Small Change

Into the Lands of Shadow
Story 7 - Session 12

The Banjo-Kazooie duo Spikky-Crowphia delve deeper into the mystery of where the hell the club has gone. They don’t find the club, but they do find a couple skeleton knights, a weird and warped skyline of not-Thunder City, and a freaking bone dragon. Eventually, they run into the rest of the group as they dispatch the dead dogs and hungry ghosts left in the basement. Their discussion of where they’ve all gotten to is interrupted by Raven (Murder of Ravens in Fugue to be precise), who is displeased by their snooping AND their murder of her ‘guests’. Despite that, she has a peaceful if awkward and rocky conversation about where they are (the Underworld), why they’re here (for a plan of which Fugue has no knowledge of), and where to go from here (including a possible exchange of finding Fugue’s missing person for her sending a message to the Lady (the Lover Clad in Raiment of Tears) she serves to petition the blockage of the Razorwire Catamite and his crew from passing through the gateway – aka, the cathedral door).

Also, a really chill skeleton was there.


Date

Friday, October 25th, 2167

Moon

New

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Total | 4 XP
Running Total | 529 XP

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Basement Surprise
Story 7 - Session 11

Kuku’s attempt to flirt with the door guard fails and, with Raven breathing down their necks, they decide to disperse slightly to lower suspicion. Sophia and Vikky make a trip to the ladies’ room for exactly what you’d expect: donning animal forms, the two take to the vents to try to sneak into the 2nd basement on their own. They manage to, but run into a group of ghost dogs and a room full of ghosts. With all the proof they need that something related to the underworld is taking place, they double back.

Meanwhile, it’s been long – too long, since the two Lunars disappeared, and the rest are getting worried. It eventually gets to a point they can’t ignore it anymore. Suspicion be damned, they storm up to the door guard and demand entry, forcing their way in. Naturally, they discover the dogs and ghosts waiting for them below, quickly dispatching them. There’s no sign of Vikky and Sophia, beyond the broken vent the latter left behind. More alarming is there’s no sign of the club behind them either.


Date

Friday, October 25th, 2167

Moon

New

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Total | 4 XP
Running Total | 525 XP

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Manse Hunt
Story 7 - Session 10

Nero Drago and his graffiti issue have been put aside for more pressing matters: finding out where in Thunder City horrifying beings of the underworld are going to be released from. Vikky and Carmen undergo a search for manses and demenses in town and discover the following:

  • The former Volcano headquarters (now mysteriously untouched)
  • The former site of Allegro, now a demense
  • The Sanctuary of the Silver Lady
  • Sycamore Trees Lodge
  • The former site of the door to Candyland, now a demense
  • City hall
  • The Cathedral

And off they go to hand-inspect the locations in question, in search of any ‘gates’ to the Underworld! (Or whatever.)

First up is Volcano. The manse itself is the traditional shrine on the roof of the building. A precursory look over by Sophia nets nothing, but their attempts to get into the building and have the group search it thoroughly only nets in an alarm going off. They decide to leave and try again later.

Second is the Cathedral. Sophia scans the building’s blueprint and discovers there are two basements. The first is just another bar and gaming area, but the door to the second basement is closely guarded. While they’re discussing how to get down there, Raven, the owner, comes down to hang around them. Kuku gears up for an attempt to flirt with the guard as a cover-up for why they’re creeping the door…


Date

Friday, October 25th, 2167

Moon

New

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Total | 4 XP
Running Total | 521 XP

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Feint
Story 7 - Session 9

There’s something off about the poem. Horribly off. Kuku has a negative, unpleasant reaction to it. On closer, Essence-enhanced inspection, Nixie discovers odd… incorporeal snakes. Burger, the Creeper whose home their in, is physically okay… Mentally, he’s as good as gone. Vikky casts some counter magic on the infused graffiti, dispelling whatever sort of mental trap sorcery was placed on it.

With Sophia (remotely) announcing she’ll watch over the remaining Creepers and Shinto promising the team he’ll get in contact if he learns anything more about his missing people, the team mostly regroups. Carmen and Nixie head off to quickly paint over the graffiti left on their various doorsteps and discover something strange and unnerving at Gabriel’s office. Someone has completely edited the poem there, highlighting some words in silver paint(?) and omitting the phrase “of the fountain” altogether.

From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were — I have not seen
As others saw — I could not bring
My passions from a common spring—
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow— I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the some tone—
And all I lov’d — I lov’d *alone*—
Then — in my childhood — in the dawn
Of a most stormy life — was drawn
From ev’ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still—
From the torrent,
From the red cliff of the mountain—
From the sun that ‘round me roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold—
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass’d me flying by—
From the thunder, and the storm—
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view—

There’s seemingly no explanation of who did this, why, or what message they’re trying to get across, but it happened somewhat recently, and it’s the only graffiti that’s been altered.

Their fruitless attempts to glean SOME information out of these messages is interrupted by an unknown woman named Catherine, who comes with “important news from her boss.” According to her, the farce building up at the Boneyard is just a feint to distract them from the REAL trouble brooding elsewhere. Her boss apparently wants nothing to do with the group (“murdering thugs with their heads up their asses”) but doesn’t want whatever is not-brewing at the Boneyard to go down – which, in her words, is “Mass murder. Devastation. Terrorism. Burn the women, loot the sheep and rape the houses,” coordinated by the efforts of ‘inside-out’ sapes — Abyssals, headed by the Bishop of the Chalcedony Thurible. Their weapons – Abyssals, elite ghosts, Hekatonahires – will need a gate to come through that won’t choke-hold their efforts, Catherine warns, a gate that’s probably settled in a manse or demense nearby.

Well, fuck.


Date

Monday, October 21st, 2167

Moon

Waning Crescent

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Total | 4 XP
Running Total | 517 XP

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Creepers Been Creeped
Story 7 - Session 8

All is seemingly as well as it could be with numerous things just waiting to go wrong on the home front. Life carries on as usual… except for when Gabriel calls Al to inform her Baron von Shinto is holding him hostage at his office. All those already at Vikky’s place zoom off to the rescue in a panic, expecting the worst.

Once they arrive and convince von Shinto to release the lawyer from his otherwise harmless grip, they’re able to have a mostly professional conversation. Von Shinto had latched onto Gabriel with sape voodoo and followed him home as a sort of insurance against them, and apparently for good reason: a great number of Creepers have simply gone missing over the past two days, not answering doors or phones when von Shinto came looking for them.

With a bit of hacking, Carmen shares that at least one person’s phone hasn’t moved from his apartment since two days prior. So they go to investigate. What they find is the missing person – completely mentally checked out – and a bit of haunting graffiti…

If only I could nudge you from this sleep,
My maimed darling, my skittery pigeon.
Over this damp grave I speak the words of my love:
I, with no rights in this matter, Neither father nor lover.


Date

Monday, October 21st, 2167

Moon

Waning Crescent

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Total | 4 XP
Running Total | 513 XP

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Shut Up and Dance
Story 7 - Session 7

A meeting is called the following evening: they have the location of the Creepers’ leader, Baron von Shinto; they should probably truck out there and let him know he and his aren’t welcome in Thunder City either. The whole group suits up and shoves off, quite literally crashing a Creeper party.

Rather than teaching von Shinto a lesson through blood and tears, however, the group opts to play on his terms and participate in a dance off for superiority. Kuku manages to dance his ass off to pleasant results, earning von Shinto’s deferment. Gabriel sanctifies an agreement that von Shinto and his people will go unharmed and curse-free so long as he and his don’t commit any criminal acts. They also inform him that they were the ones who cleared out the syndicates, and about Nero Drago having come around to pay some Creepers for graffiti work, and caution that von Shinto steer clear. Seemingly though, for the first time maybe ever, they’ve managed to take care of business without hurting a single person!


Date

Saturday, October 19th, 2167

Moon

Waning Crescent

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Challenge Award | 1 XP
Total | 5 XP
Running Total | 509 XP

View
Beatin Creepers
Story 7 - Session 6

Two questions concern the group when they return from their graffiti search and share their results: who is sending these messages and what do they mean? With that in mind, everyone (concerned that leaving anyone behind is inviting trouble) rolls out to the apartment building Nixie traced the trail to before, paying the Creepers a visit.

Sophia heads the interrogation; it doesn’t take much effort to make them talk. The Creepers are lead by a man named Baron von Shinto, who resides at 1333 Boone Avenue. Additionally, the night before, the Creepers’ party at Hooligans (a local bar) was interrupted by a man fitting the description of Nero Drago; he paid 10 Creepers $100 each to tag key locations with whatever they wanted – so long as they included particular designs with it. The three Creepers here, for example, were in charge of the ladybird design at Vikky’s store.

That’s all the group has time for before the cops arrive. Sophia and Vincent, trailed by Kuku, fruitlessly investigate Hooligans while the rest return to Vikky’s bookstore. While Sophia can confirm a man by Drago’s description had visited the bar the night prior, that’s as far as that trail leads. Once everyone returns to the bookstore, Cheveyo’s Suns and the police are both brought up.

Kuku, having never interacted with the Suns, is the best option to get an idea on what the gang is doing these days – and find any indication that Drago has sunk his talons into them as well. As for the police, it’s considered worth starting to extend their skills to the force (backup for neosapien mishaps, healing, for two), possibly as Kuku as the point of contact.

For the time being, it seems like no one’s going to be allowed to shack up separately. Can’t be too safe!


Date

Friday, October 18th, 2167

Moon

Waning Crescent

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Total | 4 XP
Running Total | 504 XP

View
Graffiti
Story 7 - Session 5

Vikky wakes up to find that someone has so nicely graffiti’d up the front of her store overnight. As she’s cleaning up, Nixie follows the trail to the apartment of three loser Creepers who don’t give in to Nixie’s “demands” to own up and clean the mess they’ve made. She informs the group what’s happened, and that she would like to press chargers, but it’s ultimately determined it’s not worth the time and effort to catch them on such a small crime.

In the process of cleaning up, Nixie discovers a small, stylistically different drawing of “a ladybug flying towards a little burning house.” Perturbed, she looks around for a relevant book and ends up with a short rhyme from a children’s book:

Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home
your house is on fire and your children are gone
all except one
sweet Charlotte Ann
and she hid under the frying pan

This may or may not be a direct message to Vikky, but Nixie doesn’t want to take chances. She pools the group together later that night to discuss turning up at the Creepers’ apartment to find out who specifically drew the ladybug, and possibly ‘convince’ them to show them to the Creepers’ leader. Instead, they look online to see if the Creepers’ tags have shown up anywhere else.

Sure enough, they have. Dis-comfortingly, they’ve also tagged the Olympia Theater. Last night, in fact. This poses a problem, because Carmen and Vikky had been using the theater as a place to study sorcery as of late. With unease and suspicion of a stalker – a supernatural one at that – rising, Kuku and Nixie investigate additional tags. There’s one more tag of a similar nature (an image accompanied by some amount of text) elsewhere: in an alleyway next to Gabe’s office.

At this point, the group determines to split up and check their usual haunts for signs of more graffiti, to discern whether or not this is coincidence or a deliberate ‘attack’ by the graffiti’s artist. Before they split, Kuku and Carmen determine that at least their phones aren’t being hacked into – as far as they can tell.

Vikky and Kuku head over to the Olympia. They discover roses twined about eight lines of text:

O Rose thou art sick.
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night
In the howling storm:
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

Gabriel and Al find crow-picked text outside his office:

From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were—I have not seen
As others saw—I could not bring
My passions from a common spring—
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow—I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone—
And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone—
Then—in my childhood—in the dawn
Of a most stormy life—was drawn
From ev’ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still—
From the torrent, or the fountain—
From the red cliff of the mountain—
From the sun that ’round me roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold—
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass’d me flying by—
From the thunder, and the storm—
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view—

Sophia and Vincent find a huge, deformed yellow smiley-face with a straight, neutral line for a mouth. Text scrawled across its face reads:

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

And Nixie and Carmen find a simple eye spray painted on the side of the Crow’s Nest, two words across its iris:

Behind
You


Date

Friday, October 18th, 2167

Moon

Waning Crescent

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Total | 4 XP
Running Total | 500 XP

View
The Return of Kuku
Story 7 - Session 4

Kuku to the rescue! … is what it might have been, but immediately following his grand re-entrance, Al drop kicks Princess Genocide into the next century, ending her (previously) confident attack early. When Kuku goes to separate her head from her body, though, she… evaporates into a red fog that rolls away with the breeze. Everyone hauls their glowing asses back to Vincent’s manse to talk to their newly returned friend.

Back at the lodge, Kuku recounts his ‘adventures’ with Ana – how they were on the run for so long, how they let down their guard, how Spiralnebel surrounded them, separated them. Cornered, Ana brought down the church on her and everyone else inside. There was no chance for her.

Everyone reacts with varying levels of somberness and sadness – with the exception of Vikky, who remains perfectly emotionless. It’s agreed further discussion should wait, giving everyone a chance to process and wind down.

The next evening, Vikky’s emotional dam has disappeared. Carmen brings cupcakes that would make the gods weep. Sophia delivers an update to Kuku on everything that happened since he left: the fall of Volcano, Al and Carmen joining the team, going after King but ending up with the Spiralnebel squad instead, going after Rhino but ending up with a chat with Spiralnebel, the saga with Cheveyo and demons, the fairies, Nero Drago, and finally the return of the Boneyard Catamite.

The discussion turns towards general future plans, the reputation the group has earned in Thunder City, and the question of what to do about the Creepers and if Nero Drago has anything to do with them. Gabriel mentions he might learn a telepathic means to keep in contact with everyone, but ultimately it seems Sophia’s staunch rejection would render it moot. In the meantime, looks like it’s back to ear pieces!


Date

Thursday, October 10th, and Friday, October 11th 2167

Moon

Waning Gibbous

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Total | 4 XP
Running Total | 496 XP

View
The Boneyard Haunt
Story 7 - Session 3

Carmen’s freshly summoned Lesser Minions have taken up residence at the Boneyard. It isn’t long before she hears news that something bad is going down.

Nixie and Carmen arrive first on the scene to witness some truly strange things that shortly become very unsettling things: weird people with dog-beasts on chains and naked men on all fours, and, if briefly, a sea of ghosts that Nixie immediately dispels. With a little poke and prod and a LOT of obsidian butterflies, what was shaping up to be a wearisome hustle is very quickly resolved.

That is, until a 3rd party, reminiscent of the chakram-wielding Spiralnebel member, announces herself. And she HURTS. Before anyone else can react, she single-handedly fells Marxie into unconsciousness.

However, with impeccable timing, an old friend joins the fight… their very own Kuku!


Date

Thursday, October 10th, 2167

Moon

Waning Gibbous

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Total | 4 XP
Running Total | 492 XP

View

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