As Arrow’s player correctly pointed out on last week’s post:
You forgot my crowning achievement of the session. When the Thyrsus magically jacked up his strength, berserker rushed a Pure, completely botched to hit, kept running, aced his Stealth (crowds) roll, deftly maneuvered through the tear gassed people, quietly sat down in the police office lobby and said “Hi Damien” as though nothing had happened.
And you thought I was lying when I said that actually breaking Brewer out of prison was the easy part!
Inside of the station was a model of efficiency, which is even more incredible when you realize that Aenaiyah was just making shit up as she went along in there. That’s the part that went well. Go fig.
Outside in the middle of the street outside of the precinct we have Forsaken Werewolf on Pure Werewolf action, tear gassed pedestrians, and ordinary folks just trying not to lose their minds. Is it any wonder my mind is desperately attempting to repress these memories of carnage? I seem to recall a grenade (the explodey kind, not the tear gas kind) turning up at some point, and a standoff between armed police officers and insane Werewolves. That may have been the point when the Hunters turned up.
That’s right, there were Hunters around. And why wouldn’t there be? They too had an interest in Brewer. He was talking openly and honestly about having tracked a bunch of Werewolves after all. Any group of Hunters could use a guy like that. Somewhere in the midst of the fracas our new Werewolf brothers wound up with a beaten senseless Hunter on their hands, and instead of either killing him at the scene, or leaving him where he was, they decided to bring him back to the rendezvous point where the Werewolves and Mages were meeting to figure out how to handle Brewer’s impending first change and kill him there, in front of everyone, because you know… it was the Hunter who was senseless.
Naturally, this lead to a bit of in-fighting among the players. After all, Argus had been a hunter once upon a time (before he Awakened), and so he understood why Hunters did what they did. He also understood that some Hunters combine their Hunting and killing to those Supernaturals who are doing harm to the community (insert glare at the Werewolf Brothers).
And have I mentioned that Aenaiyah clearly has a thing for Argus and will defend him on this point even though outwardly she insists that she doesn’t “LIKE like him”, he’s just… you know… a mate. (not THAT kind of mate!) She in fact likes him so little that she is willing to defend him to the Werewolves who are not convinced that eating his face would be a bad thing. That would give most sane people pause. Then again, this is Aenaiyah we’re talking about.
One of the Werewolf brothers decides he’s going to sneaky sneaky over to the unconscious Hunter and slit his throat, at which point Arrow uses his powers of Thyrsus Awesomeness to make the guy get dizzy and trip so he can get the knife away from him. Neither Werewolf brother likes that very much, so they gang up on Arrow while Shannon is trying to calm them down. Argus is accusing them of being savage animals which is a sure fire way to help the situation. Rex, Riff-Raff, and Neils are trying to get between Argus and the brothers. Damien is trying to use Mind magic to figure out how ugly this is likely to get. Hot-headed knife-wielding brother decides to throw the knife up his other sleeve at the Hunter from where he’s standing. Calypso gets in the way of that knife, at which point the knife in Werewolf Brother’s boot goes winging its way at the unconscious Hunter’s throat. Aenaiyah tries to get into its path but stumbles, and then uses Shifting Sands to go BACK IN TIME to get stabbed in the gut with a thrown knife. (Paradox AND stabbed in the gut. Win-Win!)
I believe it was the sight of Aenaiyah bleeding out all over the ground that finally convinced folks that maybe this wasn’t the most productive way that they could possibly handle the situation, which was a pity since I had just grabbed fresh pop-corn from the snack shelf. I was enjoying watching her bleed out, dammit!
Ultimately they decided to let the Hunter live (boooooring), and deal with the fact that Brewer was rapidly growing fur. Mother Luna descended to have a chat with the gathered Uratha, and not being part of that Arrow excused himself because he had an important phone call to make. Previously he had convinced the Werewolf Alpha to give him a lock of his fur, and it seems that Arrow’s retainer has found an interested buyer.
I have revived from the turkey coma! I hope the holidays are treating everyone well so far. Now, where were we?
So now they have a guy who there has been a nationally televised press conference about, who is in lockup, who is about to turn into a Werewolf for the very first time, who is somewhat insane.
This sounds like the perfect time to introduce two new players to the Werewolf table! The new players (incidentally, both excellent role players who I enjoy gaming with) are playing Irish brothers who are Werewolves. One is a priest, and the other… well… the other is not a priest.
So everyone arrives at the precinct to scope the area out and see if there is some way that they can get Officer Brewer out of his cell and away from anyone that he might potentially hurt (or drive insane) when he turns into a Werewolf for the first time later this evening. While most of the players are trying to come up with a plan, the new brothers discover a van with a cartoon wolf painted on the side of it and the realize that the people in the van are Pure. Forsaken Werewolves (PCs) hate Pure Werewolves like I hate Mages. This should be amusing!
In the sparsely populated area of Ireland that the brothers are from being a Werewolf isn’t that big of a thing, so the not a priest brother decides to go harass the people in the van. This ends with him punching the Pure in the passenger seat in the face, which naturally leads to a large scale fight involving the police (since they are right in front of a police station), which leads to some of the Mages facepalming and heading into the police station under cover of stupidity.
The quick thinking Acanthus casts Perfect Moment and rushes up to the desk implying that she’s a US Marshall and needs to get Officer Brewer out of his cell and into witness protection before the people outside who are trying to kill him (hence the extreme levels of violence outside) make it inside and succeed in killing him. Argus, who is a consultant with the FBI, and Damien, who was just on TV as Brewer’s lawyer, are with her. Since she has Perfect Moment cast which allows her to act perfectly in an unplanned situation (no one had planned on the lunacy outside), and she happens to have been followed by people who make the situation plausible, and Damien is using the Mind Arcanum to pull a Jedi Mind Trick on the desk guard (‘she’s the US Marshall you’re looking for’) I give it to them. I figure they earned it this time.
The rest of the Werewolf Pack (Shannon, Calypso, and Matteus) along with Riff-Raff (a police officer on leave) are trying to calm down the various parties involved out front while Arrow and Neils play “innocent passersby” who got caught in the middle. Rex wanders through yelling at whipper-snappers to get off of his lawn. Calypso, after a successful INTELLIGENCE + COMPOSURE check, goes to get their van to drive it around to the back of the station figuring that the missing Mages (Aenaiyah, Argus, and Damien) are already inside getting to Officer Brewer.
Meanwhile, inside the station, Damien wound up realizing that one of the prisoners in a nearby cell is also a Pure Werewolf, undoubtedly the inside man for the Pure in the van. The ability to read minds can come in handy that way. Fortunately for the Mages he isn’t in a good position to do anything at the moment as he doesn’t know who they are or why they are taking Brewer out of his cell. All he can tell is that they aren’t Werewolves. Damien is sure to keep his mind away from any thoughts involving breaking out of his cell and ripping them all limb from limb. Aenaiyah tweaks Fate a bit to prevent anyone from happening to walk past at a bad moment and as soon as they make haste through the rear exit they get picked up by Calypso and driven to the rendezvous point. The easy part of the mission, breaking Officer Brewer out of prison, is now complete.
You’d think that would be the hard part, and it would have been, if not for the fustercluck going on outside.
Werewolves have a reputation for being territorial. As such, it was important for the Mages to come up with a plan, a good plan, before wandering over to Central Park for a visit. Much to my surprise they came up with one! The plan was elegant in its simplicity.
Nokoni is a Thyrsus Mage, and as such he can speak with Spirits and has knowledge of the Spirit realm. He knows that Werewolves frequently deal with Spirit matters. Aenaiyah has a cat spirit as a familiar. Now while one may not immediately see the wisdom of bringing a cat to meet wolves, the fact that it is a cat spirit and Werewolves are not full wolves and as such not prone to the same potential animosity with feline species as your average canine species makes this a different case. So Aenaiyah and Nokoni head out to the park with Noel, Aenaiyah’s familiar. Noel’s job is to wander about the park until someone notices her, and when someone does she should communicate back to Aenaiyah about how that goes. You might think that this is somewhat dangerous for Noel, but only if you are not aware that Noel is the Death Kitty!
I will rant about that at some other time. For now let’s just leave it at :::insert facepalm here:::
So Noel makes some circuits about the park, which I dutifully IM to the GM at the Werewolf table before the Mages at my table have figured out that those are the Werewolves they’re looking for. Eventually the Werewolves return from their fight with the Spider Host, somewhat the worse for wear (they had fought several before the night was through) and encounter Death Kitty. Death Kitty purrs sweetly in the hopes of getting a treat out of this. When they in fact decide not to attempt to eviscerate Death Kitty (they chose… wisely) Aenaiyah and Nokoni are given their cue to head out to the room with the other table. The rest of the players are told (with the door open so the other table can hear me) that they can “take 5” so that I can keep track of what happens at the park.
To my astonishment they all stayed in the room with the door closed so that they wouldn’t overhear!
Keep in mind, this meeting is happening in Central Park, in NYC, in the middle of the day. It is safe to assume that there will be lots of people around, especially since we had already established nice spring weather at the park. The game is being played in a public place – a game store called Ravenblood Games. If the players had decided that their characters were snooping around at the park they could have simply wandered out to the main room (where the Werewolf table was) and started looking at T-Shirts, RPG books, Munchkin paraphernalia, dice, minis, snacks, board games, or any number of other things that are on sale at this fine establishment. The Werewolf players would not have been likely to notice what they were doing, and their characters would have been even less likely to notice them wandering around the park. Yet still they restrained themselves!
Well, all except for Argus of course. He promptly declared that he was casting personal invisibility and sound mastery and went out to look at the most recently arrived batch of Necron figures.
Now I have already mentioned that the Werewolves had been up all night playing with some Spider Host, aka Azlu, and were a bit torn up. Nokoni, being a Thyrsus Mage, has healing abilities to go along with his talents in the Spirit area, and so he starts casting a few healing spells while he and Aenaiyah explain why they are there. They are afraid that someone is trying to cause trouble for the Werewolves, and while there are already people trying to keep things under wraps, that isn’t necessarily going to stop the kind of psycho lunatic who would pose a body in a van with the headlights shining on a Werewolf Territory Marker with the door open and that godawful bing-bing-bing noise going on and on and on and on and on. I mean, seriously, what kind of sicko does that sort of thing?!
Oh… errrr… I mean… clearly whoever would execute so bold and cunning a plan must be a brilliant strategist who would not likely be deterred by a lack of media coverage! Such a one as this must be strong… and courageous… and dangerous… and… good puppy?
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?”
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?”