Friday, June 23, 2017

Ceteri Prequel 1: Trials, START!

The Cast:

Cormac McAllister (Mavrick): The team's scout and master of crossroads. Cormac is also handy with a gun and might not be fully human.

Yanay Servantes (Annia): An Incan witch and powerful spellcaster. Yanay is really good at psychology.

Landon Winchestor (Alex): Rich. Posh. Utterly aggrandizing and pretentious. Still, an effective face.

Mike Bastian (Andre): A holy warrior who fights for the glory of heaven. Easy to guilt trip.

Agravaine Tashalan (Me): The grease that makes the entire team work smoothly. Agravaine is inhumanly and inconveniently attractive, extremely smart, and a real mastermind when it comes to planning.


All of us are hauled to Boston for the trials. Everyone in the supernatural community won't elaborate about what they are beyond canned one liners and empty platitudes.

There's almost 200 people in the room we're in, all milling around waiting. Ages range from 13 to 40. Everyone is wearing the same drab brown (with white trim- not pictured) robes. Numerous nationalities and ethnicities.

The entire chamber has a translation spell of some kind on it- everyone can understand everyone else regardless of language used.

There's a few observers and instructors present- with a small sprinkling of Custos Knights.

After an hour, a guy in a green robe stands up and makes a speech to the assembled crowd. Everyone will be split into groups, given an instructor, and if you've see an observer shit's gone sideways and you're probably fucked.

The number of tests per individual might vary- some will be one and done, some might have to do several.

We'll be tossed into the labyrinth as a group- average number of times through is 7. One or two people per trip will be subjected to an especially harrowing experience, and that person HAS to pass. It's highly suggested to be helpful towards other people in your group- they really don't like selfish asshats.

The Labryinth is a prison maze where attempting to leave the center gets progressively and progressively harder. Only 5 people have ever breached the outermost edges in its history- a history spanning back centuries. There's an intelligence to it. People report seeing dead relatives and friends inside.
I ain't afraid of no ghosts

We're "RANDOMLY" sorted into a group of 13 people- us 4 (Landon isn't present yet) and 9 NPCs.

  • Marian S. Davis
  • Kirsten J. Gleeson
  • Tina J. Ellis (Age 17)
  • Trina N. Parker
  • James S. Graff
  • Donald N. Cage
  • George A. Angulo
  • Lucien K. Goldman (Goth Kid) (Age 15)
  • Vince K. Kennison
Ms. Baril
Our instructor is Ms. Baril. She tells us to get ready for our first trip into the labyrinth. It's not an actual trial- just a jaunt to get used to it.

 Cormac seems pretty confident he can apply his knowledge of other planes to the labyrinth.

Ms. Baril opens up a portal/arch to the Labyrinth and we enter. The walls are smooth and grey. They don't look worked as if they had tools.

It takes a while for us to realize that Donald N. Cage is inexplicably gone. He had been particularly headstrong before stepping inside. Agravaine isn't particularly upset about him disappearing. Ms. Baril is upset about it happening again, and we attempt to follow his footprints to wherever he went off.

We're suddenly in a garden, with the hallway we came through behind us. It appears Ms. Baril's necklace is having an effect on the labyrinth.

There's an extremely posh looking asshole beneath a tree, covered in dirt. The second he stands up the dirt sloughs off his clothes. He picks at his fingers for a moment, trying to get the grime out. He's got some fancy jewelry and a nice walking stick.

Ms. Baril seems happy to forget about Donald- enter with 13 and leave with 13 and all that- accepting the posh fellow into the group. The Posh guy introduces himself as Landon.

The garden seems to stretch on forever, although the sky still appears normal. There's a single doorway inbetween two trees that leads back to labyrinth.

She leads us through that doorway. Landon asks the date- we tell him October of 1999.

Ms. Baril gets a bit annoyed with the continued introductions and spurs us forward to a pool that we have to look into. There's a tree with red bark nearby- Yanay knows that it's not natural in origin. It's either magical/supernatural in some regard or hasn't been present on Earth for an extremely long time. 

Ms. Baril sits down in a well-worn spot and lights a cigarette. She advises us to reflect on if we want to continue the trials- some choose to gaze into the pool, although that can have effects.

Mike touches the tree. It feels like flesh, and is warm.
Garden. How very tranquil and lovely.

Agravaine doesn't look- he doesn't need further reinforcement about undergoing the trials. Yanay, Landon, and Cormac all decide to look into the pool. Mike and Agravaine opt not to. 

Out of the NPCs who look into the pool:
  • Three immediately tap out and request to leave (Kirsten, Trina, Vince)
  • George starts screaming and starts to tear at his eyes- he plucks out one before Mike restrains him. Agravaine manages to stop George from completely ruining his eyes via a successful Teamwork! check.

A few observers appear- two to take away George, one to escort the other three away.

Yanay seems unfazed by what she saw. Cormac and Landon, however, lose 10 and 11 Stability points. (Stability is equal to IQ, and hitting 1/3 of your total = bad things.) Cormac and Landon are both reeling, sitting down and staring off into space.

Baril pulls out a watch. She seems unimpressed. Everyone except Agravaine feels a lassitude fall on them- a comforting feeling, like being wrapped up in a warm blanket by a trusted friend or family member.

Baril gives Agravaine and earful about knowing that yes, he has no choice about continuing the Trials. She asks him to sit down and be a good boy. She warns Agravaine not to fall asleep when he decides that's the best course of action.

Time's up and Baril tells us we have up to two days to tell an observer if we're going to continue the Trials in two days. Exiting the labyrinth is much more difficult heading out- it gets darker, the routes are more confusing and twisting, and it's like the architecture is just working against progress.

The waiting area with cots seems half filled- out of maybe 200 people who went in, 100 have stayed.

Landon asks for a drink and is told that alcohol is a bad idea when entering the labyrinth.

Agravaine has a quick meeting with Olivia, his mentor/sponsor. She asks him if he killed anybody, and seems surprised that he helped save George's eye. Cormac takes the opportunity to try and scare people off from continuing the trials, hoping to weed out people with weak resolve. Mavrick rolls a success by 6- James and Marian are gone next morning. Trina and Lucian are the only two left.

We're all sequestered into a shared space. Rooms are private, the common room is shared, and 9 out of the 13 rooms are currently occupied by our group.

Landon doesn't like the accommodations- they're not posh enough for him. Yanay seems to have caught the attention of Trina who is totally obvious about it, while Lucian states that he's asexual.

Agravaine conjures up a chess board and teaches Yanay how to play. She manages to do decent against him when actually playing. Agravaine destroys Landon when they play. 

Landon does his best to get to know everyone. Agravaine polls everyone to ask what they're good at. Yanay says that she has peculiar skills, and that she's very spiritual. Mike claims that he defends the faith of god against evil- as a warrior priest and monk. Cormac knows how to get into places, is familiar with places like the Labyrinth, and can shoot things. Landon is a lawyer, very posh, and evidently he was an Olympic-level fencer.

Trina is good with metal- enchanting, molding, etc. Lucian is all about shadows and Astral Projection. 

A few of us notice that Landon's cane is either exceptional (Yanay and Agravaine) or magical (Cormac). 

Olivia visits Agravaine at least once a day, usually taking 15-20 minutes to talk with him.

Agravaine gets all the trust
We're all given bracelets in preparation for our first actual Trial. They help observers locate us and serve as "get us the fuck out of here" beacons as well. Agravaine's is cursed with extra bad mojo should he remove his in an attempt to not be tracked. The Bracelets will glow when we arrive where we need to be for the Trial.  

We're going to randomly get one of 13 trials. They're kept jealously secret so people are unprepared.

Agravaine asks for a bag of marbles to supplement his other gear. Olivia gets him a bag of ball bearings.

We enter the Labyrinth and come across a dead end where there was previously a way forward. The choice is to go left or right. Landon casts a spell (basically spell intuition), and his gut indicates that we need to go left.

Yanay, Mike, and Tina suddenly fall through the floor. There's an open shaft that they've fallen through. Midway through they slow down due to some sort of field. Lucian jumps in saying "Eh, it won't matter if I die anyways."

Cormac and Agravaine decide to jump down as well.

The shaft ends in a large room. We land on an outcropping. Down below appears to be a large swimming pool. The place is dark (-2 penalty). The pool has some floodlights and a high dive. The shaft bricks itself up above us.

Cormac spots an exit sign and heads off for it. As soon as he touches the door, lights come on, and suddenly it appears like the entire place is full. People are swimming, doing dives, and enjoying themselves.

Cormac tries the door again. There's a scream from the pool, followed by shouts that someone hit their head.

Seriously, don't go in.

Mike rushes to the pool. He's grabbed suddenly and hauled into the pool. He appears like he's just having trouble swimming. He quickly draws on his divine power to increase his strength, a process that will take 5 seconds.

Mike fights to swim up to the surface, his high HT allowing him a decent time underwater, even without prepping first. He breaks free for a moment and breaks the surface, struggling, before getting dragged back down again.


Yanay, attempting to save Mike
Yanay attempts to walk on the water over to Mike. Mike crit-fails his next check to try and escape and is hopelessly entangled by water is holding him in the water. 

Agravaine realizes that the entire situation is based on a memory from someone present- it's at that point that Landon notices that Tina is super still and not moving. He slaps her. She can only mumble that it was her fault. He succeeds by 10 on Fast-Talk to convince her that it wasn't her fault.

Tina jumps into the pool to grab Mike. He immediately finds it easier to to swim, breaking to the surface and flopping onto ground. Tina treads water and the second she leaves the pool the entire place goes dark again.

We leave through the door. Tina is the last through. We suddenly find ourselves in a Library.
We're shushed by a very severe looking lady with her hair in a bun. She asks us if we have a library card. Cormac sees if he can steal a library card while she's occupied.

Landon and the Librarian go back and forth about the intricacies of library law.

Yanay starts look at random books, finding one in Sanskrit. It's obviously filled with magical theory.

The librarian notices Cormac's attempt at going behind the desk. His arm goes numb. 

Some of us start filling out the forms to get cards.

Agravaine realizes that the group is in the Akashic Library- a place that stores the full contents of human knowledge. 

Landon and Agravaine work out the details of membership. The lifetime tier is expensive- $80k worth of very expensive. The middle tier is only $1000 up front, $5000 total. The free tier is 2 books a month, 24 total a year. 

Landon and Agravaine both spring for the Lifetime membership.
Everyone else fills out the paperwork too. Agravaine burns Foresight to have the cash on hand.

Cormac tries to work out a deal- retrieving books for a card. This involves more forms. He manages to become a library repo man. 

We learn that we're at a satellite branch- one that doesn't have personnel records. 

Yanay reads up on books about the Labyrinth. Lucian looks up astral projection and extrasensory capabilities. Landon brushes up on biblical studies. 

Agravaine asks Cormac to check to see if some specific people have used the library. Cormac agrees but wants to wait until everyone is out of the Labyrinth to discuss it.

We all leave. We find ourselves somewhere else. We find ourselves in an empty bar.
I don't care what Christopher named the bartender,
his name is Macnnally.
There's peanut shells on the floor and the entire place smells of booze, blood, and nuts. Our bracelets start glowing green right as Landon goes to leave.

The bartender points at Agravaine and tells him to sit down. He puts down 13 bottles of liquor on the counter and tells Agravaine to drink all 13 of them. 

Agravaine starts with the one labeled #1. Cormac joins him. It's decent alcohol- and just appears to be regular alcohol. Landon has convinced both Lucian and Tina to drink. Lucian claims that he's going to be dead by 21 and it doesn't matter if he trashes his liver so he joins inn. 

The four of us clear a bottle with Cormac getting drunk and Agravaine getting tipsy. 

Now tipsy, Agravaine attempts to guilt trip and cajole everyone into shouldering part of the load. Mike gives in to the rhetoric and starts drinking too.

Trying to get through the second bottle, Agravaine becomes drunk and begins trying to convince the Bartender to help clear out the bottle as well. The Bartender calls Agravaine a pretty boy and begins helping.

By the fourth bottle, Cormac has blacked out. Agravaine seems to be doing okay. Tina and Lucian are drinking like fishes. 

Landon eventually gives in and starts helping through the fourth bottle. Agravaine somehow sobers up, while Landon gets tipsy. Mike's tolerance seems to be quite high. Yanay tends to Cormac.

Bottle five, Mike is feeling tipsy. Lucian eventually hurls. Agravaine is back to being drunk. 

The group slogs through the rest of the bottles. Agravaine and Mike are totally shitfaced. Tina just seems immune to alcohol. Lucian is on the floor in pain, and Landon seems to have a very high tolerance.

Cormac wakes back up and tries to help out again. 

Once done, the bartender points behind Agravaine. Standing there seems to be Agravaine's brother.

Agravaine instantly casts a spell at his brother. It slams into the simulacra, killing it immediately. Yanay and Landon seem to pick up on it being a really nasty spell.
Seriously nasty.

The observers come in and escort us back through the labyrinth. Our first trial is complete. 

They sober us up with magic. Yanay is very unimpressed with being surrounded by drunkards. Our nurse correctly guesses that we landed in the bar. 

We have some time to relax. Mike spends it training. He finds a sparring partner who kicks his ass, but she does nicely by actually teaching him what he's doing wrong. Andre Crits, picking up some Blade! skill for the trouble. This draws attention- Mike is getting eyed for becoming a Custos Knight (think the Grey Wardens from Dresden) after the trials. People who aren't affiliated with houses tend to get headhunted by getting handed cards.

We expect Mike to get plenty.

Agravaine is hauled off by Olivia for training and doesn't get to relax quite like he wanted. 

Landon of course is schmoozing as much as possible. He leaves a very good impression on everyone.

Yanay meditates and sees to her spiritual needs.

Lucian has been largely keeping to himself, meanwhile Tina is struggling with the pool incident. Seeing that she's having a rough time, both Yanay and Agravaine take some time to talk with her to try and keep her in the game.

We're lead back into the Labyrinth again for our Second trial. There's three possible directions to go. Landon casts his version of Intuition again, and it seems each branch is more or less equivalent.
Too much fertilizer

There's the same gray stone walls, followed by the sounds of someone calling for help. There's a group of fellow trial initiates up ahead, getting attacked by a giant plant.
 It's clear the group is getting wrecked when Agravaine uses Mastermind! to assess the situation. 

Mike starts to put on armor, Yanay casts a spell that sears it with moonlight, Landon casts a spell that gets resisted, and Agravaine takes a moment to assess things. The plant is affected by Path of Spirit and Path of Body, but the Labyrinth has strange rules regarding banishing creatures inside- deadly important when summoning demons.

We decide to stop there.


Very strong first session. C-Team is back, and things ran smooth, pretty much like we hadn't left off. Honestly, scheduling difficulties were the biggest hurdle of the day.

We culled through our Trial group way faster than Christopher was expecting, due to a strange number of crits regarding resistances to the pool, as well as crits during Cormac's little game to scare off the weak willed. It really upped the stakes for the Bar Trial.

The pool scene was a little chaotic, although that can easily be chalked up to fast-paced voice communication with shaky connection quality. The bar trial thankfully stopped dragging on once Christopher started batch rolling for the later bottles to clear them faster.

I think unfamiliarity with the casting system has made some of the others leery to use it to its full extent, although some of that is certainly discovering that spells aren't useful in the current situations we're facing- a lightning bolt can't harm a memory shade, for example. (Much like Banish is completely worthless in the Labyrinth.)

This campaign's had more cast interplay than AEGIS did. I chalk it up to a few factors:
  • Andre, Annia, and Alex have known one another for a long time and have good rapport
  • Andre and Annia are slightly less results-oriented than PK and Kevin were. Combine Me, Mavrick, PK, and Kevin, and you have a group that will relentlessly chase down things to do without quibbling over roleplaying out smaller interactions, often slipping into third person.
  • Agravaine offers me more opportunities for interplay than Veracity, who is all work and no play.
And no, we're not sure if it was actually Tina or Trina who made it to the end of the Labyrinth. Maybe they were the same person. Maybe not.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Aeon S305: Darker Times

Yankee Stadium is surrounded by a giant dome that's preventing entry to the rift in reality. We fuck around on the outside of it for a while, trying to determine what's causing it.

Andre's character knows that it's being created by a Crystal Skull. He previously interacted with it while he was tooling around on a STARS2 team with Mikhail.

We decide to see what AEGIS has for info on the skulls. Veracity crits on a  Tradecraft!+Encyclopedist!+Mastermind!+Detective! check, succeeding by 21 before even figuring the crit. It's not a huge mental leap to realize Legend has one in his office.

Veracity is offered as tribute to grab the skull. It tolerates him, but seems perturbed that its been disturbed. Attempting to use Telepathic Learning on the skull causes Veracity to have a strange out of body experience where he seems to slip into the future for a few seconds. Veracity recognizes it as the knowledge Skull. It can explain how to do things.

Arclight's bitch wife appears on screen, addressing various agencies. Blah blah Martial Law, blah blah MAPS and Federal Authorities and AEGIS will be reporting to her. Veracity is not particularly concerned as he'd both dead and Zeroed.

The Skull takes a moment to learn from Veracity, an experience that's really unpleasant. The skull proclaims that since Veracity has the skull, he's now responsible for saving the world.

As if.
It tells us to get to Yankee Stadium.

We opt to use the portal gun. Mikhail opens a door from Fort Tilden to Yankee Stadium.

The Skull instructs Veracity to touch the wall, and a giant section of the barrier disappears.

People stream out from inside, no longer trapped with the remnants. AEGIS folk are getting civilians out. Veracity feels an explosion happening just before it does- a huge mental blast that causes everything to go grey.

We opt to drive to Yankee Stadium- reserving the Portal Gun for escaping the rift in reality when we secure the load bearing shmuck keeping the reality gash open. Mikhail finds us a big box truck that still runs.

We drive it into the stadium, over a massive pile of remnant corpses. Mikhail manages to get the truck right into Yankee Stadium.

The Cavalary is sucked into some kind of vortex type dealie. Only a woman in strange white clothing, with chalky white clothing and hair reminds.

Digs is tied up next to the rift.

Veracity succeeds by 14 on Tactics.

We opt to run over the chick in white on the assumption that she wouldn't be standing next to our extraction target if she were friendly. She gets thrown up and away from the truck, not clearing the hood in time.

Marsh, Mikhail and Ayumi all fire at the woman, who starts bleeding purple blood. She looks very much dead.

We contemplate wrapping Gunther in explosives to give him some extra oomph as he punches people and draws aggro.

The skull is concerned that Atlanteans have entered the situation.

Marsh stunts to use his illusion to make Gunther appear like the Lady in White, and to make Anya look invisible. Anya patches Terry up.

Gunther valiantly holds off the swarm of Remnants, triggering the explosives we strapped to him and blowing up a ton of Remnants.

We get out of the rift with Terry, and it snaps shut, trapping Gunther inside.

Marsh uses the portal gun and Science! to try and locate Gunther. We spend a great deal of Karma to counteract DOOM. Marsh fires the altered gun and disappears. The gun clatters to the ground and smokes, rendered useless.

Marsh finds himself in the jungle next to Gunther under an orange sky. Then a reptilian roars behind him and the screen fades to black.

The General calls us. He says that AEGIS is done, consumed by a Cancer within. He declares AEGIS exempt from being under the thumb of any world government, and throws in his lot with Sentry as part of the High Command.

So ends Aeon C-Team, for now.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Penumbra Alliance 3: Enter Nox Eternia (Setup and Recap)

The Players:

Mr X: A commando working for a shadowy government agency that doesn't officially exist. Mr. X is possessed by a benevolent (to them) spirit or presence of some kind- a voice that frequently pushes them to commit various acts of violence.

Hannah: An experiment who escaped the clutches of Specte Corp. Hannah has fine turned senses of vision and smell, and is a frightening front line combatant.

Arzela Ascoli: A philanthopist sage, Arzela funded the tricked-out RV the group drives around in, and is a big bibliophile and researcher. Arzela works for the Librarians of Alexandria, attempting to preserve knowledge of the occult.

Aquos: A non-binary witch, Aquos asks that you use the singular they pronous to refer to them. Aquos is extremely competent at magic, preferring the Path of Energy primarily. They help the Hidden Path guide newly awakened students of magic reach their full potential.

Nox Eternia:

Mission Statement: The Nox Eternia is a cult dedicated to Abaseth the Bone Stitcher. Abaseth is a demon lord currently seeking passage to Earth. Nox Eternia performs perverse magical rituals and rituals in the hope of raising their master, They recruit heavily in rural areas, hoping to subvert entire communities to support their efforts. 

The cult has a national presence across the US, having about 5,000 total members existing in roughly 100 or so sects. They 

Stratton, Vermont

A small town at the foot of Stratton Mountain, population 216. Only really notable due to the nearby ski resort, which provides all reason for the town existing, as well as the presence of Nox Eternia in the area.

The local Nox Eternia cult consists of roughly eighty individuals total- multiple families and their children, most of the local police, as well as almost all of the staff of the Stratton Mountain Ski Resort.

Notable Individuals:

Sheriff Clyde Lautner(50): The county Sheriff, Lautner was kidnapped by Nox Eternia, and magically brainwashed to work in their organization. Lautner's new personality is bitter, gruff, and callous.

Father Greg Davis(60): The pastor of the local baptist parish. Greg was indoctrinated into the Nox Eternia as a teenager by his ex-girlfriend in the early 70s. Greg became ordained as a Baptist priest to subvert local churches for the organization, and established the cult's presence in Stratton. He's still working on corrupting his congregation. 

Clarice Mills (19): The local Nox Eternia leader. Clarice was kidnapped from her family at the age of 17, and possessed by Bolazar, one of Abaseth's lieutenants. Clarice's family was murdered to prevent them from bringing media attention onto the disappearance of their daughter after the sheriff's office refused to cooperate.

Bolazar: A powerful, but non-corporeal demon. Limited by having to occupy Clarice's body, Bolazar is searching for a way of securing himself a more powerful vessel. Bolazar is a powerful spellcaster and cunning opponent. Bolazar uses his position to force the Nox Eternia to participate in profane ceremonies to increase his power.

Cermur: A lesser demon summoned to possessed Fred Stone to keep him in line. Cermur resents Bolazar and being forced to play nanny to a young adult. Cermur is looking for an opportunity to backstab Bolazar.

The Stone Family:

Brandon Stone (48): The current owner of the ski resort, and a willing member of Nox Eternia. Brandon currently also serves as the family patriarch. Brandon is Bolazar's current favored lieutenant. 

Martha Stone (43): Brandon's wife. Martha is a fanatic of the Nox Eternia, being one of the most vocal and outspoken voices for taking the town by force. Martha is a hedge witch. Her magical training under Bolazar has made her more dangerous- and more emotionally volatile.

Sarah Stone (85): Brandon's mother. Sarah is believed to be infirm and incapable, but in all actuality was magically lobotomized when she learned what the Nox Eternia is truly up to. Sarah desperately struggles with her aphasia and incapability to write- hoping to alert anyone to the evil her family has been placed under.

Leonard Stone (26): Brandon's youngest son. Fred has been resistant to the Nox Eternia's teachings since youth. Deciding that enough was enough, Brandon asked to have him 'fixed' at the age of 14. Fred has since been inhabited by Cermur. 

Daisy Stone (24): Brandon's oldest daughter. Daisy was ordered to carry out to murder of Clarice's parents two years ago to affirm her loyalty to the cult. Daisy has decided that she likes killing, and has asked Bolazar for more opportunities to have some fun.

Fred Stone (20): Brandon's oldest son. Leonard has been selected by Bolazar to be prepared as his next vessel should Clarice's body fail. Leonard is scared shitless by this fact and is trying to seek help against the Nox Eternia. His first attempt to escape lead to the death of his best friend from higschool, Marco.

Stratton Ski Resort:

Percival 'Percy' Smith (28): The current head of maintenance of the ski resort. Percy is a new hire, having replaced someone who died in an 'accident'. As such, Percy is currently unaware of the cult's activity, although he thinks Daisy is really into him. Percy is a contact for Veilwatch, as his brother works for the organization in Vermont.

Kyle DiGlado (36): A VIP staying at the resort. Kyle has booked the presidential suite for the span of six months. His presence perturbs the Stone family, since all attempts to engage him socially have failed entirely, and he's grown hostile when asked to attend church.

Francis Poole (40): A wealthy investor who has been asked by Brandon to tour the ski resort. In reality, Brandon plans to have the Nox Eternia capture her and forcibly indoctrinate her to gain access to her wealth.

Claw-That-Kills (173): A were-eagle who has lived on Stratton Mountain since the 1840's. Claw-That-Kills has slowly grown more rational over his time alive- becoming Semi-Rational near the turn of the 90s, and becoming fully rational in 1966 after taking a hit of LSD offered to him by some traveling hippies from California. Claw can sense the demonic presence on the mountain, and knows where the remains of the Mills family were buried.

Events of Play:

The group enjoyed a week of R&R, coming back to be briefed. Told that a lead had surfaced from the computer files taken from their first case in New Bedford, the team was then sent into rural Vermont to see if someone calling themselves Bolazar was the actual demon or not.

They arrived at the skii resort, where the IP address seemed to originate from. Having been booked a room, they checked in and then got to exploring the resort. Aquos, bored and unhappy with the lack of snow at a skii resort, summoned up a patch of the stuff. Arzela quickly became embroiled in a snowball fight with a group of preteens- losing horribly.

Martha Stone took notice of the snow, taking the opportunity to talk to Aquos about magic. She invited them to dine with her at the resort's swankiest restaurant so that she could learn more about magic.

Meanwhile, Mr. X and Hannah tried to do some carousing- poorly. They were able to learn about some of the strange events going on involving the resort, such as the death of the former caretaker, and the disappearance of the Mills family, but not much else.

Martha has Aquos call Arzela so that she can learn more about The Hidden Path and magic. Arzela, always eager to teach, is more than happy to oblige. All seems well until Martha leaves the room and returns with two police officers.

The two are lead into the basement of the hotel, and thrown into a room that's been turned into a complete no-mana zone.

It takes Hannah and Mr. X a while to realize that something is wrong. It's about this time that Arzela remembers that he has his phone on him (Absent-Minded strikes again), and he tells Hannah and Mr. X to try and help them reach the basement.

Mr. X and Hannah are intercepted by Martha, three cops, and two cultists. A fight breaks out. Hannah rushes into the fray (Move 14 with enhanced move), quickly coming under fire and regretting her decision, while Mr. X calmly starts mowing people down.

Arzela decides to hide, while Aquos slings a few lightning bolts into the fray.

They capture Martha, opting to kill her on the spot now that she's confirmed as a Nox Eternia member. The team then quickly goes to escape from the resort.

Claw-That-Kills spots the commotion, opting to follow the group. They stop and talk with him, and his information helps confirm their suspicions that Clarice is the current host for Bolazar.

Arzela and Aqous hide the RV in the woods while Mr. X and Hannah take some time to scout out the resort to see if they can locate Clarice. After about eight hours, they determine she's being kept in a large bedroom on the third floor of the resort.

They decide on a plan- Hannah, Mr. X, and Arzela will ascend to the roof with a grappling hook and rope, make an opening to drop down through, and subdue Clarice.

Aquos will create a distraction- by causing everyone within 100 yards (except the party) to believe that they're being attacked by swarms of bees.

The plan goes off without a hitch, aided by Clarice/Bolazar getting completely caught unaware by a flashbang grenade and then getting clocked by Hannah with a tire iron for instant unconsciousness.

They take Clarice/Bolazar back to the RV, ready to decide how to proceed...

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Aeon C-Team S304: Void Rifts

We'll update the logo... eventually
The Team:

Marsh Langston (Maverick): A blond, smiling hacker that will rip the most secure files out of your mainframe while convincing you that he's just downloading more RAM. Marsh is a technical wunderkind and social engineer with a shadowy background in intelligence. PROHIBITION MOBSTER

Mikhail Kovalenko (Alex): Measuring 6'4" and weighing about 230lbs, Ukrainian-born Mikhail Kovalenko was a former special agent in Eastern Europe and is extremely competent at drinking vodka, making friends with random people, piloting, field action, reminding others that he's from Ukraine (not Russia), field operations, and handling firearms. TOTALLY NIKO BELLIC

Agent Veracity (Me): The Subway's resident spook and dumpster diver, Agent Veracity is a highly skilled investigator, tradecraft expert and conspiracy nut. HE'S IN YOUR TRASH!

Louis (Andre): A metamorph who can control his appearance and do all kind of mimicry stuff.

Ayumi (Annia): Basically Katarra. Japanese. 


In the following two months, Blue Skies goes down HARD. Some of the Blue Skies upper ups actually get charged with Treason. We end up aiding mop up efforts against Blue Skies.

Mikhail's missing eye is replaced with a cybernetic implant- one that only has black and white vision however.

Blue Skies is broken up and bought out by other groups. Anything metahuman related is confiscated by the government before they're sold. 

We're thrown into debriefing hell, followed up by paperwork hell, then followed by mole whacking hell, then followed by congressional hearing hell. This last numerous months.

B-Team's last confrontation with the guy in the black suit gets in our hands- it looks like he imploded inside a house. Confirmation that he's dead doesn't follow.

We find ourselves at the end of work hell investigating the overthrow of the Argentinian Government, an event that happened six months ago.

The entire populace has been put to work building infrastructure. The coup was bloodless, basically a huge uprising of citizens who decided all at once to reform the government right then and there.

It doesn't appear to be mind control- the populace seems perfectly happy with the change in government. The new head of the government is some guy named Constantino Alvarez. 

We're in the area because the new government has shown that they have access to tech that they shouldn't have their hands on. The medical advancements they're showing off are way ahead of schedule- basically they're heading for generalized TL9 medical tech, possibly even as far as a generalized vaccine against all disease.

We've assumed World Health Organization credentials.

We know that Alvarez was rescued by the Cavalry on the same mission Arc Light died on. 

We arrange a meeting with Alvarez. He'd asked the WHO to visit, but we smooth it over by claiming we weren't sent due to that request and that wires got crossed.

There's a lot of amazing stuff going on in their research labs- cybernetics, vaccines, new treatments, prosthetics. We debate trying to get Mikhail's cybernetic eye replaced with something better, but decide against it.

Marsh uses Science! to determine how Argentina's tech is advancing so quickly. He spends Karma to get a crit. His first guess would be that Alvarez is a ridiculously talented savant, but the advances are just too fast. There's something going on, something that Marsh can't quite put his finger on the source of. They're showcasing medical and transportation tech, but the advancements aren't limited to just those fields.

Some Blue Skies lab techs have been hired to help with the research endeavors. Veracity's gut doesn't rule out Argentina attempting to create metahumans as a possibility.

Alvarez has a huge cabinet full of crystal skulls. A few look real to Veracity and Marsh, but neither of us have ever handled one. Alvarez claims he inherited them from his predecessor. Both Marsh and Veracity attempt Detect Lies (via wildcards). Alvarez is definitely on the fringe of lying by omission.

We're recalled to the States by Legend shortly after our meeting with Alzarez concludes. 

We're shown the press release for the Homeland Security/Department of Justice endeavor to register and control metahuman activity. 

The Human Purity Association has been gaining media traction within US, spewing vitriol and bile all over the place about metahumans. 

We're called in to talk with Legend. He looks like he's having a bad day. We all sit down on his oversized couch- even Mikhail looks small compared to it.

Legend asks us about Argentina, and Marsh explains the situation with accelerated tech improvements and the fact that Alvarez seems to be going off something else's script.

He asks if we noticed anything out of place. Marsh answers that he saw no dissent- definitely abnormal. 

Legend doesn't look happy, and inquires about crystal skulls. Legend says "looks like he found the mind skull" and then tells us not to pay attention to that. Considering that two of us have Eidetic Memory (Photographic), that's not fucking happening.

Legend says we're getting a fourth person assigned to us since three of us just isn't enough muscle. Then he requests to talk to Veracity alone.

Outside, some analysts talk to Marsh and Mikhail. They're intimidated by Mikhail. The brothers go on to talk to the last time Mikhail kneecapped a guy. The analysts flee and then the brother talk about who inherited what from which parent. 

Mikhail is concerned that Yelena is out hurting people while she's being influenced by the tattoo. (Sr. has ended up in the labyrinth, the most prisony prison available for the baddest of the bad.

Legend calls everyone back in and hands out folders on Arc Light's Widow. He explains the whole battlesuit leasing program, including 1,300 troops in Arc Light like armor. His widow's rampage against Metahumans is a little strange cause he was a meta at one point in time.

Legend will get back to us on the new team member. He's assuming a wait and see approach to the registration brouhaha. Legend sees the situation as a slippery slope where law-abiding metahumans are put under additional suspicion just for having powers.

Blackwell is terrible, a fact admitted by Legend. Despite being a career politician, Blackwell's been a bit of a dark horse candidate, despite talking about being president for almost half a decade. 

"You know things have really gone downhill when you turn to Niklos for moral advice."

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Penumbra Alliance 2: Mad Science and Base Corporate Behavior

The Players:

Mr X: A commando working for a shadowy government agency that doesn't officially exist. Mr. X is possessed by a benevolent (to them) spirit or presence of some kind- a voice that frequently pushes them to commit various acts of violence.

Hannah: An experiment who escaped the clutches of Specte Corp. Hannah has fine turned senses of vision and smell, and is a frightening front line combatant.

Arzela Ascoli: A philanthopist sage, Arzela funded the tricked-out RV the group drives around in, and is a big bibliophile and researcher. Arzela works for the Librarians of Alexandria, attempting to preserve knowledge of the occult.

Aquos: A non-binary witch, Aquos asks that you use the singular they pronous to refer to them. Aquos is extremely competent at magic, preferring the Path of Energy primarily. They help the Hidden Path guide newly awakened students of magic reach their full potential.

Last Time:

The group arrived in New Bedford, reaching out to Pulaski for information. They began with the teen at St. Luke's, with Aquos using magic to break the spell the teen had been placed under.

The teen's information prompted them to investigate Pope and Fish Islands- they found human remains on Fish Island, as well as the carcass of a demonic dog on Pope island. A little bit of research lead them to believe that the owner of the fishpacking plant on Fish Island was responsible.

Duncan was boating into work when Mr. X couldn't resist the temptation of the Phantom Voice in his head (crit-failed the will roll), and shot him with a sniper rifle for ~30 damage to the torso. Duncan wasn't expecting it, didn't have defensive charms up (Overconfidence, yo), and died on the spot.

The players did their best to hide how Duncan died via magic, and then investigated his house. They discovered a magical gem that's acting as a massive repository for magical energy- energy gained via human sacrifice. Arzela was able to recover the tome Duncan purchased to help with opening a rift into another plane of existence.

Overall, the team did a great job on the mission.

SAD 4, Maine

School Administrative District #4, located in Piscataquis County Maine, covers the towns of Abbot, Cambridge, Guilford, Parkman, Sangerville and Wellington. The district covers a population of roughly 5,000 people.

SAD 4 is home to multiple schools:
  • Piscatauis Community Secondary and Elementary Schools (Consolidated from the following three schools and a few others)
  • Abbey Fowler Elementary School, Sangerville (Closed, converted into a gym, now unused)
  • Guilford Primary School (Closed, now a food pantry)
  • McKusick Elementary School, Parkman (Closed)
Being located in rural Maine, SAD 4 doesn't boast many amenities. Local police is stationed in Dover-Foxcroft, a 20 minute drive away from Guilford (further for other towns such as Parkman or Cambridge), as are any EMT services. Guilford maintains a small fire department largely staffed with volunteers.

Dynco LLC

Dynco LLC is a multinational corporation deeply invested in scientific and biological research. Their main goals include creating super soldiers to sell to various government entities, enslaving supernatural beings for study and exploitation, and giving Spectre Corp the middle finger whenever possible.

Dynco has been winning against Spectre Corp as of late, with their stock increasing accordingly. Both companies are investing heavily in biomedical research, hoping that their latest crops of experiments will be able to shove the other out of business- whether through winning bids to provide soldiers to various clients, or by sending hit squads to more directly eliminate the competition.

Project Galapagos 

Started by Dynco, Project Galapagos is a long-running project on testing virus-implanted genetic changes on a relatively isolated population over multiple generations. Started in the 1950s in SAD 4, Galapagos has managed to remain unnoticed, even as they now begin on their fourth and fifth generation trials.

Project Galapagos maintains numerous research stations under various SAD 4 schools:
  • The largest and oldest is under PCSS.
  • Abbey Fowler, Guilford Primary School, and McCusick Elementary all have smaller labs
  • An abandoned lab exists at the old preschool in Abbot
Dynco has a monitoring station underneath a house across the street from the Highschool. The monitoring station is home to a small security staff, who have zealously taken care of intrusion into Galapagos dealings when they arise. Dr. Emerson, the third and latest lead of Project Galapagos, maintains ties with school administration to ensure their compliance.

Galapagos continues to try and make the local population more susceptible to the various processes that they use to make their Experiment soldiers.


The team gets the briefing from Logan. They're very unimpressed with the lack of information they're given- just that a precog and a member of The Velvet Curtain have reported incidents in rural Maine.

Either way, orders and orders, and they make their way North to meet with Jason Smith, the Velvet Curtain contact who reported the shady business.

Evidently the Veil in the area has been fluctuating wildly, which Jason views as an omen. During his investigations he discovered a nearby house that seemed to have an odd security presence around it, which made him very suspicious.

The players investigate the Guilford area themselves:
  • They learn that Dynco recently made very large purchases of chemicals at the local hardware store. Aquos is able to use magic to learn that they were made with legitimate Dynco accounts.
  • A local recluse/crazy person, Ronnie, is living in the house that Jason was scared away from. The players eventually kidnap him and use magic to make him less crazy, long enough to learn that he's been brainwashed by Dynco to act as a deterrent for locals to look into their affairs.
After getting Ronnie out of his house and determining that one of the labs must be under his house, they go in to kick down the door.

The firefight with security is short and brutal as Mr. X promptly unloads on them. Hannah goes off to intimidate some scientists when it becomes clear they recognize her, and similarly gets destructive once it's clear they have copies of her file.

Meanwhile, warnings and alarms are going off- evidently some virus dispersal system in on the fritz. The PCs call in a bomb threat to clear out the school, causing children to pour out onto the school grounds.

It erupts into an all-out brawl as the viral sabotage by Spectre Corp takes hold. 

Scrambling to contain the outbreak, Hannah uses Bioengineering to reverse the sabotage done to GIV-T. The chemical reaction necessary is strongly exothermic- resulting in the high school completely blowing up.

The team regroups and decides to raid the remaining Dynco labs. They discover Adam, a friend of Hannah's already inside one, having broken in to delete their records. He tags along for the final lab, where a lone guard Experiment attacks the group.

In a hail of bullets and with a few chainsaw blows, they cut down the guard without much difficulty.

Arzela manages to contact the saboteur who caused the GIV-T to cause zombification. The saboteur is some kind of '1337' hacker and infiltrator, who taunts the group, but has already made clean his escape before they even arrived in town.

With the labs destroyed and local emergency services dealing with the wounded, they leave the area, one zombie outbreak prevented and contained.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Penumbra Alliance: Investigating Disappearances in New Bedford (Setup)

Later tonight I'll be going through character creation for a new IRL Monster Hunters campaign. It tentatively looks like I'll have:

  • A Commando who's been possessed or otherwise in contact with spirits (I'm going to push for Diabological Phantom Voices as one of their disadvantages)
  • An Experiment
  • A Sage/Techie
  • One person is undecided.
They're all going to be operatives working for the Penumbra Alliance- a ragtag collective of supernaturally aware organizations that have decided that stopping demon incursions and such is the best course of action for everyone.

Even if these organizations don't all actually get along very well, or have matching goals.

New Beford, MA

Population: ~95,000
Notable Locations: Numerous Projects, Waterfront District (whaling predominant historical influence), Buttonwood Park Zoo, New Bedford Regional Airport, University of Mass. Dartmouth (UMD) nearby.

Three islands in the harbor:
Fish Island (Fishpacking warehouse)
Pope Island (shops, a marina)
Crow Island (Inhabited with a few houses)

Nearby Law Enforcement: 4 New Beford Police Stations, Mass. State Police has a barracks nearby in Dartmouth. Fire Department is acknowledged to be among the best in the state. One hospital- St. Luke's.

Penumbra Alliance Presence in the area:

New Bedford has a large Syndicate Presence. The Syndicate cell in the area is primarily concerned with their illegal operations, and only really pay attention when events harm the bottom line. Their local Lieutenant, Jake Schneider, recently stole a grimoire from Larry and Kenny.

The Librarians of Alexandria and Warehouse 23 both maintain a library/storehouse on the premises of UMD. They're severely lacking in resources, consisting only of a two man team, Kenny and Larry, who are primarily engaged in research.

Veilwatch has a representative in the area, Damien Pulaski, a Massachusetts State Police Sergeant. Pulaski is a good cop who believes he's descended from Casimir Pulaski. Damien is deeply concerned about the disappearances and is the one who initiated the investigation, resulting in the Players being asked to travel to New Bedford.

The Locust Order has a single Locust Priest in the area, Ba'dur "Buddy" Shawn. Shawn has an undeserved nasty reputation within the Alliance involving dark research and horrible rituals. In reality Ba'dur is just a gentle old man who happens to be made out of a sentient swarm of locusts who enjoys gardening and teaching young pupils the fundamentals of magic. 

The Church of St. Germaine has a congregation in the area. Having noticed the supernatural disappearances, they believe they stem from Ba'dur Shawn's presence in the area. Father Norton is fair about this assessment, admitting that it's largely based on Shawn being a Locust Priest, and not any proof that's beyond circumstantial.

None of the Alliance members in the area besides Pulaski or some Syndicate members are really able or willing to engage in field work that involves risk. Pulaski is invested in solving the disappearances and will likely volunteer his services if the group conducts themselves well. Convincing the Syndicate to help will likely be frustrating, as they really don't care.

Buddy might be convinced to help out, especially if it provides a chance to clear his reputation within the Alliance.

The Disappearances:

  1. Transients and homeless individuals have been disappearing- about fifteen have been noted over three months. Damien believes this to be a low figure.
  2. A few (2-3) children have been snatched. Normal investigation proved fruitless when forensics teams ran into spectacularly bad luck- one team had a smartphone battery catch aflame, fouling a crime scene, another was pushed off the road by a drunk driver into the harbor, and the last team's evidence was destroyed when a short circuit fried the testing device. 
  3. One teenager may have escaped an attempted kidnapping- but he's currently in St. Luke's, unable to talk coherently and babbling the lyrics to Little Drummer Boy. 

Available clues:

  1. Both Father Norton and Ba'dur have detected the presence of dark magic used within the city, although they don't know the caster (and Norton suspects Ba'dur). (Deduction: Rogue Witch)
  2. The Syndicate recently fulfilled a special order for a magical grimoire, stolen from the Librarians of Alexandria/Warehouse 23. Good luck getting them to admit to it though. (Only local lieutenant knows the specific nature of the order, -3 at attempts to get him to talk about who bought it.) (Deduction: This gives away the Witch's identity immediately.)
  3. Fish, Pope, and Crow Islands all seem to be experiencing unusual amounts of strange activity over the last few months. (Deduction: Witch is likely setup on the Islands, Witch also frequently uses boats to access Crow Island, might live there)
  4. The owner of Duncan Fishpacking is adamant that nothing strange is happening, even when confronted with evidence. (Deduction: He's in on it.)
  5. A few people will report that some employees of Duncan Fishpacking have been acting strangely. (Deduction: It's connected somehow, provides more avenues of investigation)
  1. Kenny and Larry had a Grimoire useful for opening gateways and portals stolen from them. Both aren't terribly excited to admit to it happening since it makes them look bad. (Deduction: Rogue Witch is attempting to open a portal of some kind.)
  2. A man was attacked by a strange dog near the Dunkin Donuts on Pope Island and managed to fend it off with a pistol. (Players can find the corpse if they search near the Dunkin on Pope Island. Deduction: Rogue Witch has summoned a few members of the Endless Legions already.)
  3. Human remains have been dumped at Fish Island, among the offal produced by the plant (See Clue #3 under where). (Deduction: They were sacrificed to provide energy for a ritual.)
  4. The bad luck of the police investigations is not natural. Should be easy to indicate it stems from a supernatural origin. (Deduction: Rogue Witch)
  5. Children provide more magical energy than adults. (This ties into clue #3 of What.)
  6. Attacks Decrease during the full moon (Rules out Lycanthropes)

  1. Most of the disappearances have happened closer to the harbor. (Deduction: Boat accessible)
  2. Police have investigate numerous reports of strange activity near the Pope Island Marina. They consistently find nothing and believe a prank caller is at work. (Deduction: Pope Island Marina is a place to investigate)
  3. The teenager in St. Luke's, if he's able to recall anything, remembers hearing that the 'trash' was disposed of on Fish Island. (Deduction: Witch has been dumping the dead bodies of his victims on Fish Island) 
  1. Attacks have no correlation with a set date (timing appears random based on days passed, etc)
  2. Attacks increase during periods of bad weather and reduced visibility
  3. Attacks decrease near the full moon
  4. The kidnapping of the children occurred most recently, as did the police investigations. (Attempts to ramp up progress)

Deduction Penalties:

Who: -4 to area knowledge/current affairs to identify locals (Scope penalty, I doubt players will have applicable area knowledge, although Lore! of course wouldn't.)
-8 (reasonable precautions to thwart identification by perpetrator), +1 (status 2 Individual as prominent business owner), +2 (known bibliophile and antiques collector)= -5 to deductions

-4 (takes basic measures to cover his tracks) (For learning it's a Rogue Witch)

-2 (Endless Legion Demons don't really count as sapient)

-8 (Plan involves no special timing)

-8 (Intelligent foe who didn't think he needed to pick an unobvious location), +3 (small local cult of ~15 members has been assisting the Rogue Witch)

What's actually going on:

Sid Duncan, owner of Duncan Fishpacking, is a Rogue Witch. Having been raised by an aunt who was deep within the Dark Arts, Duncan was initiated into summoning demons at a relatively young age- 11. Duncan has made a pact with the Demon Lord Drumer for magical power- in return for attempting to summon Lord Drumer to Earth. Drumer is the source of the bad luck curse that affected the investigation teams- Duncan lacks the skill in the relevant paths to cast such a spell.

Duncan is aided by a few of his employees at the Fishpacking Plant. Most have had spells placed on them to force their compliance. Some early sacrifices were conducted to make these spells easier.

Drumer has instructed Duncan to fill a gem he's fashioned into a reservoir for magical energy via conducting human sacrifice. He's been unhappy with the slow progress, pushing Duncan to bolder attempts to find fresh victims- which is why the young children were targeted. 

Duncan is capable of summoning up to two Impalers at a time, or up to four demonic canines. He also has his followers, although most are little more than meat shields and distractions for him to have time to accumulate energy. One or two might have pistols.

Duncan has numerous (23) charms that he has prepared for emergencies, cast and gathered over a long period of time:
  • 5 3d lightning bolt charms (He prefers lightning over firebolts because they short out cellphones)
  • 1 Gift of Gab Charm (Used sparingly because he has to resort to spending FP to make it possible to cast)
  • 1 Hush Charm 
  • 3 Necrosis 
  • 8-round pistol magazine with additional 6d of crushing damage for each bullet.
  • 3 2d healing charms
  • 1 100 yard emergency teleport (Quirk: Loud bang upon arrival)
  • 1 charm for DR 4 (Quirks: Painfully obvious that he's covered in a shield of energy or similar, sparks super obviously when hit by an attack)
Duncan lives in a manor on Crow Island, uses his Fishpacking Factory to dispose of the bodies, uses the Pope Island Marina to move his sacrifice victims, and generally conducts his rituals at home. The gem he's filling can ONLY be used for the summoning of Lord Drumer, and currently houses a great deal of magical energy.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Aeon C-Team S304: We Leverage Nation Security to get Free McDonalds

We'll update the logo... eventually
The Team:

Marsh Langston (Maverick): A blond, smiling hacker that will rip the most secure files out of your mainframe while convincing you that he's just downloading more RAM. Marsh is a technical wunderkind and social engineer with a shadowy background in intelligence. PROHIBITION MOBSTER

Mikhail Kovalenko (Alex): Measuring 6'4" and weighing about 230lbs, Ukrainian-born Mikhail Kovalenko was a former special agent in Eastern Europe and is extremely competent at drinking vodka, making friends with random people, piloting, field action, reminding others that he's from Ukraine (not Russia), field operations, and handling firearms. TOTALLY NIKO BELLIC

Agent Veracity (Me): The Subway's resident spook and dumpster diver, Agent Veracity is a highly skilled investigator, tradecraft expert and conspiracy nut. HE'S IN YOUR TRASH!


We learn that the Cavalry made some serious wins based off the plans and information we gave them.

Of course the chairman of the board was the last one to not get nabbed by AEGIS. 

We start setup outside the Chairman's location. Zephyr has been helping us with scouting. A man in a black suit stepped inside and then there was a bunch of screaming. 

Veracity's gut doesn't think the chairman would use PURPLE DRANK on himself without it being perfected given the risk of it killing him. The guy in the suit is definitely NOT the chairman.

Using a hyperspectral camera, we see what we assume to be the man in the suit inside killing more people.

Mikhail asks for permission to shoot. 

We have Marsh try to spoof an alert to all Blue Skies operatives in the area, trying to mimic a message that Artillery, badass motherfucker asshole supreme, is on his way. The goal is to cause chaos, maybe give the guy in the suit pause when he learns that a bigger fish might be on the way.

Veracity's gut feeling is that the man in the suit is aware that the Subway team is in position.

We then try to place a call to the man in the suit. The man's voice has a slight German accent. 

Veracity tries to convince him to delay a bit so we can get information from the Chairman, or better yet, allow Gabriella to scan his mind.

The man says that he can't do that.

Some kind of teleportation attack hits the group- only Veracity is affected. He's pulled into the 19th century house where the man in the suit is going about his business. He's unaffected by the blood and gore.

Veracity does his best to defuse the situation without outright requesting that Mikhail open fire. The Man in the Suit is pouring shadow from every patch of exposed skin. 

Mikhail takes a shot with the Barrett .50, hitting the man in the suit in the head- without being able to see him, through the intervening house. Alex spends 2 Karma to make it a critical, and another to reroll the critical headblow table twice to get us a better result.

The man's head develops a huge hole in it, but he's still standing and regenerating.

Veracity doesn't wait around as the man in the suit is knocked off balance, pulling out a stun grenade and dropping it behind him as he runs. Veracity runs upstairs- onto the second floor. He almost trips over a sprawled out Blue Skies bodyguard at the top with a severely busted shoulder. Veracity helps the man up and stops to spray slip spray- D&D's grease spell's TL 9 cousin in a can- over the stairs.

Outside, Mikhail is continuing to take shots at the Man in the Suit, going for the knees. Both knees are obliterated by anti-material rifle fire.
Mikhail and Marsh both suddenly find themselves falling. Mikhail crits his Move! roll. Both somehow keep their feet, but are inside a stone cell. It's a round stone hole, with a window looking into where they were, and then it closes.

Inside the house it's loud- among explosions, the flashbang going off, and then radio silence.

The Blue Skies goon has busted out the window and Veracity grabs him, using Mr. Gunn (his grapple gun) to latch onto a tree nearby.

Veracity helps the Blue Skies guy run away once they get outside the house.

In the cell, Mikhail's entered the astral realm. He explores a bit, eventually hitting a barrier with strange symbols on it. Mikhail SOMEHOW manages to recognize them as Norse Runes. It looks like a sphere that surrounds the prison.

Horizontally out from the cell, there's nearby tunnels and what looks like super old tracks. There's a lab, including a guy who is chained in place, working. The man is looking through a microscope.

Veracity and the Blue Skies operative are picked up by Zeus in another VTOL unit.

Mikhail concentrates, willing himself visible and able to talk while still in Astral Form. Mikhail talks with the chained man, who indicated that the man in the suit is the Devil, and that talking about him might make him aware of it.

Mikhail asks what the man is doing. The man asks how Mikhail got past the barrier. Upon hearing the answer the man says that Mikhail will be dead soon, likely subjected to unholy experiments. The man holds up a vial of purple liquid.

A teleportation shimmer happens near Mikhail, and he's shooed away by the man working in the lab. A butler-looking individual teleports in. The butler asks the lab tech if the formula is ready- if not, the butler will be back real soon. Evidently the Americans have done most of the work for them, and Blue Skies is mostly dismantled. The Butler is pleased as this means his organization gets to keep all the rewards.

Legend gets a sitrep from Veracity. Veracity attempts to Stunt his power to wipe machines of information to implant his memory of the man into a nearby computer. (3 Karma spent to make a power roll at -4 a crit success.)

Marsh burns through some gizmos to get access to chemicals commonly used by airliners in the oxygen bag masks that drop during an emergency. He succeeds on Science!, buying Mikhail and Marsh another 30minutes of breathing time.

Arguments are made that Mikhail can use Shooter! to cover Breath Control since he can just meditate by looking down the scope of the rifle that he had. Marsh burns some karma to gain access to the skill, and another to make it a success.

Marsh also tries to modify their radios to function on ultra-low frequencies, allowing them to phone home from the cell. He manages to establish a line out, and establishes that he and Mikhail are both deep underground in NYC.

Marsh manages to get a text out to Veracity's phone.

Buried under old NY subway, not ours. Suit's Lab working on purple drank. 2 hours of oxygen. Magic rune bullshit blocking Mike.

Back in the hole, a teleportation door opens, and the Butler is pointing a gun at Mikhail. Mikhail draws his pistols and wins the opposed fast-draw contest that results. The dude pointing a gun at Mikhail is wielding a strange blocky black gun of some kind.

Mikhail goes to shoot the gun in the Butler's hand, rolling a crit to hit. The gun falls to the ground, and the Butler vanishes.

Mikhail and the Butler contend for the black gun. Mikhail rolls poorly, spending Karma to keep possession of it. Mikhail tests it on a wall to see if it causes teleportation effects.

There's a McDonalds on the other side of the wall after Mikhail shoots it. The brothers dive through as fast as possible. They appear in the middle of the street, briskly walking to the other side before traffic gets disturbed by their presence. While Mikhail goes inside to get a superfluous amount of food (about 15 happy meals), Marsh establishes that he and Mikhail are in downtown Manhattan. Mikhail fails to convince the cashier that he should be given free food, and then has to enlist Marsh's aid to pay. Shit goes sideways and Mikhail breaks his phone.

Zeus flies the VTOL with Veracity and the Blue Skies operative (whose shoulder is both broken and dislocated until Veracity pops it back into place) on it to go pickup Mikhail and Marsh.

Veracity gets sick of the delay with payment, shouting into the VTOL loudspeaker that Mikhail's transaction is endangering national security. The McDonald's clerk showers Mikhail with food and the team regroups on the VTOL.

Veracity does his best to find a location suitable for a PURPLE DRANK lab near old subways located in NYC, and thinks he knows of one. He sends a request up the AEGIS flagpole for more info.

The Teleportation Gun does direct neural interfacing, and it has actual bullets (.50 AE) in it as well, but Marsh can figure out much more than that.

We work out a plan to try and take on the lab:

  • Mikhail calls up a friend who used to work for the Subway System who provides old maps
  • Marsh gets Gunther
  • Veracity puts in calls to see what support he can rope in
  • The group grabs a man-portable LRAD unit and extra beefy hearing protection
  • Dirt Bikes
The Lab is located in a spur that was abandoned after it was decided it didn't need to be used.

We take the dirt bikes down into the subway tunnels and have Gunther peel back the metal that they welded over the entrance.

The lab looks abandoned. Lots of stuff is missing, paperwork and books are on fire, and we don't run into anybody.

It's obvious that they deployed teleportation to evacuate the entire premises. Marsh goes to check their stuff and almost breaks an extremely thin vial of glass holding some blue liquid from lot 26.

Marsh comes to the conclusion that it's some kind of bioweapon. Veracity is able to pull four different partials from it. 

Searching around we find a journal. It contains scientific and occult notes, personal notes, and actual magical formulas. It's written in old Norse.

Veracity spends some time experimenting with the portal gun. Veracity's gut feeling is that the gun is low, but Mikhail can't grok the actual number of shots.

While Mikhail and Marsh pack up the lab Veracity stalks some Columbia professors that know Old Norse, using Telepathic Learning, Speed Reading, and another Stunt to migrate it all into digital data Marsh can use. 

We end there. Mikhail is voted MVP.