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!
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 …