        There were two things I went to sleep to as a kid-oldies pop-rock, and ocean sounds.

        I didn't feel like playing Ringo.

        Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
        The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
        Feminine pronouns, please.


        • #5
          Been a rough couple of weeks between various shenanigans interfering with play and just sort of generally getting everybody adjusted to the play format. Session reports will start coming in some time after next week's roundup, but in the meantime, I'll try to get some setting resources put up.

          Let's start with something basic:

          Courtly Intrigue in the Chicago Underwood
          The freehold of the Chicago Loop is divided into two Courts with a fairly simple means of passing rulership.

          In a state of sufficient emergency,* the Fire Court claims primacy, ostensibly led by a Crown Prince or Princess best-placed to resolve the crisis.*

          The Wind Court rules the freehold between those times; when the dust settles, the one among them most prominent in the minds of the city's proximate fae** is chosen as Governor.

          The Underwood is not the friendliest of freeholds to live in, which is probably why it pours so much effort into tourism.

          * That these criteria are set by the Wyrd and disturbingly biased in favor of attempts by Red Courtiers to claim the Crown for themselves is a well-documented irony, which is occasionally exploited by enterprising Blue Courtiers looking to force a shift in freehold policy. The Lantern Court's Lamplighters exist as a faction partially to stymie these abuses.

          ** Canny members of the Looking-Glass Court recognize that this includes hobgoblins and visitors, and sell their favored candidates accordingly. Not all such changelings have the resources to outdo their fellows in impressing sightseers and Hedge-dwellers, which is one of the many reasons the advertising firm of Newcomb and Razor has grown so prominent in the decades since its foundation.
          Last edited by Satchel; 07-21-2016, 09:38 PM. Reason: Clarity of the Crown: Not Just For The Fairest

          Resident Lore-Hound
          Currently Consuming: Demon: the Descent 1e


          • #6
            A general writeup of the PCs:

            Milton Johnson (Darkling Clerk, Wind Court; played by Intrepid Vector)
            As a Darkling whose Clarity is founded upon passing unnoticed, it may or may not be surprising that Milton's Durance is the odd one out among the motley's experiences with Faerie. Not for him the domestic servitude of an Arcadian estate or the rough labors of ocean and arena; no, Milton did office work in a Strange skyscraper of ambiguous geometries at war with a blizzard that was an army and betrayed a talking dog in exchange for safe passage out of the storm and into Snowvember 2014, only a few years after a leaden-horned Huntsman convinced him to sign on for work in the Tower of the Pewter Portal.

            Working as an intern for Newcomb and Razor suits him well, as good as his time in Faerie has made him at lying and blending into the background, but when the Treasurer of the freehold asks you to babysit a grandiose Fairest more familiar with Arcadia than Earth there's only so much you can do to keep to the shadows. Being tagged for a motley made specifically to deal with a contentious issue in freehold politics is almost an afterthought.

            Sparvayne (Fairest Flowering, Fire Court; played by SaikyoDinosaur)
            Nobody's really sure what to make of Sparvayne just yet; he was taken to Faerie as an infant and came to Chicago last month on the coattails of Lazlo Blue-Blood after deciding to take the Earthbones away from his Keeper in a fit of pique. Most of his social skills are geared toward entertaining guests at the more forthright variety of Fae gathering, and he can't lie for beans. Nevertheless, he's eager to establish himself in the freehold despite not knowing a lot about Chicago, so he's pretty gung-ho about the whole affair that's got him oathbound to the rest of the motley.

            He's spent a decent chunk of his time on Earth getting used to the metaphysical differences, but given his reasons for joining the Fire Court it's not unlikely that he'll make some overtures to join the Lamplighters in the course of play; Lazlo's unspecified disapproval of the Chief Lamplighter is a probable complicating factor, but for the time being the Treasurer hasn't done anything untoward about Kenneth MacDougall tricking his ward into an irrevocable binding of fates. (The year is still young.)

            Johan "Jonathan" Holt (Wizened Maker/Ifrit, Wind Court; played by Okami)
            Born in 1945 to the son of a watchmaker who survived Chicago's burning, Johan learned the art of clockwork at his grandfather's knee. As a teenager he was taken in the chaos of a less extensive blaze by a Huntsman of particularly eldritch mien, whereupon the hunting lodge of the Lady of Dread and Fire became his home for some time. What complicated matters was the Keeper's cohabitation with the Annex of Echoing Clockwork, who, in some arcane twist of Fae etiquette, subverted Her claim on the boy in the name of maintaining the endless array of timepieces within Its part of the domain. Also complicating things was his initial escape attempt leading him almost immediately back into the servitude of the Lady, who got most of the way through reshaping him into a human blunderbuss before some of his fellow servants managed a second break.

            Despite technically being the most senior character among the PCs, Johan's had his hands full over the last few years, between catching up with the times and reacquiring the family business. Oh, and learning his grandfather was a changeling, discovering the Hollow attached to his shop, and disentangling himself from increasingly transparent attempts at extortion by some of the more disreputable members of the Fire Court. Getting roped into the motley due to ill-advised pledgecraft is just the icing on the cake.

            Danica Stawski (Ogre Waterborn/Telluric, Fire Court; played by ArcaneArts)
            You already know this character, broadly. Young girl gets slipped through the cracks to Arcadia in the midst of the Chicago Leak, spends a decade passing in and out of consciousness in a Stranger's space-ocean while possibly being used as a resource-gathering instrument in her sleep, busts out to find twenty-odd years have passed, agrees to initiation into the Fire Court as part of a vague plan to seek out the conspiracy that made her what she now is. Not quite a tale as old as time, but definitively familiar.

            That conspiracy-hunting and her general attention-drawing furtiveness since joining society look to be the big issues in dealing with the freehold going forward, but as it stands, a chance encounter with her is the primary reason Johan's become entangled with the motley-in-progress, and multiple high-ranking freeholders have a suspicious degree of interest in/entanglement with her since she returned. Given the reason she was tagged for this motley, the latter promises to be tricky business further down the line. (Well, that and her inability to call people by their names, but that's a different kind of fun.)
            Last edited by Satchel; 07-25-2016, 11:22 PM.

            Resident Lore-Hound
            Currently Consuming: Demon: the Descent 1e


            • #7
              Well, that was… eventful.

              The motley literally doubled their total number of Beats in tonight's session, to give you an idea.

              Half of those were due to social gaffes, one of which resulted in the game's first Clarity roll.

              They're definitely fitting right into the freehold culture, at least.

              (Full story to follow later in the week.)

              Resident Lore-Hound
              Currently Consuming: Demon: the Descent 1e


              • #8
                Chapter 1: Fair Folk and Masked Markets

                We set our scene at the opening of the freehold's annual Fool's Fair, a massive festival-slash-Goblin-Market held in a spacious Hollow rooted somewhere in Lincoln Park. There was a rack of assorted party masks by the entrance; they weren't compulsory, but everyone in the motley and several NPCs opted to wear one.

                Danica picked out a monochrome lunisolar piece at random after a passing cat-person crushed her hopes of being able to pawn any choice for living supplies, then headed into the crowds to browse. Breadth of supernatural knowhow is unfortunately no substitute for market savvy, so she was basically flying blind as far as what to expect anything to cost, but she managed to luck into a hobgoblin stall that was selling camping goods.

                Johan chose a fairly plain wood-and-bark mask, had similar luck trying to parse the mercantile habits of Hedge-fae, and found himself looking around at the same shop as Danica. Neither of them had met before, what with Dani being new in town and Johnny having been blitzed with lizardmen looking for a meal ticket for the last few years, but sympathy or caprice or something else prompted the owner of the stall to descend and make an offer.

                Enter Ragpenny.

                Ragpenny is honest. You can tell on account of the big red stovepipe hat that says "HONEST" on it.

                She was so thrilled at the prospect of having two such mutually juxtaposed customers in her store — both fiery-miened-yet-not in different ways, both new to the Fair in different ways, both wary of their peers in different ways — that she offered a fairly generous bundle of kit to the pair if they'd agree to be oathbound to each other until she next came to town.

                After some trepidation, they agreed to an anonymous alliance of mutual profit, for which they were given some mundane and low-key-magical camping gear and a few bits of goblin dross that amounted to a handful of limited-use Cash Equipment. (Neither of them had a very strong grasp on what this entailed, which will obviously have No Negative Repercussions Whatsoever later on.) They parted ways and went back to wandering around the Fair.

                Back at the entrance, Milton was introduced to Sparvayne by Lazlo, who previously requested that the former help the latter with getting used to Chicago and/or adult society and/or life on Earth. The Earthbones decided he wanted to wear one of the masks (with a mien like his, can you blame him?) and asked for their recommendations as to which. Sparvayne's sharp butterfly design lost to Milton's suggested mossy green one. (Spar wound up wearing his own pick; Milton chose a mask that was functionally a yellow circle with eyeholes.)

                Lazlo asked that the lads get to know each other and offered some window-shopping advice that amounted to a single use of Market Sense for each of them before disappearing into the denser crowds in the middle of the Fair. The boys set about browsing and came across a kind of tacky little stall run by a jaundiced little toad with a plastic book. Milton used Inanimate Communion on a cracked coffee mug (you can probably guess the tenor of the slogan printed on it) and got a brief vision of a mustachioed man dropping it in a blackout, then explained to Sparvayne how Goblin Markets can trade in intangibles.

                Spar badmouthed the vendor in front of it, which prompted Milton to check if the shadow of a coffee mug comes with free black coffee (it does not) and advise against this behavior.

                Spar doubled down on the grounds of not wanting to lie, leading Milton to continue his exasperated lesson on etiquette and recommend using flattery to remedy the bad impression.

                We put that to a roll. The roll we opted with was Presence + Empathy, a Skill in which Spar notably has zero dots.

                Spar's player rolled one success on one die.

                The Flowering managed to stumble his way through a litany of backhanded compliments and got offered a discount on his pick of the merchandise. Sparvayne didn't exactly want anything from the stall, so he just traded a cheap leather bracelet for the past two nights' dreams. Milton turned down an offer of the color of his eyes for the coffee mug.

                Milton was then approached by his technical employer the Marquis de Newcomb, less formally known as Thrice-Blind Aisling. The literally-sketchy Chimera indirectly informed him and Sparvayne that the toad's name was Wartholomew and that the Fairest's original conversation tactic may have actually been on-point, then made transparent remarks as only a Palewraith can in the process of telling the Clerk he was needed at a tent towards the middle of the Fair.

                The crowds had thinned around the edges since the Fair's opening and Aisling is sufficiently terrifying that her path left a wake, so at least getting there was easy. Spar tagged along on the basis of invitation and absence of other chaperones.

                Meanwhile, Dani was approached by the cat-man from before, wearing the same bright yellow lion mask and now swathed in a pillar of smoke; he directed her to that same tent, claiming that her help was needed identifying someone who wandered in.

                She made her way to the tent (a green "Hamlyn" brand number that someone unaccountably whitewashed the words "Lost Children" onto) and found a folding table, several folding chairs, a handful of incidental Fire Courtiers, and Kenneth MacDougall, Chief Lamplighter, inside, along with Milton and Spar.

                There was a lantern on the table, filled with liquid moonlight. Kenneth was looking into it like a bargain-basement fortuneteller.

                There was also a messenger bag, which turned out to have a moldy green talking rat in it. The rat said hello.

                (We ended the session there because it was three o'clock in the morning.)

                [Next Chapter (2)]
                Last edited by Satchel; 10-09-2016, 08:22 PM.

                Resident Lore-Hound
                Currently Consuming: Demon: the Descent 1e


                • #9
                  Some supplementary setting information before we proceed:

                  Freehold Fun Facts #1: The Bulwark of Hoyle and Kerosene

                  "Chicago has been called the “windy” city, the term being used metaphorically to make out that Chicagoans were braggarts. The city is losing this reputation, for the reason that as people got used to it they found most of her claims to be backed up by facts. As usual, people go to extremes in this thing also, and one can tell a stranger almost anything about Chicago today and feel that he believes it implicitly."
                  — Freeborn County Standard, 20 Nov 1892.

                  The ritual that safeguards the changelings of the Underwood against the Fae dates back over a century, and draws on one of the principle tensions of Chicago's supernatural landscape in the twilight of the nineteenth century.

                  The modern municipal flag of Chicago is marked by four stars, each representing a historic event for the city itself. A fifth star has been proposed on numerous occasions since the fourth's addition in 1939, but the flag's original 1917 form only bore the reminders of two contrasting points, and the interplay between these stories is the principle drama that shields the freehold that calls the Chicago Loop home.

                  The first star in the original order commemorated the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Nearly a third of the city was burned to the ground in a blaze whose origins are still shrouded in mystery and hysteria. Even without accounting for the disparate claims of what started the fire (everything from carelessness to acts of god), circumstances conspired to send the firefighters in the wrong direction, jump the flames from lumber to coal to lamp oil all along the river, shut down the city waterworks, and otherwise allow the event to last until it had nearly exhausted itself.

                  The Great Fire was one of many disasters that plagued Chicago's early years; local fae claim that something (sources vary as to what, but the Lost naturally default to the Gentry) wants to unmake the city. Whether this is true or not, the shores of Lake Michigan seem to draw in Fae who sympathize with that speculative aim, and it was these Strangers and their entourage that gave rise to the Bulwark that keeps them away.

                  The second star of the Chicago flag marked the World's Columbian Exposition, held in Jackson Park from May through October in the year of 1893. A great deal of temporary architecture was erected for the fair; the "White City" included fourteen "great buildings" and almost two hundred smaller constructions centered on the reflecting pool known as the Great Basin, as well as the world's first Ferris Wheel. Millions of visitors came to join the celebration that would serve as a symbol of Chicago's recovery from the Great Fire of two decades prior, and for that it was a point of pride.

                  It is only natural, then, that the fae of the Lake were watching the proceedings with interest.

                  Like most legends with legs to them, the details have been blurred by the ravages of time and telephone, but the version recounted by the Oracle Prester Midway goes something like this:

                  Inquisitive fae drew close to the park almost from the moment of the fair’s dedication, such that it was rare to venture the waterlogged trods of the Underwood and not encounter some manner of otherworldly tourist. The Roteater Madam Hoyle, ever attentive to the activity of hobgoblins since her infamous escape into the chaos of Chicago’s post-fire reconstruction, took special note of how many believed that some pariah among the Gentry was hiding from Its fellows among the mass of human and not-so-human visitors to the city.

                  The Fireheart Duke Kerosene, long returned from the ashen tunnels of Arcadia, caught wind of these rumors and saw in them the shape of something familiar. After days of drifting through the crowds at Jackson Park, the pair finally met on the last day of April to confer at the lakeshore. To the spectating fae, it had the seeming of an argument.

                  Hoyle could recite the myriad names of a dozen Keepers on the force of enmity alone, the Beast, and she was certain the exiled Stranger was a great stone man with the face of a hound and breath like an autumn storm, or a winged wheel of whirling stars and symphony, either one bound to the city by the disgrace of a failed hunt for some pilfered trinket.

                  Kerosene was wholly unconvinced, having seen many things in the years since his return, powerful creatures that the Wyrd held no sway over, whether they be ancient shades from a vast pit of blood and iron or a wildfire that stalked the world in a skin of steel and leather. The Ogre staunchly refused to entertain Hoyle’s claim of cloistered Fae nobility.

                  In what appeared to be a fit of pique, Hoyle proposed a wager. She would seek to draw out the phantom Fae through hearsay and rumor, casting lies upon the wind to force It to flee Its nest. Meanwhile, Kerosene would seek to discredit his counterpart’s tales, lest they draw the attention of some more baleful presence. The losing party would submit to rule by the victor for no more than a year and a day.

                  Kerosene consented to the wager, but declared further conditions. Neither he nor Hoyle would decide the winner; rather, an impartial surveyor would be sent forth from the shore of the lake to the source of the Fire that was so foundational to each changeling’s history and back again once, asking everyone they met at a crossroads whether they believed the Beast's tale or not.

                  This poll would be conducted between dawn and dusk on the anniversary of that famous blaze, and the success or failure of the story would determine which of the two won. The pair of them would spend the next six months exerting their respective influences toward this end, and they would let the dice fall where they may with regard to the rest of the year.

                  Hoyle agreed to the Tunnelgrub’s terms, and the two of them called upon the creatures of the lake to witness their compact, which they did, concluding their performance.

                  There was a catch, as there always is with Wyrded things.

                  A green glass bottle washed up on the shore in answer to the wager. A strip of paper coiled within it, signed by a powerful Lady of Arcadia whose name is now lost to the Thorns. The letter was four words long:

                  THE DEADLOCK IS OURS.

                  And that’s usually where Prester Midway shifts gears to describing those rare past occasions where the Underwood lost its annual bet, because one does not go far in the Court of Pride without picking up some capacity for showmanship. More practical-minded Lost tend to provide the operating basics to changelings looking to stay in the Loop for the long haul.

                  Chicago seems lucky, in a way, because the gaps in its Bulwark are ultimately very small for a yearly ritual. Spending any length of time in the freehold during the summer months, though, is usually enough to dispel any illusions one might have of the Underwood as complacent in its security.

                  The freehold's Bulwark operates in three stages. First, some time in the month of April, a hoax is perpetuated in the form of some piece of contentious misinformation or rumor, as determined by whoever holds the Crown at the time. Starting in the month of May, the freehold spends their time propagating this hoax through opposition or direct promulgation as suits their political leanings.

                  On the day of October 9th, the freeholder bearing the title of Surveyor traces a route from the lakeshore of Jackson Park to the Chicago Fire Academy and back again, walking between downtown and the shores of Lake Michigan and asking anyone they meet at a bridge or crossroads their opinion on the matter of the freehold's hoax, tallying the results as they go.

                  If, at the end of the round trip, more people believed the rumor than not or vice versa, then the Bulwark holds and the freehold is safe from the Others' direct attention. Wind retains the Crown in the former case, while the latter hands rulership to the Fire Court for at least the next day as though an appropriate state of emergency had arisen. Should the poll result in a tie or the Surveyor fail to complete the route by sundown, the Gentry of the Lake sense an opening as the Bulwark fails for the next year.

                  Regardless of the outcome, the next six months are typically spent sorting out any fallout the ritual’s preparations generated. As this is work that usually requires no small amount of combing the Hedge in search of Dream Bastions, the Courts tend to more openly collaborate during the colder half of the year.
                  Last edited by Satchel; 06-06-2017, 01:29 AM. Reason: Little tweaks.

                  Resident Lore-Hound
                  Currently Consuming: Demon: the Descent 1e


                  • #10
                    I feel as though this week's session marks some sort of karmic rebound from the last.

                    Sorry for the slow going on transcription, folks; still have a lot of plates I need to keep spinning and this one has a fairly forgiving set of obligations, temporally speaking. Will try to get Chapter 2 up by the weekend.

                    After that, though, should the next between-chapter tidbit be Sparvayne's Prelude or Freehold Fun Facts #2: the City Gray?

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                    Currently Consuming: Demon: the Descent 1e


                    • #11
                      I'm always up for Fun Facts!


                      • #12
                        [Previous Chapter (1)]

                        Chapter 2: Double-Dealing in the Second City

                        We picked up this session with Johan, checking out the Fool's Fair closer to the middle of the grounds after the crowds had thinned a bit more. Most of the inner spaces were taken up by goblin storytellers and Wind Court musicians and similar sorts of raucous entertainment; a four-headed crow traded blows with Yawn, a Coldscale Johan had an altercation with some weeks prior, in a little dueling arena.

                        There were fewer shops in that part of the Fair, but most of them had sold a good chunk of their merchandise. Johan ignored the little red lantern cart, which was closed, in favor of looking at the old toys and puzzles being sold by a plastic mannequin bedecked in violets; joining him in this activity was Lazlo, still masked.

                        The two Blue Courtiers made conversation and introduced themselves; Lazlo was looking for gifts to trade in the coming year and got caught up in reminiscing about his kid. Johan admitted that he didn't expect as much time to have gone by as actually did while he was in Faerie, then got an increasing sense that he was being watched.

                        It was right around this time that Johan's Hedge-banished neighbor Floodlight Jack showed up, wearing a crescent-moon mask and very curious about his conversation partner. Seeing as the last time Jack and Johnny met the former was helping extort the latter into getting Yawn a snack, it can hardly be termed a surprise that Mister Holt was a little terse with his introductions.

                        There was a uncomfortable silence, broken primarily by a short exchange with the shopkeeper mannequin, and then Jack says he's sure he recognizes Lazlo from somewhere and left with a cryptic comment about debt that caused Blue-Blood to blue-screen for a minute.

                        Johan spotted the signs of something wearing on Lazlo and offered his sympathies for having to deal with whatever nebulous threat Jack was implying. Lazlo brushed it off and suggested he needed to sit down for a bit, which Johan took as his cue to help the old man get out of the thick of the Fair. Yawn chopped off another one of the Hedge-crow's heads, to the spectators' enthusiasm and Johnny's general disdain.

                        At this point, we hopped back to the Lost Children tent to check in with Dani, Spar, and Milton, who had taken their seats for an audience with the Chief Lamplighter and the talking rat, who introduced itself as Leery Thorn-Piper (of the Chicago Thorn-Pipers) before deferring to Kenneth, who in turn deferred to one of the other Fire Courtiers in attendance. Having been in the freehold for significantly longer than either of the kids, Milton was equipped to recognize that their red-ribboned expositor was his fellow Clerk Patricia Warning, who he had occasionally run into at work or on the train.

                        Warning gave the three changelings the rundown. In short, the city's scheduled demolition of the former Children's Memorial Hospital campus and its subsequent redevelopment were an issue for several families of Hedge-rats living in Hollows attached to those buildings; given Chicago had already established multiple safeguards against mundane rats fleeing the site into the surrounding area and the Hedge-rats' families include their children, the Thorn-Pipers et al needed to relocate in a more organized fashion.

                        Unfortunately for the rats, the Underwood freehold is neither particularly safe nor especially hospitable outside the context of a deal or similar engagement; therefore, because the characters were (not to put too fine a point on it) fresh and/or nonthreatening, they were tapped to serve as a go-between to represent the Leery and co.'s interests until such time as they managed to relocate.

                        Milton and Dani asked a couple of clarifying questions — namely, what the task entails and why it matters. Patricia specifies that the characters will essentially have to find or make a suitable living space for the rats in the Hedge, as well as a doorway to an acceptable part of Chicago. To MacDougall's exasperation and Leery's terror, part of the countermeasures the group would have to deal with included sponsored colonies of feral cats in the area around the hospital.

                        Most notably, the reason this matter was even on the table was that the Hedge-rats were all natural dream-walkers; given the nature of the city'd Bulwark, it would be a tremendous waste of a potential asset at best to not do something about that kind of resource being jeopardized. That was, in fact, part of the reason the characters were picked rather than somebody more established; few members of the Underwood nobility have reason not to wring as much benefit out of the Thorn-Pipers and their kin as possible for as little investment as they can afford.

                        Sparvayne chimed in with a salient question about their deadline; the Clerk noted with some satisfaction that thanks to multiple standing lawsuits the demolition would almost certainly not be done on time, controversial as it was, but also that the characters would be expected to have made clear progress by the fifteenth of April, two weeks from the current day.

                        Leery was acknowledged as the main contact with the families and Miss Warning noted that the political complications surrounding the case necessitated something of a legal boon; to that end, the characters were asked to form a motley using an oath formulated to make a collective entity recognized by freehold law (and the Wyrd) for the purposes of that job and any subsequent work.

                        Sparvayne, fae-struck fish-out-of-water that he was, jumped right in and then asked what a motley was. Milton and Danica were less gung-ho, but both opted in with only a little time spent on contemplation.

                        Leery was overjoyed. Leery took up a new seat on Milton's knee. Milton had been trying to sit as far from the talking rat as possible for the entirety of the discussion up to that point.

                        He succeeded the subsequent Composure + Politics roll to keep his cool, but the prospect of its failure has been filed away for dream fodder and/or apocalyptic AU fanfiction.

                        Now that the motley was actually a motley, Warning went through a short list of some of the things they'd need to keep in mind.

                        First, any action the freehold took to help relocate the rats had to go through the motley; there was too much bad blood between some Court nobles and the families to trust their independent activity as being in the appropriate parties' interest.

                        Second, the fact of their task involving an old hospital and its planned replacement venues, combined with the interconnected nature of the freehold and mortal society (and individual members of both in particular), made it unlikely that the motley would get through the job without negotiating with other changelings in some way.

                        Lastly, getting a new Hollow all but necessitated exploring the local Hedge; given how the Crowns changed hands in the Underwood, it was important that the motley take care when dealing with hobgoblins and Hedgebeasts while on the job.

                        Milton made some notes and posited that the motley would have a progress report ready by the middle of the week.

                        Then Lazlo showed up at the entrance to the tent with Johan behind him; MacDougall didn't seem surprised by this development.

                        Milton and Spar said hi. Spar mentioned that he'd joined a motley and introduced Dani, who was pretty clearly worried about the fact that her other oathbound compatriot was standing outside.

                        Lazlo took this opportunity and Patricia's offer of a chair to ditch his mask, have that sit-down he was going for, and demand an explanation; Dani asked the Clerk to bring Johan inside to confer.

                        Milton did the extreme Cliff's Notes explanation of what their job was. "What about the motley thing?" Lazlo asked, and that prompted Spar to repeat his earlier question to his mentor.

                        The Treasurer's explanation including the phrase "irrevocable binding of fates" kind of underlined how big a thing this was. MacDougall got not-asked why this was necessary and Milton inadvertently framed the lead-up to the oath very undiplomatically. Two of the Fire Courtiers on standby clarified in a way that very visibly did not improve the Darkling's mood (as he made atmospherically evident), and then Dani of all people de-escalated the situation in the process of trying to catch Johnny up.

                        The matter of trust and the fact that the oath's wording was in print (they read it off of prepared cards) seemed to manage the feat of calming Lazlo down a bit. He asked the Chief Lamplighter why his ward was involved in the plan without consulting him; Kenneth's response was that Lazlo was not exactly impartial when it came to MacDougall's involvement and that the decision was made by somebody else besides.

                        It was around this time that MacDougall shooed the motley out of the tent to discuss "a private matter" with Lazlo, directed them to the red cart Johan saw earlier, which turned out to belong to Miss Warning, and implored Danica to untangle her standing oaths while the proverbial iron was hot.

                        Proper introductions were made among the motley-plus-Johan, Danica's pledgecrafting issue was poked at, and the group made their way over to Pat's Lantern Shop, where Danica dragged Johan over to ask the Clerk if there was going to be a problem with her being in an oathbound alliance with one character while in a motley with two others.

                        Milton kind of froze as Warning revealed Leery's presence on his shoulder in the course of asking him to go check if Ragpenny would be alright with, in essence, folding Johan into the motley. Johan did a double-take at the prospect of being tricked into yet more Courtly entanglement, and Warning gave him the hard sell by reminding him that having people who are supernaturally obligated to help you out can only really constitute a good thing when your livelihood depends on an old-timey watch shop in a part of town frequented by the likes of Yawn the Lizardman.

                        Leery came back with Ragpenny's okay and we ended the session on Johan getting the motley offer reiterated to him.

                        [Next Chapter (3)]
                        Last edited by Satchel; 10-09-2016, 08:21 PM.

                        Resident Lore-Hound
                        Currently Consuming: Demon: the Descent 1e


                        • #13
                          I can't remember if that was one of the sessions where I was in some kind of flu fugue, which is less conducive for Changeling RP than you'd imagine.

                          These sessions were fun enough, but I'm excited for you all to see what came later. Lots more fun character interaction and nonsense, as we found our groove and started bouncing off each other.

                          If Satchel starts telling you stories about cats somewhere around Session 6, everything he tells you is almost assuredly a lie. Satchel is a trickster spirit and not to be trusted.


                          • #14
                            I was certainly missing from this one. And yeah, the character dynamics really start playing in the last few sessions.

                            And yes, if Satchel tell you about cats, it's a lie. That's in the rules-he always lies about cats. Not like me, where in I will always tell you the truth about cats, particularly around Session 6. And they happened. Oh yes. They happened.

                            We keep Okami on the side to stab people with tricky questions about cats. And stabbing people with tricky questions in general.

                            Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                            The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                            Feminine pronouns, please.


                            • #15
                              In case we have people reading this, spoilers on what's happenng:

                              Egos have been damaged.

                              Buildings don't usually appear like that.

                              How do people just end up on the roof like that?

                              And, oh, by the way, conspiracy theories that may shatter everything we know.

                              So, you know. The usual.

                              Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                              The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                              Feminine pronouns, please.