Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I'm on Storium

When I first heard of Storium, I was uncertain if I wanted to get into it.  The project was on Kickstarter and what made me uncertain if I was interested was the fact it had a membership fee.  Admittedly, given the amount of money I invest in game books (PDFs and actual purchases), I wasn't too keen on trying an online gaming service that required fees.    Curious to how it works?  Check out this link.

Then it all changed when through Ben Woerner started posting about it as well.  I consider Ben to be a great judge of geekdom and I realized if he found it worth the attention, maybe I should give it a second look.  So I dove back into the Kickstarter and started reading more about how games in Storium are done and what to expect.   I was incredibly excited by the prospect as I read more about it and found myself wishing I had backed it.

That's when Rob Justice came into the picture.  The man is amazing.  I don't know him personally, nor have we exchanged messages before, but lo and behold, he was willing to invite me into Storium to give me a free taste of what it was like.  I jumped in and found myself reliving the excitement I used to feel back when I was hunting for play by post games on BBS.  I found myself remembering the joys of old haunts like Nocturn Ex Libris and others where we used to run games via forums.  I joined a few games.  I played with a few groups.

And I realized, free just wasn't enough.

I went for paid membership.
And I started running my own games.

Currently, I have a few ongoing games.  One based on Jared Sorensen's Lacuna game.  Another was inspired by Neil Gaiman's Sandman.  And finally, one which explores the stories of what happens among the veth and ruk servants of one of the Ven of John Wick's Houses of the Blooded.  I'm really enjoying the chance to run games for people in a manner which feels very shared in terms of narrative control and creative potential.

And I do hope more people check Storium out!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

After the Rain ep08 : Houses of the Blooded

After the Rain

Episode Eight
"The City and the Clouds"

Houses of the Blooded

The survivors of the crash had set camp at the beach, building makeshift shelters with the debris and materials they could gather.  Galeo was among those grievously injured by the fall.  She had to remain in her shelter while the others considered their options.  Occasionally, she would groan and mumble to herself however, seemingly lost in her dreams, while she held the recovered Bloodsword close to her chest.  Oddly, Alto Valar has been suffering from nightmares as well.  Dag'ul seems greatly bothered but whatever is causes his discomfort, he has opted not to share.

Haroun suggests that Seran and the others consider finding a means to prepare Food worth two or three seasons worth of a journey.  He admits he knows of a way to "rebuild" an Airship and considers that the group's best chance to return home would be to fly the airship back through the mist wall.  Seran and Jaric reluctantly head for the woods to look around.   Alone with Nia, Haroun asks her now determined she is to help the others get home.  He tells her part of the secret to what keeps the airships aloft.  "Only a Name can keep such a ship in the sky."   He tells her that he will need to spend a few weeks worth of time casting a Ritual of Sorcery to build the airship.  However for it to work, he will need Nia to do an unspeakable act: She needs to kill Dag'ul so he can draw  out his Secret Name and use it to create the airship.

Nia agrees to do it.

In the forest, Seran and Jaric find a remarkable ruin!  The building is in the form of a beautiful woman.  Her naked body rests against a rock face.  At her throat, a seven-pointed star hangs.  Neither Seran nor Jaric recognize who she is supposed to be.  While Seran climbs up the statue to cut away most of the overgrowth of vines ot see her face better, Jaric finds a door between the statue's breasts and slides the door open.  He walks in even before Seran can head down to join him.  He hears some sort of clicking noise as the opening the door triggers something.  Oil pours from holes in the wall into some kind of channel on the wall.  A spark erupts and illuminates the room.

The chamber is a strange auditorium, with leveled concentric circles and two inner doors.  Jaric notices some ashes on the ground and realizes something had recently been burned here.  Seran approaches the inner doors and realizes they have wear and tear suggesting  signs had been repeatedly hung upon them before.   Jaric realizes even the lighting mechanism at the door was something that recently was triggered.. and was actually still well maintained.

That's when they hear the roar.

Nia watches as Haroun moves slowly and carefully with each meticulous step placed down to trace the outline of the airship on the sand.  She then turns to Dag'ul and considers how she will accomplish the task.  She tries to talk to Alto, but he's all panicked over how the stars are all wrong in the sky, and how this isn't the right place to be.  Dag'ul tries to convince Nia to leave them be.

An Ork tears through the doorway, and without a second thought, Seran draws her Bloodsword and cleaves it in two.  The body crumples to the ground as the costume splits open to reveal the ven within!  Seran realizes the "Ork" was just some Ven dressed up as one.  She finds among his remains a maroon letter and upon opening it finds a glass slab etched with an invitation:  The ven was a guest to someone's Ork Masquerade.  The grounds they stood on were owned by some Countess named Amanda Tal, Blooded of the Wolf.  And worse even, Seran had just murdered one of her guests.

Back at the camp, Galeo moans to herself.  "The sword is responsible for the death of one of the Suaven.  The soul is in the sword, so I can hear it..."  

The revelers down the passageway can now be heard as they are running down the same route as the first "Ork."  Seran and Jaric hurry away, even as Nia approaches the woods, to escape back to the camp.  The three panic about what to do with the situation, and at one point, when some of the revelers emerge near the camp, the group considers how to hide the murder.  But eventually, two arrive that bring a twist to the location they are in.  The two identify themselves as Kithranus Yvarai and Circe Yvarai, and both seem extremely eager to make themselves useful to the group.  Jaric is confused.  Neither fit the description of how they were written of in Ven lore.  Adding to the shock was the arrival of Madelyn Yvarai, the mother-in-law of Kithranus.  She identifies herself as the Bronze Inquisitor and questions the group on their presence at the island.  Haroun charms her, talking about being dignitaries from beyond the mist wall, and shares how a winged Ork had attacked them, and "to their knowledge", the thing attacked someone at a ruin further towards the woods.

She personally welcomes them and escorts them to the home of Countess Tal.

Their arrival is met with much fanfare, and the group is very quickly ushured to join and watch "an Opera" as part of their welcome celebration.  The group is aghast to watch what looks like the most terrible of plays ever presented.   The tale is supposedly a retelling of the stories of two heroes who go against great villains and trials.  Hurrying away, Madelyn Yvarai is outside waiting for them.  She apologizes for the deception and leads them to a waiting balcony where one of the althenta await.  Supposedly one of the five remaining original Cavilo Adrente designs, she reveals to the group an unthinkable truth:  The "ven" they were meeting were not actually ven.  They were Ruk.  Servants of a new approach to Ven Society, they were the "front line" to watch the outer most ring of what is now The City in the Sky.  Rebuilt from the ruins of the first Senate house, Madelyn tells them how the group were now standing upon the proud Davfanna Aldrena.  She tells them of the great Storm that destroyed the Senate House in the past.  Of how Orks calling themselves the Fenris stole into the Suaven chambers beneath the Senate House and took the Suaven away throught he Mistweir.  She tells them that she knows who they are.  "You are the Orkish Ven.  The Ven the Fenris took to the Wilderness when the Greatest City in the World fell apart.  You are the ones they thought to 'save'."  Jaric is dumbfounded.  He can see how the stories fit when viewed in that manner.

As the airship continues to rise, Nia and Seran realize the city they were flying over was much like a reverse of the auditorium.  Circular city segments, all surrounded by the Mistweir.  Each section rising higher than the previous one, like a  conical pyramid that reached for the sky.  The center region stood the highest, almost invisible unless one learns to gaze against the sun.

"The Ruk at the outermost region are unaware they are not ven.  So we have given them the illusion that they are, to better allow them to fulfill their duties.  As we move deeper inner into the city, I shall introduce you to the true Ven of Shanri," Madelyn smiles.  On the deck, the group find themselves greeted by Kithranus Yvarai, the Crimson Inquisitor, and the Minister of Sorcery.  Madelyn is the Bronze Inquisitor, and the Minister of Defense.  She tells them she would like to introduce them to Quan Wei, the Minister of Healing and Restoration.  When Jaric asks more questions, Madelyn holds his hand and asks him to promise never to lie to her.  He agrees.  Madelyn then admits one more truth:  Kithranus, like many other ven, are not actually ven.  They had perished during the Storm and the destruction of Davfanna Aldrena.  They were merely Tulpa, created by Madelyn to serve her, and to stand and living memories of all she had lost.

The airship carries them further up.
There is no telling where they will end up, or whether or not the others such as Galeo are headed the same direction.  And worst of all, no idea whatsoever, on how long it will have to be until they can find their way back home.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Promise : tremulus


The Promise


Teresa Hollister is played by JP
(The Devout)
Friendly, bright eyes, slim build.

Franklin Weed is played by Che
(The Heir)
Worn suit, plain, tired eyes, slim

Margaret Storm is played by Pepper
(The Journalist)
Formal clothes, refined face, probing eyes, energetic build

Herman von Clieff is played by Dario
(The Alienist)
Outdated formal clothes, plain face, inscrutable face, energetic build

The individuals are drawn to the events of Ebon Eaves for various reasons.  For some, it was a return home after a long absence because of property that needed to be bequeathed by the dearly departed.  For others, it was the opportunity for a story that awaited publicity.  For others, Ebon Eaves was home.

Ebon Eaves was an Old Community with a Tragic Past.  There was an event of mass murder in the town's hidden history, and many still whisper of the Old Ruins where supposedly dark rituals were practiced by a secret society.  The event was called the Night of Knives.  Children were all told to stay in the darkness, and wave knives in front of them until dawn came.  None knew exactly why.

Eventually, the group spirals closer as their narrative threads knot into each other.  Teresa finds herself bothered that Margaret Storm is spelunking into the town's hold history.  She also despises Herman von Clieff's presence whose loyalty to such an "ungodly" practice is openly discussed.

Storm, however, suffers from memory gaps.  She has horrible memories of a painting that moved.  Of skeleton warriors attacking a landscape.  Of people dying.  Of a promise.  When Storm makes a bid to escape the Asylum, the car accident that occurs forces all save for Teresa to gather at Dobbin's Home, a small place at the outskirts of the town, beyond the massive chasm that splits the town in half.

As more of the town's secrets are uncovered, the four soon realize that they are trapped in a reenactment of an old Promise to a great and might force - a supernatural force that demands sacrifices.  And as the three begin gripping knives and repeating the ritual of the past, they find themselves stalked by massive crab-like things that emerge from the chasm which has suddenly become flooded with salt water.

Teresa finds herself inheriting a new role to play for the next generation as the Promise passes on to her now to keep.  And continue.

Til the deep ones rise once again.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Seven ep00 : Vampire the Masquerade

The Seven
Episode Zero


Vampire the Masquerade
Classic World of Darkness

As a requested game, I ran a Vampire: the Masquerade one shot session for three friends.  Given their character concepts, I realized I could connect this to The Seven, and effectively add some new information to that existing chronicle.

The cast would be as follows:

Jacob Downey, played by JP.
Tzimisce, former mortician
Vicissitude 5, Notable backgrounds include:  Resources 2, Contacts 3 (Medical), Herd 1 (Dead bodies)

Dr. Maggart Victor Bludvan, played by Pepper.
Malkavian, The Good Doctor
Auspex 2, Obfuscate 1, Chimerstry 3, Notable backgrounds include: Resource 3, Ally 1 (City Hall: Public Records), Mentor 1 (Sire), Herd 1 (Nursing Staff)

Lady Catherine/Lisa Smith, played by Che.
Toreador, Former Stripper/Mistress
Auspex 1, Presence 5, Notable backgrounds include: Resources 4, Retainer 1 (Facundo), Herd 1 (Former Clients)

The Malkavian stands in his hospital office.  He is looking out the window and stares at the skyline of New York.  Unlife has been thankfully quiet.  Being part of the Camarila, he has found the benefits of following the Masquerade.  It has given him some level of clout as well thanks to how bodies would be brought here when younger Kindred made mistakes.

He has always known the world is filled with things that were not real, but ever since his embrace, he has learned the need for a more open mind.  What troubled his mind, however, was the thought that there could be other things that stalk the night.  Tales of the Bloody Mary, the man with the hooked hand, were tales that fascinated and frightened humans.  But as hard as it was to consider such things, being a man of science, he has started to wonder if there is any truth in "ghosts" since he seemingly has started to see glimpses of the man he had diablerized.  Voices that he can hear only when alone.    He was unable to talk to anyone of this fear, however, knowing the questions would lead to possibly reveal his secrets.  While he "recalls" his sire telling him to get rid of the Ravnos, when he came upon his sire to inform him the vampire was dealt with, the Sire reacted by saying, "What are you talking about?  What vampire?"  Even until now, Maggie was uncertain if his Sire is pretending not to know... or actually never did ask him to do it.  OR has someone tampered with his memories... and it was someone else who made him do it.

At the city morgue, Jacob Downey is handling work.  Still going through many of the growing/dying pains of the embrace, he has become a key Kindred in the city in helping cover up any breaches of the Masquerade.  He stares at the dead body on the slab, an old woman in her 90s.  He tries not to break out and laugh given her heavily tattooed body.  She must have been quite a rocker during her time.  "This is Spinal Tap" is on one withered boob.  "Megadeath!" is on another.  A man charges into the morgue, demanding to see her.  Security is at the door, calling for help.  Jacob takes him to the old woman's body.  The guy stands over the body, stares at her and sudden draws a gun out from under his jacket and trains it at Jacob. "I'm sorry," the man says and shoots Jacob.

Lady Catherine celebrates in New York's hottest club, drinking champagne and cocktails.  She is not performing, for once, and is just enjoying her immortality and relishing her "life".  She is chatting with her Sire about the events in the city.  He hired her for the night to have time with her.  He likes still "paying for her."  "It is only insulting if you were not a stripper in the first place," he smiles.  She teases him he should have paid him with diamonds or something, but he teases her about how she enjoys being a stripper.  "Money talks and since you are on the job, you have to listen.  Now tell me about Maggie."  He asks if they are still close.  He admits he likes Catherine because he used to be so much like her when he was young.  He stares sharing how the Prince seems to be focused on Maggie.  The Prince is curious of Maggie's activities and it makes it harder for him to manage the Prince given he's Malkavian.   And this interests his curiosity.   Deacon asks Lady Catherine for a small favor.  "Do this for me and I will.. owe you one favor of your choosing."  Catherine responds, "Get me a night with the Prince.  I want to know how good he is in bed."
Deacon is amused at how ambitious Catherine has become, and they head down to the floor to dance.

Back at the Asylum, Maggie makes his rounds.  After completing all the necessities, he heads out to his usual coffee shop to grab something to unwind.  While there, however, he makes an odd discovery.  The barista who usually serves him coffee does not seem to recall him at all.  Considering Maggie has been going here for months, he finds it puzzled that the barista doesn't recognize him.   He spends some time instead chatting up with the young woman who was in line with him earlier.   She turns out to be quite a religious person and the two share thoughts on life in the city.  Maggie tires of the woman and soon leaves, bothered that he is a total stranger to the people in the cafe.

Meanwhile, at the morgue, Jacob feels the impact of the bullet smash into his chest.  He hits the ground and by all rights should be dead.. had he not been a vampire.   The man then shoots down the security guard as well.  Jacob slinks away to hide and the man realizes Jacob is still alive.  "Damn it grandma, look what you're making me do."  He does not see Jacob slide near the freezers in the morgue.  The man tries to explain that this is something he has to do.  That this isn't anything personal.  Jacob carefully moves to maneuver behind the man.    But he starts hearing a hissing gurgling sound in the room.    It is coming from the gurney.

"Shit, it's starting!" the man rushes to the old woman's body.  He pockets the gun and digs for something else hidden beneath his jacket.  The man draws out a wooden stake and a hammer.  "Listen I know this looks crazy but I have to do this!  You don't understand the things that are out there."  Jacob starts making his hand into a bony protrusion to become a stabbing weapon.  The man stakes the old woman, and her hands shoot up, grabbing the man's stake.  He hammers down a few more times the stake into her chest.  Jacob moves in behind him and stabs him through from behind.  "Mon...ster.." the man mutters before crumbling to the ground.  As the body bleeds on the floor, Jacob looks up to see the old woman on the gurney, gurgling against the stake.  He recalls Maggie telling him about staked vampires.  "Staking is a very dangerous thing.  If it does it enough damage, it throws one into Torpor.  When you encounter another vampire, pretend you are not one of them.  Maintain the Masquerade."

Jacob backs away from the grandmother and focuses instead on cleaning up the mess he made in the morgue.

Outside the club, Catherine and Deacon are walking.  "I need to find out what Maggie is up to.  What trouble he is in.  What shit he is worried about.  That way we can help him."  When Catherine asks what's in it for him, he replies, "He will owe me a favor and that is a chance for the Toreador clan to have someone the Prince worries about oweing us."  "You and your favors," Catherine sneers, "Maggie owes me a lot."  "He doesn't owe you anything, you're friends."  Deacon mentions there are rumors of some Kindred claim to have been seeing ghosts.  Or hearing ghosts.  "There's a Noseferatu who I approached when I needed some information.  He shared his story with me about having overheard voices of two individuals talking about vengeance."

Flashback as the voices argue about one having destroying the other, and how its just a voice in the other's head.   "I'm just a voice in your head?  Then how come the Nosferatu can hear me?"

Deacon shares that the Nosferatu was extremely bothered by that exchange.  But even worse, the Brujah are now avoiding a certain area in the city due to it being haunted.  "All I know is that these bastards are hearing shit.  And we, with our heightened abilities, have not heard a thing.  If Maggie is involved... which one is he, the dead one or the one who killed the other?"

"He can't be dead," Catherine shakes her head.  The two banter a bit when Catherine pulls out her cellphone to call Maggie.  But Deacon takes it away before she can call using his Celerity.  He warns her others can track her phone.  "No phones.  Go see them."

"You're making my life harder."

"Yes, because I'm making sure the Masquerade doesn't get endangered and our clan gets caught in the Malkavian's shit."

Lady Catherine decides to make her way to Maggie's hangout, the coffee shop where he always goes.  Catherine takes a cab, considering the stilettos she is wearing.  But as she makes her way, she gets distracted by a man playing Wake Me Up with an acoustic guitar.  The Toreador flaw ensares her.  She had been standing there for an hour.  She gets insulted by the security guard who assumes she's some kind of addict for being there that way.  She walks back, slaps him, and tells him, "I am not a prostitute! I can pay you a year of your salary if I wanted to!"  She nearly slips into a Frenzy in anger.  She decides to go to the Asylum instead.

Maggie calls the Prince, but gets instead the Prince's seneschal.  The seneschal informs him that his Sire is preoccupied and meeting with the Primogen of the City.  He sets an appointment for the next night.  He then contacts Jacob and learns of the incident in the morgue.  He tells him he will be there in a bit.   Maggie takes a cab to head there.

At the morgue, the old woman continues to twitch.   Jacob realizes she is a vampire.  She, however, does seem to be blind.  He decides to take off the stake.  He recalls Maggie telling him before to be careful when unstaking vampires.  To be calm, to look out for flailing limbs.  Jacob pries the stake free...  She gasps, now taking deeper breaths, with her hand clamped around his.  "Are you okay?" he asks her.  Her head angles towards his direction, and the hand tightens its grip.  She suddenly seizes up, grabbing Jacob's hand so tight her talons rake against his skin! Realizing the grip becomes painful, Jacob uses his other hand to pry his hand free.  Jacob snaps her finger to free himself and the old woman now starts flailing around, searching for him by sniffing the air.  She flails a bit more, then falls to the floor. She starts sniffing for him more.  Jacob realizes the hole in his chest.. the vitae.. is what is drawing her to him.  Jacob heals the wound with his blood.  With the wound closed, she cannot seem to find him anymore. She turns and crawls instead to another spot.  She ignores the dead mortals, and instead starts licking the floor where Jacob had fallen earlier when he was shot.  The old woman begins licking the droplets of his vitae when he was shot.  The woman hungers for Kindred blood!  Jacob pulls out his cellphone and starts calling for Maggie.  She turns, however, seemingly drawn by the sounds of him dialing on the phone.   He stops!

He carefully moves towards the exit.  She cannot find him.  He slips outside and leaves her in the morgue.

Catherine arrives at the Asylum and they inform him that Maggie has been gone for a few days.  They do not know when he will be back.   She pulls out her cellphone to call him but realizes Deacon had changed her cellphone lock.  She goes to a nearby payphone and tries to call Maggie but she doesn't recall his number.  She then calls Deacon instead.  Deacon teases her about changing her lock.  "What's my PIN?"  She tells him Maggie has been missing and she needs to contact him.  Catherine cuts the call and now unlocks her phone.

Back at the morgue, Maggie arrives and he accompanies Jacob back inside.  They see a crowd has formed at the morgue, clearly they are freaked out by the incident.  Maggie's phone rings that moment.  The nurses were worried about Jacob.  Jacob is unable to answer.  Maggie hears Catherine on the line.  She tells him she needs to go to him and she tells him she is on her way.  Security is happy that Jacob is safe, and they talk about cordoning off the area.  People are anxious about the dead bodies.  Maggie leads Jacob inside.  The head of the hospital arrives and talks to the two.

The grandmother is missing.  Streaks of blood on the floor lead to the rear of the morgue.  Jacob heads to the back and finds an open window.  The grand mother must have left.

Security tries to control the situation, and the head of the hospital forces Maggie to stay in a room for questioning.  Forced to comply, Maggie realizes this can lead to a larger breach unless they deal with it somehow.  Maggie opts to call Jervis again, his Sire's seneschal.

Deacon calls Catherine as she is on the cab heading to the morgue.  She tells her she is headed to Saint Joseph's because Maggie is there.  Deacon learns that Maggie has been missing from his own staff for days and now is at another hospital.  She tells him of Jacob, "his baby," and tells Deacon that there might be some problem.  "The Tzimisce," Deacon mutters.  "Oh so I use safe words on the phone and you just go on and say things!  What happened to the Masquerade?"  Deacon sneers.  He reminds her of Jacob's lineage and of what sect his lineage tends to side with.

Jervis learns of the situation and asks Maggie if he is asking for a favor.  "Assistance means favors.  Nothing comes for free."  Maggie agrees.  "Name the Clan," Jervis asks him.

Jacob is being interrogated by the Head of the Hospital and he tries to explain the events that unfolded.  He tells him of the guy who came in with the gun.  The man notices hand prints on the floor.  "These are fucking bloody hand prints!?"  The man heads to the rear of the morgue to check.  "Whose hand prints are these?"  Jacob tries to distract the man with more details of the story.

Catherine arrives and talks to the front desk to find her way to the morgue.  She gets annoyed at the nurse who responds with delays, preoccupied by the bird game she is playing.   She heads downstairs.

"Venture," Maggie intones.  Jervis tells him he has someone.  She has never turned down a desperate soul.  "Can you connect me to her?" Jervis shakes his head though he cannot see it.  "She's not the type to use such modern comforts.  Do I send her or not?"

The Venture arrives.  Her name is Jadviga Almanov.  She very deftly uses Dominate and Presence to commander the situation, then manipulates things to twist in the opposite direction of the truth.  She compels the Head of the Hospital to kill the security guard present and makes a huge scene for all the other staff outside to be witnesses to the man trying to kill Jacob.  The head is then killed, with all seeing it as an act of self defense.  The kindred gather outside later, with Jadviga satisfied to have done her part.  Maggie, Catherine and Jacob opt to retire to Maggie's Asylum to discuss what had happened.

But the Masquerade remains intact.


It is later that night, when events spiral to conclusion.

The old woman, it turns out, had tracked them to the Asylum and attempts to attack the three! She crawls through the air ducts to hunt them and eventually strikes while Catherine is all alone in a room.  The two others rush to help!  Still hungry for Kindred blood, she nearly fatally injures Jacob and Catherine. Her tongues slide into Catherine's wounds, feasting upon her vitae!  Jacob slices off the grandmother's tongue in the heat of the battle.  More tongues erupt, lashing like leeches!  Jacob grabs the head and his hands slide into the meat of the head.  He feels the bone and severs it from the body.  The black like oil of her blood splatters all around.

But as they kill the rabid vampire, Maggie enters a psychotic episode.  He sees the decapitated grand woman turn to face him and it now wears his own face.  "Give me back what is mine, you bastard!"

Catherine and Jacob see the same face... the madness... the psychotic episode has reached them as well.  "What the fuck?" Catherine gasps!  Jacob crushes the skull.  "Why did you kill it, we could have asked questions?!?!" Catherine hisses.

The body crumbles to ashes.

Maggie goes to the nearby medicine cabinet to get some bandages but finds a difference face staring back at him from the reflection.  The face shows someone else.  Some.. Ravnos he had seen before.  He turns back to the two with the bandages.

Catherine and Jacob however realize the man before them is NOT Maggie.  The man shoes a different face.  Catherine pulls out her phone and takes a picture.  She sends the picture to Deacon.  Maggie steps towards her with the kit.  "Maggie?"


"You're not you.."

She shows him the picture.Maggie sees the face of the Ravnos he diablerized.  "That's not me..."

Jacob looks the man who was earlier Maggie to find traces of fleshcraft.  But there are none.   The other face, as far as can be told, is the face of the body before them.  "What the hell is going on?" Jacob asks Catherine.

Catherine invokes Majesty to enforce calm into the scene.   She turns to the man who was once Maggie and asks, "Are you really Maggie? What are you not telling me?"  He tries to explain he is Maggie.  "What about those phone calls?"  She mentions he has been having phone calls from a total stranger warning him of someone.  But the calls didn't make any sense.  Finally she asks, "Were you in the sewers?!"  He admits he does not know.  He doesn't know what is going on.  The doors slam open as Deacon arrives, having burned Celerity to rush over.  He apologizes upon feeling the Majesty.  She demands answers.  Deacon requests permission to speak and when given the permission, he explains the man before them is the Ravnos that had diablerized Maggie.  Unfortunately, the Ravnos named Alexi did not anticipate that the Malkavian would "take over" the diabolist.  Deacon knew Alexi because he was aware the Prince wanted him destroyed.   Deacon closes his eyes and reaches into 'Maggie's' mind.  Deacon shares to the others the thoughts inside Alexi's mind.

Alexi has indeed been overtaken by Maggie.  And the question now stands, is he Maggie?  Or is he Alexi?  Should the Prince know?  Maggie willingly asks to be put to death for what happened.  Or at least that this body be put to death for murdering the Prince's child.  He also suggests it may be better for the Toreador to report the death of the child, than to be caught covering up.  Jacob realizes he is an easy scapegoat for all this... and using his powers he transforms into vitae and leaves via the nearest drain.

"We report then," Deacon nods.


The Prince stares at them all.  The servant, Jervis, nods and stands up. The group had all reported to the prince the events and Deacon confirms them all to be true.  "So you believe you are my child?" the Prince asks "Maggie."  He says yes.

"And you attest to the memories as being true?"

"That's what he saw," Catherine notes and points to Deacon for confirmation, "And that's the personality we recognize."

"And the Tzimisce?"


The Prince commands Jervis to hold the Toreador, and to Lady Catherine's panic she cannot move! She cannot look away from the Seneschal.  The Prince tells Maggie to not worry, and knows Maggie wants to return "home."  The Prince diablerizes Maggie, taking him back to the Madness Network.  Deacon moves to leave, but the Prince warns him if he leaves, his child Lady Catherine will be destroyed.  Deacon begs the Prince to reconsider.  "You two have made me killed my only Childe...  It is only right I make you suffer as well."

"Take me, just let her live!"

The Prince pounces upon Deacon and Catherine cannot turn her head to look.  Her gaze remains locked upon Jervis.  When he returns, ashes fall from his lips. "You took my Childe from me, had me kill him, so I took your Sire.  But I have need for someone as sharp as you.  Someone who notices the little things."  He turns his head and calls to the side, "Jadviga, bring the Tzimisce here."

Jadviga emerges with the Tzimisce Jacob in tow.  "Hello again?  Wondering how I found him?  He found me," she explains as she Summoned him to come to her.  The Prince tells Catherine that for caring for his Childe, he will allow her to serve in secret.  To remain in the City.  But not as Lady Catherine.   The Prince has Jacob transform Catherine into a new character, to serve as the City's new Sheriff.  He transforms the Toreador Catherine to... Faqas.  A bringer of Facts.  He sends the image of her new face to Jacob's mind.

"You will remember yourself as Malkavian from this day on.  And you will serve me.  You will be so well conditioned, you will HATE the Toreador," the Prince smiles.

The Prince stares at Jacob and asks, "Do you wish to stay in the City, but you cannot be what you are.  What Clan will you be from this point on?"

"I just want to be alone," Jacob replies.

"Very well, you will remember yourself as the one Nosferatu I will trust. Shape your face into one and from now on you shall be, "Mister White," and as their Primogen the Nosferatu will have no choice but to trust me."

Madam Faqas shall inform the Nosferatu that a new Primogen has been chosen. The Prince has Jacob diablerize the former Nosferatu Primogen, and then answers a phone call from "the angels" who inform him of what the Brujah are up to.

"Good night," he tells them.

And as the Prince leaves, he takes a few more calls from the "angels" even if no one else seemingly can see him receive any actual calls.  He dismisses everyone.  Jervis walks with him.  "Now that went well," the guy tells the Prince.

"Well, I did tell you things would go smoother so long as others thing I am your servant."

The two smile.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A World of Dew

I have been so excited and happy for the success of the A World of Dew Kickstarter, that I totally forgot to blog about it!  Ben Woerner, who has been such a great friend, has the Blood & Honor spin-off fully backed and continuing to score even more stretch goals.  And frankly, I feel fantastic about how successful it has become and I am truly excited to be a part of the stretch goals too.

The game will have a companion book called The Sound of Water and I've been invited to be one of the contributors for stretch goals.  I offered Ben a bunch of ideas and he liked the fourth one the most!  So I'll be penning A World of Shadows, a supplement to add monsters and dark things to your games.

And even more insane, I'm listed with the likes of John Wick, Tony Parker, Mark Diaz Truman and more.  Who would have ever thought I'd have such an honor.

It is not too late to join the fun!
Do support the book and try this fantastic game!

The Kickstarter is at:

Friday, May 16, 2014

After the Rain ep07 : Houses of the Blooded

After the Rain

Episode Seven

Houses of the Blooded

It is near the end of Spring.
Jaric writes to Jalani.  Her latest letter to him spoke of having caught a spy, as well as a reassurance that she would handle it herself.  He writes back to remind her that the dam be build as "securely as possible" and hides in the context to have the Province itself in lockdown.

Galeo writes to Hero.  She cannot deny the undertone that there was something implied to be going on which he did not directly say.  She tells him she is looking forward to developments in their projects, and hints at which ones to prioritize in the coming season.

Seran writes to Lukas.  She updates him on the expedition and she casually mentions having been injured in the events.  She suggests the need for Personal Guards to be hired, and trained for future expeditions.  She adds she can't wait to see him at the end of the season but makes no mention of Haroun nor his cowardice.

Nia writes on how excited things are for her regarding her family, nostalgic of the orks in the sky, and talks about the troublemakers, if any, to be thrown into the dungeon, once they have been deemed useless.  Nothing to worry about.    

With all the letters written, Haroun gathers them into a basket, straps it to a crewman, who then bids farewell and separates from the airship to deliver them to each Kingdom.  


Haroun asks Seran to chart a course.  Judging my the shape of the landmass, she determines it would be best to head North and marks down the route to best take.  "You should be able to cover about 200 miles per day from noon to noon.  So we should reach this point by two weeks," Seran offers.  Haroun notes she has marked the furthest outpost her mother had reached and shares how she made it all the way there without any Airship.  She braved the seas of Shanri on a vessel she built herself.  Haroun suggests they visit the place where Seran was born and digs through his scrolls, maps, and tomes for the one with the coordinates where she was born.  He admits he remembers reading the story of Seran's birth in the Wilderness.   He shows them the page where the coordinates were marked down.  Seran mumbles she's heard of it but has not revisited the place.

"Is this her book?" Seran is startled, given the handwritten coordinates on the page.
"It is the book she had written," Haroun responds.
"Returning to the place of conception sounds very romantic," Jaric smirks.
"Conception or birth?" Galeo questions him.
"Oh, birth.  Sorry," Jaric smiles, "I get them all mixed up."
"I am not sure if it will be very exciting to go there," Seran asserts, "as she was between expeditions when she gave birth."
As Haroun reads out the page narrating her birth, the others listen intently given most have never read it before.  "The place is a cluster of tiny islands that seemed to grow in size depending on the tides.  It is also a very well known convergence point for the flying orks that swarm and spawn in the area during the Spring."

"Oh yes!" Seran snickers, "I was born among Orks!"
"I forgot that detail.." Haroun goes pale.
"Let's go there!" Seran charts the map to a new course.  Nia agrees wholeheartedly to the plan.  Galeo stares at the two and observes how they enjoy Haroun's discomfort.
"This... should be fun," Haroun finally says, "And perhaps Nia this is a chance for me to practice what you have been teaching me in regards to Orks."
"These flyers are actually interesting orks in that they are only vicious when defending their young," Galeo admits, clearly implying the things would be spawning this season.  Nia however also adds that the would always fly towards land, which in some ways is a good trait to remember about them.
Haroun realizes Seran's lack of fear towards Orks stems from being born among them.  He was born in the sky hence his affinities to it.  Jaric asks what would explain his fear then and he admits having strange memories of an attack when he was young.  He admits recalling swarms.  A broken gate.  But not much more.  A crew member interrupts, asking Galeo how one can tell the young from the adults.  Galeo shares it would be the natural inclination of a mother to protect their children.  Seran offers the young would probably be small.  And when Jaric suggests that the viciousness would fade when there are no young nearby, Haroun makes a mistake of musing that Galeo would not know of anything about children, being a man like himself.  The crew man is pulled aside, and Haroun warns him not to speak to The Artist given he's not blooded.  But the crew man tries to make Haroun realize Galeo is a woman.  He still thinks Galeo is a man pretending to be a woman.

The vessel continues its northern journey.

Seran searches the skies for any sign of the other ship as they travel.  She sees it adrift in the distance, seemingly empty.  "Sail ho! Send up a glass!" Seran calls out.  Haroun offers to send up wine, but Seran corrects him that she needs a spyglass.  Jaric and Galeo emerge from below deck, having heard the two, "Wine, I have wine!  Who needs wine?"   Haroun takes him on the offer as he sends the spyglass up to Seran.  He mumbles to him about Seran being excited about something.

"There's a ship!" Seran calls out.
"Are you certain its mine?" Haroun gasps.
Galeo and Jaric are confused on whose airship it could be and how it had been stolen and Haroun reluctantly recalls the story of the horned Ork that stole the ship.  Jaric questions Haroun on whether Orks can steal airships.  Seran swings upside down to grab the spyglass and sees it has the same mast, same cut, and confirms it is Haroun's ship.

"We found it?" Haroun is shocked.
"Celebrate then!" Jaric offers more wine.
"What do we do about it now?" Galeo quizzes.
"We claim it! What you hold is what you own..."
"But you lost it..." Galeo hisses.
"Someone call Nia.  I want her to confirm that the thing that stole it is no... longer there."
"To be fair, it was a terrible ork," Seran nods.
Haroun tries to compare the fear to Galeo on the stage, but Galeo admits she literally is always on the stage. Her very shoes are platforms like a stage.  Jaric hands Seran a wine as she lands on the deck.  Seran talks to the crew to go through the preparations to move the ship close.  She tells the crew to prepare their weapons but they admit to her they are not allowed to bring weapons.  Only tools.  Jaric apologizes for nothing having had spiced the wine.


Below, the Ork Talker stares at Nia.  "Not like stay here," it grumbles.  But Nia explains it is necessary or else Haroun would jump off the ship.  If it could fly it would have been a different matter.  "Haroun mawd.," it complains, and Nia admits she is working on it.  But shares Haroun had a traumatic experience at Galeo's way back.  "Orkus in hiding big shoola for orks," the Ork Talker snarls.  Nia offers he wear a cloak to hide himself but it tells her he is not an Ork Mother.  "Anyway, Haroun has to sleep sometime.  And then you can get out and look around."

The ork admits he will stay and clean the room for now.

As Nia heads out, she can hear the crew confirming the vessel ahead is indeed the other ship which Haroun had lost.  The vessel is drifting on its own.  The clouds are thicker in the area.  Galeo and Jaric enjoy their wine.  Haroun sits on a chair and rests his head on his hands as he watches.    "What she lacks in beauty, she has so much in brawn," Haroun muses aloud as he stares at Seran.  He does not overhear Galeo and Jaric talking about Seran and how she actually is already married to her swordsman.  Haroun instead talks to Nia and asks her if he's being cruel for allowing Seran to do "men things" given.  Galeo counters she doesn't believe such happen.  Nia suggests about the Ork with a mask Haroun faced and Jaric starts blabbering about the history of masquerades. Nia gets permission to bring her vassal up, which Haroun approves without a thought, unaware she plans to bring an ork up.  Galeo folds the cloth of her dress to resemble the flyer orks and Jaric commends her for the craft.  Haroun admits he doesn't recognize it.

The others see Nia return with her Ork Talker.  Jaric admits he did not realize they had one on the ship.  Haroun, however, fails to notice the talker.  Instead he is still staring at Galeo's craft and tries to identify what she had made.  Nia stares at the other ship and determines the flyers had probably already flown away to join the others.  "So are there Orks?" Haroun asks?  "Keen eyes," Jaric commends Seran as the two ships are now alongside each other, "Very much like your mother."  Seran swings across without hesitation.

Haroun swings to join her.


Jaric, Galeo and Nia ends up enjoying the time away from Haroun to talk about Seran's Romance with Haroun and her husband and how complicated it has become.  They do consider the fact that there now are two ships, which is a good thing.    The Ork Talker stares at Jaric.  Something about him has caught the Ork's eye.  "Gathum... Gathum Fenris," the Ork Talker gasps.  Nia suggests Jaric reminds the Ork of the head of his household.  Jaric admits he wishes he had read more about it, but the Ork suddenly lunges forward at him and its hand snatches the amulet around Jaric's throat.  Jaric and Galeo stumble into each other and fall to the ground.

"Restrain your Ork!  It has stolen my amulet," Jaric hisses at Nia.  "I feel insulted."  Nia tries to explain to Jaric that the Ork seems to be displaying some form of tradition and the amulet, wherever he had got it from, is related to the Ork's old ways.  "I feel violated!" Jaric still hisses, then softens, "But... what... tradition... precisely is this... I cannot stand for this without understanding more!"

Nia asks, "Remember how our Ork Talkers are seemingly from this single house, House Fenris?"  The Ork Talker raises the amulet and offers to try to explain via example.  The ven watch.  And as the Ork motions towards Galeo, she feels an intense overpowering Terror overwhelm her!  Galeo screams and runs for the deck below, back to her cabin.   Jaric admits he doesn't grasp this tradition, while Nia wonders what was supposedly so scary?  "Fenris," the Ork Talker simply repeats.  "Mine," Jaric stares at the amulet, "Return," he hisses and the Ork Talker bows his head and offers it back.  Jaric wonders if he was supposed to bow as well.  "I do not like not knowing.  I shall return to my quarters to research."

"Elvees serve Master.  Gathum Fenris," the Ork mumbles to Nia.  "Are you saying that Brother Snake serves your household?"  Nia asks.  "Brother Snake Master of House Hold," the Ork Talker explains.  "That was my first guess.  I was right the first time, then.  But I think he is unaware," Nia replies, "He does not know he is Master. He also does not know a lot of other things, but that is besides the point."  "Winter... " the Ork tries to explain and smears on the ground to create a worm like shape.  Then smears it to give it legs like those of a spider and barbs.  "Elvees..." it repeats.  Nia ponders, "So the Master of House Fenris is like this? "
"Horned One," the Ork Talker replies.

Nia realizes Haroun might be the best one to answer that.  Something she will try to ask him later.


Later below the deck, Galeo and the Ork have another discussion.  Galeo's swordsman stands his ground, ready to defend her.  The Ork approaches her to apologize and explain.  Rather than try to speak, however, the Ork merely begins to move its hands and to Galeo's shock, she realizes she can understand it!  The Ork has the Blessing of Talia to speak without words.  It explains to her that Jaric owns an amulet that the Orks fear, and it was an Artifact held by House Fenris.  Jaric means one who knows the ancient ways.  The name Galeo, it turns out, means "Mother on Barren Earth."  The Ork and his kind apparently have language and use similar naming practices that the ven do.  He tells her how House Fenris gained control of most Winter Homes, that Shanri is *their* land, after surviving the storm of fire and rain.  The Orks, he explains, want to regain their lands.  House Fenris burned the Sky City and Talia is now sleeping in safety in one of the Ork Winterhomes.  Talia is even called the OrkMother.  The Ork Talkers, it turns out, are present to try to barter peace with the ven.

Galeo asks it for its name.  It has none.  Orks, it turns out, gain their names by killing the ven.


On the other ship, the two see the ship is still in pretty good condition.  It was not ransacked and abandoned.  Even the wheel is free.  Seran and Haroun carefully survey the vessel and find no presence of Orks about on the deck.  "Nice of you to join me," Seran greets Haroun and he explains he is doing what Nia suggested, which was to expose himself more to what he fears to control it. "I'm sure there's something you fear too," Haroun asks, "The death of your mother?  The loss of your province?"  Seran responds that its not that she doesn't care but that it is inevitable.  Haroun starts telling her how he looks highly of Lukas.  He even says he think they are a great pair.   As the two have the moment alone, it is then when Haroun reveals he wants to have Lukas Blooded under his house as a Fox.  He plans to give him a Province and to speak to the Senate under his House. He even suggests Lukas change his name to Lucius to better fit the names among the Ven. Seran admits she was planning to have Lukas Blooded, but Haroun admits he had his friends in the Senate override her petition and shows her the letter he has received in response from the Senate.  He hasn't opened it and wants her to see their response.  "I have petitioned that he be given the title of Count," and shares he has garnered the support of the current Earl of the Fox.

He tells her that he talked to Nia and tells her how he asked Nia if Seran might be merely enjoying the ship and not his company.  That she is distracted by something else.  Or someone else.  Seran opens the letter and reads the first lines, "We would like to extend our most sincere congratulations..."     "Consider this a wedding present," Haroun tells her, which shocks Seran.  Seran confesses that she cannot accept the present.  She admits that she is already married.

She tells him she does enjoy his company, but she is already married and that it would not be fair to him if he were to Blood her husband.  She places Haroun's hand onto the sword hilt and tells her she is ready for him to exact Revenge.  But before he could react, red eyes emerge from the darkness.  A hiding and waiting Ork rushes for them and strikes Haroun from behind!  Haroun is knocked aside, tumbling to the ground, and some of his blood splatters on Seran's cheek.  As the thing rears for a second strike, Seran calls for help!


Jaric starts to monologue about how Orks cannot have Culture, and starts talking about how things were in the First Age.  He recalls the stories of the Fenris being in the Fall of the Senate.  He recognizes the amulet is definitely a Fenris Artifact.  He tests the amulet on the vassals nearby, and they all start screaming.  The personal guards switch to a defensive position in response.  Jaric realizes the amulet triggers fear.

When Jaric arrives at the deck, he sees the vassals tense.  They tell him they heard a cry for help.  They all can hear Seran yelling, "Bloody hell, Orks!" Jaric tells them to go down and fetch Nia.  At the other deck, a blade occasionally slips through the wooden panels.  "That may not be excitement of the proper kind.."  Out of a porthole, an ork crashes out!  Leathery things with red glowing eyes.  Their heads look like owls but instead have reptilian bodies.  The personal guards stand ready.


The ork screeches and tries to smash Seran with its massive limbs.  Seran holds the sword close then spins to cut away anything too close.  "You're all like Falvyn Dyr.. useless!"  The Ork misses, and its fist catches on the ceiling.  Seran stabs her blade through its mouth but it slams her back to the deck.

Nia arrives at the deck and joins Jaric.  "You may have been wrong," Jaric tells her about her call that the ship probably is clear of Orks.  "Clearly there are non-Ven on the ship."  Seran leaps back down from the deck to attack.  Nia corrects him that she didn't mean there were no Orks.  Simply that there were no flying Orks.  The two see Seran emerging from the hole with the Ork lifting her up from the hole.  Seran cleaves it from behind from shoulder to shoulder, blood spraying upon her.  It collapses on the deck with her on top.  Seran jumps back down to find Haroun.    Haroun is hurt but alive.

Haroun mumbles, talking to Seran as if she was Lukas.  He ends up telling her that he and Lukas had been writing to each one.  About how Lukas wanted to show her he can handle land.  He has agreed to sponsor the wedding between Lukas and Seran.  He brought her with him to buy him time to make the preparations needed.    Althea thought it was a stupid idea but Haroun felt it was necessary.  Seran hands Haroun over to the crew then she leaps back to the ship.  Seran grabs Nia to go with her back into the ship to retrieve the letter.

Nia leaps away from talons that tear from the floor.  Seran tosses a lantern to her and follows to the bottom.  The lower deck is filled with drones and what seem to be bodies.  A queen Ork is found.  The thing resembled a skinned chicken with patagia flaps and some kind of massive womb.  At least forty feet long, the thing had a distended belly translucent from the growth inside of it.  The queen, it seems, it dead.  Its head is no longer there.  The things in its belly, however, are alive and shoving and trying to break free.  Nia realizes the thing earlier on the deck was the father.  It must have killed the mother.    Seran cannot find the letter and begs Nia to help her find it.  Nia sees a door in the level she is in that suddenly slips closed!  "Is it safe down there?" Nia asks Seran.  "Look they are about to be born!  Don't you want to see this?"  Compelled, Nia joins Seran down below.  The lantern had been left above and when someone suddenly takes it, darkness covers the two below.

There seems to be a narcotic however, extruded by the ven, that weaken all the men aboard.


Galeo arrives at the deck to see Jaric enjoying a refill of wine while the rest of the crew drag Haroun to the lower decks.  Jaric explains its the part of the adventure with Orks.  Galeo mumbles about names and Jaric thinks its merely an offshot of horrible wine.  He offers Galeo a fresh glass.  

Galeo whispers to Talia.  She is angry at the ideas that the Ork had suggested and insulted that it would make such claims.  Galeo however now worries if it could be why Talia does not hear the other prayers.  Could it be she is actually not Suaven?

People emerge from the deck of the other ship.  Two are armed with bows.  Three are armed with swords.  They are all ven.  The survivors admit they want to escape the ship and had been hiding from the Orks.  Galeo offers them hospitality.  One identifies himself as Baron Dag'ul but admits he has no House.  He is somehow merely a Vassal. He admits he is the swordsman of Lord Asvil (also a Baron), one of the ven who has a bow trained at the others.   They claim to had been abducted from their castle.  Master Jorja claims to have a province in the south.  Lady Meza claims to own a kingdom.  And the last, Ato, is a Vassal of another as well.  The apologize and admit they do what they must to survive. "Forgive the Falcons.  They love their bows."

"Falcons?  Bows?  Tools," Jaric hisses.  The ven turn out to had been prisoners of the Orks.   There is some odd moments when they do not seem to recognize The Artist.  Ato turns out to recognize Galeo.  He mentions he spend some years as a swordsman and once served at a party when Galeo had... a child.  "I hope the child is well."  Dag'ul speaks to Ato and whispers to him not to talk about such things.  Asvil seems honestly pleased to meet the others.   There is an offer to retire downstairs, but Jaric counters it would seem remiss to leave before the other return.  He notices Dag'ul muttering, "So many differences yet so many the same."

The Lady Meza leaps back to the ship to find the others.


Back below, Nia and Seran deal with the incoming birth.  Nia notices a body on the ground and realizes the ven is half dead in the hold.  The older ven speaks strange things, of an Ilysia Yvarai, a Suaven they have never heard of.  Of banners (instead of Houses).  His name is Moray Jalan, Provost of the Horse, and he mumbles about warning the Banners that there are others that wear the faces of the ven.  He wants to pray to Ilysia Yvarai, the Suaven of Whispers, the Last Yvarai among the Suaven, to carry his words to the other Suaven for Blessings.  He offers them to Jovi, the Suaven of Songs, and to Fashell, the Suaja of Service.  In his dying moments, he offers a secret to Nia, "There are Ven beyond the Wall of Mists.  Warn the banners, they are Ork Ven."

The womb tears open, spilling out human-sized larvae that begin to gain the capacity to walk.  As they work together to dispatch any Orks that approach, they begin torching the airship in hopes of stopping the birth.  Meza asks Nia and Seran to please refer to her as a Falcon.

Lady Meza arrives, looking for Moray Jalan.  Seeing the two had tried to comfort him, she takes them to be allies.  She admits she is not permitted to speak of her house, but that she is of the Veiled House of the Boar.  She recognizes Nia and knows of her mother.  Meza is confused about the word of Moray Jalan of something beyond the Senate.    Seran ushers them out to rush up to the upper deck.  Meza feels the Senate must know about this Ven that claims to be of "the Banners."

As they get to the deck, with one of the Orks impaled onto Seran's sword, they slam the hatch closed to trap the Orks, and as they reach the deck -

The letter.

The letter was stuck to Seran's boot all that time. The winds nearly blew it away, but an arrow launched by Meza pins it to the wall.  "A tool can be useful at times."


As the burning ship begins to spiral downwards, Nia and Seran with Meza arrive and find Jaric and Galeo entertaining the guests.  Nia drops on Jaric's lap the "ork corpse" as a present.  "How is Haroun?"  Seran decides to go see him.


Seran takes theletter and goes to Haroun.  He reveals the whole plan was something he had discussed with Althea.  Althea had asked Haroun to pretend to court Seran, in order for the mother to save face.  Lukas is to become the Count of Tamal and since as Count he was to manage a Province of his own, Haroun gave Seran the Airship and Glider as a means for them to visit each other.  Seran is proxy Captain of the vessel while Haroun recovers.


Answers soon come.  The guests are strangers mostly to each other, all having been abducted in one way or another by the Orks.   They share their experiences of how they were abducted.    The group then shares back that their expedition is to find the original Senate house.   The idea of the original Senate house being destroyed bothers some as the Suaven are said to be hidden underneath it.    With the mention of the Mist Wall, Jaric finds himself curious about it.  There was mention of it in a Library of a Serpent, a puzzle house library.  Jaric so wishes he could go see it.    Seran notices Dag'ul's statements of where he lives seem wrong.  The description suggests his lands are where Jaric's are.   Haroun shares about his rise to Dukedom, the deaths of his relatives, and how Isolde used to always share him advice.  Nia discusses with Ato on Rituals that can allow one to regain one's appearance.  Jaric catches sight of someone sneaking into the Duke's cabin and realizes it is an Ork.  But when it vanishes, Jaric realizes the Ork has the Blessing of the Cloak Decievious!  He mobilizes to find the Ork!

Nia and Ato talk about Sorcery more and learn of how mirrors are windows to the other side.  The mirror she owns is a Sinjin, speaking much of its craftsmanship.  When spectres are forced to gaze at glass, it seems they are given the option to be forgiven or trapped int hem.  Or allow a second death.  The old mirrors were confiscated by the House of Quan Wei.    Ato is uncertain if Jaric is actually is son.    He does however share with Nia that there is a ritual to change one's appearance, but the cost is one's Secret name.  He admits his face is no longer his.  And that it involves a prayer to the Grinning Man.

The Ork is identified as Nia's Ork.    Haroun is hurt by the betrayal to his kindness.  The Ork admits to Nia that the ship is the same ruin/ship in their legends.  The Ork is a priest among his kind.  He admits they rescued the Suaven from the Senate house... all save one.


Night falls.
A storm comes.

The ship crashes upon new shores.
The ven are not without their injuries, or loss of men, but most are alive.  Nia is severly injured.  Seran barely grazed.  Galeo discovers she landed safely since he fell with Asvil taking the impact.  She takes his Bloodsword and realizes there are whispers she can hear from it.  Words.   Meza is crushed to death.  
Nia's Orktalker had saved Haroun from death.  Jorja was not as lucky.

The island they are on shows a beautiful beach.  Beyond the waters, a wall of mist that stretches from horizon to horizon.  Lightning flashes from the mist and what seem to be airships can be seen floating within them.   The group is uncertain if they had found the Mist wall, and crashed into it.

Or through it.

The voices come.  Galeo tries to hold them calm but she realizes she can hear them now.  The Mother of Monsters.  The Blind One.   The Iron Heart.   However she hears nothing of Talia Yvarai.    The Suaven hear Galeo's reactions and ask who is speaking through the prayers they hear.

They wonder if Galeo is their missing brethren.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

In Memoriam...

I feel so bad about this.

So much promise.
And now its gone.

World of Darkness MMO.
So sad you were aborted.
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