Mage - Doomcrew

Session Forty
Danvers Asylum

As Otsuchi opens the door to the main floor he encounters familiar surroundings. He remembers the daytime tour of the asylum he and Kronate took yesterday morning…

Flashback – Wednesday, June 24th, 2009, 10 AM – Danvers Asylum (Investigative Tour)

- A pretty tour guide, in her late 20’s explains: “This is the main Kirkbride building. From here we have the East and West wings which were used to house patients. Other buildings were added on over the years…”
- As she continues speaking to the six tourists, Otsuchi casts Supernal Vision to examine the Resonance of the area.
- He senses a powerful Resonance coming from the end of the West Wing, though the tour does not lead them there.
- Kronate activates the Abedju Cipher [1 Mana] to look for Ghosts, Spirits, and Mental Projections in Twilight. He catches glimpses here and there of many Ghosts and even the occasional Spirit, but they seem like they are trying to stay out of sight.
- As they are taking the tour Kronate is paying special attention to any areas he sees that are off limits on the tour. He flirts occasionally with their guide. Otsuchi is paying attention to entry and exit points, including any barred windows in the many rooms of the institution.
- Otsuchi casts Read Matrices to examine the electrical power flows throughout the facility. He notes the location of various security cameras. It seems that the facility is getting its power from somewhere beyond sensory range down below the basement to the east. There are no abnormal power readings.
- He uses his smart phone to take relevant pictures.
- Examining Resonance, Otsuchi notices a black taint throughout the facility, almost akin to black body radiation, but splotched more strongly like black paint into some areas of the asylum. It has the feel of something sinister [1 success].
- Under his breath he asks Kronate if he sees the same thing, which prompts him to cast Sybil’s Sight. He notices the same thing, but sees thin strands of varying thickness connecting some of the darkly tainted areas, not unlike a spider’s web [1 success]. Kronate relays this information to Otsuchi, who is not sure what it might be.
- Kronate notes that the tour does not go very far into the West Wing and it’s a place of interest they should probably explore upon their return.

Flashback – Wednesday, June 24th, 2009, 11 AM – Danvers Asylum (iScrying)

- Okazo has set up a laptop in Arachne’s basement Demesne and is viewing a photo of the interior of Danvers Asylum that he has found on Wikipedia.
- He begins chanting mathematical equations in the High Speech while clutching his laptop on either side with both hands.
- Okazo has opted not to use a sacrament and the ritual spell is proving more difficult than he had anticipated.
- After three and a half hours he successfully penetrates the outer Ward on the asylum [Scrying 10 + 2 (High Speech) – 1 (No Sacrament) – 4 (Known Sympathy) = 7 × 3 hours = 21 dice → 8 successes].
- The image on the screen becomes more real as Okazo casts his consciousness into the institution.
- From his laptop he surveys everything he can with Eyes of the Building until he reaches the end of the West Wing, where his gaze can go no further.
- He uses Spatial Awareness to analyze the area and determines that there is an extremely powerful Ward shielding it from viewing.
- With an improvised Mind and Forces spell he dumps everything he has seen while viewing the asylum into his laptop for later use.
- Arachne arrives home with architectural plans for the asylum and gives them to Okazo for digitization. He transfers all of the information he has acquired thus far to his iPhone.
- After looking over the plans and conferring with Otsuchi, they decide that the best way to enter the facility would be through the tunnels leading up from the nearby power plant.

Flashback – Thursday, June 25th, 2009, 9 AM – Danvers Asylum (Arachne)

- Arachne calls Chain Parris to thank him for the asylum plans delivered to her the day before by Silentium, a White Putnam Moros mage she has never met before.
- Cuchulainn calls her wishing that she had accepted his direct aid. “Be extremely careful. May you usher many souls to Summerland tonight”
- Arachne heads downstairs to check on the body she temporarily animated and brought back from the Obsidian Palace the day before. It is laying in her Life Demesne, ready for whatever she has in store for it.
- Arachne has an idea and goes back upstairs to ask Otsuchi if he would like to further his study of the Mysteries by assisting her in a ritual to animate a corpse.
- He asks her about the body and she reminds him that it was one of the Banishers [mages that hunt and kill other mages due to their own flawed Awakenings] that killed Adam.
- Given the origin of the corpse, Otsuchi finds the idea acceptable and even interesting.
- Arachne warns him that it will take at least 5 hours to complete the spell and she plans to incorporate a lot of Wiccan symbolism into the ritual.

Otsuchi: What kind of ritual exactly?
Arachne (cheerfully): Oh, nothing too unnerving. All the animals incorporated into the ritual are already dead…
Otsuchi (skeptically): Animals huh?
Arachne: Yes. You know. The usual. A roach here, a newt there…
Otsuchi (jokingly): Raccoon tails?
Arachne (seriously): No raccoon tails. I have everything we need downstairs.
Otsuchi: Ok then.

- They head downstairs into the Demesne. Arachne prepares her boiling cauldron and begins by adding some pickled newt tail and mandrake root.
- The soil floor of the basement is soft around the edges of the foundation. She chants a Wiccan verse while burying her open palm into the Demesne enriched soil. Half a dozen large earth worms coil around her fingers. Pulling her hand out, she sets them aside for later consumption.
- During the course of the Quicken Corpse ritual, the body slowly animates, first opening it’s eyes, then sitting up, and finally stands up, regarding them with dull eyes.

Thursday, June 25th, 2009, 10:25 PM – Danvers Asylum (Kirkbride Building – Main Floor)

- As the group emerges from the basement, Okazo casts Angle Vision as Otsuchi opens the door just a crack. The coast seems clear.
- He notices the darkness and casts Nightvision on the entire cabal [8 + 2 (HS) – 4 (Targets) = 6 dice → 2 successes].
- They can see about as well as they could in an unlit house on a cloudy day.
- Okazo casts Eyes of the Building and dumps the resulting data into his iPhone [1 Mana, 6 + 2 (HS) = 8 dice → 4 successes].
- They find themselves in a large lobby and decide to head west toward the heavily warded area they believe is of importance.
- The group passes the laundry and the kitchen.

- Arachne notices a ghost 40 feet down the hallway that looks like a strung-out junkie. He’d stand six feet tall if he didn’t slouch nearly six inches of it away, and his gauntness borders on the appearance of severe anorexia. The scores of holes in his arms, legs, and elsewhere continually weep what looks to be a mixture of blood and heroin. He is dirty and his hair is a clumpy dark tangle that perpetually hangs in his face.
- He is walking toward the group, but turns into a side room to the cabal’s right.
- Otsuchi stops the group and uses an improvised Forces spell to cause an overhead security camera to see the same static image while the group is passing by.
- They continue to the entrance of a room that was once the pharmacy and observe the half-dazed ghost rummaging through boxes of tour pamphlets, to no avail.

Arachne: What are you looking for?

- He regards Arachne briefly, shrugs his shoulders, walks through her, leaves the room and makes a right turn to go back the way he came. He smells of old sweat and the faintest whiff of piss and shit that soil his threadbare jeans, while his shirtless torso is adorned by a small, faded tattoo of a four-leaf clover on the right side of his chest.
- The cabal follows him west as he passes three rooms, before turning right into a small room formerly used to house a patient. He sits on the edge of a bed.
- The mages’ Unseen Senses trigger as he attempts to show Arachne and Kronate something telepathically, but fails to penetrate their defenses.
- The ghost sighs and stares blankly into the distance.
- Kronate feels like the ghost was trying to show him something important. He reflects on their mission:

Flashback – Thursday, June 25th, 2009, 8 PM – Danvers Asylum (Hathorne Manor)

- The group is making final preparations for the night’s investigations.
- Kronate expresses his frustration that they’ve been forced into going on what is potentially a dangerous mission just to placate The Nemean. He fully expects to find that the Tremere have come back to Danvers.
- Arachne muses that she hopes to collect future favors from the Consilium after The Bulwark of Shadow proves itself invaluable and promises the group that one day they will call the shots.
- Otsuchi is suspicious of the powers that be, but looks to Arachne for guidance on political matters.
- They all agree to tackle the mission with confidence.

View
Session Thirty Nine
Danvers Asylum

Thursday, June 25th, 2009, 10 PM – Danvers Asylum (Basement Tunnels)

- Beginning in media res: As the Bulwark of Shadow cabal steps through the open Portal, they look back just in time to see Okazo’s VGA projector sputter and spark, giving it’s short life to the task at hand. They emerge through the tunnel in space to enter another more mundane passageway. It leads from a power generating plant at the bottom of the hill to the hospital. The tunnels that run underneath the asylum branch off like spokes from the main building and lead to the various wards of the hospital. They press on to the main hub, beneath the Kirkbride building. From there they begin their investigation.

- They reflect on their preparedness:

- Arachne has ritually animated a corpse she retrieved from the Obsidian Palace after spending 12 hours of study learning the rote for Quicken Corpse while in the Library of the Dead:

Matilda the Zombie

Power 4
Finesse 3
Resistance 2
Speed 4
Initiative 1
Defense 4
Vulnerability: Fire
Duration: 6 Days

- Arachne also has Entropic Shield (Death 3 Armour) and Ghost Shield (extra defense against Ghost Numen) active for 24 hours, and Places of Power up at Hathorne Manor.
- Kronate has ritually cast a potency 12 Superlative Luck spell with a 12 hour duration. He also has Fortune’s Protection (Fate 3 Armour) active for 24 hours.
- Okazo has ritually cast Augment the Mind (+ 3 Wits), Mind Shield, and Untouchable (Space 3 Armour) with a 24 hour duration, and has a Ward up at Hathorne Manor.
- Otsuchi has cast Honing the Form (+3 Strength) ritually, along with Magic Shield and Force Field, all with a 24 hour duration.
- Kronate has the Abedju Cipher.

- Otsuchi leads the way. Upon exiting the portal he immediately casts Supernal Vision.
- The Resonance of the asylum is dark and heavy. The weight of suffering and misery is still present. Many atrocities were committed here.
- Arachne warns the group that they will likely encounter ghosts along the way and that she plans to help them resolve their difficulties in order to allow the souls they tether to pass on to Summerland in the Supernal Realms; a central tenet of her wiccan beliefs.

- The group arrives at a maintenance area next to the large boiler room underneath the Kirkbride building. It is lit with red emergency-like lighting.
- At the base of the stairs leading up to the main level Arachne notices the ghost of a little girl in Twilight, skipping along while looking for something. Her head is permanently skewed at an angle from her broken spine. The snapped vertebrae bulge grotesquely at the back of her neck. Despite this, she’d be a cute kid, if it weren’t for how eerie she now looks, with a wan, wasted complexion that was clearly once healthy and rosy. Her blonde curls have faded to ivory, while her lips are dark and her eyes, shadowed. She’s still wearing the Sunday best that she had on when she died, though it too is faded. Despite being a ghost, the girl has a cheerful demeanor and is prone to giggling like the six-year-old she was when she died. Her voice and laughter echo distantly as she skips along, heard even by those who cannot look into Twilight.

- Arachne steps up next to Otsuchi, holds her wand aloft and utters the High Speech and casts Ectoplasm [Vulgar, but no Paradox]. She opens her mouth and vomits forth a large volume of Ectoplasm [Size 3]. The little girl is now visible through the liquid grey substance that coats her and drips from her tiny ephemeral form.
- Otsuchi sees that she is carrying a small solid jar. She is holding it close as though it is comforting to her.
- She notices them now, giggling and scurrying to hide next to the maintenance lockers at the base of the stairs, almost like she is playing a game of Hide and Seek. She leaves grey ectoplasmic footprints behind as she moves.
- Arachne approaches her.
- The girl looks up at her, smiling: “Mama told me to give you this.”
- She unscrews the lid on the jar she is carrying. The group hears the moaning and groaning of zombies as Otsuchi and Kronate [Prime 2] notice a high potency Vulgar spell unfurling from the receptacle. Three inch vicious looking black worms are streaming out of the container. [36 dice → 13 successes worth of Lethal damage to everyone in a 5 meter radius].
- Otsuchi [1 Mana, 8 dice → 4 successes] and Kronate [1 Mana, 10 dice → 11 successes] successfully use Counterspell to disintegrate the worms as they are manifesting.
- The child throws the empty jar in the corner and it smashes to pieces against the wall next to the lockers and continues to hop around, amusing herself as if nothing had happened.

- Feeling that the girl is no longer a threat, Arachne continues to approach her grey ectoplasmic form.

Arachne: That was a nasty trick. Mommy told you to do that?
Little Girl: Yeah. Mama told me that if I gave that to the sparkly people, that she would find Teddy for me. I can’t find him anywhere…
Arachne: Where was the last place you had him?
Little Girl (pausing): I don’t remember. Why? Do you know where he is?
Arachne: No, but I’ll let you know if I find him.
Little Girl: That’s good. I really miss Teddy…
Kronate: Maybe we could look for Teddy.
Arachne: Where’s Mommy right now?
Little Girl: I don’t know. Mommy’s been gone a long, long time…

- Arachne reminds everyone that all ghosts have anchors that bind them to the Fallen World. The anchors might offer a clue to helping them pass on.
- Kronate suggests that Teddy might be the little girl’s anchor.
- Arachne also indicates that knowing the manner in which a person dies can often lead to useful information on how to help their ghost.
- Arachne successfully casts an improvised unveiling Death spell she calls Analyze Ghost to determine that the girl died in 1987 from a broken neck.
- Kronate steps forward.

Kronate: Hey little girl, what was your Teddy’s name?
Little Girl (smiling): His name was Teddy, silly!
Kronate: What’s your name, sweetheart?
Little Girl: Lily.
Kronate: Lily, what kind of bear was Teddy?
Lily: A brown bear.
Kronate: Lily, what’s your last name?
Lily: I’m Lily Kenzie.

- Kronate takes his favorite coin out of his pocket and flips it absently between a thumb and two fingers as he casts Postcognition to the moment of Lily’s death [9 + 2 High Speech – 6 (Acquainted Sympathy) = 5 dice w/Superlative Luck → 1 success = 1 minute of Postcog].

- It’s 1987. Kronate hears the warning from Lily’s mother as the little girl opens a door marked “authorized personnel only”. It’s too late as Lily loses her footing on the greasy metal stairs and tumbles into the darkness. Lily Jennifer Kenzie was six years old when she fell down this flight of stairs and broke her neck. She was dead the very moment she hit the stone floor. As she fell, her favorite teddy bear flew up into the duct work. She landed at the bottom of the stairs looking up at Teddy with dead eyes.

- Kronate looks up into the duct work and notices Teddy still wedged there, obscured mostly by shadows.

Kronate (pointing): Lily, look! It’s Teddy.

- She tries to look up, but can’t because of her injuries.
- Kronate seems determined to get the bear. Okazo looks on with amusement as Kronate hauls a heavy bench over so that he can reach the bear. He waits until Kronate climbs up and goes to reach for it before casting Apportation [Vulgar, but no Paradox] to open a small portal in space, reaching his hand through to grab Teddy before Kronate is able [Envy, Okazo regains 1 Willpower].
- Lily notices the bear and moves toward Okazo. “Teddy!”
- Okazo, shrugs his shoulders and holds the Teddy out for Lily to grab.
- She takes the Teddy bear in her arms, smothering it in an ectoplasmic embrace, and rocks back and worth until she fades from the Fallen World.
- The slime covered Teddy falls harmlessly to the basement floor.
- Arachne briefly explains that Lily’s ghost has resolved her anchor and that she and the rest of the Coven of the Summer Ash believe that this should allow her soul to pass on into Summerland in the Supernal for eventual reincarnation.

- Otsuchi warns everyone to be on their guard for future attacks. “Those worms were pretty nasty.”
- The group presses on, climbing the stairs to the main level of the Kirkbride building, careful not to lose their footing…

View
Session Thirty Eight
Danvers Asylum

Monday, June 22nd, 2009, 10 AM – Danver’s Asylum (Hathorne Manor)

- Arachne gets up before the others and begins making breakfast for everyone.
- The pleasant smell of buttermilk pancakes wakes the rest of the cabal and one by one they shamble downstairs into the living room.
- There’s some lighthearted discussion about flavoring the pancakes with the Tass berries that are now growing in Arachne’s Life-Demesne in the basement of Hathorne Manor.
- Kronate brings Okazo up to speed on his security discussions with Otsuchi from the night before.
- Okazo reiterates that the Sanctum Ward is still firmly in place.
- He considers upgrading the Ward to a Ban, perhaps against certain emotions like anger but decides to leave it alone for now.

Monday, June 22nd, 2009, 10:30 AM – Danver’s Asylum (Hathorne Manor)

- After breakfast, Otsuchi announces that he will be making his usual run around the grounds perimeter and invites anyone who wishes to join him.
- Okazo accompanies Otsuchi for about half the run and then heads back to Hathorne Manor.
- Upon his return, Otsuchi announces that he plans to teach martial arts and emergency medical care at the YMCA in order to look for potential security recruits.
- This prompts a discussion where the cabal confirms that the standard explanation to Sleepers for why they all live at the Manor is because it is a boarding house.
- Okazo recommends that they keep the story simple to avoid too many questions.
- Otsuchi warns the cabal that they are going to need to become stronger, faster. Too many people in the Consilium are aware and jealous of their resources.
- Kronate is less worried. He’s confident that the lesser mages of Boston could never attempt to take what they have and the more powerful mages are probably not as interested. The Nemean made it pretty clear to everyone that the Cipher belongs to the Bulwark of Shadow now.
- Arachne points out that they also possess the Mask of Hecate and Otsuchi reminds everyone that it is a powerful imbued item, but not a supernal artifact. Ogma is aware that they have it. As is Seer of the Throne Dr. Benjamin Imes.
- Kronate believes Ogma to be a friend of the cabal and that he went pretty easy on them during the Consilium meeting.
- Arachne guesses that many in the Consilium must be wary of the cabal and their quick rise to being such a focus of attention.
- Kronate tells everyone that he and Ogma have a working relationship where he provides him information on Sleeper activity in return for police information.
- The discussion moves from worrying about fellow Pentacle mages to concerns about the Seers of the Throne.
- Kronate asks Arachne how much the Pentacle can be counted on to help them against the Seers of the Throne or independent mages. She indicates that they might receive assistance, but it would likely come at a price. Over time this might change if they accumulate favours, so to speak.
- Arachne says that she will also nurture the Spirit of Justice so that it might be of greater assistance, and Otsuchi tells them of his plans to build up an armoury as well.

Monday, June 22nd, 2009, 11:15 AM – Danver’s Asylum (Hathorne Manor)

- Kronate calls Ogma.

Ogma: Hey Kronate. Interesting night last night.
Kronate: I think it went fairly well for us.
Ogma: I’ll say. What are you calling about?
Kronate: Just wanted to thank you for taking it easy on us at the meeting. I want to talk to you about something else. We should get a coffee some time.
Ogma: Sounds good. Maybe a bite to eat instead? I’m busy for a few days, but later in the week sounds good. What day’s good for you?
Kronate: Thursday is probably good.
Ogma: Alright, we’ll do lunch. I know a great place.
Kronate: What kinda place?
Ogma: Pasta. You like pasta?
Kronate: Well enough.
Ogma: Talk to you soon.

Monday, June 22nd, 2009, 11:23 AM – Danver’s Asylum (Hathorne Manor)

- Arachne gets a call from Cuchulainn.

Arachne: How are you?
Cuchulainn: Well, and you Sarah?
Arachne: Good. When do you want to get started on Danver’s?
Cuchulainn: That’s the reason for my call. Apparently Chain Parris would like to brief us before we start.
Arachne: Fair enough.
Cuchulainn: He’d like to meet with us later today at the Putnam Estate in the Back Bay area. He’d like us to be there around 2 o’clock this afternoon, if possible.
Arachne: I’m pretty sure we can do that.
Cuchulainn: Sorry for the short notice, but he seems eager to get started. The Nemean was fairly insistent last night.
Arachne: Yes. Do you want to meet us there?
Cuchulainn: Well, you could pick me up…
Arachne: Sure. No problem.

Monday, June 22nd, 2009, 1:10 PM – Danver’s Asylum (Putnam Estate)

- Okazo offers to drive everyone into town.
- Everyone casts appropriate defense spells in the Hallow before leaving.
- Okazo drives more or less West along county roads until meeting the freeway and heading north into Boston. He clears most of the city before getting off in North End.
- Cuchulainn is sitting, waiting on the porch of his brownstone duplex.
- Okazo takes them to the Putnam Estate, in Back Bay.
- Arachne recognizes the estate from previous Silver Ladder gatherings and casts her mind back to some interesting friendly Neo-Paganism vs. Christianity debates she’s had with Chain and other members of the White Putnam cabal.
- The house is walled with high unadorned stucco covered brick. It’s pretty plain in appearance, with humble flower gardens and short neat hedges that line the front door. The gates are open and Okazo parks in the driveway.
- Cuchulainn knocks and Magdalena answers. She is pretty woman with long curly black hair and traditional roman features. She has an olive complexion unblemished by cosmetics. She’s dressed in a plain pale green dress.

Cuchulainn: Hello Magdalena. We’re here to see Chain.
Magdalena (pleasantly): Come in. He’s been expecting you.

- She leads them into a large living room.

Magdalena: Have a seat. Make yourselves comfortable. Chain will be along soon. Would anyone like some tea?

- Cuchulainn, Arachne and Kronate decide to have tea. Otsuchi and Okazo have water.
- Magdalena leaves and returns with refreshments. She is half-way done serving everyone when Chain Parris enters from a side-door dressed in an expensive white suit.

Chain Parris: Hello and welcome. Sorry for the delay. I had something else I had to take care of. It ran a little longer than expected. I see that Magdalena has at least seen to some refreshments?
Arachne: Yes. Thank you.
Chain Parris: Let us begin then.

- The charismatic mage sits down in a large comfy chair next to the beautiful mahogany coffee table now populated by an expensive tea set.

Chain Parris: So The Nemean has set tasks for all of us and I’m here to answer any questions you might have. I’d like to explain how we handled things in the past as it might help you sort things out before proceeding. First of all, do you have any questions?
Arachne: Can you elaborate more on what’s expected of us?
Chain Parris: Sure. Cuchulainn here has noticed that ghosts have been visiting people of influence in the city and their origin appears to be the Danver’s Lunatic Asylum.
Arachne: Visiting Sleepers?
Chain Parris: Yes. People in government and powerful corporate executives. The Nemean believes these people are being blackmailed into tying up progress on The Big Dig.
Chain Parris (looking squarely at Kronate): The Big Dig is important, and more to some than others.
Chain Parris: The main concern The Nemean and I share is that the Tremere Liches may have returned to reestablish their base of operations at the asylum. This is something that we simply cannot allow to happen. You may know a little about the asylum, but it hasn’t been a functioning facility since 1992.
Cuchulainn: Yes. Chain is to be commended for the way he handled things. He simply applied the right political pressure by making sure that the abuses at the asylum were well publicized in the media. It was subsequently closed by the Sleeper authorities. A clever bureaucratic solution, if you will.
Chain Parris: You’re giving me far too much credit, my friend! It was hardly a one man show. Quite a few of my cabal mates and other members of the Ladder were instrumental in helping us supply the right incentives, so to speak.
Arachne: How long ago was that again?
Chain Parris: It happened back in the early ‘90s. We haven’t heard anything to draw our attention to Danver’s in quite some time. Given the present situation, perhaps we should have seen things through to the end. I can take some responsibility for the fact that maybe we were too proud of our own cleverness. We should have followed up with a more thorough onsite investigation it would seem.
Arachne: Have you heard anything from the Liches since? It seems unlikely they would have let that go without any retribution.
Chain Parris: The Liches’ cabal was called Dark Crossings. Rumour has it that most of them disbanded shortly after the asylum closed down. Dr. Calabresi, the original Tremere in the area, and their leader of sorts, apparently went West and has never been seen again. Some of his fellow Liches followed him. The Tremere don’t typically play very well together, but the asylum provided them an opportunity, a bounty of souls to feast from. They were able to put aside some of their natural territorial urges. The competition for souls is usually too great to allow that level of cooperation among the Tremere.
Cuchulainn (interjecting): The thing with the Tremere is that all of them have made a Faustian bargain. They have to feed often enough that they can’t generally gather together without drawing too much attention to themselves. It’s hard to harvest souls en mass from the general population without being noticed, especially by those of us who are Awakened.
Kronate: Do the Tremere respect the Veil, as the Guardians would say?
Cuchulainn: Not formally, but they have their own reasons for secrecy. After all, they do practice a dark art.
Chain Parris (emphatically): Their Legacy is abhorrent and an abomination, and believe me, if I thought that destroying them outright years ago were the best course of action, I would have championed that cause just as strongly as the more subtle and less bloody approach we chose. Though once they were driven from Danver’s, we did deal more forcefully with some of them. In hindsight it’s regrettable that we didn’t destroy them all!

- Though they rarely agree on religious matters, Arachne respects Chain’s passion to protect the souls of the innocent, which Arachne believes should be allowed to pass on into Summerland for eventual reincarnation.

Chain Parris (indicating Cuchulainn): In any case, we feel that something is stirring there at Danver’s and we shouldn’t take it lightly. I recommend fully investigating before venturing there. Liches can be extremely powerful for, unlike us, some of them are hundreds of years old. Despite their dark arts, nothing precludes them from acquiring vast knowledge of the Supernal.
Otsuchi: Chain, what would the Tremere likely do after being driven out? What might have brought them back? After all, there are no “loose” souls for the taking at Danver’s anymore.
Chain Parris: That’s a good point. Maybe they left behind some unfinished business?
Otsuchi: What exactly did the Sleeper authorities do? Is there a caretaker of the facility?
Chain Parris: It’s since been turned into a tourist attraction, but not many people go there. The government continues to fund it as such at the behest of lobbying from several historical societies. I’d like to see the place demolished. After all this time, Sleeper organizations can still prove to be a challenge at times.
Otsuchi: Maybe we’ll do reconnaissance by taking the tour.
Chain Parris: Good idea. I’ll follow up with some political investigation and try to find out who is lobbying so hard to keep the place open.
Otsuchi: Do you have any way of getting architectural drawings for the asylum?
Chain Parris: I’ll see what I can do. Should you go there, be wary of traps and whatever else the Tremere may have in store for Awakened visitors. The fear of such things is the main reason why Boston mages have stayed away for so long. None have ventured there, as far as I know.
Otsuchi (laughing): Naturally.
Chain Parris (catching on): It seems like the Ebon Noose want you to do their dirty work for them.

- Otsuchi and Kronate exchange looks, but save any further comments for the ride home.

Chain Parris: Danver’s was always a cesspool from it’s inception. It was not a place you would want one of your loved ones to visit. The Tremere merely added to the atrocities already taking place there. Be careful and call me if you need anything.

- They exchange their goodbyes and then Magdalena shows everyone out. “May God’s light guide your way.”

View
Session Thirty Seven
The Bulwark of Shadow

Monday, June 22nd, 2009, 12:45 AM – Interlude (The Emerald Scroll Tavern)

- Arachne and Okazo have one drink with Kronate and Otsuchi before heading back home.
- The Emerald Scroll is busy. Many mages that were at the Consilium meeting have come in their Legacy/Order attire.
- Kronate and Otsuchi decide to get pleasantly buzzed, but not inebriated.

- Geb arrives and approaches Davey Jones who is dressed in his full pirate getup. He orders a Sam Adams and drains the last of it on tap. Davey Jones heads downstairs to get another keg.

Kronate: Yo Geb.
Geb: What’s happening Kronate?
Kronate: Seeing you with The Nemean was the highlight of my evening. I don’t really go for all that political bullshit.
Geb: Me neither.

- While Kronate is engaged with Geb, Otsuchi scans the room for an Arrow to converse with. He sees Apollonia sitting with Cathubodva and Faustina. The latter two are getting up for a restroom break and Otsuchi uses the opportunity to approach Apollonia.
- Apollonia’s girlish good looks have faded, but she still looks young for her age. She has a toned athletic build and is soft spoken, if a little awkward. She was once a student of Ferrum’s, but after being mentored by him for awhile as a Perfected Adept she decided to follow a modified version of that Legacy and joined the Brotherhood of Ineffable Truth instead.

Otsuchi: Hello. Do you mind if I ask you a question?
Apollonia: Not at all. Have a seat.
Otsuchi (sitting): You’re an arrow in a non-Arrow cabal. How do you get the rest of your cabal to take security more seriously?
Apollonia (smiling): Usually by recounting tales of how things can go terribly wrong. What’s on your mind specifically?
Otsuchi: I’m sure you’ve heard about our run in with the Matrix Tappers.
Apollonia: Yes. You did a fantastic job of throwing them out of your Sanctum.
Otsuchi: We have a strong offence, but no one wants to have to eject someone from their home. I’m looking for stronger defensive measures…
Apollonia: Well for starters, there are ways of flavouring the mana of your Hallow so that others can’t use it.
Otsuchi: Yes, but that would take a considerable amount of effort.
Apollonia: True, but it would definitely reduce the appeal of your Hallow to outsiders. Hathorne Manor is a major source of mana and given the fact that you also own the Cipher, there are a lot of cabals out there envious of the Bulwark of Shadow’s resources.
Otsuchi: Fair enough.

- When Apollonia mentions the Cipher, Otsuchi remembers that Okazo asked Arachne if he could hold it for awhile after besting Eve and she gave it to him for safe keeping.

Apollonia: Also, don’t make the mistake that many cabals do of overlooking the usefulness of Sleepers, and Sleepwalkers as well if you can find them. Don’t just look to mages to handle all of your security needs.
Otsuchi: That’s good advice. Thanks.
Apollonia: Well, good luck with everything. Considering how well the four of you have handled yourselves until now, I expect everything will work out for you. It always pays to be extra careful though, especially when you have a coveted Artifact in your possession. But fair is fair and you guys are the rightful owners of the Cipher now according to the Lex, so I don’t think anyone will be foolish enough to try to take it from you.
Otsuchi (standing, noticing her companions returning): Thanks a lot Apollonia. I really appreciate it.
Apollonia: No problem. Say hi to Ferrum for me. He was a good mentor, but I simply decided to follow another path.
Otsuchi (bowing): I’ll let him know. Thanks again.

- Otsuchi heads back to wait for Kronate to finish speaking with Geb.

Geb: I was glad to hear that your friend won. He cleaned Eve’s clock pretty good.
Kronate (smiling): He’s good that way. That’s why we love him.
Geb: No doubt.
Kronate: But seriously Geb, if anyone other than you had told me that tearing down historical sites was going to improve the resonance flow in the city I’d have called bullshit.
Geb: I know you found it hard to swallow, but most of those places are nothing special. Just bureaucrats getting in the way or what has to happen.
Kronate (kidding): I believe you man. Just busting your balls a little is all. So what do you know about this asylum?
Geb: It was a pretty troubled place awhile back. Liches ran the place for the better part of the 20th century from what I’ve heard, and not to the benefit of the patients either. How much do you know about the Tremere?
Kronate: Almost nothing.
Geb: They’re a left-handed Legacy centered around consuming souls to maintain their youth. It’s pretty nasty business. No one knows their true origins, but some Tremere Liches are very old and powerful. There were at least a dozen in Boston at one time, before Chain Parris and the White Putnams used some clever methods to get rid of them.
Kronate: Let’s hope we don’t run into any that might still be hanging around Danvers while we’re poking around. How did Chain drive them out?
Geb: He made sure that all of the abuses at the Asylum were well publicized and investigated. The Sleeper authorities cut the Asylum’s funding and with no more patients for the Tremere to harvest they left the area. As powerful as the Liches are, without a steady supply of souls they too will succumb to old age and die.
Kronate: How often do they need to feed?
Geb: It depends on how powerful the soul is. Sleeper souls don’t sustain them for long, but the souls of the Awakened are highly nourishing to them.
Kronate: How long can a Sleeper survive without a soul?
Geb: They survive, but without a soul they eventually go mad. At least half the patients at Danvers were probably soulless and driven mad through their contact with the Tremere. I’ll probably be calling on you sometime soon. I’ve been following some leads of my own. There’s something going on in Roxbury that may be tied to whatever’s going on at the Asylum. You guys hook up with Cuchulainn and tackle the problem at the source. I’ll figure out what’s going on in the city. I’ll keep you posted on what I find.
Kronate: Ok. Later, Geb.

- Kronate and Otsuchi have another drink and fondly reminisce about defeating the Matrix Tappers.

Kronate: We made them our bitches and they paid us a hundred Tass for the privilege of milking our dicks!

Monday, June 22nd, 2009, 2:30 AM – Interlude (The Emerald Scroll Tavern)

- Kronate and Otsuchi call a cab to take them back to Hathorne Manor.
- They decide to discuss their earlier conversations with Geb and Apollonia.
- Otsuchi casts an improvised Forces spell to lower the output of their voices by 40db, so that the cab driver can’t quite make out what they’re discussing.

Otsuchi: Apollonia thought it might be a good idea to disguise the true power of the Hallow to outsiders. It might be difficult to make the spell indefinite though.
Kronate: We can investigate that.
Otsuchi: The other thing she suggested was to find Sleepwalkers to help defend and operate Hathorne Manor.
Kronate: We could ask around The Metropolis in the Astral for Sleepwalkers that might fit what we’re looking for.
Otsuchi: That might work. We could also look for them in occult bookstores or other places that those who have witnessed magic might be interested in. I’ve also been thinking that Ogma might know who some of the Sleepwalkers are in Boston considering how much he investigates violations of the Precept of Secrecy.
Kronate: Good thinking. I’ll contact him about it soon. Maybe buy him a donut even.
Otsuchi: Ok then, so back to the issue of disguising the Hallow. It’s probably going to take an eight hour ritual just to disguise it for a couple of weeks.
Kronate: It seems like a lot of effort. Maybe we’ll just do it when we’re going to be away for awhile.
Otsuchi: That might be all we have time for. We’ll have to think about it some more. It would be nice if the Seers overlooked our Hallow though…

- The cab pulls close to Hathorne Manor. Kronate signals for the driver to pull over, he hands him cash and a generous tip. They walk the rest of the way home.

View
Session Thirty Six
The Bulwark of Shadow

Sunday, June 21st, 2009, 10:40 PM – The Bulwark of Shadow (Cormant House – Salem)

- After observing a moment of silence for Adam, Ogma continues his report on The Bulwark of Shadow.

Ogma: During their fight against the Goetic Spirits, The Bulwark of Shadow committed some minor violations of the Lex Magica. They at times violated the Precept of Secrecy. Okazo in particular was not careful enough when fighting the Spirit of Greed. The only other blemish that I can see is that the cabal has a tendency toward too many unfortunate encounters with the Seers of the Throne.
The Nemean (growing impatient): Fine. Fine. These will be entered into the Lex and we can talk later. By tradition of the Tetragrammaton, a minor Tetra will be assigned to repay the Consilium for these small violations. It’s always important to remain vigilant in maintaining the Precept of Secrecy. It’s dangerous for Sleepers to know of our existence. Dangerous for us AND for them. We can deal with this matter later.
Blanchefleur (looking toward Arachne): Do you Arachne have anything to say which might conflict with Ogma’s report?
Arachne (standing up): No. The Bulwark of Shadow gratefully accepts admission into the Consilium and have no disagreement with what has been put forward.
Blanchefleur: Then I ask that the Council render their decision after a short recess.

- The Council retire to a side chamber to deliberate the cabal’s fate. The rest of the assembled mages mingle with one another and use the opportunity to stretch their legs.
- Arachne briefly thanks Ogma for his report. Kronate joins them.

Ogma: You guys have done well for a starting cabal, but you definitely have to be careful out there. I’m sure whatever The Nemean decides for your Tetra, it will be something minor.

- Ferrum approaches Otsuchi and they exchange pleasantries.

Sunday, June 21st, 2009, 10:55 PM – The Bulwark of Shadow (Cormant House – Salem)

- Blanchefleur announces the Council’s return. Everyone returns to their seats.

The Nemean: The Council is unanimous in its decision to accept The Bulwark of Shadow cabal into our greater community. But, the Council is still divided about what to do with regards to the Abedju Cipher, and I have NOT been swayed by either side enough to render my final decision about the Cipher.

- Ahriman of The Ebon Noose rises to his feet. He is a tall bald athletic man in his 50’s. He’s dressed well, but looks haggard with a twisting mass of scars marring his left cheek. Part of his left ear lobe is also missing. Blanchefleur notices and bids him to speak.

Ahriman (with the hint of a British accent): An artifact such as the Abedju Cipher belongs in the hands of more experienced mages. It has had a long and conflict ridden history. I don’t believe that The Bulwark of Shadow have the knowledge or strength to care for it properly. Let us settle this matter using one of our oldest traditions – Through the Duel Arcane.

- Okazo once again can’t believe this undemocratic and barbaric method of settling disputes is still considered legitimate. Nevertheless, he feels confident he could win his second duel since joining the cabal and is not feeling inclined to give up the Cipher without a fight.

Okazo: So be it. Despite my objection to this primitive practice for deciding important matters, on behalf of The Bulwark of Shadow, I accept!
Arachne: Is it the opinion of the Council that this is the best way forward?
The Nemean: As it is my decision to make, since the Council is divided, I accept this time-honoured practice as a valid means of determining ownership of the Cipher.
Arachne: Very well.

- Arachne is suspicious of The Nemean’s ruling, since Ahriman happens to be a member of the Hierarch’s cabal, though she is not surprised by it.

Potestas: Well, the Duel Arcane is all well and good, but I’m sure we can all agree as Councillors and as a Consilium that a battle between a Master of Death and a Disciple of Space and Mind is not a fair way to settle a matter of such importance. I demand that Ahriman appoint a Second to fight on his behalf.
Ahriman (surveying the room): Then I request that (Sentinel) Eve of the Gravediggers be my Second. She has my full support to settle this matter on my behalf.
Eve (standing): Very well, I accept the honour of representing Ahriman in this dispute.

- Eve is a beautiful woman in her mid-20s, with a rich, coffee-colored complexion. She wears her black hair in scores of thin braids, and wears a leather choker, ornamented with pieces of bone. She is dressed simply, in clothing suitable for combat.

Blanchefleur: Okazo, as the challenged you have the right to set the terms of the Duel.
Okazo: My only condition is that should Eve, by some stroke of luck win the Duel, that the matter of the Cipher be put to a vote before the whole assembly.
The Nemean: Using the usual voting method, of course.
Okazo (resigned): Fine then.

Sunday, June 21st, 2009, 11:10 PM – The Bulwark of Shadow (Cormant House – Salem)

Blanchefleur: Otsuchi, as this contest involves your cabalmate, would you like the honour of Squaring the Circle?
Otsuchi: I would.

- Otsuchi casts Squaring the Circle [Prime 2].
- Eve uses Life as her Sword and Spirit as her Shield.
- Okazo uses Space as his Sword and Mind as his Shield.
- The combatants enter the Circle and everyone gathers around.
- Eve gains the initiative. Her taunts unnerve Okazo a little [+ 1 attack for the rest of the fight].
- Eve unleashes a swarm of birds [Life] against Okazo and he partially deflects their attention [Mind], but still suffers cuts from some of their sharp beaks [-2 Willpower].
- The crowd murmurs about Eve’s greater level of experience. “This might be over soon.”
- Okazo decides to bet everything on one overwhelming strike. He uses Willpower and the full force of his Destiny to tear Eve apart with portals [Space] as spirits wrap around her, trying to keep her from being torn apart [Spirit].
- The crowd is shocked. It is so crushing an attack that Eve loses her nerve [-5 Willpower, Loses her + 1 bonus].
- Eve is nearly finished, but tries to ensnare Okazo with vines and he unsuccessfully attempts to fool her mind into thinking he is further away than he is [-1 Willpower].
- Okazo’s portals pry the spirits off her and pull her metaphysical form apart [-1 Willpower].
- The Duel ends and she is on all fours at Okazo’s feet, panting and looking away, ashamed. Eve, the Banner Warden of the Gravediggers, has been defeated.
- The crowd is impressed by the efficiency with which Okazo has defeated her [+1 Willpower, Envy – embarrassing a rival].
- Okazo merely walks away.

The Nemean: It is decided then. The Bulwark of Shadow will retain possession of the Abedju Cipher. Enter it into the Lex!
The Nemean (bringing his gavel down): I would like The Bulwark of Shadow to meet me in my chambers. This meeting is over!

- Mages begin filtering out. The Gravediggers are pissed. The Ebon Noose are annoyed. Arachne senses that Ahriman is not approachable, but she looks for Eve only to find Kronate consoling her already. “I guess that fairy thing works for him after all.”
- Arachne commends her for well representing her cabal and then leaves Kronate to his flirtations.
- Agdos sees this and comes to congratulate Kronate, distracting him long enough for Eve to make her exit, but not without casting a lingering glance his way.
- Chain Parris takes a moment to congratulate Arachne and the others, before following The Nemean into his chambers. “Don’t linger too long. The Nemean can get impatient.”
- Kronate leaves Agdos and joins the rest of the cabal as they make their way into The Nemean’s chambers.

Sunday, June 21st, 2009, 11:25 PM – The Bulwark of Shadow (Cormant House – Salem)

- The Nemean’s office is nicely furnished and his shelves are lined with interesting books. Arachne notices his spirit friends, but they seem bored and uninterested.
- Cuchulainn and Chain Parris are present. Surprisingly, as he missed the assembly, Geb is there as well.
- Everyone sits in nicely upholstered wooden chairs.

Chain Parris: Now seems like the appropriate time to collect the Consilium’s customary tithe.

- Arachne hands 60 Tass to Chain.

The Nemean: This meeting concerns the settling of two matters. Let us consider something that’s been weighing on my mind for some time now that you may have an interest in, and that you might also find to be a suitable vehicle to repay your Tetra to the Consilium.

- Kronate rolls his eyes.

The Nemean (turning to Chain, insistently): Chain, I DEMAND to know what is going on with The Big Dig. It’s fucking everything up!
Chain Parris (annoyed): It’s interesting that you would bring this up now, but as you know there is a considerable amount of red tape at city hall that needs to be dealt with. We had the judges and councillors onside and everything was proceeding according to plan, but now these guys are filibustering and nothing’s getting through city council. I’m still trying to figure out what’s going on. I think someone might be blackmailing them.
Geb: You may be right.
Cuchulainn (reporting to The Nemean): I have been doing as you asked Hierarch and I have found that there are Ghosts that have visited certain men and women of influence within the city, and as you requested I did trace the origin of those ghosts. They originate from Danvers Asylum.

- Arachne remembers Danvers Asylum. It was closed over a decade ago due to reports and proof of patient abuse at the facility. Political pressure instigated by powerful families of abused patients finally forced it to close after years of controversy. Arachne suspects that the White Putnams might have been behind the closing. It has since been turned into a historical site.

The Nemean: That’s interesting information Cuchulainn. Chain, I need you to get those judges and councillors BACK onside.
Chain Parris (protesting): I assure you that I’m doing everything I can!
The Nemean (standing and raising his voice): Have those heritage sites declared unsafe and demolished!

- Arachne and Kronate are familiar with the political situation: The Big Dig can’t proceed until several Boston historical sites are demolished and right now everything is tied up in red tape.

The Nemean (now pacing behind his desk): And I want you to get the ball rolling on demolishing the Asylum too! You know what that place used to fucking be! We can’t give the Liches ANY quarter.
Chain: On what grounds though?
The Nemean: I’m sure you’ll think of something.

- Arachne, reading between the lines, guesses that Danvers Asylum must have been a gathering place for Tremere Liches – Mages who feast on Souls to maintain their power. The soulless and the mentally ill are often indistinguishable to Sleeper psychiatry.

The Nemean: Cuchulainn, I’d like you to work with The Bulwark of Shadow and find out what’s going on at the Asylum. Something there is getting into our business.
The Nemean (addressing the cabal): I want you to go with Cuchulainn and find out what’s happening there. Do so and all of your minor transgressions will be forgiven, and moreover, the Council will recognize you all as Liegemen.
Cuchulainn: For my part, I’d be honored to work with The Bulwark of Shadow in this endeavor.
Arachne: We’ll do our best to look into it and take care of it. It’s a fair and useful way to settle the matter of the Tetragrammaton.
Kronate: It makes sense to deal with Danvers. My only beef is that we may be destroying important historical sites before trying something else.
Geb: Unfortunately Kronate, I’ve looked at the landscape and getting The Big Dig completed is the only thing that’s going to untangle the knot in Ariadne’s thread and restore the resonance of the city. It’s regrettable, but it has to happen. Most of the sites aren’t even that important. They’re just being used as an excuse by our enemies to tie things up in red tape.

- Arachne is concerned that following through with The Big Dig might somehow impact the ley line of Justice flowing into Hathorne Manor, but decides to discuss it with Kronate at a later time.

Geb: I’ve been following some leads of my own and there may be some other strange shit going on in Roxbury that I need to investigate. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

- Kronate is curious about the Asylum, but doesn’t feel like he owes the Consilium anything after dealing with Adam’s problems. Nevertheless, being made a Liegeman seems worth the effort of doing as The Nemean asks, so he doesn’t voice his concerns.
- Otsuchi feels that dealing with Danvers is a worthy service to perform for the local Mage community.
- Okazo, still buoyed by his recent victory, goes along with the plan without a fuss.

The Nemean (glasping his hands together): I’m glad you’ve accepted my proposal. It’s definitely going to make things go more smoothly for you.

- Kronate and Okazo exchange quick glances at that last comment.

Cuchulainn (standing): Well, I suppose we should get going then. It’s been a productive evening.
Geb: I’m gonna get going too. Talk to you later Kronate.

- Geb makes a quick exit.
- The cabal exchange goodbyes with Chain Parris and The Nemean and then head back to Boston.

Monday, June 22nd, 2009, 12:15 AM – The Bulwark of Shadow (Outside Cuchulainn’s Lair)

- Cuchulainn exits the SUV parked near the back entrance of his sanctum and bids everyone farewell. Arachne accompanies him to the rear grade entrance.

Cuchulainn (enticingly): One more thing Sarah. From my studies I have reason to believe that there is evidence of a powerful Death Demesne still in place at Danvers, and you know that where there is a Demesne, there are other things of interest as well. .
Arachne (smiling): That IS interesting. Thanks again for sponsoring us.
Cuchulainn: It was no bother. I was happy to smooth the way in any way I could. I’ll call you about Danvers

- Arachne watches her mentor open the basement entrance and hears Malpheus inside, excitedly asking questions of its master about the evening’s activities.

- On Otsuchi’s suggestion, The Bulwark of Shadow heads south to the Emerald Scroll in Roxbury to celebrate their victory.

View
Session Thirty Five
The Bulwark of Shadow

Preliminaries:

- The cabal have increased security at Hathorne Manor [Sanctum is now 8 dots → Size (2), Guardian Spirit of Justice (2), Security (3)].
- The security is mainly in the form of heightened electronic surveillance and network security.
- Okazo is still Warding the Sanctum against the use of Space and Sympathetic magic.
- Arachne has increased the Gauntlet by +3 to hinder hostile Spirits.
- Otsuchi is tapping into the justice ley line for redundant power, should the need arise.

Thursday, June 18th, 2009, 5:00 PM – The Bulwark of Shadow (Hathorne Manor)

Blanchefleur (addressing them all): So I’d love to hear your story: How you’ve come to the Consilium, and what you’ve been doing since.

- Arachne remembers that Blanchefleur is a Skald (a bard), so it’s not an unusual question coming from her.
- Kronate, having forgotten his true reason for coming to Boston [looking for Little Cedric], unconvincingly says that “Fate” brought him here.
- He then relates how the Cabal came together, including a basic rundown of Adam’s story and the Vice Spirits he unwittingly released that they were forced to deal with.
- Arachne politely asks Blanchefleur what her story is as well.

Blanchefleur: I’ve been in this area all my life with the rest of my family and cabal: Sanguine Laurel. We are a line of Willworkers that have persisted for hundreds of years.

- She seems somewhat forlorn about her past, but does not discuss it further.
- Kronate breaks the silence by telling her about their run in with the Shinje [a Tibetan cannibal spirit of reincarnation] and the Matrix Tappers [Ley Line researchers].

Blanchefleur (turning to Okazo): Your Destiny is as bright to me as a New England lighthouse beacon.
Okazo (smiling): Yeah, my future’s so bright I gotta wear shades.
Blanchefleur (addressing the group): From what I’ve been told, much to the consternation of some, you’ve also come into possession of the Abedju Cipher?
Okazo: There’s a fine line between “coming into possession” and “earning”.
Blanchefleur (to Okazo and casting an improvised Fate spell): Fair enough, but be warned, and I would appreciate it if you didn’t repeat this to anyone, for some may not see it this way, but it is very important to your Destiny that you retain possession of the Abedju Cipher.
Blanchefleur (still engaged with Okazo): I see also that you have a Fae Title as well.
Okazo: Correct.
Blanchefleur: It’s interesting. Some may not acknowledge such things, but Kronate can verify it if he wishes.

- Kronate casts an improvised Fate spell and confirms it: Bane of the Seal of Unity.

Blanchefleur: Tell me about the Legacies you’ve joined.
Okazo: I haven’t joined one just yet, but I’m working on it.
Arachne: For my part I’ve recently joined The Coven of the Summer Ash – a Legacy concerned with assisting souls with their transition from The Fallen World to Summerland in the Supernal realm. I’ve been helping some souls I’ve encountered along the way.
Otsuchi: I’ve joined The Perfected Adepts in order to perfect my body and mind using the Mysteries and to grow stronger in my martial capabilities.
Kronate: I’m a member of The House of Ariadne. We concern ourselves with the threads of the tapestry of life and how they relate to each other.
Blanchefleur (rising to her feet): Thank you all. I have everything I need. Just a word of advice: The Consilium can be an overly political place at times. Stay true to yourselves and the ideals of your Legacies and you should be able to successfully navigate the trials ahead.
Arachne: We’ll see you Sunday then.

- Blanchefleur reaches into her hand bag and retrieves coins – one side has The Bulwark of Shadow sigil and the other side the shadow name of the Mage she hands it to.
- Each cabal member receives 4 coins for being a Disciple in one or more Arcana and 2 coins for having Consilium Status 1 (ie. 6 coins each).
- Blanchefleur heads back to Boston.
- On Friday night Otsuchi and Kronate go out and indulge their Vices with no real consequences [+1 Willpower].

Sunday, June 21st, 2009, 6:30 PM – The Bulwark of Shadow (Hathorne Manor)

- The cabal are preparing their attire for the official gathering of the Boston Mage Consilium.
- Arachne dresses in traditional witches garb with a pointy hat and even brings a broom.
- Okazo has some fun with things and wears suspenders, a bow tie and horn rimmed glasses.
- Otsuchi is wearing a simple white gi.
- Kronate opts for voodoo makeup and tribal attire.
- Arachne’s phone rings.

Cuchulainn: There’s been a change of plans Sarah. Chain Parris will not be sponsoring your cabal’s entry into the Consilium.
Arachne: Oh?
Cuchulainn: The Nemean has asked that I do so instead. Can you pick me up on your way through town?
Arachne: Are you sure? Are you ok with this?
Cuchulainn: I’d be happy to sponsor the four of you. You’ve comported yourselves with dignity in your pursuit of the Vice Spirits and you deserve to be inducted.
Arachne: The Nemean called you himself?
Cuchulainn: No. Chain Parris informed me of his decision earlier today.
Arachne: Very well then. We’ll see you soon.

- Okazo drives the cabal in his SUV, heads north into Boston and then to North End to Cuchulainn’s brownstone sanctum. He is outside waiting and gets in the back with Arachne and Otsuchi.

Cuchulainn: Everyone ready for the big meeting on this fine Summer Solstice?
Arachne: I think so. I’m sure there’ll be some questions concerning the Cipher, but the way I see it we’ve earned just as much right to it as anyone given the work we’ve done dealing with the Vice Spirits, among other things.
Okazo: They better not have anything to say about the Cipher.
Cuchulainn: Well I hope your good works haven’t gone unnoticed.
Arachne: Thanks again for coming. I didn’t realize you normally attended these gatherings.
Cuchulainn: I haven’t participated much lately. All this political nonsense was keeping me from my studies – the only thing that truly matters.
Otsuchi: How much of it goes on in the Consilium here?
Cuchulainn: Far too much for my liking. The Nemean is powerful and the Ebon Noose and White Putnams control much of what goes on in Mage society around here. Most of the time everyone just goes about their business, but occasionally The Nemean implements unfair and brutal solutions to certain problems. He is not so much liked as feared. I have a working relationship with him that affords me more independence, but I like to tread lightly.

Sunday, June 21st, 2009, 9:00 PM – The Bulwark of Shadow (Cormant House – Salem)

- Okazo makes his way north east from Boston to Cormant House in Salem. The circular driveway is packed with cars and Okazo is forced to park further back up the long wooded lane.
- They approach the gathering of Mages on foot.
- Twenty or so Mages are milling about the grounds, engaged in conversation and displaying the attire of their Legacies, Cabals and Orders.
- Many more are gathered inside.
- Chain Parris [a Steward of the Celestial Orrery] is dressed in white priestly robes with gold trim, looking as though he belongs at the Vatican.
- Sentinel Anacaona de Xaragua [a Dreamspeaker] is attired in native shaman cloth and catching more than a few glances.
- Notably absent are any willworkers from the Dead Wrens or The Special Media Group. They do not attend out of protest to the undemocratic nature of the Consilium.
- In addition to Otsuchi, The Perfected Adepts are represented by Ferrum [with his sword Tanshien’s Thorn] and Apollonia. Other non-Legacied members of the Exalted Knights and The Brotherhood of Ineffable Truth are scattered about.
- Otsuchi recognizes The Gravediggers cabal, including Hydra [a Councillor with a grandmotherly bearing] and Reinga, both Stygian Heralds dressed in the deathly garb of pure black robes. Seraphim is also there.
- None of the main Guardians of the Veil cabal – Shadow Chorus – are present.
- Potestas, Aurem, and Numa [a Councillor, Thor-like in appearance with his axe Imadrillan] are congregating together. All are members of The Eyes of Ain Soph Legacy.
- Kronate looks for Vision, Mercy and Tyrhennus, but none of The Company have bothered to come.
- Altogether there are over 50 Mages present with almost half represented by Mages from the Ebon Noose and White Putnams.
- Although each of the cabal members have attended smaller gatherings of their own Orders, this is the first time they have been invited to the larger meeting.

Sunday, June 21st, 2009, 9:30 PM – The Bulwark of Shadow (Cormant House – Salem)

- The bell is rung and the assembled willworkers gather inside the main hall of The Cormant House.
- The hall is a large wooden room with rafters, almost barn-like in construction. There are wooden tables and chairs enough to seat a hundred and the seating is preassigned.
- The Bulwark of Shadow are in the second row of tables off to one side, perhaps more prominent than usual given that they are on the agenda.
- Cuchulainn spends some time talking with Chair Parris and Blanchefleur before sitting with The Bulwark of Shadow.
- The Councillors enter and take their seats at a long head table. The Nemean is at the center with Chain Parris to his right and Potestas to his left. Numa sits next to Potestas and Hydra sits next to Chain Parris.
- As The Nemean enters, seen only by Arachne and Cuchulainn, he is flanked on either side by two Spirits. They appear as ministers of the state from colonial times observing the proceedings from their Twilight state. Arachne believes them to be conceptual spirits of governance. Arachne whispers to Kronate and Otsuchi about the ethereal bureaucrats and Cuchulainn informs her that they rarely leave The Nemean’s side.

- The proceedings begin with a report from the Sanguine Laurel about their grand Mage census project. Blanchefleur leads the discussion and indicates a desire to also catalog any Seers of the Throne that may be active in the Boston region. The Consilium at large generally agree that the project should continue with little dissent.
- The Brotherhood of Ineffable Truth announce that they are organizing an expedition to Central Africa to explore a potential Atlantean Temple that may have been discovered. Agdos will keep everyone updated as things progress and give other worthy members of the Consilium a chance to participate.
- Khumeia of the Illuminated Pentad warns the assembled mages that Harvard is still rife with Seer influence and should be mostly avoided by Pentacle mages.
- Other minor business is discussed before attention finally turns to The Bulwark of Shadow.

The Nemean [Hierarch, a Keeper of the Covenant]: So, we have a new cabal in our midst that wishes to join us. Let’s get on with it!
Blanchefleur (rising): Yes. I am pleased to announce that The Bulwark of Shadow have petitioned to join our Consilium.
The Nemean (inquisitively): And just who ARE The Bulwark of Shadow?

Blanchefleur (indicating each one):

Arachne of The Coven of the Summer Ash, disciple of Life, Death, and Spirit.
Kronate of The House of Ariadne, disciple of Time and Fate.
Otsuchi, Perfected Adept, disciple of Forces, Prime, and Life.
Okazo, disciple of Space and Mind.

Blanchefleur (mischievously): Moreover, Okazo has a Title among the Fae.

- Much murmuring from the gallery ensues. “What is this nonsense?”

The Nemean (bringing his gavel down): Such things have little bearing here, but we may as well hear it.
Blanchefleur (anticipating their reactions): He is known among them as the Bane of the Seal of Unity.

- The crowd goes wild. “It’s ludicrous!” “The arrogance of it all!” “Don’t put that in the records!”
- The Seal of Unity is one of the Exarchs, the dark gods that rule over the Fallen World according to legend.
- Arachne and Okazo are amused by the commotion.
- The spirits flanking The Nemean are scribbling furiously on parchment paper with quill pens. Arachne is unsure of whether or not they are actually writing anything.

The Nemean (pounding his gavel loudly): Silence! Enough of this nonsense! Continue my dear.
Blanchefleur: The Bulwark of Shadow are the Stewards of Hathorne Manor and its considerable Supernal resources. They are vanquishers of the Seven Goetic Vices of Paul Kreshman and are the Keepers of the Abedju Cipher.

- Some members of the Gravediggers begin grumbling about this last point. They are seated three tables away close to the center of the room. “We’ll see about that!”

Blanchefleur: I shall now call upon a sponsor. Who here will vouch for The Bulwark of Shadow?
Cuchulainn (standing): I will. I hold this cabal in the highest esteem and vouch for them as loyal adherents to the Pentacle against the Lie of The Fallen World.
Blanchefleur: Thank you. Let the record show that Cuchulainn, Master of Life and Death of The Coven of the Summer Ash has sponsored The Bulwark of Shadow to be inducted into our Consilium. Does it please the members that The Bulwark of Shadow be entered into the Lex Magica?

The Nemean: Ogma, first tell the rest of us about all that has transpired recently with The Bulwark of Shadow and also of Paul Kreshman.
Ogma (standing up in the front row of tables): Paul was practicing Goetic Magic beyond his ability to contain. The Bulwark of Shadow was effective in containing the threat, but Paul was unfortunately killed by Banishers whose whereabouts remain unknown. It is a shame what happened to him and I hope that those of us that remain can learn from this lesson, not to go too far when plumbing the depths of the Mysteries.
Blanchefleur: Let us now observe a moment of silence for Paul Kreshman, known to us as Adam, killed by Banishers, an Apostate, lost to the Pentacle, but never a Seer.

- Everyone observes a moment of silence for Paul Kreshman.

… to be continued …

View
Session Thirty Four
The Bulwark of Shadow

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009, 2:00 PM – Interlude (Hathorne Manor)

Arachne: Tell me more about these cultists? How did you get mixed up in this?
Kronate: Hey, I did what I had to do. They were gonna cut up this woman and eat her. I called in Ogma, but I was on my own. I had to kill the guy. They were gonna kill an innocent Sleeper.
Arachne: Zee was going to eat this woman?
Kronate: He was leading this cult. They were going to kill and eat the woman. He’d already lured, killed and eaten a friend of my mentor.
Arachne: Were you tracking these guys down or something?
Kronate: I was tracking them down. I had already broken into Zee’s apartment. I stole a bunch of wild occult material from there. It turns out he was the head of a group of cultists. He had a man-beast guarding his apartment. It ran on all-fours like a dog and was covered in strange tatoos and it tried to eat me, but I took care of it. Geb said that the beast was a consequence of excessive cannibalism.
Kronate: Ogma gave me a lead to follow and I found the girl, but he was late and I had to deal with things on my own. I fought them off, but killed Zee during the fight. Ogma finally got there and arrested the others.
Arachne: When was this?
Kronate: Last Saturday.
Arachne: What else can you tell me about Zee and this cult?
Kronate: Sure. Well I got his hard drive and it had scans of all these ancient occult texts. Some of it seemed Egyptian. He and his sister had a scheme set up where they would lure people at the fringes of society away and carve them up and eat them. It was a bizarre cannibalistic cult.

- Arachne thinks back and realizes this might have been why they encountered the Chenoo (cannibal spirits) after battling the Shinje. They may have originally been attracted to Boston by the resonance of these cannibalistic activities.
- Kronate produces a sample of the occult writings he found on Zee’s hard drive and the cabal reads it.
- They contemplate further research into Zee and his cult.

Otsuchi: Kronate, there is something I heard from Ferrum that you might find interesting: He says that Potestas believes that you are close to uncovering something important and that it might be why he wanted our cabal to have the Abedju Cipher. I’m concerned that we might be chess pieces being moved around by the powers that be in the consilium. Do any of you get the same feeling from your mentors?

- Arachne feels that Cuchulainn is being straight with her and that he is not that involved with her to be manipulating her.
- Kronate feels that Geb is more hands on with him, and that Geb is working on something, but he’s not sure whether or not it involves him directly.

Kronate: The Big Dig seems to be Geb’s major concern.
Arachne: Cuchulainn is fairly up on what’s going on in the consilium and local politics, but my feeling is that at times they’ve taken an interest, like with the Cipher, but that they haven’t given us much assistance with the tasks we’ve taken on. It’s hard to say.
Otsuchi: Kronate, what’s the deal with the Big Dig?
Kronate: They’re digging a new transit system, but it’s taking forever and its messing up the resonance of the city.
Arachne: What’s the consequence of that? Who’s behind the Dig?
Kronate: It’s a city project. The knot in Ariadne’s thread is making it difficult for members of the House of Ariadne to trace things through the city. The House in Boston disbanded because of it.
Arachne: It sounds to me like someone, possibly a mage, is pulling strings behind the scenes to disrupt the resonance of the city using The Big Dig.
Otsuchi: I agree.
Kronate: It is what it is, but Geb is actively working against that disruption.
Otsuchi: Geb is a bit of a bringer, is he not?
Kronate: He’s a Master of Time and Adept of Fate. So yes.
Otsuchi: Doesn’t it tell us something if someone with Geb’s abilities hasn’t been able to do anything for all this time…
Kronate: Actually, Geb was out of commission for most of the last decade. I found him in a pocket realm outside the time stream.
Otsuchi: Maybe I’m being paranoid, but that’s part of a soldier’s job. Is the cabal in any danger from the machinations that are going on out there?
Arachne: It’s hard to say. I think we have to be on our toes, but we haven’t been directly threatened by anyone in Boston yet. That may change as we become more important players on the scene here.
Kronate: Do you think that the higher ups consider us lackeys?
Arachne: I’m not sure, but we need to put a stop to that if that’s the case. Being officially recognized should help us earn more respect.
Otsuchi: How much do you think we should be worried about The Big Dig?
Kronate: Like Arachne said, it’s hard to believe that mages aren’t involved somehow. Maybe some other non-mage party may be trying to mess with mages? Maybe The House disbanding is only a bellweather and not the intent of The Dig?
Otsuchi: Like an opening move or gambit?
Kronate: The loss of The House in the city is bad because things that are lost may not be found.
Otsuchi: Who would benefit from things not being found?
Kronate: It’s not just reflected here. It’s also affecting The Metropolis in the Astral: The archetypal city that is a huge library of knowledge often explored by Mysterium scholars and members of the House in particular.
Arachne: I will also point out that any manipulation of the ley lines in Boston is only to our detriment given the line of Justice that intersects our hallow.
Otsuchi: Well I didn’t necessarily want to make a big deal out of things, but everything seemed to be getting a little heavy. We should also discuss security:

- Okazo reports that he has re-established the Ward around the Sanctum and that network security is firm. Arachne has raised the Gauntlet strength as much as possible as well.
- Otsuchi suggests camera systems, better locks, and guard dogs. Otsuchi will work on redundant power via Prime and ley lines.
- Okazo says he’ll handle the electronic side of things.
- Arachne asks everyone how they would feel about servants along the line of those she used in the Obsidian Palace (zombies).
- Otsuchi says he would be fine with it as long as they found some way of acquiring the bodies without desecrating any graves.
- Arachne indicates that occasionally they come across corpses like those of the Banishers outside the Obsidian Palace and that she would be thinking more along those lines.
- Kronate asks if the corpses are tied to souls in any way and Arachne indicates that there is no connection, that they are merely vessels.
- Okazo suggests that Arachne just grab the Banisher corpses from the Palace. She says that she might.
- Otsuchi plans to learn the grounds better through regular runs around the perimeter.

Thursday, June 18th, 2009, 5:00 PM – The Bulwark of Shadow (Hathorne Manor)

- Otsuchi answers the door and a graceful lady of approximately 50 years of age is standing awaiting entry into the manor. She has a mature but slightly faded beauty, with honey blond hair that spills in luscious waves over her narrow shoulders. Her green eyes sparkle with wit and intelligence. She dresses well with clothing suitable for a lady of taste and high station.

Blanchefleur: Hello, I am Blanchefleur.
Otsuchi: Come in.
Blanchefleur: Oh, what a lovely house. So this is Hathorne Manor.
Kronate: Indeed it is.

- Kronate summons Okazo and Arachne.
- As Okazo enters the room Blanchefleur is impressed and sticken by him in some way and then regains her composure.

Blanchefleur (addressing them all): So I’d love to hear your story: How you’ve come to the consilium, and what you’ve been doing since.

- Arachne remembers that Blanchefleur is a Skald (a bard), so its not an unusual question coming from her.
- They consider their answers.

… to be continued …

View
Session Thirty Three
Finals Week

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009, 11:55 PM – Finals Week (Dr. Benjamin Imes’ House)

- The cabal deliberates on their next course of action while resting about a block from Dr. Imes’ house.
- There was some general discussion about The Seers of the Throne and the state of “cold war” that exists between The Pentacle and The Seers. Also, many Seers are unaware of the true nature of Pentacle Mages, since they were found and trained by other Seers and perhaps not told the whole truth about Awakened society.
- Arachne examines the local Gauntlet strength and notes that it is somewhat stronger than neutral. She looks for nearby relevant spirits and finds a mostly dormant ecology of inactive low rank spirits. Arachne chooses to leave these spirits alone for now.
- Arachne has Grandma enter the house, sticking mainly to ventilation shafts. It’s a three-floor house. She feels strangely at home in the house. Arachne casts a Space spell to link her senses to Grandma’s sympathetically [2 Mana] for the rest of the scene.
- Grandma finds what Arachne assumes is Dr. Imes’ bed on the top floor, but he is not asleep in it.
- She searches for him and finds him in the basement in what appears to be a large laboratory.
- Dr. Imes is studying something in a book while mixing various alchemical potions. He commands zombie servants to fetch new substances to incorporate into his ritual alchemy. He is a short, squat man in his late 40s, wearing black slacks and a white shirt.
- Arachne has Grandma return to her and briefs everyone on her theory that they are facing a Moros mage.
- Arachne bestows Speak with the Dead on the rest of the cabal so that they can interact with Grandma.
- Kronate asks Grandma more about what she saw downstairs and she tells him what he wants to know.

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009, 12:15 AM – Finals Week (Dr. Benjamin Imes’ House)

- The Bulwark of Shadow finish their attack plan.
- Kronate moves to the back of the house with Grandma, Okazo stays across the street. Arachne and Otsuchi park the SUV in Imes’ driveway and approach the front door.
- Otsuchi casts a Forces spell to monitor cellular traffic in the neighbourhood and Honing the Form to add +2 Strength [No Paradox].
- Arachne rings the doorbell. After about 2 minutes he answers the door.

Dr. Imes: May I help you?
Arachne: Sorry to bother you so late at night, but you seem to have a stolen mask in your possession and we’re here to retrieve it. As soon as you hand it over we’ll be on our way.
Dr. Imes: Who do you think you are knocking on my door at midnight? I really have no idea what you’re talking about…
Dr. Imes: What makes you think I have this mask anyway?
Arachne (uncloaking her Nimbus in a non-threatening way): Oh, we know you have the Mask.
Dr. Imes (irritated): Who sent you? Why are you accosting me at this late hour regarding something I know nothing about?
Arachne: We don’t really have time for lengthy explanations. Hand over the Mask and we’ll be on our way.

- Dr. Benjamin Imes is sizing Arachne and Otsuchi up, deliberating on what to do.
- Otsuchi shifts menacingly and Dr. Imes is getting nervous [Intimidation + Presence → 2 successes].
- Arachne tells Imes that she knows of his laboratory and his zombie servants, but that if he hands over the Mask they’ll be on their way.
- Dr. Imes begins casting a spell.

Otsuchi: Sacrifices Defense and attacks twice, adding Willpower to his first attack, but Imes’ Entropic Shield saps much of the energy from both attacks [9 dice + 4 dice → 4 Bashing]. He is knocked back a couple of steps into his house.
Kronate: Seeing Okazo close towards the house encourages Kronate to do the same with Grandma not far behind.
Arachne: Attempts to counter the Vulgar Death spell that Dr. Imes is casting but fails.
Dr. Imes: Conjures a wall of solid shadow that separates him from the cabal and then runs towards his basement laboratory.

Okazo: Draws his Glock 17 and runs towards the front porch.
Otsuchi: Puts one hand on the wall of shadow and smashes it with his other fist and manages to knock a chunk out of the wall big enough for a person to squeeze through sideways. The edges of the gap are frayed and cloth-like.
Kronate: Keeps his gun at the ready and dials Dr. Imes’ phone.
Arachne: Opens the gap in the shadow wall, peeling it back with Shadow Sculpting.

- Okazo heads upstairs to survey the area. “I’ll go up, you guys go down.”
- Otsuchi starts going downstairs into the dimly lit basement.

Dr. Imes (answering his phone): “Hello?”
Kronate: Listen man, it doesn’t have to be this way. Just give us the Mask and we’ll call it square.
Dr. Imes: You guys are making a big mistake. If you take off now we can call it a day and say that none of this happened.
Kronate (walking into the house with Grandma): It ain’t going down that way man.
Dr. Imes (hanging up): Suit yourself.

- Arachne follows Otsuchi downstairs.
- The zombies amble towards Otsuchi at the base of the stairs.
- Otsuchi can hear someone, presumably Dr. Imes, muttering in the High Speech beyond the zombies.
- Kronate arrives behind Arachne on the stairs and phones Okazo: “Unless you have the Mask come downstairs!”
- Okazo looks for the Mask upstairs but listens for any increased threat that might draw him to the basement.

- Three zombies swipe at Otsuchi, but miss him by a mile.
- Kronate trains his gun on a rear zombie and blows a large hole in its head, but it continues to move forward [8 Lethal].
- Dr. Imes casts Twilight Shift. Arachne uses Willpower to attempt to counter the Vulgar Death spell, but he succeeds anyway. [2 Paradox = 2 Bashing]. Clumps of his hair fall out. The Mask of Hecate does not shift with him and drops to the ground. “Shit!”
- Otsuchi punches a zombie and it suffers a glancing blow [2 Bashing].

- Kronate is looking around with Supernal Vision and notices the Mask fall to the ground.
- Dr. Imes runs through the basement wall.
- Okazo heads downstairs when he learns that the Mask is there.
- Otsuchi continues to fend of the zombies as Arachne begins to take control of them.

- Kronate casts Apportation to bring the Mask of Hecate to him [1 Mana].
- Okazo arrives. The Mask calls out to he who Awakened to the Kingdom of Nightmares.
- Arachne subdues the remaining zombies and commands them to stop. She takes 2 Bashing from Paradox backlash and uses Pain Harvest and inflicts 2 Lethal on herself with a knife.

- Okazo impulsively takes the Mask from Kronate and puts it on. Kronate: “You’re fucking nuts!”
- Okazo’s eyes grow wide as he presses it to his face. A blast of magical power emanates from the Mask. The magic feels familiar. It belongs to someone the cabal knows well, but have not seen in some weeks. Adam’s magic somehow lives on through the Mask.
- The conduit to Pandemonium is opened. Adam’s soul has a way to free itself from the Fallen World.
- As they watch, Okazo’s features twist and contort as if in a fun house mirror and Adam’s visage emerges.

Adam: I’m sorry. I’m sorry for all of this. I’m sorry that my pride cost you so much of your lives…
Adam (looking towards the ground): … and all of mine.
Adam: I’m going now. I don’t know where.

- Space distorts and their minds scream in pain. The floor falls away to reveal the abode of demons, Pandemonium, in all its twisted glory around them.
- Suddenly the room shifts back to normal and they see the Mask on the ground lying next to an unconscious Okazo.
- They look at the Mask and the lips move and they hear Adam’s voice one last time.

Adam: Sic transit Gloria Mundi.

- Silence. The Mask of Hecate lies there dormant as it was originally found.
- Arachne feels the last vestiges of Adam fade from the Fallen World.
- Kronate translates Adam’s last words with his iPhone: “Thus passes the glory of the world”.
- Arachne heals Okazo and he regains consciousness.
- Otsuchi informs everyone that they should probably consider not returning the Mask of Hecate to Dr. Vassal, as it might be too dangerous to leave in the hands of a Sleeper.
- Okazo expresses an interest in keeping it.
- Everyone decides to head home with the Mask of Hecate.

- Kronate calls Dr. Imes. He tells them that he just wants it to be over with, that they got what they came for, and to leave him alone. He asks Kronate questions about how they found out that he had the Mask. Kronate tells him nothing. He asks what Ministry Kronate works for, but Kronate simply hangs up. He throws away his SIM card and inserts another in his phone.

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009, 1:05 AM – Finals Week (Hathorne Manor)

- On the way back home Kronate calls Ogma, who he knows is a bit of a night owl. Ogma is eating Doritos as usual.
- Kronate tells Ogma not to worry about anything unusual he might hear regarding 2133 Elm street.
- Ogma questions him briefly regarding Dr. Imes and then schedules a meeting for Wednesday afternoon at Hathorne Manor to discuss everything.
- The cabal arrives at Hathorne Manor with the Mask and head to bed.

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009, 10:30 AM – Finals Week (Hathorne Manor)

- Otsuchi tells Okazo that if the cabal is keeping the Mask he would like to provide something to Dr. Vassal of equal value to him in return.
- Everyone overhears this and agrees.
- Kronate suggests that Otsuchi tell Dr. Vassal that the Mask had already been sold, but that they were able to recover the money from the thief.
- Otuchi resolves to make the trip to Harvard to give Dr. Vassal a few thousand dollars to satisfy his own sense of justice and does so later that morning.
- Okazo muses aloud that although Adam was messing around in things beyond his control, at least one good thing to come out of it was that the cabal managed to keep the Mask of Hecate from falling into the hands of the Seers of the Throne [Faith – regains all Willpower].
- Arachne briefly examines the Mask of Hecate and smells the strong resonance of death on it.
- Kronate performs the ritual sacrifice of a chicken for 1 Mana.
- Arachne performs a ritual to use her pain harvest pool to release her demesne.
- Arachne gets a call from Chain Parris: The Scribe of the Consilium will be at Hathorne Manor at 5 PM on Thursday to enter their names onto the roster.

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009, 1:30 PM – Finals Week (Hathorne Manor)

- Ogma arrives and Kronate shows him in to the living room where he, Arachne, and Otsuchi are gathered.
- Kronate relays the story of what happened with the Mask at Harvard.
- Ogma warns them to be careful:

Ogma: I don’t know what it is about you guys, but you’re always getting into the thick of things. Especially where the Seers are concerned.
Ogma: All of these little incidents are going to bring too much attention to the Consilium, but I’m not just worried about that. I’m worried about you guys too.
Kronate: We appreciate the concern, but what were we supposed to do? It’s fate.
Ogma: I understand, but as a seer (slang for Acanthus mage) you should know more than anyone how easy it can be to trace things back ….
Arachne (cutting him off, tired of all the advice from outside mages): We can take care of ourselves, thank you!
Ogma: Well…
Arachne: Your concern is duly noted.
Ogma (skeptically): Fair enough. There’s another reason for my trip over here. Kronate, we’ve finished the interrogation on the men you apprehended and I told you I’d give you the what for when we finished with them.
Kronate: Oh yeah? And?
Ogma: No surprise, they’re definitely cannibal cultists. We didn’t learn much from them. Their leader Cameron bit off and swallowed his tongue and choked to death.
Ogma: The cultists collect scripture that help them perform their rites. I think Zee, the other higher ranking guy you killed knew more but…
Ogma: In any case, what we learned from the other four is that their cult worships He Who Reveals Wisdom in the Fading Moonlight. I’m still trying to learn more, but that’s all we have so far. Those people are pretty messed up. We staged the crime scene and they’re awaiting trial for killing Zee.

- Arachne remembers the name Zee. She remembers meeting someone named Zee at the Sanderson Museum the night they acquired the Abedju Cipher. She was introduced to him by Gilbert Lancaster, the President of NELS and owner of the Sir Stephen.
- She and Kronate quickly compare notes and determine that Zechariah Crowther was indeed the man that Kronate killed in the basement of the Coptic Church a few days before.
- Ogma indicates that he plans to find out all he can regarding the cultists and that he believes there are more of them in the Boston area. With that he leaves.

…. to be continued …

View
Session Thirty Two
Finals Week

Preliminaries

- The Matrix Tappers leave the 100 Tass (large 5 lbs smooth granite rocks) in Arachne’s garden on Saturday afternoon and then notify the cabal by phone.
- Okazo has re-established a Potency 10 Ward around Hathorne Manor, at the cost of another laptop.
- Arachne has informed them that The Bulwark of Shadow is to be inducted into the consilium at the meeting on Sunday June 21st. There will be a 15 Mana tithe for each of them, and Arachne has been warned by Khumeia that there are grumblings from some mages regarding their acquisition of The Abedju Cipher.

- Tuesday morning, Arachne meets with Vanessa at a cafe near Cambridge and then goes grocery shopping.
- Kronate buys a VRod in the Bay area and then enjoys a felafel from a street vendor in Roxbury.
- Okazo is working at his Sleeper day job, mainly in The Fens area.

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009, 11:30 AM – Finals Week (Harvard University Campus)

- Otsuchi is meeting Naomi for lunch at a pub on the Harvard campus. She teaches anthropology, mainly to first and second year students. Students are in exams and she is between groups of students right now.
- Naomi seems depressed and on edge.

Naomi: How have you been Eli?
Otsuchi: Doing ok. I’ve been exercising a lot, which has been good for me. Still looking for something to do now that I have so much spare time.
Naomi: I haven’t really been motivated to do much of anything lately.

- The two enjoy their lunches while making more small talk.

Naomi (during the course of conversation): Did you hear about the break in last week? That was a little bit more excitement than usual around here.
Otsuchi: No. Where was that?
Naomi: Dr. Vassal was robbed. I guess you could call him a colleague of mine. His office was broken into.
Otsuchi: Really? What does he teach?
Naomi: Mythology. Greek, Norse, that sort of thing…
Otsuchi: Why would anyone break in?
Naomi: Something was stolen, but I haven’t heard much beyond that.
Otsuchi: What’s everyones thinking on it?
Naomi: Well, it’s made everyone think twice about leaving anything valuable lying around. Dr. Vassal is a bit of a strange guy. He likes to collect unusual and exotic antiquities from what I’ve heard. He’s a scholar of ancient Greek culture and our paths have crossed in anthropology circles now and again. The theft was probably just some students playing a prank or something.
Naomi: Though, I don’t feel comfortable about any increase in crime on campus. As a woman walking around here at night I have enough to worry about without adding thieves into the mix.
Otsuchi: I’d like to talk to this professor.
Naomi (smiling, feeling protected): What’s got you so interested?
Otsuchi: Maybe I can do something to help. It might make you feel more comfortable. Besides, I used to guard antiquities in Iraq, it might be interesting.
Naomi: Ok. I can introduce you.
Otsuchi: And if there’s anyone skulking around at night I can pound them into the pavement for you.

- She laughs, a little more half-heartedly than usual.
- Otsuchi secretly casts an improvised Life Knowing spell to determine the state of Naomi’s health. Physically she seems fine.

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009, 12:25 PM – Finals Week (Harvard University Campus – Social Science Building)

- Upon entering, they head down the right corridor to Dr. Vassal’s office. They knock and he tells them to enter. Dr. Charles Vassal is an olive skinned man in his late 50s.

Dr. Vassal: Hey Naomi. How ya doing?
Naomi: Ok. I’d like you to meet a friend of mine. His travels brought him more to the Middle East than to the Balkans like you, but he also has an interest in antiquities. Charles, I’d like you to meet Eli.
Eli: Hi Charles. I hear someone ripped you off.
Charles Vassal: Yeah. I can’t believe it.
Eli: Any idea what they took?
Charles: Yes. They stole a mask from me. It’s the only thing missing, which is strange since it’s not the most valuable thing in here.
Charles (as Otsuchi considers things): So, Naomi says that you’re interested in Middle Eastern antiquities?
Eli: Well I picked up a little knowledge along the way while I was part of a unit charged with recovering antiquities in Iraq.
Charles: Oh, so you’re a member of the armed forces then.
Eli (smiling): That’s right. The muscle end of the recovery effort.
Charles: Well things like that mask don’t end up on my desk unless someone goes to retrieve it.
Eli: Can you give me a little history on the mask?
Charles: I found it in Greece nearly 30 years ago. It’s nothing particularly noteworthy, just a leather mask, a representation of Hecate the Greek goddess of the crossroads.
Eli: Have the police come up with anything?
Charles: Not yet.
Eli: What was the approximate value?
Charles: Not more than a couple grand.

- Kronate calls Otsuchi, who excuses himself into the hallway to take the call.

Kronate: Yo. What’s up? We should get together. We’ve got that meeting with the consilium coming up and we should probably talk about it before we go.
Otsuchi: I think you’ve got the right idea, but I’m talking to a friend’s professor colleague about a stolen antiquity. My friend’s worried about the increase in crime on campus.
Kronate: You’re a good man Otsuchi. I’m glad to see that you’re always fighting the good fight.
Otsuchi: Do you want to drop by?
Kronate: Sure, where you at?
Otsuchi: Come to the Harvard campus, Social Science building.
Kronate: Sure thing.

- Kronate gets on his newly purchased Vrod and heads north towards the Harvard campus.
- Arachne finishes reviewing the new candidates for her group with Vanessa. They both approve of the new people and then part ways.
- Otsuchi re-enters Dr. Vassal’s office.

Charles: So what’s got you so interested in my troubles?
Eli: Two things: I don’t like any increase in crime on campus with Naomi here, and in particular I’m not happy with people who steal antiquities.
Charles: I suppose you encountered quite a bit of looting in your day back in Iraq. Shame about that…

- Otsuchi looks around for anything that might be familiar to him. He sees a couple things he recognizes from the Byzantine Empire, but nothing truly Middle-Eastern in his estimation.

Eli (playfully): Hopefully nothing HERE was taken illegally.
Charles (smiling): I can assure you that everything here was procured with the utmost respect for the law.

- Arachne goes shopping for some small grocery items.
- Otsuchi casts Supernal Vision on the sly, scrutinizes Dr. Vassal and determines him to be a Sleeper. He notices that the area where the mask was resting is suffused with Supernal energies. Nothing else stands out.
- Naomi asks him to walk her to her next class of examinees and they bid Dr. Vassal farewell and head out.
- He drops her off at another building and they exchange hugs. She just enters the building as Kronate pulls up on his motorcycle.
- Otsuchi breathes a small sigh of relief that Naomi managed to miss the cabal’s hound dog. He hopes to make Naomi his own one day.

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009, 1:10 PM – Finals Week (Harvard University Campus)

- Otsuchi eyes Kronate’s VRod. What is he up to now?
- He fills Kronate in on the details about his conversation with Dr. Vassal.
- There is quite a hustle and bustle going on about campus. Students are in the middle of intersession exams. Periods of dead quiet are punctuated by brief mad rushes by students hurrying to their next exams. Currently the outside campus is practically deserted.

Otsuchi: So, this has turned into something a little more interesting than it seemed at first.
Kronate: Can you show me where Dr. Vassal’s office is? If I can get in there I can probably figure out what happened….
Otsuchi: Sounds good, but Dr. Vassal is still in there I think.

- Arachne can’t remember if there are any apples back at the manor so she calls Kronate.
- He tells her they need some and begins to fill her in on what’s going on at Harvard.
- Arachne is aghast that they are milling about Harvard, known Seer territory.

Arachne: I hope you’re being careful. Harvard isn’t the safest place for Pentacle mages.
Kronate: What? It’s just a buncha snot-nosed white collar button-down kids sent here by their fat mommas. What’s the big deal?
Arachne (scolding): Be careful. It’s a hot bed of Seer activity.
Kronate: Say what? You shittin’ me?
Arachne (disgusted): I am not shit-ting you.

- Kronate reassures her and finishes telling her about the mask. She recognizes Hecate, the Greek goddess of the crossroads, often identified as the goddess of magic and/or evil. [Occult + Intelligence → Success]. This piques her interest a little.
- They all decide to rendezvous back at the sanctum before coming back to Vassal’s office to investigate at night.

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009, 2:30 PM – Finals Week (Hathorne Manor)

- Arachne is preparing dinner. When Okazo arrives home she takes some time to explain what Chain Parris told her about the upcoming consilium meeting.
- It’s customary for members to show up in attire appropriate to their Legacy. It is practically expected to dress unusually and express pride in being one of the Awakened.
- They briefly go over the Rites they’ve agreed to recognize again and Otsuchi announces his intention to take the title of Banner Warden for The Bulwark of Shadow. Everyone feels this is appropriate.
- Arachne mentions that the Scribe of the consilium will be paying them a visit later in the week to learn more about each of them so that the information can be properly entered into the Lex Magica on Sunday.
- They eat dinner and get ready to travel back to Harvard.

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009, 9:30 PM – Finals Week (Harvard University Campus)

- The cabal arrive on the outskirts of the campus.
- Otsuchi casts Transform Aura on the cabal to make each of them appear as Sleepers.
- They are wearing inconspicuous clothing, dressed as students. They intend to come off as students that just finished their last exams. Arachne casts Mask of a Thousand faces to make herself appear 15 years younger.
- Otsuchi suggests that everyone call their mentors and let them know what they are planning. Arachne, Kronate, and Otsuchi do so. Okazo is still searching for a Threnodist and has no mentor as of yet.
- Okazo casts Mage Sight – Forces [1 Mana] to keep track of the cameras on campus.
- They casually make their way to the entrance of the Social Sciences building. The entrance is lit and there is a camera pointed at the doorway.
- Arachne casts Sculpt Shadows to place a small dark area over the lens of the camera.
- No one outside is paying any attention to them as Kronate walks up and successfully picks the lock on the door over the course of 3 turns. The cabal quickly make their way inside and Arachne drops her shadow sculpting spell.

- Kronate notices the tripped alarm light on the numeric keypad next to the door.
- He uses his Attainment to view the history of this location and sees the last person enter the code. He enters it to stop the alarm.
- All the motion sensors are now disabled as well.
- They turn right toward Dr. Vassal’s office and Okazo notes that there are no cameras in this hallway.
- They reach the office and Okazo doesn’t notice any contacts on the door frame that would suggest an alarm.
- Grandma enters the office to verify that no one is there and informs Arachne with hand motions.
- Kronate quickly picks the simple door lock and everyone enters the room.
- Okazo sees the resonance signature of the shelf where the Mask of Hecate once rested.
- He casts Multi-tasking to split his consciousness. He casts Angle Vision and opens the door a crack so that he can monitor any activity in the hallway. The other half of his mind interacts normally with his cabalmates.

- Kronate casts Supernval Vision and then uses the Abedju Cipher for the first time and activates its Ghost, Spirit, and Mind sight before casting his perceptions back through time to the theft of the mask.
- He sees a man with a ski mask unlock the door with a key and slip into the office. He takes the mask and puts it into a backpack. He leaves without so much as a glance at the other antiquities in the room.
- Kronate scrutinizes the man with Supernal Vision and his aura reveals that he is a mage. Kronate notes the resonance for later identification. When the man opens his backpack, Kronate looks in to see a textbook on Human Anatomy.
- Kronate returns his perceptions to the present.
- Okazo notices a security guard meandering down the hallway. He pulls the door closed and locks it and quietly alerts the group.
- Otsuchi casts an improvised Forces spell to dampen sounds within the office to 1/4 their usual volume.
- The security guard continues down the hallway unaware of them.
- Everyone waits a couple of minutes and then carefully head back outside the building.

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009, 10:40 PM – Finals Week (Harvard University Campus)

- They continue to walk through campus and notice a line to get into a campus pub.
- Kronate suggests that they head home to decide their next course of action, but Okazo says it might be nice to get a drink while they’re out. Kronate relents and they get in line. Arachne and Otsuchi seem fine with the decision.
- Upon entering the pub Otsuchi notices a mage’s aura with Supernal Vision. The handsome fashionably dressed blond-haired man is talking to an attractive female Sleeper. They are both in their early 20s and seated at a table. Otsuchi informs Kronate.
- Kronate scrutinizes the mage with his own Supernal Vision and notes the similarity in resonance between this mage and the thief that stole the mask. “Fate has shined on us, yo!”
- Arachne finds a table two or three tables away from the thief. She doesn’t detect the resonance of the mask with Grim Sight.
- Okazo brings beer to the table and they gather around to decide what they want to do. Arachne questions why they should get involved, especially with possible Seer … entanglements. Otsuchi expresses that the mask belonged to a friend of a friend and he would like to see it returned to its rightful owner.

- The thief and the woman leave the pub and the cabal follows at a distance.
- Their targets enter the Medical Dormitory at the western edge of the main campus.
- The cabal stops briefly to discuss what they want to do. There are concerns about getting into another mage’s business. Otsuchi is worried about starting a conflict with Seers that they might have a hard time finishing. Okazo would like to get the mask. Arachne is interested in pursuing things as long as they don’t attract too much attention. They decide to find out more from the thief, before fully committing to any particular course of action.

- Otsuchi suggests that the thief is likely a med student living in the dorm.
- He and Kronate enter the dormitory. The outside doors are unlocked, but there is a young attendant at the desk screening entrants.

Receptionist: What’s up man? Who are you? I’ve never seen you before…

- Kronate fumbles for words.

Receptionist (agitated): C’mon, speak up or I’m calling campus security.
Kronate (angry): This asshole jumped out of my cab without paying the fair. You call campus security or I’ll be calling the cops!
Receptionist: I didn’t see anyone run in here.
Kronate: He hopped out without paying me. As far as I’m concerned he’s a thief and I’m gonna call the cops. I’m sure you’ve seen him.

- Kronate describes the thief to the receptionist.

Receptionist: That doesn’t sound like something Clint would do.

- Kronate is staring him down [Intimidation + Staring Specialization + Presence]

Receptionist: Calm down man, I don’t feel like spending the rest of the night talking to cops. I’ll buzz him and let you talk to him.

- He buzzes one of the dorm rooms.

Receptionist (on phone): Hey Clint, there’s a cabbie down here that says you stiffed him on a fare. What’s that all about?
Receptionist (to Kronate): Umm… he hung up.

- Okazo suggests to Arachne that they should go check on Kronate and Otsuchi and they enter the dormitory.
- He casts Imposter – Police Officer.

Okazo (to Receptionist): What’s going on in here? Are these guys giving you trouble?
Receptionist (pointing to Kronate): This guy’s complaining about one of the students here. Says he stole a cab fare…
Okazo: Why don’t you give me his name and number and I’ll get to the bottom of this?
Receptionist: No problem officer.

- The receptionist writes the name and room number onto a piece of paper and slides it to Okazo.

Okazo (pointing to Arachne): This woman is just here to see her son, so let her through.
Okazo (to Kronate and Otsuchi): You two, come with me.

- Okazo casts Emotional Urging on the receptionist to engender feelings of resignation and succeeds.
- Okazo leads everyone to the elevator. The doors close.

Okazo: The mage is Clint Zellner. He’s on the 4th floor.
Otsuchi: Your taxi driver impression was pretty convincing Kronate.
Kronate: Well it got us started anyway.

- Kronate expresses concerns about confronting a Seer in his own crib, but everyone decides to press forward.
- They contemplate various courses of action before deciding to confront Clint.
- They arrive outside Clint Zellner’s room.
- Okazo casts Sense Minds and detects two minds. Arachne sends Grandma inside.

Woman: Why do you think this whole taxi thing came up?
Clint: Don’t worry about it baby. Just a crank call.

- Clint is making the moves on the woman.
- Grandma relays what she saw to Arachne.
- Okazo knocks on the door. Clint is now topless and gets up to answer the door.

Clint (irritated): Holy shit. No one will leave us alone! Who is it?

- Clint opens the door.

Clint (surveying the cabal): What do you guys want? What the fuck’s going on?
Okazo: Me and my friends have a few questions for you. It’s probably best if you ask the girl to leave.
Clint: What, are you fucking crazy?

- Clint goes to shut the door, but Okazo and Otsuchi have already started to enter the room.
- They continue moving forward as Clint nervously backs up.

Woman (covering her own topless state with a pillow): What’s going on Clint?

Clint (nervously): What do you guys want?
Kronate: Like the man said, it’s time for the girl to go.
Clint (to woman): Don’t worry about me. Just go. I’ll call you later.
Woman: Who are these weird people?

- Okazo wants to be able to trace her later and snaps a photo of her with his iPhone camera as she’s quickly putting her top on.

Woman (to Okazo): You fucking perv!

- She storms out of the dorm room.

Clint: So umm… do you guys want something to drink.
Kronate: What do you got?
Clint: Beer, beer, and more beer.
Kronate: Just my thing.

- Clint retreats to the small kitchen area and gets a six pack that he passes around. Okazo, Otsuchi, and Kronate have a beer.
- Otsuchi sits next to Clint on the couch. Friendly, but intimidating.

Clint (in hushed tones): So are you guys… you know… one of us?
Kronate: Yep. I’m sorry you stole the mask from the wrong guy.
Clint (with realization): The mask? Oh man…
Kronate: Yeah. Just hand it back and this will all be over.
Clint: I don’t even have that thing anymore.
Kronate: Alright. Where can we get it back?
Clint: Just who are you guys? I’m not telling you my business.

- Okazo uses High Speech and casts a spell to read his surface thoughts. The name “Dr. Imes” is present in Clint’s mind when Kronate asks him about the mask’s whereabouts.

Okazo: Where is Dr. Imes right now?
Clint: Fuck….
Kronate: Have another beer. It makes things easier.
Clint: You guys are going to get me into a lot of shit. Dr. Imes is going to kill me.
Okazo: None of this has to come back to you. Tell us more.
Clint: Fine, but you can’t tell him I told you anything or I’m gonna be in big shit.
Clint: Dr. Imes is my Gross Anatomy teacher. He’s a mage like us. I left the mask on his desk yesterday after class kinda hoping he’d know what to do with it.
Clint: What are you guys gonna do? Are you going after Imes?
Kronate: You better keep your mouth shut about this.
Clint: I don’t like it. You guys have me over a barrel. There’s not much I can do about it. Please guys, don’t get me in any shit.
Kronate: I hear you.

- Okazo gets up and grabs a surprised Clint by the throat and puts a gun to his head and warns him to keep quite while uncloaking his Nimbus for effect. Bright blue light surrounds him and the high pitched whirl of fans can be heard.
- Clint pisses his pants.
- Okazo lets him go and he collapses back down onto the couch.
- The cabal turn and leave.

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009, 11:55 PM – Finals Week (Harvard University Campus)

- They look up Dr. Benjamin Imes on the Internet and find out that he lives in a posh neighbourhood not far from campus.
- The cabal make their way there on foot. It is a large old house on a highly wooded street. It’s a three story roughly square house with a detached two car garage and double driveway.

… to be continued …

View
Session Thirty One
Lines of Power

Friday, June 12th, 2009, 1:40 AM – Lines of Power (Hathorne Manor)

Kronate: Continues to run uphill towards the front porch, Glock 17 drawn.
Mary: Closes her Scrying window. Begins searching for Okazo’s portal to Khatvanga’s ship.
Pardy: Attempts to shake Grandma’s Possession, but fails.
Layne: DOWN
La Sombra: Attempts to heal Layne, but Arachne using WP and Otsuchi together reduce the Potency to 1 Lethal. Layne’s bleeding stops.
Tyrrhenus: Fires at La Sombra, but the bullet impacts harmlessly in her armoured chest.
Okazo: Fires his AK-47 at La Sombra’s head with EL, Destiny, and WP and opens an arterial wound in her neck. She collapses and is bleeding to death.
Arachne: See above.
Grandma: Commands Pardy to lay down his weapons.
Otsuchi: See above.
Oro: Retreats into the basement with Mary.

Kronate: Slows long enough to Scour his Strength for 3 Mana.
Mary: Finds Okazo’s Portal and casts Follow Through to successfully open it and spends an additional 3 Mana to mitigate Paradox.
Pardy: POSSESSED
Layne: DOWN
La Sombra: DOWN
Tyrrhenus: Covers Pardy.
Okazo: Covers Pardy.
Arachne: Moves toward her fallen enemies.
Grandma: Commands Pardy to strip out of his armour.
Otsuchi: Covers Pardy.
Oro: Waits for Mary to finish opening the Portal.

Kronate: Reaches the front porch of Hathorne Manor.
Mary: Moves through the Portal to arrive on Khatvanga’s ship.
Pardy: POSSESSED
Layne: DOWN
La Sombra: DOWN
Tyrrhenus: Covering Pardy.
Okazo: Covering Pardy.
Arachne: Nearly at the back door.
Grandma: Still forcing Pardy to disrobe.
Otsuchi: Asks Tyrrhenus to help Kronate at the front door.
Oro: Follows Mary through the Portal.

Kronate: Looks through the front window, but sees no activity.
Mary: Seals the Portal behind her.
Pardy: POSSESSED
Layne: DOWN
La Sombra: DOWN
Tyrrhenus: Moving towards Kronate at the front of the house.
Okazo: Covering Pardy.
Arachne: Reaches Layne, La Sombra, and Pardy.
Grandma: Finishes commanding Pardy to disrobe.
Otsuchi: Begins stabilizing La Sombra’s wounds.
Oro: Breathes a sigh of relief.

Friday, June 12th, 2009, 1:45 AM – Lines of Power (Hathorne Manor)

- Tyrrhenus rendezvous with Kronate on the front porch.
- Arachne aids Otsuchi in stabilizing La Sombra and tells him that “she can take it from here”.
- Okazo and Otsuchi grab Layne and LaSombra’s arm bands and put them on. They proceed into the house through the back door.
- Once she is alone, Arachne casts Devour the Slain on Layne. Her Nimbus flares and a Paradox erupts that she cannot contain. It is a Havoc that searches for another target for the spell. La Sombra is the only other eligible target and the spell inflicts 1 Lethal on her and returns a point of Mana to Arachne.
- Okazo casts Angle Vision and checks all of the open rooms on the main floor and upstairs and reports that they are all clear.
- Otsuchi tells Okazo to cover him, he’ll proceed first as he has the heavier armour.
- Tyrrhenus casts Decay (Death) on the front lock, it rusts out, and he and Kronate enter the house.
- Kronate has forgotten the Dispel trap on the front door and he loses his remaining Superlative Luck and Lucky Coin on his armour.
- The four mages meet up in the foyer in front of the basement door – the only remaining closed door in their sanctum.
- Otsuchi and Tyrrhenus cast Dispel on the trap leading to the basement and successfully dismantle it.
- Okazo casts his Angle Vision into basement and he finds it empty.
- Otsuchi goes to the base of the stairs and is now within the area of the Hallow and he spends a few minutes Dispelling the rest of The Matrix Tappers traps.
- Okazo casts Spatial Awareness and tells everyone that his dormant Portal is now collapsed. Mary and Oro must have used it to escape and then locked it behind them.

Friday, June 12th, 2009, 2:05 AM – Lines of Power (Hathorne Manor)

- As Arachne and Grandma guard the three prisoners, Okazo, Otsuchi, Kronate, and Tyrrhenus emerge from the house satisfied that Mary and Oro are gone for now.
- The cabal deliberate about what to do with The Matrix Tappers.
- Otsuchi raises the possibility of getting them to swear a Sanctified Oath somehow, to never return.
- Kronate guesses that Telurians that have been raiding Hallows for a year or more might have access to significant Tass.
- Okazo likes both of these ideas, otherwise he’s going to have to finish them off. He admits he feels much better after having critically wounded Layne and La Sombra and doesn’t see the need to take it any further as long as they can come to some other binding arrangement.
- Arachne is still upset about the invasion and thinks that the cabal should “wring their scrawny little fuckin’ necks as a lesson to everyone around that no one should even think about fucking with us again!”
- Otsuchi says that there’s no point in making long term enemies out of the Tellurians and that there’s definitely going to be a tithe to join the Consilium and that “these idiots could foot the bill”. Sixty Tass or so should go some way toward easing the pain of the last 24 hours.

Arachne: Sixty?!? It should be 200!
Layne (just waking up): We’ll swear the Oath and give you a hundred Tass. It’s all we have. I just want this whole fuckin’ thing to be over.

- Kronate and Otsuchi look at Okazo and Arachne.

Arachne (disgusted) & Okazo (amused): Fine.
Kronate: We’ll also need a copy of your research.
Layne (resigned): Right-o.

- Geb calls Kronate on his cel phone

Geb (humorously): Ariadne’s Thread has revealed to me that you might be needing me right now.
Kronate: Ariadne knows her shit.

- Kronate explains the situation to Geb.

Geb: I’m in South Roxbury at Jake’s Bar and Grill. Come get me.

- Kronate drives Okazo’s SUV to pick up Geb and returns an hour later.

Friday, June 12th, 2009, 3:09 AM – Lines of Power (Hathorne Manor)

- Geb tells Arachne she’ll have to raise La Sombra to consciousness and release Pardy so that they can swear the oath.
- Arachne rouses La Sombra and Grandma releases her control over Pardy and she is thankful for the rest.
- Layne, La Sombra, and Pardy swear to pay a tribute of 100 Tass within 7 days and to never again return to New England for the rest of their natural born lives.
- Geb casts Sanctify Oath to seal their Fate. “May Arcadia’s narrative unravel in a loathsome and terrible way for the three of you should you ever break your word”.
- At Okazo’s insistence, Layne calls out Sympathetically to Mary, but he can’t find her. She has likely severed all Threads with her old cabal.
- Arachne carefully studies Layne and believes that he is telling the truth and that this is the best they are going to do. Kronate agrees.
- Kronate and Otsuchi think it unlikely that just Mary and Oro would risk further conflict and accept the imperfect solution for what it is.
- Layne resists giving up his research, but Geb copies it with an improvised Prime and Matter spell, and he relents.
- La Sombra, Layne, and Pardy move to the outskirts of the manor grounds and Layne spends 30 minutes opening a Portal and they leave without further incident.
- Geb tells Kronate that there may be something useful in Layne’s research that may help with the Big Dig problem and makes a second copy for The House of Ariadne. He also tasks Kronate with picking McArdle’s brain for any other relevant Geomancy.
- Tyrrhenus tells Arachne that $15k ought to cover his contribution. She scoffs at his greediness and tells him he can have $10k. She reaches into her cookie jar in the kitchen and retrieves a roll of $100 bills and counts out $10k for a beaming Tyrrhenus.
- Tyrrhenus offers Geb a lift back to Boston and he accepts.
- The justice-flavored ley line moves back to its natural intersection with the sanctum’s hallow. The guardian spirit of justice rouses from its Fetter and basks in the renewed resonance.

Friday, June 12th, 2009, 3:40 PM – Lines of Power (McArdle’s House)

- Kronate loads the SUV with the weaponry and armour for return to Dr. McArdle. The cabal keep Layne, Pardy, and La Sombra’s armour and weaponry for themselves, for possible later use.
- He drives to McArdle’s house and approaches the front door.
- Ogola answers and escorts Kronate to the library.
- McArdle sees the grimoire and doesn’t immediately recognize that it’s a copy.

McArdle: I can imagine the look on Layne’s face when you took this from him.
Kronate: He certainly had it coming.
McArdle: … and Kronate I want you to know that my offer still stands. If you ever want to learn more about ley lines and geomancy, I’d be more than happy to mentor you in this fashion.
Kronate: I would be happy to take you up on that offer. I think it’s important to heal our city.
McArdle: True enough. Give me a call sometime. Pleased to make your acquaintance Kronate. Ogola will see you out.
Kronate: Sure thing.

- Kronate muses on the possibility of learning Geomancy more formally from McArdle.
- He returns back to Hathorne Manor.
- Otsuchi tells the cabal he will be presenting some of his security ideas for the sanctum very soon.
- Everyone rests, satisfied and confident that they are ready to formally join the local Consilium.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.