Thursday, August 3, 2017

C-Team Ceteri Prequel 4: The Last Trial

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.


We fast forward to the good bits because ain't nobody got time for more pointless downtime. 

It appears the final trial is just pomp and circumstance- an initiation, a brand that sears both soul and body, and swearing an oath to the Conclave to keep the supernatural world hidden.

Evidently all of us are approached with general offers for work given our performance. Landon is disappointed that his final ceremony was an intimate affair, lacking adoring fans, and is even more disappointed when Ms. Baryl is the one to give him his tattoo and brand.

Agravaine's instructed by Olivia that he's free to do what he wants- so long as he routinely checks in. Lucien doesn't particularly care about us, and goes off to finish High School.

Landon sees about getting back in touch with his household- only to learn that his parents and brother are dead, in a mysterious fire no less. It seems a cousin has assumed his title and holdings. 

It's November 1st and we're dumped out onto the streets of Boston. Landon promptly rents a 5-Star hotel room for himself, Cormac crashes at his pad, while Yanay, Mike, and Agravaine slum it up a bit. 

Yanay sees about continuing her college semester so she doesn't lose progress. Landon sees about re-establishing his identity again, as well as setting up a business. Mike meanwhile sees about trying to find out more about his family.

There's a murder at the hotel, totally fishy, a maid (Suzette Jameson) supposedly slitting the throat of a  pharmaceuticals businessman (Mark Conaway) she was having an affair with. She professes innocence.

Landon offers her his assistance as an expert Lawyer. She offers some money, and then Landon puts the screws to her for more. 

Landon gets the crew together. Agravaine, being more or less without anything pressing that he really wants to do, agrees to help out. 

Suzette's prints are on the murder weapon. She claims that they had sex, they slept, then she went to work and returned to find him dead. She believes it was his crazy ex wife. 

Agravaine sits in on the first interview with Suzette and casts a spell- I Know What you Know- on her. The spell determines that she does not know the identity of the killer. Yanay isn't able to really get a Psychology! result on Suzette- she's suffering from PTSD and is a wreck.

Mark was freelancing until he recently got hired by Geo Pharmaceuticals.

We try to look into the ex-wife. Landon tries to pull any public records on them, and Yanay tries to scry for more information. Yanay gets a picture of Boston Harbor, and then a picture of a corpse getting pushed around by waves on a beach.

Cormac, Mike, and Yanay head to the harbor to find the body.

Detective Bradley Bradshaw seems very unimpressed with our presence. 

Suzette mentions something about a face in the mirror, which causes Agravaine to suspect that some kind of ghost or other restless undead is involved. He improvises a spell (Path of Mind -6) to give her a constrained form of Eidetic Memory.

She starts dishing out more info. SHe works a split shift- 4 on, 4 off, 4 on again. When she came in again, there was red on the floor, which she mistook for paint. She grabbed the murder weapon before spotting his body. She rushed to his body and cradled him, finding his throat slit.

Then she spotted a face in the mirror, a young woman with pointed ears and glowing eyes. She remembers hearing a strange sound- not quite a moan. Then she was spotted by another maid holding the knife.

Yanay leads the team right to the body, it's floating in a small inlet near Revere Beach. The left thigh is speared on driftwood. Cormac reckons it happened after she died. Her wallet indicates that she is the ex-wife. Her throat has been similarly slit as well. Cormac doesn't see any signs that her body was moved or transported. She's dressed like she was on a date.

Mike tries to perform last rites and gets the strange feeling that there's no soul left to help move on- a bad sign. The back of the ex-wife's neck is covered in chalk dust. 

Yanay does some astral projection to get a sense of the area, and finds that the area is very spiritually active- Boston has a long an active history after all. However, she's able to determine that all of the ex-wife's vital energy was sucked out.

She also has a symbol on her body, similar to the brand we have. Everyone starts making hidden lore checks.

Yanay calls the police to let them know about the body.

Back at the hotel, Agravaine's able to identify the symbol as a Veve, which allows Cormac to use his knowledge of The Between to identify the connected Loa. Cormac sees it as some kind of strange summoning of Baron Samedi. This particular Veve encapsulates a soul then removes it from the body.

Agravaine advocates for trying to lure the Veve out by using Mike's soul as bait. Cormac is able to confirm that the Bane Sidhe (Banshee) that we're dealing with is either a super nasty undead creature or a herald of death that's tied to a specific location.

An entire day has passed, and it has the police totally convinced that Suzette is the murderer- apparently the murder weapon matches too closely. Apparently they also have finger print info.

Cormac has a local contact that we can ask for some info from. All of us take the Autumn Road to Hadestown where she's located.

"No sexy posing in Hadestown." -Cormac
Hadestown is filled with all sorts of strange and fantastic beings. Cormac leads us to a bar, where he proceeds to buy Gisela a beer and tell her about our strange problem.

She and Cormac trade pleasantries, and then they get down to the fact that we're chasing a Banshee and the fact that there's a Veve involved. Gisela mentions that she only knows of two voodoo practitioners-  one who wouldn't be involved with a Veve, and one who TOTALLY WOULD.

The ONE WHO TOTALLY WOULD is named Holt Boukman, and Gisela says that the Loa actually listen to him, making him dangerous. He's the ultimate descendant of Dutty Boukman, which apparently is a big deal.

Gisela states that the "Bane Sidhe of Boston" is actually a Ghost, not actually one of the Fae. She shows up around death, seemingly at random, last really active around 1872 when there was a big fire or something.

We end there after deciding to investigate Boukman.

Commentary (Christopher):

C-Team has been a further testbed for my wilder ideas on initial partycohesion and to say they haven't worked well is an understatement. Luckily,I have a few fallback plans to make things work - I hope.
As for the game itself I threw Landon's player (Alex) for a *loop* when Iannounced that his parents were dead along with his brother and that adistant cousin had inherited his family title (Earl if Wiltshire). Both theplayer and the character were a bit dazed by the information (which means ithad the intended effect). I underutilized Mike (Andre's character) and wishthat I'd had more time to devout to Agravaine (Travis's character). We'llsee. So far the plot thread they are following is a bit of a "twofer" (ormaybe a threefer). One thing we discovered is that the PCs lack of Occultism(partly due to my fault, really) and investigative skills are not going tolend well to being a group of "paranormal troubleshooters." They'll need tofix that.
There was a brief moment of who's getting paid by who that I squashedquickly - I hope that doesn't come up again.
Next session, we'll see if what I've introduced does as well as I hope itwill.

"Hotel California" by the Eagles"Behind Blue Eyes" by the Who"Runaround Sue" by Dion and the Belmonts"Criminally Insane" by Slayer"Lawyers, Guns, and Money" by Warren Zevon

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