Monday, January 16, 2017

Changeling/Promethean: The More You Struggle

Yesterday I ran a Changeling: The Lost/Promethean: The Created one-shot, mostly to get Skip (+John's character) back to our Promethean chronicle.

So! We've got four characters. Ellie Graves, a Telluric changeling who was last seen here chasing werewolves; Skip, an Ulgan Promethean las seen here flying off a mountain; Whisperer, a Whisperwisp information broker; and Sabrina Rae, a Waterborn waitress.

We start off in New Haven, CT, at a diner. Sabrina works here, and Ellie works night stock in the grocery store across the street. Whisperer doesn't usually come to this side of town (near the university), but things have been weird lately.

To wit: The king (Mist) is missing, and he's not the only one. Changelings have been disappearing in the Hedge of late, and the Thorns have become close and dark. Some changelings report tiny glittering treasures on the path, as though luring the Lost off. Everyone's become a bit paranoid about it. So tonight, Whisperer is in the diner. Ellie walks in and sits with him, and they chat with Sabrina.

The changelings agree that Mist going missing is bad, and that this situation problem deserves some scrutiny. Whisperer isn't generally a fan of getting his hands dirty, but in this particular case, it's worth his while. They decide to go do some prep and meet back at noon to go a-Hedging.

During the interim, Whisperer makes some inquiries. He learns that some changelings have seen webs in the trees, which is, um, kinda scary. He also hears tell of a strange creature that apparently cannot be seen by the Fae or Hedge-creatures (though changelings can see it).

They do so, with some gear and some sandwiches, and Whisperer tells them what he's heard. This mysterious being was last seen near the truck stop outside of town, so they go there and enter the Hedge. Ellie uses Pathfinder to look for disturbances, and she finds a place where the Thorns have been beaten down into a path. Some of the thorns have a black, smoky substance on them that evaporates as the changelings watch. Sabrina calls into the hollow: "Hello?"

And Skip answers. "Hello?"

He emerges, and the changelings are confused; this thing looks human, but clearly isn't (because, well, it's here). They decide to take him out of the Hedge, and when they do, their miens fade, which confuses Skip some. They talk, and Skip tells them that the last he knew, he was on a mountain in Colorado, there was a storm, he went blind, something hit him, and he woke up in the Hedge. Whisperer takes this opportunity to use Visions of Strife to see Skip's most traumatic moment, and sees him getting stabbed and dying (it happened here). Whisperer also feels that he can't trust this thing; it's clearly not human.

They buy Skip some clothes and he goes off to change. Whisperer makes his concerns known, and the others concur; they aren't sure what this guy is, really, but he's not human and they've got other concerns. Skip comes back and they tell him he can be on his way, but he demurs - he wants to help them. And besides, he doesn't know where his friends are, and what if they're in the Hedge, trapped like he was? Ellie relents; the changelings need the help, and besides, they understand feeling trapped in the Hedge.

They open a new gateway (which earns Skip his projectio milestone: willingly reenter the Hedge), and they start towards New Haven. Indeed, the trees are dark and full of webs, and the path narrows to only one abreast. Up ahead, they see a hand on the path...Mists'. They have Skip break the thorns and pull him off, and Sabrina uses her token (a vial of water around her neck that can heal or put someone to sleep), mixes a drop with some coffee and gives it to him. He comes to enough to whisper "harvestman."

Ellie has heard of the harvestman, a Hedge-spider of immense proportions. They start going forward, to the nearest Hedge-gate...but then Ellie, in the lead, gets caught up in a net and yanked over the path. The harvestman tries to bite her, but she kicks at it. Skip, Sabrina and Whisperer climb up the tree to help, and Skip tries to punch it, but manages to miss on 15 dice, which is pretty absurd, but it happens.

Sabrina, however, is ready to go. The spider spits webbing at them, but she activates Armor of Elements' Fury and it falls off. Ellie does likewise (only her armor is sound). She falls to the path and the spider follows and bites her, poisoning her. Whisperer grabs Mist and uses Night's Subtle Distractions to confuse the spider, and Sabrina lands on it and kicks it, and Skip follows, knocking it off the path. The changelings run to the gate, and zip through into an office on campus.

Sabrina cures Ellie of the poison, and Mist starts taking volunteers to track down and kill the spider. Ellie, though, promised Skip she'd get him to his friends....but he isn't sure where they are. Since the man at the River of Death told Skip to look him up in New Orleans, that's where he decides to go, so Ellie takes him through the Hedge to the Big Easy. Almost immediately upon exiting, Azoth calls to Azoth. He's found his throng.

In a couple of weeks, we'll have that reunion! Ellie, meanwhile, heads home.