Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Blog Day Post #1: Monsterhearts

Sunday we played our second session of our second season. Let's see if I remember what happened!

Last time, the characters were at Pi eating pizza when they discovered that the necklace Rook bought had some winter-magic behind it. Rook revealed the voice he'd heard (and Briar confirmed it) saying "You're going to die," so that was obviously terrifying. They decided to head back to Briar's house and do some research on the necklace, and got all hopped up to do that, and then Skylar came over with their pizza. "Did you guys...want to eat this, or...?" "Oh, yeah. Got carried away."

So, after pizza, most of them headed to Briar's house to go to the books. They found a big old journal, handwritten, in German, that had a sketch of the necklace labeled Winter-Herz - "Winter's Heart." Apparently it spelled "inevitable death, loss, and solitude" for whoever owned it. This, of course, was not great news for Rook or Briar.

Skylar, meanwhile, was walking to Briar's after being done with her shift at Pi. A car pulled up, and an older Hispanic gentleman offered her a ride. Skylar refused (this screamed "bad idea" to her), but the old man shrugged and made reference to her being dead.

Skylar asked for clarification, and the man made it clear that he understood that Skylar was a ghost, and had mistaken her for a "phantom hitchhiker." She also noticed that the man had a rose tattoo on his hand. Skylar made it to Briar's and told them about the experience, and the characters decided that the necklace of the Winter Court, combined with the weird experience Dora and Miguel had earlier, couldn't be coincidental, and decided to go out to the apartment complex.

They rang his buzzer, and a woman answered. They tried to explain what had happened, and the woman came out, but wasn't especially helpful. Skylar manipulated an NPC and learned that a show of supernatural power would open some doors, so he dissipated through a wall. The woman nodded, and said he should be home soon.

And, indeed, in a few moments the same car Skylar had seen pulled in, and the man (whom I pictured as being played by Danny Trejo) got out. The characters talked with him, but found him enigmatic; he refused to give a name or other personal details (Cassi asked), and agreed that since Rook had the necklace, he was probably going to die - they all were. He referred to himself as "the Emissary," and told Rook (whom he referred to as "the Rook") that the man who'd sold him the necklace ("the Proprietor") might be able to tell him something. He also mentioned that the necklace had been thrown into the ocean, but then had reappeared on land last year during those weird storms (that Genesis had caused). Someone asked if they all had titles; he said they did. He told them that they could come to him if they had questions, and night was better. Then he went in, and the characters were left arguing.

There were some bad feelings toward Rook for buying the necklace, and he acted a little enigmatic about whether he knew people's titles (he didn't). Dora cast a ring of lies hex on him, but that didn't really go anywhere because he didn't lie to them. Skylar wound up using unresolved trauma and giving the blamed condition to Rook and Genesis.

The group split up. Genesis went to the beach. Briar went home, tooled up, and went hunting monsters. Skylar wandered the city. Rook went home, as did Cassi and Austin (Austin had a test to study for). Dora went home and talked to her grandfather about legends of the Underworld and people who try to cheat death - the general result was "that doesn't end well."

On the beach, Genesis wrapped herself in her pelt and stared at the water, thinking of going home and seeing her family. She knew that doing so would mean she couldn't come back to her friends, but she also wondered if she brought death on them...and if she could escape death by going home, or if she would just bring it with her. She fell asleep and dreamed the sea frozen to ice and of her brother, Bastion, and he asked why she came here. She told him she wanted to make art, and he asked if she was done with that. He said, "My sister doesn't quit."

She woke up, tears in her eyes, on the beach.

Briar went out hunting monsters, and searching online showed her footage of, apparently, a ghost going through a door in an apartment building. She called Skylar (figuring he might be the culprit), but he wasn't. Skylar agreed to meet Briar at the building.

The entered, and looked for clues, but didn't find anything. Briar gazed into the abyss, but failed, and heard a menacing growl somewhere in the dark. A door opened and an older man told them to piss off, and they left...but then heard sirens. An ambulance arrived, and the crew went into the building and brought out a woman on a stretcher. Something had happened in there...

Rook, at home, also gazed into the abyss, looking for answers from the Faery King. He saw only his mirror go icy and the word "SOON" traced in the rime.

The next day at school, home room went fairly uneventfully. But in French class, Rook brought up that everyone had been pretty upset with him yesterday, but they seemed just fine today. Genesis shot back that maybe they'd needed some time to process the news that they were going to die. Cassi got up and left, manipulating an NPC on her teacher to get out of class. She sat in the principal's office, feeling unwell, and gazed into the abyss to read Austin's mind. She found that his consciousness was slipping, like he was grabbing an icicle and trying to hold it. She glanced over at the principal and, for a moment, saw Principal Miles (the guy from last season whom the Black Tanamous killed).

The characters met up at lunch, and decided that after school, they'd go to the hospital and visit Cynthia Maxwell, the woman who'd been injured at the apartment. First off, Rook went by the thrift shop and talked to the man who'd sold him the necklace...who, it turned out, had a role in all this, too (he was "the Proprietor").

Briar, Cassi, Austin, Skylar, and Rook went to the hospital and talked their way in to visit her. She had cuts on her arm, allegedly from falling into a glass table. But all she remembered was feeling suddenly cold, and then passing out.

Cassi, while at the hospital, remembered her last experience here. She wandered off by herself a little, and sees...Omar. Walking toward him, she realized it was not him, but she couldn't quite draw a bead on who it was. The figure told her that it could tell her Austin's title...if she could tell it the Emissary's true name. She agreed.

Rook, Skylar, Cassi, and Briar decided that tonight, they would go and check out that apartment again - this "cold" thing got their attention. The others did not join them.

Dora called up Miguel and her coven, turned them on, and bedded them, figuring that if she was going to die, she might as well live a bit first. She wound up with sympathetic tokens from all of them.

Meanwhile, at the apartment, Skylar used dissipate to get in and let the others in. They looked around a bit, but didn't see anything. Skylar gazed into the abyss and saw the night before - a spectral, feminine figure walking through the door and touching Cynthia, whereupon she fell over. The figure gestured, and a panther-like creature appear and clawed her shoulder, marking her. The panther jumped into the reflection in the glass coffee table...

Rook, meanwhile, gazed into the abyss, staring into that same reflection. The panther jumped out at him, clawing him up. Skylar tried to attack it (lashing out physically), and it clawed her. Cassi gazed into Austin to try and find him (he arrived shortly thereafter) and Briar and Rook lashed out physically, harming the creature. Briar, in particular, was ecstatic to have something to fight.

Briar tried to manipulate an NPC to get the panther to leap at her, but failed. Skylar, however, managed to manipulate it into doing just that, and Briar stabbed it (lash out physically) making it disappear. They searched the place for jewelry, and found a stickpin with a teardrop that felt cold to the touch. Austin got towels to help staunch Rook's wounds, and one for Briar. There was some awkward tension between Cassi, Briar, and Austin, but sadly nothing came of it.

Dora, meanwhile, gazed into the abyss, but only saw a brief vision in which she saw her coven as the other characters, alone and abandoned. Erika shook her out of it and made sure she was OK with all of this. Dora said she was.

The others took Rook to the hospital (he was pretty cut up). Briar was injured as well, but not nearly as badly. They left, and split up again. Briar went back to her place to go to the books on that panther, along with Genesis and Skylar. Genesis discovered, in the same book, that the last page was now talking about that stickpin, and referred to "the Lady and the Shade Tiger," who came to mark anyone who owned the jewelry. But yesterday, that page hadn't been there.

And then they heard a growl from outside, and Briar headed for her armory.

They headed out to the Emissary's apartment, and woke him up again (maybe he doesn't sleep). They talked, but the Emissary told them that there might be more jewelry, but was generally pretty cryptic. Cassi gazed into the abyss, looking for more on the Emissary, but all she heard was a voice telling her it was dark and cold in there.

They left and headed to Briar's, and as they walked in, saw huge, feline footprints in the grass outside....