Sunday, January 19, 2014

Monsterhearts: New Student!

Yay, Monsterhearts!

So, last time the characters were in trouble - chased by a monstrous, four-armed demon-thing that they thought was their janitor. They were split up, in the school. Genesis ran to the pool and jumped in, and rested a minute. She had no harm to lose, but she did remove her trusting condition. She tried to call on ocean's breath to help her, but failed.

Skylar made it to the art room, and grabbed a rolling pin (for clay) to use as a weapon, and then went back up in the halls and went looking for Mike (Skylar, as he's already dead, isn't worried about dying, even though we know Mike can hurt him somehow).

Rook ran to the home ec room and grabbed some chopping knives, and also went looking for the monster.

Dora was in her sanctum, and gazed into the abyss, looking for information on what they were dealing with. She saw a dark, formless room, with people outside pushing their way, grabbing her, and strapping her to a post. Her priest leaned in to light the fire, and said, "of course, you know we'll eat you after."

Cassi ran to the front office and tried to get in the use the phone, but the door was locked. She ran into the girl's bathroom and hid (she rolled to hold steady, but succeeded in keeping her cool). She heard footsteps, and saw the principal arrive outside. He walked in, and Mike walked up. Mike told him that there were students here, and they started walking away.

Rook rounded the corner and saw them, and ran away, choosing to make a big scene. They ran after him, and Skylar swung on them from around a corner (lashing out physically), but failed. Mike caught the weapon, and Skylar backed up and walked through part of the wall...to the astonishment of Principal Miles. Rook hid around the corner and Genesis emerged from the pool, walking out toward him.

Skylar, taking advantage of the situation, said, "If I know, then we all know" and dissipated into the wall. She heard the principal and Mike start to argue.

Up front, Coach Davis and two football players arrived. The coach stationed one at the door and took the other with him to look for Mike.

Rook called out to Mike, telling him that he'd called the sheriff. Principal Miles was getting more freaked, and then just...stopped. Up front, Cassi saw Mike walk in front of her hiding place, and saw Mike's hand was covered in blood. As she watched, he licked his hand (she rolled to hold steady again, but stayed hidden).

Skylar came out of the wall and saw Principal Miles, dead, a fist-sized hole in his abdomen. He started walking down the hall, rattling his club on the wall. Cassi texted Rook to let him know where Mike was, and then Mike pulled the fire alarm.

Everyone got out - the characters wound up back by the pool and used that exit to get out. Cassi called her clique (she was worried they might be on their way) and told them to stay away, go home, and wait. Cassi's mom called her shortly thereafter, just to check in and ask her to get some groceries - which never happens, they have a maid for that. Worried that Cassi's mother might be in on this, they headed to the shack that Genesis was staying in with the crazy old lady (Agnes).

Rook asked for a mirror, and went to Agnes' room to gaze into the abyss. The first time he did it, he saw a pigpen, but the pigs were sort of bipedal. Then the "farmer" threw the body of a pig into the pen, and the pigs ate it. Then the farmer grabbed one of the living pigs and dragged it off for the slaughter. This was, of course, disturbing, but Rook now could contact the Faery King, and gazed into the abyss again. The Faery King appeared in the mirror, and Rook asked who was in the cult. The King replied that it wasn't so important - destroy the leader and the cult would fall apart. Rook asked who they couldn't trust, and the King told him that he would show them someone they could trust - a girl at their school, who was wearing his emblem (a white rose). But the King demanded a favor - at the upcoming Homecoming dance, Rook had to dedicate one dance to the King. (Skylar, during all of this, watched Rook, using creep). Rook also verified that Cassi's mother was not part of this.

Downstairs, Rook, Skylar and Cassi all rubbed on each other a bit, letting Rook heal some harm. Realizing that Dora was injured, still, they took her to an urgent care out of town, where she saw a doctor who patched her up. The doctor did ask her some uncomfortable questions, but she shut him down before it could go too far.

From there, they decided to go get some food at a Mexican restaurant Dora knew. Figuring that they were in danger, they decided that Skylar and Rook would go home with Cassi and crash in the pool house, and Genesis would stay with Dora. Cassi did the shopping her mother asked her to, and wound up back at home, helping mom cook dinner (turns out the maid was sick). Cassi's mother reminded her that her father was coming home, and she'd promised to talk to him about going to this dinner party at the Diaz Winery Tuesday night.

(And here we broke for dinner, and to have Michelle make up her character, whom you'll meet in the next paragraph.)

Monday morning at school! Cassi stopped into the office and asked to the see the principal, but the secretary said that he was backed up with meetings all day and that he could see her first thing tomorrow. And then the characters were all there in Ms. Pinell's home room. Sitting in Kevin Gable's seat (Kevin, remember, wound up dead and eaten by a shark) was a redhaired girl wearing a sweater with a white rose ribbon pattern. Ms. Pinell made a joke about Kevin having turned into a redhaired girl (she doesn't know Kevin is dead, of course, really just the PCs know that) and Genesis, flashing back to the shark incident, has to hold steady. She did, and lost her submissive condition.

Rook turned around and talked to the girl - the characters know her, her name is Briar Stevens. Cassi, meanwhile, turned to Austin, and talked to him a bit about yesterday - he was up late, and slept through the badness at school (so didn't feel Cassi's fear like he normally does). But when Briar came into the room, he felt (and Cassi felt from him) a sense of two worlds colliding. She gazed into the abyss to read his thoughts, but cannot.

Rook told Briar that there was bad shit happening and they needed to talk with her, but not here. Briar asked if Rook was hitting on her, and Cassi clarified that he wasn't, but Briar still turned him on, making Rook get all flustered (and taking a String on him). She agreed to meet with the characters after school, and then the bell rang.

Cassi caught up with Austin at lunch, and Austin revealed that Briar did know something about the supernatural, but told Cassi it was too long of a story to explain. They got separated, and everyone met up at Pi after school.

They laid everything on the table for Briar, including the craziness about the cannibals and the horror of Mike the janitor. Briar took it more or less in stride, and revealed that she and Austin had been looking into something - there had been a body found on the Diaz winery grounds, probably adult, with lots of the muscles cut away. In fact they had gone out the night before to look around, but there was no sign of anything and all the reports had vanished. Cassi was fairly shocked to realize that Austin had known this girl for some time and never told her what was going on. Briar suggested they check the basement again; the others were hesitant, and wanted to have a look at the winery. Austin suggested they split up, but that wasn't well-received at first.

(Somewhere in here, Genesis asked Skylar how long it had taken to realize she was dead. Skylar activated unresolved trauma, but failed, and Genesis wound up taking a String on Skylar.)

Dora showed Briar the page she'd taken from Mike's notebook, and Briar looked over it, slowly, her lips moving as though reading in it. She used to the books, and used it to put the secret weakness condition on Mike - she read that his "hunger grows quickly." She also gazed into the abyss, but didn't get anything except the feeling that splitting up was a good idea.

In the end, they agreed that Dora, Genesis and Austin would go to the vineyard, sending a message ahead to Omar to meet them. Briar, Cassi, Rook, and Skylar would go to the school. Briar had gymnastics practice, but she planned to fake a leg cramp so they could see the basement again - Mike hadn't been seen all day, so they were thinking he wasn't there. The football players were practicing (Austin revealed he'd been cut from the team), so at least they'd know where the guys were.

Before that, though, they went to Briar's house, and she opened a mini dojo in her shed to revealed a huge stash of weapons. She told folks to take what they were comfortable with. Rook, having studied fencing, grabbed an epee. Genesis, not knowing anything about weapons, was initially hesitant, but Briar gave her a can of hairspray and a lighter. Dora sensed that some of the things in this room were magical, and found an obsidian ceremonial knife. Austin grabbed a baseball bat with practiced ease, and Cassi realized that he'd done this before.

Feeling the tension, he walked out to start the car. Cassi followed and wanted to know why he'd never said anything about this. He mumbled that he didn't know, but Cassi gazed into the abyss and read his mind - he'd never said anything because Cassi was his safe place, and if he told her, she wouldn't be safe. Touched, she hugged him, and the group split up to go investigate.