Monday, April 1, 2013

Significators ep01 : Kult

Episode One
"The First Draw"


After owning the books for so many years, I get to finally run a few sessions of Kult! Even more awesome is I get to play with the troupe I used to run games that lasted for years back when I was still going through my college years.    I've always loved the Silent Hill meets Jacob's Ladder vibe of Kult.  And while the old school approach to stats and system were a bit of a mouthful to swallow and learn, the game was definitely worth the experience.

The Cast:
Raphael Costales was played by Sam.
Raphael was a 23 year old Romany of Spanish descent.  He worked as a messenger, and during his free-time loved to indulge in Parkour.  He lived with his dependant Grandmother in one of the condominum complexes in The City.
Dark Secret: Haunted (He believed himself haunted by the spirit of his mother, who vanished under mysterious circumstances.)
Advantages and Disadvantages:  Brash, Dependant (Grandmother), Dyslexic (Mild), Haunted, Low-Self Esteem, Natural Athlete, Endure Pain, Enhanced Awareness (5), Contorsionist, Largesse, Approachable
Net of Contacts (10): Other messengers
Mental Balance: +25

Lycos Anatolius was played by Urim.
Lycos was a 25 year old aristocrat, a Diplomat's Son.  He lived a life of excess and hedonism, but was unaware of how deep the family secret truly was.
Dark Secret: Family Secret
Advantages and Disadvantages:  Black Sheep (age 14), Bad Rep (age 16), Insomnia, Drug Addiction (marijuana), Sexually Tantalizing, Oedipal, Gift for Languages  Influential Friends (High Society), Social Chameleon, Approachable, Cultural Flexibility, Empathy
Net of Contacts (10): Press
Mental Balance: +10

Jason Rappor was played by Aldwin.
The 31-year old police detective was anxious to make a mark in the City.  Being assigned to a serial killer's case, however, might not have been purely by chance.
Dark Secret: Guilt of a Crime (Covered up accidental killing of a crime lord's son)
Advantages and Disadvantages:  Nightmares (5), Death Wish, Rationalist, Oath of revenge (Crime Lord, killed partner), Touchy, Luck, Intuition
Net of Contacts (10): Police
Mental Balance: Started at 0.  First session ended with it at -5

Patrick O'Malley was played by Rocky.
The 47-year old Irish priest understood there were things that only made sense outside the Church's teachings.  The placid world of his parish was about to be swept away by the darkness itself.
Dark Secret:  Forbidden Knowledge (Parapsychology)
Advantages and Disadvantages:  Chronic Pain (Gout), Egotist (was in foster system,  mother gave him up), Fanaticism, Insomnia, Intolerance (Women, resent mother), Manipulative, Faith (10), Good Reputation, Influential Friends (Local leaders), Intuition, Status (Priest)
Mental Balance:  +15

The Story begins with the inital draw of cards.

Father O'Malley hears chanting in his church.  Walking to the main area, he finds some form of ritual unfolding in the ground level.  A woman struggles against bonds that hold her to the floor.  Seven men in hoods continue their chanting while the eighth man walks around the woman with a dead cat in his hands.  He uses the cat's blood to draw a massive circle around the woman.  Suddenly, as if the dark circle was a hole, the woman vanishes and falls through the floor.  O'Malley wakes up.  The dream leaves a bad lingering feeling.  He heads out to check on his parish to find the lay ministers and altar boys cleaning up the church for the coming mass.  The lay minister found a dead cat among the pews.  O'Malley feels bothered.  He also finds a tarot card on the floor.  It is the Seven of Cups.

Mass.  As people make their exit, a clearly non-caucasian woman approaches him and asks for some time.  She asks Father O'Malley on his thoughts on ghosts.  On spirits.  Demons.  And the Father is suspicious of both her questions, and her appearance.  Her olive skin and dark wavy hair suggests ties he does not prefer. She admits she wanted him to help her son whom she believed was possessed by spirits.  She claims to have photos that show proof of the spirit.  He only agrees if she agrees to have the child baptised.  She leaves him their address and tells her she accepts the offer.

Another tarot card is found on the floor.  The 2 of Wands.

Elsewhere in the city, Lycos Anatolius is pushing through a crowd of paparazzi who are determined to get some statements from him.  At first they applaud him for another wild night, and he seems happy to confirm that happened.  They pull away from the press but not before some questions shift to an accusatory tone:  Did you beat her up with that smile on your face?  Are you happy with what you did?  In another room, Lycos talks to his dad's assistant who tells him of what happened.  Of how he started stomping on a woman's neck after she insulted him.  Of how he smashes a bottle on the face of a waiter.  As they talk, a burly man steps through the door and immediately Lycos realizes he is the girl's father!  He charges for him and as Lycos tries to pull away... he falls off his bed.  A dream.

He tries to straighten up, and notices a particular card on his bed sheet.  It is the Three of Swords from a Tarot deck he never owned.  As he thanks himself for not having done something to idiotic, his father emerges and tells him to get dressed.  They are late for some function and the father is in a foul mood.  Lycos hurries to get dressed, but at the corner of his eye, notices the shoes he usually wears on nights out has a heel that is wet with blood.   The event bores Lycos.  He decides to slip out and try to find something more interesting to do.  He sees a young four-year old girl crossing the street, and a bus suddenly slams into her.  Running there in hopes of helping somehow, Lycos peers below to find NO ONE under the bus.  Although the bus clearly shows a dent on the bumper, there is no child!  A cop car slows down nearby and asks them if there's a problem.  The bus driver says there was just a misunderstanding.  Lycos agrees.  And as the two vehicles move on, Lycos thinks he sees some kind of chalk drawing under the bus.  It looks like the outline of a child.  He bends down to inspect it closer, and that's when another vehicle comes by and slams into him.

Inspector Jason Rappor is at a crime scene.  The policemen who first arrived at the scene were far too affected by what had transpired that they were getting physically sick and contaminating the crime scene.  Jason sends them away and notes that the door was not forced open, the stacks upon stacks of a book, Catcher in the Rye, litter the living area.  On a side table, a cloth belt is spread out, with taxidermy tools on it.    On the door, a tarot card was slid against the knob, the Empress.  He soon finds the victim in the bathroom, a man who has been skinned and left on the toilet in a seated position.  His name is Charles Wittick.  Checking the  medicine cabinet, he finds boxes of birth control pills and realizes the victim might have been using them as hormone therapy.  The pictures around the unit have lots of pictures of a beautiful woman, and Jason realizes the woman is the same person as the burly man in the other photos.  The pic of the burly man has text written on the back. "Good job Detective.  Clue Number Four."  He inspects the fridge and finds a cake which has the man's severed testicle on it with a small card that says,  "Great work detective.  Clue Number Two."  The man in the bathroom suddenly starts to gurgle, then scream.  The man is still alive!

The paramedics are called to rush him to the hospital.  Rappor is furious and tries to find more clues.  He finds a VCR which when played shows the events that happened before the victim was attacked.  It ends with the assailant addressing the viewer, "Yes detective.  Clue number three."    A fire alarm begins to blare across the street.  Rappor realizes the unit's window looks out to the other building.  There, he sees a young man opening a window and waving the smoke out of the unit.  He decides to go there and inspect.

Raphael Costales was sitting on the fire escape, while his grandmother was preparing food.  She has been having lapses in her memory - a common problem that comes with age - and while she prepares his favorite meatballs, Raphael catches her forgetting to place anything on the stove and leaving the fire burning.  He kills the flame, guides her to her room, and tucks her in to sleep.  But before she does, she offers to read his fortune.   She draws three cards:  Ace of Cups, Page of Cups and Strength, and rather than interpret it, merely stares at the cards.  Raphael tucks her in and tells her tomorrow is another day.    When he steps back into the living room/kitchen area, however, the stove is lit up.  He hurries to it, kills the flame (again) and hears odd notices from the hallway.  Peeking out, he sees the neighbor who has lived next door for the last five years dragging a very heavy sack to his room.  Suspicious, Raphael heads downstairs to the landlord, Ben, and tries to convince him to check on the neighbor.

But then the fire alarm triggers.  As Raphael and the landlord hurry upstairs, they find smoke filling the corridors!  The water sprinklers switch on in response, drenching everyone cold.  Raphael rushes back into the unit to see the stove once again suddenly switching off.  And when he reaches his grandmother, she tells him, "Lucia... Lucia sent them away."    After making sure she was dry and tucked back in, Raphael decided to visit his mother's grave.  He sees a man staring at him from the next door window, ignores him, and makes his way to the cemetery.

Father O'Malley arrives at the unit, and tries to ignore the police cars parked outside the condo complex.  One of the buildings had its fire alarm triggered, and the Irish priest could only wonder what sort of chaos was transpiring there.  Upon arriving at the unit, he finds the woman there anxious to get started.  The fear in her eyes is undeniable.  The child confronts the father, and he seems to find an intelligence behind the child's eyes.  The woman's appearance becomes more distinct and O'Malley realizes she is the woman in the dream.  He stumbles out of the unit to try and leave, but he feels something has followed him out of the building.

He stumbles past Detective Rappor who quickly hurries up the building to see the source of the commotion.  His gut just screams that the person behind the serial killings would be in the building next door.  As he rushed up the stairs, he encounters the water drenched floor where the alarm was triggered.  He tries getting information from the neighbors on who lived in the door opposite the window in the other floor, but then catches the weird neighbor peering from the door.  He rushes to confront him!

Far away, Lycos Anatolius awakens to find himself in an ambulance with his father.  In his drugged state, he overhears his father arguing with the paramedics, and before he could say anything to help, his father suddenly attacks the two paramedics, and starts dragging Lycos to his feet.  The ambulance goes topsy-turvey and slams into a wall, "We have to move," Lycos hears his father growl, "Or all will know of our secret."  The two stragger out into the street, and when Lycos attempts to gain answers on what is going on, howls are heard closing in on their location.  "The Jackals," Lycos' brother gasps... "We have to move.  Now."

And Raphael Costales weeps over his mother's grave.  He feels an emptiness given there were so few actual moments that they shared between them.  He feels a presence, and when he raises his head he sees her.  His mother.  Although it seemed impossible, Lucia stood directly in front of him and warned him that he would be needed for an upcoming battle.  The event is too much for Raphael, who faints.

Lycos and his father are chased down the alleyways by feral people who seem out for their blood. When Lycos' father is pinned by one of the things, Lycos watches in shock as his father's skin seems to turn translucent for a brief moment, with all his veins becoming illuminated red.  Suddenly, his father is imbued with an incredible level of strength, and rips apart the "Jackal" that had pinned him down.  Before Lycos could ask what is going on, his father follows up with a fluid motion of bringing the torn limb to his maw and supping on the blood.  "Our family secret," Lycos' father snarls, "Should never be revealed to the world.  Or we will be at their mercy."

Detective Rappor confronts the possible serial killer, but the man seems absolutely unafraid to have been caught.  He calmly welcomes Rappor into the room and tells him a simple response, "Perfect Detective.  All clues found."  And suddenly the sounds of metal clanging against one another, gears turning and hissing steam  erupts all around them both.  Rappor watches as the walls fall apart, revealing a metal and steel foundation.  Grills hold back massive spikes and sharp razor corners.  Red hot steam boils from unseen pipes.  The whole floor is suddenly descending, like an impossible elevator down into a warped city of rust and iron.  Rappor faints as he sees what looks like an incredibly huge labyrinth all around them.  The City he was born in was suddenly gone.

And Father O'Malley locks himself in his chamber, praying to the Almighty for guidance.  For courage.  He does not understand what trial he is facing but fears the devil itself has came to claim him.  Almost in response, a glow descends upon O'Malley's side and robed figures begin to emerge from the monstrance.  O'Malley finds it inconceivable that these demonic apparitions would manifest in the Adoration Chamber.  The robed figure offers to reveal itself, but only if O'Malley wishes to see.  It warns, "To see will forever change you."  O'Malley holds fast to his Faith and gazes, and sees a burning pillar where the man's face should be.  A dozen eyes peer from the spinning wings.  And a golden crown burns within the fire.  "I am Metatron," the figure pronounces, "And you, Father O'Malley are called to become a Soldier against the False God."

Truths can be hidden within layers of deceit.
But truths can also be simply harder to see when fear exists.

What are the Significators in this reading?

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