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.