Saturday, May 23nd, 2009 to Friday, June 5th 2009
- Arachne keeps busy in her laboratory working with Life magic (gains Life 3) and politicking with the White Putnams.
- Kronate meets with Sisyphus who has Divined that the way he is to help Kronate find Little Cedric is to help him join his Legacy – The House of Ariadne. Kronate learns from Sisyphus that the House was once prominent in Boston, but that most members left the area about 10 years ago. Nevertheless, one mage from the House remains – Geb. Kronate spends time trying to locate him.
- Otsuchi trains with Ferrum and The Exalted Knights of the Gryphon and spends time with his friend Naomi.
Friday, June 5th, 2009, 2:00 PM – The Abedju Cipher (The Academy)
- Ferrum summons Otsuchi to discuss a favour. Ferrum is a painfully handsome young man, with long, black hair falling freely down his shoulders and back, giving him the bearing of a warrior of old. His ice-blue eyes look forcefully and unflinchingly upon any who meet his gaze. He stands tall and proud, always impeccably attired in dark, expensive suits. His voice seems almost too deep for his angelic countenance, and he usually speaks quite softly but with the simple confidence of a commander who is used to giving orders in the heat of battle and being obeyed.
- An Adamantine Arrow operative by the name of Dara MacKenzie has been spying on Doctor Giselle Pierpont, the curator of the Sanderson Museum of History just blocks from The Academy.
- Dara’s last communique mentioned that the Doctor had pulled a lot of strings and diverted a lot of money to make sure that a touring exhibition of Egyptian artifacts would make its way to her museum and that tonight would be the night of the gala opening.
- Ferrum asks Otsuchi to rendezvous with her at tonight’s opening as a precaution in case there is anything strange going on, as Dara suspects that the Doctor might be a mage and up to something sinister.
- Otsuchi says that he would be happy to serve the order in this fashion and heads home to change.
Friday, June 5th, 2009, 6:00 PM – The Abedju Cipher (Hathorne Manor)
- Fascinated by the book on Egyptian Hieroglyphics he recently acquired in Waltman’s Neck, Kronate is keen on attending the opening of the Egyptian artifact tour at the Sanderson Museum in Beacon Hill and acquires a couple tickets from a scalper.
- Kronate invites Arachne to attend with him and she agrees to go.
- Okazo is on a date with Rennard of The Special Media Group, so he won’t be attending.
- Kronate discusses spells he uses to alter fate with Arachne and mentions that he usually likes to take it easy on some effects so as not to tempt Paradox from rearing its ugly head.
- Arachne coyly suggests that Paradox shouldn’t be a problem for him anymore and leads him to the basement Hallow.
- She demonstrates with Two Faces, clearly altering her own appearance in a Vulgar way, but unbothered by the Abyss.
- Kronate realizes that Arachne has created a Demesne [sharing it is a minor act of Charity for Arachne, +1 Willpower].
- He congratulates her and takes advantage of the Paradox-free zone to cast Superlative Luck [2 successes, 6 hours].
- He then casts Exceptional Luck on both he and Arachne [3 successes, 6 hours].
- Arachne gets dressed and Kronate immediately notices that she has updated her wardrobe.
- They both get into Arachne’s station wagon and head into town.
Friday, June 5th, 2009, 7:00 PM – The Abedju Cipher (Outside The Sanderson Museum of History – Beacon Hill)
- Arachne and Kronate arrive at the marble and stone Sanderson Museum, a large two story edifice. The museum is decked out in colorful banners depicting a touring exhibition of Egyptian artifacts. Bright spotlights play across the banners and the stone facing of the museum. Dozens of guests dressed in gowns and suits are either filtering toward the museum’s entrance line or socializing on the front steps. A casual glance around shows that most of the local politicians and patrons of the arts are in attendance, as are a smattering of reporters and cameramen.
- Arachne and Kronate get in line to enter the exhibition.
- Otsuchi arrives a few minutes later and notices the two mages and joins them. After a few minutes of conversation he ends up in line with them.
- Arachne makes some small talk and then begins a more interesting conversation.
Arachne: Would you be interested in helping us track down our other “friend” (the Pride spirit)?
Otsuchi: I was already thinking about offering to help you, so sure.
Arachne: Have you decided which “study group” (cabal) you will be joining?
Otsuchi: I’m not sure yet.
Arachne: I think we’ve worked well together before, so let me know if you’re interested in considering us.
Otsuchi: That might be good, but I’m pretty new in Boston and don’t really want to jump into anything too quickly.
Arachne: Fair enough. We aren’t formally registered yet anyway (not yet inducted into the Consilium).
Otsuchi: I’ll let you know when I figure out which way I want to continue my studies.
- As the line moves forward Dara MacKenzie comes into view. She notices Otsuchi (Eli Smith) and comes over and introduces herself to Eli. He introduces her to Sarah (Arachne) and Duquan (Kronate). She offers to show them around when they get inside.
Friday, June 5th, 2009, 7:30 PM – The Abedju Cipher (Inside The Sanderson Museum of History – Beacon Hill)
- The group enters the museum and have a look around.
- Kronate sees a woman he’s attracted to and makes small talk with her.
- Arachne and Otsuchi look around together.
Arachne: So what brings you to the exhibit?
Otsuchi: I have some interest in Middle Eastern antiquities.
Arachne: Really? Have you been to the Middle East?
Otsuchi: I served in Iraq.
- Otsuchi excuses himself to talk with Dara.
- Arachne notices that some of the guests are a little tense [Wits + Empathy = 5 → 1 success].
- She begins light conversation with one of the tense guests.
Arachne: Nice night.
Tense Guest (on edge): It’s finally starting to get warm out.
Arachne: Are you enjoying the exhibit?
Tense Guest (still on edge): Yeah.
- Gilbert Lancaster approaches with a man Arachne has never met before. The tense guest takes this as a cue to leave.
Gilbert (with a glint in his eye): Sarah! You’re looking fantastic tonight!
Arachne: Why thank you Gilbert.
Gilbert: Please. Call me Gil. How are you liking the exhibit?
Arachne: There are some nice pieces, to be sure.
Gilbert: Apparently many of the artifacts on display have never been on tour before, so the exhibition has scored record crowds at every museum it has visited. Personally, I like the sarcophagus collection.
Gilbert (pointing to the man): How rude of me. Sarah this is Zee, a fellow fan of haute-culture.
- Zee extends his hand. He is a handsome man in his early 30s.
Gilbert: Zee is an editor at Silent Cove Press.
Zee: Yes. One of my writers is using Egyptian antiquities as a back drop for the thriller she’s writing. I thought I’d find out what the fuss was all about.
Arachne: Find anything interesting?
Zee: I haven’t seen anything remarkable, but I’d heard that one of the items on display, a golden bracelet with inlaid gems, is rumored to have been stolen more than 100 times over its 5000 year history.
Arachne: 100 times? That’s incredible.
Zee: Indeed, but all of those bracelets in the main exhibition hall all look the same to me.
Gilbert (laughing): That’s one way to keep it from getting stolen. Someone would have to steal them all to figure out which one was the rare piece.
Arachne (smiling): True enough. Good seeing you again Gil. It was a pleasure meeting you Zee.
Zee (eagerly): Likewise.
- Kronate is still hustling a newspaper reporter that is covering the event.
- Dara is bringing Otsuchi up to speed on the exhibition and the curator. Arachne approaches them.
Arachne: Everything looks great Dara. You must have put a lot of work into this.
Dara: Thank you. It was actually a rush job. The exhibition wasn’t originally scheduled to visit the Sanderson Museum.
Dara (pointing to Pierpont): Doctor Pierpont reallocated a significant portion of the museum’s annual budget to make sure it would come here.
- Arachne recognizes Doctor Giselle Pierpont from a guest lecture on anthropology she gave 9 years ago at MIT when Sarah was a professor there.
- Arachne is beginning to worry. She suspects that the rare bracelet might be a target for the Pride spirit.
- She decides to cast Grim Sight and scrutinize the guests and the bracelet exhibit for about 10 minutes.
- She finds the sarcophagus collection and uses it to calibrate her Mage Sight.
- Looking around the room she notices that Zee has the heavy weight of death about him, that a number of the tense guests have the slight whiff of death about them, and also that a calm and collected black man in his early 30s with a goatee has the scent of death about him as well. Otsuchi is only peripherally associated with death, which is odd for a former soldier.
- The black man seems to notice her scrutiny so she stops probing him.
- Arachne moves deeper into the main exhibition hall down a long central corridor that opens into a large main room where the bracelet collection resides. She notices one bracelet in a display case two rows from the back and three cases from the left with a large amount of death resonance. She assumes that this must be the rare bracelet and tells Grandma to guard it.
- Kronate gets the reporter’s number and meets up with Arachne and Otsuchi again.
- Arachne informs them about everything she has learned and expresses worry about possible thieves in their midst.
- Otsuchi mentions negative rumours about Dr. Pierpont, but doesn’t go into specifics. He decides to check out the bracelet for himself and uses Supernal Vision to identify it as an Artifact when he sees it. He tells Arachne and Kronate standing to the left of the exhibition hall and then goes to find Dara on the right side of the hall to keep her in the loop.
Friday, June 5th, 2009, 8:45 PM – The Abedju Cipher (Inside The Sanderson Museum of History – Beacon Hill)
- Otsuchi reaches Dara and tells her about the bracelet. They are deciding what to do when the security gates cycle shut and all the lights go out. As the emergency lights kick on, some of the few dozen people remaining at the opening begin to panic. Signals on cell phones and pagers are nonexistent, and all the doors and windows appear to be locked. Several guests suddenly pull weapons out from under their jackets and begin yelling and herding the other guests toward the main lobby. Their leader is a tall black man with a beard and cleanly shaven head. He is clearly Awakened, as his nimbus crackles with energy one might describe as divinely wrought.
- Dara grabs Otsuchi by the arm and leads him away towards the employee access corridors that line the main exhibition hall.
- Kronate sees this and casts Finder on Otsuchi to track him and succeeds [Improvised Space, 1 Mana].
- Arachne combines Shadow Sculpting and Animate Shadows into one casting with high speech [Death + Gnosis + 2 – 2 = 6 → 2 successes, allocates one to each spell].
- The armed men are securing guests, but do not notice Arachne and Kronate cloaked in shadows on the outskirts of the room.
- Arachne and Kronate begin to slowly make their way around the outside of the main exhibition hall towards the area where Dara and Otsuchi made their exit [Death + Gnosis + 1 potency yards per turn = 7 yards per turn].
- Grandma stays put and continues to watch the bracelet. She sees nothing unusual in Twilight.
- Kronate leads Arachne to the employee corridor and follows Otsuchi’s trail until they see him with Dara just outside Dr. Pierpont’s office door after emerging from the access corridor into the main office hallway.
- Arachne asks why Dara has brought them here and she indicates that it will be a good place to hide and plan their next move.
- Kronate detects a Space Ward with a linked Ban surrounding the office and finds that he is unable to touch the door handle to enter the office.
- He casts Dispel against Space magic hoping that collapsing the underlying Ward will remove the Ban as well. He succeeds in dispelling the Ward and the linked Ban dissolves as well [Space 2 + Gnosis 2 + High Speech 2 + Superlative Luck → 3 successes].
- Kronate turns the handle but the door is locked so he uses his lock picks to quickly unlock the door [Dexterity + Larceny + Exceptional Luck → 2 successes].
Friday, June 5th, 2009, 8:48 PM – The Abedju Cipher (Inside The Sanderson Museum of History – Beacon Hill)
- Doctor Pierpont’s office contains several bookcases filled with hundreds of books, mostly focusing on history, archaeology and various worldwide religious practices. Some of the titles are very old and esoteric. There is a modern computer tower under her desk.
Dara: It’s imperative that we keep the artifact, whatever it is, from falling into the wrong hands.
Otsuchi: I agree. We’re on our own though. There appears to be a powerful Forces Ban in place preventing contact with the outside, either wirelessly or by land line.
Arachne: Do we have any idea what the artifact can do or why this man and his men are after it?
Kronate: I don’t think it matters. We should grab it and figure that out later.
- The four of them hear muffled shouts from the terrorists and, occasionally, running feet slapping against the marble floor outside. As they begin to formulate a plan, one of the many bookcases in the office recedes into the wall and Doctor Pierpont steps into the room. She looks surprised to see them, but covers her shock with a nervous smile.
Dr. Pierpont: Mon Dieu. I didn’t expect to have guests at this time of night. But since you’re here, you clearly have talents I am not aware of. Would you care to assist me with the current crisis?
Dara: What’s going on? What are these men after?
Dr. Pierpont: I was ordered to have the exhibition brought here so that I could secure one of the artifacts, a golden bracelet known as the Abedju Cipher, and deliver it to Europe once the exhibition moves on to the next museum.
Arachne: Who is the man in charge and what does he want with the Cipher?
Dr. Pierpont: His name is Remmy Odoya and he wishes to steal the artifact for his own purposes. We must not allow that to happen. Will you help me secure it?
Kronate: We should grab the Cipher, call the cops and then assist them against the gunmen with magic.
Dr. Pierpont: Let me bring up the security feeds on my computer.
Dr. Pierpont (sitting at her desk and going over the feeds): There are at least 8 men securing the hostages and the power junction, and 4 men methodically smashing some of the exhibit cases and looking over the contents. They’re clearly looking for the Cipher.
Dara: We have to get out there? If you guys get the Cipher, I’ll create a distraction to cover you.
Dr. Pierpont (handing radio headsets to Kronate and Dara): It’s probably best that I stay here and monitor the situation remotely. Here take these.
Kronate: I wish I had my gun.
Dr. Pierpont (fishing an old 6-shooter from her desk): Use this.
Otsuchi: Let’s get going.
- They exit into the hallway and make their final plans. Grandma is just arriving to give Arachne a report about what’s going on? Odoya’s men are minutes away from finding the Cipher.
Arachne (to Grandma): Head back to the Cipher and get ready to grab it when I tell you.
Grandma (smiles and nods)
Otsuchi: I will grant Nightvision to everyone. Dara, you can knock out the lights. The rest of us will head through the access corridors and come out at the other end of the gallery and grab the Cipher [Forces + Gnosis + High Speech + Willpower = 10 – 4 targets = 6 → 2 successes].
Dara: Alright, I’m going in. Get going!
Friday, June 5th, 2009, 8:52 PM – The Abedju Cipher (Inside The Sanderson Museum of History – Beacon Hill)
- Dara makes her way towards the main exhibition hall entrance, while the others get in position at the other end of the hall through the employee access corridor.
- Kronate tells Pierpont and Dara that they are in position.
- Dara tells them to roll out! She uses Control Electricity to knock out the emergency lights.
- Otsuchi, Kronate, and Arachne emerge from the access corridor roughly 8 yards from Odoya and three of his men that are just moments from reaching the Cipher.
- Odoya fixes on Arachne’s more familiar Aura and unleashes a Mind Assault on her, inflicting 4 bashing damage.
- Otsuchi closes the distance and successfully grapples Odoya.
- Kronate casts Augury: How many gunmen will reach us in the next 15 seconds? Answer: 3 [Exceptional Luck, 1 success].
- Arachne casts Self-Healing but fails [Life 3 + Gnosis 3 + Exceptional Luck = 6 → 0, 1 Mana].
- Grandma uses Telekinesis, smashes the glass case and grabs the Abedju Cipher.
- Eight gunmen remain where they are and continue to secure the hostages and warn them against panicking.
- Three gunmen start making their way towards the sound of broken glass.
- Dara holds her action and gets ready to fry the main junction box if anyone brings the lights up.
- Odoya uses Mind Assault on Otsuchi, which is partially absorbed by his magic shield. Otsuchi takes 1 Bashing [1 Mana]. He yells to his men to get all the lights back on.
- Otsuchi squeezes Odoya in a bear hug and inflicts 1 Bashing.
- Kronate attempts to curse Odoya using Evil Eye but fails [Superlative Luck, 1 Mana, 1 Willpower = 8 dice → 0].
- Arachne worried that the lights might come on soon casts Shadow Sculpting over 80 cubic yards, but fails [Willpower, Exceptional Luck].
- Grandma floats the Cipher towards the group and hides inside a wall with the Cipher behind a mask hanging on the wall.
- A guard attempts to flick on the lights at the main switch, but Dara uses her held action to kill them immediately with Control Electricity.
- Two of the guards approaching the direction of the group in the dark draw flashlights.
- Dara casts Personal Invisibility and makes her way around the room towards the access corridor.
- Odoya uses Mind Assault on Otsuchi again despite his Magic Shield and inflicts another 3 Bashing [1 Mana]. He has a splitting headache.
- Otsuchi begins dragging him towards the access corridor and puts a hand over his mouth to keep him quiet.
- Kronate runs over to assist and grabs his legs.
- Arachne throws everything she has into another 80 cubic yard Shadow Sculpting and succeeds [Death 3 + Gnosis 3 + Exceptional Luck + Willpower 3 – 4 Area = 5 dice → 4 Potency].
- Grandma brings the Cipher into the access corridor as Arachne begins retreating.
- A guard’s flashlight falls on the cloud of darkness and invokes Disbelief, reducing the Potency of the darkness, but it remains [Resolve + Composure = 6 → 2 → Potency → 2].
- Dara continues to make her way toward the group.
- Odoya attempts to break the grapple, but fails.
- Otsuchi pushes through to Forces 3 and casts Silence centered on himself and succeeds with 4 successes [Willpower, No Paradox].
- Kronate delivers the butt of his gun to Odoya’s head and inflicts his dice pool in bashing damage and Odoya falls unconscious.
- Grandma hands the Abedju Cipher to Arachne as she closes the access door.
- Two more guards observe the darkness with their flashlights and it collapses, but Odoya is gone and the group has left no obvious traces.
- The group makes their way back to Pierpont’s office under cover of darkness and Silence.
- Dara rendezvous with them there.
Friday, June 5th, 2009, 8:56 PM – The Abedju Cipher (Inside The Sanderson Museum of History – Beacon Hill)
Dr. Pierpont: Bravo! You carried that out with ruthless efficiency!
Kronate: That’s how we roll Doc.
- Otsuchi lays the unconscious Odoya on the ground and then casts Self-Healing [9 dice → 4 Bashing healed, 1 Mana].
- The golden bracelet feels slightly warm as Arachne looks at it. Her palm itches as she holds it, and she can sense voices just outside the range of her hearing, faint snatches of conversation that would almost make sense if she could just hear a little more of them.
Dr. Pierpont: This thing needs to be destroyed, or all of this will just happen again!
Kronate: I thought you had to deliver it to Europe?
Dr. Pierpont: I have no intention of carrying out those orders. The Cipher should be destroyed so that it can’t cause any more bloodshed.
Dara: That’s being a little hasty Doctor, don’t you think? We should at least study it before jumping to conclusions.
Arachne (examining the item): The Abedju Cipher is in good hands now. Destroying it would be foolish.
… to be continued …