Issue 1 (02/07/2015)

Issue 2 (02/21/2015)

Issue 3 (03/07/2015)

Issue 4 (03/21/2015)

Issue 5 (04/04/2015)

Issue 6 (04/18/2015)

Issue 7 (05/02/2015)

Issue 8 (05/16/2015)

Issue 9 (05/30/2015)


Sleepwalker attempts to draft a team of heroes.  To this end, she has enlisted the aid of a friend, Milosh, who not long ago discovered he has the ability to answer questions of others about the most appropriate action for them to take to get the result they want.  Sleepwalker wants people who will help her fight the creatures that go bump in the night.  He advises her to...

Put a note in a particular book at the PAPYRUS book store asking for help and to meet with the person reading it.  She meets Mr. Knott as a result when he finds the note after picking up the book he ordered.

The Rifter recently pulled a man out of the harbor.  Seeing the man tell his story on the news, Milosh advised Sleepwalker to get that man a similar note of request for help.  It works.

Milosh tells Sleepwalker to wait on a particular street corner and watch for someone "noticable".  Now that she has Mr. Knott helping that makes it easier because he can scan for magic.  (Had he not been available she would have had to make rolls to notice The Vessel's sickly glow.)  They convince her of their cause, at least tentatively.

Reaper finds a note in the junkmail that is delivered to his house.  Sleepwalker had to go to a mail truck and attach a note to a bundle of mail.  They all meet at the School's auditorium late on a Sunday night when it's totally empty.

Everyone is still mulling it over when Sleepwalker suggests maybe they should meet Milosh, the man who helped her find them so they can ask him questions about "why them".  Rifter takes the group to Milosh's apartment, a four-story walk-up of which he lives on the second floor.  Upon arriving there's no answer.  Rifter peers through the second floor window then teleports everyone up there to see CRIME SCENE...

Milosh is dead, his body tipped over in a chair, and missing its head!  Oh, wait it's not so much missing as it is embedded in the crystal ball nearby.

Clues found on scene involve the head being ripped, not cut from the body, there being money left behind, and after a spectral recreation of the scene by Mr. Knott using a Retrocognition spell, you find that a laptop and an appointment book were stolen and that the figure, whatever it was, went through the far wall into the next apartment.

The team meet Detective Marlowe, the man who has become the go-to for supernatural crime.  He meets with Sleepwalker and Vessel.  When leaving they notice that the neighbor lady, who later turns out to be Marla Kandinsky, seems to pierce the veil.  What's more, she doesn't seem the least bit freaked out.  She also does not scan as magical... so how is she seeing through the veil?  Her med cabinet is stocked with Zoloft, and she certainly seems too calm and lifeless.  Her armoire is stocked with the missing laptop.

A call from Marlowe tells the team that the body and the head in the crystal ball are missing.  An officer at the station, when spoken to, seems as lifeless and vacant as Marla was.  Scanning with special senses, Mr. Knott saw that Marla was missing her soul... recently.

The laptop was searched.  Scanning email they find out Milosh was in contact with his great uncle, Harman Blyth, in Romania.  He'd signed himself on to and Uncle Harman had contacted him thinking they were related.  They seemed to have a good relationship, though had not met.  Wanting more info from the laptop, and having no hackers on board, the team take the laptop to MORGUE, the new goth club owned by the head of the hacker gang, The 52 Daughters.

When they enter (Sleepwalker and Vessel first) there is some sort of electrical disturbance which eventually abates and things go back to normal.  They line up a hacker with the assistance of the general manager.  The hacker, Azrael, figures out that the emails from Harman have been coming from increasingly closer locations each time they were sent.  There's also a number to a safe deposit box, which is likely from one of two locations downtown.  Also, found instructions for how to contact the next "hero" for the team, instructions which hadn't been carried out yet and that involved a tattoo shop and an odd symbol which he interprets as a proper name or title:  Witch Hammer.

This all goes rather smoothly except for the part where Reaper crosses the threshold into the building and sets off some kind of defenses.  The same electrical disturbance happens but also as he tries to continue he finds a ward prevents him from entering further.  Rather than stand there and continue to get attacked by some unseen force, he leaves.  The people inside the MORGUE seem to use their earpieces to call on someone named "Ghost" who doesn't seem to be good at responding.  Mr. Knott spotted a symbol  on the floor that appeared to be a spirit ward.

At some point, Reaper or Rifter (I forget which--they're interchangeable!) went back to the apartments to check the alley outside of Marla's place.  He does find the appointment book, which includes his last few appointments and a note to call uncle Harman.

About now the team are deciding to go downtown and scope out the bank with the safe deposit box.  After all, they've got teleports, desolidifications, and everything else, so why not?  This is where I jumped the five minutes of set-up and started drawing the bank.  Sorry for the railroading, but it was going to happen!

The team arrive at the bank to find it is under siege by... Marla, the Officer who had the head/crystal ball stolen from him, and two others.  All are armed.  Also, there's some kind of spectral force.  They fly into action, ticking off the Vessel, who thinks maybe a plan would have been in order.

The result is an old fashioned donnybrook.  Ritter force teleports one of the zombies up to the roof and out of the way.  Reaper uses his darkness to blind several of them, but also to keep others from seeing in.  Sleepwalker jumps down and does a move-through on the window to great effect.  She actually touches the spirit which seems to be an uncomfortable proposition.  Mr. Knott tries to dispel the effect on Marla and fails.  (Not sure if it would have worked anyway; I'll probably have to look it up for next time.)  Reaper uses his death touch and gets a critical, doing max damage and the thing falls the floor.  It begins to dissipate shortly as if it were dissolving into ether.  However, Mr. Knott conjures up a spell and transforms it into a mouse.  An unconscious mouse.  Which he keeps in his pocket.

The group decide to flee rather than explain to the cops just now why they're breaking stuff.  Marla and the others seem to snap out of their compulsion to shoot at you.

SIDE NOTE:  Some of you have the following freebies:

And now the downside.  Reaper has uncovered a Complication (from the 50pt of complications you may accumulate during play):


At the conclusion of last game the team had successfully foiled a bank robbery in which some sort of spirity creature and four minions were there, likely trying to get into the safe deposit box of Milosh Blyth, the young psychic who put you all together.  At the conclusion of this, you teleported away rather than face the cops.  No one had custody of what was in the box.  The spirit creature, while unconscious, was transformed into a mouse by Knott and carried away, otherwise it was going to dissipate into nothing.

The characters discuss things, and discuss how, since the creature was after what they were after, they'll need to go back and get whatever is in the box before another attempt is made on it.

Rifter, interestingly enough, initiates a quick "tell us about yourself" discussion.  You find out...

Meanwhile, cross-town, Witch Hammer gets a post card.  On one side is the symbol of the Witch Hammer and on the other is the mailing address of the sender.  He goes to the address and finds that the sender is deceased.  He got a neighbor to ring him in.  When he checks with her, she tells him that the neighbor, Milosh is dead and she asks if he's here looking for the Possessed woman and the Dead Girl.

As the team is plotting cleaning out the deposit box, Sleepwalker gets a call from Detective Marlowe who asks if what happened at the bank was them.  He wants her to come in for questioning.  She agrees to.  Shortly after that, a call comes in to Sleepwalker from... Milosh!  Okay, not really, it comes from his landline so it shows as him on her phone.  It's the Witch Hammer who had gotten the number from the Neighbor, Marla.  Sleepwalker explains that she didn't send the card, the dead guy did, but the he was trying to get them all to meet, and she says she'd like to meet with him and she'd bring her friends who she admits can be kind of scary.

They get off the phone, and while Witch Hammer is draining what's left of Milosh's vodka and considering spying on them from the roof, the group teleports in.  No fight ensues, luckily, mostly because the least scary one throws up her hands and shouts "we come in peace!"

The whole Milosh trying to help her gather people with shared interests thing is explained.  He agrees to stick around... on a trial basis.

Sleepwalker is taken to the police station while the rest of the team go and retrieve the box.  WHAT'S IN THE BOX?!  Well, it's a scroll of paper.  Back at the bank, Knott sets up a silence spell and the team teleport into the vault, where the door has been propped over the front so that at least should someone try to overpower the police to get at the boxes they'd at least have a barrier.  The paper is snagged when Rifter reaches into a portal and pulls the contents out through said portal.  They port back to Knott's cabin in the woods.  It turns out to be The Last Will and Testament of Milosh Blyth.

The Last Will and Testament of Milosh Blyth

I, Milosh Blyth, have written this to the friend I know and the ones I never got to meet.

For some time now I’ve been able to see the future.  While I’ve told others that I can only see their paths, I could in fact see my own.  I’ve withheld this information because every possibility I explored for saving my life led to the death of someone else, as if the scales of fate are balancing.  In the end, I settled on a fate that however grisly, at least spares many others.

The events that lead to my death started the day I posted to an ancestry website.  Upon that first contact from my Great Uncle Harman, I knew that it was not him.  I looked around for someone to confide in and discovered someone of considerable skill and empathy.  She whom is called Sleepwalker is the closest thing to salvation I have, and even then I know it is too little to save my life.

You see, in one dream I tell her the truth the first day I meet her and that night she is researching my plight when she tries to gain forbidden knowledge that leads to her end.  Each day I dreamed, “What if I tell her today” and in each dream she, or those around her, die or cause a catastrophe in an attempt to save me.  Soon I tried to do this multiple times a day so as to search well into my future.  In the end, all I could do is try to gather an appropriate group of people to avenge me, people with talents and powers suited to defeating the thing masquerading as Great Uncle Harman

This predator feeds on souls and uses their energies to power his abilities.  As he expends his energies he loses some of these abilities.  This may assist in his defeat.  I’m certain there is more but I can only glimpse him at his weakest moments, when his guard is down.  He’s eaten my great uncle and because he finds the taste of magic so enticing, he is hunting my entire bloodline using the ancestry website.  When he comes to Lazarus, he will find more power to digest than he could have ever imagined because that’s the nature of this place.  He’s gotten my entire building by the time you read this, and now it’s up to you to liberate them.

So at the time I write this, a spirit from halfway across the globe is coming for me and I can only hope that my prescient dreams of his defeat are true.  His minion comes for this document because he hopes to dispose of it and therefore erase the warnings I have for you.

As this is an informal will as well as a confession, I will hand out a few things, though I have little.

To Sleepwalker:  With all affection and gratitude I leave my rent-controlled apartment.  It’s paid up through the end of the year.  I don’t have too much else, but whatever is there, which is not destroyed in my demise, is yours.

To the one called Mr. Knott:  I offer you instructions for a day of downtime that should prove fruitful.  Order some croissants at your local bakery (yes, that bakery), then go to PAPYRUS and spend the day reading about architecture.  You’ll be struck by inspiration.

To the one called The Rifter:  I offer confirmation.  Your concern for our world is well-founded.   Three others followed from the ether, intangible and unseen.  Though they act independently, they pull in different directions at the strands of this universe.  They are the Fracturer, The Wyrm-Rider, The Omega.  I dare not write their true names here for to do so would be to summon them.

To the one called Reaper:  There isn’t much I can give.  Your true nature is as much a mystery to me as to you.  However there is something for you in the apartment of my neighbor.

To the Vessel:  You are being stalked.  They are not evil, they are quite devout.  But that doesn’t make them any less dangerous to you.

I am out of time for divining whether the last member of our team is gathered.  So should he be found, I can only say this:  To The Malleus Maleficarum, I give you a few words that by now you probably already recognize as true—Righteousness is not enough, Purity is a trap, and sometimes God lets bad things happen for a reason.

I would now give instructions on how to dispose of my body, but you don’t have time for that.  Someone is at the door.

Just then, the team turn and look toward the door, a sickly green glow emanating from under the door and through the cracks, then it splinters up.  On the other side is the animated corpse of Milosh Blyth, his head still suspended in the crystal ball which now hovers over the neckhole, that same horrified look preserved therein like a fly in amber.  Battle is joined!

A solid thump from our new recruit, With Hammer, glances off of the glass.  The creature grappled Witch Hammer telekinetically and began to suck on his soul, ripping it from his body.  When this was done, the soulless slave-husk of WitchHammer took up arms alongside Threshold against the heroes, receiving mental orders to attack!

The first attack from The Rifter failed due to a flaw in my construction of the villain.  That attack was supposed to be an asset, not a total failure.  Reaper used the death touch on it, and didn't hurt it much (Again the KA met with a lot of Resistant Defense).  However, his subsequent drain on the enemy caused it to lose some CON, which is helpful if your GM remembers it when the badguy takes a few STUN.  I think there was one time where he would have been stunned and I didn't remember it.

Knott was stuck inside the building, his view of the fight obscured by the inky-blackness that surrounds Reaper.  By the time he had a target, the bad guy was able to grapple him and drain his soul.

Rifter spent much of his time teleporting his foe into the air and then dropping him.  This mostly tied up the enemy's actions, which in itself was helpful, as Threshold had to teleport to safety to avoid some of the damage.  (If a teleporter doesn't have the adder to adjust Relative Velocity, then they continue at the same falling speed when they teleport to the ground.  Likewise, anyone without "Position Shift" adder ends up facing the same direction when they teleport.)

Ultimately, with Witch Hammer able to strike even the desolidified Reaper, discretion > valor, Rifter teleported away, got lucky on a deduction roll to make a wild guess on where Sleepwalker would be inside the police station and teleports her back to the fight.

Now, the two "drained" heroes find themselves inside the crystal ball-skull of the enemy, along with a bunch of other souls.  They hit upon the idea of trying to influence the damned to assist them in taking control.  This is the right move, and the right man (Witch Hammer, who has oratory skill to convince them), and they begin to use their puny willpowers to interfere with that of Threshold, sometimes seizing control and sending directions to his enemies to make them attack their new master.  Sleepwalker delivers a couple great leaping move-through, Witch Hammer's body hammer's the foe some, and Mr. Knott's body performs a mental blast (which does damage and frees a soul from the Crystal Skull).

When the creature crumples, some of the heroes continue to mash him in order to free the souls.  Concerned this was murder, Rifter stole the body away temporarily, then returned to discuss this.  It was explained to him, by Rifter, that this was a golem, a construct--not a living being.  This was a presumption by Knott, but a correct one.  They crack open the skull and set the souls free, which float back to their bodies.  The only ones that were lost were the ones he used to power his attacks.  Sleepwalker goes back to Detective Marlowe with the recovered body parts and lays out her story.

So the whole thing:  A being who feeds on magical people eats the family tree of the Blyth family using an ancestry website.  He kills Great Uncle Harman and sends his wight to retrieve what's in the safe deposit box.  He feeds on the souls of the apartment building residents in order to have the power to fight.  Both the spirit and Milosh used their "dreaming" power to foresee what was needed to beat the other.  It came down to Milosh's willingness to sacrifice himself to get the right hero team together.  If you guys had lost the obviously the other guy had dreamed up a better scheme, had more time to make adjustments.

The crime that Marla, the Officer who lost his soul, and the other robbery suspects were charged with was "Vandalism".  You see, the bank was damaged but nothing was stolen, and all the video feeds "glitched" around the time the magical people showed up.  Of the four people questioned, three naturaly lied to protect themselves.  Marla told them everything she knew, which wasn't much.  She described you guys showing up and Marlowe knew who you were and all her facts were in place. 


Characters go about some of their individual business.  Reaper goes home and discovers that a couple guys from Lazarus Paranormal are wandering around in his courtyard so he steals their truck and they sets it on fire.  Prankster Ghosts stole my van!  Knott follows the instructions in the Will and discovers is literally struck in the head with a book off of the shelf.  It is a biography on MC Escher.  He finds obscure clues about a lost project, a work of art called The Nexus.  Parallel to this he finds some odd information about Howard Hughes and how following Patty Hearst's kidnapping in the 70's he became obsessed with personal security.  A deductive leap (Deduction ALSO a good thing to have a strong roll in) has him thinking somehow they are connected though all the pieces aren't there.  It seems the last place Hughes was holed up was in Vegas, at the Sands, which has since been leveled and become The Venetian.

Azrael, the girl from last game who hacked Milosh's computer for you has shown up at the door of Milosh's place (now Sleepwalker's place) with a question:  Ever since the team showed up at MORGUE and their defense system triggered, they have one monitor (and occasionally some others) that keeps running a list of Names on it which are obviously not "true names" and that have a number next to them.  She wants to know what happened!  The team has looked at the list (which I do not have with me) and think it's a list of magic using people and that the numbers may be some kind of ranking.  Somewhat recognized names on the list are Talisman (a major villain, sister of a member of The Defenders, Millennium City's superhero team) and The Black Paladin.  The team also see people listed as "Death?", Sleepwalker, Vessel, and The Drifter (which might be a typo/incorrect naming).  They have only 1pt.  Lowest number on the list is a 0, while the highest is around 17 (I believe).  Some people have the same number.  Not all numbers between 0 and 17 are present.  And the numbers occasionally will go up.

Mr. Knott is confused by his local bakery, which often has more people come out of it than go into it.  He's gone in, seen a few people, bought something, come outside, and then had a few people come out behind him who weren't in there when he was in there a moment ago.  The place does not detect as magical.

The team feel that if the two things are connected maybe they should go look for The Nexus in Vegas, which is easily reached via Rifter's teleport.  When there they get a room, investigate and don't find much.  However, in the parking lot, Knott briefly detects magic  then six people hop out of the back of a parked semi-truck, laughing and carrying on.  Witch Hammer scans them for Sin and sees the usual assortment of debauchery but one of them is a recent murderer.  He decides to follow them, so Sleepwalker tags along rather than let him go alone.  A couple headed for the truck notice the heroes lurking about and just continue on past it.

Reaper, Rifter, and Knott (Attorneys at Law) investigate the truck.  They find the back is empty except for 3 empty boxes sitting side by side evenly spaced.  Rifter believes that there are at least three elements to opening the gate: 1) The truck's doors act as the gate, 2) The truck must be in this spot, 3) Some sort of ritual, arrangement or other procedure must be done with the boxes.  Problem, there's in infinite number of things that can be done with the boxes so you can't just guess what.

They also find a man sleeping in the back of the cab, who pulls a shotgun and comes out to check on the guy who is lurking around back (Knott), who tricks him into thinking he was just looking for his keys.

Crosstown, Witch Hammer and Sleepwalker see the six people split into two groups after the "murderer" pushes too hard and creeps out at least two of the people who split off and go their own way.  The other four continue to a dirty motel and go up to room 212.

This is where we stopped.


IN GAME FREEBIES: Access to the Library at CHRON (a "Perk"). The trick is having to find the place (as is the nature of unpurchased resources).

Last game the group was in Vegas in pursuit of "The Nexus", a lost work by MC Escher which was an odd little lead that Knot had come across in his studies, initiated by a tip from the late Milosh Blyth. They had just split in two.

Group one (adjusted for the presence of Vessel, who was out last game): Vessel, Witch Hammer, and Sleepwalker, following a group of people who came out of the "portal" in front of the Venetian and included someone who had obviously committed the sin of Murder (per Witch Hammer's senses).

Group two: The law firm of Reaper, Rifter, and Knot. They were fooling around with the truck in front of the Venetian.

Group one see the people go into a shitty motel and not long after that the lights go out in there. Witch Hammer walks by the room but doesn't hear anything. At that point Sleepwalker is asked if she has any special senses, so she takes a deep breath and her expression changes. She lets out a guttural growl, and rushes the door, breaking it in. Inside are a group of unconscious people, the "murderer" standing in the corner, and a large creature with the body of a snake. In the corner of the room is the split open husk of another person. This is the den of a shapeshifter of some sort; a reptilian creature that swallows people and then assumes their shapes as he digests them. The previous person he'd absorbed is the shell in the corner, that shape shed like a snake skin.

Thing is, he's in the middle of digesting someone, their feet limply dangling out of his jaws. When he sees Sleepwalker, he expels the body like a projectile, tagging the enraged Sleepwalker (In her state because she had smelled exposed brains) and blowing her back over the railing. She almost hits Witch Hammer, who leaps aside, but she impacts Vessel, who is floating right there outside the room. This gives her rage a moment to abate. Witch Hammer texts the others, who will be there shortly. Rather than go blow-for-blow, here are the major points:

What did the cops see? I was thinking about this after the fact. I think what the cops saw by default instead of a half-person-half-snake creature was an enormous Anaconda-like snake that has half-swallowed a person. In order for them to treat the creature appropriately, Sleepwalker had to spend some time explaining to them what they were seeing. Once they see it they're fine, for that one creature. But it takes some persuasion or other appropriate skill and some time, not to mention the willingness of the target to try and understand what they're seeing; most people don't want to pierce the veil by default.

Back at the Venetian there's some discussion of whether to seal the gate or go in and see what's on the other side. What was pulled by Knot from the head of their earlier captive is that on the other side is CHRON, a club owned by Baba Yaga. Is it the actual Baba? Who knows... this guy wouldn't even know who that was, he just would know the name. It's a hub that connects to other worlds. It changes shape regularly.

Characters arrive and try to pass the door man, a ram-headed individual named Pookah. He wants a password, the characters don't have it. If they try to pass him without permission, he warns them that no one inside will accept them and everyone will come down on them. The characters relent and go back out to the real world. Takes them a while to find a password. It's passed by word-of-mouth so they must find someone who knows one. They corner the guy who was the guard (actually "capture" might be the right term) who watches the truck that is part of the gate opening procedure. He doesn't know the password, he only knows enough to get himself to the front door and Pookah, where he can ask for help. (Incidentally, when the character released him, he did go to Pookah and say, "some crazy people were here", and after a description, Pookah, went "Oh yeh, them." and didn't care so much.) When asked for people who might have been in there he can pinpoint an entertainer, a guy headlining at the Bellagio, er rather, the Venetian (I had to change this later to make something fit correctly).

Hank Schram is a comedian who just absolutely BOMBED that evening (I botched his roll). This determined where he'd be. If it had been a great night he'd probably be in the club already. Instead he hired two hookers (one for him, one for his agent), and then had performance issues (of another kind and fell asleep on his balcony with a bottle of alcohol. Knot tries to pry into the guy's mind while he's sleeping and fails. However, Witch Hammer keeps him quiet, Knot drains the guy's EGO stat and then tries again and gets probably the highest result I've ever had in a game for any mental power: He criticaled on a guy with a 0 EGO... so he has a +60 Telepathy level. He knows this guy literally better than the guy knows himself.

Hank was taken to the club initially by an ungodly hot woman who thought he was funny. He hasn't seen her in a while and goes there regularly because no woman can compare to her now. He passes on the password (Diaphane). The characters go back and enter the club. Pookah lets them in.

Sleepwalker thinks the place looks familiar, but Vessel pegs it.. there's some similarity to MORGUE, in that the designer of that club has definitely been influenced by this one. This club is an enormous (100m by 30m room, the walls seemingly stone except down at the ground level where they are wood built over the stone.) There's an enormous garden that is lower than the area you come in on and takes up more than half the place. In the garden are randomly placed stone walls with book cases against them. The centerpiece of the bar is an enormous tree that starts here and goes up through the dirt above. Around the roots is the bar which has been constructed in a circle.

The serving person who comes to greet the group morphs shape as he/she approaches. I should have mentioned this: You notice that as this particular server approaches other people at other tables throughout the bar, they tend to morph into other shapes, effortlessly, possibly even without conscious effort. They approach at able full of men in plate armor and suddenly it's an attractive woman in a bar wench attire; They approach a table with a troll and a soldier at it and they morph into a female troll. (It's an EGO roll and whoever makes it by most is the one broadcasting the strongest empathic vibrations at a given table).

There are loads of services, from rooms and drinks and temporary boosts in stats courtesy of potions, to an assassins guild and an in-house magical viewing system called CrystalVision. (The Crystal itself is in select rooms and on a few tables and it looks like if you cut a crystal ball in half and then cut that in half again; that quarter glass sits on a flat side on the table and if you have a magic roll you can manipulate the device to look in to a) Mystical (willing) communications from others, b) recorded messages left for a person, c) a selection of images of things happening elsewhere live, d) some events that have been stored there.

Here's the main things you find out at the place:

The "list" you've seen with names and numbers, is actually a list of people participating in a contest. It seems that some don't even know they're in it! (The PCs included.) An nefarious and decadent otherworldly entity called the Crimson Claw is offering a powerful prize called the Emerald Eye to the winner. You advance to round 2 by defeating and humiliating superheroes. Killing them is frowned upon, apparently. If you lose then you lose points and if you are captured, your score goes back to 0 and you have to restart. The top echelon will go on to round two, which will take place at the Claw's Aerie. The top 3 finishers overall win prizes, but the top one gets this powerful object. He communicates with people by sending out emissaries who possess people, talk to the target, and then depart the possessed body.

Characters research a number of things in the library nearby...

There's a mind-linked discussion between the PCs on how to handle this Villain Contest thingie. Do you participate somehow, earn points, and get inside the Claw's Aerie to steal the Eye? Do you simply warn heroes everywhere and maybe blow your cover in doing so? Do you go after the villains and in doing so take them out of the equation? Sleepwalker has one hero contact on the "Day shift" (so to speak), and that's Anthem, who has access to the Sentinels and their base. There's a plan being hatched to let her in on what's happening.

I'm sure there's more. The thing about games that only have one fight is that there's a lot of exposition and a lot of information discovery.

Everyone goes back to their homes for now and in doing so, Vessel goes back to her RV, walks in, and finds herself in some sort of trap. Imagine if someone pushed your RV aside, drew a binding circle, and then rolled the RV back into place and you failed the perception roll to notice the vehicle had been moved. And that's where we left off; Vessel in her RV with her ($ purchased) cell phone ruined by the last fight.


At the conclusion of last game, the team had split up for the evening after having visited CHRON, the extra-dimensional club run by Baba Yaga.  We had a glimpse into what was happening with Vessel, but since that's where the action is, we'll start with the others.  Let's start with who was LEAST present and work up from there:


Was unavailable for the recent scenarios because he didn't pick up his phone AND nobody knows where he lives.  (Mark was out this game.)  What his character was off doing was related to the harbor.  It seems that something in the harbor claimed a second boat.  Rifter arrived in time to find emergency vehicles and a lot of debris.  Again, something pulled a boat under, a bout 500 feet down the docks from where the last one had been pulled under.  Conspiracy guy (whose boat was the last one pulled under) is there and he relates all of his crackpot conspiracies:


Had work to catch up on.  He lost a day off to the extra-dimensional time difference between CHRON and here, so when he goes to bed he's so exhausted he doesn't hear his phone go off when there's a call-to-arms later (Translation:  Robert is at work, so his character doesn't hear anything.)  His only bit of oddness is related to his job, that none of you know about (Secret ID), in which the water at the treatment plant is coming out extra clean, algae levels at record lows.


Went "home" to his tattoo parlor/temporary abode and discovered a new tattoo artist, a mid-twenties blonde.  He engaged her in getting a new tattoo to commemorate the human-eating snake shapeshifter he fought last game, and also engaged her an a round of flirting.  She has a court ordered ankle surveillance bracelet, and her prevalent sin is "Lust".  Lucky him.


Got home and discovered two new people out in front of his gate snapping pictures.  They were a couple, one of whom is snapping a picture of the other then they took a selfie.  He did some online research and discovered that "Crawford House" is #10 on the list on the Lazarus Paranormal website of "Potentially Haunted Places".  They comment on how the owner won't entertain tours and doesn't return calls and that the same family has owned the property for over 100 years and that it's one of the few places that the city was built around.


We'll get into that.


Got home to her RV parked near Millennium Park, and discovered that she'd walked into a trap.  Upon entering the vehicle, she found she could not go beyond a certain section of the RV, as if she were inside of a bubble.  Someone had put down a circle of entrapment on the underside of the RV and then pushed it back into place.  When she entered, someone closed the circle.  Outside a mob is gathering, well-armed with decidedly non-magical scientific weapons.  Eventually a man in a limo shows up.  Just about then Vessel can see someone standing beyond them in the distance and when the limo passes she's gone.  Then vessel gets tapped on the shoulder.

A physically fit middle-aged woman is standing next to her and says, "You seem like you might need some help".  Her name is Bridge and she's one of the Sentinels from the 5th City Campaign.  She says the guys out front are the Sons of Salem (SOS), a group of witch-hunting anti-magic types who solve magical problems with technology (mostly).  In this case they've used a magic circle to trap her, but they'll likely burn down the RV afterward as a safety precaution.  She gives two options, "I can teleport you far away to safety, or I can put you nearby if you want to deal with these bastards."  Vessel takes the nearby option.

Bridge loans her a (point spent) earpiece-phone to Vessel who calls the cavalry, with mixed results.  Knott doesn't pick up, Rifter doesn't pick up, Sleepwalker and Witch Hammer are phoneless.  Reaper DOES pick up.  Bridge can get him there right now, but unlike Rifter she can't just look at him where he is and go to him.  Her long-distance teleport is called "Transposition".  She gets on the phone with Reaper, warns him to go to some room that is dark or featureless and she'll teleport him.  When she does, she literally swaps places with him, then ports back to the spot she memorized on the roof. 

To get Witch Hammer, who is phone-less, Bridge teleports Vessel to within a couple miles of the spot, and then does some hops to get her to Hellfire Tattoos.  Witch Hammer's new friend answers the door and Bridge ports the group away.

Sleepwalker's place is not good.  There are cops out front and through the window can be seen blood, including some sprayed across the room and the front window.  She is not in there.  An ambulance has traveled away without emergency lights running.  She is not present.  So the group goes back to the existing problem.

Bridge makes people stand in a particular formation before she teleports them.  It seems that she's accounting for objects that are in the target area of where she's teleporting to, so that no one ends up inside of a ceiling vent a/c unit, etc.  Upon arrival, Reaper is monitoring the SOS.  The enemies are 10 SOS agents (Guys in civilian dress, with potentially nasty tech weapons, goggles, and tattoos), and one business man who got out of the Limo.  One of the 10 guys has a bunch of tech monitor devices and another one is a woman.

The heroes start off strong.  Vessel, as Puppeteer, has knotted up a large area of people in an entangle that they can't get out of.  That takes out the preponderance of guys.  However, Witch Hammer is 'ported down next to the boss and nails him with a hammer (like a boss), sending him flying back into the roof of the limo with a crash and thud.  Bridge opens a gate over-top of him and a vending machine falls out of the air and lands of the boss.  Reaper puts two of the foes in darkness and they wander randomly from the dark and end up outside of it.  One of them radios for help.

Help arrives from the strangest place:  The trunk of the limo bursts open and out comes a man in armor.  Later when the group investigate the vehicle they'll find that the whole back end of the limo inside the trunk is hollow and gutted, which it couldn't have been in order to drive there and have someone in the trunk.  Anyway, this guy is in fully covering iron-man style powered armor.  He launches a shot at the group, who have acted, except Bridge who opens a portal that the object flies into and comes out in the park.  It's an explosive with a disintegration special effect that (due to a really weak roll) only razes anything with a low number of body points... so twigs, grass, bushes, top layer of dirt, etc.

Puppeteer takes control of the female SOS and has her attack the armor guy, but she's not very good and ends up missing both times.  Puppeteer later orders the woman to run away, which she does.   She would seem to be the only one who gets away... BUT... something I failed to mention after the fight because you all left the scene and Bridge stayed behind to explain to the police (as she's deputized)... is that the Boss under the vending machine was gone when they moved the object.

The SOS people interrogated by the police yielded the following bits of info:

The HoG was the bulk of the fight.  He tries to use some sort of Righteous burning ray of Jesus light on Witch Hammer, who has been getting the best of him, and fails... it is totally ineffective for some reason.  He's bewildered and points out to Witch Hammer that he's on the wrong side and should be fighting with them not against them!  Witch Hammer sees it differently as he again Armor Piercing shots him to great effect.  That with Pestilence's AP "bees" cutting into the armor, puts him pretty well injured when Witch Hammer hits him hard enough to send him flying over the building and onto the next street.

When Pestilence goes to retrieve the unconscious HoG, she finds Witch Hammer in the midst of strangling him, though he backs off and they leave the individual for police capture.  Pestilence checks the vehicle and finds it's owned by a corporate entity called "HARP Industries."  They are... (drumroll)... a Defense Contractor.

Pestilence lost her RV in all this.  While the female SOS had set it on fire, it was a round from the HoG that disintegrated over half of the vehicle.


The team set to figuring out what's happening with Sleepwalker.  When they get to her place the police presence is gone.  They talk to the neighbor who is more lively than previously having given up her zoloft and gotten her soul back.  She's playing Cello, which causes a strange stillness in Reaper, whose inner creature comes to complete calm during the duration of the music.  (Note that you don't recall this ever happening with music before so this is fairly unique occurrence).  Marla was at the symphony hall until late, having been re-elevated back to 1st chair.  When she got home the police were already there.  From what she understands, Sleepwalker came home, one of Milosh's old girlfriends, Nora Wilkes, was there, and Sleepwalker leaped on her and feasted on her yummy, yummy brains.  A spray of blood across the window alerted the neighbor across the way.

The team have trouble getting in to see Sleepwalker, who voluntarily went with the cops.  She has an attorney named Richard Fischman, a fairly high priced gun from out-of-town who has taken her case.  He speaks with Knott (who is now in on things, having checked his phone).  Since he's not deputized and not a licensed P.I., Richard thinks maybe he can get the team in some limited capacity in to see Sleepwalker and he can share info with them if one of them has at least applied as a P.I. and has a license app pending.  They elect Vessel, who does not have have a secret ID and looks normal.  He tells them the story:

Sleepwalker claims she arrived home, smelled fresh exposed brains, and leaped onto the girl instinctively and attacked her.  Witch Hammer recounts to the group the incident last game where she smelled brains and in a fit of brain-lust knocked down the door to the motel before being blown back by the serpent creature's projectile vomiting.  She ripped open the skull, caused the spray across the window which the neighbor saw.  And the coroner's "cause of death" is pending but lividity says the body died consistent with the time frame.  "If you find anything, bring it to me," he says.

The team go back to the apartment and investigate more heavily  Knot sets up for his "retrocognition" trick.  While he's doing that, a deduction roll reveals that the person who witnessed the spray of blood probably had to be looking at the window at the time because the room was not well lit.  Looking across the way, someone ducks back into their apartment behind the curtains.  Witch Hammer, Reaper, and Blindside (Vessel) go to investigate.  He doesn't want to answer the door, only talk through it.  Reaper goes through the door and scares him into fleeing out the window.  Blindside (invisible) goes downstairs in case she needs to follow.  Reaper is doing a good job of scaring him and then appearing on the other side of him.  Eventually he does the full-on presence attack and gets him to cower and do as ordered.

Looking around his place, they find he has lots of porn, a laptop (with lots of fetishy porn sites related to college girls, cheerleaders, etc.), and a pair of binoculars that he's been using to watch across the way.  Plus, a camera, whose light is on.  Playing it back they find that he turns it on whenever the light goes on across the street ever since the gothy schoolgirl moved in.  He has video of her changing clothes.  He also has video of her jumping up into the loft and the spray of blood across the window.  He also has earlier video of two people arriving (a man and woman), the woman making coffee, the guy holding it briefly, and her speaking to him.  (No lipreading, and not good enough perception rolls to capture a few things.)

The "Playback" that Knot does reveals the following:  The big guy (who is wearing a football jersey with 00 on the back and California Lazarus University colors) and the girl who is dressed-to-kill in expensive stuff.  They come in, she explains to him where the body will go, makes some coffee, and leaves a cup at the sink in the drying rack but didn't wash it so there may be fingerprints.  After they leave and turn out the lights, the big guy returns later in the dark, never turns on the lights at all (so the camera across the way never recorded it) and put the body up in the loft, then punched a hole in the skull with his thumb.  He seems to consider eating the brains but resists.  Then of course the playback of the "murder" by Sleepwalker.

The team call the Lawyer because of "work product" rules.  The Lawyer tells them to allow the police to collect it and that he'll call them to do so.  Then the thought crops up from Knot that maybe the Lawyer could be an issue.  He's kind of expensive and they have no idea how she wound up with him.  So they set Blindside there to watch, put out a false cup (just in case) and wait.  Within 10 minutes, a guy shows up outside, checks his cell phone, lockpicks his way in and goes up the stairs.  Reaper meets him halfway and terrorizes him into confessing who he is and why he's there.  His wallet has multiple business cards.  He goes under many, many aliases but Detective Marlowe (who is called in late and arrives sleep-deprived) runs his name and he's a second-story man and occasional con-artist whose last case was dismissed due to work by one Richard Fischman.  This is quid pro quo for having done the legal work on his case.  He's to come here and steal the cup and replace it with another before the police arrive, returning the cup to Fishman for disposal.

They perform a quick sting in which Jimmy talks to Fishman, delivering the ill-gotten evidence.  He's arrested and taken downtown.  He lawyer's up immediately.

Secret Investigation of his place during the arrest by the team yields a few more things:  Case Files of other local criminals Fischman has defended, and one case that is out-of-place because it's a client in Vibora Bay... one Cassandra Kahn, an age 45-ish very rich woman.  A stroke of alcohol-induced curiosity by the player caused the character, Knot, to look up on the internet to see if she has a daughter... which she does.  She has a college aged daughter name Candace Kahn who looks JUST like the girl in Mr. Knott's playback, and she's a pretty and bratty girl who shows up on the QMZ website regularly.  Background looked up on Football Players from CLU with 00 and named "Troy" (What Candace had called him in the playback), results in Troy Mendelsohn, a highly touted college prospect (Linebacker) who graduated a year ago and failed to make the NFL due to bad scores on the Combine, so he hasn't been on the radar since.

Talking to Sleepwalker, she knows Candy Kahn.  She was the one who brought "The Book" with her to their party in Vibora Bay in which she died and got powers.  Candy did not seem happy with the incident, unlike one of the other girls, who ran away in fear.  Anger seemed like an odd response.

Unrelated Developments include the following:





This game was lots of fighting so it's not going to take too long.  Then of course my natural tendency to inject background info will inflate the write-up.

With evil attorney Richard Fishman in custody, the next step in getting Sleepwalker out of jail is to actually bring in the bad guys.  Namely, Candace Khan, teen necromancer and her minion, the zombie football player ("Troy Mendelsohn, Linebacker, Decomposed State!").  Some work is put in on trying to figure out how to track her down, including spying in Fishman's office.  They find the address for her mother (in Vibora Bay) and the phone number for her daughter.  A plot starts to gather about having the police triangulate the signal, but before that happens, Detective Marlowe calls... Attorney Fishman is dead in custody!

The cops do their scene analysis and haul away the body, but they let the team come in and do their thing.  They notice two things: An excellent perception roll by Witch Hammer allows him to notice a darkened area in the shape of a person in an outline on the wall, and Reaper uses his soul sense and his tracking to determine that there had been ONE soul in there recently and that it had gone out of the room through that same wall, rather than doing what souls tend to do when someone dies (it can vary, but this is unusual).  He tracks it all the way to an expensive little set of bungalows on the beach.  You now which bungalow and Witch Hammer wanders up to knock on the door, which just sets off Candace's other guardian... a Wraith!

One thing that is figured out (by a knowledge roll) about the wraith is that they do not deal well with Holy weapons.  This puts Witch Hammer front and center.  Less known:  The wraith has a two-step procedure:  Remove someone's will (EGO) in order to make them vulnerable, and when that is completed, it can do a transformation attack and suck their souls from their body.  So against an average person it's basically three attack phases to take them out (Avg of 17.5 EGO drained puts most at zero, followed by an average of 14 BODY transformed means they'd need a second transform attempt).  A zero EGO means someone defaults to doing what people tell them, or their complications take over.

However, I should mention here that I was a critical rolling machine during combat.  Perception rolls, enemy skill rolls, etc... not so much.  Combat rolls: Bingo!

At various times it drains many of the PCs:  Witch Hammer goes after the "true evil" he's confronted with because the hammer is telling him to.  And if he'd completed that successfully you might have had issues with him, since the holy voice thinks you're all evil sinners.  Pestilence is taken over by one of her entities, but Reaper compels her to change forms.  Reaper decides the best thing to do since the fight feels like it's turning away from you is to scare the crap out of everyone, which he does, forcing them to flee!  It works on most, but the Wraith is simply given pause before it continues.  Other participants in the fight include Candace Khan (girl necromancer), who was not scared off because she didn't see the PRE attack happen, and her Zombie minion, Troy Mendelsohn.  Candy will stick around a little longer, to summon more lower-level zombies, and then leaves when it feels like the tide is turning, using her one escape teleportation spell to get out of dodge, while Troy runs way into the surf.

Left behind at the fight scene when everyone flees are Reaper and the Wraith.  The wraith kills his EGO, leaving him at 0 EGO, because CRIT.  Problem is when he gets to the transformation attack, he rolls really high (20 on 4D6) claiming Reaper's soul and leaving the entity within him to have free reign of his body!  It then scans the area for enemies to protect his mistress from, and seeing none, flies off after her.

That leaves a horrible avatar of death that is Reaper's worser half to run amok!  Witch Hammer comes back to take it out but is put down briefly.  With no one within his life-sight, he flies off on a personal mission!  The group manage to get back together and head off in pursuit of the rampaging death, who is teleporting across town.  Some analysis yields that it may be headed to the former home of Milosh Blyth.

The team intercepts a few times, nearly holding him with entangles, but he manages to break free, desolidify, and go underground, then come up and teleport from building to building using the windows, which slows it down some.  Once the gang figure out where he is they see his tactic and intercept him.  With Death captured, they need to figure out how to change him back.  They think maybe the could summon a wraith to find out, or they could go find the escaping wraith, if possible. Meanwhile, Knot is putting half his available pool to use with a persistent/continuous/etc. drain that will keep him to week to break free.  It's the sort of thing I wouldn't allow as a combat move, but as a hand-waving subdual thing, makes sense; plus it's taking up some of your resources.

Some deduction manages to help the group figure out that if the devoured soul of Richard Fischman was detectable, then using a similar spirit sight to track the devoured soul of Reaper from the site where he was eaten should be possible.  The team follows the path to a cemetery, where Candy and her two helpers are holed up. There are some exhumed graves nearby, but if anyone was pulled from them, they did not participate in the fight.

This fight is much more in favor of the PCs.  Use of some knockback effects, lots of hammering, some teleport/drops, and you've got them on the run.  Candace had to tunnel out of the Mausoleum and come up outside in order to go after people (her escape teleport was used earlier in the evening).

With the bad guys taken down, it is discovered that the Wraith, as a summoned creature, has conditions for getting it to do what it does.  It was charged with protecting Candy for 24 hours during which it could devour any soul that came after her, then it could return to its home plane.  The problem is, if it went to its home plane with the devoured soul of Reaper, they'd have a hell of a time finding it again!  Character might be toast!  But they did catch him within the 24 hours.  To free it, they have to obliterate the spirit's material plane form, freeing the devoured souls.

FOOTNOTE:  Detective Marlowe will notify you (not long after your destroy the wraith) that Dick Fischman is alive and answering questions!  He woke up on a body bag at the morgue, horrified and screaming.  He is talking about what he's enlisted to do; in fact he wants to say everything ever, but the DA is trying to restrict him to things that are admissible.  A Writ of Habeus Corpus (emphasis on the Corpus) is imminent.

THE SCOREBOARD:  I will post the current "contest" scoreboard on the website when I update it, along with some minor notes about people on the list.  From my notes, I believe 4 people dropped off the list for various reasons and at least 3 joined.


ISSUE 6 - DeathKnights and Damsels in Distress

BOOK KEEPING:  As mentioned in last game recap email, Drains don't have a limit (other than only being able to take someone down to zero in a stat).  Also, Combat Criticals are now "3" (Unless you ONLY hit on a 3), and if your OCV is greater than their DCV, "4".  Regular skill roll criticals remain UNDER half of your chance of succeeding.  Current DC limit for the campaign is 13DCs, and if you need to do a world-saving push, you can get up to 17DCs.  One such massive push is only possible if you are in legitimate fear for your life or someone else's, AND can only be once per fight; the rest of the time you can push by 10pts (which costs you 10 additional END).  Current total Defense limit for PD is 34pts, and likewise for ED.  STR can go to 45pts. 

To get some healing done (since Knot and no other healer are present) the group do some investigation and figure out how to use the local bakery in order to access CHRON to get healing potions.  The Ritual:  Buy a Cream-horn inside, go around back to the dumpster that covers an EYE symbol, push the dumpster to the left, set the bagged pastry on the ground, run it over with the dumpster, take it back out and have some.  Where the eye is, the wall begins to glow and you can pass through.  This was determined by watching people all day until someone does the ritual AND doesn't see the team.  The old password is still in effect. Last game the team captured Candace Khan (fledgling necromancer), her minion, Troy Mendelsohn (zombie linebacker), and destroyed the wraith which had eaten Reaper's soul. This game:  Attorney Richard Fishman woke up in the coroner's office, in a body bag, and started screaming.  When they got him out it turns out his soul had been devoured like Reaper's, and so killing the wraith brought him back to life.  Now he's spilling secrets about things that Cassandra Khan wanted him to do.  Vibora Bay has theParanormal Response Unit (Who are the model for the tv show Special Crimes Unit: New Orleans.)  It is lead by Detective Wright, aka Phantom Limb.  They would go in and handle the Khans, but last time they sent officers in, one retired and one transferred to desk duty so he never had to go into the field again.  Their reconnaissance of the grounds gets a few things:

The team decide that she's likely set up in the Mausoleum, or at least it's a good place to start.  It is arranged that just before they go in, Sleepwalker will be released, that way if Cassandra gets a heads up that the team is assembled it'll be last minute.  It is arranged with Bridge that she will get the team to the location, which she does.

They breech the walls and head for the mausoleum.  It does not allow desolidification pass-through, as is discovered by Reaper, but once the gate is opened they find the enemy, or rather, the facility's guardian:  The Death Knight is a tall, armored individual with some sort of large humanoid skull worn as a mask, a massive sword, and issuing from its mouth is that massive cloud of fog.

Wisely the team set to attacking his sword, which while not the source of his strength or being, is the core of his attack set!  His first and only attack with the sword was his weakest (because it was an area effect attack on everyone in a 4m circle around him) and had no impact.  Witch Hammer spends time knocking the object from his hand, Blindside (Vessel) and Sleepwalker try to wrestle him.

A note on group "grabs":  Rather than totaling strengths together, you total the carrying capacities of the two people and see what STR that is equal to, then you do the competing STR rolls using that adjusted Strength.  This means most of the time, the two people of similar strengths wrestling with someone will only get them about .5 to 2 DCs more.  Sometimes this is useful, most of the time it's better that one person grab and the other person take advantage of the situation by beating the crap out of the grabbed person.

Once the sword is freed, Sleepwalker throws the sword out into the graveyard.  Eventually, the Death Knight is thrown out into the graveyard.  He'll end up doing a full non-combat run to it since his bare-hand skills are failing him.  The full strategy that develops is this:  Blindside grabs and throws the opponent, he fails any roll to remain standing and wastes actions getting up; during that time, and especially when he's on the ground, Witch Hammer hits him with his penetrating attack, since he has "Hardened" which messes with the armor piercing attacks that have been so effective in previous fights.  And Sleepwalker, who worked out while in jail and spent some XP on more STR and does a LOT of 10pt pushes, killing all of her END.  Between the penetrating and the pushed kicks, he's weakened pretty well, but this is helped when Knott shows up on the scene (Post dinner break) and helps with some 2xAP attacks which actually defeat the Hardened Defenses of the opponent and does comparable damage to the other two folks.  I believe the (first) knockout blow was from Blindside.  He's not out long, so Sleepwalker, who has a fear of being buried alive and has to succeed on an EGO roll twice, uses her tunneling to create a deep hole for them to throw the repeatedly awakening Death Knight into.  He does not have tunneling, and if he tried to dig out it would take him quite a while, even with his STR.

During the fight, two conventional zombies ("Test zombies") arrive in the graveyard and Reaper uses his death touch to further deathify them.  Note that if they'd been more effective or the team had gone in WITH the local cops there would have been a lot more zombies.

The team go further in and investigate the manor house.  There they locate the lady of the house, Cassandra Khan, who promptly surrenders without a fight after reading your arrest warrant.  Incidentally, she claims she was unaware of an arrest warrant, and that the actions of anything undead in her graveyard are not her fault and thus she did nothing to resist arrest.  She's certain this is all a big "Misunderstanding" and that her attorneys will satisfactorily point out that she did nothing illegal with her former attorney and that he has totally misunderstood her intentions with regards to the safety of her daughter.

SIDE NOTE:  Examination of Troy Mendelsohn, the football zombie, seems to have at some point before his undeath, had a lobotomy.  He's so easily controlled because he's now just a bundle of instincts and easily controlled by his creator.

OTHER SIDE NOTE:  Candace Khan's new attorney intends to call team members for her trial.  After all, there's no footage of either of them harming the girl, just that they were in the apartment; and as to the guy going to get the cup with the finger prints on it, that's just an overzealous and crooked attorney assuming the worst about his clients.


Early in this session, some work was done by Vessel to look into the disappearance of a friend of Bridge and Audra Blue, named Lucretia.  She's a former cop who spent a few years undercover, a decorated hero who retired immediately from her position after putting away seventy organized crime figures with all the information she gathered.  She has gone missing.  Her current PI "job" it seems was for someone she met at MORGUE.  The team go to MORGUE and discover run early in the game run into some trouble.  Azrael, the hacker that helped out previously, makes a bee-line for the team and warns them she's not supposed to talk to them anymore because since last time they were in, their names appeared on "that list of villains".  Shortly after this, a group of girls gets up and comes toward the group obviously with intent to use force, but Vessel waves them off and she and Witch Hammer leave without incident.

This group, they learn later on, is called THE COVEN.  They sit around a hexagonal table and have six members...

What you do learn is that Lucretia had been hired by a member of the Flock, YET ANOTHER girl group, this one full of people with flight.  They are an uneasy alliance of people with similar power origins who banded together despite the fact that they fit a spectrum from "probably evil" to "pure goodness".  The players in this group are...

There are 7 members of The Flock, but 9 names listed above, because Brighthawk is really a former member and Carrion Bird is just there because she holds Skylark's proxie vote in matters.

The team track down Brighthawk at her, and Dove's, home: A lighthouse 5 miles up the coast from the city of Lazarus.  Brighthawk is pleasant enough and WitchHammer's since sense picked up her predominate virtue/sin as "Kindness".  I made one small mistake on the sin--her highest would be "Envy" although it's pretty low... see, she misses her wings, which she gave up to Dove.  Dove is a being of pure virtue.

Brighthawk hired Lucretia to investigate Nix, who is a troublemaker of unknown origins, but who they know is "one of them".  She also relays how the Flock work.  There are seven pairs of these wings.  As demons are nothing but angels who have fallen, these wings are aspects of some sort of angelic power.  The darker, more malevolent wings are those who belonged to someone who did bad and started a downward spiral.  The purer wings are closer to their origin.

With Knot on board, the team develop a method for tracking Lucretia down.  They get a picture of Lucretia with her most common possession, her lime green armored trench coat, and use it as a method of tracking it down.  They do find the coat abandoned at the bowery.  Nearby in the junk they find a needle with a bit of blood in it.  Using that blood they divine the location of its owner.  She is in a harbor-side building that is abandoned with junkies using the first floor as a shooting gallery.  Inside she is discovered, unconscious, covered in grime.  When she's picked, up, some dark grime on her back shifts and Witch Hammer has a quick flash to the wings that were tattooed on the back of a recent.. um.. conquest, a woman that he and his tattoo-artist/girlfriend spent time with.

Via chat, Audra Blue suggests you take her to MORGUE.  She notifies them ahead of time that you are coming.  Lucretia wakes up while being carried to the truck, grabs on to the person carrying her, says, "Kill me," and then falls unconscious again, but now the black smudges on her back transform into full-blown inky black wings.  Covering her with a jacket smothers the wings to a degree, but a black ooze drips out from underneath and dissipates in the air.  The wings are in the early stage of forming.

She's rushed to MORGUE and Brighthawk & Dove are contacted.  Dove shows up and her powers can neutralize the darkness for periods of time.  She breaths in the dark vapors and contains them.  She staves off the evil through meditation.  Lucretia can speak and act during this time.  Until Dove showed up, Knot had been using Dispel to neutralize the wings, but that was a constant effort because dispel just works until the power is turned on again, so he's doing dispel after dispel.  The wings are in the process of gaining the "Inherent" advantage, at which point Dispel would never work.

It turns out Lucretia was investigating Nix and Nix tricked her into accepting the wings in order to keep her from being captured by the Sons of Salem.  Their corrupting influence is telling Lucretia to go about doing all sorts of nasty, nasty things.  In order to keep them from taking over, Lucretia hit the streets, went to where she used to buy drugs when she was undercover, and shot up to numb herself.  This has delayed the effect for weeks.  She actually attempted to overdose but the wings kept their host alive.

Some questions about the passing of the wings were answered by Brighthawk:

During all this the connection is made that maybe Skye, Witch Hammer's tattoo artist, might know where she is.  She says she doesn't.  There's some temporary confusion as the team begin to suspect that maybe the tattoo artist--a former villain named Lumina whose own tattoos give her powers, might have given her new wings.  The timeline seems to be more like this:

At this point, time is of the essence.  Lucretia says she will not condemn anyone else to wear these corrupting wings.  She says that if it comes down to it she should be killed to end this.  But the team figures Nix should take them back, but it would require tricking her into it.  It's also thought that since a "soul scan" of Nix once revealed to Witch Hammer that she's got ALL the sins on blast, that maybe she's not a recipient of the wings, but the original owner.  If so, that would make her a demoness of some sort.


ISSUE 7 - The Flock

In the previous game, the team had rounded up Lucretia, the private investigator who is plagued with the evil corrupting wings and needed to get Nix, their previous owner, with the intent of binding her back to those wings.  Each pair of wings from the members of The Flock requires some sort of element to the transfer consistent with their nature (One pair is traded through altruism, these ones are likely transferred by trickery).

Complicating things further is that The Flock are bound by a pact to protect one another.  The terms of the pact become evident later on.

So the characters spend most of the early half of the session trying to track her down through various means.  This includes but is not limited to:

Ultimately they get a location clue for somewhere she was sighted, try to go through a pharmacy's records for data (since she was seen on an ATM camera carrying a grocery bag consistent with their store), and finally finding her home and spying on her remotely.  She goes out for a night on the town at the local sleazy biker bar, and when she exits she leaves with a biker.  The team try to nab her at the biker's place when she is on the way out.  They succeed in bone-crushing fashion, as she's really something less and a supervillainess in this form (She was down to Flight from the tattoo wings, danger sense, a little resistant defense, seeing in the dark, and some minor offense).

Her subduel is performed primarily by Vessel as "Puppeteer", draining EGO to make her susceptible.  The instruction used to get her to trade the wings back is a sort of, "You need to get those wings back or you'll die without them!" type of trick, and being at 0 EGO, she failed her 9- ego roll and accepts them back.  Now that her EGO is raised (considerably) she relates what has happened.

Angels, she claims, are essentially slaves in heaven.  People have free will, angels do whatever they are told.  She was told that before she was created (or her wings were anyway), she God would speak directly to the angels, but never speaks directly to people because they can't handle it.  So he speaks through his second angel, The Metatron, who acts as his voice.  The Metatron once upon a time would give only general instructions, and Angels, having no free will, would obey.  But there's a belief that perhaps the Metatron went mad because it gradually began to instruct them constantly, removing any of their own options, any flexibility.  A small band of angels (7) in a moment in which they were not witnessed by the Metatron, banded together in a mutual defense pact.  This enchantment/ritual bound them so that if one of them was in danger the others MUST come to their aid.  Then, one day as the Metatron barked his instructions, he stopped to take a breath and in that instance, in his close proximity, without their last order completed, one of the angels sized and smothered the Metatron.  God's voice was dead!  And without it they were free to act.  Some followed God's first angel, Lucifer, into hell.  And the 7, known here on earth as The Flock, have varying degrees of good-to-bad behavior.  And without God's grace, once someone commits an ill while in possession of the angel life force (or "wings"), they corrupt the wings.  The wings in turn corrupt their next possessor to at least their level.  The purest set of wings currently are those held by Dove.  The most corrupt may belong to Nix or Blackfeather or Omen... hard to tell without having a way of comparing them.

Nix, tricked Lucretia into wearing the wings so that she could be free, then she used Lumina to give her the flight she would miss.  When she ditched the wings at first she'd intended to take them back eventually, as she had things she wanted to do as a mortal, but knew she'd miss the power.  But once they were gone, once that burden was missing, she decided to never take them back.  It was the team that forced them back onto her.

This is when all hell broke loose.  Witch Hammer, who had been barely controlling himself to begin with in the presence of this "pure evil", the most corrupt being he's ever encountered face-to-face, hears the hammer tell him the name URIEL.  He begins to shout the name aloud and when he does it drives the angel/demon to action!  It shatters the makeshift chain bindings and a fight breaks out.  The problem is... THE PACT forces Dove to action in defending her.  And Brighthawk, who is little more than an "agent-level" person, tries to defend Dove, so there's a fight.  A lot of the fight involves Rifter, chipping away at Nix's BODY while Witch Hammer is blinded by Dove's rays of light, and Puppeteer keeps slowing things down by entangling people mentally.

She gets injured, then each time she goes conscious again she does a few STUN to herself because she's low on END and someone else does a few more STUN, putting her down.  Back and forth, back and forth, until finally her BODY is low enough that she's bleeding to death.

A truce happens.  Dove explains that she didn't have a choice, while Reaper explains that if she keeps defending evil beings she's going to keep having issues with the team.  Witch Hammer is calm enough for now.  It's agreed that Nix goes to The Keep.  Dove asks that Lucretia and Bridge help make sure she makes it there and go with the team.  But as they approach the back of the Truck to load her in, Witch Hammer decides to try and grab her and leap away.  He fails to steal her, Rifter coming along.  Lucretia, who essentially has a held action (as does everyone) and fastdraw, gets to shoot him but it doesn't do anything more than tick him off and push him closer to Nix.  The struggle ends when Rifter takes Nix away and teleports to a safe location.  Nix is ultimately taken to The Keep and imprisoned.

Witch Hammer is not seen again for a few days (during which folks can do a few things).  When he's finally communicated with successfully, he has hid himself out of communication and feels the team didn't back his play.  The team spends some time explaining their points of view.  At this point no one is entirely happy with what anyone else did and the team seems a bit disrupted.

ISSUE 8 - Power Plant


Following the team's minor internal meltdown of game 7, they regroup with some "away time".  Happening apart from one another are the following things...

Since Vessel is out this game, and she got an invitation from Bridge to go on vacation for a few days, she's presumed to be there (Unless Joe says otherwise).

Knot, who shows up at the dinner break, was doing his Secret Identity job, and holding his first encounter group for victims of supernatural events.  Due to some very good rolls he manages to restrict things to mostly actual legitimate events.  From these he gets three possible leads... 1) A lady who programs computers and claims that even after she pulled the power on her computer it continues to taunt her with foul language and images of her mutilated body; 2) A guy who says he investigated his attic because of thumping and something in there let out a horrific shriek that caused him to leap back down the ladder, breaking his foot; 3) A paranoid guy who won't give his name claims there's a magical serial killer stalking the city and who is somehow transforming the bodies because while they are positively identified, something on the body will not match their description before death.  After the group ends and he's cleaning up, he meets the mysterious redhead who he has seen at PAPYRUS and whom the group has seen at CHRON.  She questions him about why he hangs out with people who are "on that list" when he seems like a normal guy.  When he tries to put up a "What do you mean?" facade she says she knows he doesn't really look like that but she's restrained herself from seeing who he really is until she knows whether she's a bad guy or not.  They have a chat, he give her a business card and she gives her name as Jenny Orchid, and she exits by opening a closet door and going through.  She can be contacted by leaving a note with her name on it at the PAPYRUS tack board.

Rifter does not disclose anything unusual going on.  For the (my) record and for having it saved someplace I can reference it later on:  Knot starts to have dreams in which he is back in one of the dying worlds he has visited and encounters a mysterious individual with whom he exchanges questions, one per night.  If they answer truthfully they can do another question the following night.  But as I mention, he has not reported this to the group.

Witch Hammer returns to town and relocates his base of operations, has some minor communication with the team, but has lunch with Skye, the tattoo artist/former-villain.  She apologizes for being upset with him for questioning her legitimacy, because she realizes she did things and everyone is going to question it.  She also relays that Nix's lawyer has sent several messages that Nix wants to speak with him.  He resists and asks for "a letter" because he doesn't want to see her face-to-face.

The letter he gets says, "It's about your child."  Having no children and checking with Skye and finding out she's not pregnant, he goes to see Nix.  She claims to be pregnant with his child.  Angels (in art work) are generally depicted as beautiful men, and in written works are asexual, but here they seem to be women.  She says she had sex with his predecessor and that nothing came of it because just being physically female was't enough.  So she lost the wings, set up the threesome with her, Skye, and Witch Hammer, and became pregnant. Then she went and got her wings back.

Checking the archive of information he stole from the Flock last game, he finds multiple references.  Namely these:

From the "Song of Razors" (an apocryphal text)... “And with the outcast angels acting in name of neither Jehovah nor deceiver they did make the an angel of free will, pure and undiluted that could draw from either should he will it.”.

From "The Risen Diary" (another apocryphal text)... "“Then the heralds of both Empyrean and Perdition shall display their gifts to the newborn, and from these the child shall forge his first desires.  And with his selection he shall choose the fate of mankind.”

Later in the same book, handwritten: “The priests of hell and the slaves of heaven shall conspire to burn the errant angels and with it the last days shall come.  The Great War, once fought in the heavens, will conclude in the Fifth City, that failed dream built on false prophecy, whose wings are invariably shattered.”

From "Silentium Bellum" (Silent War), an Aramaic-to-Latin-to-Dutch/German text... “As the bodies of angels fail to decay, Enoch’s  larynx were rendered from him and cast into the angelic forge in a molten cauldron of steel so they might never be recombined.  Should the body arise it shall be forever voiceless.  Once done the angels cast their weapons from the forge and set to defenses, should the lord send another to replace him.”    Enoch was the jewish name for an ancestor of Noah who was the one who spoke for god.

Witch Hammer contacts a lawyer about fighting for access to the baby, which he now fears will have the option of being good or evil and could become something horrible if raised by Nix.

Reaper has found that his local thugs, The Order, a band of Day Glow "Day of the Dead" painted street thugs, have holed up in a shutdown power station and have been rolling out across the city in faux repair vans, putting up computer-size power packs of some sort.  They appear to be all electronic, but later when one is given to the Coven at MORGUE to dissect, they determine it's like a magic wifi.  It could be used to broadcast spells over a large area and also to transfer power.  Also later (after the fight mentioned below) it will be determined that the power in the power plant is not from the devices, which are all offline.  Any investigation of the power lines outside would have shown that those lines have no power through them.  Instead they are using the plant's location to collection energy along lay-lines to power their spells.  It seems there's a side-effect:  Reaper's semi-spirit-like nature allows him to tap it to make his END costs HALF of normal, but the frenetic energy makes his aim fidgity (suffering a -2 OCV in the area of the plant).

He planted a cell phone on a van and when it goes out he tracks it and the group ambush the van for information.  They quickly disable the two mostly-normal guys in the truck, but one of them sends a summons of some sort that brings one of the gang's enforcers, a western gunslinger with a leather face mask.  We'll call him the Deadlander (because, why not).  The Deadlander has a host of gun-based blasts that do everything from hex-line area effect attacks to strong single-shot blasts.  His guns emit projectiles that glow.  There's a protracted fight in which he's getting the worst of it and when he tries to escape, the team manages to waste his 4 charges of teleportation by spotting him each time he ports somewhere, including a great roll to spot him when he teleported into the sewer-grate below ground.  So they catch him and defeat him.  Inspection (read: taking away his foci) reveals that he's some sort of desiccated mummy figure.

Now the team know their base of operations and they go around town taking down the power devices off of poles.  They get what they think is all of them, and because one of the vans is attacked, everyone else returns to the facility.  Then the group focuses on the power station facility.

They start by having Rifter teleport people from inside up to the roof where the fastest actor (Witch Hammer) knocks them out in a series.  This causes an alarm inside and a group sitting in a circle begin to go into full summoning mode.  Within half a turn they meet the first summoned beast and the next one shows up two turns later.  The first is called MOLOCH, a classic winged demon with skin so hot that whether it hits you or you hit it in hand-to-hand you still take damage.  He injures Witch Hammer and eventually puts him down for one phase, but Sleepwalker wipes out a lot of his Stun with a nasty hit.  They put him unconscious sufficiently in time for the next summoned creature to show up (You guys got close to stopping the summoning; you got them down to 6 people which was all they needed; At 5 they had to stop; at 12 they'd have been sending them twice as fast).  Incidentally there's a catch to summoning things this way:  There's a chance the creature turns on the group present.  In the first case it sensed Witch Hammer's holy relic and went after him; with the second summoned creature, the Succubus would have enthralled everyone who saw her (including them), but the team immediately summoned her and stunned her before she could do any offense so she was neutralized quickly.  She was much lower on Defense.

Witch Hammer, surprised that no one objects to the killing of demons, sets to it.  Sleepwalker was a little reticent because the female one looks mostly human really, just with wings, but she ultimately says "I trust your judgment".

During all is my favorite moment:  Our first BOTCH by a player in combat, as Rifter is trying to do his forced teleport to grab a villain and bring them upstairs but instead grabs Reaper and brings him up.

There were 10 guys in the upstairs area who Reaper sees flee through a gate.  With the immediate choice of following them he can see on the other side of the gate is a warehouse, so he follows.  There he finds the rest of the gang in strength and accompanied by their leader, Neue Regel (German for New Rules).  He taunts him and then escapes successfully, but he saw three summoning circles at three of the corners of the building.

The group then contacts Knot successfully and they tell each other about what they've been up to and plan to move on the warehouse (Which is likely to happen at the top of the next game).


Reaper (Alan), Rifter (Mark), Witch Hammer (Paul), Knot (Robert).

Last game the group invaded an abandoned power station run by The Order, a local gang of thugs who have been setting up a sort of technomancy "Wifi" to allow them to enact certain shenanigans all across the city.  They disabled the devices and drove them from the plant, and at the last moment, Reaper had crossed through a gate and saw where they were holed up at a warehouse. Now with knowledge of that warehouse, the group set to shutting them down for good.

But they'll do the invasion without Vessel (who must have lost her cell phone in the surf in Barbados), and for the early part, without Knot, who is assisting with his civil Victims of the Supernatural group... 

(ROBERT:  During your off-camera investigation of the house where the guy had something in his attic shriek at him, you found the house had a hole in the roof, and there were lots of egg shells.  There had been a nest there, but not any longer.  Jenny Orchid, who knows all about supernatural creatures, among many other things, helps you decide from a book that a griffin had been living up there with a nest.  That would explain the terrifying shriek and the thumping, now gone.)

But back to the main event.  The group decide to go in quickly because they had seen summoning circles in the room, and paranoid that they were pulling more creatures into this world, they hastily invaded.  First thought was, "Maybe we should go to CHRON and hire some people to help" and then decided "With what?".  Really though, the team know the Coven (Two technomancers, a gunwoman, a transformation specialist, a mystic martial artist), a couple members of The Flock who have promised to help when asked, and the local police (Though they were left out to keep them from running into bigger problems than they can handle).

The trio of Reaper, Rifter and Hammer go in.  It starts with advanced recon in which Rifter sees 40 members of the order grouped into 5 color-coded sections, apparently doing nothing but kneeling and facing the throne.  At the corners are large power stanchions, metal frameworks like you'd see conveying power lines, though no lines are suspended from these.  On the throne is Neue Regel, the leader.  Beside him in a chair is a young woman with scaly hide covering most of her and armor cobbled together of reptilian skins.  She holds a javelin.  At the leader's feet is a priest in a metal collar and a heavy metal chain that leads back to the throne.

The fight begins similar to last siege: They begin with reaper summoning people out of the room and up to the roof where they try to pound on them.  But that's when another individual shows up; a figure hidden in the shadows.  It's Baron Samedi, master of the dead.  He can disappear into shadows and travel via them, and command the dead.  He tries to command Sleepwalker but before he can cause anything to happen, Witch Hammer criticals him, which aint easy under our current rules, and sends him into the lot next door.  They also knock around lizard girl, who is named Echidna.  Echidna greets Rifter as "Father".  Rifter has no kids that he knows of and no relationships.  She flees back to the inside and the group teleport in next to the throne where they deal with a few other things.

Neue Regel is not really active physically, but he does have a few attacks, including a static discharge that sends Sleepwalker flying.  One of the problems in here is that all the guys who appear to be doing nothing are in fact coding.  They are writing Code Elementals, bits of electronic code that through Technomancy they have given life and which spin out to attack a designated target.  In this case it's Witch Hammer, whom they try to reprogram with a lower OCV.  That was the Red group.  The Yellow group drain END, the blue drain STR, the green drain DCV, the black drain INT.

There's also a box suspended up high and eventually emerging from it is an angel in a straight jacket.  His wings are mangled and poke out the back and he's badly disfigured.  He is the mad angel called Wormwood.  The reason he's so edgy, you find out later, is because a splinter of metal is embedded in him.  I'll elaborate later.

The group break the chain that holds the priest in place, but that really just makes him mobile as he seems to have a preoccupation with killing sinners.  He goes after the worst in the room.  His OCV sucks, so he misses a lot.  If he'd been facing the person he'd been brought there to fight, a certain possessed individual who did not attend, he would have had some great attacks for her.  Instead he did lots of ineffective stabbing, including at one point trying to stab one of the coders.

And then there's the Grand Reaper(tm), a video game construct that Neue Regel crafted just to face off with Reaper.  He has a number of great attacks that he never uses because his sickle is doing pretty well.  He did however use an area effect cone drain on a bunch of players depleting their stats a bit for most of the fight.  Also neutralizing a bunch of the coders.

The fight is pretty long and involved and among the things that happen during it are these highlights:

A Brief History of "The Pact", The Flock, and The Angels... 

And now for WHY your foes were chosen by Neue Regel, based on what he's found out from you through his expansive media capabilities across the city:

Where are they now?