Monday, June 18, 2012

Shadows Campaign, Part 1

So maybe I run too many games? I'm figuring maybe but I guess this is what you do when your fiance is also a gamer. I mean, we live together. It's our main shared hobby. What else are we going to do with our days? Go outside? Okay then. But what to do outside? Game and talk? Yep, that sounds like us. There's plenty of conversational segments of game that don't require a dice and if you do need one, you can always do it World of Darkness LARP style and roll a single dice in a spice jar and then simply add your stats on top of that.

Basically, what inspired this one is the fact that after the last Demon campaign I realised that I really liked and missed all of the characters from the last Troupe Vampire campaign I ran. For awhile, I considered running it again but this time set 15 years in the future at around the point when the Invictus Ventrue Phillip Torelli did a deal that sprang many leaks in the main Adelaide plot.

Just so you know, the main Adelaide plot involved Prince Alicia Brown, a Daeva who had a life boon over a BP 8 Invictus Nosferatu who was also blood bonded to her (fed from her). She had the life boon because she rescued him during the Great Fire of 1666 when he was in torpor. Everyone was amazed by her abilities to restrain her frenzy - they never suspected that she was a hidden Ordo Dracul with Coil of Beasts rather than the Invictus neonate she pretended to be. Later, they moved to Adelaide early in its development so she could start on her Great Work - a belief that sacred geometry and clever architectural principles could alter ley lines in such a way as to help temper the Beast and allow for a more enlightened society within which a kindred could better attempt to ascend.

When two of the Ordo Dracul moved into the city a couple decades later, she doubted him and didn't reveal herself to him. This being Seamus O'Baoill (one of my fiance's characters) and a Sworn of the Dying Light known as Mrs. Victoria Young. By the time Alicia Brown felt she could trust Seamus (though never Victoria and the Dying Light would be responsible for assenting to her duplicity), another kindred entered town who was older than Alicia Brown by a 100 years (he managed to prove it, though whether it were true....) and took over the city. Where Prince Alicia Brown had been the iron fist in the velvet glove, Maxwell was the iron fist holding the barbed chains and he ruled the city with peculiar intensity and dogged tyrannical views supported by the three Lancea Sanctum who had followed him here.

Victoria was a ventrue OD of the cruelly experimentive variety and she Embraced Dr. Jonathon Taylor, a brilliant physician and medical researcher who worked within ethical boundaries that weren't even prescribed yet. Victoria was annoyed that Taylor allowed his inhibitions to road block him and tried to show him the error of his ways but to no avail.

Taylor started on his Great Work on the sly with the assistance of several Mages who had identified the city's strange properties (a matter that none of the three Ordo Dracul had recognised as none of them specialised in ley lines or architectural principles). Their experimentation culminated in a ritual designed to help Taylor ascend to a new state, or perhaps become human, or perhaps simply regain a human-like soul. A literal angel (virtue spirit) was summoned alongside a particularly high Morality ghost called Cassandra (who had been a nurse in the Women's & Children's Hospital that Victoria had Dominated Taylor into slaying as part of his punishment).

This ritual occured on O'Halloran Hill in 1922 but it backfired when it was interrupted by Prince Maxwell, his Longinian Sheriff, and two other members of the Lancea Sanctum. The paradox erupted from the uncontained ritual and the Abyss spilt into the cracks, most of it nesting under the Adelaide Hills where an ancient Place That Wasn't that had once been in Germany started sliding into being. The Mages died in the process, Dr. Taylor lost his mind and grew twisted (think Mad Experimenter), and Prince Maxwell and the Lancea Sanctum were emptied of any trace of themselves and became like tyrannical automata, unaffected by either Beast or the vestiges of Humanity for they had neither. Prince Maxwell and the Longinians began blood hunting random neonates and even spontaneously created neonates whose sires were 'unknown' simply so they could hunt. The effects on the city led to human serial killers began springing up with increasing regularity over the next century from about 1922 - date of the ritual - onwards

No one realised what had happened to them or the city just yet but within a decade the tyranny grew to a boiling point and when Prince Maxwell leveled a blood hunt against Alicia Brown's Carthian sibling, Vivian Rogers (at the time, they both were Harpies), people were thoroughly outraged but unable to act against a Prince who had a BP 8 Ancient under his thumb (via Alicia Brown). Duchess Alicia Brown surprised them all by calling down a blood hunt on Maxwell and his lackeys and Dimloch staked Maxwell on his spear and then, without removing the corpse, then staked Maxwell's sheriff.

From then onward, Duchess Alicia Brown ruled, though as her Great Work came to completion she began to itch at the demands of her praxis. While it was near agony to her after so many years of stasis, she began developing a new identity in the 1990s as part of her personal studies to learn a new coil and ended up creating a somewhat daggy punk chick alter ego as after so many years of being seen as the regal Daeva, folk would simply assume it was a human who looked similar to her so long as she kept her Blush of Life, Obfuscated her Beast (she never did that otherwise), and had her hair and make up done properly. People might have recognised her easily on a photograph but in person where she even walked differently, she seemed like an intimidatingly cold thuggish redneck.

During those years, she even made inroads with a pack of werewolves in northern Adelaide who were mostly police officers (Hunter in Darkness and Iron Masters mix) though the pack kept her at arm's reach though were willing to conversed with her. She never revealed to them just how old she was and passed herself off as a neonate in hiding. She smoothed things over to them but never spoke of debt so they tolerated her.

You can find out more of what happened in Part 2 because this article turned out to be so damned long.

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