Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Chronicles of Ceteri - A-Team - S00E04 - Stone Dead, Part IV


Dramatic Personae
  • Annalise "Annie" M. Murphy (played by +Ann LS): Exorcist extraordinaire, sorcerer, psychic, twice cursed and twice blessed monster hunter. Ex-Gladius Dei. The Murphy. Talks to God, sometimes He talks back.
  • Dr. Francesco "Frankie" Novella (played by +Troy Loy): Doctor and accidental hero. Surgeon with a shotgun. Unflappable. Logical. Sometimes literal. No sense of humor. Always capable.
  • Sir Al-Shams mac Lannageal (played by +Christian Gelacio): Man out of time. The Last Templar Knight. Warrior. Scholar. Sorcerer. Carries the Blood of Solomon and is the benighted grandchild of Brigid.

Previously...
The PCs were preparing to go into the Boston Underground otherwise known as "H-Town" or "Hadestown." They'd brewed some alchemical items to trade in the Goblin Market to gather information on Millicent, while Annie sent Ronan with Erasmus (a custos) to see about the breakout from the Donjon and to punch information out of any inmates he can find.


Three Weird Chicks
Sir Al-Shams mac Lannageal, Annie Murphy, & Dr. Frankie Novella
Hades Town
January 27th, 1999, 9:30 pm
Boston Underground, Somewhere


The traditional price for a bridge troll to open up the Autumn Road1 to is a goat. Not having one on hand, Annie whips up a quick batch of goat curry and along with the others saw the Wachusett troll. After using the Autumn Road to reach Hades Town they begin searching for anyone who knows anything about Millicent, but turn up nothing. When Nimbus runs away from Annie and into another tunnel she follows and after looking at one another for a moment so do both Al-Shams and Frankie. Eventually, after going down multiple tunnels they reach a dead end with three crones stirring a cauldron that an eerie green light is escaping from.

Annie whispers softly “What are these. So wither'd and so wild in their attire, That look not like the inhabitants o' the earth, And yet are on't? Live you? or are you aught That man may question?” the three women laugh and begin to speak, though when they do speak they finish one another sentences. For a drop of Annie’s blood, they offer to tell her what she wants to know – where Millicent is.

Reluctantly she agrees and as they prick her finger with a silver needle and a single drop of blood falls into the cauldron which bursts into green fire and Annie watches her life, past, present, and future flash by in a blur of images before it settles on one in particular. Annie standing in a raincoat and crying in the rain. They tell her that Millicent will be at the Boston Commons and Al-Shams offers each three gold coins which they accept, winking at one of the crones she titters a laugh at him. An odd roaring sound is heard and when they turn around, they see a creature resembling a cross between a maggot and a bear trundling its way past them, distracting them for a moment the witches and their cauldron disappear. Leaving Hades Town, they head to downtown Boston.


Hellfire + Demons = Total Freaking Disaster 
Sir Al-Shams mac Lannageal, Annie Murphy, & Dr. Frankie Novella
Boston Common Baseball Field
January 27th, 1999, 9:30 pm
131 Tremont St. Boston, MA 02111

Ronan calls Annie to inform her that one of the people they put away before she left Boston, Ibn Diggleton was freed by Millicent when she performed her little jailbreak. While Diggleton isn’t a heavyweight in the magic department. He’s a warlock with two talents: summoning demons and hellfire. Lots and lots of hellfire. Left to his own devices he could cause a helluva lot of trouble for the custos. MacAllister gates them both in and though Annie offers to set the custos’ broken arm he declines and they get to work.

After knocking on the doors of a few apartments and getting weird looks from the locals, the park’s ley line bursts open and a dozen cruciati demons burst forth and rush towards the PCs. The PCs hold their own and Ronan frees himself from a warding that Diggleton slapped down on him and in a fit of temper flies into riastradh2 and rips it apart with his bare hands as he gets bigger and taller and rends a cruciati demon in half. The fighting is intense, but the PCs manage to banish the demons, bind Diggleton for the custos, and stop the warlock from “cracking” the ley line3.


Aftermath
Unfortunately, none of them notice Millicent gate in during the confusion and putting a knife into Al-Shams heart. The air hisses from his lungs and he breathes no more.


After Action Reports/Game Notes
Normally, the death of a player character four games in would seem like a disaster, but I fully admit it was kind of preplanned. Sometimes you need a death to show that actions have consequences or to wrap up a particular plot thread. That's just a hazard of storytelling. The way Christian skirted it (see the next session) was rather masterful and he had a myriad number of ways to do what needed doing.


Footnotes
1The Autumn Roads are a ancient series of interconnected gates that can lead to anywhere in the Inlands or Outlands, if you know the way. No one knows who made them, but the most popular theory is that the first Iron Exodus from Faerie was preceded by thousands of gates being opened nearly instantly and thanks to a quirk in the magic they remain “semi-open” and can be exploited by those who know how.
2“Riastradh” means “warp spasm” in Gaelic and was said to be possessed by the ancient warrior Cú Chulainn and countless others. Warriors who possess it can temporarily assume a more dangerous form for combat – but it comes with a price. When in the gripes of riastradh the warrior rages out of control killing all enemies in his path. In Ronan’s case, he becomes taller (over 9 feet) and gains a almost leonine cast to his face along with claws and teeth to match. His strength in this form is such that he can flip cars with ease and rend concrete with his bare hands.
3Insane or extremely powerful sorcerers (or both!) can attempt to fracture a ley line, thereby “cracking” it open and releasing all of its energy at once. It sours all nearby ley lines (making them difficult to draw on) and causes the cracked line to go dormant – usually after something bad has happened. Haunted houses are often the site of “cracked” ley lines that have long since gone dormant.


Session Soundtrack
"Underground" by David Bowie (opening song)
"Predictions" by Suzzane Vega
"Jailbreak" by AC/DC
"Animal I Have Become" by Three Days Grace
"God's Gonna Cut You Down" by Johnny Cash (Battlefield 1 Remix) (ending song)

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