Saturday, June 8, 2013

Dystopic: Hisil Trip

As the verge opened to connect them to the spirit world, Miami, Nomad 6 and London felt a sudden chill settle in the room - a strange enough circumstance considering that verges were normally unnoticeable.  The trio crept up into the rafters and entered an attic that seemed identical but for a few subtle details: there was moonlight streaming through the slatted windows yet one could not gaze through the gaps outside, the trapdoor has been replaced with a set of old wooden stairs, and the air felt heavy - as though subject to a high humidity - yet it was quite cold.  Oh, and the usual creepy music that I play during these sorts of scenes could actually be heard by the characters though they could instinctively tell that it wasn't music - it was their way of comprehending the vibrational frequencies of the Hisil.

Shortly thereafter, Leningrad, who had sped across town in a cruiser but whose inexperience with modern cars and lack of understanding about the 3AM rush hour (when most of the pubs, clubs and strip joints let out) meant that he got there a few minutes late.  Dallas pointed to the verge and he clambered up into the rafters and passed through the verge.

Passing through the verge is strange.  It doesn't seem like much has changed although where there were no people there was a sudden flash of them a few steps onward, then nobody, then they're where they actually stood as though viewing a film reel that had gotten tangled or recorded the frames in the wrong order.

The four regrouped and then started down the stairs to the second floor corridor.  They could hear the sound of a music box though they couldn't tell its source.

First they went into Miami's old bedroom.  The room seemed larger than its reality-self and the bed seemed both massive and empty.  A wardrobe stood on the other side of the room and when Leningrad opened it he found one of those nursery ceiling hangings inside that slowly rotated - holding dangling moons and a several thick, long black strands of hair that were hung across it that put Leningrad in the mind of the Grudge.  When Miami lifted his mystical viewing glass to see that device, he could make out a woman's face through the reflected imagery.  When Leningrad activated his heat vision on his mask, the wardrobe seemed to be gently pulsing with warmth.

They then went into Miami's son's bedroom.  That room was one of the most strange.  You see, Miami's son  is an autistic mute whose mother recently died and whose father had lain in a brain damaged coma for their last few weeks at the house.  The bedroom seemed like a child's room but the furniture seemed cut into wedges, some of the toys seemed oddly threatening, and there were shards of double-sided mirror that hovered in the air at different angles as though a ball of mirrors had exploded from the middle of the room and been frozen.  When Leningrad turned his heat vision onto the room he could see a small humanoid figure on the other side of the bed and the music box sound could be clearly heard coming from the other side of the bed.

Miami had to duck and weave his way around the glass but still took one bashing worth of lacerations (as it wasn't a deep cut) before rounding the bed to see a little boy with trembling large black eyes and a mouth that wobbled in its expression of terror, clutching a beautiful music box. It lifted the music box as though offering it but Miami couldn't take it because the box was attached so instead Miami lifted the lid and had to pass a save versus the Fearstruck Numina.  When he succeeded, the boy smiled and as Miami took the attempt with good grace, the spirit decided he was worth talking to.

It spoke to him in Spirit Tongue (which I approximate for most people as very long, drawn out syllables as you often hear in various video games as ghost speech).  It made an offer for the glass shards first.  "They will tell you what they know about that static entity if you give them your friend."

London was quite annoyed when he heard Miami translate this and demanded that Miami not consider it.  Leningrad, however, was thoughtful as he figured they probably just wanted blood.  London figured the shards wanted a ride.  In truth, the shards wanted to suck everything out of Leningrad - flesh, blood, soul....  Of course Leningrad had no way of knowing it.

Miami asked about the glass shards and the boy-spirit explained: "They are the cage of the mind.  They are the flesh that cages the mind.  They are the flesh that cages the mind that blocks the soul."

That discouraged Leningrad.

You see, those shards were spirits that had fed on the autistic's boys inability to cope with the loud, clanging world around him and a representation of the autism itself - though obviously taken to its most negative extreme.

The little boy spirit, having satisfactorily made the glass shards' offer, then makes an offer of his own.  He warns Miami that the shards will attack him when he tries to leave so they should make no sudden movements.  The others had noticed that the shards seem to be angling towards them when they're not looking.  The boy also states that he can take them to someone who knows where the spirit they seek lies and that he can find them later on.  All he wants is for them to strengthen him on the other side by causing the calm that lies after the storm.

You see, the little boy spirit is the spirit of when people manage to surpass their strong emotions by finding comfort or solace in something around them.  Hence the appearance of being a little terrified boy holding a music box - the music box being a representation of comfort.

London demanded that Miami not make any deals with the spirits and that they should look elsewhere for the books.  Miami was a bit stumped at that idea.  The books were stolen weeks ago.  How else would they find the spirit responsible?

The boy suddenly told them: "Run.  Run now."

So they did.  I had each of them roll a Dexterity + Athletics versus a single set of six dice to represent the shards.

The glass shards rushed toward Miami and those in the doorway.  Miami leapt through a gap, taking a laceration (one lethal) down the side as he landed on the edge of a wedge of the bed.  Leningrad dodged out of the way of the doors but went in the direction toward the attic, keeping himself ready to assist the others.  London decided to clear the hallway of his own body (which is sensible, no point piling up) and fled down the corridor, ducking below a couple shards.  Nomad 6 took a risk and (with four successes) grabbed hold of the door frame and launched himself up, tempting the shards to come at him, but hauling himself out of the way and close to the ceiling before they could reach him.  Thus the way was briefly cleared for Miami.

On the second turn three lethal worth of shards rushed toward Miami as he leapt over the bed and over Nomad 6 (who had dropped to a crouch at this point) and out the door.  Leningrad decided to clear out toward the exit but as he rolled 5 successes, I stated that as he went he leapt up and fly kicked one of the glass shards into one of the shards going at Miami (reducing Miami's damage by 1).  London made it down the stairs.  Nomad 6 leapt up and slammed the door shut, using Hide the Path to keep the spirits inside from getting out.

Those spirits already in the corridor decided it was in their best interests to pretend to be a cracked mirror on the ceiling and simply shot up into position and stayed motionless.  The Fallen weren't interested in them, though, and simply headed out of the house.

More happened this session but this article is long enough.  I'll do the next part of it tomorrow.

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