Third Edition

Moderator: Logos Invictus

 
User avatar
Friv
Essence 6
Essence 6
Topic Author
Posts: 1072
Joined: 28 Jan 2006, 00:42
Title: Splinter of Mokrelus
Exalt: Elemental
Fighting Style: Spell-Fu
Artifact: The Crucible of Tarim
Location: Toronto
Contact:

A Sky Of Thorns, Part 1

14 Jun 2008, 00:14

Alright, brief explanation time.

Most of you are probably used to my meandering serials, but this one has a bit more of an explanation. Two of my players and I have made a mini-RP group for days when the main group can't meet due to cancellations. We're hoping it won't have to meet often, but we are also suspicious.

Regardless, the possibility certainly exists that the game will go long periods of time without meeting, so I decided I would write up summaries of each session so we can remember what's going on. Then I thought, "Hey, why not make them fiction pieces".

Which leaves us here. As it stands, I am approximating what happened in given sessions; my memory is imperfect and my notes equally so, so dialogue especially is at least partially of my invention. Also, as a little something to raise interest: One of the players was not familiar with the game that we decided to play, and the other was. Because of that, his character had no idea what was going on in the first session (and only a vague idea of the second, I prophesize). To that end, I have decided not to admit what we're playing. Instead, I leave it to you guys to guess! :)

And if my players object to a depiction, they can create an account, log in, and chastize me in front of everyone. ;)

Anyway, part one of Session One follows:
-----

It was a sweltering summer day when the stranger came to town.

Joseph Baskerville (Joey to his friends, or occasionally “Hound” after some of them found a copy of Sherlock Holmes back in grade school) didn't know that anything had changed. In fact, at the minute that the stranger arrived, he was enjoying a quick lunch break down at Smith's Garage.

“The Old Man working you hard?” Tim Warner grinned, taking a bite of his sandwich. Kaze Smith (another oddity, he'd taken the name when he first came to America and abandoned his Japanese surname) ran the garage, and was notorious about wanting only the highest levels of quality out of his few employees. Despite his advanced age, he remained an imposing figure, by virtue of his simple but unyielding will. And his martial arts - when Karate Kid fever had swept the kids of Grovedale, Montana, their parents had been forced to explain to them that not every oriental person knew kung fu - only to have Mr. Smith cheerfully start teaching his own brand of martial arts at gym classes alternating weeks when a few of the children, Tim and Joey included, had ignored their parents and bothered him about it. Joey was one of his few remaining students, but he would admit that the man wiped the floor with him in all of their real duels.

“Same as always.” Joey shrugged, wiping some grease from his hands.

“And how's the saving going?” Everyone in town knew that Joey had ambitions to be the second person from his class to leave the small town of Grovedale. Six thousand people was enough for most of the inhabitants, but Joey's year seemed to have been bred with a streak of wanderlust.

“Same as ever. I'll have enough to head out in a year.” Joey paused, considering the state of his bank account. “Or three,” he added ruefully. Tim laughed.

“Well, while you're waiting, the crew's having a party over at my place tonight.” He shrugged vaguely. “Nothing special - just seeing the pilot for Sam's new show.” Samantha Devlin had been the first - and thus far, only - person Joey knew to leave Grovedale, and was working on some pulp television show called Danger Ace down in New York. In truth, Joey was a bit surprised that Tim wanted to watch it; his friend had been close to Sam, but was rabidly envious of her. “Everyone's going to be there - Lee, Jackie, Tyler...”

“Sure, sounds good. But I have to get back to work - unlike you, I have a job that cares about that sort of thing.”

“I could get you a job as a park ranger. This far north, no one gives a damn.” Tim grinned, but stood. “But I wouldn't want to get you in trouble. See you around.”

Joey nodded, with a vague wave, already returning to work.

-----

On the other side of town (which was about a ten-minute walk, if truth were to be told), the stranger was walking down the street. Her eyes flickered across the buildings, but her bearing was of someone who was new, but at home in a small town in the northwest. The only thing about her that stood out was her skin - rich brown against the pale pink of those around her, it singled her out as a newcomer. She didn't seem to mind, orienting on a building simply marked 'Diner'.

Inside, she sat at an empty table, glancing around the room. The waitress, a thin woman whose nametag marked her as 'Julie', made her way over. “Well, hello and welcome to town, ma'am. You staying long?”

“Just overnight.” The stranger smiled at the waitress, who found herself smiling back in reality, not simply for form's sake.

“What can I get you?”

“House specials will do.”

“Right. Vegetable soup, one hamburger - they're good ones, honey, don't you worry - a slice of apple pie. Coke to drink?”

“Sure.” The woman smiled as Julie walked away, and then her gaze swept the room again. In the background, two old-timers discussed whether Barack or Hillary would be a better choice for the White House, while a pair of young parents talked around and over their children. Almost imperceptably, she began to frown. It was what she had expected, but worrying nonetheless.

A man sitting alone at a table in the corner caught her eye, a large burly person with a bushy black beard, wearing a serviceble grey long-sleeved shirt and jeans. Onlookers would not have been able to tell why, but she zeroed in on him, gesturing to Denise to serve her there. She walked up to the man, who was hard at work on a crossword, and slid in across from him as Denise came by with the soup. The man glanced up at her. A flicker of some undefinable emotion crossed his eyes.

“Can I help you, miss...?”

The stranger paused. “Hillary.” She smiled. “I hope so, Mr...?”

“Miles Warner, ma'am.” He put down his pencil and nodded to her politely.

“It's nice to meet you, Warner.”

“Miles.” The correction was given after only a heartbeat, during which a hint of concern lit his eyes. “Not from around here, are you?”

“No, I'm just passing through. Looking for someone.” She smiled. He didn't respond. Instead, he stood, taking a last bite of his sandwich, and leaving the crossword behind.

“You won't find him here. Eat your lunch, then keep moving.” With that, he started away from the table, dropping a pile of money for the bill.

The woman stepped after him, following him out. “Now hang on. I'm not that easy to get rid of.”

“Hm.” Miles turned, looked her up and down. “What's his name?”

“Hodath Teran.” She tried a smile. “He's foreign.”

“No foreigners here. Haven't been for years. Keep moving.” The man turned to leave.

“Like I said, I'm not that easy to get rid of.”

Miles turned back, and his voice was a hiss. “If I were you, I would leave while I still could. Before I ended up dead - or worse.”

“Not without him.” The woman shook her head solemnly. Miles sighed heavily.

“Do you have any idea what you're getting into?”

“If I didn't, would I be here?” The woman smiled again, taking a careful step forwards. “Trust me. I can take care of myself.”

There was an instant of hestitation, then the man nodded. “I hope so. Stop by the Baskerville house at ten o'clock. It's down Cherry street, red house with a white picket fence. You can't miss it. Maybe you'll find who you're looking for. Maybe you'll even escape. But don't follow me.” With that ambiguous comment, he turned and went down the road. The woman watched him go with hooded eyes. When she got back into the diner, her food was ready. The waitress smiled.

“He left enough money for both of you, honey. Old friend?”

“No.” The woman took a bite of her 'hamburger', and nodded thoughtfully. “I'm afraid not.”
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

Patchwork Champions - You say "to-ma-toe", I say "world-ravaging-laser-beam".
 
User avatar
BrilliantRain
Essence 8
Essence 8
Posts: 5362
Joined: 17 Aug 2005, 14:50
Title: The City of Mod
Exalt: Alchemical
Fighting Style: Primordial-Machine Weaving
Artifact: Eye of Autochthon
Location: Nurad
Contact:

Re: A Sky Of Thorns, Part 1

14 Jun 2008, 01:03

Ok, so far the creepiest bit was the ' ' around hamburger. Still we an make a few edumacated guesses at the game here. It obviously isn't Exalted, D&D, Star Wars, etc. since it is set on Earth sometime in the 20th or early 21st century. Given the Barack/Hillary debate, we can date it even more precisely to sometime in the last year or two, so that tosses out pretty much every game that doesn't have "Urban," "Modern," or "Generic" somewhere in the title or basic description. Given that you seem to think we can guess this, one must assume that the game is fairly well known. Given the tone of the woman's conversation with the other guy, we fairly obviously have some kind of a conspiracy going on here. Since she didn't burst into flames from walking around in the day time, I'm going to assume that you aren't playing Vampire. I don't know enough about Unknown Armies to guess one way or the other. I suppose this could be Changeling, but Joey apparently hasn't been abducted yet and I don't think that would make for a fun game. I don't think a Promethian could hang around that town for any real length of time without getting lynched, although I suppose one or both of Joey's parents could have been transformed ones. It doesn't explain Warner though.

All in all, I'd guess some variety of Mage or Werewolf.

Edit: Oh, right, I suppose it could be CoC or Delta Green, but I would have expected a creepier vibe from the town in that setting. I also dunno enough about Aeon/Trinity to guess either way.
Avatar by Girl Genius

Mod Text is in Green

Do you have enough Tools, King of All Craftsmen?
 
User avatar
Friv
Essence 6
Essence 6
Topic Author
Posts: 1072
Joined: 28 Jan 2006, 00:42
Title: Splinter of Mokrelus
Exalt: Elemental
Fighting Style: Spell-Fu
Artifact: The Crucible of Tarim
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: A Sky Of Thorns, Part 1

28 Jun 2008, 00:53

Alright, I think this one has a couple of larger hints, at least as to what cosmology we're in.
-----

Tim’s party wasn’t a very lively one; most of them had work the next day, and anyway Tim still lived with his parents. Instead, they mostly sat around, chatted, grabbed a few beers and watched Sam’s show – not a very good one, really, but it was something to do. He laughed and made jokes with Tim and Lee (his best friend after Tim, Lee Smith worked with him at his father’s garage), flirted with a few of the girls – although not that seriously, since they all knew him already - and dodged the attentions of Jackie Rowan, who had decided at some point that the two were made for each other despite everything Joey had suggested to the contrary.

Around 10:00, Mr. Warner came upstairs and made everyone leave, grumbling good-naturedly that even if they didn’t have to be up at the crack of dawn, he did. Joey lingered a bit, partly to chat with Tim some more, and partly to make sure that Jackie was well on her way home; if she wasn’t, he would feel compelled to walk her home, and that would just encourage her. So he would up being the last one heading out, a few minutes behind everyone else. Tim waved him goodnight with a call of “See you tommorow, Hound!” and Joey groaned cheerfully – it was a nickname he’d picked up in high school, when the class covered Sherlock Holmes, and he’d never quite managed to shake it.

As he was heading for the door, though, he found Mr. Warner waiting in the hall. “Goodnight, Joseph. Say hello to your folks for me.” He paused. “Oh, and Joseph – your birthday was just a couple of weeks back, and we plum forgot to give you your present. Here.”

Joey raised an eyebrow, thinking back to if Mr. and Mrs. Warner had ever given him a present before, and drawing a blank. But Mr. Warner was holding out a small, paper-wrapped box, and Joey took it, trying to hide his confusion.

Inside was a small metal pendant, a series of interlocked rings on a leather strap, that could be worn around the neck. Joey blinked in bemusement. It was nice enough, but he’d never worn anything like that before – even if this could easily be slipped under a shirt, Mr. Smith had strict rules about wearing pendants or jewelry at work, and he’d never been in the habit. “Thanks, Mr. Warner.” He did his best to sound properly grateful.

“It’s a good luck charm. I picked it up a few years back, but it was never Tim’s style. I thought you might like it.”

“Thank you.” Absently, Joseph started to put it back in the box, stopping at the look in Mr. Warner’s eyes.

“Do me a favour. Wear it – might be, something lucky will come your way.”

“Is everything alright, Mr. Warner?” Mr. Warner was the most grounded person that Joey knew, and this was just bizarre behaviour. It didn’t help that his friend’s father paused before nodding.

“Yes. I’m just a bit superstitious, is all. You have a good night, Joey.” Joey nodded, and headed out into the street, sliding the pendant over his neck and under his shirt, shaking his head. That was easily the strangest thing that had ever happened to him.

As he strolled home, however, two things happened that challenged his conversation with Mr. Warner. The first was as he walked along the dark streets, lit only by the occasional pool of radiance from a streetlamp. As he glanced up at the sky, idly watching the stars, he suddenly saw one that didn’t seem familiar. It was hovering just below Orion’s Belt, but the strange thing was… it was shining green.

For a moment, Joey just stared at it. “Some sort of satellite…” He muttered the words, but it didn’t seem likely. For one thing, the star wasn’t moving. He tried to remember if any of the planets shone green, but he’d never cared about astronomy and he drew a blank. Shrugging, he kept walking, occasionally glancing at the star. A minute later, when he gave it one of his periodic checks, it had vanished.

“Yeah. A satellite. That didn’t move… and then moved very fast…” It didn’t sound very convincing, when he spoke it out loud, and he started to wonder if he’d imagined the whole thing. All in all, as he got towards his house, he was definitely starting to think that this night couldn’t get any stranger.

Which, of course, was how he found a young black woman sitting on his porch, waiting for him to arrive.
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

Patchwork Champions - You say "to-ma-toe", I say "world-ravaging-laser-beam".
 
User avatar
Dinosaur
Essence 10
Essence 10
Posts: 10456
Joined: 08 Aug 2005, 00:46
Title: Social Justice Kaiju
Exalt: Lunar
Fighting Style: Natural Weapons
Artifact: Audient Quill
Location: Most Emphatically NOT in the Wyld

Re: A Sky Of Thorns, Part 1

28 Jun 2008, 01:48

Everything according to a preparation of ideas made to establish a desired outcome?

(Was that a Secrets Second Breath that just happened?)
I write stories. No, really.
 
User avatar
Friv
Essence 6
Essence 6
Topic Author
Posts: 1072
Joined: 28 Jan 2006, 00:42
Title: Splinter of Mokrelus
Exalt: Elemental
Fighting Style: Spell-Fu
Artifact: The Crucible of Tarim
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: A Sky Of Thorns, Part 1

13 Jul 2008, 11:40

Next part of the session - things get weirder!

There's only one part after this, which I may do later this afternoon. The last part should flat-out explain a chunk of what's going on. ;)

-----


The crickets chirped in the background as Joey regarded the strange woman that had been waiting – for him, or for someone else? As he started forwards, the woman stood. A smile broke out across her face. “Teran?”

Joey paused, frowning. “Uh... no. My name's Joseph.” He shook his head. For some reason, he felt like he knew this woman, or at least should know her. It was like meeting an old friend, and then forgetting their name, and he didn't like the feeling. “Who are you, and what are you doing on my porch?”

There was a long pause, and she sat down heavily. “It must be you, though. I can feel...” She trailed off. “I came here looking for you. I'm... a friend of the family.”

Joey walked up the porch, pausing by the door inside. His hand touched the handle, as he turned to look at the woman. “Don't think my family has any foreign friends, ma'am.”

“Could you sit down for a moment? I have to talk to you.” The woman hesitated again. “It's important.”

Joey sighed, sitting down on the other chair that graced his porch, twisting in it to face the woman. “Look, I am having a weird night, and you aren't making it any less. What do you want?”

“Like I said, I came here looking for you. We never met, but I was a friend.”

“Right.” Joey shook his head. “You're making less than no sense. Good night.”

As he started to rise, she raised her hand. “Wait.” She glanced around nervously. “Look at me. Closely.”

He raised an eyebrow, and did so. Everything was still. The wind whistled through the trees. Then he blinked, and in that blink her eyes changed colour from deep brown to sparkling grey. He blinked again. Still grey.

“Those are some nice contacts. Didn't think they could do that...” Trying to avoid sounding as confused as he felt, Joey started to stand again.

“What? No, I just don't want.... look, you need to know something about this place. It...”

“Joey, is that you? I thought I heard voices... oh!” The door creaked open as the rich voice echoed from inside. A large woman stepped out onto the patio, her hair tossled, a faint look of sleepiness turning into something very much like surprise and alarm. “I didn't know you had a guest... who is this lovely lady?”

“Uh.” Joey turned quickly, thinking furiously. He almost told the truth, but a glance at the worried expression on the stranger's face changed his mind. He still wasn't sure why, but he wanted to protect her secret, whatever it was. “This is, um...”

“Debbie.” The woman supplied helpfully.

“Debbie.” Joey supported that without breaking stride. “She's here from the state university, doing an agriculture project, and I thought I would show her around a bit.” Flailing about for an idea, he hit on one. “You know she's never had homemade apple pie?”

“Really? Oh, well.” The woman smiled broadly. “Good to meet you, Debbie. I'm Lianne Baskerville, Joey's mother. Why don't you two come in and have a bite to eat?” She turned her attention to Joey. “Your father and I hadn't turned in for the night yet, and there's some pie in the oven.”

“That's lucky.” Joey nodded with a smile, gesturing to Debbie. “Come on, let's head in.”
Debbie followed Joey and Lianne into the main room of the small house, where a thin man was sitting in a rocking chair, reading a paper. He glanced up, with a confused expression. “Welcome back, Joseph. And who is your friend?”

Joseph introduced his father, Phillip, to Debbie and repeated his story as his mother vanished into the kitchen. Shortly afterwards, she re-appeared, shooing everyone towards the table and placing large plates of apple pie down, alongside glasses of juice. “No ice cream, I'm afraid. But a nice warm slice of pie is good at any hour, I always say.” She sat down opposite Debbie, chin leaning on her hands. “So, Debbie. You're doing agriculture? What's it like?”

“Very nice.” Debbie took a bite of apple pie, chewed thoughtfully, and considered her response. “State University is a good place.”

There was a short pause. “Do they actually call it that?” Tim raised an eyebrow, and Debbie blushed.

“Um. A few friends do.” She was looking nervous again, so Joey quickly stepped up, chatting about some of the repairs he'd been doing and the local gossip – what little of it there was. All the while, he couldn't help but feel as though his mother and Debbie were watching each other cautiously.

After about twenty minutes of idle talk, he glanced at the clock on the wall. “I'd better walk Debbie back to the motel.” He smiled vaguely. “It's gotten late.”

“Yes, that would be nice. Thank you.” Debbie smiled back.

“Oh, don't worry about it, Joseph. You have to be up early tomorrow – Phillip will do it, won't you Phillip?”

“Ah... of course, dear.” Phillip looked vaguely confused, but nodded. Joey kept a frown off his face. Usually, it was easier to just go along with his mother, but he had more questions he wanted to ask 'Debbie'.

“Don't worry about it, Dad. I can do it.”

“I really think you should get to bed. You have a long day of work tomorrow.”

There was something odd about the way his mother looked at him with that statement. And the temperature in the room seemed to have risen. Joey felt as though, yet again, something was happening that he didn't understand. Almost unconsciously, he loosened his collar slightly, his hand brushing the good-luck charm that was still tucked under his shirt. “No, really, Mom, I can do it.”

His mother sat back, a vague look on her face. “Well, alright dear, if you're sure.” She stood, with a smile. “You're a grown man, now, after all.” She looked over the table. “Debbie, you've hardly touched your pie.”

“I'm sorry, I'm not very hungry. It was good.” Debbie smiled. “If you have a box or something, I can take it with me.”

“Alright, dear.” Lianne bustled into the kitchen, and returned with the box in question. “I'll see you in a few minutes, Joseph.”

“Yes, Mom.” Joey stood and nodded, then headed outside. Holding the tupperware container holding the pie, Debbie quickly followed.
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

Patchwork Champions - You say "to-ma-toe", I say "world-ravaging-laser-beam".
 
User avatar
BrilliantRain
Essence 8
Essence 8
Posts: 5362
Joined: 17 Aug 2005, 14:50
Title: The City of Mod
Exalt: Alchemical
Fighting Style: Primordial-Machine Weaving
Artifact: Eye of Autochthon
Location: Nurad
Contact:

Re: A Sky Of Thorns, Part 1

13 Jul 2008, 13:12

Ok, it looks like we got some past life action going on here, which throws most of my guesses out the window.

I suppose it could be 1e Changeling, except that he works as an auto mechanic. The lights in the sky make me think aliens might be involved. Honestly, I'm getting to the point where I think it must be an RPG I'm not familiar with.
Avatar by Girl Genius

Mod Text is in Green

Do you have enough Tools, King of All Craftsmen?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests