Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Chronicles of Ceteri - A-Team - S00E06 - Silent as the Dead, Part I


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 aka Al MacLannageal (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...
Three months have passed since the Conclave have closed Millicent's case file. Al-Shams has assimilated into the modern era nicely owing to his natural intelligence and a little cheating using magic and alchemy. Annie helps to set him up with all the various modern documents one needs to live in the current day and lets him stay at the Heights until he can get his act together, find a job, and get on his own. Frankie has jumped into the world of the supernatural both feet first and has taken to working with both Al and Annie at EHI in his off hours from the hospital.


Dance, Dance, Execution
Al MacLannageal, Annie Murphy, & Dr. Frankie Novella
Roslindale Boston Public Library
Wednesday, April 28th, 1999, 5:00 am
4238 Washington St., Boston, MA 02131


Annie is awakened in the night by the incessant ringing of her uncle’s cell phone. When she finally answers, it’s a old friend of her uncle's, Michael Rivera, a detective with the Boston Police Department looking for help from EHI. When Annie offers to help, he gives her an address and she gets Ronan to call in both Frankie and Al to meet them there.

Once at the address, Roslindale Public Library, they look around. She immediately spots two spirits, the Banshee of Boston1 and a young boy. She speaks with the young boy who doesn’t actually talk to her, instead he gives her a soulful look and then vanishes. Annie sends Ronan to follow the spirit back to wherever it’s going to see if that’s helpful and she speaks with the Banshee. The Banshee smiles at her and whispers in near-incoherent little gibbers about all the death she sees. Since the last time she was this active was right before the great fire in 1872, Annie is rightly concerned. Before she can ask her why she sees death, the crazy spirit shrieks and disappears up into the sky.

To the untrained eye, it looks like the librarian, Polly Windsor, died of a heart attack or aneurysm. After careful examination by Frankie, he comes to the conclusion that the librarian died of acute exhaustion. Frankie on a hunch removes one of the woman’s shoes revealing blistered and bloody flesh. After Al comes back from looking around the perimeter (and finding nothing) both him and Frankie speak at the same time saying “Dancing magic2.” With no satyrs, fiddlers, or other such faerie creatures nearby it’s a mystery on how the librarian could have literally danced herself to death.

Annie works a spell to locate the nearest bit of faerie magic and it leads her to an untitled mix CD in a nearby computer3. After a few minutes of examination, she realizes she’s out of her depth and calls Niallan Lughnon, the local fae ruler for help. Lan tells her to bring it over to his home near the Broken Hills/Slide Notch area in the Blue Hills Reservation.


Of Dwarves and Elves
Al MacLannageal, Annie Murphy, & Dr. Frankie Novella
Niallan’s Home
Wednesday, April 28th, 1999, 6:00 am
Chickatawbut Rd, Milton, MA 02186


Oddly enough, Niallan’s home seems to be on “full alert” with both dvergr (Norse dwarves) and sidhe guarding the gates and doors and patrolling the grounds. The PCs get let in right away and Lan is eager to see them. When Annie shows him the magicked disc he is highly concerned by what it means since most fae magic cannot be contained within an object like that – there is a reason that faerie-made artifacts take a long time to make and the disc seems to be almost an afterthought. 

Lan asks for more information about the case and something clicks within him. He tells them that this must be the work of Jan Reinhardt aka “John Raines” the local leader of the unseelie fae who is capable of such magic and just happens to work in the music industry as a part of his mortal persona. Lan becomes irrationally angry and reveals that several unseelie have been spotted lately in his duchy and at least one attacked one of his people. He tells Annie that the Duchy of Broken Promises is going to war with the unseelie led by Jan since he seems to be pushing into his territory.

Annie calmly informs him that that will not happen, but he counters with the one limit on her power: it’s an internal matter. Annie asks Lan for some time to solve the murders and bring Jan to justice. Despite his anger he gives her 48 hours – and then the fae go to war. She nods and leaves, heading back to her home on Murphy Island.


Nazis, I Hate Those Guys
Al MacLannageal, Annie Murphy, & Dr. Frankie Novella
The Shadowed Heights
Wednesday, April 28th, 1999, 8:00 am
7 Cathaoir Road, Murphy Island, Boston, MA 02171


Once back at the Heights, Al decides to try to create a tracking spell using the magical law of contagion. After some time he arrives from the alchemy lab with a local map of Boston blotted with several drops of wax. Some move hypnotically while others stay still. Al explains that he created a divination that allows them to track the other CD cases in real time while being able to lock on any particular one with but a touch to the wax on the map. Ronan and Frankie (mostly Frankie) look up John Raines on the internet and find that he’s an incredibly talented music producer though the ones he signs tend to have short, but brilliant careers. 

Annie meanwhile digs into her family archive and finds her grandfather Kaourig  Murphy’s World War II journal a picture of Jan dressed up in a Nazi SS uniform, his cruel and beautiful face captured by her grandfather’s fine hand. Kaourig  apparently had to bind Jan’s wounded leg and he wrote a account of it. Annie, decides to go deeper and uses her psychometric abilities and “reads” it. What she gets is a full account of her grandfather’s time during the war which plays out in her head quickly – though she gets the full experience. Once she’s back to herself she reads her grandfather’s final note on Jan: “The dangerous sonuvabitch nearly killed a nurse – beware he’s apparently the son of a Ganconar and a Leanan Sidhe4.”


Aftermath
The PCs continue researching Jan and trying to figure out how someone could bind fae magic like they’ve done to the CD. Lots of theories are bandied about.


After Action Reports/Game Notes
This one I'm proud to say stumped my players in some ways. They knew the root cause of what what was going on . . . but not how it was happening. I might have been too clever because it slowed the game to a crawl for almost an hour as they thought of ways the impossible could be possible. Being able to use the Banshee for the first time was great fun as she was something I'd created wholecloth specifically for the campaign.


Footnotes
1The legendary “Banshee of Boston” is not a actual bainsidhe (a form of undead fae), but a restless spirit murdered sometime in the 17th century. Since then she’s been the foreteller of doom and gloom for the city.
2Faerie “dancing magic” is the magical compulsion that some fae – namely satyers and phantom fiddlers – seem to be able to produce causing any mortal ear who hears it to dance to the tune until the musician stops or they die. Most faerie will stop just short of killing their audience, but some take a vindictive delight in killing others with music. Some faerie artifacts can produce the same effects, but take a long time to make and even longer for the user to master.
3Imbuing faerie magic into mundane objects is a craft left to the oldest and wisest among the Fae – the fact that someone could imbue such magic quickly and into such a cheap vessel should technically be impossible.
4Jan Reinhardt is what most sidhe noble’s call a “mixed blood,” that is a sidhe who’s heritage is not pure sidhe traced all the way back to one of the Tuatha de Dannan (blood purity is a huge issue among the nobility of the faerie courts). Since Jan’s father is a Ganconer or a “Love Talker” (the faerie equivalent of a male succubus), he was born with a startlingly powerful array of paranormal abilities to persuade, cajole, and coerce others. This combined with his natural magical and martial ability has made him a faerie warlord of not inconsiderable power.


Session Soundtrack
"Some of Adam's Blues" by The Quaker City Night Hawks (opening song)
"Killing Strangers" by Marilyn Manson featuring Tyler Bates
"Do You Feel It?" by Chaos Chaos
"Only the Good Die Young" by Billy Joel
"If I Had A Heart" by Fever Ray (closing song)

No comments:

Post a Comment