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Coincidence… I Think Not

The Mages don’t have much to go on, but they know that the person with the tentacles sprouting from his chest used to be a police officer, and they sorta know what he looked like before he turned into something with tentacles. Whatever happened must have happened recently. It was time to scan the papers and call in some police contacts.

As an FBI Agent, Argus knows a few officers of the law. He’s able to track down some information on people who had gone out on medical leave recently, one in particular who looks like a promising candidate. This particular individual wound up in the hospital after a brutal fight during a “domestic dispute” call left him with a punctured lung. Punctured lung… surgery on his chest… tentacles coming out of his chest… I believe we have a winner!

It is at this point that I must let you all in on a little secret. One of the folks from a long-ago game group of mine is an ambulance driver. One of the folks at this Mage table was part of that group, and is a lung doctor. It was impossible for me to pass up the opportunity of having both of them show up as NPCs at this juncture: getting the man to the hospital and then giving him a lung transplant. The beauty of this was in letting the lung doctor (he plays Argus) explain to himself how the surgery went. It’s a wonderful way to make sure that those annoying player-types don’t question your lack of knowledge on a subject like lung tranplants!

And so, Argus’ player explained to Argus the successful lung transplant, and then Argus tried to convince his player to give up the identity of the person whose lung was inserted when Argus’ player knows full well that he shouldn’t be handing that information out to just anyone.

It only now occurs to me that this may have been when I broke Argus’ player.

While Argus and his player argued with himselves?… each other?… themself?… other members of the cabal tried to find out more about this domestic dispute.  As it turned out, the couple in question had been engaged to be married, and things had been going quite swimmingly. Sure, there were some tense moments involved in planning the wedding because of dealing with the families, but nothing all that unusual. The bride-to-be joined a gym in order to lose those last few pounds before her final fitting, and to help herself relax. She was studying Qui-Gong at this new place that opened up recently in China Town, not far from where she worked. Ironically, it was a couple of weeks after starting the classes that the blushing bride started to get… twitchy. “I always thought that kind of thing was supposed to help people relax”, her fiance said, “but this time not so much.” Their final fight got vicious, and a neighbor called the police. When the officer arrived the husband to be let him in. He simply didn’t know what else to do. The woman he loved was having some kind of psychotic break and he couldn’t handle it alone. She needed help. She attacked the officer, and they fell into a glass table. He wound up with a large glass shard sticking out of his chest, she wound up with one slicing her throat open. She was pronounced dead on the scene. The officer was alive, but his lung was collapsing.

In the kind of quirk of fate that can only happen in the World of Darkness the woman and the officer had the same blood type. She was gone either way, and she was listed as an organ donor, so the fiance told them to transplant her lung into the officer. It was the fight with her that caused his injury, and in saner times she would have wanted to put that right.

“Yes, as a matter of fact I think I do have a flyer from the dojo sitting around here somewhere… yes… on the computer desk. Sure you can have it. I certainly don’t want it.”

Mages Make Me Cry


Mass Transit Abomination

With the club issues settled the Mages had a few days of peace before the next bit of news arrived via their favorite conspiracy paper “Sick Sad World”.

It seems that women in the city were being kidnapped, but only for a few hours before being let go. It was exactly the sort of odd situation that surely no good could come of. Sounds like a job for… the Mage PCs Who Had Not Yet Come Up With a Cabal Name!  (Not very catchy, is it?)

With the Stars (in alphabetical order):

  • Aenaiyah: Mysterium/Acanthus
  • Argus: Guardian of the Veil/Obrimos
  • Marissa: Apostate/Acanthus
  • Molly: Apostate/Mastigos
  • Neils: Free Council/Obrimos
  • Nokoni: Adamantine Arrow/Thyrsus
  • Rex: Free Council/Moros

Through a combination of obtaining police reports (Argus) and twisting fate to stumble upon newspaper articles (Marissa) the group manages to track down a few of the kidnapping victims’ names and addresses. They decide to split the list while interviewing the formerly kidnapped women. Aenaiyah and Molly pose as a journalist (Aenaiyah actually was one before her Awakening) and journalism intern looking for some additional information for a newspaper article that they are writing on the mysterious kidnappings. Argus flashes his FBI badge to talk to some of the others in a more official capacity with Rex as his partner. Neils and Nokoni argue about who will be keeping an eye on Marissa (she is only a child after all), meaning that neither one of them was actually paying any attention when she wandered off to get ice cream. Ultimately they found her and bought her a Wii to keep her busy while the others brought back the information they had obtained from the victims. It seems that each woman was grabbed in the area of a particular train station in the city. This station is conveniently located next to a bar, which is probably where the women were targeted. Oddly enough, each of the women tell a similar story – the kidnapping was a weird sort of “Scared Straight” scenario in which they were kidnapped, brought to a disused subway tunnel, and ranted at regarding how unsafe it is for young women to be alone in the city at night.

If only the Mages knew a woman with shocking purple hair and a slutty wardrobe who might be kidnapped at a bar…

Oh! Hello Aenaiyah!

And so the plan is set. Aenaiyah will go to the bar, where she will hopefully be approached by the kidnapper. Sounds like a great plan to me! Oh, and Argus will turn invisible and follow her when she gets dragged off. :::yawn::: When “last call” is made and still no kidnapper approaches Aenaiyah (she can tell that the random drunks trying to get lucky just don’t have the necessary Fate aura to be the kidnapper), they think the evening might be a loss…unless… the kidnapper might not actually approach the women at the bar, he might just follow them down to the train platform. And so Aenaiyah, with invisible Argus in tow, heads down to the platform where she is promptly kidnapped and dragged away.

She is dragged through the maze of tunnels to a disused area where a couple of other women are tied up waiting for the arrival of the evening’s final student.

Class is now ready to begin!

Mages Make Me Cry

In Other News:

Right about now you’re probably asking: “What about the people who went off to find the Werewolves in Central Park? “ If you are, you are not alone in this. Aenaiyah and Nokoni were asking that too…repeatedly… while I was attempting to stall.

You see, I knew something that they didn’t.  I knew that the Werewolves didn’t happen to be in Central Park right then and there. I knew this because their GM IMed me so.

This is a parallel campaign. While my table of Mages busied themselves retrieving a grimoire in France, the table of Werewolves had problems of their own to deal with back home in NYC. A group of Azlu were operating an illegal nightclub in a “place-that isn’t”, existing only in the Spirit Realm and only being accessible for a few nights out of every month. (They were running a module called “Parlor Games”.)  Nokoni, being a Thyrsus Mage, is aware that Werewolves play an important role in protecting the physical world from threats attempting to reach through the Gauntlet and tells his fellow Mages so. As a result the Mages are afraid that perhaps someone left that body at the edge of the park in an attempt to cause trouble for the Werewolves of the city.  In reality the Werewolves found the body hidden in the truck, about to be disposed of by servants of the Azlu, and one of the less responsible Wolves decided that if they posed the body in the van they could draw out the murderers and deal with them. This happened early on in the second session.

As an amusing side note: at the start of the third session one of the Werewolf players asked if that particular decision made the news, and when their GM started shuffling through her papers to find a handout he knew that no good could come of it.

And so, when my Mage players asked yet again: “So, what about the folks who went to Central Park? Have we made contact with the Werewolves yet?” I had no answer for them. The Werewolves were chasing down an Azlu who had bolted from the fight last session and the combat that followed was taking longer than the conversations at the Mage table. Eventually I was forced to just own up to it. I told them “The Werewolves aren’t at the Park just yet.”

Aenaiyah: “Well, why  can’t we just skip ahead until they are at the Park?”
Me: “Ummmm…”
Aenaiyah: Gives me the stink-eye
Me: “I’m not sure when they are going to get there yet. I’m trying to find out.”
Aenaiyah: “What do you mean you’re trying to find out!?”
Rex: “Wait-a-minute… these Werewolves we’re trying to make contact with… they wouldn’t happen to be…” points thumb towards the other game table, “those Werewolves, would they?”
Me: Shrugging in a non-committal manner “Maybe?”

Hilarity ensued.

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