Sunday, January 4, 2015

Monsterhearts: Brief and Brutal

That's more like it. :)

Last time, you might recall, Genesis had just zipped out of class following her brother enrolling at the same school. Her brother, Bastion, went and sat down next to Briar. Briar introduced him to the other PCs (and Austin), and he revealed he was Genesis' brother. Erika went to find Genesis (she was in the bathroom) and talked her down a bit.

Genesis, for her part, was happy to see Bastion, but afraid for him - the surface world was dangerous. She came back to class and everyone chatted a bit. Bastion was just as naive and clueless as Genesis had been during season one (Genesis: "Was this what it was like with me?" Briar: "Yes."). He'd left his pelt in his locker, and revealed to the others that if someone takes a selkie's pelt, they can make the selkie do things (which the other PCs hadn't really known).

They talked a bit out the family; Bastion mentioned that their father had been to the surface in his younger days and thus couldn't return, but that their mother never had. Genesis paused a bit, wondering what kind of shenanigans her father had gotten up to on his "semester at land."

Classes progressed. During choir, Bastion sang scales and the whole school stopped to listen. Genesis told him he'd probably need to fend people off with a stick. He seemed confused.

Psych class rolled around, and Genesis warned Bastion about Mr. Baron - he was trouble and he had her pelt. And then he walked in and greeted Bastion; apparently he'd helped Bastion get classes set up and so forth (which explained how it had happened so easily).

Cassi gazed into the abyss looking for information on the lighthouse. She saw Baron sending Genesis to the lighthouse, with a being of smoke with glowing eyes standing behind him, watching. But when Genesis got there, she couldn't get in - the door was locked.

The lesson in class that day was on split-brain surgery, and Cassi went up and asked Baron some inane question about seeing a lighthouse out of one eye and what part of the brain would perceive it. Baron said, "Oh, the lighthouse. I didn't think of that. Thanks. Extra credit." Cassi sat down, realizing that she might have fucked up.

Bastion left during class to get his pelt, but didn't come back. After class, Skylar and Genesis went to look for him. Skylar found him in the pool - in sea lion form. She told him that changing forms at school might be unwise, and he changed back and went to dry off. Skylar attempted to turn him on, but failed, and Genesis arrived to get everyone to lunch.

Meanwhile, Erika went to Dora's old sanctum, and contacted Chantico, using her strings attached move to find a way to get Genesis' pelt back. The goddess said that it would give her the means to summon Balam, a servant of hers, that night. Erika found a slim, leather book in her locker with instructions.

At the lunch table, the characters discussed their predicament. They knew that Baron had Genesis' pelt, and they knew that this lighthouse contained...something related to Rook. Cassi wanted to get it back, and drew a picture of the lighthouse from her visions. They all went to the library to go to the books, and learned where the lighthouse was - not far off the coast, and at low tide it was possible to walk there (though it was difficult). They decided to go out to the beach; Ash, Briar, and Cassi would go check out the lighthouse, while Erika would perform her spell and Austin, Genesis, Bastion, and Skylar stayed with her.

At the lighthouse, Ash used casting the bones for Cassi. They saw the key open the lighthouse door, and a blast of frigid air hit them. Inside were shelves made from ice, holding dozens of crystal eggs. Each one, as Cassi reached for it, revealed Rook trapped inside...but which one was the real Rook?

Further down the beach, Erika built a fire and cast her spells. A jaguar made of smoke appeared. She told it that someone had Genesis' pelt, and they wanted it to retrieve it. The cat pounced on Bastion and bit into his skull.

Erika tried to shut it down, but failed. The cat crushed the back of Bastion's head, mortally wounding him. Genesis used ocean's breath, and the ocean responded, exploding up from behind them and smashing a wave down on the beach. It took Balam and the fire out to sea, but Bastion was dying. Genesis tried to hold steady and failed; another wave crashed on the beach, inflicting more Harm. Erika tried to hold steady, too, but failed and was swept out to sea.

Down the beach, Briar saw the wave and ran, realizing that Austin was with them. She got there and called for him, but found him down the beach, nearly drowned. She held steady and helped him up and get back to the others.

Skylar, having seen Erika get pulled out to sea, used dissipate to fly through the water to find her. Skylar held steady, and carried Erika back to shore (and got to mark Experience for saving her, since she's the infernal).

On the way back, Briar heard someone call her name. Mr. Baron stood there on the edge of the beach, and held Bastion's backpack out to Briar. She lashed out physically and knocked him down.

On the beach, Genesis tried to comfort her dying brother. He had a pelt clasped in his hand - hers. "Traded," he gasped, before dying. Genesis knelt there on the beach, weeping over Bastion, and Ash came to comfort her.

Baron picked himself up and handed Briar the backpack. In it was Bastion's pelt. "I brought this out of respect for him," said Baron. "He traded it to me for Genesis' pelt."

"If you hadn't taken her pelt, this wouldn't have happened," Briar spat back.

"How far back shall we go?" said Baron. "If Rook hadn't stolen my key, this wouldn't have happened." Briar didn't have a good answer for that. "Before you go trying to open that lighthouse, you need to get the smoke off your fingers. That thing - you know her as 'Chantico' - has her hooks in you all." And with that, he turned and walked off.

(Fun fact: Briar bought Unholy Allies this session.)

Back on the beach, the characters stripped off Bastion's clothes and wrapped him in his pelt. A woman, clad only in a pelt, walked up out of the water - their mother. She knelt down and looked at Genesis, who said she had some things to take care of here, but then she'd be home. And then their mother picked Bastion up and carried him back into the water.

End Credits: "Time," Tori Amos (originally by Tom Waits)