Monday, August 20, 2012

Dystopic Episode One: Awakening

So, I ran Demon a few nights ago starting from their last moments in the pit. Only Lakrimiel has Legacy 3 so I began by describing his last moments in the pit as he's the only one who'll remember a real sensation of it afterwards. I mention the bleak emptiness of the pit, the sensation of screaming, begging humanity so close yet so distant that are assumed to be ghosts and might well be all that is left of humankind - the ghostly remnants. He remembers a promise that he would be freed and feels himself torn loose into a place of a kaleidoscopic of colours that takes him awhile to realise are shapes (he has been without vision for so long) and then there's coldness.

Then I went around the table and described coldness, an icy crust over their eye lids, twitching muscles, and alien yet familiar reflections in frosted glass. When they try to move I describe how not only are their bodies cold and weak but they are foreign to them, even as they are familiar. It is as though they've never had a chance to read the user's manual and must act on instinct and guess work. There are tubes inserted into their limbs, which they pull free, and a few of them find the internal switch (again crusted over with ice) to open the cryo-statis door tubes from the inside.

There are eight cryo-stasis pods although only five are active, eight metal lockers (five of which have labels such as: Nomad 6, Tokyo, London, Miami, and Leningrad), a central table that has a stack of five lunch boxes, and walls of lab cupboards. By the door is a key pad and intercom.

Kurosawa stumbles out of her pod and crawls over to the locker marked Tokyo to get dressed inside of it and hide from the others. Darren Keswick pukes on himself and falls to the floor in a shivering lump and doesn't move for a short while. Rush'nir remains standing within the locker with the door open, trying to take it all in, before going down on hands and knees to crawl over to the central table.

Nomad 6 (because even the player hasn't thought to give himself a name - human or fallen) stumbles, falls, and struggles over to the locker and puts on Leningrad's clothing before finding that Nomad 6's shoes and clothing fit much better (he's the most muscular). Rush'nir then picks up his own discarded Leningrad clothing while Nomad 6 goes over to the lunch boxes to test the food (vanilla custard and strawberry jelly). Rush'nir watches him to see if he falls over dead from poisoning or is drugged. Nomad 6 just feels better because the food is very nourishing.

Lakrimiel staggers out at this stage, dresses himself from the Miami locker, and also eats his food. There's minimal conversation at this stage and what is spoken is quite hoarse until after they've eaten.

Can't remember who, I think it was Rush'nir, gives Darren clothing from London's locker. Darren pulls it on with trembling hands (still a bit pukey, though its only bile as he hasn't eaten in awhile). Someone also gives Kurosawa her lunch box by leaving it beside her locker.

They introduce themselves by location (except for Rush'nir) and Nomad 6 has to make a roll to see if he knows what country 'Leningrad' is from (he fails - cue jokes from the other nationalities about Americans and geography). Nomad 6 makes a point of rolling with that trait from then on and his character also exposes himself to a bit of mocking by pointedly being proudly ignorant of geography and making comments like: "That's in Mexico, right?" when he could instead fall silent.

To be fair he is a smuggler from a post-apocalyptic Fall Out-esque meets Cyberpunk America so he isn't well positioned to know geography like the better educated people. Funnily enough, he's expert with geography when it comes to his own country (great Survival) rather than book learning world maps but they don't yet know it.

Nomad 6 tries to talk to someone over the Intercom but is so rude the rather mechanical sounding woman (who says she modeled her English on Londoners) refuses to speak to him any longer and he has to ask questions through the other people. They assume she's an A.I. but she claims otherwise and says that she's an Annunaki (Malefactor) which the others accept.

She tells them that they woke up half an hour early because the devices are set to Daylight Savings Time while the rest of the facility does not (or was it vice versa?). Their liaison and commanding officer will be arriving shortly to speak to them. A woman called Nice.

Nice turns out to be a Frenchwoman Namaru (Devil) of the Luciferans who is a brisk and no-nonsense type who introduces them to the fact they are all Fallen (the Legacy 1's were pretty sure but hadn't had time to really reconcile themselves to that fact) and that they had all agreed to join the Promethean Project which is a mega-faction that encompasses members from all factions who wish to assist humanity to find the way forward by pruning cruel and evil elements from selected societies, undermining certain societies (or elements within), and assisting others.

Rush'nir simply wanted to return to his group and Nice informed him that he's thought dead as he was attacked twenty years ago. He still wishes to meet with them and she tells him that he'll find it hard to track down a secret society driven even further into hiding after twenty years though if he still wishes to do so after the three day probationary period than he may.

Lakrimiel asks if the Fallen here were responsible for the deaths of their hosts and Nice emphatically states that they take a firm position of only selecting the dead or the soul gone since if they murdered the hosts when the Fallen finds out, and they WILL find out, then there's always some degree of unpleasant feeling which is unnecessary when they have as many Fiends on staff as the Promethean Project does.

She informs them that groups of Fallen are summoned at the same time and placed within hosts to form teams to edit societies for the greater good to help give humanity the space it needs to develop adequate integrated societies where supernaturals and humanity may live in peace. She tells them that they must remain with the Project for three days and after that point they may make their own decisions.

She points out their various team roles. Kurosawa is an elite hacker / infiltrator. Rush'nir is a top-notch assassin. Nomad 6 is a crack pilot and smuggler. Lakrimiel is an occult investigator with an understanding of several supernatural societies. Darren is a ... cop? Darren was a bit bemused by his own position amongst them. He didn't have nearly the epic backstory (which is kind of the point) and is the only 'normal' one (despite his high levels of experience points).

She then introduces them to their Den Mother and Trainer, Canterbury, a rather motherly Rabisu that later tells them she is a Ravener who's not much of a believer but is willing to take her chances with the project. She's decorating cupcakes (as was I, out of game) and many of them sampled her wares. Then she gathered up their primary equipment in satchels from the bay by the exit doors and gave it to them.

She then took them out of the compound into the walled off yard and gave Rush'nir permission to parkour his way around the place. He went up onto the roof (using his super speed Fallen revelatory form) and saw that they were surrounded by badlands. Using his exceptionally designed Masks' visual capabilities, he scanned the surroundings.

At this point, Kurosawa hacked into his mask shortly after an unknown man did (the man put an image of himself on the inside of the lenses before dropping off with a mild disruption). Kurosawa was far less disruptive and simply viewed what Rush'nir could see.

The player of Rush'nir was actually quite amused by the whole thing, as were a few other players, because I know nothing of computer programming or hacking and merrily used hacker tropes and phrases like 'walled off' and 'rooms' and other house-based metaphors that do have a place in this sort of pulpy game but aren't actually how hacking works in real life. I remain unrepentant.

Canterbury showed them to the hangar so Nomad 6 could get re-acquainted with his drop ship and shows them the stealth jet, old Red Cross doctor's helicopter, three exoskeletons (think Aliens) and one combat exoskeleton with a flamer that Nomad 6 asked if he could learn to drive. Canterbury said he could if he joined them.

Darren decided to stretch his wings and, with permission from Canterbury, unfurled his wings and halo and flew up to Rush'nir. We were going with apocalyptic form pieces adding to the human hole, largely, rather than being a completely demonic appearance that overlayed everything else from the get-go like we did in the last campaign. Of course, each demon may vary in this regard with some being more visibly demonic / angelic than others. Of course, humans susceptible to Revelations will still be affected by apocalyptic form even if they can't put their finger on the changes.

Rush'nir spotted a car being attacked by three zombies and got Darren to carry him over to the rescue (which Darren did). Nomad 6 lifted the chopper out of the bay (with permission) and flew to assist but by the time they arrived Darren had dropped Rush'nir to the ground (Rush'nir used Fundament to slow his descent) and the two sniped the zombies down.

Kurosawa dropped the ladder from the drop ship. Remirez used Portals to open all of the car doors (exceptional success!) and Rush'nir assisted the mother who was clutching her small daughter onto the ladder and into the helicopter. The two were quite bewildered, though humans are subject to lessened revelations when they've experienced the supernatural so strongly (i.e. zombies) so they were more in awe than gobsmacked.

The mother could only speak Spanish and told her daughter that they were going to heaven now, but Lakrimiel disabused them of the notion and simply said that they had been rescued by angels.

The team then discussed what to do and where to go while Darren flew after them, enjoying the chance to stretch his wings. In the end, they got permission to have the jamming signals pulled off the drop ship so the G.P.S. started working again and Nomad 6 quickly figured out the location of the nearest major town and they headed in that direction to drop off the mother and small child.

Next session will be landfall.....


  1. I do have names! I just didn't write them on the character sheet. :P

    Host name: Asher Anderson
    Fallen name: Urghazh

    1. I don't know how to pronounce that last one, Nomad 6.