I'm a fan of Allie Brosh and Hyperbole & a Half in general, but this is one of my favorite of her stories because it highlights something I say to/about parents a lot: listen to your kids. Know what you agreed to. Do not agree to something because it'll shut the kid up in the moment, because kids will remember that shit. Best case scenario, you have to deal with a disappointed kid, but if you say "we're not doing thing" rather than "we'll do thing if you can do other thing," the kid will make every attempt to do other thing if first thing is important.
(That sentence was fucking salad, but what do you want from me, I'm not a professional writer.)
Anyway! This is obliquely related to gaming because it dovetails nicely with my GMing philosophy of never asking for a roll if I'm not prepared for the result. And we gamed on Monday, and the game was set at a park, which is spelled "parp" at that strip I linked OMG FULL CIRCLE.
Last session, the characters rescued Virgil from TFV, stole an RV, and headed to a park that Virgil had overheard had some Lurch sightings. Please note that I had completely forgotten those last two things happened, so they weren't in the write-up, so I didn't plan based on them. But that's fine.
So, we're at the park. Avalon takes the kittens and goes to sit under a tree. Feather starts looking around for signs of Prometheans. Grimm, a tracker, looks for signs of a campsite, and Matt goes looking for Pilgrim Marks and the like. Enoch and Virgil start working on the RV's engine, which seems to have something wrong with it (Enoch's player was out, so he get sidelined).
Skip stays in the RV, not wanting anyone to recognize him. He's dropped back to Ferrum so that he can create an Athanor. He carves scars onto his body and focuses his knowledge of excellence and endurance, and makes a Refinement Furnace - he can access the Transmutations of Corporeum and Vitality without fixing them. This in turns gives him some Vitriol back, which he uses to boost his Azoth (side note, Refinement Furnace seems really broken, but that's only because it is).
Meanwhile, in the woods, Matt finds a cat! The cat has sparkly Azoth-y eyes, so Matt figures it might be leading him somewhere, but as he follows it, it vanishes mid-leap. This correlates with a pop from the RV as Skip's Azoth increases, so Matt and Grimm keep looking. Grimm finds something weird - a section of a tree where the wood has been swiped like it was wet cement. He checks it with Vitreous Humour and confirms that there was a pilgrim mark (for "leave me alone") in there, but Matt notes that Alchemicus Transmutations don't work on living matter so what the hell.
Matt sees someone in the woods and follows, and Grimm follows him. Matt sees that guy is slim with black hair, but that's as much detail as he notes. Grimm looks at spirit-stuff and notes that spirits seem to be leaving the area, not fleeing exactly, but just shunning something. They need Skip for this shit.
Out in the main areas of the park, Feather tries to suss out where Lurch might be, but can't figure it. Avalon has been joined by a couple of little girls who saw the kittens, and then the girls' mother. Avalon and the mom chat a little, and Avalon realizes that this is a perfect nice and normal conversation to be having...which is totally not in line with her current Refinement. She tries to flirt a little, but before she can really get into it, Matt and Grimm appear from the tress and kinda interrupt things.
This does seem to throw the groove off. In fact, she notes that the woman seems to jump a stage in Disquiet immediately, and she packs up her girls and heads off. Avalon is confused - it shouldn't happen that fast. Avalon heads to the playground to flirt with some hot dads, just to check and see if she still can without Disquiet flaring. Meanwhile, Matt, Grimm, and Skip head back toward the woods. Skip turns on Ephemeral Flesh and talks to a deer-spirit, which acts skittish (it is a deer-spirit), but refers to something called an "All-Bane." This worries Skip; all spirits have Banes, but this thing is repelling everything. Worse, the deer-spirit says that Skip (rather, the throng collectively) brought it.
Avalon talks to some folks at the playground and gets some fairly normal responses, so it's not like she's just engendering Disquiet like crazy. The Prometheans fall back to the RV and talk a bit. They speculate that maybe TFV might have done something or put something in Virgil that's screwing with things. Someone brings up the weird person(?) that Enoch was talking to, Rock, and asks if that's who Matt saw. Matt confirms that it looked like it could have been him.
Skip goes to where people are working out and stretching and talks to a competition-spirit (conceptual spirits tend to be smarter). It confirms that the All-Bane came with the Prometheans and it's centered on the RV. Matt uses his Bestowment to grant Feather a vision, and Feather sees herself tossing a coin into a well. The coin bounces and echoes, but then the echoes get louder and a skeletal hand appears in the well. A man (well, a skeleton) crawls out, grows flesh and blood, and turns into Rock, and sits there smiling. Feather thinks about how she'll know when she's completed her current Role (Pilgrim), and realizes she'll know when she sees the end of the Pilgrimage. That seems a bit of a tautology to her, so this is probably worthy of further consideration.
Next time, when we have everybody.