Small Change

Gone But At What Cost
Story 5 - Session 14

The Spiralnebel agent informs the group that the syndicates were the only thing standing between Thunder City and things much worse than gang violence, drugs, and prostitution, and that by removing the syndicates, they’re leaving the city vulnerable to assault from these “others,” including Creepers. Resoundingly, they reply that there is a way to create the forces necessary to protect the city without relying on the traditional draws of a business in crime, and until those forces are created, they will personally watch over the city to protect it.

Eventually, the agent concedes.

“I’ve had a thought, going through the back of my head right now. And now, I see just what we all need out of this. We need a model. We need a thesis. If I leave this city in your hands, and it all crumbles to dust, then the case is proven. But if good people alone are enough to keep it afloat… If you fail, you’ll drag Thunder City kicking and screaming with you. But I realize, now. The lesson, the demonstration, that would give us, would help ensure it never happens again. Your failure would be a crucial lesson to this world.”

Bearing the weight of a heavy task and a heavier consequence on their shoulders, the group disperses. Not for long, though; when Nixie returns to the Lodge, where Cheveyo’s mirror is being stored, she discovers that it’s entirely gone. The group reconvenes to track it down, ending up at a storage facility where Cheveyo’s Suns are stationed. Alejandro, Cheveyo’s right hand man, prevents them entry… but they weasel into the storage facility anyway.


Date

Friday, September 6th, 2167

Moon

Waxing Gibbous

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Total | 4 XP
Running Total | 416 XP

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Unexpected
Story 5 - Session 13

It is time. Everything to blow the roof off Rhino (literally and figuratively) is in place. Now it’s just a matter of when, a question Nixie asks the ‘Oracle’ and comes back with “10PM tonight.” So off they go!

Things are… not as they planned, however, when the group does blow up Rhino’s roof and drop in. Big Mama and the others are nowhere to be found. Instead, an older whine gentleman with white hair and an intimidating African woman sit waiting for them. What follows in an unusual but not unappreciated discussion about the future of Thunder City as it directly relates to the group. Also, the group learns, unintentionally, who “The German” is; it’s none other than Sophia’s alternate form, Boris.


Date

Friday, September 6th, 2167

Moon

Waxing Gibbous

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Total | 4 XP
Running Total | 412 XP

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Candy Heart
Story 5 - Session 12

Back across cake mountains and candy hills the group goes, hoping the door back hope will be open by the time they get there. Someone, or rather something, is not so content to let them walk around unmolested. They come face to face with an abomination made of sweets with a hankering for whatever sweetness they’ve got going on in their bodies. Nixie attempts to trick the creature into believing there is nothing tasty about them by feeding it a coat soaked with Sriracha; enraged, “The Greedy” attacks. Luckily, it’s not too much a challenge for the now mentally exhausted team. They spill back into reality in little time, unharmed but greatly disheveled.


Date

Thursday, September 5th, 2167

Moon

Waxing Gibbous

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Total | 4 XP
Running Total | 408 XP

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Cups and Cake
Story 5 - Session 11

Tentatively, the group sets aside the matter of Cheveyo and his mirror to Hell in order to address what they’re going to do with Rhino. While it may be possible to lead to the arrest of Rhino’s head members, that will be a difficult and very lengthy road no one (aside from Gabriel) in the group is properly equipped to help facilitate – not to mention the fact that the government’s ability to properly imprison neosapes is likely subpar. Instead, they focus on confirming if their intended plan – that is, surprise attack and take down Rhino’s top brass – is the right one.

It’s determined, after lengthy conversation and planning the question, the answer is to attack Rhino without the intent to kill.

After this, Vikky receives a call from one of her employees, Tincan Bill, about a strange woman hanging around the shop. All but Vincent and Sophia head out with her to check out what’s up. Following Nixie’s tracking nose, the group ends up in a dilapidated basement bar. No one’s inside, seemingly, but they check the back door…

…and end up in a Wonderland-esque alternate world made entirely of teas and sweets. Their way in is sealed off, so they set off to try to locate Bill. They find him peaceably sitting at a long table, having tea with a beautiful young boy whom Nixie immediately pegs as an anomaly. Though the boy is polite and peaceful, she warns the group about potential mental manipulation. As a group, they try to coax the unwilling Bill away from the tea party; when he continues to refuse, Al simply slings him over her shoulder so they can leave. However, it seems the Tea Fairy is able to get under Carmen’s skin. Their departure is halted, briefly, as the rest try to convince Carmen to immediately come with them and be gone from this place. She gives in eventually to leave the Tea Fairy without having a cup with him first, and they head back towards where they first came in this sweet nightmare.


Date

Thursday, September 5th, 2167

Moon

Waxing Gibbous

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Total | 4 XP
Running Total | 404 XP

View
Satans Sandy Ass Crack
Story 5 - Session 10

With Sophia and Vincent in the mirror, the rest consider what to do. They agree it’s unwise to send everyone into the mirror, so Vikky and Al hop through the portal while Nixie, Gabriel and Carmen guard it from the other side.

The four find themselves deep down the rabbit hole in a strange desert with a green sun and a crimson moon. Cheveyo waits for them, perched on the remains of ruins wrought in livid-hued stone. This, according to Cheveyo, is the body of what was once Malfeas. He has come here, “to amend the greatest mistake – the greatest sin – of the Solars. The wicked day that hubris cost us everything.” He claims the Yozi, the demons, are not all evil, and he wishes to free them from Malfeas into the world as penance for when the neosapiens of many years ago crushed Malfeas. He reaches for his scytharp to sing the story, but settles to speak it instead at the party’s protest.

“It began in the Advent, then. That dark time when Neosapiens first emerged and the world was bathed in destruction its people hesitate to even remember. It was not just us who had noticed this change, however. From the farthest outer darkness, from beyond the stars, from the border of reality, the distant flashes of power were visible.

“They stirred the attention of cosmic beings, older than any life on this planet. They set across the sea of stars to our tiny speck of floating rock to greet us, those who had finally drawn their attention, like insects arranging themselves to spell a legible message in the dirt.

“They met with the first Neosapiens. Those who had exceeded all others, whose powers were too great and far-reaching to even be recognized as mortal works. Their spokesperson was the First, whose name is only remembered and recorded as the King of Heroes – though it may have been a man, or it may not. The Yozis hailed them. Our planet, our species, had earned their attention – even admiration. They would become humanity’s patrons, now that we finally had the means and power to open avenues through which we could even relate to such intelligences. They would become our shepherds. Our teachers. We could have been protected wards of… of the closest thing, perhaps, to what we could ever call God.

“Imagine what could have been. The secrets of the cosmos laid bare, to a human race at last able to comprehend them. We would have seen the end of war, the end of hunger – the end of the toilsome way of life we’ve known all our history. No longer would it be our bitter row to hoe. And the King of Heroes heard this out, and spoke:

“’By our own grace alone will we be saved,’ he said. ‘We have no need of gods.’ And he gripped the emperor of the cosmos, the shining one, the pinnacle of all existences. And the King of Heroes broke him.

“The King and the King’s circlemates slaughtered the gods. They crushed them into the fabric of the cosmos. Their corpses sunk into the aether of the world, deep, forming the abscess of the Underworld. Those that lived were netted in their mangled king, whose broken body was sculpted around them into a prison. The deaths of those for whom death did not exist sickened the very universe. Even now they howl beneath the Underworld, sunken into Oblivion, in permanent paradox. The souls of the dead siphon down to them by the gravity of their presence.

“So the gods became the Yozis. Their component souls became Demons. And in fair-play turnabout, we record the once King of Heroes who doomed the cosmos by a new name: Leviathan.”

It is, in Cheveyo’s opinion, that releasing the demons to the world will allow the neosapiens to reform and become the stewards of the world they should have always been. It is, in the party’s opinion, that any demon is bad news and that they should get the hell out of Satan’s sandy ass crack and ask for Nixie’s input before making a decision.

Nixie sends out a call to someone she knows for advice on what to do with the mirror and how to handle the problem at hand. She takes the opportunity to inform everyone (in part) about the nature of her job as Reality Police.


Date

Thursday, September 5th, 2167

Moon

Waxing Gibbous

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Total | 4 XP
Running Total | 400 XP

View
Mirror Mirror
Story 5 - Session 9

At Mr Golds Pawn Shop and Oddity Emporium

Sophia (Julian) finds very little at the shop, and not much more from the clerk. However, she does press him enough to learn that Cheveyo occasionally comes by the store, slaps down some money and disappears in the back (the ‘odditiy’ part of the shop) for undetermined amounts of time. The clerk cannot say where he goes, nor why. A cursory blueprint scan yields no hidden rooms either; Sophia passes this information on to the rest as Nixie, Vikky and Al tag her out and inspect the store themselves.

Nixie immediately discovers that a mirror in the back room is inundated with essence, a veritable treasure even among artifacts. She purchases the mirror under the possibility it’s actually a portal, and the group retires to Vincent’s manse to inspect it further.

With a little light from their sun and moon marks, they quickly discover the mirror IS a portal. To where, they’re not sure. A tissue and a lamp are sacrificed to the portal, which sucks them both up with remarkable power. It’s assumed Cheveyo is on the other side. He’s not alone, either: a dog-sized spider, like the ones seen in the forest chapel months back, pokes its head out of the mirror from the other side.

Since Cheveyo’s location is partially secured, the group trails back into discussing what to do with the rest of Nixie’s urgent to-do list. Their conversation is interrupted when Cheveyo attempts to step out of the mirror and is subsequently sucked back in by his own weight. When no matter of notes sent into the portal nets a response, Sophia impatiently sticks her head into the mirror and is sucked in. Vincent goes in right after her.


Date

Thursday, September 5th, 2167

Moon

Waxing Gibbous

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Total | 4 XP
Running Total | 396 XP

View
Finding Cheveyo
Story 5 - Session 8

Nixie calls an emergency meeting: everyone should come to Vikky’s place ASAP and prepared for combat. When all are gathered, Marc is there to share with them what Nixie divined with her special powers:

  • There is a two-thirds chance attacking Rhino is unnecessary if the group announces their intentions to Spiralnebel instead. Nixie did not look into the effectiveness of taking out Rhino’s head as far as getting Rhino out of the city goes.
  • There is a less than 50% chance someone in Warlord’s group is going to break their oath and speak about what happened.
  • Allegro HQ, the business Nixie was getting weird vibes from, “doesn’t exist within the causal spectrum” – meaning whatever anomaly that created it is strong enough to dupe everyone except Nixie.
  • In two days, DA Stephanie Morgan may be murdered.
  • Chief Irons, according to Marc, is in need of protection.
  • Assumedly, something bad is going to happen soon that includes Cheveyo and The Suns.

The group tries to determine which matter is more urgently in need of addressing. Gabriel suggests that Nixie/Marc’s wording has lead to muddled forecast. As the rest discuss what to do, Sophia heads out to check in on Cheveyo, as her ‘personal line’ to him is no longer in operation. All she discovers is that the Suns have moved bases and accrued a fair number of arms and munition; there is no sense of urgency and Cheveyo’s location is unknown, even to his Suns (or so they say).

Back at Vikky’s, they discover Cheveyo’s phone is offline. With some quick hacking by Carmen, it’s discovered that his service drops completely at a certain location for periods of days, regularly, for the past couple months. With no explanation of why this happens, all of them head out to the location in question: Mr Golds Pawn Shop and Oddity Emporium. Sophia precedes the rest of them, donning a “new” human form to sniff the place out.


Date

Thursday, September 5th, 2167

Moon

Waxing Gibbous

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Total | 4 XP
Running Total | 392 XP

View
Few Alternatives
Story 5 - Session 7

With two days to recuperate from their… excursion with Warlord, all gather at Vikky’s place for a regular round table discussion.

Al, hoping to give Gabriel a frame of reference for the likes of sapes they had to deal with and will have to deal with again, and how much firepower the group has to work with, offers for him to ‘pry’ her mind and watch the fight with Spiralnebel’s task force. Carmen offers camping as an alternative; Vikky has some spells she hasn’t been able to fully try out herself anyway, and it she claims it will be a good opportunity for all of them to know each other’s boundaries and capabilities. Any further plans for a camping trip will wait until after they deal with Warlord’s addresses.

Vincent brings up the spiraling layout of the Boneyard train cars, making a reference to a tower defense game. While it’s wholly unclear who set up the train cars (perhaps the German?), there’s a fair chance the spiral was arranged to help keep zombies from within getting outside. Possibly. Nixie and Vikky make a note to try to learn if She Who Lives In Her Name, the ‘patron’ of the Boneyard graffiti, likes spirals.

Sophia reports on the address Warlord shared with them. Rhino’s top brass live in the top floor of a fortress-like office building. The security is tight; the easiest way to get into the building (taking into account the number of people they’d have to work through to get to Rhino’s heads) is through the ceiling. There is a basement with street access — probably for their wares — and the top floor suite has a safe room.

The plan amounts to Sophia and Vikky flying rope up to the top of the building so that the rest can climb up stealthily. Once on top, they will blast a hole through the ceiling so they can all drop in from above and hit Rhino before they can react. Once they’re done, they’ll take the rope back down and disperse.

However, Al protests, asking if there are any alternatives to killing Rhino’s heads. Is there any chance of driving Rhino out of the city without killing the leaders – and possibly having to kill anyone who steps up to take their place? The short answer is there are very few effective, peaceful means of erasing the syndicates that won’t take months or years to enact – at least, that anyone in the group can dream up currently.

The final answer is left to Nixie’s divination: do they hit hard or is there a separate option they’re unaware of?


Date

Wednesday, September 4th, 2167

Moon

Waxing Quarter

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Total | 4 XP
Running Total | 388 XP

View
Gabriel and the Mind Prying Trailer
Story 5 - Session 6

With perhaps surprisingly little fuss, Warlord and his gang are escorted into the truck trailer and driven off the quarry to a more secluded location. The goods he brought are shortly picked up by Sophia’s girls.

Inside the truck, Gabriel gets things underway as Carmen binds the men up. He attempts, and fails, to persuade Warlord to tell them the address of where they could find Rhino’s two leaders. Warlord, naturally, refuses, requiring Gabe to most unpleasantly invade his mind. The neosape doesn’t take well to it, but Gabe isn’t able to pry anything out. Gabe moves on to the next grunt down the line with similar results.

After an hour’s break, Gabe returns with the news that he could simply shatter Warlord’s mind to get what he wants, but he’d rather not. Carmen fails to convince their captive it will be better to just tell them and not have to go through this mental torment. Nixie, as Crow, is able to convince him, however — an invisible little bird of common sense and compassion, as it were. He recites a few addresses.

Before he and his men can be safely released, however, Gabe subjects each and every one of them to a binding oath: they cannot speak of or otherwise communicate what they have experienced this evening. Afterwards, they are sent on their way, and the team disperses with their new information.

Side note: Vincent mentions for Nixie to ask him about the traincars in the Boneyard.


Date

Monday, September 2nd, 2167

Moon

Waxing Quarter

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Total | 4 XP
Running Total | 384 XP

View
Warlording at the Quarry
Story 5 - Session 5

Tonight’s the night to kidnap Warlord Stephens. Vincent has procured a trailer truck. Gabriel has procured chains, locks, and a folding chair. Everyone meets up at least an hour before the meeting to iron out any last questions. When Warlord’s men are brought up, it’s determined that they should take them into custody alongside Warlord; there are risks of the men telling Rhino what happened, but there’s the option of Gabe’s supernatural oaths to keep them mum. After Sophia receives an update on the meeting’s location – the old quarry, as it were – they set off.

On the way there, Sophia receives an update from her girls: Warlord has arrived half an hour earlier than expected… and with heavy back up: at least three, very tall men with intimidating guns. She ducks into the back to tell the rest that they’ll need to hit the ground running when they arrive.

As the trailer truck rolls in, Sophia’s girls fall back from the scene. Vincent’s first out of the truck, and subsequently the first target on Warlord’s shit list. Battle breaks. It doesn’t last long. The three big brutes are picked off while Warlord retreats to his car, though any attempt to escape is foiled by popped tires. He orders his men to hold and asks what the group wants of him. Though he doesn’t want his men involved, with an admission that they really don’t have a choice, Warlord agrees for him and his men to come with them.


Date

Monday, September 2nd, 2167

Moon

Waxing Quarter

XP

Session Award | 4 XP
Challenge Award | 2 XP
Total | 6 XP
Running Total | 380 XP

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