May 302014
 

On the 8th of May, Carter, Alissa, and Joshua returned to the unassuming tables of gaming at Games People Play to continue the story of our Sorcerers.

Event’s at the end of our last session had lead most players to consider their need for greater demonic power.  I believe it ended with failed summoning attempts by both Vincent King and Stephen Demoine. On this day, Vincent gathered together a make-shift coven recruiting his pagan friends and relations from their commune out in Beaverbank to assist with a massive summoning.  They were seeking to call and contain the soul of an illustrious war hero in the King Family history. Since Nat wasn’t playing today the Professor Demoine did not re-attempt any summoning today but  Detective Constable Garien, on extended enforced leave with pay, set about seeking additional aid from beyond the grave.   It took us the rest of the session to resolve these two sorcerous endeavours.  It is a shame I didn’t get around to recording this entry more quickly because my memories of the details are quire fragmented. The following impressions are not likely to be complete or accurate.  Actually as I riff off those memories I’m liable to invent lots of detail that wasn’t discussed at the table. [Alissa’s note: confirmed. My commentary is below].

Tasha driven I think primarily by her hatred for the danger other demons posed for innocents sought to summon something to help her protect others from their powers.  Having seen both Kyoteh the shadowy strangler and Smythe in action she needed something that could interfere with those attacks. Frustrated by the limits of her own powers, she was none-the-less adamant in her refusal to dabble in the narcotic concoctions that other sorcerers often use to ‘open their mind’ to the Lore.  She relied as best as she could on hard cold historical research and managed (I believe)  to get her hands on a useful artifact.  The enabled her to make contact with the angry karma of a scientist, who died before his time, who had dedicated his life to the study of sound, sonic shocks and the like.  (I really hope you can flesh this out Alissa because I remember I quite liked the story).

[Clive Benjamin, a young man rendered permanently deaf by the Halifax Explosion in 1917. He became a driven scientist who studied the properties of sound as it relates to sonic booms. He had just made a major breakthrough in 1922, which would lead to revolutionary technology which could be used for defence (self explanatory) and industry (moving heavy objects). Before he could publish his work, he was murdered (strangled, he didn’t hear the threat behind him) by a jealous rival scientist, Stewart Linnon. To add insult to a dead body, Stewart Linnon intended to take credit for his work. Of course the murderer was a pretty poor scientist and he couldn’t make any sense of Benjamin’s research; so instead he destroyed everything he could find. Some small pieces of research did survive in the form of letters and related papers (Tasha found these in the NS Archives), but sadly these only point to what Mr. Benjamin had discovered. They are not enough to recover his original research. Of some note is the fact that Stewart Linnon mysteriously drowned one year later; after falling off the waterfront into the harbour on a completely calm day. Perhaps Clive Benjamin got some measure of revenge after all.]

(Despite successfully contacting this spirit, it would take something more than mere research to bring it back across…  Still eschewing the drugs, she allowed herself to dabble for the first time in animal sacrifice.  Recently  her home had been invaded by pigeons.  A mated pair had meticulously constructed a cozy nest up in the attic and had lost no time starting a family.  Several eggs had recently hatched and three adorable squabs (or ‘squeakers’ as baby pigeons are also called) [Alissa’s note: really? squabs? squeakers?] had begun to fill the air with their cries for food.  Their demands not only kept their parents in a constant flutter but of course also disturbed the Detective-Constables’s already fretful sleeps. So we can hardly be surprised, that upon recognizing the utility of spilling the blood of live, thriving creatures in the dark rituals in which twisted and tortured souls are invited to take form once again in our universe Tasha’s mind would immediately light upon a means of killing two birds with one stone… What happened next is so grim, gross, and soul-destroying I shall not describe in any detail. [Alissa’s note: that’s because you can’t remember. As I recall it wasn’t that gross or soul-destroying… but I’ll agree it sure wasn’t pretty and it made a big mess I had to clean up.]   Suffice to say, if Tasha lies awake, haunted and sleepless… it won’t be those birds fault any more.

The summoning and binding then proceeded without a hitch and Tasha now finds herself the proud mistress of yet another object demon.  This one resides in the physical form of a miniature glass bell jar complete with aircock and diaphragm like those used in early 20th century science experiments to demonstrate the lack of sound in a vacuum.  In bright natural light the jar appears perfectly empty, but at night or indoors, it is often possible to catch curious shadows: sometimes of mysterious mechanisms, other times a human figure or even the fluttering of bird wings appears for an instant.   Whenever you are looking directly at it, it is perfectly silent. But anyone who is deaf  will ‘hear’ a rapid whispering when its presence. [Alissa’s note: I think you “invented” this part Josh. I don’t remember anything about the thing whispering. It does sound kind of cool though.]  Any sort of deafness will do, so temporarily deafening oneself permits communication. It’s need is to be present and subjected to deafening bursts of high decibel noise [Alissa’s note: the sorcerer may wear earplugs].  In the immediate wake of subjecting oneself to such sound, a person can also ‘hear’ its whisperings.

[What about Vincent King? he did a sort of successful summoning but lost his humanity and is now possessed by his ancestor demon. Also what about him slitting the cow’s throat? After all, I got told off for pigeons. Nice pictures!]

To be continued…

bell-jar-soundexp

bell-jarperson

belljar

May 022014
 

The latest chapter of our Halifax-based sorcerer game unfolded last Thursday on April 29th. The action commenced down on the waterfront where we had left at least three of the sorcerers following the shoot-up from the previous session.

I admit my memory is getting foggy already, so I propose to start with a short snapshot of where each character was at the end of the session.  Then I’ll leave it to you to remind me about how they got there. And/or correct me regarding last known position.

Shake Finegan: last seen in the dead of night helping Marley launch her dubious vessel into the Bedford Basin.  Will he board and sail the seas as Marley’s 1st mate?  Will he debark at Point Pleasant Shoal, dig up his wealth and carry out his shceme of revenge?  Will he do something totally unpredictable?  We don’t know.  We only know that his name will live in infamy among the surviving blue devils who will look back on this as the year Shake shook us down.

Vincent King: Last seen with other members of his clan cow jacking or cattle rustling or something, presumably looking for blood to fuel some hideous pagan ritual in the woods of Beaverbank.  What are they summoning!?

Stephen Demoine: Malingering back in his favourite bed back in the Infirmary.  In kind of a reverse Münchausen syndrome, he’s feigning injury in the hopes of AVOIDING more attention.  Will he succeed?  Will he defeat his inner demons or will he succom…  oh wait no.    Dr. Demoine was last seen collapsed in his apartment, illuminated by a single guttering candle fame,  historical print outs scattered around him, oddities and artifacts, hand drawn sketches of things we were not meant to know…  His hunger for power and efficacy wracking his body. Will he find the physical strength he needs from somewhere beyond the grave?

Tasha Garien: Home, alone confronted with the dire choice… to let the other sorcerers in this city continue to run amok, leading to terror, human sacrifice, shoot outs down town… or will she embrace the power she needs to turn the tides and defeat them.  Suspended from work, isolated from her friends.  To whom, among the living, can she turn.

It turns out I remembered more than I thought despite my headache:

Starting off Vincent King was under arrest for being involved in last night’s stabbing and having a human toe in his pocket. He was shown to a room with a phone and called a very sleepy lawyer at 3:00 in the morning. The lawyer basically told him not to say anything, and Vincent was released pending trial that morning, told his court date, and left to walk home.

Our other characters were left off in front of the maritime museum. Shake kept swimming away and Stephen Demoine is unconscious and gravely injured from multiple bullet wounds. Kyla Mardine is also badly hurt and semi-conscious. This leaves Tasha Garien. She briefly checks on Kyla, who is closest, and props her up against the car, making sure she touches both her hands. Then she runs to Stephen Demoine and gives him first aid. Tasha is successful and Demoine is stabilized. Ambulances and police arrive to take them away. Sarge gets there and the first words out of his mouth are: “Garien, what the fuck happened?” Tasha tells him she was in the car with Kyla and saw the professor in an altercation with the stabbing suspect (Wimpy) and another suspect thought to be his accomplice (Shake). She continues by saying she got out and told Kyla to stay in the car (she didn’t) and got out. Tasha then says when the suspect/assailant (Wimpy) shot the professor, and she fired a shot herself at the suspect. Garien mentions she believes she hit the suspect, but it had little effect and he ran off around the corner of the museum, while his accomplice (Shake) jumped into the harbour and swam away. Finally, she says she (Tasha) heard Kyla go down behind her (doesn’t know why) and she didn’t chase the attacker because she had two civilians down.  Sarge believes the story but is still very ticked off and tells Tasha to go to the station and write up a report ASAP. Garien’s response: “Yes sir.”

Vincent gets home and decides he has to lose the sawed-off rifle. To do this, he walks (unarmed) into the local Blue Devils bar/dive (name?) and tells the bartender he has something to sell. The bartender tells him he should leave in no uncertain terms, and he does. He heads home, but he’s followed out of the bar by two Blue Devils. The knock on the door and Vincent opens it a crack to talk to them. Big mistake. The devils slam the door open; knocking the writer backwards. Vincent fights but is easily overpowered. The devils aggressively tell him he can’t go selling drugs on their turf; trying to take away their customers. Vincent says he wanted to sell a weapon, not drugs. The goons search his place and find his specialized sorcerer drugs and ask him “what the fuck is this shit”? Vincent has some concoction that includes, dope, E, and a feather. They take that. The devils then get high on Vincent’s drugs, eat his food, trash his place and laugh at him. Then they leave. They do not find the sawed-off rifle.

Stephen Demoine wakes up in hospital (again) and is making another miraculous recovery. He asks to give a video statement to police. He says “Two crazy ladies shot me”, one of whom is a coroner, and the other one who was wearing a police uniform. He’s talking to Vernon, who quickly kills the video recording and asks him to repeat himself, saying “Constable Garien shot you?” Demoine is adamant that yes, she did. Vernon leaves and Stephen goes home to feed his demon. He’s in for a loud three hours.

Shake manages to climb onto the passing Dartmouth ferry without being noticed; thanks to help with Dominic’s glamour. He pickpockets a student and sneaks off the ferry before it docks without raising the alarm. Shake climbs up a nearby wharf (near the small park) and has made it to Dartmouth, dripping wet, with $150, but with a hundred bill and a fifty bill. He needs change to call a cab from a payphone.

At the police office, Tasha presents her report to Sarge. Vernon suddenly arrives and asks to speak with Sarge in private for a moment. Tasha hears Sarge yelling in the hall. The two of them return and tell Tasha that Mr. Demoine is claiming she shot him. Garien seems surprised. Sarge tells Tasha she’s suspended with pay for a week during the investigation; she is not to talk to or have any contact with the people involved. This means Stephen Demoine, and Kyla Mardine. Kyla is still in the hospital. Tasha changes into plain clothes and calls Jeremy, but he tells her he has to report anything she says to the chief, so they can’t talk. She goes to Annabel’s office.

Vincent decides he wants to summon a demon, since he currently has none (the toe is still with the police). He calls his druid buddies and they decide to get together, take drugs and do a group summon (possibly there was something involving sacrificing cows?). The end result; the summoning does not work and they all wind up sick from failed summoning and dangerously losing willpower as a result of the drugs (permanently). I believe they were summoning in a field somewhere. They fail miserably and pass out en mass, in pretty bad shape.

Stephen has just finished a three hour horror screaming session to feed his demon; with Beethoven blaring to mask the noise from his neighbours. With his demon sated, a hoarse Stephen goes to the library and researches a demon he wants to contact (something involving armour). He goes home, takes drugs to boost his power (?) and tries to summon it. He fails miserably, throws up and passes out in a near death state; alone in his apartment.

Tasha Garien goes to her appointment with Annabel. Annabel has changed her mind about Simon Kim and wants him to go back to normal police custody; even though she thinks his condition could flare up at any time. Tasha thinks this is rather two faced of her; since the police officer risked her career to get him into Annabel’s hands in the first place. However there is very little a suspended officer can do, and she takes this news with resignation. After some questioning, Annabel reveals what she was hiding from Garien earlier—Peter Garien told her he had concerns Tasha was hiding something before he died. Tasha knows this is the truth and is stunned. After more discussion Annabel starts talking about “stress and paranoia” and writing a prescription; telling Garien she should tell her what she’s hiding because “I fix people and I can fix all your problems.” At this Tasha start laughing bitterly and says she will tell Annabel… but “Are you sure you want to know?” Annabel hesitates at first and then eventually says yes. Tasha goes to Delane’s computer and shows Annabel everything that Kyla complied. Annabel starts freaking out, saying both Tasha and Kyla Mardine are suffering from delusions. Tasha walks out of the office (taking Kyla’s evidence, leaving the presciption) with Annabel screaming her name. Tasha stops in the hallway as Annabel runs after her; but the doctor is hysterical and is saying something to the effect that Tasha and Kyla must be stopped from spreading this delusion and making other people believe it. Tasha responds “you’re pathetic. you’re in denial” and continues walking out of the office; ignoring Annabel’s screaming. As far as we know, Tasha is on her way home.

Shake walks up Queen Street in Dartmouth and finds a sketchy place to buy some food (making change) and eats. He gets to a payphone and calls a cab, and the cab takes him to see Marley. Marley demands to know what’s going on and he brings her up to speed. She asks why he is so eager to get a certain someone out of jail. Shake finally explains he wants to get him out of jail so he can kill him. Months ago, the criminal in question kidnapped Shake and kept him imprisoned in his house for days; where he was assulted/tortured. Shake wants revenge. Marley tells him that revenge could get him killed; he should just let it go, get out of town with her and be free. She’s finished her “boat” and wants to sail away out of Halifax and “live off the land and hunt whales.” Shake is intrigued and follows her to the boat.

 

 

Mar 032014
 

We played at Games People Play again.  We were missing Nat who was busy traipsing around the world.

Tasha Garien:
We met up with Tasha at home and got to know her morning ritual. She makes a breakfast omelette and uses copious onions, the cutting of which generates tears sufficient to bathe her ring thus meeting the demon’s need. At work she learned a few pieces of news (1) Kyla Mardine at chief medical examiners office had produced a suspiciously bland post mortem on Sam Smythe the mysteriously asphyxiated corpse of a university professor. It contained no hint of the weirdness that Kyla hinted at during their meeting. (2) A suspect in the Karla Strang murder has been arrested… and there is talk of a ‘confession’. Tasha is able to convince another officer Vernon Forbes to give her access to the prisoner: a dishevelled computer science student named Simon Kim. In the interrogation Simon is acting highly paranoid and delusional. He’s confessing and lying and apparently seeing demons even as he speaks. Tasha pulls strings, contacting an old colleague of her late husband, and gets a psychiatrist (name?) to come and do a clandestine assessment of Simon. Later, with the interview room to herself she reaches out and encounters an unbound demon lingering. “Bind me and avenge my murder!” it demands. Wisely she opts to snap contain (+1) him into her police badge to buy time to learn more about who she is dealing with.

Vincent King:
Vincent is still walking home after being dropped off on a country road when Sonya shows up in her own car. She’s excited rather than intimidated by the attack earlier. She wants him to infiltrate the Cornwallis Group. When she learns that Vincent sent them towards Sasheen, she’s concerned about what might have said
meets Sasheen: she doesn’t suspect his duplicity. Asks to be initiated into lore. He invites her over to witness a summoning. She sufferes mental injury from witnessing sorcery. He summons a “wimpy spirit” (he hopes) and contains it (+1) rather than binding it.

Shake:
wakes up with dancer named Ka’een. Leaves in a hurry to dive into the harbour. Dominic takes over during hte swim. Startles a researcher (Emily Methune). Seeks his money in pp park. Ambushed by a blue devil biker who mugs him for cash in hand ($556 – not the main stash). Visits Damien… Damien is on the run from the Blue Devils and the police. Talk in an alley.. get jumped by 3 blue devils. Damien gets outa dodge while Shake shake’s em up. Dominic helps out by seriously confusing them before Shake lays down a beating. Seriously injurs a BD — turns out to be the one who mugged him… recovers like 26 bucks.

Stephen Demoine:
Kyoteh’s need has not been met. He’s clearlty getting anxious. Simon Kim calls, desperate to meet to discuss a make up of his last exam. But he doesn’t show up.

Feb 032014
 

Last Thursday (January 30th) we gathered at Games People Play to commence the Sorcerer campaign.  Alissa, Carter, Joshua, Nat, and Sebastian engaged in some exciting “story now” role-play. As for the venue, while Games People Play lacks the style and amenities of the Board Room, our table at least had something we’d all been missing: HEAT! We were at least warm and toasty.  We also enjoyed the lower ambient volume which made dialog intensive role-play much easier.  And of course, its hard to beat the price.  Although I’d love to play Sorcerer in the comfort of someone’s home, GPP is pretty decent compromise for now.

Play report

We assembled and dealt with a few last housekeeping concerns. Then jumped into play. My humble goal for the session was for each character to get to roll some dice either in combat or while practising sorcery. We achieved at least 2 decent combats and the other two characters made some Lore checks at least so I’m satisfied.

Vincent King

received an invitation to attend a fancy ball for left-wing radical intellectuals at the Westin Hotel. He was to be an honoured guest, though not expected to give a speech. KT (the object demon residing in a severed toe) clearly wanted to come to fulfill his desire for hobnobbing with high society. Vincent’s solution was truly idiosyncratic. He used spirit gum and gauze bandages to attach the toe to his own thumb. I suppose this was a way to allow the demon some exposure and attention. In retrospect I certainly should have rolled, during combat, to see if this fell or (more likely) painfully tore away.

Vincent was met at the door by Sonya Aranha who had invited him. She kept him close throughout evening. The keynote speaker at the Gala was a certain Carlos S. Lopez, a fiery member of Hugo Chavez’s executive in Venezuela. After his rather incendiary speech, Sonya invited Vincent to take a walk with her along the waterfront and meet some of her associates involved in some covert liberal activism. Before the meeting occurred however Sonya and Vincent are jumped by some thugs disguised as rowdy students on the boardwalk. They are quickly separated and Vincent is left fighting two on his own. Though he throws some convincing punches, they ultimately overwhelm him and whisk him into a waiting vehicle. Once inside he’s threateningly interrogated about his sources for his most recent novel “Fear Starts Here” which with thin veneer of fantasy contains a biting indictment of the Cornwallis Groups role in a recent ship-building tragedy.

Eager to escape scrutiny, Vincent gives them the name of an innocent shopkeeper Sasheen Miller. Sasheen owns an occult books and curiosity shop in Dartmouth. Vincent had been a regular customer of hers for sometime.

 

Tasha Garien

opens the drama in conversation with her boss. Chief MacKay. She’s already been warned away from the Karla Strang murder, and today she’s being sent to meet with the Coroner about a mysterious death the night before at Dalhousie University. At the Coroner’s office she meets Kyla Mardine and learns that although the death is indeed mysterious, there’s nothing to point to obvious foul play. Tasha suspects Sorcery could be involved and studies the body closely but can’t quite place her finger on any paranomailty. She does get the very strong sense that Kyla is not telling her everything though. Before she can press further her partner Jeremy Pyke interrupts with a concern that a B&E might be in progress at the Recycle Depot.

They arrive to find signs of a large fight and one body, masked, alive but unconscious and bleeding out on the floor from a deep chest wound. Tasha administers first aid while Jeremy calls for EHS and backup. Tasha gets a good look at the victims face before he’s taken away in an ambulance. Returning to the scene, she and Jeremy give it a good sweep but are unable to gather any solid leads as to what went down here. They head over to the home of Damien Knox – the person who called in the tip.

Damien is cagey and uncooperative at first but he eventually cracks under Tasha’s persistent questioning and admits that he had participated in staging a robbery. He said he called the police because he was afraid his friend ‘Shake’ was going to get caught up in it all. When asked to describe the people he’d left the office open for, Tasha recalls the face of the person sent to hospital. Jeremy tells her he knows “Shake” from the street.

—-

Shake

Damien told him this evening that the depot main office would be unattended and the safe unlocked. “Go and take the money they owe you”. Shake went along with this plan and stumbled on to three masked men plundering the office. One came at him with a crowbar which Shake handily took off him and used to mortally injure one thug. The other two escaped. Shake then handed control of his body over to Dominic who took the look (a couple thousand dollars) and left the area in search of a good time.

Stephen Demoine

News of Prof. Sam Smythe’s mysterious demise causes shockwaves throughout the university. Especially affected is Emily Bethune, a postdoc fellow who has been dating Stephen for a couple of months. She arrives at his doorstep with a well packed bag intending to stay. She’s been finding Halifax more and more alienating lately. She’s particularly troubled by a certain Simon Kim, a student who’s been showing her excessive, if not particularly aggressive attention recently. Some simple inquiries on on Stephen’s part suggest this Mr. Kim is rather obsessed with him as well.

Late that evening Stephen receives a strange phone call from Kyla Mardine who wishes to discuss Sam Smythe with him. They meet at the 2nd cup, Simon Kim is already there, though he leaves in a hurry after Stephen notices him. Kyla reveals that Sam Smythe was in possession of a book in which he had written Stephen’s name. She leaves him with a package that appears to contain a book. Stephen carefully hides this in an anonymous locker at the athletic center, being careful not to open the book. At one point in the even he stares Kyla down trying to detect a mark of sorcery on her. Results are inconclusive. At home he hacks into Sam Smythe’s email account and runs a quick search for his own name with negative results. Emily wont sleep; wants to use his computers.