Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Rising Waters: Sessions 4 & 4.5

Song: Hallelu, Devil Makes Three

Following the goblin battle, the group is filled with the pressing need to find out what exactly is going on. They've got a dinner to keep with Mickey (who looks something like the image to the right) but first they want to have a bit more info. In order to do that, they call on their contacts.

Uno, Adia, Eldi, and Zeke head off to Duff's place in the hope that he knows something about what's going on. Dylan and Viktor stay behind to see what they can figure out as well.

Duff withstands Adia's offers of marriage as a sugar-high induced lapse of judgement and pawns her off with a cupcake while he talks business with Uno and Zeke. Duff points out that Adelphia, Uno's intended, has a lover already and isn't perhaps best thrilled to be engaged, given that it sort of means the end of her relationship with her lover, her being the heir to the throne and all. He also mentions that there are a lot of people who stand to gain and lose, and that Uno's mom, Rosalind, kinda kept him in the dark -- and maybe there were reasons for that. Faerie moms aren't human moms, no matter how much they love their kids.

Downhearted, they return to Dylan and Viktor trying to figure out the best way to move forward. Dylan decides to do some divination with the Sight as a focus to look forward a bit at probabilities. Victor uses the time to brew up some potions -- one to help Adia resist influences (he doesn't trust Mickey) and one to aid him against demons (which has the side effect of making people react badly to him). By the time Dylan is ready to do the divination (which takes some prep work) everyone's back. He looks around and asks the question "what if the goblins had managed to kill Uno." He manages to see two futures at once. The striking moment is that where Uno is standing, he is both there and not there, and while the house is Summer aligned, so it's like a warm summer's day with sunlight streaming in, where Uno would be is wintery and cool, with all the gold gone from the air. He gets a thought and turns the vision to the mirror that Uno uses to communicate with his mom, only to see frost flowers appear on it... and then his eyes start to freeze, and he cries out and escapes the Sight. Victor helps thaw him out so he isn't blinded, luckily, but then it's time to head out and see Mickey. The group all goes together, as no one's being left behind for this one.

When everyone arrives at the art walk, Mickey greets everyone in a friendly fashion. Viktor and Dylan hang back as cover just to make sure, while Zeke and Uno walk up with Adia (and Eldi's in her purse with Josh, who's in the sugar skull). He makes a point of giving attention to Adia, who is really uncomfortable, but not feeling like she necessarily wants to tell him to buzz off. He offers her protection and says she should leave town, but no one even remotely takes him up on it. When they press him for why, he says that he knows about the wedding and that it's going to change the balance of power, meaning that life might be less than awesome for anyone connected to Uno. He tells them not to go to the wedding, no matter what. When they ask why again, he points out that all the guests have invitations -- no invitation, not a guest. Not a guest, no guest protections of hospitality. Someone wants them to show up so they'll have a target who can be harmed. Bad idea. Mickey offers that he could find out more, but everything has a price -- even for Adia. Perhaps especially for Adia. He alludes to the contents of her purse, but only in passing and refuses to elaborate, Eldi staying hidden this whole time. As they leave to go, they hear a scream down a side street --- and that's where we break.

In session 4.5, we come back to that moment. Everyone heads down the street, Dylan using his skills and magic sense to figure out the origin point of the sound. People are running in every direction, trying to clear a certain intersection. Adia and Eldi head up to a rooftop using A.'s parkour skills, while Uno climbs up to the opposite corner (2 story buildings here). Viktor (whose potion is still in effect), Dylan, and Zeke run up to the intersection. What they find there is a ghoul, chewing on something grisly.

Viktor attacks first, doing some damage. Zeke fires and shoots the thing in the head, but that doesn't take it down altogether. Dylan, noticing they're fighting near an open manhole, just arranges to push the ghoul over so it tumbles into the sewer. They're catching their breath when Adia spots another ghoul slinking in from the shadows. It attacks Viktor and does 4 wounds, packing a heck of a punch. He grabs it, though, and using sheer strength flips it over and slams it into the concrete. Dylan decides to make the ground under the ghoul frictionless so it's slippery, which he does, while Zeke shoots it (though not in the head for this one) and misses. The ghoul tries to attack Viktor again but slips instead. Zeke shoots it this time, while Uno jumps down off the building to join the fight. Eldi, looking down with her keen fae eyes, notices the first ghoul trying to climb up out of the sewers again. She uses her glamour to create a shower of firework sparks over the manhole, directing everyone's attention there. Uno moves over and uses his sword to stab the first ghoul as it tries to hoist itself out, doing even more damage.

Viktor swings at the second ghoul again, doing some damage, while Zeke shoots once more. They're both pretty wounded, but haven't gone down yet. Finally Adia throws down some change from the rooftop, yelling to Dylan first to catch his attention. He speeds up the change to terminal velocity, then redirects it onto both ghouls only, half to each. He crushes the second ghoul's head, while the first falls back into the sewer. It's impossible to see from the street how wounded it is, but there are thrashing in water sounds and then silence.

Viktor realizes that ghouls are susceptible to holy symbols and blessed items, so he suggests that Zeke bless the bodies. Sauriel offers help, and Zeke says yes, but then his player rolls terribly on the Will roll to control it, so Sauriel takes over, using the cold iron holy symbol Zeke has to bless the ghoul at his feet. There's a flash of light and smoke and the thing disintegrates. He then goes over and blesses the manhole, so that the ghoul, if it survived, cannot come back through. Only then does Sauriel relinquish control to Zeke, who feels drained and really deeply annoyed about it all.

During this process, Viktor is overcome by curiousity and decides to look at Zeke with the Sight, which resulted in him being overwhelmed, unable to comprehend what he was seeing, and taking a decent amount of mental damage before conceeding and coming away with conditions. There's always room for questionable plans, after all.

Join us next time, as we figure out what's going to happen next?