Small Change

Sanctuary
Story 1 - Session 23

Having returned to Thunder City from their camping trip, the group strides out to inspect the map they discovered in the church. While near Vikky’s bookstore, the area they head into is in progressively worse shape. A homeless looking man approaches them on their way, saying that he recognizes Sophia and Ana, and remembers that they had questions; the two claim to not know him and continue on their way with his departing warning of “Watch your anus!”

Their arrival to the marked dead-end alley initially yields nothing; it looks precisely like unremarkable alley. The group endeavors in inspecting it, however, and Sophia discovers a silver gate hiding in or as the brick walls. She speaks the phrase found with the map, kisses the gate, and it swings open. They have discovered the Sanctuary of the Silver Lady.

A mid-sized tiger statue rendered in marble greets them inside. Sophia inspects the gem set in its eye, expressing some unspecified discomfort about coincidences. Nixie easily identifies the gem as a hearthstone, and Sophia tests it out. Owing to the obvious tiger statue and the nature of manse and hearthstone both, the ownership of the manse passes to Sophia. With little to inspect inside the manse, the team verifies that non-manse-owners and non-Lunars can get inside with use of the password and gesture, then leaves.

On their way out, a man Kuku affirms is from the Boneyard Boys sits outside in the alleyway, sobbing hysterically and ignoring all the group’s attempts to catch his attention. When turned around by Kuku, the group comes face to face with a scene familiar to Julie Akagi’s corpse: pruney, shriveled eyes that leak blood into the puddle below the fellow, who starts screaming. Nixie soothes the man enough to get a few words out of him.

“Don’t… talk… to the devil. Don’t… even listen.”
“Yeah. Don’t be afraid anymore …Who did this to you?”
“The devil… oh god, it was the devil.”
“What’d he look like?”
“So… beautiful.”

And the boneyard boy passes away.

“Coincidence. A message maybe. From the murderer. To play an all-seeing eye. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s just our dumb luck. And his luck.” – Nixie

Book says: {((9|9))} “Muuun mauns? Aus ausauns??”


Date

Monday, June 17th, 2167

Moon

Waning Gibbous

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Total | 4 XP
Running Total | 148 XP

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The Falling Tower
Story 1 - Session 22

In speaking through Nixie – to the silvery, female ghost who’s just materialized, the group very quickly learns that the woman was an first-hand witness to The Queen of Thunder and the events and people surrounding her rise and downfall. This includes The Street Knight and three new persons: The Ranger, The Fire in the Night, and the ghost herself.

“It was the night we found out it was all a lie,” the woman starts. "It’s… a painting smeared by water… No, tears. The colors are muddy and the shapes are faint. The night Thunder City was to be set free. The night the Street Knight would fulfill her heroic destiny and strike down the tyrant and her pets.

“We were given the order to act at a grand party. Where the Queen would be vulnerable. Unprepared. She may have thought the presence of so many innocents would hold the Street Knight at bay. It did not. No one was given quarter. No one was spared. No matter how powerless they were, every last guest fell defending the life of the woman they loved more than life itself. The Street Knight butchered her way through every single last human being in the room.

“When it was done, the Queen lay dead – and the Knight stooped to take her rainment for herself. And when she realized she had been betrayed, the Fire in the Night fell upon the Street Knight. The woman killed the beast, and met the Ranger’s wrath for it. And when it was all done, she and I were all that remained. That… is the last thing I remember. Except for the sobbing. And the screaming. And the rain.

“I remember that I awoke here. And I have been here since. Chewing on old memories like a mouthful of splinters. Wondering if I would see them again. Wondering if I succeeded, or failed.”

She goes on to say, “I wanted the city to be free. I… didn’t realize what I understand now – that a liberator is only a tyrant whose hand isn’t on the leash.”

She asks for Vikky to step up; when she does, the ghost sadly remarks that she is the next to bear the suffering she had, and that history is about to repeat itself. As she laments this, she realizes – remembers that there was a sixth figure in her past, one whose memory is hazy to her. What she knows for certain, as it was predicted by “The Boddhisatva Anointed by Dark Water,” Thunder City, the city she and her associates set out to save years ago, is doomed to fall again. Set on sparing Vikky the same fate she suffered, the ghost solidifies into an ethereal spider woman and lashes out at all but her precious ward.

Ultimately – unsurprisingly – the spider woman is unable to spare Vikky her cruel fate and falls in battle at Ana’s hand. She’s not ‘dead’ for good, however; Nixie must return and give her a proper ending for her to move on entirely.

The group is left to contemplate what they’ve learned, deciding that, if this group of six corresponds to their group of six, Ana is the best candidate to become the next Queen of Thunder. Vincent is adamant in suggesting the woman was simply crazy and that reincarnation has nothing to do with them. Nixie explains that there are only two outcomes for Thunder City’s future: the Falling Tower, destruction – something the spider woman mentioned verbatim – or the City on a Hill, on the path of greatness. Nixie’s been trying to guide the city (and the group) on the path towards City on a Hill. When she prompts Sophia about the Ranger and Sophia suggests the Ranger ‘was’ Vincent, he grows very testy and fires off two shots.

After a tense moment when the group confirms their objective hasn’t changed, Nixie finds a map of Thunder City with a small circle on a dead-end street and a hand written note: The gate opens only when someone whispers to the moon, “When the Silver Lady turns away, I walk gratefully in her shadows,” and kisses it. Nixie assumes it’s a gateway, but others suggest it could be something else. Either way, it warrants a search once they’re back in the city.

Book says: {((6|6))} “Nuuu? Puuuu?”


Date

Sunday, June 16th, 2167

Moon

Waning Gibbous

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Creation Bonus | 4 XP (Kate)
3-Die Stunt Award | 2 XP (Kate + Jen)
Total | 10 XP
Running Total | 144 XP

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Spider's Web
Story 1 - Session 21

With the spiders dead, the group tries to ponder where they came from or who sent them. Not much can be said about it other than, most likely, a summoner, but Nixie suggests that it might actually be Boris the Spider. They can’t do much else but wait until Sophia’s anima flare has simpered down enough to let her change into a bear for tracking purposes; in the meanwhile, they discuss their next steps with the syndicate.

The tactical divide of the group comes up again. Kuku, Ana, Vincent and Sophia all agree that a more straight-forward blackmail, or preferably violent, approach will get them the fastest, most thorough results. Nixie, and to a lesser extent Vikky, believes that conquest can be assured through less confrontational means. In the course of the discussion, Kuku brings up his past again, enlightening everyone to a few more tasty morsels: in addition to his sape parents co-running a black ops branch of King, his three brothers are also sapes, and he stole a buttload of money from his family before running away after he turned 20 (the standard cut-off for exaltation). He also was married before, but his wife seemingly divorced him after he didn’t exalt. He thinks his family could be a good “in” for electronic ret-con missions in the future. The alternative is checking out the Volcano-HQ-potential Sophia came across before.

Sophia eventually assumes her bear form to track down where the spiders came from; Ana goes with. In their wake, Nixie admits that she videotaped Rampage’s rampage on Pulse Arcade and the surrounding areas, explaining she sent videos to both the Shogun and to Thunder City’s District Attorney, Stephanie Morgan, in hopes Rampage would be held accountable. As their path has gone on for some while, Ana doubles back to collect the rest of the team to join their tracking.

They proceed as a group to a deserted little chapel in the middle of nowhere, with naught an interesting thing in sight save for the sheer number of webs within. As it turns out, they’re not ordinary webs; Vikky confirms that, consciously or not, the spiders here have woven their webs in such a way as to summon demon spiders. It comes to a (mostly) unanimous decision to burn the entire place, for the sake of protecting future wayward travelers, but not before they complete a more thorough look over.

Nixie is the only one to find something, however: she alone sees a pallid figure (a ghost?) near the chapel’s altar. She begins to converse with it, eventually (apparently) offering the creature to speak through her.

Book says: {((n|n))} “Na autsau bautsau spaaadaaa”


Date

Sunday, June 16th, 2167

Moon

Waning Gibbous

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Creation Bonus | 4 XP (Laura + Kate)
Total | 8 XP
Running Total | 134 XP

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Their Bite is Worse Than Their Bark
Story 1 - Session 20

The second day of camping, full of hiking and training, starts to wind down. Having been away all day for ‘work,’ Nixie returns to the campsite as the others gather for dinner. Their meal is rudely interrupted by a small horde of spider demons – possibly summoned by a sorcerer as assassins, who are susceptible to the bark of dogs. Combat swiftly ensues.

Kuku makes excellent use of the half-chopped fell log in their campsite, wailing on their dog-sized spider foes with it like it were a rolled up newspaper. Sophia adopts the form of a dog in hopes to wound the beasts, but the barking does little to keep them from attacking with venomous fangs; she eventually returns to human form, roiling with bestial fury. Vincent performs a blazing, spinning gun show. Ana takes on the important task of punting spiders into trees and each other like it’s no one’s business. Vikky and Nixie both channel their hands into weapons as well, the former growing silver talons over her fingers and the latter wielding a hand-become-sword.

The spiders a surprisingly tough creatures, though not particularly adept at hitting their marks. Despite several onslaughts, only a couple members are injured in the battle. By the time all the spiders are felled, Kuku and (to a greater extent) Sophia are lighting the campsite with ample anima glow.

Book says: {((>|>))} “Wuu! Wuuu!!”


Date

Sunday, June 16th, 2167

Moon

Waning Gibbous

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Creation Bonus | 2 XP (Laura)
3-die Stunt Bonus | 1 XP (Jen)
Total | 7 XP
Running Total | 126 XP

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The Great Ouchdoors
Story 1 - Session 19

It’s time for camping! The group has a work week off to do what they need to before they meet up at Vikky’s place and figure out their camping situation. With a little bit of last-minute shopping Friday evening, all six of them head out Saturday morning. Vikky leads the group in a rental truck, Ana on Kuku’s bike, Nixie on her own new bike, and Sophia in Vincent’s car.

They arrive at a rather pastoral camp site several hours drive from Thunder City and promptly set up site. When the work’s all done, Vikky makes the necessary preparations for her ‘show’: demonstrating the awesome powers of her obsidian butterfly spell. Sophia unwisely witnesses the spell from a front-row seat, narrowly avoiding getting harmed much more than a sharp butterfly shard in her back.

This show of power that can’t be witnessed in the city (due to restraining themselves for the sake of secrecy) prompts Vincent to try out two powers of his own as well: the ability to firstly ‘connect’ with everyone he touches, then enhance their stealthy abilities to his level, then turn everyone invisible – literally.

On a more serious note, in a discussion of what a Solar exalted could accomplish, Kuku brings up that he’s been feeling… strange, as if memories that aren’t his sometimes bubble up into his mind. He asks if anyone else has felt the same and is met with unanimous denial – until Vincent fesses up that he’s experienced the sensation as well, once or twice. Nixie tries to ease their worries that it’s something significant. Picking up on something Kuku mutters, Sophia asks point-blank if he’s a syndicate child. He reluctantly admits that he is, and that both his parents are supervising Generals for King syndicate’s secret black ops division. Ana makes a very poorly worded remark about trusting Kuku, which sends him, Vincent and Sophia a bit up in arms.

Before the conversation can get much more serious, Vikky abruptly shifts into her half-human, half-spider war from. It succinctly derails the rising tension, as intended, and the group heads back to their campsite to eat and receive fortunes from Nixie before presumably turning it in for the night.

Book says: {((n|n))} “Waud waud waus!”


Date

Friday and Saturday, June 14th & 15th, 2167

Moon

Waning Gibbous

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Creation Bonus | 4 XP (Jen + Kate)
Total | 8 XP
Running Total | 119 XP

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Raisin Questions and Chasing Answers
Story 1 - Session 18

Julie Akagi is undoubtedly dead. The group conducts a brief inspection of her apartment and her body, trying not to disturb the scene too much. Ana is able to determine there was no struggle, that she’d been in the room the few hours before her death likely two days earlier, and that all doors and windows were locked save for the front door. None of this explains the shriveled corpse and the pool of unidentifiable body fluids, however.

Nixie, being gross, makes a passing comment about eating one of Julie’s eyeballs later. Vikky, even with help from Book, can’t find anything on the corpse’s state. Nixie, being even grosser, tastes some of the fluid in hopes it’ll help enlighten her; it doesn’t.

Without the foggiest idea of if it’s sape powers, supernatural beings or a strange disease, the team leaves. Nixie expresses the desire to tell Dyson, Julie’s lawyer, about her death in person, and sets off to do so; with nothing better to do, the rest stand by.

As Nixie breaks news to Dyson, the remainder of the group discuss what to do next with the syndicates, as waiting for shit to hit the fan hasn’t seemed to paid off. When Nixie rejoins them, the discussion develops into a bit of a disagreement. On one hand, Sophia wants to waste no more time chasing after ‘dead ends’ like the Boneyard Boys and Julie Akagi when they could be focusing on the syndicates. on the other hand, Nixie wants to pursue these strange happenings to assure nothing worse develops from them. The two agree that Nixie will continue pursuing what she likes, with assistance from those who desire to, but Sophia and Vincent will focus on the syndicates – unless Nixie knows for sure what she’s found needs to be dealt with immediately.

Book says: {((>|>))} Mauk aut waun! Kuukuu maukaun aut waun!


Date

Sunday, June 9th, 2167

Moon

Waxing Gibbous

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Creation Bonus | 4 XP (Laura)
Total | 8 XP
Running Total | 111 XP

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Raisin
Story 1 - Session 17

The team regroups after a little off time, gathered by Nixie‘s request to meet at Vikky’s; she’s pinpointed Julie Akagi’s location. They call her lawyer, Gabriel Dyson, to confirm the address is her apartment and promptly head out, sans masks, to the run-down apartment building. Unfortunately, instead of finding her alive and well, they find her dried-out corpse.

There’s a damp puddle on the floor of the tiny, filthy, carpetted living room. In the middle of it is a dry, cracked husk, almost mummified. What was a woman is balled up there on the floor, head resting more or less in the middle of the sodden puddle of soaked carpet. She looks as though she’s been dried out for days. Nothing remains of her eyes but two shriveled, desiccated lumps, like two discolored prunes.

Book says: {((n|n))} Fwout wauk naa baataafwau, staung wauk na bau!


Date

Sunday, June 9th, 2167

Moon

Waxing Gibbous

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Creation Bonus | 4 XP (Lao + Kate)
Total | 8 XP
Running Total | 103 XP

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Cricket Rampage
Story 1 - Session 16

Deeming that their intervention is unnecessary, the team departs from Rampage’s attack on Pulse Arcade – except for Nixie, who takes off for the rest of the night to “do what she can” and Sophia, who stays behind to wreck it out with Rampage.

Everyone else goes out for burgers and eventually ends back up at Vincent’s manse to discuss what to do now. The matter of the portal to the dead at The Boneyard is foremost on their mind, though Spiralnebel is also worth thinking about. Unfortunately, none of the four really know what to do next.

After Rampage calls it a night, Sophia trails after her as a crow just for the sake of it. She turns up at a tall sky-scraper in the heart of central Thunder City, possibly Volcano‘s headquarters – or at least housing for its members. She’s unable to follow Rampage in but takes a fly around up top and discovers the rooftop has a full Japanese garden on it, building included – which she recognizes is the same one in the picture of the Japanese presumed sape found in Simon Carrel’s safe. When she lands, she hears a cricket – an anomaly at the garden’s height – but is chased off by an emerald-skinned sape likely to be The Shogun, Volcano’s leader.

She returns to the manse to share this information, suggesting the far-fetched chance that the cricket is the Japanese woman who might be a Lunar sape. She also brings up the oddity of the mystery driver simply convincing Kuku he needed a ride from the Boneyard to Pulse, and how both he and Vikky forgot how they ended up at Pulse in the first place. Marc comes up in the conversation, as everyone but Sophia has forgotten Marc is neither dead nor missing, as the oddity of forgetting something like this is highly suspicious. If the man who delivered them to Pulse is a sape like Marc is as coincidence suggests, why is he delivering them to Pulse?

Sophia is just about to call Nixie when a sudden knocking on the window alerts everyone’s attention. When Vincent and Sophia investigate, a cricket is found on the windowsill. Sophia snatches it, assuming it is, in fact, the Japanese Lunar sape, and goes through the motions of trapping it, threatening it and eventually smashing it under foot.

As it turns out, it really was a cricket and Ana’s quite the little prankster.


Date

Saturday, June 8th, 2167

Moon

Waxing Gibbous

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Creation Bonus | 4 XP (Laura + Kate)
Total | 8 XP
Running Total | 95 XP

View
Rampage
Story 1 - Session 15

Still in The Boneyard, Nixie and Ana make a last sweep to see if they can find out any extra tips about The Boneyard Boys; all they find is a blind ghost. The group remains a while longer to try and determine their next plan of action, eventually declaring they’ve done all they could here and that they should leave so that Ana can call the cops come morning, so Nixie and Vikky can investigate the cosmology of the gateway to the land of the dead, and so Kuku can investigate The Boneyard Boys further.

As they leave, Sophia spots a man and his car hanging out by Vincent‘s. She warns the others and tries to distract him as a crow, but he effortlessly catches her. The rest of the group follows her up and the man supernaturally convinces Kuku that he needs a ride to Pulse Arcade – one of the places Spiralnebel’s Boris the Spider is affiliated with. Nixie gets in with Kuku (and the shoulder-riding Spider Vikky) while Ana struggles to take Kuku’s bike. Vincent drives separately and Sophia crows out to Pulse.

When they arrive, their mysterious ‘taxi driver’ takes off, leaving them to witness the destruction within Pulse. (Vikky and Kuku completely forget how they get to Pulse in the first place, while everyone else remembers.) Rampage has already destroyed much of the interior. Naturally, there is some initial confrontation – primarily from Nixie, who makes it clear she wants to stop and take on Rampage here and now. The rest seem less troubled by her destroying the place, since it’s supposedly owned by Spiralnebel. Sophia seems outright delighted and talks Nixie away from starting something with Rampage… only to seemingly start the opposite of Nixie’s intentions.

Book says: {((6|6))} Gouuuust!


Date

Saturday, June 8th, 2167

Moon

Waxing Gibbous

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Creation Bonus | 2 XP (Kate)
Total | 6 XP
Running Total | 87 XP

View
A Door to the Dead
Story 1 - Session 14

Combat breaks. The Boneyard Boys are easily chipped away, but when Sophia shoots their young leader, something blatantly supernatural engulfs him in an oily, black veil covered with hundreds of red eyes. Whatever it was disappears completely, leaving no trace of the boy. The team resumes picking off the rest of them, stopping only when one cries mercy. Ana suggests to let them go, Kuku disagrees, and Nixie tries to draw some more information out of the two left. According to them, they have no idea what happened with the boy (who was only a fucktoy for older members), and had planned on letting him mess with their victim (a trespasser   a man looking for a client).

In the meanwhile, Sophia looks into the caboose mentioned by the boy previously. Within is a disturbing, sickening amount of human remains   what’s left of numerous atrocities. After more pressuring, the two Boneyard Boys deny they had anything to do with the caboose or what went on inside it. They list off a few members (Buttdog, Ripper, Death’s Head) but claim they don’t know anyone who’s involved or where they can be found, and deny there’s a scheduled time to meet. Just as the two start to grow incredulous over their position, Sophia and Vincent end them.

They address the victim now: a certain Gabriel R. Dyson, attorney at law. He came to the boneyard searching for his client, Julie Akagi. He describes her, “She’s half-Japanese. Overweight. Brown hair. She has a masculine voice.” She’d filed a civic suit against a man associated with the Boys, David Houston, over property damage. He hands them his card, saying he owes them one, and is on his way.

Nixie voices a desire to check out the caboose for ghosts and notices a weird barrier at the mouth of the car. While she researches the answer, Kuku hacks into the police radios to see if they’ve been alerted to the area; they have not. Through various back and forth between Nixie and her contacts and Vikky and Book, it’s determined that the weird barrier is, in fact, a portal to the realm of the dead.

Nixie is certain that this portal has something to do with the prophesied Bloody Dawn, and the team try to determine the best methods for preventing anyone from coming near it: burying it, moving it, covering the entrance with heavy objects, etc. They decide against moving it for fear of the portal staying where it is. For the interim before they find a more permanent solution, Sophia secures the doors with rebar. After multiple requests from Nixie to destroy a cruciform statue found near the portal, Ana obliges, absolutely leveling it.

The team is left without a solid lead on what could happen next, where or when.

Book says: {((9|9))} Nou zaumbau! ….Au wauk twaauns.


Date

Saturday, June 8th, 2167

Moon

Waxing Gibbous

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Creation Bonus | 2 XP (Jen) & 2 XP (Laura & Kate)
Total | 8 XP
Running Total | 81 XP

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