Mage: Episode 4

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In this episode, brought to you by another of our players, +William Oakes, our intrepid mages encounter werewolves for the first time. Unfortunately it isn't the most pleasant of introductions. Read on to learn more!

Episode 4: The Big Bad Wolf (Chapter 1)

Game Sessions 13 & 14
The session opened with Oghma being sent to check on a questionable package that might be enroute to Sydney. While searching a warehouse office (and the worst filing cabinet ever created) he found the file he was searching for, and some other rather odd files he found to be interesting. Being a curious sort, he couldn’t help but to go through them and make notes. As he prepared to leave, using his magic to wipe any trace of his presence, it happened.

A man came flying through the wall of the warehouse, followed quickly by what Oghma assumed (from the movies) was a werewolf. Oghma immediately took cover, only to hear the sound of bones snapping and stomach-churning biting and gnashing from somewhere below. When the sounds abated he glanced back out the window to see the creature staring back up at him from the hole in the wall, holding a finger up to it’s grinning mouth in warning.

The following day Oghma made a call to Jessica and Malphas and explained to them as coherently as possible (which wasn’t very) what had happened. The group met at the Liberty before heading down to the Gore Cove docks district to find the warehouse now an abandoned crime scene. Oghma was eventually coaxed into entering the building, but was visibly shaken and clearly didn’t enjoy being there, the events of last night still far too fresh in his mind. Nothing was left but blood stains and crime scene tape. Jessica , not able to believe the sketchy account given by Oghma, peered through time to see what really happened here.

She was shocked to see the body come flying through the corrugated steel wall, landing in a bloody slump, barely able to utter the word please before something came in after it. She was unable to see what it was at first; a bubble of distortion made seeing whatever it was extremely difficult. With effort she was able to pierce the veil and saw something she immediately regretted; she assumed it was a werewolf, but it was much larger than anything she had ever seen in a movie. The creature was easily 12 feet tall, a mixture of drool and blood dripping from its mouth. She was horrified, terror taking hold of her as she gazed upon the creature, it seeming far too real despite being no more than a vision. As the creature lifted the man’s body and tore its arm off, she froze her vision, unable to look anymore, feeling her grip on her sanity loosen dangerously.

Jessica had dropped her concentration on the creature, happily letting it fall back into obscurity and focused instead on any clues that might help her figure out who was here and why. Still looking back in the past, she found a boot lying outside, which was still sitting there in the present for Oghma to examine. Using his attainment, Oghma found out details about the victim. In particular, he has a ranger at the Lane Cove National Park.

Meanwhile, Malphas was up in the office of the building, searching for a clue as to why the creature or man were here, but was unable to find anything that he found useful. Irritated, he moved back downstairs only to find Jessica and Oghma missing, but eventually heard them outside and moved to rendezvous with them. On his way out he took note of the blood stains and realised there was really no chance of the man surviving.

Malphas met up with the other two mages outside and used his magic to calm Jessica and repair her damaged psyche, which was emotionally traumatised from witnessing the horrible creature and its attack.

The group decided to make their way to the park immediately, as something very wrong was going on and they wanted to make sure that no more innocents were going to die. Oghma made a call to Shiryo on his way to the park, telling him some of the things that were happening. They agreed that if anything did happen, it would be good to have someone of his skills nearby.

The group met up at the park, with Shiryo, Jessica, and Oghma heading towards a nearby campsite with a lot of noise coming from it. Malphas headed towards the ranger station to try and find information on the victim. The trio of mages, sneaking up upon the campsite, noted four men around a fire, and a further eight playing some sort of ball game, possibly rugby, in the nearby clearing.

The men at the fire noticed the approaching mages immediately, and after Jessica notifies the men that she believed one of their friends was dead, things got tense. While Jessica and Oghma spoke to the leader of the group, an older man named Isaac, the two mages used their abilities to learn more about the men. Jessica found their auras to clearly not be human while Oghma brushed over their emotions and found them to be growing in anger. They both considered to leave and as they prepared to they noticed that the people playing in the clearing had stopped and have since moved towards the fire. Jessica and Oghma began to leave, but it was too late. They were invited to stay with some not too subtle threats, and decided to accept the generous invitation rather than fight the large crowd.

Elsewhere, Malphas found the ranger station and located a picture of the victim with his name as well as his work schedule. He reached out with his mind to Jessica to see if she had any information just in time to hear they were in trouble. He climbed into his car and drove back across the park, trying to get there as quickly as possible.

Jessica, Oghma and Shiryo sat at the fire where Jessica began to unload with complete honesty everything she could think of to smooth things over with the men. They eventually seemed to calm down, and invited the group of mages to kindly keep out of their business. As a fight broke out between two of the men towards the back of the group the three mages departed and made their way to Malphas at the entrance to the park.

As they recounted what happened to Malphas there were screams and roars from back near the camp, both signs of imaginable danger. Malphas decided he had enough chasing the unknown, and began to walk back towards the camp in frustration. Shiryo and Oghma followed, the first out of a sense of duty, and the second out of a sense of debt to Malphas for assisting Jessica in her time of extreme mental duress. Jessica then followed because she didn’t want to see any of her friends harmed, but brought along her motorcycle in case she needed to get out in a hurry.

As the group made their way towards the camp, they saw the RVs and caravans from other campsites quickly leaving the park. Something terrible was happening and people were trying to get the hell out.

Things took a turn for the worse as the group neared the camp. The stars went out and darkness grew around them unnaturally. Jessica was thrown from her motorcycle after a dog ran in front of it, barely clipping it as it moved past. Similar dog-like forms rushed past the others, running quickly away from the direction camp. The odour of blood filled the air, while the roars, growls, and sound of general unpleasantness continued to grow. Jessica picked up her bike, the light illuminating the old man, Isaac, holding a bloody sword in his hand, screaming into the night sky:

"Come back you traitors! You shall pay for what you have done. There is no hiding from the debt you owe!"

Feeling he could handle the situation and calm the angry man, Malphas reached deep within himself and reached out with his Mind magic. The spell pushed through the man’s mental defences, latching onto his psyche with such force that when Malphas said “Set your sword down and start talking”, the man did exactly that. He dropped his sword and began talking about traitors to father not deserving of their blessing, and continuing to ramble non-stop for almost a minute before his speech stopped abruptly, a sword bursting forth from his chest.

The sword was ripped upward, nearly leaving him in two pieces as a shape rose up behind the man. It was a werewolf, seven feet of muscle, claws and teeth wielding a gigantic blade. The sight of Isaac’s bloody demise and the appearance of the creature sent waves of panic through the mages. Oghma freaked out, turning and sprinting back towards the entrance without another thought. Jess followed after him, shaken, but with enough mind to try and help him, wishing he would calm down.

Having taken control of Isaac so easily before, Malphas, a little shaken from the creature’s appearance, lashed out with another Mind spell, demanding the werewolf protect the group. Unfortunately this time his magic faltered, the beast enraged at the mage’s demands. Malphas stood frozen in place, unable to believe his magic had failed him when he needed it most, as the werewolf charged forward with unnatural speed. Shiryo couldn’t respond fast enough to defend his colleague, the werewolf’s blade crashing down into Malphas’ arm, shattering the bone and leaving shards of it sticking out.

Malphas collapsed to the ground from the sheer amount of pain, surrendering to the darkness, his mind unable to process it all. Shiryo summoned the blade he had prepared during the talk with the man, afraid a fight was coming back then, and swung it at the werewolf with all his might. He fueled his resolve with everything he cared about; promises, saving friends, proving his own worth. The blow struck true, nearly severing the monster’s arm, leaving it hanging uselessly from its side as it fled.

Shiryo picked up the body of Malphas, applying a simple tourniquet and splint to the wound and carrying him out as quickly as he could, hoping his friend would survive. Elsewhere, Jessica found Oghma hiding under a tree, eventually getting him back to the entrance.

The group immediately called upon Isis for assistance, and as a member of the Council she was obliged to help. She used her Life magic to reduce the severity of the injury to a simple break, but informed the group that Malphas would still need medical treatment. Fortunately Malphas’ sister, Dr Sarah Williams, was working in the emergency rooms that evening, and ensured that Malphas was looked after.