Edge City

Loosened Seals, Loose Ends
Taking Time for Important Things

February 24,2012 IRL. Monday, 9.28.09-Tuesday 9.29.09 IG.

Over the weekend of down time, Adrian spent time with Emma, Evans upgraded the Veil and took Clarissa shopping, Dante trained with pirates and took a day off, and Meg set up staff for her house.

Monday, 9.28.09

Healing Alex Schuster
Evans decided to help Alex Schuster heal up from being shot in a mugging. He checked the newspaper office, but Schuster was not there. Evans recruited Dante, who smooth-talked them past the rent-a-cop guards so Evans could heal Schuster.

As they were leaving, Dana Spiegel spotted them, and tailed them back to Dante’s house. Evans spotted her there, and found out she was working on a story about Dr. Cameron Rye, a researcher with the university, who was putting protein trackers under Torpedo Bay to find darkshells. He recently disappeared, and was declared on sabattical, right before Alex was shot. Dana was looking for projectors on her own.

Kryptma Returns
Meanwhile, Kryptma returned to Favian Manor and met with Meg, giving her a bracelet that suppressed her static problem and warning her that the near-miss of destroying 152 dimensions compressed those dimensions, weakening or breaking seals that held things in check. Kryptma planned to pursue some of those dangerous situations to shore up protections through the dimension.

Familiar Surprise
Adrian checked in with Malinta at Feducci’s Italian Restaurant. He negotiated the price for fixing Marcher’s door, and for fixing the door to his own interdimensional Leatherbury Estate. Then Malinta played a song to mourn Adrian’s mother. The emotion proved too much for Adrian’s familiar, an owl; she shifted shape, revealing to Adrian that she was a woman shapeshifter. Adrian got to know her better, finding out her parents gave her to Marcher before she was born; now they are both dead, and she was commanded by Marcher to become Adrian’s familiar. She only speaks Italian and French.

The Cupola
Dante and Evans toured the Cupola, updating its computer and replacing its old medical supplies, cleaning, and so on. In going to the Mausoleum for supplies, they encountered the Gray Ghost, who was in an unusual chipper mood.

Meeting Jack Bower
Evans and Dante caught up to him at the Sinking Dutchman, his favorite pub. He explained that Captain Strickland was rethinking alliance with a vigilante, but Jack understood he had to keep his options open. Evans suggested a “free clinic” to help injured police, to gain allies and favor with the police, and that seemed a good idea.

Barnacle Bar
Dante and Evans headed to the Barnacle Bar next, where Pirate Booty told Dante he wouldn’t get further training until the Letter of Marque and Reprisal was signed by the police commissioner. Evans told Pirate Booty about the possibility of flame-throwing darkshells under Torpedo Bay, asking her to pass that along to the Shell Clan. Kryptma joined them, and agreed to make Clarissa a pager for Evans if Evans will open a door for her.

Adrian and Olivia
After supper at Feducci’s, Adrian takes Olivia to Favian Manor and introduces her to Meg and Daniel. While Olivia rests, Adrian and Meg go to Besquelle. Daniel trusts Meg’s safety to Adrian. Meg creates a vessel so she can communicate in Italian, a gaudy red ring. He buys a violin from a pawn shop to give Olivia later. They return to the Manor, finding that Kryptma will sleep the night there too.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2009

Meg tells Kryptma about the destruction of the Chauncy clan, and Kryptma takes it hard. Evans goes spear fishing with Clarissa in the clear island waters.

Dante’s Lunch
After catered barbeque from the Wailing Pig devoured on Adrian’s yacht, they gather on the Prow of Revelations. They find that Olivia and Snowfall are the same person, Meg has her static issue under control, Evans has a deal with Kryptma, they are invited to scout out Stone Garden for the Ghost for tonight, Dana Spiegel has a news story on protein trackers for darkshells, and Daniel’s invesetigators have been tracking the Bertinelli progress and may be able to identify someone for Dante to give the police commissioner so he’ll sign the Letter of Marque and Reprisal.

Dante also brings up the possible need for a centralized location for safety and efficiency, and Daniel offers tactical thoughts about that, mostly involving South Settler, the Settler Council, and Seertech’s waste reclamation facility guarded by robots and ninja.

Checking Stone Garden
As they swept the meet site, they found explosives and web cams, and a sniper. Daniel subdued the sniper, and as Dante softened him up, Evans went and got the Ghost for the interrogation. Turns out Col. Grainger, leader of the Delta Green strike force, considered vigilantes a big part of the paranormal problem and planned to eliminate the Ghost.

Chatting with Col. Grainger
Leaving the sniper to recover and escape, they tracked down the paranoid Grainger, and the Ghost (with a gate’s help) retrieved him and threatened him. Grainger said it wasn’t over, and retreated; the Ghost planned to follow him, and make his life difficult; if he did not leave by the next day, the Ghost would take stronger action.

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"Hazard County" February 10, 2012 IRL

In game, Tuesday through Thursday, September 22-24 2009.

The Setup

Meg, Daniel, Evans, Dante, Adrian, and Merriweather were pulled into an adventure in Barneveldt County just north of Dencentrael. Detective Garth Wheeler, son of Max Wheeler (a pal of old man Malone) was stuck in an investigation of a once-proud family on hard times that was robbed, a string of internationally famous pearls taken. The insurance company, Rimant and Knowles, would not pay without evidence that the Hazard Pearls were in fact stolen and it was not a case of insurance fraud.

Since Malone was sick, he asked Meg to check into it for him. She agreed, rounding up the “Brain Trust” (as old man Malone called them) to help out. The Pellwitches agreed to help, even though Arius “James” Pellwitch sent Merriweather a telegram to meet at 7 the night after the alleged crime.

The Pellwitches suspected Arius at once, as he was a cat burgler out of favor with the family for stealing cursed items and getting them out of circulation.

The Investigation

They got out to Barneveldt, a half hour drive. Wheeler walked them through the police file, and the INTERPOL file on the “Accursed Cat Burglar” (who the Pellwitches figured was Arius.) They went out to interview the family, meeting a creepy old man (Primus Hazard) who spoke for the family and explained they were also missing some money and an important family document.

They saw the house was crosswise to a dimensional rift, shuddering on the edge of being pulled through by an alien lust. In their investigations, they saw evidence that an otherdimensional force was lurking in the house.

They followed the clues to the beach by the house, discovering Arius’s car. He never left after all. Veronica Pillars gave Dante a file, which was the missing family document explaining the Hazard curse and the origin of the pearls, to a point. They realized the house was on the verge of being sucked to N’Kai by an angered Tsathoggua, who held the pearls as precious and cursed Wilfred, the Hazard that stole them centuries ago.

Loading up with gear, they returned to the house. They had a chance to talk to a couple of the crazy family members (Saphronia and Caleb and Jimmy) before facing the great evil of the house’s secret.

Confronting the Evil

They toured the library, and more of the house, until Adrian pursued a shadowy form up over the roof, and looked into a barred window to see Wilfred restrained. They raced through the house and confronted Prime outside the door to the cursed Wilfred’s prison. He let them in, they talked to Wilfred, then he revealed he had been released by the burglar (and eaten him) and he sprang to the attack.

They used Dante’s unholy force of personality and Thompson, as well as Adrian’s mighty mystic bolts and Evans’ ability to animate his chair and restraints, and Daniel’s strength and grenades. They managed to put Wilfred down, and the mutant children he had failed to eat raced in to devour his remains; one threw the pearls at them in fury for killing their horrific progenitor.

The House Falls

No one accepted the pearls or the curse that crawled from Wilfred’s corpse. They sprang out the window, taking the hit of the fall, and the house’s occupants and energies were sucked down to N’Kai, and the rift sealed, leaving the shell of the house behind.

They found the owl-casting-style remains of Arius under a bush, his lock picks smished in with his remains. Adrian claimed the remains for the family.

Sobered, they returned to Edge City, the mystery mostly solved and the threat resolved. The police were none the wiser, but at least the insurance payout was no longer an issue…

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Ravenloft?!
An errand for Raven.

Strahd en castillo

The adventure was around September 18, 2009. After some down time, a gypsy shaman named Voskya showed up with a hand-drawn picture on vellum that matched Isis’s face, he found Adrian and said a seer told him that the “man with the owl on his shoulder” would lead to Isis. And he had a fusion, a feather from Raven.

He suggested that Raven created a sacred realm, it was now sealed away by a curse, and there was an Icon of Ravenkind and another mystic item there that Raven wanted back in circulation. Would they help?

Well, they went with him in his wood-paneled station wagon vardo, through the mists and into Barovia, in the realm of Ravenloft.

Apparently Strahd von Zarovich brought a curse upon the realm blessed and created by Raven because of his “love” for a young woman, Tatyana (who was reincarnated as Isis!) The evil vampire wanted to turn Isis into his “Tatyana bride” and endow her with power gained from his experiences hunting her friends and seducing her.

They talked to Madame Eva, leader of the Vistanti of the Road in Ravenloft, who told them that killing Strahd would open the misty borders from sunup to sundown, then he would be back; she wanted to take some of the camp with her and escape this realm. They also spoke to the half-mad priest, who gave them guidance on how a creature like Strahd might be killed.

Dante spoke to the Burgomeister, appealing to his thuggish greed to rule a greater land than Barovia with no Strahd to cope with. Working together, they set up a cell to be airtight (no rabbiting in mist form!) and the Burgomeister told Strahd he had captured Tatyana and party. When the overconfident vampire walked in, they pounced; in spite of their blood-chilling terror, they managed to distract him long enough for Pellwitch to blast him to ashes.

They took Voskya’s station wagon back to Prime, then smished it into a burned sphere of metal. The after-party of relief was held at Isis’s new place, Favian Mansion.

In Ravenloft, Daniel was meaty, Adrian’s magic returned sluggishly and provided less protection, quantum powers didn’t work at all… only Dante’s powers were totally unaffected.

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"Sudden Death" June 3, 2011
Resolving Numerous Issues

Last session, we dealt with the imprisoned Chauncy clan members and the gun evidence, the “volume 13” problem, the Commissioner Treadwell problem, the Chan family leadership shakeout finale, the Shadowrunner problem, the Bellchek underworld succession problem, the “insufficient backup requested” part of the skaven problem, Dante’s fence sitting problem (squarely in the Ghost camp, complete with costume workup), the cannibalistic werewolf problem, and Clarissa and Evans’ wedding.

Also, we ended up with Alex Felton as police commissioner, and interested in befriending the Chauncy clan. And Clarissa is now haunted, or maybe having nightmares. The characters spent some relaxing time pursuing various personal interests, also considering when and how best to attack the skaven. We concluded an hour early (so this was in 4 hours).

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The Story So Far (Werewolf Civil War)
In Which the Situation is Summarized

The heroes of the city are thoroughly off balance.

The Gray Ghost, defender of the city committed to creatively protecting the culture and safety of those residing there, is at wits end. A quiet civil war between two factions of a werewolf clan erupted onto the public scene with a series of dramatic gunfights culminating in the destruction of a city block through focused terrorism against a hard target.

The two factions are the Shadow Runners and the Templar, both within the Chauncy clan. The “Templar” are so named for following Templeton. Their focus is on keeping a low profile, continuing in the service industry and factory work mostly, with a loose connection to a shamanistic cairn on their property. They congregate at Old Man Marcher’s Place, a house at the edge of civilization backed up on the national park wilderness.

The Shadowrunners focus on using their violent abilities to get involved in organized crime, parlaying their talents into real wealth and power in the city. They want to get paid, they want to be feared and respected, and they want to give orders instead of taking them.

Leadership of both factions was once the Chauncy council, lycanthropes that could achieve the most violent form of transformation. When the split, the Templar were led by Templeton, assisted by his apprentice Jade Wolf/Jeremiah Mann/Michael Walks Alone, who is now called “Wanderer.”

The Shadowrunner council had three members; the leader Kevin, his violent bestial killer Hank, and a tough front-line warrior, Lulu.

Kevin could not negotiate with Templeton, so he opened negotiations with the one who would be called Wanderer. The negotiation ended poorly, and Wanderer’s bodyguard and close friend Biff was shot with silver and killed.

Wanderer called the clan together and told them Biff was murdered by the Shadowrunners, but cautioned them to take no action. They disregarded his advice, and one of Biff’s good friends led an assault masterminded by another of the Templar council, Jerrica.

The attack was devastating and brutal, destroying much of the Shadowrunner strength. Delighted, Jerrica and others of a violent persuasion in the Templar faction continue to hunt Shadowrunners who are caught out in vulnerable positions. Meanwhile, Templeton resigned, discouraged, leaving Wanderer in charge. Wanderer staged another clan meeting, this time telling the clan they were to be heroes, do their part, defend the cairn and the city, and sacrifice for the greater good; while the Shadowrunner leaders must be defeated, healing would follow, and they should not be indiscriminately violent. He then set himself on fire three times, burning off his former titles of “Jeremiah Mann” (in that identity, wanted by the police for murdering cops), “Michael Walks Alone” (A name Templeton gave him), and “Jade Wolf” (because he can no longer function as a vigilante with the Gray Ghost, as he is a killer enabling furthering killing.)

Eventually he adopted the identity of “Wanderer” under pressure from his friends, who wanted to know what to call him. Jeremiah Mann’s fortune was left to his protoge shaman, the guardian of the cairn, Morris Pennywise.

As this was going on, a vengeful Hank took his group and brutally assaulted Wanderer’s assistant shaman Alecia, hospitalizing her and infecting her with lycanthropy. When Wanderer did not face him, he repeated and escalated the challenge by brutalizing young Morris as well.

After addressing the clan, Wanderer took the Alchemist, Isis, and Anubis (knowing the Gray Ghost would be involved) and confronted Hank in his lair in an abandoned arcology. They fought, and as Wanderer knocked Hank down, Alchemist restrained him in the metal flooring. As Wanderer struggled with whether to kill him or not, the Gray Ghost shot the Wanderer and Hank with a drug that forced them into their human forms, disoriented. The Alchemist helped the Gray Ghost take Hank to the Mausoleum, out of the Wanderer’s reach.

It appears the main strength of the Shadowrunner effort has been defeated. However, some complications remain.

Mother Wolf is the totem spirit of the cairn that the Wanderer is charged with protecting. She required him to kill the three members of the Shadowrunner council, as a wandering umbral shaman Stormcrow prophecied that one of them would be responsible for severing the cairn’s connection.

Lulu was likely killed in the assault on Mumford Block that killed many of the clan members and triggered Templeton’s resignation. Hank was defeated and captured by the Gray Ghost. And the Alchemist told the Wanderer that the Gray Ghost has Hank, the leader, in custody. It appears that the Wanderer cannot satisfy Mother Wolf without killing two werewolves that are in the care of the Gray Ghost, who forbids killing in the city.

Also, the surviving Shadowrunners (numbering about 30 warriors) are under the supervision of a woman named Willa Bellchek. She is involved in organized crime, part of a syndicate that just imploded, and she stands to inherit their empire. The alliance could be worrisome.

The Gray Ghost was nearly killed by a werewolf working with the Templar. He would have been killed without the timely intervention of a costumed madman named Painkiller, Gil Franklin, who is traditionally the Gray Ghost’s arch nemesis. Franklin also delivered Kevin to the Gray Ghost, along with the drugs that force the werewolves back into human form, disoriented. This strange turn of events seems to show Painkiller as a more helpful ally than the Wanderer and his mass-murdering clan.

A great ally of the clan, Paul Evans (The Alchemist) has been disheartened by the actions of the clan. This is more difficult for him as they are his adopted family, and he is seriously dating one of their members, Clarissa. Will the clan lose their powerful ally over this burst of violence and mayhem? Will Evans lose people he has grown emotionally close to and protected? What if the Alchemist must choose between the Gray Ghost and the Chauncy clan?

The clan’s historian was murdered, along with many others who were not direct participants in the conflict. How will the clan see themselves? What identity can unite them? How can they deal with the rift between the Shadowrunners and Templar when both sides appear bloody-handed and uncompromisingly vicious?

As the violence has spiked, police have arrested a dozen members of the Chauncy clan, after searching Old Man Marcher’s place with a warrant and finding the weapons used in the assault on Mumford Block. The Shadowrunners used their criminal contacts to lean on corrupt police to arrange this situation, and the Chauncy clan is helpless in the face of the law. It seems convictions are likely, and public attention inevitable—very dangerous for them.

An order of monster hunters, St. Michael’s, has come to town and may end up hunting the Chauncy in both factions with equal zeal if they cannot hush this up somehow.

The Wanderer used his criminal contacts in the clan to burn a body at the Mumford Block site, so the police have announced Jeremiah Mann’s terrorist spree ended when his next scheme was defeated by two rival cells of terrorists shooting it out. However, aside from shaving his head, he has not altered his appearance overmuch, and he continues to appear before sometimes hundreds of clan members who know him, so it seems unlikely the rumors of his demise will be taken seriously.

Also, a taboo of the werewolves is being violated. Someone is eating human flesh. A defecting spy from the Shadowrunner side said it was not their people—is it possible someone in the ranks of the Templar has gone rogue and is feasting on humans?

Jerrica and her followers on the Council continue their violence against the Shadowrunners, delighted to have been so successful in hitting them hard and unwilling to let survivors complicate the future. The Wanderer has reprimanded their attitude and methods, but Jerrica does not seem to take the Council seriously as she zealously conducts her own crusade of genocide.

Increasingly, it seems the Chauncy clan (both elements) proves willing to murder, sometimes on a mass scale. This means the Gray Ghost must either put a stop to it somehow, or violate his own code of ethics. But how do you stop werewolves without killing them? Can killing them be the only answer? And there are so many involved at varying levels… how do you judge the proper response to this kind of mayhem and destruction within a family, spilling out on the city? Is the Ghost up to the challenge of quelling this chaos? How do you kick hundreds of people out of the city when you are one man? They are stubborn, notoriously uninterested in obeying authority figures… Will this break the Ghost’s moral code at last?

As the chaos sorts out with Bellchek willing to shelter the surviving Shadowrunners, will organized crime become more terrifyingly powerful than ever with supernatural violence supporting its edicts?

Can the Chauncy clan find some unifying vision that can help them heal the massive scarring of a civil war that is not clearly understood or framed, with no clear heroes? Or will the schism repeat until the werewolves of the city flee from clannish structure to escape the violence?

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