Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Last Shout Before GenCon: Monsterhearts

Had hoped to do a chargen post, but I don't think it's happening. Instead, the Monsterhearts session from the other day.

Recall that last time, we started off Season Four with a class schedule, and at the end of the day, everyone decided to go and see The Book of Life. After the movie, they decided to head out to Scoop, this little ice cream place. They sat there eating their ice cream and chatting; Miguel used she's not there to be able to order and interact a little. And then they saw smoke from across the street - something big was on fire.

Briar, being Briar, started heading over and asked the others if they were coming. Rook called 911 and got the fire department on the way. When the students got across the street, they found that it was an abandoned house in flames, but there were people standing around watching it burn. They were hairless - no eyebrows, even - and pale and utterly silent. Their eyes were pure white. ("See," said Rook to Romy, "this is what you get into if you hang out with us.")

Skylar decided to check the house, and used dissipate to walk through the fire. She found a corpse in the middle of the house, singed but not burned, surrounded by some bottles that smelled of gasoline. Had this person started the fire? Skylar saw something move out of the corner of her eye and followed it - and found clothes matching the ones the corpse was wearing, walking around like someone invisible was inside. It reached out for her, and she tried to run away, but failed. The creature touched her, and she became her Darkest Self.

Meanwhile, outside, Briar tried to talk with the strange, silent people. They looked over her shoulder and "spoke" to each other, but made no sound. She manipulated an NPC to figure out how to communicate, and touched one - and everything went white, like a photo negative. She could see them more clearly, and hear them. It told her that they didn't start the fire (go ahead, make the joke, we did), they were just watching it. She asked why, and it said she'd know soon. She realized her hair was starting to fall out, and she let go, popping back into visibility.

The fire department arrived and, apparently not able to see the strange beings, hosed the building. When the firelight died, the beings vanished. Skylar was invisible and unable to communicate, so she wrote her name in the grass in soot, revealing to Romy what she really was. She reappeared, and told Romy how she died (giving her the morbid condition). She also tried to turn her on, but failed...Mikaela, Romy's head-voice, was immediately smitten and pressed Romy to get with Skylar.

Cassi invited everyone back to the pool house to talk about this. When they arrived, Cassi's mom was waiting for them and told her to have everyone out by 11:45; this was new, but after the year that Cassi had last year, it wasn't unexpected. They talked, and Miguel used she's not there to whisper to Romy (who successfully holds steady). No one was sure exactly what they'd seen - was the invisible person a ghost? What were the hairless things? All they knew for sure was that something was going on and Romy seemed to be taking it more in stride than would be expected.

The phone in the pool house rang, and a voice asked for Skylar. It said it wanted to be with her, and that it had seen her at the house. Why Skylar, they wondered? And how did it get the number?

Next day, Romy, Rook, and Cassi went out to the ecology class field trip. They did their worksheets, and Cassi and Rook laid down on the dunes to snog a bit. One of their classmates, Becky Thompson, saw them, turned to leave, and fell and broke her leg. Rook went down to help her, and Cassi went back to get the teacher. Becky pointed out people standing around her, also hairless, but with black eyes. They watched as Becky cried in pain, held hands and breathed heavy. Rook called Cassi and told her to hurry.

Cassi brought Mr. Patrick out, and he called for help. Rook manipulated an NPC and convinced him to get a Life-Flight; he was convinced Becky was going to die without help. Worth nothing; Mr. Patrick couldn't see the strange, mute people, and walked right through them.

Back at school, Briar went into the bathroom between classes and heard a fight between two girls. She exited and saw that their reflections were watching them, and the reflections eyes were silver. Briar shut them down (giving them the cowed condition) and they left; the reflections stared at Briar a bit, and then reached out for her reflection. Briar ran away.

Romy went to the bathroom, and Skylar followed to creep. She said Romy's reflection with the silvered eyes, and it looked at Skylar and said, "kiss her." Skylar, creeped out, left.

The characters regrouped in drama class, where Mrs. Law told them to get audition pieces ready for Monday. At lunch, they went to the library to hit the books, and learned that these creatures were lonesome spirits from the Void. Miguel used she's not there to talk them, but always managed to get distracted before he could answer any questions about why he was normally unnoticed. They could see them because they'd touched death in some way, or were otherwise apart from the world. This, again, left the question of Romy - and Mikaela wouldn't shut up about banging Skylar. She said that if Romy had sex with Skylar, she'd tell Romy all about those creatures - some of which she called "hexmutes."

When told about the incident in the bathroom, Romy asked Mikaela, but Mikaela (who also insists that the others not know the truth about her) said that she'd kind of lost some time, there. So was it really Mikaela who'd stared back Skylar? Something riding Mikaela's mind? And how many different lonesome spirits are there, anyway?

End credits: "Country Death Song," Violent Femmes.