When last we left our heroes, they had killed Fowler and have now destroyed 3 of 4 Heralds. They had obtained Raphael and Sam, as well as the Mutari Generator, but lost Michelle, who has been taken by Cassilda. The whereabouts of the Joker, Kay, Carrie, and Rebecca are unknown, and an eerie quiet has settled over the city, as though the deep breath before the catastrophe. The walls of reality continue to bend, but overall things are uncommonly (unnaturally) quiet. You’re all waiting for news of the performance, but you’ve no idea when it will occur, or where.
This page is to deal with any downtime activities you wish your characters to undertake or avenues you wish to pursue. Please edit this thread (Edit, don’t comment below) and insert your downtime under your character’s heading. I’ll respond with italics or bold text.
This may not be the time for you to keep secrets as we’re heading into the season finale, but if there’s anything you want to pursue that others shouldn’t know about, put it as a player secret below.
Anyone passing through to go to the Library over the next few weeks has a constant creepy feeling up the back of their spine as Raphael is being kept chained in the antechamber (which was fomerly Anita’s library), bound by enchanted chains created by a group of Rosicrucian spirit masters, John Forsythe (an old friend of Anita’s from the Knights Templar), and the use of Atlantean arcana which Anita claims she had to “all but sell my soul for.” Raphael occasionally gives you icy glares and makes menacing comments as you walk through, but largely sits passively as though he’s waiting for something.
Every single one of you who walks past him in the ensuing few weeks gets the creeping feeling that there’s a mad Archangel in the basement who is there simply because he hasn’t decided to leave yet.
After this last encounter, I need a little time for recuperation. As I heal, I continue to study and Ponder those things I’ve learned from the Library of Alexandria and who and what I am. I’ve become more comfortable and it seems to have had an impact on my effectiveness and my control. I haven’t heard anything from agent Barnes which is a good thing. It’s weird, I’ve always been a loner but, this strange group of companions I find myself with make me feel comfortable. I think I’ll go have a beer with Mack.
In your studies about the Garou and other Ferals over the next several weeks, you begin to lean about their own apocalypse beliefs and the creature they call the Wyrm. This “creature” seems eerilie familiar to some of the otherworldly shit you’ve seen since joining the crew here, a force of entropy, madness and destruction that is the antithesis of everything in nature.
Though the Wyrm is clearly not of Hastur, in learning about it you may discover some level of insight into what you’re dealing with. This has two effects: First, you can invoke your research at some point duing the next session, gaining the equivalent of a free Drama Point (any use of one) that can stack with another Drama Point use if you choose. However, to get this use, you have to tell me exactly what the insight was that you gained and how it applies to what you’re about to do, like Robert did last week with the realigning of the Ley Lines.
Some information about the Wyrm for you to reference: http://whitewolf.wikia.com/wiki/Wyrm
Some information about Ferals in general: http://whitewolf.wikia.com/wiki/Fera
Regarding werecats: http://whitewolf.wikia.com/wiki/Bastet_
Some information about werejaguars specifically: http://whitewolf.wikia.com/wiki/Balam
Second, you can increase your Gnosis skill by 1 point at no XP cost.
Darrek handles dealing with Raphael and Sam. Raphael is kept in the basement of the Hive Arcana (where the library was located). Darrek will use his magics to keep him as subdued as he can, possibly turning to Delia Borgato for assistance with getting his hand on a heavy duty tranquilizer if necessary. After speaking with Anita, he contacts John Forsythe, as well as asks around within his trusted contacts at the Rosicrucians to connect with a sorcerer who knows the appropriate Spirit Mastery invocation necessary to bind/control angels.
Though unhappy about it (he knows Raphael), John aids the Rosicrucians in binding Raphael for the time being. It’s clear that part of him desperately wants to know what the Hell is going on, but having overcome his own recklessness long ago, he’s wise enough by now to keep quiet, though he does have words with Anita. There’s door-slamming that goes on.
Regarding Delia, she can hook you up with anything up to (and including) propofol. When Darrek contacts her, she seems very excited, but can only tell him that she’s on the verge of a breakthrough in another area, and she doesn’t want to jinx it. She’ll call if she has anything of use as soon as she can.
Darrek contacts Harlan and asks for his assistance with containing and hiding out Sam. He attempts to break through the web of deceit that Cassilda has no doubt woven throughout the young man’s psyche about him and the group. Again, he will use all of his metaphysical abilities in doing this. He asks Emily to accompany him and use her psychic abilities to potentially glean any additional information that they can about the play and Cassilda’s plans for Pittsburgh, as well as assist him in convincing Sam of the truth and tapping into any vulnerabilities he may have left.
Darek is unable to break Cassilda’s hold on Sam, who simply growls that she will set him free when the time is right, that he blames Darrek for throwing in with the person who killed his (Sam’s) parents, and that Darrek is a rube for buying into Henry’s line of bull.
When Emily comes, things go very bad. What exactly she sees in his head, Darrek never finds out, but it knocks her clean out cold for over an hour, and blood comes out of her nose and ears. When she comes to, she just says, “There’s nothing I can do, Darrek. She is in there. I think…I think there might be only one way to save him.” Then she starts weeping and refuses to talk about it any further.
He holds her. “I know, love. I’m so sorry. I just…I had to be sure.”
He turns to Sam. “I failed you once, Sam…and for that I’m more sorry than you will ever understand…but I won’t make that mistake again.” With that, he injects the boy with a heavy duty sedative. As Sam drifts off, Darrek murmurs, “And I will not let you hurt my son anymore.”. He leaves supplies with Harlan in case he needs to subdue the boy.
Darrek is very careful not to talk about Sam in front of Henry. He visits the Library and continues to hit the books, both to ensure they have not missed anything and to try and identify any spells that might be of assistance in the impending apocalyptic battle. He spends time with Henry working with him on any spells he knows that Henry wants to learn, as well as just spending time with him.
At some point Darrek looks at Henry and says, “Listen, Hen…I want you to know that no matter what happens, you will be taken care of. Even if I-” he pauses, swallows hard, and continues. “Em will make sure that you have everything that you need, and Daniel and Dr. Armedt can help with any magic-related questions-not that you really need it.” He smiles, then his face grows serious. " You will never, ever be alone again, regardless of what happens to me. Do you understand?"
There are spell design rules in Ghosts of Albion. If there’s something you have in mind, build it. Every spell imaginable is in the Library and your Occultism and Intelligence are high enough that I’m not going to make you roll to find it. You also have access to that “I’m invoking my research” bonus that Henry had last episode when the time comes.
He is intimate with Emily as often as she will allow. He shows up unannounced at her work to take her to lunch and ravishes her in the backseat of their car in the lowest level of the hospital parking lot. He comes home in the early hours in the morning from his research and awakens her from sleep. They spend almost an entire day off together in bed, reminiscent of their honeymoon in Paris as newlyweds.
One morning he begins asking her questions about her menstrual cycles and how she can tell when she’s ovulating. She shoots bolt upright in bed and stares at him, utterly shocked, and asks, “Are we…trying to get pregnant?!”
A huge grin spreads across his face. “Maybe.” He kisses her, and winks. “But I get naming rights this time, alright?”
“You’re not invoking naming rights for a child based on the fact that I got to name the dog,” she says wryly. “We’ll talk about it if it happens.”
Henry is going to hit the books. Since he is going to be going up against the final Herald and trying to foil Cassilda’s plans, he wants some kind of nuclear option, so to speak. While researching in the Library, he finds a spell that allows a caster to summon the wrath of a deity or primordial spirit in order to lash out at those who oppose it (Deity’s Wrath from Ghosts of Albion, modified to be single target rather than an area of effect, making it PL 5). The spell is not without consequences: it is apparently very draining to cast and requires some preparations such as meditation and fasting before it can be cast.
You find the spell, with Kathryn’s help, but for the life of you, the way this spell is so intricately woven together, you cannot figure out a way to modify it to affect a single target. In addition, Kathryn sits down across from you with a concerned look on her face. She pushes her glasses up on her nose, looking adorably innocent and like someone’s grandmother at the same time, and says, “Henry…I’m worried about you looking into such things. Do you know what it means to call upon the power of God to smite a foe?”
Without waiting for you to answer, she continues. “Magic like this…it always has a consequence. Always. I know this is your first Apocalypse, but I’ve watched many come and go over the centuries, and people find a way. I’m just saying, you don’t know what god is going to answer when you use this spell, or what price they’ll demand. It could be Jehoveh. It could be Kokumthena. It could be Zeus or Thor or Odin. It could, though, be That Which Should Not Be Named. This isn’t magic like you’re used to. It looks like it, but it’s not you shaping the forces of the universe. It’s you…evoking an otherworldly entity from beyond the pale…and isn’t that precisely what you’re trying to stop?”
She reaches out and takes Henry’s hand. “The wrong people could die, Henry. People of whom I’m already growing fond. You’re a bright boy, and a Protector. I believe you’ll do the right thing. That’s all I’ll say.”
Henry is frustrated by the situation, by the conversation with Kathryn, and by life in general. But he does see the wisdom in her words. While calling down the wrath of otherworldly forces to eradicate his enemies is certainly tempting, he remembers his mother’s words when he was first learning to use his Gift: “It is forbidden to touch the Other Side direct, or to make deals with the things that dwell there.” He shifts the focus of his research into magics that may augment and assist his friends, and finds a rather useful spell that increases the combat prowess of other people (Fervour of the Holy).
As he researches, Henry stumbles across a very ancient ritual in a series of scrolls called the Scrolls of Skelos. It takes him some time to translate them as they’re in some sort of proto-Semitic script which he’s never even seen before, but as he does he notices they are a treasure trove of information about the things beyond the pale, about sorcery and darkness and Things that Should not Be. This raises his Occult by one, grants him one level of Cthulhu Mythos (not Hastur, Cthulhu), and he discovers a spell in there which is not sorcerous and that he thinks he might be able to adapt to use, though it’s astonishingly difficult:
A Moment in Time
Quick Cast: Yes
Power Level: 13
Requirements: Must be in the presence of a creature or being that exists outside of time, as well as within 100 yards of an active dimensional nexus point.
Effect: This spell affects an area 100-yards in radius and centered on the caster. It has the effect of locking time within that area for up to one hour (relative). During this time, no magical or supernatural effects may be used which affect or relate to time in any way. While relative time continues to pass for those within the radius, they are effectively locked within the confines of the spell.
Creation: Targets: 100-yard radius (+6); Casting time (Quick Cast +1), Range (Up to 300 feet, +2), Duration (1 hour) +3, Requirements (Highly restricted; -4), Spell Effects (Magnificent; +5).
It occurs to Henry that what he witnessed, and sensed, with what happened when Mack tried to shoot Cassilda may well have been a temporal effect; this would limit her ability to do so, but it would have to be used in her presence and at the Hellmouth.
Henry will also spend some time trying to be a normal teenager. Try to make friends, play video games, that kind of thing. He’ll hang out at the mall or a coffee shop when he isn’t studying in the Library and generally try his best to pretend that the world isn’t falling apart.
I have been visiting several area gun retailers and finally located a shiny new Desert Eagle at Shaw Precision Guns in Bridgeville, they were also able to rework the trigger pull and sights to My specifications. It really put a dent in my meager bank account, but I had to replace the one Cassilda so rudely took from me. Can’t believe she would do that when I only tried to shoot her in the face!! Ahh well guess I’ll see if Danny wants to grab a beer.
Blake Invesigations allows you to comp the purchase as a business expense. Anita half-laughingly tells you she knows exactly what it’s like to have a god put your face through a wall.
Also, your close encounter with Cassilda has given you an instant of insane insight. You suffer a Madness point, but you also gain 1 rank in the Hastur Mythos Wild Card skill. In addition, you can buy a level of Chi Mastery at half normal cost.
Finally, you and Danny having several beers every night is a given!
Matthew is pissed needless to say. He will have single-minded focus on finding his mother. He would be using every contact he can muster to try and find any information he can. He will not be pleasant to be around. During the downtime of the down time, i.e. waiting to hear from contacts and such he will be taking out his frustrations on his training equipment and going out at night to hunt things that need killing. He trains HARD for he knows the battle of his life, and his is longer than most, is coming….and somebody is going to pay for this.
Rationally, Matthew knows that he’s not likely to find Michele or Rebecca with both being in Cassilda’s hands, until the goddess makes her move. And knowing that your side has a plan to disrupt her ritual and stop her for good is cold comfort, all things considered. You do, however, gain some insights in focusing your efforts over the coming weeks.
The game-related benefits you recieve are as follows: First, you have allies. All over the city. Every member of every Covanent with whom you speak voices their support. Second, your Occultism goes up by one level at no cost. Third, you may raise your Dexterity to 8 (which would be the max for you) at half cost (20 XP instead of 40). Finally, given your specific circumstances, going into Righteous Rage during the last adventure at either of the two pivotal points (you’ll know when they are) costs you only 1 DP instead of the normal 2.
Anita approaches you during the downtime as well. She’s awkward as always, but seems genuinely concerned for you. She’s not caustic nor sarcastic, but demands time to “Eat Chinese food. With you. I want to eat Chinese food with you. At my house. I want to eat Chinese food with you at my house, now.” She does what she can to let you know that she’s always there for you, that she knows what you’re feeling and that, first and foremost, you are and always will be her best friend. “Your mom is the strongest and most powerful…woman?…I’ve ever known. And I can’t believe that God would abandon her, no matter how many mistakes she’s made. I mean, He hasn’t abandoned me yet, and I’m a fucking train wreck, so.” She gives you a rare hug. “I love you, you big jerk,” she says, “If there’s anything I can do, anything that you need, just say the word.”
At some point during the next couple of weeks, Matthew has the opportunity to see John Forsythe, who Anita has called in to help the Rosicrucians to bind Raphael in the basement (John knows the Key of Seraphim). The two exchange pleasantries, after John and Anita exchange their brand of pleasantries which involves a lot of screaming at each other and door-slamming.
After this, John asks Matthew about coming back to the apartment building. He wants to see Lorelei, as he’s brought her a gift: her birth certificate, social security card, a state ID and a driver’s license. He’s had the Templars carefully erase recods of her death and recovered her actual ID and such for her, though should her parents ever poke into it, the records will reappear just long enough to convince them the girl is quite dead.
Matthew is peripherally aware of the story of how Lorelei died, and he notices that John seems geuninely contrite about this whole thing, like he feels he owes this young woman everything. But it’s not in his nature to be sentimental, so he’s essentially giving her back the life he took away.
Yun-Xun tells the group that she must go out of town for a short while. Although she has grown in her mystic martial arts, she needs to strengthen her body as well as her mind. Casilda and the Joker are foes that can’t be taken lightly. She searches for a Storm Dragon temple. Thinking back, she has not reached out to her stateside peers. Ever since she arrived in The United States, life has been a rollercoaster focusing on removing threats. Maybe this way, she can center herself. Center herself to find true strength. The strength needed to defeat evil and protect her new friends.
She grabs a train ticket and hits the road. Her goal, to focus the Chi she throws as a bolt and focus it in to her feet. Storm Dragons learn by trial. The road ahead will not be easy, yet she knows she will succeed.
Her first step is tracking down the Storm Dragons in the U.S. This isn’t a huge task, as she knows that the Tzu Chi Foundation, a non-government social services group witih branches all over the world, is a front for the Covenant. The good deeds the group does both allows them to remain in line with Buddhist ideals, and perfectly poises them to be where their agents are needed. There is a Tzu Chi office on Banksville Road.
The Pittsburgh office welcomes her, and remarks that they were beginning to wonde if she would ever come in. They patiently listen to her problems and direct her to the mountains of West Virginia, where a secret Storm Dragon monastery is located. There she can find the peace she needs and still be only an hour or two away if she is needed.
During down time, you gain two things from your time with the Storm Dragons. The first is that you may raise you Chi Mastery by one level at half cost, in addition to raising it normally by one level (you can raise it twice if you have the XP, once at half cost). The second is that you have allies who are willing to help you in this fight. There aren’t many Storm Dragons in Pittsburgh, but the few that are in the city are willing to pledge themselves to you service in this time.