Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Promethean: Up the Mountain and Down Again

Soon as my damn fingers thaw, here.

OK, so! Last time, the characters handled the bachelor party and decided they'd head up the mountain to see if they could figure out who or what was controlling the wolves. This time, they bundled up, stole three snowmobiles, and started up the mountain.

As they were zooming up, Avalon (driving a snowmobile with Enoch sitting behind her) got distracted (her player blew a Perception roll a took the Beat for a dramatic failure). She glanced back to see a tree dead ahead, and veered off left. She brought the snowmobile to a halt, and she and Enoch heard ice crackling beneath them. They very carefully got off the machine (as Grimm and Matt circled back to find them), and made it to the treeline just as the snowmobile tumbled over a cliff.

Bloodied but unbowed, as it were, the characters kept going up (Grimm just had three people on his snowmobile). The slope eventually got too steep for them, so they parked and trudged. Grimm took the Shape of the Barghest, but that was rather freezing, so Avalon gave him her coat (and made a milestone: keep someone warm). Avalon herself, along with Matt, was weatherproof, so cold wasn't a huge problem, and Feather used Autonomic Control to keep the cold out. Enoch used Procrustean Shape to grow fur, so that solved the problem for him, so it was really just Grimm who was taking cold-related penalties.

They kept walking, and eventually reached a point where the slope was too steep for the non-athletic characters (Enoch, Avalon, and Matt) to continue. Feather and Grimm went up the hill and found a tree, tied off some rope, and pulled them up, making use of Feather's Might and Grimm's Unholy Strength (they wound up with an exceptional success, which gave Feather the Steadfast Condition). At this point, near the top, Grimm and Enoch Sense Flux...and indeed, Flux was coming down the mountain.

The characters retreated back into the trees, and saw the wolves. They readied themselves for battle, but the wolves just charged down the mountain. The throng figured that they were on the hunt for Leslie, and Enoch suggested sending some of the mountain after them. They all toppled a tree (using Many Hands Make Light Work, the most useful one-dot Transmutation ever), and saw the wolves vanish under the snow cascade.

But now the Flux - and Pyros - was gone from the mountain. Matt searched the mountaintop, and found a cave. The characters delved back and found a tunnel leading down. They tossed some lights in, and discovered it was much like a chute. Avalon went down first, tied and anchored, but it eventually went past the limits of her rope. She kept on, and the others followed. Grimm used Bloodhound's Nose and noted smoke, metal and oil from below.

They eventually emerged in a lower cave, and found they were next to the snowmobile that had toppled off the mountain. The smoke they were smelling came from the ruptured gas tank, which was burning. But the metal...Grimm realized that the sides of this cave were metal, though they looked like rock. He mentioned this, and Avalon tried to use Identification, but failed. Knowing that Enoch was on the same Refinement, she taught him that trick (which was a milestone for him: learn a Transmutation from Avalon), and touched the metal wall.

He realized that the wall was metal, but no metal he could identify. He'd seen it before, though - under the junkyard. He realized that the metal was alive, in a way, sentient, and it extended far under the ground. He revealed the "alive" bit to the others (forbidden as he was to say anything about the Machine itself). Feather, noting that, used Aura Sight on the walls. She failed, but used her Steadfast Condition to succeed.

And she saw the Machine. She saw it extending throughout the Earth, changing the rocks of the mountain into huge, hideous, gears. She saw its intelligence and its vast indifference for anything alive. And she struck. She used Battering Ram to punch the metal cave, and got a lot of successes. And then she stood back, quivering.

She told the others what she had seen, and Enoch gained another milestone (keep the God-Machine secret until someone else learns about it). Avalon tried to use her Aura Sight on it, but couldn't find a way to see it - it was a wall, not a person. She and Grimm did feel a burst of static, though, and heard one word amidst it - "dispatched." The characters figured they'd better get going.

And then the wolves showed up.

But the wolves weren't here to fight. They said that the thing in the mountain - the Machine - wasn't their master, and they'd been sent to thwart it. But now something had happened without precedent. Feather had gotten the Machine's attention, and the wolves' Mission had changed. They told the characters they'd help them as much as they could, but they lacked the ability to help them back up to the resort.

The characters realized, looking up, that they were under a balcony, similar to the one in Feather's Elpis vision. If a body should fall from it, it would land more or less where they were standing. Frightening, that.

The wolves mentioned one other thing, too. "Not all of the angels you have encountered have been angels."

Next time, the wedding(?).