Man, I wish I could be in Belgium right now...
Does anybody else remember a time when "Director's Cut" meant something? Back when you felt like you were seeing the movie the way it was supposed to be, and not just a whole bunch of crap cut from the theatrical release so that people who saw it in theaters will have an excuse to buy the DVD? Especially with the movies that have nothing going for them but dick and fart jokes and just use the DVD release to throw in some random tits, and make it sound like it's all subversive and borderline-porn by calling it 'The Unrated Edition.'
A thought has just occurred to me... are we going to have to change the expression "chewing the scenery," given how often movies are just using green-screen effects to handle backgrounds rather than actually constructing sets? Something worth thinking about, I think.
Man, I really put off one of these things and people start asking about it...
Okay, after the meeting with the D&D geek Mysterium, the Mages all congregated-- as they tend to do-- at Dewey's store. We talked to the 'new guy,' Greg's new character, a Mage by the name of Mac. Fortunately, this one's a Guardian as well. We took him to Dewey's apartment above the bookstore and filled him in on what we'd discovered so far. At one point, we decided we needed to get into the case of money we'd received in Mexico because we might need to get some supplies. Dewey and Infilux checked the case of money to find that an ink/dye bomb had gone off inside it and ruined all of it (although leaving other contents, featuring apparently a huge supply of cocaine, intact). While the two of us were going over that, Caduceus and Mac (Zipporah not being present because apparently her player just can't manage to attend the game any longer because of her work and class schedule) both got a call on their cell phones... someone on the other line who said "There's never enough time" or something to that effect. Then we heard a sound like a church bell from the first floor, and Dewey's employee screaming.
We ran downstairs and saw that the employee was holding a wrist-watch and that all of the inorganic material on and around his body was rapidly dissolving. He tossed it to Caduceus, who immediately threw it as far away from us as possible. By the time Dewey managed to destroy it, it had literally carved a path through his books and cut a hole in his wall. A crowd was starting to gather, and Dewey brought everyone back upstairs to figure out what was going on. He also brought his barely-conscious employee with him, as he'd passed out from fright. At this point, he got a knock on his apartment door.
It was the doctor from the hospital, the Silver Ladder Mage. He'd been planning on stopping by to invite us to a secret Consilium meeting later that night, and had happened to walk into the middle of the whole mess with the watch. We had him give the bum who worked for Dewey a once-over, and he said it looked like he was in the middle of a PTSD flashback. He said that he was inviting us to the secret Consilium they'd put together to deal with the mayor, and that we were refer to him as Mütter and that we'd have to bring a bag of McDonald's food. He swore it wasn't a hazing thing, but just to save on the snack budget. Dewey said that he was going to buy that for the moment, but if the cabal showed up and were the only ones with McDonald's, then he was going to start shooting people. He said that he had some idea of what had happened and would inform everyone later.
The doctor helped Infilux scatter the crowd after that, and we put up a tarp over the hole in the wall. Dewey made a report to the higher-ups among the Guardians and we killed some time until later.
We showed up at the Consilium meeting, not at all surprised to see that we were the only ones with McDonald's. We took some ribbing... they took cracks at us, telling us they were out of chairs when there were a bunch stacked at the back of the room... standard high school bullshit. Dewey tried to tell everyone else that we'd just quietly put up with it to a point, but it wasn't that easy...
One of the other Mages made Mac's pants drop with a spell, and a fight broke out. Caduceus was able to end it, and Mac then proceeded to work a little trick of his own for later. But eventually things calmed down and microphones were handed out, to be passed around like 'talking sticks' you see in therapy meetings.
We got down to business, where there was a discussion about how far we were willing to go to deal with the mayor. Dewey's cabal spoke up and said that we didn't think there was too much time left ahead of us, given that we had evidence that the mayor was preparing for a huge move. We weren't ready to fill in everyone on the Infernal Realms yet so as not to cause a panic, but naturally a few folks leapt on the notion that 'The Guardians have things we didn't want them to know.'
We were told that if we were planning on dealing with the Mayor, then we'd have to suck it up and work with the Free Council... who happened to be headed by the same guy who'd masqueraded as a Guardian higher-up to send us on our mission in the first place.
Next order of business was the local werewolf problem, and the folks helping out with that in the town would be the trio of vampires who had at that point stepped out of the shadows in the corner. One wonders why we went to the trouble of attending the Consilium when we already knew everybody there...
One of the Silver Ladder Mages up front got upset at the werewolf discussion, having lost a friend to them. Dewey spoke up and said that we had some useful information on that as well. At about this point, Mütter called a recess of about 15-20 minutes to talk, get some snacks, hit the restroom, whatever. At this point, the guy who made Mac's pants drop earlier stood up and found out the hard way that his own pants were left behind. Caduceus then screwed up his knee making him trip over his screwed-up pants, at which point the guy pissed himself from embarassment. The Guardians, having subtly stood up for themselves, gained a good note of respect as we started mingling.
Dewey had a bit of a talk with 'Rat,' the Free Council guy who brought us into his mess. He more or less spelled out that he was more than willing to work with them, although he knew what Rat had done and wanted to be up-front with him that he hadn't appreciated the deception. They traded some contact information.
Everyone else was making their connections as well, and Dewey moved over to the Mage who was having a breakdown during the werewolf discussion. She appeared to be part of a punk band of some sort, and he offered his condolences, having lost a friend in that. He said that he had a sample of the werewolf's fur if they wanted it, and that he pointed out that he didn't think it was a coincidence that when he was attacked that it was literally within spitting distance of the Huxley family plot. He talked to the rest of that particular cabal and got on their good side and made sure they knew where to find him.
We left off about there, with Caduceus getting some numbers from the more attractive Mage ladies and Mac hitting it off way too well with one of the vampires.
The Changeling game was one of the more interesting ones, in a lot of ways... it was a New Moon, and those tend to draw out one of the more interesting personalities in town: Gill, Shadow Court Count and vicious serial killer. He got out and, to my understanding, nearly killed the Baron. The wagons were circled and a bunch of us went to go hunt him down before all hell broke loose.
We were stopped on the way by Mortimer, who proceeded to inform a lot of us about a threat to the city... the raksha. It was putting off some sort of chimerical power somewhat on par with, say, a chimerical nuclear reactor. He gave this big speech explaining that, in so many words, a nightmare is quite literally the dream equivalent of cancer... instead of cells expanding and growing without control and in a dangerous fashion, you had thoughts and dreams doing the asme thing. And that the raksha was going to severely fuck up everyone's Kool-Aid. I wish I'd caught more of it, but one of the players more interested in just wandering around in-character than actually interacting with plot had decided to spontaneously deck the Baron and I was asking them OOCly if we could hold that off so as not to interrupt Sean's scene.
So the lion Pooka took a swing at the Baron, who decked him with his skateboard, and everyone dragged him back to the freehold and locked him up.
After that, we got wind of something horrific happening at the Creative Arts Center. Everyone got down there to find that there had been some sort of massacre. SWAT teams were being brought in and all hell had broken loose. They snuck in through a side-entrance and managed to get to the center area where there was a stage... and sitting on that stage, on a throne of meat and such, was the raksha.
They tried standing up to it and attacking it, and it fought back... it blinded Joshua, and it chimerically ripped the skin from the body (Darth Rosenberg-style) of a new Pooka in town, a crow by the name of Matthew Sky. The Baron and the local fox Pooka, Keelin, got Matthew out of there in addition to a Piskie whose name I can't recall off-hand but who had fainted. Of course, the Baron made no attempt to go back to try and save his remaining three subjects; it's been made pretty clear his most notable skill is skateboarding. But I digress.
Everyone got out of there and got back to Woodburn while Joshua, the Varich cowboy guy, and Robert the Sidhe Kinain wound up facing the raksha. They explained the situation to it, and because the notion amused it it basically gave them an opportunity to actually fight it and possibly drive it back into its place while they found a way to seal off its dangerous chimerical emissions.
After a long battle, they managed to take it out. Without dying, at that! Their injuries were repaired (except for Matthew's, as he wasn't in the thing's range when that happened), and they were sent on their way.
Back at Woodburn, the Baron found out that the lion Pooka had escaped the holding cell and put out a warrant for his capture as well as the capture of Gill.
A Sluagh by the name of Andrew took the Boggan I've been playing aside to talk to him... and stab him in the back. A couple of times. Then he tore up the Boggan's throat and swiped his notebook where he wrote everything, stabbed himself with his knife and wiped it off a bit and got everyone else's attention. He made it look like a Gill attack, and the Baron about threw a fit. Which was half the point.
They dragged the body out of the alcove and Andrew set the body on fire to try and get rid of it... or at least, any incriminating meat on it that might reveal that it wasn't just an animal attack. Baron Eric used Primal, though, to half-bury, half-cover the body with earth.
And this coming week, we'll see what Andrew found out in the notebook, and who else might have seen what really happened.
The Vampire game was a pretty short one. It, like the Changeling game, had a very low player turnout. But that happens.
We met up at the Bishop's place (everyone still calls him the Archbishop out of habit), where we were introduced to an Inquisitor who was in the city dealing with suspicions of infernalism.
She took each of us aside and Simon flat-out told her about the weirdness that was going on at his haven, with the weird energy field (which in game has been called the Keening, but in all honesty I've had some trouble OOCly connecting the term with the context) around the place. She expressed interest in seeing it.
While waiting for the Inquisitor to finish her interviews, Simon met a wandering priest-- also a Malk-- who had been led to the town because he felt that Morgantown needed a renewal of faith. At one point, I calmly pointed out out of character that Simon's belief that Malkavians were blessed by God and inherently divine was not helped by the fact that most of the other Malks he met were religious figures of some sort.
Simon filled in the priest on what had gone on with his temple, figuring that everyone else would hear about it any ways. But he did fill in John Consamane and his ductus Erik first. He said-- truthfully-- that the reason he hadn't said anything before was because the zombies thing was already happened, didn't seem to be connected to the Keening, and the zombies were more important. Eventually the Inquisitor dragged everyone to Simon's place, and they all noticed the mental static in their heads not unlike the Taos Hum, combined with what sounded like a woman screaming or wailing. Even the mortals occasionally notice it.
Simon took the Inquisitor (who is apparently also of Malkavian descent) into the prayer chamber and had her give the place a once-over. She didn't feel anything evil about it, and was awed by the power there. It looks like the house that Simon converted into a Noddist temple has been genuinely made into some sort of holy place. The priest gave it a once-over and came mostly to the same conclusion.
While Simon was downstairs, though, the shit nearly hit the fan. Kareem, the Muslim Malk who had been staying at the temple for a while, had been spotted by the others. There was some uneasy tension, but nobody accused Simon of harboring a potential enemy of the sect or anything like that so everything appeared to be okay.
The most interesting stuff happened when we returned to the Bishop's afterwards. We were approached by someone who claimed to be a ghost in a human body, and was the same guy we met previously. He wanted to work with us to help deal with the zombie problem, but he needed something first-- another body. His was wearing out and would be dead soon. But being vampires, we wouldn't have to worry about such things.
Simon volunteered to be possessed, because out of everyone else there he was the only one who was completely useless in a physical confrontation. If all hell broke loose, he'd be the easiest to subdue. So the ghost, Dr. Eric Mathis, explained that he was trying to find a way to cure death. He'd discovered it was a disease. He was approached by some people who wanted to fund his research and, from his description, sounded a lot like Giovanni. He himself had died in the process after accidentally causing a zombie plague. He said that the zombies seemed to be headed someplace in particular, and the rest of us made plans to follow the zombies to whereever they were headed and stop whatever the mysterious folks had planned.
And that was about where we wrapped up, I think.
In the short eternity it took me to write this, as a side-note, I finally got my confirmation email for the Bloodlines contest. Had me worried, there...