Friday, August 15, 2014

Multi Session Update 55-57

Session 55
As the group quickly and quietly debates what to do, Ashley scours the room more carefully, and finds a catch in the wall that when pulled, reveals a small pedestal. On the pedestal is a leather bound tome, edged in silver and gold and covered in flowing Atlantean runes.

Once more Sek-Thul calls out, claiming diminishing patience and threatening violence to Kathryn. Rhapsody points out that they don't know if the book is what he wants, but no one doubts it too much. Sheri chimes in with an idea that has been stirring. She points out to the others that Kathryn may be far more important than she seems. Daniel stuffs the book in her backpack with some bit of care and heads toward the top of the landing, the others following.

Below in the main hall, Sek-Thul calmly waits. Kathryn is tied and on her knees, held at knife point by three Fomor goons.

Sheri steps forward and talks to Sek-Thul, trying to point out that Kathryn may be their only ticket out of the plane. The Fomori sorcerer scoffs at this and demands they hand over "the book," thereby revealing that he had more knowledge of what they were after than the group.

Daniel tries claiming they don't have it, but Sek-Thul calls his bluff. Weighing their choices, he shrugs and moves toward Rhaps.

All the while, Connel's corpse-fiend has been hiding in the shadows and tailing the group, somehow drawn to less violent thoughts by their presence, but unable to articulate his feelings enough to reveal himself. Seeing the woman being held prisoner, he quite suddenly emerges from the shadows by the great doors and rushes the Fomori thugs, he knocks one aside and wrestles with the other two, nearly freeing Kathryn, but he's kicked backward and wrestled to the ground.

Sek-Thul grabs the knife and pushes the blade a little bit into Kathryn's neck, screaming, "Your time is up! Give up the book or I will kill this bitch and take it from you anyway!"

Rhapsody is ready to turn and leave as Daniel stays her with a hand, and takes the book from her backpack. As Connel, continues to struggle, Daniel tosses the book to Sek-Thul, who grabs it out of the air with a triumphant smile on his face.

"Now hand over the woman, she is of no concern to you," Daniel demands.

The sorcerer briefly considers her tattered appearance once more, then tosses her roughly to the bottom of the steps. His men do the same with Connel, who almost turns on them again, but instead waits on the steps near Kathryn.

Rhapsody and Malek watch the Fomoris depart, and even without her inner tiger, there's a feral gleam in Rhap's eyes, promising payback.

While Thomas and Malek look after Kathryn, and Connel keeps to himself in the shadows nearby, watching through a window as Sek-thul and his thugs enter the forest below, the others make a search of the rest of the structure, eventually finding a room at the center of the keep that resembles a holy temple, complete with golden light spearing through a stained glass window and illuminating a circle of space in the center, no more than five feet wide.

Sheri enters the light, and feels instantly at peace and restored. She also feels certain that her hunch about Kathryn is correct. Wasting little time, she brings the woman to the temple.

In the meantime, Connel finds his way into the chamber and also steps into the light. While his body is unchanged, the hatred and hunger instantly vanishes, and he feels fully himself once more.

For her part, Kathryn is reluctant. She keeps mumbling about not wanting to go, and crying that there is too much pain, too much suffering. Eventually, through equal parts persuasion and strength, they get her into the light.

Immediately she drops to her knees and goes still. Over the next several moments they all witness her wounds heal and her clothes mend. She doesn't so much grow younger, as grow more beautiful, Before long, a radiant Atlantean woman, tall and in pale dress, more graceful then anything they have seen, stands before them.

"I am... restored."

Thomas falls to his knees at once, whispering, "My Queen."

"I have in my past been a Princess, but never a Queen, and not long ago, I was a simple, hungry woman whom you fed. Rise Thomas, and take my thanks."

When they can speak, Rhapsody does so first, "Are you the Mother?"

"I am Dana De Atl, Once Princess of Atlantis, but aye, I am called Mother by my kin, and many others besides.

Daniel says, "We gave away the book. How do we stop the Balial?"

"The book was written by wise and powerful men, and contains much that would have aided you, but those secrets must be ferreted out. I can awaken within your mind the knowledge that you need to stop the Balial."

With a touch upon his head, she imbues Daniel with the knowledge needed to cast the spells of awakening upon the Voice. With her full oracular abilities, she will guide them to the Balial.

Next she summons up a beautiful orichalcum sword, handing it to the group. "This blade was forged by Lir, father to Mannanan, he of the nine waves. It is to be given to the right person at the right time, as the Voice commands."
Lastly, she lays a blessing on the hands of all present, stating, "Whosoever you strike with weapon or hand will feel my touch upon them, my wrath upon enemies of life, my curse upon the Balial and those who serve them. This I do in partial payment of my debt to you. May it serve you well in your trials to come."

When the meeting is over, she transports them all back to the beach, just before the portal in the waves. They say their goodbyes to Thomas, thanking him for his help and wishing the best. When they step through, they find themselves in a natural cavern. Connel is back to normal, and Rhaps quickly realizes she is no longer pregnant.

A tour group passes nearby, walking a cement path. They make their way out and realize they are at the Marble Arch Caverns in Enniskillan. Ashley calls for a car and they soon meet up with Madden. When told of their encounter with the Mother, his last reservations seem to die away completely. He informs them that anyone with the Sight will instantly know them for enemies of the Balial now, with the Mother's blessing on them.

He informs the group that they have been gone for nearly three weeks. In that time, the Fomori have met with a Dragon in Italy, though the details of the meeting are unknown.

Malek makes his departure from the group, stating a need to report to his council on the momentous events. He gives the group his contact information and makes them promise to keep him informed, offering the chance of aid should they need it.

They fly back to the states, making calls to Ramirez and Muller to check on activity while they were gone. The Balial were quiet. Chereshe was somewhere in Europe but returned three days ago. Loknash has consolidated his power among the local Wereclans.

Daniel tells them of the Fomori and their meeting with a Dragon in Italy.

Ramirez gives them a government suburban. Ashley leaves to check on her crew.

The group immediately drives/hikes to Jenny's Pool, after calling to check on things with Amy. Amy says they two others in her coven have been busy cleansing the area and things have been peaceful. She hasn't been to the sight in several days, but her wards have been calm.

Upon arriving, they find the place calm, but empty. There is no sign of the coven members, or of Jenny. Daniel sees that the coven wards are in place. After searching the area, Rhapsody finds some trace of the stink of undeath.

With nothing else to do, Daniel explores the pool and sticks his head through the portal at the bottom of the pond. It appears to link to a water plane.

He goes through with Rhapsody, and together they swim to a single, nearby rock island, not very big. Searching for signs, they find cursory amounts of blood and several triangular scales. Rhapsody smells serpent.

Session 56 (Abbreviated.)

Launch rescue expedition into Water Plane. Adelita brings them and their gear through. Jungle Island. Rivers Flowing to center. Zodiac trip. Attacked by Water Weird. Adelita weakened. Led by Ra'eed the otter elemental. Find tribe of Aqualings led by a fat old Goblin named Gorgometh.

Session 57
The group rested at Gorgometh's cave. He was interested in the spear Connell had and showed him and Rhapsody his flechette gun and the 'coffee grinder' that made the flechettes. There was no trade, though both Connell and Rhaps liked the gun.
Daniel traded showing the Mother's sword to Gorgometh in exchange for

The Master's name is Dracis'Kal
Draconic magic is all about names.
Dracis is kin and an emissary of a true dragon (Voliss)
Gorgometh doesn't know how or if they are aligned with the Atlanteans
Dracis has modern mercenaries as retainers

Daniel shows the Mothers sword to Gorgometh. The blade is made of orichalcum
Gorgometh is given some explanation about the Atlanteans. He offers a veiling for the sword in the form of a leather band.

The group heads towards the vortex, the otter spirit leading the way. They get to a bridge and the otter is last seen playing in the water as he swims along the bridge, then vanishes. A huge serpent attacks and knocks most of the group into the water. After her attack with Locnath's sword, Rhaps is flung into a tree. Eventually, the serpent is driven away.

After regrouping, the party continues to cross along the bridge . In the mist is a figure, who surrenders to the very surprised party, and claims to be in the party's debt as his guardian is vanquished and the otter was eaten by said guardian. He is Dracis'Kal and he leads the group into his villa.

Dracis claims to have rescued Jenny and leads the group to her. She confirms the rescue. Jenny and Adelita introduce themselves to each other. The group are invited to dinner and given rooms to rest and freshen up.

At dinner, Dracis tells the group:
Voliss is as old as the Atlanteans
Voliss has Lasitide's key
Voliss wants the spear of St. George
During the negotiations of the Spear for the key, Voliss found out about the attack on Jenny, which is how Dracis was able to rescue her.
Chereshe knows of Jenny's grotto. She was rescued 5 days ago. The group works out a list of suspects.
Dracis would like to help more, but is banned by a set of rules Chereshe has invoked. He suggests that the group looks for spear to trade with Voliss.

Jenny states she's not so sure that she wants to be the Voice and have all her powers. Having had time away from her pool, she's become more Jenny the human, rather than the voice of Amphetrite.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

SESSION 54 "Oh Mother?"

Their chances don't seem to be improving by waiting, and Paddy and Ashley verify that there's no way to get through the portal with a room full of hostiles there, since the opening requires a recitation in old gaelic. After careful consideration, Daniel decides the best course of action is to burn everything.

Once everyone is prepped, Daniel summons up a doozy of an amount of power and literally pulls fire from the stone, slagging the entire room and all the turtlenecks too. Even Sek-Thul seems to have been caught off guard. When the steam and fire fade, no one is left in the room, and Daniel sinks in exhaustion.

Now it's Malek's turn, and as the group gathers around the well, which seems to have withstood the flames, Malek throws up an impressive shield that expands like a bubble, blocking the entrances and then growing dark and opaque, giving Ashley enough time to enact the ritual that will open the portal. Once the words are spoken and blood is spilled into the well, the stone arch glows bright white and the group walks together through the gate.

There is vertigo and unconsciousness.

When they wake, they seem to be on a very pleasant slope of green hillside, oak trees, flowers, etc. The ocean lies away below them and a belt of deep forest lies upslope, with a cloud shrouded mountain beyond. The sun is bright and the wind is refreshing.They also find that all of them have been bereft of their enchantments, curses and powers. Rhapsody is naked, non-furry, and non-prego, Daniel and Malek have no magic to call, Sherri feels a lack of divine power though of course her faith remains undiminished, and Connel is a corpse. The real, dead, inanimate kind. Ashley and Paddy seem unchanged, though neither had any particular enchantments to begin with. Their weapons and gear all remain, though it seems that any magic they carried is also gone. And the guns don't function.

Of particular importance to Daniel is a "finding" of the lost memories from his time with Adelita in the pocket dimension. He suddenly remembers everything, including his love for Adelita. It's a heavy moment.

With hopes that their enchantments will be returned to them when they leave, the group decides the best thing to do with Connel is build a stone cairn around his body to prevent the animals from getting to it.  With no other course presented, they decide to head toward the forest and mountain beyond, all sensing that their goal might lie in that direction.

When they get to the forest edge, it looks even more dark and daunting up close. There's an overgrown path skirting the edge, and with this albeit lesser sign of others, they decide to follow it, choosing the right path. The walk is a long one. Long enough to notice that the sun seems to be spinning around the isle instead of sinking or rising. When they find a decrepit bridge over a small stream they decide to take a break. While drinking from the stream, Daniel notices a shape at the edge of the forest. It turns out to be a huge tiger. The beast runs back into the undergrowth before he can get a closer look.

Further on, the party is hungry and tired when they find themselves walking through an overgrown farm field. Over some thick hedges they see the roof of a thatched hut. Making their way through the hedge they find a deserted farmhouse of ancient make, along with several stone outbuildings. Though the dwelling looks long abandoned, they do find a plate with fresh fruit inside. Between that, more fruit from a nearby tree, and some eggs provided by a few free-range chickens, they eat. Inexplicably, it seems to be growing dark, so the group decides to sleep in the cottage.

During the night, Malek hears a rustling and thumping coming from the barn. Waking Sheri, he decides to go check it out. Sword in hand he enters the barn and is ambushed by a dark form. The creature tries its best to strangle him with superhuman strength, and very nearly succeeds before a mysterious horseman crashes into the barn and startles the creature off. Before it departs, Malek gets a good look at a shriveled undead horror that somehow reminds him of Connel.

The horseman introduces himself as Thomas. He is quite obviously of Sidhe heritage, with a heroic build and long blonde hair. Once inside the cottage again, eating the dead chicken the undead thing left, the group learns that Thomas has been in the Mother's realm for a year or more by his reckoning, but his archaic speech leads them to ask what year he entered. They are alarmed to learn that he came through the portal in the year 1199. Thomas has been searching for the Mother unsucessfully in all that time.

He tells them the mountain beyond the forest is peaked by a massive white keep, also deserted. Other travellers have come to the isle and all have "set aside their enchantments" upon entering. By this and what they have seen, the group realizes that their magical natures are present on the isle, in separate form. The tiger Daniel saw is most likely Rhapsody's beast, and the shriveled creature is Connel's undead other half. Thomas tells them that sorcerers magic is often embodied in a thing or creature. For instance, Thomas saw his magic once in the form of a silver salmon. He is unsure what happens when you reunite with your magic, but he assumes you are expelled from the isle, and hasn't tried to catch his salmon as a result.

Other travellers have come and gone in the time Thomas has been on the isle. There is only the one entrance that the group used, but there are many exits that appear and disappear on the beaches with the tides. A few other seekers have remained on the isle. One such is a wild woman named Kathryn, who wanders the woods and is responsible for leaving the plate of fruit.

The group decides to travel to the keep on the mountain, hoping to find some clue that will allow them to find the Mother even though Thomas couldn't. Thomas agrees to lead them.

Four days of travel are made easier by Thomas's hunting skills. While in the forest, they are visited by the wild woman, Kathryn. When they warn her of the tiger, she decides to accompany them, though she seems skittish and none too sane. Once on the lower slopes of the mountain, the group finally exchanges stories with Thomas. They give him a run down of their quest, and why they are seeking the Mother, to awaken the Atlantean Oracle and defeat the Balial Gods. In return Thomas tells them of his quest to find a cure for his love, who was poisoned by an Unseelie sorcerer and then placed into a magical stasis by his own Seelie lord. Knowing how long he has been away, he has no idea if his love still lives, but is afraid to return without finding the cure.

Kathryn has become very agitated once out of the forest. Several times Sheri sees her playing with a collection of stones and "treasures" from her wanderings. Once she notices a stone that glows at Kathryns touch.

The second day on the mountain, Malek and Rhapsody spy a group of turtlenecks following them. The group appears to be lead by Sek-Thul, who apparently didn't perish in Daniel's fire. Not wanting a "Thank you Dr. Jones." moment at the keep, they plan an ambush to take care of the Fomor. All is set up well, and the turtlenecks would have certainly been crushed in the rockslide the group had prepared, except Kathryn ruins it all by shouting a warning at the last moment. Together they manage to kill two of the Fomor before Sek-thul calls a retreat and the rest run away. Kathryn is severely agitated by the violence, and looks horrified at the group's behavior. It is only with great reluctance that she stays with group.

They haven't seen the Fomor again upon reaching the keep. It is enormous and deserted. Dry and desolate with huge white walls and bare stone. Giant golden doors lie in the road at it's entrance. Though they try to get her to go in, Kathryn refuses. Once inside, the group crosses a bridge over a green pond. In the water, Thomas spies his salmon, but walks on. Inside the great hall, they find nothing but an empty dias and a set of stone stairs leading to rooms above. At the end of the hallway upstairs, the group finds the remains of sleeping chamber. After careful searching, Malek finds a hidden door. With everyone's help, the door is pushed open. Inside, they find a massive black cauldron they all take to be the Dagda's.

Shortly thereafter they hear Sek-Thul's voice from the great hall below. "Come down and face me. I have your woman and will kill her unless you do!"

Friday, February 24, 2012

SESSION 52 "The King of Tory Island"

After another boat ride, with a far better ending, the group docks on the one pier of Tory Island. They immediately see some turtlenecks lounging around the dock. Everybody remains cool and collected as they travel up the path to the biggest building on the little island, the Tory Island Lodge and Public House. The turtlenecks follow.

Inside, the group makes themselves at home at a corner table in the pub. An old man and a younger man are playing some trad music on an accordion and fiddle. Different turtlenecks are at the bar. There’s some suspicion that the old man might be the contact that Madden informed them of, Padraig, but no one is saying anything to overtly with the turtlenecks hanging about.

Some quiet discussion is made about what to do next. The plans range from subtle to bloody, but in the end the group decides to play it cool until they know what kind of force the Fomor have on the island. When the turtlenecks get up and walk out, the party makes it move. Rhaps and Malek veil and follow the turtlenecks while the rest of the group starts up a conversation with Paddy, who after verification from Ashley, reveals himself to be their contact in fact.

While the group goes to Paddy’s house, Rhaps and Malek use a magic stethoscope from Malek’s bag to listen in on the two turtlenecks who went upstairs. A two-way radio conversation reveals that there is a larger group below the cliffs on the north side of the island. Finding the group gone when they return to the pub, Rhaps has little difficulty following their scent back to Paddy’s house.

Paddy informs the group that there is a secret entrance to the caves below the island and the entrance to the Mother’s realm. He also tells them that there are extensive ruins beneath the island, likely of Fomor make. Since his house will no doubt be watched, they come up with an all-night party as a ruse. The young fiddler, Daniel, offers to get some instruments from the pub. With the curtains pulled tight and the radio turned up loud, he will try his best to make it look like everyone is still inside having a good time. Meanwhile the party will veil up and be led to the cliff entrance by Paddy.

After a narrow and difficult descent to the sea caves, the group finds the way guarded by more turtlenecks, including a seven foot monster of a dude who would need a heck of lot more than a high collar to hide his fishyness. With some of Malek’s water magic they are able to slip past the guard and make their way into the bowels of the island.

Several times in their progress they have to avoid patrols of turtlenecks with lights, ropes and exploration gear. The ruins are obviously ancient, and once must have been grand, if otherworldly. Daniel’s veil holds. A commotion in the tunnels ahead reveals the center of Fomor activity, a large vaulted chamber with a carved well at its center, and an arch carved into the stone at one end. Not only are there over thirty Fomor present, with another dozen coming or going at any given time, but the Fomor sorcerer, Sek-Thul is overseeing the search from the chamber. Of course a nod from Paddy reveals that this is the entrance to the Dagda’s Chamber….

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Session 51 "A Three Hour Tour"

Ashley had taken two bullets during the shoot out with the redcaps and is down.  Connell takes over ‘driving’ the ship.  Rhapsody works on bailing out water and sees the albatross to have Connell steer that way.  Connell sees a steady flashing light.  He turns the boat towards the light and the engine sputters out.

Sheri ties a rope to Rhapsody who goes out to the front of the boat to check out the compartments and finds 2 gallons of oil.  She takes it back towards the engine.  Sheri, with a charged prayer to the maker(s) gets the oil in and manages to get the engine started again.  They ride the waves onto a beach.  Gathering everyone, they go to the light and find a house with a shed.  The group goes into the shed and look around.

Malak, Rhapsody and Connell contribute blood for a ritual to heal up Madden.  Daniel works on getting the bullet in Ashley’s hip out.  It’s not the prettiest of extractions, but Daniel is sure he got all the pieces of metal.

Rhapsody heads towards the house, after getting dressed.  Daniel suggests that Sheri go with Rhapsody.  They knock on the door.  An older gentleman by the name of John Mallister greets them with a shotgun.  He invites them in and looks at everyone curiously.  Mallister goes to bed after allowing the group to get to his pantry.

Sheri Sights the girl, who has gone to sleep after all the excitement.  She can see that the girl is gifted.   The girl has been inscribed with ritual markings.  Malak and Daniel look over the markings.  Malak calls up Chandler, his mentor (known by another particular wizard as "Steed") and explains  a bit of the situation.  Chandler will see what he can do.

Daniel decides to try and make a blanket veil to put on Madden so they keep him magically hidden.   Madden  is sewn up as if in a bundling sack.

The girl, Courtney, wakes up and Malak gives her a teddy bear.  She last remembers being in Dublin.  They pile into John’s Land Rover and head to the southern part of the island towards Peel Castle.  It takes 2 hours and they are dropped off at the castle.

Malak opens up a portal to the Never-never.  The surroundings aren’t that different.  They see a landing craft and someone waving at them.  The group heads over and meets with Captain Bardin, a sidhe pirate-looking bloke.   It’s a three hour trip on a classic age of sail ship through Nevernever waters and they get to the Isle of Eire.  They are let off in a village and step back through , winding up in a small village pub.

They go to a decent hotel and spend time tending to Madden till he awakens.  Madden directs them to Tory Island and to a cave on the west side.  They are to speak to a man named Padraig, the King of Tory Island.

The group arrives in the little town of Bunbeg, the harbor to get to Tory Island.  They take a fishing boat to the Island.

Session 50 "A Ferry full of Faeries"

Everyone gets on the boat. An albatross takes to the air and acts as the guide. Malak works on a spell to make the stormy seas a bit calmer, but it only works around their craft. A half hour out, the albatross glides back towards the ship, lands, and after some teasing about Madden being in a well, the peeved bird flies off and vanishes. The boat goes through a veil and the ferry suddenly appears in front of the group.

They study the boat and pull their craft around to the back end of the boat. There are pads and some ladders near an automobile ramp.

Rhapsody goes kitty form and, with a rope, leaps out and climbs up the bumpers. She ties off the line and Daniel goes next up the rope. Sheri also manages to get up the boat. Connell leaps and almost misses, but struggles his way back up, pulling something in his arm in the process, not that it matters within the next few moments due to his healing abilities.

Rhapsody climbs up the ladder and peeks at the parking lot, seeing that it holds a few cars. The others join her and Daniel creates a veil to cloak everyone for 15 minutes.

They move up into the covered area, along the paths marked by arrows into a hallway. They see a figure standing there; a guy in a leather jacket, jeans, boots and carrying a shotgun and he does have a red hat on his head. Rhapsody points out that if time is an issue. They sneak by across the hall from the redcap. He doesn’t even notice a thing.

They look at the emergency exit plan map, study it, and then head up a set of stairs and see sliding doors, leading to a lounge. There are three figures hanging at the bar, with red hats and weaponry. They slip through the manual doors, not noticed by the redcaps.

They go around to the right and see a set of stairs that go up into a large cafeteria. As they go past the kitchen area, they hear voices speaking in American English, though they couldn’t hear exactly what was being said. They find the arcade and the theatre with an audience of redcaps, but no Madden. There is a close call with a redcap returning to the movie after using the bathroom. They head back to the kitchen.

A figure, carrying a tray comes through, making the group back up. He is wearing a black turtleneck sweater and has a shoulder rig with pistols, and BDU pants. Rhapsody smells the ocean and a scent that’s heavily fishy on him as he walks by. As they follow towards the upper decks.
Daniel says that his veil is about to go down.

Rhapsody follows fishy guy as the others hide in a nearby closet. He goes up another set of stairs and goes though another door into a rather utilitarian cabin section. He goes to a door with redcap guard. Rhapsody goes half way up the corridor to see if she can hear anything.

The guy comes out and mentions something about she will not eat.
Rhapsody goes back to the others to let them know what she saw. Daniel, having rested some, does his veil again. The group goes outside to look for stairs for the bridge. Rhapsody smells above the storm and the ozone, a rotting stench like a carcass. She looks around and spots a figure, a bird of some sort, perched on eaves above the deck, 30 feet up, the size of a small person.

It seems like it’s crouching and has an air of watchfulness about it. It hops towards the group a wee bit and seems to be looking towards them.
The group heads back and the thing heads down and lands on the railing.
It has the head and shoulders of a human woman... a harpy.

The group fans out a little, Rhapsody away from them to flank the harpy.
Rhapsody attacks with the sword she grabbed from Loknash and hits. Sheri follows up with a slash with her kukri. The harpy takes to the air and because of its punctured lung among the large slash wounds, it falls over the side of the deck, plummeting into the ocean.

A second harpy swoops in and attacks Connell. She slams into him, knocking him over the railing. Rhapsody catches Connell’s coat and Connell manages to reach out and grab hold of the tigress’ arm. She swings the detective back onto the ship. Daniel tries to zap the harpy, tagging it and breaking its wing. With the fractured wing, it slams into the ferry, scrabbles and falls into the ocean.

Rhapsody starts to go to the stairs that presumably to go the bridge, pauses as Daniel resets his veil. They hear people coming and spread out as turtlenecks go up. Rhapsody overhears a conversation between a woman and a male. They have what they want from Madden and the woman owes favor to whomever the man is representing. The group spreads out again as they hear people coming towards they door. They see a tall man exit,
7 feet in height, sunken features, long face and solid black eyes.. He and his entourage walk on by the veiled group.

The group follows and peek as the group leaves the lounge. There is a thud and the harpy has returned. It opens the door and screeches in alarm, but doesn’t appear to have seen the veiled party. The party heads towards a door and they follow the hall and then go down the stairs. As they move along the hall, they hear a faint groan. They follow the hall, check doors and as the hall turns, Rhapsody smells Madden. Rhapsody opens the locked door, Buffy-style, and they see Madden strapped to a table, urchins at his biceps and his torso covered in cuts.

Daniel works on freeing him, noting the sigils on the straps are for some thaumaturgic ritual. Connell picks him up and Madden passes out in pain. Where the urchins were, they can see there is no skin and the muscles and veins are exposed. Madden is wrapped up in a tarp to keep from creating a blood trail that can be used to follow the party and they carry him towards the aft section. Rhapsody hears the approach of a patrol from the elevator they had bypassed near the stairs. There is a cry of alarm as the group enters a different section of the ship.

Making their way back towards their entry point, the group goes into the other lounge. About halfway through, there is loud boom and the lights go out. Rhapsody is the only one that can see. Daniel makes a light to keep under the veil and Rhapsody leads the way. They find their way to where the girl was being held and hear screams.

One of the guys in the turtlenecks comes out with a girl, about 8 years old, squirming and thrashing in his arms. He is flanked by two redcaps.
They turn and head away from the group. Connell hands off Madden to Daniel, who readies arcane power in case he needs to use it. Otherwise, the wizard maintains the veil. Rhapsody comes up behind the turtleneck, grabs his head and snaps his neck. Sheri comes behind a redcap and takes it out. Connell kills the other one.

The little girl screams and tries to run away from the big tiger. Sheri picks up the girl and calms her down a little as Connell picks up the Madden-burrito again. They head back and Sheri tries to contact Ashley via telepathy, as does Daniel via magic.

As they head towards their boat, they hear gunfire. Near the ladder they came up, 5 redcaps are firing at Ashley. Rhapsody summons 4 tigers to go and distract the fae as they run to leap out, Daniel to work his mojo to guide the group to the boat using magic to have the buffeting winds cushion their fall.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Session 49 "Mann's Isle"

Racing away from the scene of the attack with a redcap in the boot, the group makes their way to a Dublin suburb, where Ms. McArthy's Summer court fae have a safehouse. After carting the unconscious redcap into the kitchen and making an attempt to patch and then tie him up, they proceed to question him.

In exchange for being allowed to leave unharmed, and promising never to fight or plot against the group, the redcap fills in some blanks...
1. His redcap troupe are wild fae mercenaries in the employ of the Cailleachan (Storm Hags). In particular of Cuimhne (Coovnee), one of the three hags who reside on the Isle of Mann.
2. The redcaps were accompanied by a Fomor sorcerer and sent to ambush Collin Madden just inside the never never.
3. They've taken Madden aboard a ferryboat called the Sea Maiden supposedly bound for Wales.
4. Cuimhne's base of operations is a rural house in a small village on the south side of the Isle. The redcap gives directions to the house.

After semi-seriously discussing breaking at least the spirit of their bargain and killing the redcap, they drive him into the countryside and let him go.

Afterward, they use their contacts with Detective Fraser to get the GPS location on the ferry. According to the radio logs, the vessel experienced engine trouble and returned to Dublin for docking. An authorized GPS ping reveals that the boat is actually in the sea near the Isle of Mann.

Taking a Summer court provided rented boat from Dublin, the group makes haste for the Sea Maiden, with plans on rescuing Madden. It's dark when they arrive in a small southern port. Between the darkness and the roughness of the sea, there's no real way to find the ferry. They hire a cab to take them to Cuimhne's house.

Though it takes some finessing of the nosy driver, they eventually get her to drop them off up the street from the house, in the rain. After discussing what to do next, Sheri finally convinces everyone that they should take the diplomatic approach. It's brought up that the Hags may not yet have chosen sides in the whole Balial vs. Atlal thing. A diplomatic gesture now could create an ally.

Conceding the point, they let Sheri and Daniel approach the house, while they remain ready to come to the rescue when the plan goes to hell. It doesn't, but it doesn't succeed either. A redcap glamoured in human guise answers the door. When they ask for the women of the house, their told she's not at home. When they ask about Madden, the guard lies and claims ignorance. He tells them that he will pass word of their visit to the mistress of the house when she returns.

Another cab ride takes them to a B&B in the village to the south. Unsure of their next step, they allow Connel to summon his new friend, The Morrigan. After introductions are made and credentials are verified, - mainly that the Morrigan is one of three sisters related to the Atlal who represents powers interested in stopping the rise of Geyaharu, Morrigan tells the group that the Hags were once a major threat. She tells of the old, temporary alliance of the Summer and Winter court to take out many of the most powerful hags. The Cailleachan were thought to have been destroyed, but they actually went into hiding.

She also tells them that the Hags have already made some sort of alliance with the Fomor, who are in many ways like Ashley's Atlal guardians, ancient servitors of the Balial, at least some of which are interested in bringing the Balial back. They have Madden on the Sea Maiden and are probably torturing him for the location of the Tuatha de Danaan's resting place, a secret that only Madden now knows.

She offers to send a guide to lead the group to the boat, but cannot aid them further while out at sea. Though practically no one has had great experiences with sea adventures (Connel didn't technically survive his last one), the group decides there's nothing for it but to rescue Madden.

A car ride brings them to their boat once more, and the Morrigan's guide, a giant Albatross, waits for them to board before leading them out onto the raging sea....

Name's in this Session:
Rhapsody, Connel, Daniel, Sheri, Mallick
Ashley, The Cailleachan (Storm Hags), Cuimhne (Hag), Redcap Captain?, The Morrigan

Monday, November 21, 2011

Session 48 "The Circus is in Town"

The group starts off across the moor, following Mallick's tracking spell. The hills are gentle. Before long, a low mist forms, filling the hollows and valleys and making Mallick's smoke more difficult to trace.

An hour later the group stops at a stream filled with pink and purple stones. On the far side, a huge and tangled bramble blocks the path. The smoke trail winds through the thicket. After Rhapsody notes that the bramble has sharp, half inch thorns tipped with some form of milky substance, as well as plump, red berries, Mallick calls a bit of earth magic and asks the vines to part. The group proceeds.

Growing closer to the tower, they are able to make out windows, a red conical roof and a red flag, but no sign of movement. Madden's trail veers away after joining a path near the tower. It gets close to the tower, but never actually approaches it. Choosing his trail over the tower, they head off of the path again and into the brush. In a light copse a mile off the path, Mallick's tracking spell fails - or Madden's trace ends. Deducing that Madden may have once again crossed over out of the Never Never, they decide to follow, and Mallick opens a way...

... Right into downtown Dublin. When Mallick steps through, people gawk and splutter. When Rhapsody steps through in tiger form, people scream and wet themselves. It's touch and go for a few tense moments but a quick, mass hexing of people's cell phones and a quicker exit into a nearby alley manage to get the group out of the area before the police arrive. Sorry, but no one bought the circus routine.

Later on, in a pub a good ways across town, where the group is lying low after their "circus" sighting incident, they discuss Madden's lost trail. Mallick informs the group that a way opened without a close emotional or physical bond may not open in exactly the same place twice. In other words, just because Madden stepped through there, doesn't mean that they would. It's likely they are in the right town, and probably even the right area, but without another tracking spell, they can't find Madden, and they don't have anything of Maddens to cast another tracking spell.

After asking Ashley for advice, she informs the group that she can call Aeve McArthy and ask for help from the Summer court. Fearing the trail may grow cold, the group asks her to make the call.

Meanwhile, Connel has noticed a darkly sensuous woman making eyes at him from across the room. Her wordless clues draw him to the back of the pub, with Sherri following along as backup. In the alley behind the establishment she introduces herself as a friend who can explain much of his current condition. Unsure why he trusts her, still he does, and after telling Sherri where he's going, he goes for a stroll with the woman.

She tells Connel that her name is Morrigan, and that he is a Revenant imbued with the powers of death by her sister, Macha, who is one of the Tuatha de Danan, or the Atalal. She explains that Macha is giving Connel this chance to continue the fight both as a favor owed to Connel's mother, and for the ancient power's own ends, to help put down the Balial threat and more specifically Chereshe. She explains that he must be wary of Summer's flame and the magic of Life, but otherwise his body will eventually recover from just about anything shy of complete incineration. Lastly she tells him the he can call on her in the future by calling her name three times. The call can be made from anywhere, but she will answer quickest when called from a battlefield, or the resting place of dead warriors.

Back at the pub, a man named Brian arrives with a car from Aeve. Deciding they'd better make a sweep of the area once more before going to the summer safehouse, they troll the streets in Brian's car. Ironically, as the only member of the group not seen in the earlier way crossing now infamously known as "The Circus Disaster", Rhapsody opts to walk the streets where she can better use her nose.

At the entrance to a darkened street near the docks, Rhapsody chances upon the same fae smell that accompanied Madden in the Never Never. Compelled by her nature to explore the dangerous street by herself before calling the others, she follows her nose into trouble. At the entrance to a warehouse garage where the scent trail ends, she draws the attention of three would-be toughs with pistols. At their rough attempts to threaten her, she only asks what's in the warehouse? When they offer to show her, and one places his arm around her, she gets catty.

Several gunshots and loosened bladders later, one tough is dead, another is stunned and a third is several blocks away with no signs of slowing. Unfortunately, the commotion quickly draws the attention of five humanoid creatures in jeans, t-shirts and red hats with wide mouths filled with sharp teeth and knives of one form or another. The redcaps throw open the garage door and leap on the tiger, stabbing and biting, trying to bring Rhapsody down.

Drawn by the gunshots, and not far away to begin with, Daniel, Connel, Mallick and Sheri hurry to the source of the trouble, rightly assuming it must be Rhapsody. Sheri's shamanistic powers, Connel's undead strength and Daniel and Mallick's magic, when combined with Rhapsody's claws and tiger allies quickly overpower the redcaps, who flee the scene into the depths of the warehouse, except for one who was knocked unconscious. Injured and with the police on the way, the group decides to flee as well, throwing the redcap into the boot of Brian's car and heading for the Summer safehouse.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Session 47

...AAND we're back after a two year commercial break with the same story, same characters, new Dresden Files RPG system.

Session 47

Mallick was in the Red Court action and is taking his R&R in Ireland. When it’s over, he will be relocated to the West Coast under Warden Ramirez. He is doing a few odds and ends there for the White Council. He’s taking a cab back from a party at a pub on the coast to his hotel. Cab comes around a narrow road and he sees the signs of an accident and several people on the side of the road. He sees where another car had gone off the ditch. He sees unconscious or dead people and that there was some sort of altercation. He also senses that there was magic that was used.

The taxi driver slows down and pulls off the side of the road, then gets out. Mallick sees Connell in his bloody and shredded clothes not seeming to be injured, Rhapsody in her change of clothes of sweats and a baby doll T-shirt, Sheri is unconscious. He does notice a very large humanoid form in the ditch and sort of hidden.

Connell goes to the cabbie and shows his ID and says that the ambulance is on the way and do not want to hold . Mallick sends the cabbie off. Connell sees Mallick’s sword on his back and Mallick notices Connell’s shoulder rig. Mallick offers his hand to Connell. Mallick does notice that Connell gives off a magical vibe, but that it’s cold and he does notice that Connell looks to his eyes.

“I’m Warden Mallick?”

“That some sort of Irish government thing?” Connell asks.

“Warden of what?” Rhapsody demands as she gets up, standing protectively
over Sheri and Daniel, holding one of the tiny arrows.

Ashley says, “White Council? I think he’s all right. We should get Sheri and Daniel into the car.”

Mallick says, “Maybe we should discuss this somewhere else.” He looks to Ashley, “We should hide the body. Is the cop clued in?”

Ashley nods.

Mallick uses his magic to cover the body of the giant in earth.

“Oh, not just a sword swinger,” Connell mutters.

Ashley, “He’s a wizard. A cop basically.”

Connell accepts this and nods.

They head towards Ashley’s house.

“What is the White Council. What’s a Warden?” Rhapsody demands.

“And who sent you?” Ashley asks.

“Well, I was on vacation... supposed to be on vacation. The Council is the governing body for wizards, which you should be aware of...”

“I’m not a fucking wizard,” Rhapsody grumbles.

Mallick gets a strong scent of the sea, getting the sense that they are all linked and on the same journey together, and stuck with each other. He decides to use his Sight and focuses his attention on Connell, who he’s squished against. He Sees that he’s seated next to an undead thing that doesn’t smell bad. He smells like incense, preserving spices like an Egyptian mummy, his face is water logged, there are a lot of wounds and there is a calmness in his eyes. There is no feeling of menace, but the man is dead. His skin has runes that he recognizes them as Ogham, ancient Irish runes for the ritual that sustains him, he suspects. Ashley is a seelie fey, radiating warmth and looks a bit more angular and sharper of feature. She has a warriors caste. She is strong and moderately powerful. He looks to Rhapsody and sees feline eyes. Turning his head, he sees her feral, tiger form, giving him a look of ‘don’t fuck with me’. Daniel has the glow of a powerful practitioner and radiates heat, a contrast between fire and water, thinking he may be a Summer Court vassal. Sheri radiates as though she is angelic, with a calm peaceful presence. She has Native American paints running on her arms and face. In a duffle bag near Rhapsody, there is super glowyness.

They get the spiel about the White Council. Rhapsody mutters about someone sleeping on the watch.

They fey don’t fall into the White Council’s jurisdiction and Mallick is not sure about the undead. Connell looks confused at that.

Rhapsody is incredulous at the whole explanation of ‘guardians against the supernatural’. She asks if the White Council and the Wardens are all cracked up to be, good allies to have or what. Ashley says they would be good to have as allies especially with what has been happening. Ashley pulls up to the bed and breakfast stating she wants to see Mallick’s accoutrements, i.e. his Warden cloak.

Daniel wakes up and starts to work on getting himself healed and Sheri healed back up, both still sore and Daniel having a headache. Mallick did feel the magical work going on. It wasn’t violating any of the Laws.

With Ashley’s help, Mallick explains a bit more about the Council and Wardens to Connell’s satisfaction that Mallick is a fellow cop.

Rhapsody explains to Sheri and Daniel about the new tagalong. Sheri goes to scan him and Sees him as a cop who likes to have a good time.

Mallick says that he wasn’t sent, but he’s here now and can help.

Daniel asks about the meeting they were supposed to go to. They don’t know what happened to Madden. Ashley gets on the phone and calls Madden, but it goes straight to voice mail.

Ashley wonders why Madden was taken.

Mallick gets a short version about the Altalal and Balial.

Rhapsody goes to see about getting the GPS on Madden’s phone. Daniel goes to call Det. Frasier. He asks if Frasier has heard from Madden. Frasier will go over to talk to the others.

Ashley thinks they were attacked by wild fae.

Rhapsody heads out and passes by Frasier.

The Detective arrives and enters. He is introduced to Mallick and wants to see ID. Daniel fills him in on what happened. Frasier thinks it was a court job. Sheri points out that the mother or whomever needs to be moved.

Frasier throws a plastic bag on the table that has a necklace with a clay medallion, roughly molded. It’s a shielding medallion against scrying.

Mallick takes it and goes to a mirror to do a spell to try and see back in time to when the medallion was used. He etches sigils in the mirror and invokes his spell. The mirror grows cloudy and he sees the hand of Madden holding the medallion up in the car. He mutters something to invoke the medallion and Madden looks up into the mirror and takes a knife to his forehead and cut across it. He ducks and then the mirror unclouds.

Ashley reveals that Madden was against the party doing what they come to do. He didn’t like Myrridan. If Madden was injured or lost, the rest of the Council might be too nervous to proceed. He takes himself out of the equation to make them skittish about going forward.

He has the pull to use wild fae and the IRA to help with the vanishing.

Meanwhile, Rhapsody pulls up a ways away from the scene. She heads back on foot through a field and hedge as the last of the police vehicles are leaving. She heads to where the Jaguar was. Rhapsody sniffs and finds some traces of Maddens blood to a line of trees. She starts to track and it grows faint, hard to follow. She finds footprints of shoes and then they end at a large oak tree.

She walks around the tree, investigating. She finds nothing and heads back to the crash site and combs the area thoroughly to make sure nothing was missed.

The rest of the group heads to the auto yard on the way to the crash site. Mallick gets some of the blood in a vial.

Ashley calls McCarthy. “She wants a meeting with us.”

“’Cause those work out so well,” Daniel grumbles. “Her place or ours?”

“Her place.”

They head to the scene. Rhapsody comes out. She leads them to a tree. Daniel informs Rhapsody of their working theory of Madden trying to spoil their chances.

Mallick is trying to see if there is a thinning of the barrier then opens the Way. Frasier declines going in. Mallick says ‘do not accept anything from anyone’.

Sheri grins, “Even advice from wizards.”

Mallick sighs.

They arrive into a copse of trees. The sunlight seems heavy. Rhapsody takes a deep inhalation and smells all sorts of wildlife, but does not smell Madden’s blood. There does look like something has passed through the deep leaves.

Rhapsody removes her clothing and puts into her backpack before shifting to her tiger form. Mallick clears away dead leaves, draws up a circle and does a basic tracking spell using smoke as a visual trail sign.

They move along the path and Rhapsody uses her claws to mark the trees. At the edge of a clearing, there is a voice from the branches above, a high and needling sound.

“Where art thou going, strangers?”

“The queen has given the White council permission to use the ways and we are acting upon that grant.”

The creature hops down, it looks like drider with a sprite body.

The creature goes in front of the group and says that the treaty has been rescinded. The creature wants to have payment. He creature wants to know if the ‘friend’ is tasty.

Mallick offers the spiderfae spam and Vienna sausages. Sheri agrees and gains the spiderfae’s attention. Mallick tosses the spam to the fae, who sniffs at it. He agrees to let half the group go for the spam, but wants a thimbleful of blood.

Rhapsody sits on the trail, tail flicking. The spiderfae wants her blood. She gives her blood into the thimble. The little fae deliver the thimble of blood to the larger fae. He licks the thimble clean.

They come out of the wood and a cold wind blows over the group over the moors. In the distance is a tower.