Mage - Doomcrew

Session Twenty One

The Abedju Cipher

Friday, June 5th, 2009, 9:58 PM – The Abedju Cipher (Inside The Sanderson Museum of History – Beacon Hill)

- Arachne draws a small ceremonial dagger from under her dress.
- Everyone reacts with surprise. She casts Pain Harvest [Death 3 + Gnosis 3 = 6 dice → success].
- Arachne cuts a deep gash into her left forearm, wincing in pain [3 Lethal, Pain Harvest Pool →3].
- Blood gushes from the wound.

Pierpont: Sacre blue! Was that really necessary?
Arachne (looking at the blood pooling on the floor): Sorry about the mess.
Pierpont (glaring at Dara): That’s ok. I’ll just have Dara clean it up.

- Arachne casts Self-Healing and the bleeding stops [Life 3 + Gnosis 3 + HS 2 = 8 dice → 1 success, 1 Mana].

Pierpont (regarding the Cipher): I really don’t think it’s wise for us to leave that thing intact. It has a dark history.
Kronate: I agree. Pass it to me and I’ll destroy it.
Pierpont: Very funny.
Arachne: Please clarify something for me. When we first arrived here you indicated that you were to deliver the Cipher to your superiors in Europe and now you say you want to destroy it. What are your true intentions?
Pierpont: My true intentions are to destroy it. I didn’t see the need in complicating things earlier.
Dara: I think we should bring it back to The Academy for study.
Kronate: What does this thing do?
Pierpont: I don’t really care what it does. It’s caused so much pain over the ages, it should be destroyed.

- Arachne gets the impression that Pierpont is telling the truth [Intelligence + Subterfuge → 4 successes].

Arachne: I think it would be absurd to destroy such a rare and precious artifact, particularly before we learn what it’s capabilities are. It seems reckless to me.

- Pierpont seems frustrated. She’s come quite far, but can tell that the group isn’t keen on destroying the artifact.

Kronate: I’m sorry if we’re not blindly agreeing to what your saying, but you’re really not doing much to convince us. It’s not that I don’t trust you, but it’s not like you’re giving us a good reason to destroy what might be an Atlantean Artifact.
Pierpont: Let me just say that if my superiors were to get hold of this item it would be a blow to you and your kinsmen and to Pentacle mages in general.
Kronate: Why don’t you feel like you can tell us the whole skinny, haven’t we given you every reason to trust us [Manipulation + Persuasion = 4 → 2].
Pierpont (considering Kronate’s remarks): Well if not destroy it, what do the four of you intend to do with it?
Kronate: I would want to safeguard it, to understand what it’s capabilities are, and if it’s an Atlantean Artifact, turn it over to those who will safeguard it appropriately. You have to admit that it’s not every day that you run into a find like this. As a historian you have to agree.
Pierpont: Perhaps we can come to some sort of compromise. Can you be a little more specific in your proposal? Who are these proper authorities and wise individuals that you plan to give an artifact that has caused strife and dissension throughout its long history?
Kronate: Our first step would be to take it into the possession of our cabal, then under the protection of our wards we would study it and then contact the Boston Consilium so that they can decide where it should end up.
Pierpont (steadfast): Do you really think the likes of The Nemean is someone that I would prefer end up deciding the fate of this artifact? I’d sooner turn it over to my own superiors before doing that!
Arachne: Well you still haven’t identified your own superiors to us, so we can’t have much faith in how that would turn out.
Dara (agitated): She’s clearly a Seer of the Throne! I’ve suspected it for months now. Listen Doctor, what Ministry do you work for? Who are these superiors of yours?
Pierpont (defiantly): I’m not at liberty to say.
Kronate: Our cabal is interested in understanding Atlantean lore and what might have caused our Fall from the Supernal Realms. We believe that Artifacts such as this are the key to that understanding. Rather than turn it over, we would like to keep it in our care for study.
Pierpont (doubtful): Those are lofty ideals spoken eloquently by someone far too young to understand the realities of Awakened life. I don’t think you’re prepared for the consequences of holding an item such as this.

- Kronate, Dara, and Otsuchi hear muffled footsteps coming from down the hallway.
- Grandma who had been waiting outside, comes through the wall into the room and whispers to Arachne that there are 6 men coming down the hallway closing in on their position.
- Everyone is deliberating on what to do. Odoya’s short range radio rings as Otsuchi continues to guard his unconscious form.
- Kronate grabs the radio.

Kronate (whispering into the radio): Scatter, we’ve been made!
Templar Team Leader (unconvinced): Listen, I know you have Odoya. My men and I have come to negotiate his release, along with the Cipher.

- Pierpont tries to take advantage of the confusion to grab the Cipher, but Arachne side-steps her efforts [Wits + Composure = 5 → success, Arachne not surprised, Dex + Brawl – Defense = Chance die → failure].
- Otsuchi warns Pierpont to stand down and she does. Dara moves closer to Pierpont.

Templar Team Leader: We still have quite a few hostages out here. It would be a shame for anything to happen to them. We should come to an agreement. We know that you didn’t really mean to get involved here and we have no reason to harm you or anyone else for that matter. Just hand over the Cipher and Odoya and we’ll be on our way.

- Arachne whispers to Grandma to fetch another bracelet similar to the Cipher and she heads immediately back to the main exhibition hall to do so.

Arachne (to Kronate): Tell him we’ll cooperate and leave without any trouble.
Kronate (to Templar): So what’s the plan daddyo?
Templar: If you let Odoya go, I’ll let four hostages go and then we’ll release the rest of the hostages after you turn over the Cipher.
Kronate (stalling): How many hostages you got?
Templar (considering): About a dozen or so.

- Kronate asks a few more pointless questions to give Grandma more time to get a bracelet.
- Pierpont understands what is going on and seems to support getting rid of Odoya and the Templars as soon as possible.

Arachne (to Pierpont): I’m going to be completely honest with you. We don’t intend any ill-will towards you or any misuse of the Cipher, and it’s probably a good compromise that people like us have it, that haven’t even been inducted into the Consilium yet and don’t intend to pawn it off to Awakened bureaucrats. We can safeguard it from getting to people like Odoya. [Manipulation + Persuasion + WP = 8 dice → 4 successes].

- Pierpont seriously considers Arachne’s remarks.

Templar: Hurry up! I’m not waiting anymore. Give me Odoya or we start shooting hostages!

- Arachne hears some clattering in the vent behind her and sees the glitter of another Egyptian bracelet poking through the grating. She bends down and grabs the bracelet from Grandma [-1 Essence, TK].

Kronate (to Templar): Ok! Ok! We’ll give you Odoya and as soon as you let four peeps go we’ll hand over the Cipher. A’ight, I’m coming out now and takin’ it on faith that you’re gonna do right by us.

- Otsuchi waves Kronate off, picks up Odoya, opens the door, and uses him as a meat shield in case the Templars open fire. He puts Odoya down in front of them in the hallway and then backs up into Pierpont’s office.
- The Templars release 4 hostages and Pierpont moves to her computer to verify this by way of security camera feed.

Kronate (to Templar): I’m sure we all want to get out of here before the cops arrive. So let’s do this.
__
Otsuchi (to Pierpont): You’re coming with us.

- Pierpont meekly agrees. Arachne’s earlier arguments have sunk in and she knows that this is the best she is going to do.

Kronate (looking at the bracelet): It would be nice to disguise this better.
Otsuchi (taking the bracelet from Arachne): Here. I’ve got it.

- Otsuchi casts Phantasm on the bracelet to disguise it as The Abedju Cipher and succeeds in doing so [Prime 3 + Gnosis 2 + HS 2 = 7 dice → success, Intelligence + Crafts + WP = 6 dice → 2 successes].
- Kronate tosses the fake to the Templars and they begin filing out. The security cameras show the Templars releasing the rest of the hostages and then making their getaway out of the left museum side exit.
- The cabal and Dara bring Pierpont with them and begin moving towards the right museum side exit.
- Dara casts a few improvised Forces spells to burn out the video footage and computer records.
- Arachne summons shadows to cover their escape.

Friday, June 5th, 2009, 10:23 PM – The Abedju Cipher (Parking Garage – Beacon Hill)

- They exit onto a side street and make their way back to the parking garage where they parked the station wagon and Otsuchi’s rental car.
- They hear sirens in the distance of police making their way to the museum.
- The group goes to the third floor of the garage where Arachne’s station wagon is parked.
- Otsuchi stands next to Pierpont.
- Arachne thinks that it would be a good idea to hand Pierpont over to someone that she may want to develop as a future contact like Ferrum of The Exalted Knights of the Gryphon [Intelligence + Politics = 4 → 1 success].
- Kronate takes Arachne aside as Otsuchi and Dara continue to guard Pierpont.

Kronate: I’d like to get the Cipher back to the Sanctum, since it’ll be more difficult to take it from us there if things go against us.
Arachne (doubtful that this will work): Good idea, but I’m pretty sure that these two aren’t going to be ok with that. We should just go to The Academy and make our case there. Hopefully bringing Pierpont in will establish some good will.
Otsuchi: Let’s just get going. We can decide everything at The Academy.

- During the deliberations, Dara casts a spell.
- Otsuchi calls Ferrum to brief him quickly on the situation.

Ferrum: Give me a brief report Otsuchi, if you wouldn’t mind.
Otsuchi: Looks like there was an attempt to steal a bracelet from the exhibit and Dara’s suspicions were correct about Pierpont.
Ferrum: Well done. Do you have the item in your possession?
Otsuchi: In MY possession? No.
Ferrum: Is it something of note?
Otsuchi: Yes. Best not to talk about it right now.
Ferrum (hanging up): Understood. I will await your arrival.
Otsuchi (to everyone): Alright. Let’s head to The Academy for debriefing and a final decision about the Cipher.
Kronate (taking Otsuchi aside): You’re welcome to come and join us back at our sanctum. I don’t think it’s wise to keep the Cipher and Pierpont together. We can always return the Cipher if that turns out to be what the Consilium wants.
Otsuchi: Well, it’s up to you and Arachne whether or not you want to come in with us when we hand over Pierpont, but Dara and I will have to give a full report to our superiors at The Academy.
Kronate: Well, I have no problem admitting we have the Atlantean Artifact. You ok with that?
Otsuchi: What exactly are you worried about Kronate?
Kronate: Friend, I’m always worried. That’s how I stay safe.
Arachne: Let’s not beat around the bush. He’s worried that if we come with you someone will try to take the Cipher from us.
Otsuchi: I understand that, but I don’t think we’ve established who the rightful owner of the Cipher is yet.
Kronate: And I don’t have a problem figuring that out over polite conversation, but if we go into a den of powerful mages that decision might be made for us without the polite conversation.
Arachne: Maybe we shouldn’t worry too much. If they want to take it by force there’s nothing we can do to stop them, so there’s not much harm in going to The Academy and working things out.
Otsuchi: Kronate, I think you might be cautious in worrying about that, but I don’t think it will happen.
Kronate: Ok then. Let’s go.

- Arachne drives with Kronate next to her and Otsuchi and Dara sit in the backseat with Pierpont between them.
- Pierpont mutters under her breath that the fighting over the Cipher is already starting and that everything will come to ruin.

Friday, June 5th, 2009, 10:55 PM – The Abedju Cipher (The Academy – Beacon Hill)

- Otsuchi and Kronate try to find out more from Pierpont on the ride over. She doesn’t appear to know anything, but Kronate gets the impression that Pierpont isn’t too thrilled with her Seers superiors.
- Everyone arrives at The Academy.
- Most of the Exalted Knights of the Gryphon have been assembled along with a few members of the Brotherhood of Ineffable Truth.
Brotherhood
- Ferrum, Archer, and Ikazuchi represent the Exalted Knights, while Agdos, Aurem, and Apollonia represent the Brotherhood.
- Kronate is pleased to see Agdos.

Ferrum: I’d like to congratulate you all on a job well done. So this is the Seer that you managed to apprehend?
Dara: I think my suspicions were well founded. Dr. Pierpont is in fact a Seer of the Throne, but we don’t know which Ministry.
Ferrum (motions to Ikazuchi and Archer): We’ll know soon enough. She will be debriefed appropriately.

- Archer and Ikazuchi step forward and take Dr. Pierpont through a side door away from the main foyer and deeper into the left wing of The Academy complex.

Kronate: For what it’s worth, she seemed cool enough.
Ferrum: It may be worth something. What of the artifact Otsuchi? What have you determined.
Otsuchi: I’ve only taken a couple minutes looking at it. Given that we were traveling with a Seer, I opted to look at it later.
Agdos: Perhaps we should pass the Cipher into the care of The Mysterium so that we may analyze it further and determine its true purpose.
Arachne (smiling): Our intention is, at least for the time being, to hang onto the artifact, learn what we can of it and decide what to do with it afterwards.
Aurem: I don’t think you young upstarts have what it takes to keep an item like this safe from those who might try to claim it.
Arachne: We’ve already done so once.
Aurem (irritated): Nevertheless, it doesn’t make any sense for the two of you to be responsible for protecting something new which we have no idea of its purpose or capabilities.
Ferrum: Otsuchi, do you have any thoughts on the matter?
Otsuchi: I don’t know that we’ve determined the rightful owner of this particular artifact.
Dara: For my part, I’ve put a lot of time and effort into watching Pierpont. I think it would be really unfair if the Exalted Knights didn’t have first rights to the artifact.

- Agdos and Aurem begin arguing The Mysterium case with Dara and everyone is being drawn into a heated debate about the fate of the Abedju Cipher.
- The two large oak doors that lead deeper into the right wing of The Academy swing open.

Potestas (forcefully): Enough! I will decide who is to keep the Abedju Cipher!

- Everyone grows silent in his presence, with only the barest of murmurs coming from Dara.

Potestas: Ferrum. I would like to have a word with you.
Ferrum: Of course.

- Potestas and Ferrum walk off down the hallway for a time. Potestas is talking quietly while putting his arm around Ferrum like a father would while talking to his son. Ferrum has a look of doubt on his face, but he relents in the face of Potestas’ arguments.

Potestas: I’ve made my decision. The Abedju Cipher will remain in the possession of Arachne and Kronate, for now. They did much of the heavy lifting in acquiring it. They’ve done a great service for the Consilium and in helping the Exalted Knights in their task at the Museum. I see it as only fitting that they be paid the honour of keeping the Cipher in their possession until such time that we determine anything otherwise.

- Dara begins to protest, but Ferrum calls her off with a look.

Potestas (to Arachne): I trust, Arachne, that you will be careful and take full responsibility for the care and safekeeping of the artifact.
Arachne: I will. Thank you for trusting us both with this responsibility and we’re very appreciative of the help of the Exalted Knights of the Gryphon in this matter.

- Agdos gives Kronate a look that she is impressed that Potestas would trust he and Arachne with the Cipher.
- Kronate is very pleased with Potestas’ decision.

Ferrum: Very well then. It’s been decided, but we may revisit this issue in the future. I’d like to have a word with Dara and Otsuchi if I could.

- Ferrum, Otsuchi and Dara retire briefly to Ferrum’s chambers.
- Aurem is arguing with Potestas as they walk off and is clearly unhappy with his decision.
- Apollonia leaves with nary a word.

Friday, June 5th, 2009, 11:15 PM – The Abedju Cipher (The Academy – Beacon Hill)

Agdos (to Kronate): So. Hot shot artifact thieves now?
Arachne (smiling): I think “artifact guardians” would be more appropriate.

- Meanwhile Ferrum is meeting with Otsuchi and Dara.

Dara: I don’t understand. Why would Potestas let these new guys to keep the Cipher?
Ferrum: He has his reasons and I agree with them. We have to look at the big picture here. When you get more experience you’ll understand a little more about what went on here today. Otsuchi, you carried yourself admirably and I hope we fight together in the future.
Otsuchi: It was a good experience. Dara was the main force behind getting this done.
Dara: Thanks. For all their clamoring for the artifact, I’ll admit that it would have been difficult to carry the day without Kronate and Arachne helping us out.
Ferrum: They seem like competent individuals. Nevertheless, they’re outsiders and we have to be wary. Anyway, I just wanted to know if you had any questions or concerns. Beyond that, we’ll call it a job well done and end things at that today.
Otsuchi: Fair enough. What about Odoya? Do you figure that he’s long gone?
Ferrum: It’s a problem. We’ll see if we can track him down, but any competent Mastigos will be difficult to find. In any case, he’ll be in hot water with his superiors when he shows up with a fake Cipher.
Ferrum: When you get a chance Otsuchi, since these mages are friends of yours, I’d like you to get a look at the Cipher and assess it’s capabilities.
Otsuchi: I will.

- Otsuchi goes back into the foyer and approaches Kronate and Arachne who are still talking with Agdos and indicates that he would be interested in going out for a drink.
- Kronate asks Agdos to accompany them and she agrees and suggests they go to The Keg just around the corner from The Academy.

Friday, June 5th, 2009, 11:45 PM – The Abedju Cipher (The Keg – Beacon Hill)

- They walk to The Keg.
- Arachne is worried that it will be “too happening”, but it’s fairly quiet with an older clientele and so she stays.

Agdos (excited): So Arachne, let me see it.
Arachne (rolling up her sleeve): Sure. It’s fascinating. It should be interesting to learn more about it. It’s amazing that we came across something like this.
Agdos: Definitely.
Kronate: Arachne, that thing may be cursed woman. Maybe you shouldn’t wear it around like that yet.
Arachne: For now I’d prefer to wear it. It’s strange though.

- She describes the voices she can hear.

Otsuchi: Let me see if I can analyze it. I have some experience with Middle Eastern antiquities from my time in the war.

- Otsuchi casts Analyze Enchanted Item, but determines little after 10 minutes of scrutiny. He decides that it might be better to analyze it more fully later when he has more time. He does determine that the Cipher’s capabilities revolve around the Unveiling Practice.
- Arachne offers for him to come by Hathorne Manor sometime to analyze it more fully and Otsuchi agrees that it would be a nice idea.
- Kronate and Agdos hit it off really well. She and Kronate end up in a hotel just down the street and have fun until the wee hours of the morning.

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