Ghosts of Utopia

Lost and Found
Session 3 - 07/10/15

It has been three days since your last assignment. Rex has posted security detail at your apartment door, a pair of burly men dressed in black, and he’s told you that you are permitted to leave the premises under the escort of these men… Only if you are dressed in the tactical vests he’s given you. he explained that with time, the use of these vests may fade out to be only used on assignments, but for the moment he doesn’t trust you nearly enough to leave your apartment without them. Needless to say, walking around town, dressed in strange tactical gear with an entourage of imposing looking men is drawing a little bit of negative attention, but no one has seen a reason to ask about it as of yet. However, with no real word from Rex, the party isn’t sure when they will be assigned their next task… or whether he’s forgotten about you all together.

[What have you been doing? Player Character Interaction]

Fortunately (or un fortunately, depending upon how you feel about it), on this third night of silence, he has finally decided to make an appearance.

Sort of.

The large television hung on the wall of your apartment flickers to life on its own volition, and Rex’s face is displayed on the monitor. He gives a little smile and what could be classified as a wave… but in reality it’s little more than a tiny twitch of his fingers.

REX: “Hi. So. Obviously. I haven’t been checking in, I got real busy… It’s like… it sucks because, Farand just stuck you guys with me and I honestly have a lot of work to do at any given time so… I sort of… I’m supposed to keep tabs on literally everything that’s going on in the area. Supernatural comings and goings and shit going wrong. Secrets. My guys. I’m trying to find someone else that might be able to give you more consistent work, but until then you take what you can get I guess. Or something. It’s not like you really have a choice. it’s not like I have much of one either. But for tonight I have someone that said he could use you for something.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

REX: “I know it sucks that I don’t have more for you to do, but… I operate on a set schedule. Specific tasks. Every guy has his own assignments. And you guys… you got the job done but you’re not exactly… subtle enough for my type of work. Farand hasn’t been very much help on advising me exactly what he wants you to do, so that’s why I’m just… passing you along. For now. If and when I come across something a little more… your speed, I’ll let you guys know. But trust me. Surveillance work isn’t all… explosions and chase scenes. It’s dangerous! But a lot of it is just sitting and watching and… stuff you guys aren’t trained for. Anyway, the Second Chair — you guys haven’t met her yet I don’t think, her name is Naemia — she has her own guys. I asked her… bodyguard, I guess, if he had anything in mind for you. He does. The driver will be taking you to meet him tonight. His name is Savaş Kasvetli. He’s… he’s ok I guess. He talks a lot. And he’s probably going to hit on you. he hit on me. I don’t know how I felt about that.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… Rex concludes your discussion by more or less hurrying you from the apartment, emphasizing how he needs to get up and out into the field as soon as physically possible. Your entourage of bodyguards helps you into your vests and walks you down to the car, and you are whisked away to your destination. One of the bodyguards takes the front seat, the other is appearing to stay behind. As usual, the driver isn’t exactly friendly, or talkative. He keeps the divider up for the duration of your journey.

The car eventually pulls up to the curb on a very ritzy street in downtown Los Angeles, and the party steps out of the car before an impressively sized building. The bodyguard escorts you through the front doors, and into the elevators. You take the elevator to one of the very top floors, and you are taken through the sleek white and granite hallways of what appears to be some kind of office building. You pass through a pair of double doors, and into a room that starkly contrasts everything on the premises that came before it. It is decorated in warm, rich hues, the color scheme reminiscent of a sunset. The decor is extremely Middle Eastern, as are the people that populate the room. The smell of incense is immediate, and intense. Multiple exotic women draped in veils roll their hips and bellies to the arabic beats playing over the extensive stereo system. At the far end of the room sits a man on a bed of jewel toned pillows, framed by two of the bellydancers, who are currently shoving their endowments in his face. He leans around one of them to give the party a curt little smile, and waves them over.

SAVAS: “Ah, you must be Aleksandr’s… people. Welcome! Welcome. Please… Relax. Make yourself at home.”

The man waits for the party to get a little closer, before taking each of the oarty member’s hands and kissing them.

SAVAS: “I am Savas. The pleasure of meeting such beautiful creatures is surely all mine.”

There is a little twinkle in his eye as he regards each of you, and leans back against his mountain of pillows. He whistles, and one of the ladies carries over a hookah pipe, another one a small table, and they set it before Savas.

SAVAS: “Please, help yourselves.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

[Compel Diana’s Terminal Curiosity: Diana, you want to know what happened with Savas flirting with Rex…]

If asked about hitting on Rex: Savas gives a chuckle as a more sinister grin tugs at his lips. “I did much, much more than flirt with him. If he tries to say otherwise, he is lying. That is all I will say about that.”

In regards to the mission: “Oh, yes. Aleksandr wasn’t very descriptive on what it is you each do, or what skills you can provide to me. I could always use more beauty…” He gestures to the women decorating his room, “But, he has told me this is not something you do. So I thought of how such lovely ladies could assist me, and I think, who could resist helping a man win the heart of his love?”

He snaps his fingers and one of the women beside him stops her dancing to retrieve something from the table right beside Savas… which, it is noted he was perfectly capable of reaching over to grab whatever it was himself… but she brings him an envelope, and a single flower. He studies them for a moment, before giving them back to the woman, and she hands these items to Kenzie.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… SAVAS: “it may seem to be such a little thing to someone who has been running all over the city doing errands for a spymaster, though this is something that means much to me. I carry this woman in my heart. I see her and she fills me with the life I lost centuries ago. If you bring her this letter, I will reward you. The lady is called Madeline. She is a dancer, at the club Victorianna’s, not very far from here… I have been told you are dear friends of hers, and because of this, I trust this task to you.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

If PCs tell him they’ve met her only once… SAVAS: “Oh, well having met once is even better. You are not too close, not too far… She has seen you, she knows you, either way she will listen better than any other courier. So you go. And when you return, I will compensate you for your efforts. Under one condition. She must agree to see me this weekend. This part is important. Any fool can deliver a letter. But a clever fool can convince a stubborn lady to grace me with her presence.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… Savas dismisses you with a simple little nod of his head and turns his attention back to the bellydancers beside him. Your bodyguard takes you down the corridor, onto the elevators back onto the ground floor, and to the car, which drives you five minutes down the street to Victorianna’s.

Upon entering, the hostess recognizes all of you. She greets you with a warm smile, and tells you that she will let Madeline know you are here. She picks up the phone, dials an extension, and has a short conversation, then waves you inside, and instructs you to walk up the stairs to the VIP area, rather than waiting. The bouncers have been informed of your presence.

The party enters the VIP area without problems, and walks down the hallway to Madeline’s office, which has been left open. Madeline rises from her desk, and regards you all with a warm smile, closing the door behind you.

MADELINE: “Back so soon? What can I do for you ladies this evening?”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… Madeline’s expression turns from sunny to sour in a matter of moments, “Are you quite serious?” She scoffs, and takes the letter from your hands, her brows furrowing. “This arseface is giving you a love letter and telling /me/…” She rips open the envelope, her deep brown gaze darting over the letter as she quickly reads it… and crumples the paper in her hand. “No. This man is a pig.”

[Kenzie: Uses persuade… Difficulty 3]

Success: MADELINE: “Well…” She gives the flower a little sniff and sighs as she walks it over to her desk. Wedging it into a vase with a bouquet she had sitting there already. “I don’t suppose I should be… regarding him so harshly. You’re right. What’s the harm in seeing him… just one more time.” She gives you a little smile, plants a kiss on the envelope, which leaves a scarlet stain there, and gives it back to Kenzie. “Take that to him. As ‘proof’ that I agree. This man is insane. He never gives up.” She gives a little playful laugh. “Now if you’ll excuse me. I have to return to my job. But really, it was lovely seeing you all again. Perhaps next time we’ll all have enough extra time to sit and have a chat?”

Failure: Madeline’s eyes narrow in a hard glare aimed at Kenzie, “Don’t talk about matters you’ve no idea about. It makes you look stupid.” She carries the letter over to a candelabra she has burning on a table in the corner of the room, and sets it a flame, letting the ashes fall off of it in chunks into the nearby wastebin. She tugs the bag from out of the wastebin and hands it back to Kenzie. “Take this to him. And tell him to shove it up his arse. Now please leave, and don’t waste any more of my time. I’ve a business to run.”

Either way: The party exits the club as instructed, and is driven back to Savas’s suite. Upon the party’s entry, Savas lazily looks toward you, one of the dancers now in his lap, nearly nude. “Ah. My flock. Tell me, my little songbirds, did you sing your song to my lady? Did you convince her to see me?”

Success: He studies the lipstick stain on the envelope with a wistful sigh, planting his lips over where hers had been , and folding the envelope in half to stick in one of the dancer’s cleavage. “It has been a success! Wonderful work, ladies…”

Failure: Upon being handed the plastic bag, he looks a bit confused. Ripping into it and letting the ashes rain down onto carpet beneath him. He frowns slightly, and hands the plastic bag off to one of the ladies for disposal. “You haven’t made me very happy… but I promised Aleksandr I would keep you busy. Perhaps talking is not your strong suit. I’ll give you something so simple an invalid could carry it out.”

Either way: SAVAS: “I’m thinking of what else I can have you do that takes up time… hmm… Naemia needed some supplies. You can go do that.” He produces a pad and paper from… Somewhere in that pile of pillows. Scribbling out a short list and handing it off to Diana. “They’re magic supplies, just in case you cannot tell. I’ve written the address at the top of this paper. Rip it off and hand it to your driver.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… It’s very obvious that Savas isn’t interested in entertaining any more conversation from the group of you. He more or less continues to blow you off until you exit the room. You exit the building, and hand the directions off to the driver as instructed. This drive takes longer. You are in the car for 45 minutes before the driver finally parks in the parkinglot behind a very small, homely looking building. He lets you know this is the place, and more or less kicks you out of the car.

You enter the shop and several tiny bells above the door ring. The shop is very new age; the shelves are lined with crystals and healing stones, pentagrams and large, old-looking tomes. The shop appears empty besides one lone customer, who is chatting with the woman behind the desk.

[Would you like to interrupt the clerk and the customer to ask for help, or would you like to try and look for yourself? What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

If ask clerk… The customer seems a little annoyed by your intrusion, but the store clerk does not seem to mind, as she gladly points out the areas of the store which contain what the list calls for, along with a few brief descriptions. However, with the impatience of the other customer, the clerk is called away, so she is unable to escort you personally to the items in question.

If do it yourself… You begin to wander aimlessly around the shop. Everything more or less looks the same to the untrained eye. it’s a bit difficult to know what’s what based on the descriptions Savas has written down, which is next to none.

[Rajani roll magic? Difficulty 3]

Rajani success: Rajani suddenly remembers she knows exactly what all of these things mean and what they look like. Who knew! She begins to go about the shop rather efficiently, plucking things off of shelves to purchase.

Rajani failure: It looked as if Rajani is thinking very hard about this list… when out of the corner of her eye, she spots something sparkly and she wanders off toward that, completely forgetting what she was doing in the process.

After any/all of the above… VINCENT: “Pardon me?” a voice emerges rather suddenly from between the bookshelves and you turn to notice a tall, gaunt, pallid man standing there with a large, somewhat creepy smile on his face. His hair is shoulder length, deep brown, and curly, and his eyes are so light of a blue that they’re nearly colorless. he is dressed head to toe in black and grey, and is carrying a cane. Based on how thin he is, you wonder whether the cane is simply a part of his ‘gothic’ look or serves some sort of practical use.

VINCENT: “I can’t help but notice you’re looking for spell ingredients.” He takes the list… without asking, and starts to assist you… without being asked.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… VINCENT: “Actually, I was wondering if you could help me with something. I was going to ask her but she’s a cunt.” he pointed to the woman talking to the store clerk. “Plus, I wouldn’t mind staring at any of you for long periods of time.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

When asked about the favor… “Well, I’ve lost something. Well. Some things. Some things. My pets… they aren’t really standard… pets, though. I’m a necromancer, you see. And some of my creations have gotten off their leashes and are now just loose about the city! it’s dreadful, I worked very hard on those! you can’t imagine how long it took all of the proper parts… They’re quite beautiful, really.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

VINCENT: “Oh, I’ve tracked them! But I’ve lost their aura somewhere… the trail ends. Which is odd, considering they’re mine, something of my essence should be engrained in their… essence. But it’s not, or it ran out… I know they haven’t been destroyed, I would have found the parts. At least some of them. To be honest I don’t know what happened! That’s why I’m asking for your help.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

[Compel Diana’s Magic is not to be trusted: Diana, you don’t want any part of this. You don’t trust this guy, you don’t trust what he’s selling. You want to leave.]

[Compel Rajani’s Death is beautiful: You’re intrigued by the prospect of a new friend, and the magical creatures he’s lost! you just want to help them home safely, and maybe get a chance to look at them… or pet them, in the process.]

[Compel Kenzie’s Impulsive: Fuckin’ YOLO.]

[Have Kenzie roll to persuade Diana? Roll against diana’s wits?] [If Diana isn’t persuaded, she can just storm out of the building and realize they’re leaving her later]

VINCENT (to Diana): “Oh! Oh it’s not so terrible I promise… really we’re just finding my pets and then I’ll take care of the rest, I just need some help with the leg work… My legs don’t like to… work.” he shakes the cane a little bit to emphasize this fact. “I promise it will only take a moment! Then you can get back to your own… things!”

VINCENT (if asked about his name): “Oh! Oh, that’s right, yes. My name is Vincent Anamak. Pleasured, charmed, and happy to meet you.”

VINCENT (once everyone is on the gravy train): “Excellent! I’ll take you to my car, it’s parked down the street a ways…” Vincent scuttles off toward the front door, moving surprisingly fast for a hobbling man leaning on a cane. The party follows after him, down the street toward his vehicle. Vincent emphasized that this search will only take a ‘moment’, and if you are to trust his word, you should be back on track to returning to Savas with the magic shop items in tow… and then probably be sent back out on some other menial task. perhaps it isn’t so bad to have the momentary distraction.

Vincent begins to drive. Upon pulling out of his parking space, he immediately knocks into a trash can bolted into the sidewalk near the street, and the backs into a pole trying to get around the trash can. All Vincent says is “oops”… Do you really want to let this person drive?

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

[Someone can roll to persuade british, up the stakes]

If yes… Vincent continues down the street, driving a… bit better now that he’s gotten going. The sudden stops combined with the near constant swerving is a bit nauseating. “I’ve tracked the aura’s signature to somewhere near a friend of mine’s workplace… which is strange. But not really so strange, because it’s a law firm… I would say it was specifically a demon lawfirm, but everyone says there isn’t much of a difference like that’s supposed to be funny…” He snorts a little bit, and turns rather sharply around a corner… smashing into the front end of another car.

VINCENT: “Oh, drat. This is terrible timing.” Vincent pulls the car to a rather hard stop and sits there for a moment. The other car is stopped as well, and a well built man with angular facial features walks over to assess the damage to his vehicle. He looks very angry. He glares hard at the car and approaches it. He is standing at the driver’s side window. Vincent sits there for a moment, before he lets out a little sigh and rolls down the window. “I’m sorry I don’t have time to talk about this.” He says to the man outside.

QERN: “You don’t have time. The world has no time for you, scum.” The man outside of the car growls, casting his gaze over toward the party in the passenger and back seats… and he visibly seethes. “I know you. You are Farand’s lackeys. I am not surprised at this behavior. You will pay for these actions.”

VINCENT: Vincent rolls his eyes. “Yes, yes, that’s all well and good, please get out of the way I’m in a hurry.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

[Persuade Qern? Difficulty a million]

[Intimidate Qern? Uses Strength Difficulty a milllion sry guys]

[Compel Kenzie’s Impulsive: This guy is an asshole. You suddenly feel the urge to tell this guy off.]

[If anyone tries to get Vincent to become a passenger, he will say no, as the persuasion has failed, and he is very sure of himself that he can do it.]

After PC input… The man outside of the car’s facial expression has been the same throughout this interaction: flat and slightly irritated. But the more you speak, the angrier he becomes, and he bares his teeth in a snarl as his brows knit tightly over his eyes.

VINCENT: “…NOW I recognize you! You’re the grumpy one on the Council. Right, that’s right… well, here.” Vincent pulls out his wallet and… tosses some bills in the man’s face, then speeds off. “That ought to have covered the repairs he needs, anyway… he had his panties firmly wedged up his arse didn’t he?”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

If asked who that was… “that’s the only demon the council, Qern. He’s always so salty. Personally I prefer to deal with the vampires… mostly because they’re prettier! But also because I know more about them and they make me more comfortable.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

Vincent eventually parks across the street from a large, multilevel chrome, glass and grey-bricked office building, just shy of being a “sky-scraper”. He ushers you all excitedly inside, telling you that this was the place where he’d traced his monsters’ essence to… and then it just abruptly stopped.

The lobby is very spacious, with vaulted ceilings and polished, mirror-like tile floors. It is painted in a sleek, soft grey palette, touched with deep brown/black wooden accents. There are a few small black armchairs that dot the outer perimeter of the large area, framing little, circular brown coffee tables pressed against the wall. The ebony and chrome front desk spans the length of the wall opposite the huge, glass front doors, and is usually staffed by 2-3 bubbly receptionists, busy typing away behind their monitors or transferring phone calls through the switchboard. Despite this activity, the absence of color gives the room a bit of a hollow, empty feeling.

VINCENT: “It’s so strange, really,” he comments as you enter the elevators, “the only person to interfere with my signature would be another mage… We’re going to visit my friend Anthony, now. He’s hilarious. He has a portrait of his cat hung in his office, and another one at home of he and his cat wearing matching designer suits. Now I love cats — I /really/ like them but that’s just taking it entirely too far and putting it loudly on display how desperately he needs to get laid… it’s so sad, really. I like to laugh at him. I’m sure you will too.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… The party emerges onto the 7th floor, where the— “Wait,” Vincent exclaims after the doors rolls shut behind you. “this isn’t right. Hold on.” He calls another elevator and leads you all back inside. going up to the 9th floor instead. The party emerges onto the 9th floor. The hallway is very similarly styled to the lobby — all modern, dark wood and chrome. Vincent trots down the hallway, a giddiness to his hobbling step, and marches right up to a desk with a pretty blonde receptionist seated behind it… And then decides to walk past her after waving at her, letting himself into the office she’s clearly supposed to be offering clearance to. She looks puzzled.

The office is decorated in creams, golds, whites and light woods. Thick brocade curtains hang on the windows. There is a certain old world aesthetic to this room, with furniture reminiscent of vintage French pieces. A blonde, tan man who looks very much like a Ken doll come to life, dressed in a very nice suit that perfectly compliments the decor in his office, is seated at the desk. he sees Vincent, and audibly scoffs, swirling the glass of white wine his his hand.

ANTHONY: “/Vincent/. And why exactly are /you/ here at this god-awful hour.”

VINCENT: “You’re still working!” Vincent responds, sitting on one of the chairs on the opposite side of his friend’s desk. “Do you ever leave?”

ANTHONY: The blonde man looks over the party and gives them a nod. “Anthony York, pleasure.” then looks back to Vincent. “Who are all of these people.”

VINCENT: “They’re my friends!” Vincent beams, waving the party closer. “They need to help me. I know you’re going to bitch.”

ANTHONY: Anthony rolls his eyes, “Vincent, will you please get on with it. I need to get back to work. What did you lose.”

VINCENT: “I lost—” Vincent is cut off by the sound of his cell phone ringing. He stands from his seat and pats around his pockets until he eventually finds it tucked into the inner lining of his jacket, answering it. “Hello! …Oh… right /now/? Oh, okay, yes. Alright. Be there shortly.” he hangs up the call and tosses it back into his jacket. “Well, I must be going now! Nice meeting you all!” And he starts toward the door.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

If stopped… VINCENT: “Oh, right! Tell Anthony, let him know what I need. But I have to go! That was work. I’m on call; I’m a medical examiner. And duty… called. So, I’m off. Anthony knows everything about this place, you can find my pets and bring them to me; or him, he’ll return them.”

And before anything else can be said to him, Vincent hurries out of the office and disappears down the hall. It will be noted that he failed to give you any contact information.

ANTHONY: Anthony shifts in his seat. looking rather annoyed, and scoffs. “What the hell was that.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

Anthony mulls over what you’re saying to him, quiet for a few moments as he swirls his wine, sips it from his glass, and stares at the ceiling.

ANTHONY: “Well. The only person that I know of here that would explicitly be interested in Vincent’s dead things is… this painfully strange fellow who works down in the demonic floors. His name is Calisto Santos. He’s… incredibly bizarre, and not very… pleasant to deal with, but he’s the only one that comes to mind that might know something about that. if you take the elevators down to the ground floor, and talk to one of the secretaries… I don’t know whether or not that thing stays until this time at night, but you never know.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… You exit Anthony’s office and take the elevators back to the lobby.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

The secretary bounces over to you and gives you a warm, unnatural smile. “Good evening! Let me see if Mr. Santos is in the building for you.” She adjusts her headset and taps his extension into the phone… “Mr. Santos? Mr. Santos? ….I’m sorry madame, he is out for the night. May I take a message?”

If asked about personal contact information: SECRETARY: “I’m sorry madame, company policy states that I am unable to give out any of the personal details of staff members. I do apologize if this inconveniences you.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… While attempting to converse with the woman at the front desk, Rajani feels a tap on her shoulder… and Anthony’s secretary is standing behind the party. She hands Rajani a business card. “Anthony believed this would help you…” She nods to the party and starts back toward the elevators.

The card is small, and simple; black text on a white background. It reads ‘Calisto Santos, Prophet of Moriora’ and has a black sigil on the side, depicting what appears to be a rotting octopus…

VINCENT: “Oh, THAT’S where you are.” Vincent’s voice breaks the silence, and he is standing a few feet away, bending down to pick up his car keys which he’s apparently dropped on the floor. “…Oh hello there!” he says once he’s noticed the party. “I left my keys… well, lost. Dropped them on the way out, I only realized when I got out there… Oh, what’s that?” he walks over to the card and picks it up. “…Moriora! I know this! She’s the sister goddess to mine! Oh, bless. There’s a temple not too far from where I live… Ooh, maybe he’s there? Oh, Anthony. I knew he’d pull through for you. Here, let me give you directions…”

[Roll Wits to decipher British’s gibberish – Difficulty 5]

If 5… Congratulations! You were somehow able to decipher the ramblings of a madman perfectly. You have precise directions that will take you straight to the temple he was talking about.

If 3-4… You sort of know the gist of what he was saying. This will get you to the neighborhood, but not the specific location.

If less than 3… You have no idea what he was saying. At all. Somehow this map looks more like an ink blot and less like a… map.

With any option… Vincent has run out of time, he says, and he scurries off toward the front door to leave. He obviously has no plans of giving you a ride… or his telephone number.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

[If party succeeded at the Wits roll, they can try and contact Rex to get the car to come to them]

[If party failed at the Wits roll, they can try and contact Rex to figure out where the fuck this shrine is… and also to get a ride.]

REX: After attempting to contact him a few times, you finally hear Rex’s voice returning to you over the comm. “Hey guys. What’s going on?”

[Do you want to lie to him, and tell him that this mission is for Savas, or do you want to tell the truth, that it was just some random guy you met in a magic shop? ROLL CHARISMA TO LIE – Difficulty 4]

[Lie, Rex thinks it’s a little weird that Savas is having you go to a shrine, but assumes its for recon and calls the car for you.]

[Truth… Rex is questioning what the fuck you guys are doing and why you’re doing it. But he has the car come pick you up anyway, and advises you NOT to go. but you guys can decide to go anyway if you so please.]

If continuing on this mission… The car comes to pick you up from the lawfirm, and takes you to your destination (either by the party showing him the directions or Rex giving him the directions). As you travel toward this place, you see the environment around you becoming more and more slummy. And at the heart of the ghetto, lies an abandoned subway station. The same sigil that was on the card is clearly spray painted on the wall of the entrance to the station, and a guard is standing watch outside.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

[The party has the option to walk up to the guard, and roll intimidate to get him to move aside, or roll persuasion and you will receive a flier, which reads ‘Praise Moriora, the Mistress of Decay, The Queen of Filth, The Goddess of Pestilence’ and more righteous dialogue. it also has ‘welcome to our club, please respect one another’ written in very small footnote font on the bottom]

[Intimidate difficulty 5 – if fail, we’ll have them have to sneak around back]

[Persuasion difficulty 4]

[Sneak – there is a grate in the back that can be dug up. Strength difficulty 4 to pry the bars, or Magic difficulty 4, and then roll sneak difficulty 5 for everyone to get in. if they are detected, they can be brought before Calisto personally]

[Calisto is preaching. and the monsters are chained up down here, beside an altar with a lot of candles. There is an audience of about 10 people]

[Options are… Persuade Calisto to give up the monsters, difficulty 5, or intimidate Calisto to give up the monsters, difficulty 6]

[Waiting around to sneak the monsters out seems like it will take hours… though if you wait for the crowd to clear, you can try and get them out when everyone is gone. After everyone is gone, difficulty to sneak is lowered to 2, BUT someone with a strength roll of 4 needs to pull the chains, OR magic of 4 in Rajani’s case]

[Some way they get the zombies out. If they fail their rolls with Calisto… I’m going to have Rex come in and save them all awkward like, and then be all “why did you go here when I explicitly told you no” and if they get the zombies out, Rex will help them cart them back to british all “shitshit do you realize how much illegal this is shit”]

View
Of Wolf and Man
Session 2 - 06/12/15

Last session, we began our story with each of our party members locked alone in a prison cell. The party was released from these cells and escorted through the unnatural darkness of the dungeon by an unremarkable looking guard with bewildering abilities. They were then brought before Farand Vilhjalmsson, the First Chair on the Council of Los Angeles. He told the party that they were to do everything he and his associates asked them to, or he would be forced to do something drastic. The party then met Aleksandr “Rex” Konstantinov, who walked them through the mission ahead. Rex provided the entire group with high-tech tactical vests to wear, and introduced them to his teammate, Booker, who would be leading the mission.

The party was subsequently driven to the warehouse they needed to infiltrate. After successfully, albeit loudly, breaking into the facility, the party was able to find the computer room where the intel was located. Then something odd happened; Booker looked very worried, and a soft laugh emanated from the party’s comm links… before the vest embedded itself into Booker, and started ticking as if it were going to explode. Diana freed Booker from his vest using her tech magic, and the party took off running for the exit. Azami went back to help Booker, as he tripped on the way out of the warehouse, and the bomb blew with the pair of them inside. They are both presumed dead. The rest of the party managed to escape the building more or less unharmed. Rex has yet to provide any sort of insight as to what happened with Booker’s equipment.

And so, our story continues…

The air is thick with dark gray dust in the wake of the explosion. Large hunks of stony debris crumble around exposed support beams. The party rises from the rubble, more or less unharmed, save for a few minor cuts and bruises. As the fog from the wreckage begins to clear, it is apparent that there is no movement within what is left of the building. It is safe to assume that your comrades are dead, along with anyone else that may have been patrolling the warehouse. The comm link is still silent, though your equipment appears to still be functional.

Before the party has time to react to anything that just happened, a voice rather loudly pierces the relative silence hanging in the air.

DARNEEZY: “Goddamn, I said goddamn! Ya’ll crackas is crazy! What is you doin’ over there is you runnin’ a meth lab?”

Looking across the street, you see a very clearly homeless man, clothed in filthy, baggy rags hanging limp on his thin frame. He shifts his shopping cart toward the edge of the sidewalk, using all of his strength to bump it down into the street, pushing it across the pavement toward the shambled remains of the building. You note that one of the wheels on the shopping cart is very clearly broken and is hindering the movement of the cart. It makes a very unpleasant screeching sound as it scrapes along the road beneath him. As he comes closer, you see his cart is simply overflowing with various tin cans and glass bottles, along with a plethora of other random bits and bobs of trash. A big grey rat is nestled on top of the pile of garbage, sleeping soundly despite the noise.

DARNEEZY: “Ya’lls friends who been here before, they want too kind to Darneezy, you know? They tol’ me, they tol’ me this place want a meth lab, I ask them a’fore, I said fellas you sellin’? They looks me dead in the eyes and they says no! I knows a meth lab when I sees one!”

He looks down at the vests you are all wearing.

DARNEEZY: “I like ya’lls jackets! They fancy! Is they like an iJacket cause you know they come out wit da watch! Did ya’ll save any of yo meth afore it blew up? Old Darneezy, he don’t got much but, got some bottles you might like! Some real nice ones, wit’ da labels off an’ all! If youse could trade me some’a dat crystal for some bottles, these is worth a pretty penny at da grocery store!”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

If players engage Darneezy in conversation… Before Darneezy can react to anything you just tried to convey to him, the comm link in your ear crackles back to life.

If players try to remove the vest… Before you are able to proceed with your attempts to remove your equipment, the comm link in your ear crackles back to life. You recognize the voice is, of course, Rex’s.

REX: “So… apparently you all suck. But, that’s okay, I got what I needed even though you’re… well. Less than good at subtlety. ‘Less than good’, you’re terrible, we’ll go with that. Also… I wouldn’t touch those if I were you. The vests. You saw how Booker’s went boom, right? Yeeeah. Yours are all rigged to do the same. I just press the button and whapoosh everything crispy dead. I put his on a timer for effect… and also to give you time to bail, too. Which some of you did more successfully than others. Anyway. Farand says since you’re still alive you might as well come back so you can make yourselves more useful. Or something. If you touch those vests though I am serious you will regret it. The car is around the corner, it should get heeere… right about now.”

On the main street, you see the car that transported you earlier slowly slide into view. It sits parked, idling and waiting for you. The comm link fizzles into a soft static and then goes silent.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

If players try to leave/take the vests off… The comm link goes live again and you hear some very soft, dry laughter. REX: “Damn do you all have a death wish. Let’s be smart, here. Get in the car, come to me and we’ll talk about fixing this situation we’ve got, ok?”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

If players try to speak to Darneezy… You try to capture Darneezy’s attention but he is entirely too occupied scouring the remains of the warehouse, mumbling to himself. Most of it is unintelligible, but he continues to repeat something about meth and iJackets.

After PC input… Once the party has entered the car, it starts toward its destination. The divider between yourselves and the driver remains up for the entirety of the drive. You never once see your driver, let alone get the chance to engage him in conversation. The drive lasts about a half an hour, and you pull up to the curb of a very familiar building. You recognize it to be the back entrance of the theater where you had been imprisoned. There are three very burly men waiting for you beside the door.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… The guards close in around the car and nudge you all into a similar formation to before — a single file line — and lead you all inside. You are escorted back through the halls of the theater, down a different corridor than before, and up an elegant staircase to a pair of gold-leafed double doors. One of the guards separates from the group and knocks.

COME IN.” A voice from within the room calls.

The guard closest to the doors opens them, and the other two bring you inside. You are standing inside of an office, styled much like the theater down stairs — darkly colored wood with rich chocolate decor. Everything within this room looks like it has been pulled out of a Victorian painting, including the man seated behind the desk toward the farthest wall. You recognize the man as one Farand Vilhjalmsson, your captor, and the man you had met earlier this evening. He draws his eyes up from the paperwork he was penning, sticking his feather quill back in an ink well, and looks over the lot of you. Waving the guards toward the back of the room. They stand silent and somber with their backs to the wall.

FARAND: “Aleksandr tells me you used next to no discretion in your endeavors and that you were nearly killed… which is rather unfortunate. I am not pleased. You now have the opportunity to relay tonight’s events as you interpret them, if you wish to do so. I will weigh what you tell me against what Aleksandr has said, and I will use this to determine my next course of action.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

If asked about Booker… FARAND: “Aleksandr has already explained to me the situation with his former footman. He’s told me he will explain that to you. I don’t care to bother with it. Now if there are any questions with actual relevancy.”

Farand sits back in his chair and remains silent for a few measured moments. The look on his face is equally as thoughtful as it is judgmental.

FARAND: “Based on everything that has been presented to me, I have decided that despite the hiccups you endured this evening, I will give all of you the benefit of the doubt. I am giving you to Aleksandr, to use as he sees fit. I’m told you all possess some skill or another that might be of use. He will provide you with lodging at one of his safehouses. From this moment forward, the lives you lived previously are placed on hold. If you please me, I will reward you. I will give you money, equipment, prestige. If you disappoint me I will give you an axe through the neck. Have I made myself abundantly clear?”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

Compel Diana

If Diana takes the compel… Farand’s brows turn downward and his mouth flattens into a thin line as his eyes narrow to slits.

FARAND: “Please, gentlemen. Escort them out. Before I change my mind regarding mercy.”

The guards start toward the party, as Farand requested. They arrange you single file once more, and lead you from Farand’s office, back down the stairs, down through the hallways, and out the back entrance once more. The car is still outside, waiting for you. The guards load the party back into the car, and begins to drive. Once again, the driver keeps the divider up, so you have no idea where exactly you are going, or what you are to do when you get there. The drive to the safehouse is only about fifteen minutes. The car rolls to a stop in front of an underwhelming slate grey building. Rex is waiting beside the front door. He has a tablet tucked under one arm, a lit cigarette pinched between the fingers of his opposite hand.

He speaks to you once you’ve exited the vehicle.

REX: “Before you decide to run away or do anything else stupid, I’ve got the program for those things on my tablet. One push and kaboom.”

He opens the door and waves you all inside, following you through the front door.

REX: “We own this place. It’s nothing fancy but you can stay here for free. For now you’ll share an apartment. It’s a two bedroom. It was short notice.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

Conversation notes: Information about what Booker did is vague. Information about the type of job the party will be performing is essentially “I’ll see.”

1) If asked about the vests… “I’ll take them off for tonight. You can’t like… shower or sleep in those. But they can still blow up if I see you doing things I don’t like. The apartment is wired with cameras. The bathroom doesn’t have cams because I’m not that much of a pervert, but it does have mics. If you try anything you will get dead. That’s it.”

After PC input… While you were talking, Rex has lead you to a stairwell and started to climb up. He stops at the third floor, and takes you to your apartment – 3C. The apartment door is very plain, but there is something peculiar about it — beside it, there is a strange looking keypad with a card slot, like something you would see in a hotel. He unlocks the door by punching a pin into the pad and then swiping a keycard through the slot. The sound of mechanical locks clicking open emanates from the door, and he takes you inside.

The apartment is very basic, and a bit small. White walls, beige furniture, a large flatscreen and a landline telephone. The appliances seem older but serviceable. Rex closes the door once everyone is inside and claps his hands together.

REX: “Okay. Down here you see the living room… which we’re standing in. Kitchen is right there, there’s a half bath over on the left side there. over there—” he points to a staircase on the righthand side of the apartment, “That leads up to the bedrooms and the full bath. Once a bigger place frees up, I’ll move you over. There’s some food in the fridge… There /should/ be hotel soaps and shit in the bathrooms. I think that’s it unless you have more questions?”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

2) If asked about the vests… “I’ll take them off for tonight. You can’t like… shower or sleep in those. But they can still blow up if I see you doing things I don’t like. The apartment is wired with cameras. The bathroom doesn’t have cams because I’m not that much of a pervert, but it does have mics. If you try anything you will get dead. That’s it.”

After PC input… Rex tells you that he is, for all intents in purposes, locking you in the apartment until he returns. He explains that once he feels he can trust you, he will remove the locks. He does, however, remove the vests from each of you before he takes his leave from the apartment with the promise that he will be back the following night with something for you to do.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… The night passes, along with most of the following day, until sunset. You pass your time using the amenities that had been provided to you. It is a little after 7 o’clock in the evening when Rex arrives back at your apartment. He calls everyone downstairs into the living room to brief you on what you will be doing.

REX: “Okay, so I thought about this. I thought about it for longer than I should have. I was going through my files, pending cases… I mostly do surveillance. Recon, that kind of thing. However. Since you all bombed major on the last job I gave you I wanted something that was kind of fool proof and hard to fuck up, so I have a solution.”

He pulls the laptop bag he’s carrying off of his shoulder and sets it on the coffee table, digging around in it a bit until he pulls out a file folder.

REX: “You’re going to hunt a werewolf. Now I know this sounds like some mega intense big job but honestly, it’s not. I’ve got like… two reports, of people saying there’s this werewolf in the city and that is… basically impossible because they all stick to the woods. But my boss says I have to look into everything, even the stupid stuff. I would have sent my guys, but most of them are vamps, and werewolves and vamps have the whole heebie jeebies thing between them… As far as where to start I’ve got two places you can go.”

He thumbs through some paperwork in the folder, pausing to look it over, before he continues.

REX: “There’s a warehouse — I know, another warehouse, there’s actually a lot of that in this job. It’s perfect preying ground since a lot of bums and kids tagging buildings go out to these places. Anyway, I got a tip that the werewolf was spotted here, it’s a place by the docks,” He handed each of them photographs of the warehouse in question. It looks much larger than the one the party investigated previously, “Or, a strip club. Well — the werewolf wasn’t seen at the strip club, but that would have been hilarious… tossing dollar bills with his little claws… ah,” he clears his throat, “One of the dancers at the club claims she saw a wolf, too. These are two people who have never met eachother but the description is the same. A big black wolf. So I guess you just have to pick one and go. You can either go right to this warehouse where I got the tip or you can go ask the dancer, Charade where she saw it. I haven’t interviewed her yet, but I doubt it’s the same place.”

[What do you do? Player Character Input. “When you find the werewolf you’re not going to kill it, that’s stupid you’re too weak I just want to know where it is.” IF THEY PICK THE STRIP CLUB, TELL THEM TO ASK FOR CHARADE AT THE DESK]

After PC input… Rex gives you a little bit of limited itinerary for the job — pictures of the location you are to visit and the testimony of the witness that was spoken to. He puts each of you back into your vests, and tells you the car is waiting for you downstairs. he guides you out of the apartment and down the stairs, to a pair of cars parked in front of the apartment building. He directs you to get into the same vehicle you’ve been chauffeured in previously. Once you are inside, you notice him pause, then walk toward the trunk of the slightly more expensive looking car in front of your vehicle. He opens the trunk and takes out a long case, carrying it back to your vehicle and opening the door to speak to you.

REX: “This is something like a tranq gun with a tracking chip. If you can shoot the thing just once, it’ll embed a microchip in its skin and I’ll be able to see where it goes… that is, if ‘it’ even still exists, which I seriously doubt. Questions? Questions… Oh yeah which of you guys can shoot…”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… Rex closes the door and walks away, back up to his car and gets into the drivers side. Rex takes off, and your driver tails him for a time before turning off onto the freeway, toward your destination.

If they pick the warehouse… Forty five minutes later, you reach your destination: An abandoned stretch of dock in Long Beach, with a lone warehouse standing in a sea of concrete. The driver parks quite a ways from the building.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

MISSION NOTES: There is nothing particularly interesting about the warehouse. It doesn’t seem to have any power. There is no sign of life around it. There are no cameras. You can’t hear anything suspicious but the sound of the waves sloshing against the deck. As you approach the warehouse, you see the dull, erratic orange flicker of a flame. Once you pass before the warehouse door, you see the source of the light — a barrel with a roaring fire within it. Inside of the warehouse, a figure dressed all in rags is stacking bottles against the left wall. He doesn’t seem to notice or hear you.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… The man looks up from what he is doing, and you recognize that it is the same homeless person from last night, who had asked you for drugs. Darneezy.

DARNEEZY: “Oh damn — ya’ll white folks scare me half to death you white as ghosts it’s like Caspa up in here. Ya’ll need to make more noise when you come up, ol’ Darneezy heart not what it used to be you know.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

If Darneezy is asked about werewolves… He cocks his head to the side and looks up at the ceiling. Contemplating your words carefully.

DARNEEZY: “Werewolf? Is you askin’ about buyin’ a big dog? Like a big ass pit bull? Mah friend Treva, he got a cousin, he in the breedin’ of those animals. Now I always thought dog breedas was nasty you know, they got to watch their dogs fuck they bitches and shit, but he got nice dogs. Ol’ Darneezy, he don’t like dogs so much, he has rats… ’EY RING DANG DOO. WHERE YOU AT BOY.”

There is rustling in a trash pile in the corner. Suddenly, a fat grey rat pops out from underneath the various junk and scurries over to Darneezy. He picks him up and sets him on his shoulder.

DARNEEZY: “This Ring Dang Doo, I calls ’im Dooey for short. Dooey, you ever seen no werewolfs?”

The rat squeaks a few times.

DARNEEZY: “Nah, he ain’t seen no werewoofs. But likes I said, you wants a pit bull I got chu. Ol’ Darneezy hook you up Darneezy a nice guy you just gots to give me some of that crystal, I know ya’ll gots to have another meth lab…”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… Darneezy has, once again, gotten lost in looking through rubbish. This time, its his bottles. You hear him counting out numbers, as if he is attempting to count how many bottles he has, but he keeps getting stuck, or skipping numbers, or starting over. You leave Darneezy to his bottle collection and return to the car. Since this turned out to be something of a waste of time, the only other option is to go to the strip club/go to the neighborhood the dancer mentioned.

If they pick the strip club… Twenty minutes later, you reach your destination: A large, darkly colored building with a neon sign that reads “Victorianna’s” in bright red, with a matching outline of a woman is draped over the name. Walking in to the crimson quilted double doors, you see the lobby area, and just beyond that the main floor of the club. It is set up like a typical gentleman’s club. In the lobby there is a desk for admission, and behind the velvet rope is the lounge, with the main catwalk and stage stretching across most of the floor. The room is dotted with couches and booths for lap dances and drinks, and there are two bars on either side of the room. There is a roped off area with stairs that is labeled “VIP”. The club is colored in a black and crimson palette, and draws, as the name suggests, many influences from the Victorian area, both in decor and in costuming. Most of the woman are more Gothic looking than not, and the speakers are blaring heavy metal music.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… The hostess picks up her phone and dials a few keys, before having a short conversation with whoever she’d dialed, presumably the dancer you asked for. You can hardly hear her over the music. After a few moments, she hangs up, and nods to you.

HOSTESS: “Go on back.”

The bouncer beside the entrance to the club draws back the velvet rope and allows you to pass. The club is fairly crowded tonight. There are several patrons and most of the employees look preoccupied. You are left standing there for a minute or so before you hear a voice behind you.

MADELINE: “I heard you needed to see one of my girls?”

You turn toward the sound and you see a curvaceous woman with long, curled and crimson hair. She’s dressed in little more than black latex straps that starkly contrast her porcelain skin. Her makeup is heavy and dark.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… MADELINE: “Yes. My name is Madeline. A pleasure. Charade told me to be expecting someone… you’re Rex’s people, yes? Forgive me, but… you don’t look like his typical fare.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… She tells you that her girl is presently occupied, and that you will have to wait, but she has some information she can divulge in the meantime. She leads you toward the VIP area stairs, and a bouncer draws back the velvet rope at a wave of her hand to let her and the party pass.

At the summit of the stairs lay a pair of doors propped open into an office that calls upon the same Gothic and Victorian influences of the club downstairs, though has a more personal touch. The desk tucked against the wall has little china dolls sitting atop it as well as other various vintage knick knacks. Various paintings are hung throughout the room, and their content brings forth emotions of romanticism, and of melancholy. Madeline takes a seat at her desk, and peers at you all expectantly until you follow suit. Then a smile graces her blood red lips as she pulls open a drawer, and digs around in it. Once she’s discovered what she was looking for, she passes the paper off to Diana. It has cross streets written on it, as well as barebones information on what transpired with this ‘werewolf’.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

MADELINE: “You’d still like to see her? Of course. I’ll have to warn you though, it may be a few minutes, as I’ve told you she’s working at the moment…”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… Madeline brings the party out of the office for the moment to go back down to the floor, letting the party know that once Charade is available, she will send her over.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… About twenty minutes pass, and Charade walks into the room. She is another well endowed lady dressed in a tiny frilly bra and panty set, and a pair of sky-high stilettos.

CHARADE: “You’re Rex’s people, right? I’m sorry about the delay… Madeline told me she gave you a little bit of information, what all did she tell you?”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… Charade goes through the events as she remembers them. She was walking home from working at the club, and she saw a large black blur at the corner of her eye, then heard a scream. She ran toward the sound of the scream, saw a body with some blood beneath it, and left to find some help. When she returned, the body was gone. The black blur ran toward a building with a broken fire escape.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… After you gather all of the possible information you can collect from the dancer, which isn’t terribly much, she regretfully informs you she has nothing else to tell you, and the party exits the club to return once more to the car. You hand the driver the directions you were given, and he starts toward your destination.

The trip to the ghetto… The car pulls up to the curb at the intersection Madeline had indicated, and the party exits the vehicle. It’s now time to find the building that the dancer had been speaking of.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

Setting: The Werewolf is in a building that is partially obscured by a few buildings closer to the street, one of which has the broken fire escape as indicated. There is movement in the far building. Perception rolls to detect this. The proceeding fight will likely be completely improved, except for Rex mentioning something about “Oh, wow, there really WAS a werewolf!”

After the werewolf encounter… With the werewolf successfully tagged, the party gets back into their vehicle, and is driven back to the safehouse. Rex briefs them on the results of the mission, stating they are tracking the werewolf’s whereabouts and another branch of their organization will be picking things up from here.

View
Freedom Comes at a Cost
Session 1 - 5/29/15

Let me preface this session by saying that none of your characters have met each other before — nor have you formally met your captors. Tonight will be the first time any of you encounter both your fellow party members as well as the people who have arrested you. Please keep this in mind as we play.

Each of you have spent the better part of a week alone in a holding cell. Said cell is cramped, cold and dirty. It is vacant of any furniture, save for a lumpy cot pressed against the farthest wall. Positioned opposite of it are thick metal rods jutting from concrete floor to concrete ceiling. Any effort you’ve made to escape has proven fruitless. You’ve been hearing whispers and cries of agony resonating throughout the chamber around you, and you have surmised that these are other prisoners… however, since you have never seen another inmate, you can’t be certain. The world outside of your dank little cell holds only a darkness so preternaturally black it frightens you.

Every so often, a lone guard appears at the bars, highlighted by the orange glow of torchlight, shadows dancing across his face. He says nothing, in spite of any questions, or pleas you may have for him. He simply tosses you a scrap of food, or water, and then he departs, swallowed whole by that damnable darkness surrounding you. You have no idea where you are, or how long you will be here – you only know that prior to this, you were either residing in or visiting the state of California. You are here because you broke the laws. Whether or not you knew of these particular laws’ existence before you were taken under lock and key is of no consequence to your captors.

Tonight, you have been very anxious. You are handling this anxiety in whatever way may be customary to you – whether it is pacing the very short length of your cell, picking at your nail beds, sobbing quietly against the wall or driving your fist into the floor beneath you. Whatever your particular coping mechanism, you are startled out of it when a sudden harsh voice calls to you.

GUARD: “Stand and approach the bars. Hands where I can see them.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… Eventually the guard decides that he’s had more than enough of your behavior. Suddenly your limbs are seized by something you cannot see, followed by a painful pin-prickling darting throughout your body. He places his hand on the bars and they melt between his fingertips, becoming a fine grain black dust that trickles down to the floor beneath him. He steps through the disintegrating bars to grab you, and begins leading you down the hallway.

That numbing, ‘falling asleep’ sensation continues within you as the guard leads you down the corridor. If you try to resist, or pull away, you find that you are helpless to do anything but carry on along the hallway. The torch the guard carries is doing so little in this darkness, it appears nearly pointless for him to be bothering with it.

The rest of the party fades into view, accompanied by guards who… strangely look exactly the same as one another. A small, white light shines against the darkness at the far end of the hall. It feels like an eon, trudging through the darkness, but eventually you reach the light. It is a door, which the lead guard opens with a flick of his wrist. As the light shines on the party, the four guards mesh together in a glistening flash. Now there is only one.

Chained by forces unseen, the party is escorted through an exquisitely decorated building. The floors are dark and wooden, the walls have crown molding and are embellished with gold. The guard is remaining largely silent, leading you all toward a large pair of ornate double doors, flanked by two men dressed in suits.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

After PC input… The guard doesn’t seem interested in continuing to answer your questions. He nods to the men at the doors, and they shift to open them for him. Beyond the doors is a grand theater, like something you might see in a ballet or opera house. The guard begins to lead you down a walkway of deep crimson carpet, down toward the stage. Spanning out from either side of the walkway are hundreds of crushed velvet seats in polished wooden rows. A gigantic crystalline chandelier hangs above, glistening with light.

As you approach the stage, you see a man standing before the wine-colored curtain. He is draped head to toe in finery, all in tones of black, brown and gold. He gives you all a judgmental stare as the guard lines you up in the pit before the stage, then nods to the two men in the back, who then swing the double doors to the theater shut.

FARAND: “Good evening. Do any of you have any idea of who I am, or why you have been brought before me?”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

FARAND: “My name is Farand Vilhjalmsson. I am the First Chair on the Council of Los Angeles, California. While most of you don’t appear quite civilized enough to know what that means, I shall spell it out for you. I am a very important man. And at the moment, I stand as your judge, your jury, and quite possibly, your executioner. Each of you has broken one of my laws in my domain. I’m rarely sympathetic or forgiving to those who are either too brash or too ignorant to know the simple truth of our existence — that we are to be kept a secret to the humans. However, tonight you have caught me in something of a lighthearted mood.”

You note that a smile is not present on his face, despite his words.

FARAND: “I’m extending to each of you an offer that you are in no position to refuse. You will meet with one of my associates. From there he will instruct you further on the specific nature of what will be required of you. If you perform the tasks you are given to a sufficient level of adequacy I will reward you with your freedom. If you refuse, or if you fail, I will be forced to handle you with drastically less clemency.”

Farand turns his attention to the guard still standing behind the party.

FARAND: “Take this lot to Aleksandr, would you.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

FARAND: “I am an extremely busy man. I will entertain no more of this. Escort them out.”

He sneers as he waves at the guard to take you away, then walks off of the stage in a huff.

GUARD: “On your feet.”

The guard guides you around the stage to a small set of stairs that lead to the back of house. It becomes obvious that this theatre is likely used for its intended purpose, the arts, as you see elaborate set pieces, painted and propped on the walls, as well as several variations of stage lights and sound equipment. The guard brings you along past what appear to be several dressing rooms and the like, before coming to a stop outside of one door in particular. It looks no different from any of the others, aside from the fact that there is a nameplate positioned on the wall beside it. It reads ‘Aleksandr Konstantinov’.

The guard reaches out to knock on the door a few times. After a few moments, a man opens the door. He looks very under dressed compared to Farand. His clothing is solid black and very simple. He steps aside for you to enter, and tells the guard to stay outside. Once the guard has closed the door, the man turns to you.

REX: “Okay. So. I’m going to give you some things. Put on the things. If you don’t get it just ask me I’ll do it.”

The room is absolutely brimming with electronics. There are multiple screens displaying cam feeds from several different locations, as well as an intricate computer setup and many other machines, devices, and neatly tucked away lengths of wiring. Most of you couldn’t even begin to guess what purpose any of them serve, or how they function. The man, who you presume is Aleksandr, walks away from you, mumbling to himself. He drags over a rack, upon which hang some very expensive looking tactical vests, then begins handing them off to each of you.

REX: “These have cameras in them. They’re going to record everything you see. They’ve also got a comm link fed through them. That goes to me. In a few minutes one of my guys is going to come get you. So if you have questions or something now’s the time. But please keep them short.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

MISSION NOTES: You are going out to gather intel. Booker knows exactly what Rex wants. It’s computer files. He’s going to put in a flash drive to allow Rex to hack in remotely and search for useful paper files as well. Any information on why this is happening is classified. These are simply people that go against Farand’s interests.

After PC input… The door opens and in walks another man who you do not recognize. His clothing is very similar to Aleksandr’s. You note that he is wearing a tactical vest, nearly identical to the ones you are putting on. He looks between all of you, then to Aleksandr. Aleksandr looks up from the equipment he is fiddling with to introduce the newcomer.

REX: “This is Booker. He’s taking you out tonight. He’ll show you what needs done where why how I’ll be talking to you through the comm. All goes according to plan it should be in and out real quick. Security is minimum to none.”

Booker looks between the party and Aleksandr, then sighs.

BOOKER: “Rex, do I really have to babysit these fools? I mean… The way you make it sound this job is real easy. In and out. Since when does surveillance work take on beasts of burden like this?”

Aleksandr, or “Rex”, shrugs a shoulder as he adjusts a few dials on a control module.

REX: “Farand gets what Farand wants. You should take them out to the car. I have a driver waiting. You can fill them in more on the way there.”

Booker lets out a soft sigh and he heads for the door, leading all of you on your way. He takes a back exit out of the theatre and into an alleyway. A black car sits humming in place, and he opens the door.

BOOKER: “Get in.”

And once everyone is seated inside, he closes the door behind him and the driver starts heading toward your destination.

BOOKER: “Rex told me it’s a warehouse in one of the seedier parts of LA. I know, it sounds like a joke, because this entire shithole city is the ‘seedier parts’, but whatever. It’s a nasty little scab on the back of this cesspool. Do you want to know anything else. We’ve got some intel on the place.”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

MISSION NOTES: You are going out to gather intel. Booker knows exactly what Rex wants. It’s computer files. He’s going to put in a flash drive to allow Rex to hack in remotely and search for useful paper files as well. Any information on why this is happening is classified. These are simply people that go against Farand’s interests.

LOCATION NOTES: 2 stories. 10,000 sq/ft warehouse on g/fl, 5,000 sq/ft upstairs. 3 rotating teams of 2 men each. No cameras. Windows are small and barred. The entrance the team is considering is over a fence, then through a door in the back. The intel room is on the second floor.

The car stops off a few blocks from the building. You follow Booker, weaving through the back alleys of the neighborhood. You pass a dead homeless man in the alley, covered in his own bile, and you realize that Booker was not kidding about how terrible it was. The deeper you go into the festering concrete jungle, the less and less populated it gets. You have been traveling for twenty minutes. Booker quietly signals you to a halt.

BOOKER: “That’s the place.”

He points to a flaking, rusted white building, covered in messy graffiti gang tags. The small windows dotting the exterior of the warehouse have nearly all of the yellowed glass knocked out of them, but the thick metal bars prevent them from being any feasible entry point. The building sits between two others of similar shape and size, the only difference being the warehouse you are interested in his surrounded by a massive chain link fence.

This fence has some nasty barbed wiring coiled at the top. Booker did not mention the barbed wire. The fence surrounds the entire building and does not appear to have a weak point. It has one gate leading into the driveway, and that is sealed off by a heavy lock.

There are two cars in the driveway; a dirty silver pickup and a tiny musty orange sedan.

You can see the front exterior door, and the garage door. Booker has told you there is also a back exterior door, which is the one he wants to enter through.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

LOCATION NOTES: The fence may be able to be clipped through with pliers if your character would carry that sort of thing, though this would take a while. Otherwise, up and over makes the most sense.

ENEMY NOTES: Bob and Paul are stationed at the front exterior, smoking cigarettes and talking about a boxing match. Jim and John are in the interior lower floor, making rounds. Ed is located at the back exterior. Smith needed to use the facilities and is located in the interior upstairs restroom. Gravedigger is sleeping on the side of the building closest to the players, obscured from view because he is lying inside of an empty barrel. Rattling the fence will wake Gravedigger.

After PC input… Booker hesitates as he approaches the computer, though sits in the chair quietly, plugging the flash drive in the tower and pecking at keys. You cannot see what he is doing, but the typing begins to grow more frantic as the moments pass. There is a soft chuckle over your comm links.

Then Booker screams. He lunges out of his chair and begins clawing at his vest.

BOOKER: “Get it off— Get it off of me! There’s something wrong with it!”

Booker hooks his fingers underneath the vest and pulls it away from his skin. You can see that several metallic splines have jutted out from the vest and are now imbedded in his skin. They appear to have sunk in deep. A soft ticking is now emanating from his vest.

BOOKER: “Oh my god— It’s explosives. It’s explosive PLEASE get it OFF of me!”

[Do you save Booker or leave him?]

ENDING SEQUENCES

END 1- SAVE BOOKER: With each tug of the vest, it sinks deeper into Booker’s flesh. His screams are so loud they are certainly drawing attention from whatever might be remaining in the area.

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction]

Diana uses her cool power over technology… The splines slowly retract back into the vest and the vest falls from his shoulders. Booker pants, looking up at Diana.

BOOKER: “Thank you— shit we need to get out of here, that thing is still going to explode, I can hear it!”

[What do you do? Player Character Interaction, roll for running away]

Booker trips as are you are running out of the facility. It leaves him a few feet behind of the rest of the group when the explosion hits. The force of the blow knocks you all off of your feet and into various surfaces around you, which are rapidly collapsing. The rubble topples over you in something of a ‘tent’ — shielding you from further impact, preserving your lives. You crawl your way out of the debris and look to Booker… and he has been impaled on a shard of sharp wood. His body begins to disintegrate to ash, and then he is gone.

You try to contact Aleksandr… but there is no answer on the comm feed.

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The Codex
Our journey thus far...

After each session, a journal entry will be posted with a brief overview of the events that transpired during play. Pay close attention to the information that will be logged in these journal entries, for it may be pertinent to what lies ahead…

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