Mage: Episode 2 (Part 3)

Posted by Peter Gates


In today’s session the plot thickens as the cabal learns more about the vampires and their society, whilst uncovering a horrible truth about Sally.

Episode 2: Along Came A Spider (Part 3)

Game Session 6
The session began with Oghma and Jess returning from Ashfield estate after Jess had asked Oghma if she could examine the photo of her that his grandfather had stored in the basement archives. During his re-organisation of his grandfather's files, Oghma had since taken down the photos from the noticeboard and placed them in a simple folder, including the one of Jessica, along with some notes of his own. Using her Time magic she’d learned that Mr Ashfield had taken the image himself some twelve months prior at once of her concerts here in town. With her Prime sight she also discovered that he had been a sleepwalker, able to perceive magic without inducing paradox, but unable to cast it himself.

Meanwhile, there had been several news reports about other frenzied attacks in the North Sydney area which authorities were putting forward as a mix of drugs and alcohol fuelled violence. No suspects had been apprehended, although several officers had been injured attempting to restrain the men responsible. Shiryo and Malphas had also become hit YouTube sensations after their fight was broadcasting from a slew of different smart phones as they had attempted to subdue Sil earlier that night.

Back in the Liberty, Jess started by opening up discussions with Oghma, Tanuwa, Malphas and Shiryo on what they should do about Sally, the guy that smelled like vinegar at the zoo, and Sil, the vampire that they had tied up (still) in the break room in the back of the nightclub (who had since told them more about vampires, their weaknesses, and a little about their society). Jess also revealed that, following the attacks earlier than evening, she had gone to speak with her father again, suggesting that there may have been a connection between the missing girl and the attacks, without revealing the source of her information. As the situation had gotten worse from when Jess had last spoken to him, Detective Wolf had offered to look into it for her and let her know if anything came up. Then, after some further discussions, the group decided to speak with Sil.

When they head out there and Jess saw Sil again, she experienced another painful vision, this time of Sil being shot in the head by what Jess thought was a sniper. Although he looked a little different, Jess was sure it was him, a fact that did not instil any level of reassurance in the vampire.

Speaking to Sil about what had happened to him earlier, they asked him if there was any way they could contact the vampire authorities. Sil said there was, although he didn't really feel comfortable doing so, being that he was essentially on their hit list and all.

Jess then mentioned that they were worried that Sally, the woman that had attacked Sil, was also after his friends, which elicited quite the response from the young vampire. They then learned that not only did Sil know Sally (she was a ghoul belonging to Duncan, a member of his coterie) but he had seen her last night after her incident with the hospital, believing the reaction was caused by her condition. He also explained that, in part because of the whole ghoul loyalty thing, she’d never try and attack them like the cabal was suggesting, even after they explained what they had learned.

Sil then called Duncan in an attempt to clear things up, only to learn that the other two members of his coterie, Raphael and Nick had also frenzied in public. Now one was in hiding, and the second was taken into custody by the Prince’s Hounds.

With Sil utterly lost as to what to do, Tanuwa suggested they meet with the higher ups in vampire society and inform them of what they knew. Still not happy with the idea, Sil suggested that they go see Duncan instead. He knew more people than Sil, and was going to be happy to help considering what was happening to the coterie.

When they arrived at the apartment block where Sil and his coterie resided – a run-down dump in desperate need of repair – the mages felt the air around them get heavier and more constricting, soon finding out that something was constricting the flow of energy from the Beyond, which the mages pulled their magic from, although they couldn't identify it 1.

When they arrived at the apartment proper at first it appeared that Duncan was nowhere to be found, until Sil discovered his friend’s cocooned form in the bathroom, covered in hundreds of spiders varying in size from a grain of rice up to an inch across. Jess, who was helping Sil look around the apartment, immediately freaked out at the sight of so many spiders, at which point Oghma and Tanuwa came to see what the problem was and were unfazed by the sight 2. Tanuwa however did experience another painful flow of memories of fighting spiders such as these, causing him to stagger heavily, barely keeping him upright using a nearby door frame.

Thinking quickly Oghma grabbed a knife from the kitchen and passed it to Tanuwa who cut out the desiccated husk of Duncan who, while not dead, had been drained of almost every drop of vitae in his body, causing him to enter a torpor. A quick examination revealed two large wounds on the back of his neck, appearing not unlike the bite of a massive spider. Unsure what to make of this, the cabal and Sil took Duncan’s body out of the apartment and back to the Liberty.

------------------------------------

1. In the setting we’re running there exists a realm known as the Spirit Wilds, which is essentially a combination of Nevernever of the Dresden Files and the Shadow from World of Darkness. Realms like Arcadia and the Underworld are also part of this realm, and individual domains are controlled by powerful entities that are able to shape the pure energy of the Wilds to their whim. Upon awakening a mage's soul travels to the Wilds, and from thereon resides part in the Wilds, and part in the Mortal realm, giving them a conduit to draw their magic through. This means that when something makes the barrier between the Mortal world and the Wilds stronger (such as the Spider Hosts from Werewolf) it hinders a mage's abilities. This results in some interesting interactions between different supernatural creatures that would have otherwise not occurred. When a mage causes paradox they pull too much energy down through their connection to the Spirit Wilds and, unable to control it, create a pathway through which entities from the Beyond can enter the Fallen World in the form of Manifestations. 

2. We're testing a new set of sanity rules based on the Unknown Armies madness system where a character can receive a failed rank, a hardened rank in one of four different types of stress (Violence, Unnatural, Self, or Wisdom), or just a temporary aspect, like Jess did. Depending on how it goes in game I may put up the basics as a blog post later.