Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Promethean: Blast From the Past

Last night was Promethean. I seriously need to do some more game prep for this game. But I improvise well.

So! Last time, the characters were at the Shedd Aquarium and saw someone - an older man named Charles Rivers - die. They determined he'd been murdered (someone poisoned his inhaler), and, got shed of another throng of Prometheans. Grimm didn't trust them; Legion's talk about "neutralizing threats" worried them (and made Enoch think of Skip), but Feather pointed out that if Legion was following the Refinement of Bronze, he might be simply in protector mode.

The throng decided they'd go to Charles Rivers' apartment; it was nearby, and they wanted to know more about this mysterious man with a Pilgrim Mark tattooed on his hand. They took the El and Matt picked the lock on his door, and they stepped into an apartment full of books. Most of the books were old, many of them metallurgical or medical texts. They also found a full alchemy lab, too. Avalon looked at the materials (and Enoch at his notes), and realized that this guy was making various alchemical preparations, many of them to stave off aging or help him medically. They didn't find anything especially toxic, and nothing as deadly as the poison he'd died from.

Grimm found a strongbox, with a bit of black powder in the lid's groove. Avalon analyzed it, and realized it was rigged to incinerate the contents. She used Transformation to render the dust inert, and inside they found his important papers - lease agreement, car title, deed to a warehouse, and a handwritten diary. The diary detailed Mr. Rivers' Ramble. He was a Redeemed Promethean.

In addition to the details of several complex Refinement (Aes and Mercurius, which the characters knew about, plus one dedicated to "boiling away impurity" called Cobalus, which intrigued Enoch and worried Avalon). The diary said that Rivers had been created in Canada, and then worked his way through the US and into Chicago. He fell in love with the city, met many of the supernatural inhabitants and they knew him as...Calogero. Enoch was floored; he wasn't aware that it was possible to achieve the New Dawn and remember one's life as a Promethean.

Matt looked around for correspondence, and found Rivers' outgoing mail. There were several letters with "RTS" written on them, and the return address was from "POAC." Enoch recognized that as the Pristine Order of the Auric Chalice, a very rich and very exclusive group of alchemists.

The throng decided that they needed to figure out who killed Rivers, and what else they could learn. They decided to go to the morgue and talk to his corpse. Matt bluffed his way in, using his new ID as Matthew Paul Anderson, and let the others in the back. They found Rivers' body, and Enoch used Corpse Tongue to ask some questions. They learned that no one in Andrew White's throng had murdered Rivers, which was a relief.

Then they headed to the warehouse. Getting in took some doing; Matt picked the lock, but Grimm noticed cameras. Avalon used Soul in the Software, spat out a little boltfly, and disabled them. They went in, and Grimm realized a silent alarm had been tripped. Avalon disabled it using Transformation (just make the wires non-conductive!), but they weren't sure if it was too late.

They split up and, bolstered by Feather's Control Transmutation, searched the place. Enoch found close to a million bucks in large bills in a valise, but he kept it hidden from the others (though he did take the valise). Grimm found a Dodge Charger under a tarp, and wanted to take it, but Feather, Enoch, and Avalon dissented; the car wasn't his, and it'd be noticed anyway. Grimm also found an old record box with files written in some kind of cipher. One of the had a big X on the front, and the name "Max Maurey."

Feather, meanwhile, found a big marble chest, almost like a small casket. She heard something moving inside and called the others. Grimm charged Piercing Sight and looked in, and saw something lizard-shaped thrashing about. Avalon used Transformation ("running low, guys") and turned the marble to glass (it was thick enough that it wasn't brittle).

The thing inside looked like a human spinal column with part of a rib cage, a shrunken head, and fleshy, flipper-like arms. Enoch identified it as a Pandoran, and figured it had become active because of their Azoth - once they left, it would go dormant. Avalon opined that it would be kinder to put the thing out of its misery; it had to be in pain, hungry all the time. The others weren't interested in lifting the lid and fighting it, so Enoch Firebranded the pilgrim mark for "Pandoran" into the chest, and they left. As they did, they teamwork'd a Stealth roll (Many Hands Make Light Work), and left so stealthily they might as well have been invisible (seriously, it was like 11 successes).

They headed back to Enoch's apartment to look over their finds and try and crack the cipher. So we'll see where that takes them next time.