Labs and Secrets
Magnus is in the meeting room/laboratory, apparently asleep but still periodically tweaking beakers.
Suzette has occupied Mikes’ bedroom, and if it wasn’t clean before, it is now (Hidden Housekeeper). She’s working out her nerves on the cleaning first, and then once that runs out she takes over the kitchen and cooks like a demon. She uses the food to bribe Mike into answering her relationship questions correctly.
Landon is still in a coma, and the doctor wants to move him to medical facilities or hire a full-time nurse. He seems to have magic burn.
Aldrick has nicked Landon’s sheets and took over another room, but he’s currently out trying to resurrect his friend with Agravaine. She lost the use of her legs, and her magic, but Death relenquished her (again).
Raleigh had her contract with Landon activated and was dispatched to Brimstone. Raleigh helped set up the defenses at BLA, as a pen tester.
Yanay is catching up with a giant stack of paperwork in Landon’s office, not being a lawyer she’s delegating that to her “bees”. She orders some Peruvian delivery.
Raleigh showed up ten hours early for their contract, to find a confused security guard at the front entrance. Yanay gives the word to send them up, and the irked guard sends Raleigh up unsupervised. Raleigh takes the opportunity to snoop everywhere. Leo has taken to the wheelchair, and had settled in to watch TV when the smell of Suzette’s cooking lured him out, encountering Raleigh on their snooping around unescorted. Leo makes a bit of effort to challenge Raleigh, but the siren smell of cooking distracts him. Raleigh pops her head into the kitchen to steal a cookie, and meets Suzette and Mike, before heading off to Landon’s office.
Raleigh is surprised to see Landon is missing, Yannay explains she’s filling in, gives Raleigh a room after a slighly confusing conversation.
Mike is sent out to buy white chocolate for Suzette; he heads out to the local bodega and finds it in progress of being robbed; a single gunman is screaming at the cashier. Mike’s first reaction is to snatch up the news stand and bash the robber with it (it’s not a Blades! weapon, but Mike still connects solidly with the gunman’s kneck). THe gunman crumples to the ground, severely injured. Mike begs the cashier to call 911, but unfortunately the clerk just faints. Mike hands over to the ambulance but claims to know nothing, and then rushes back to give the white chocolate.
Mike goes back and gives Suzette the chocolate. Yanay, meanwhile, is still snowed under by paperwork. It seems like whenever she finishes signing things, more paperwork has already materialized. In frustration, she takes a break to wait for her dinner, and complains in the kitchen about it all. Leo (having scarfed much of Suzettes cooking, that was left over from Raleigh anyways) volunteers to take a shuffle at it until the delivery shows up. He then steals food from Yanay’s dinner.
During dinner a note shows up, addressed to Mike in archaic handwriting and referring to him by his Portuguese name, claiming to know who killed his parents, and to meet them tomorrow at The Last Call, 4PM. Fortunately it doesn’t say to “come alone”.
Raleigh assembles 6 TVs and casts a ritual, but doesn’t get what they want. Instead, a man in a black suit (It’s Baalzebub again!) appears in one of the screens and steps out. They appear to know each other; unfortunately Raleigh’s failed ritual has “invited” Baalzebub in and bypassed all the wards. Baalzebub comments that it’s nice catching up but he’s really got to go, but they can come along if they want. Raleigh doesn’t want to let him go do whatever he’s doing, but apparently nobody wants the results of that. Baalzebub spots one of Raleighs cookies, steals it, and starts waltzing out the door of Raleigh’s room and down the stairs. Raleigh manages to get him to stay put long enough for them to get dressed again, and then chases him downstairs.
Baalzebub shows up in the kitchen, shocking Mike, Yannay, Leo (and Suzette is confused and alarmed). Baalzebub heals Leo, and finds it funny when Leo tells him to go to hell. Baalzebub then claims he knows who killed Mike’s parents, but isnt’ the one who sent the note; he then starts rummaging around in the fridge. Raleigh pulls a gun out of her pocket and puts it to Baalzebub head, ordering him to go. He produces photographs of the people who killed Mikes parents, and Mike’s father’s necklace, and drops them on the table. Mike’s parents were killed in a Satanic ritual, so this is somewhat plausible, but he’s not welcome and we manage to shoo him out. Ish. He walks off into the night, whistling Devil in a Blue Dress.
We tell Raleigh to not summon any more demon princes. Raleigh asks nervously if there are any other demon princes that have interest in us; Mike says no, but we know the archangel of death, and Yanay points out we know a demigod. Raleigh goes back to their room and has a quiet freak-out.
Mike checks out the photos, one is Baalzebub and Mike’s parents. The note has two names on it: Richard A. Coffey, Louie C. Smith, and an address for Louie. The necklace is Mikes father’s. It even smells like him.
Just past midnight. Yanay goes and passes out and sleeps until 10; Mike spends the night up and nervous, despite Suzettes best efforts to get him to sleep. She does get Mike to unwind a little. while Leo feels impossibly, fantastically good and can’t sleep because he’s not tired any more. He’s not hurt any more. His mind is stable again. He’s also highly suspicious of this. He tries to spend the night moving carefully, as if this will all go away at dawn or something, but ends up compulsively doing pushups and sit ups. And eating all the leftovers.
In the morning Raleigh checks Leo over to see if all that good health will evaporate and leave Leo mostly dead again, but it seems legit. Albrecht can smell the brimstone.
Raleigh is familiar with the Last Call and a regular, and goes for lunch, gladhanding and socializing. Yanay dresses up nicely and finds a table at the back of The Last Call aproaching 4PM. Leo ghosts in after Mike and finds a booth to observe. Raleigh distracts everyone from the PCs by being charming. Mike’s contact doesn’t show, but Baalzebub does. The devil unfortunately faceplants into the face-melty wards and gets into a confrontation with the bar staff, who don’t take any of his crap. Baalzebub leaves a photo for Mike and leaves in a huff. The photo shows Richard and Louie, and Al (the bartender) talks with Mike about it, filling in that Louie is a troll, and Richard is a big game hunter who uses magic rituals to keep himself alive. The two of them are a pair of goon thugs for hire, big trouble. Mike stays until kicked out by Al, the bartender, who’s closing early 7PM. Al asks Mike what it was all about, and sends Mike to his grandma, a seer.
Leo recognizes Richard as a vampire and an asshole. He can be hired by placing a classified ad for a hunting license; Leo looks the local papers to see if anyones trying to hire Richard, but doesn’t find anything. Mike calls the grandma, who knew his name already and that he was calling, and tells him to come over.
Raleigh is trying to find Billy Boone, a contact who can lead us to the troll.
Leo follows Mike stealthily, but grandma knows he’s there. Grandma advises Mike that his parents were intentionally murdered, and the liar we think is lying is not lying.
Past: Six of Cups (reunion, nostalgia, childhood memories, innocence)
Present: eight of pentacles (Apprenticeship, education, quality, engagement)
Future: the devil (attachment to material things, bondage, temptation, the literal devil).
The seer knows Mikes parents, and says they were good. Mike shows her the picture of his parents with Baalzebub, and she agrees thats them. It’s his father’s real necklace too. His father shines brightly from heaven, like Mike. His mother was a Thaumaturge, and is one of the very very vew to bind the devil, probably using the Cup of Jamishad. 40 years ago they came to the seer, and she set them on their path. Mike has to clean up the murder and then he has a choice.
If you see a blind man, tell him that his friend is still alive.
Leo asks what question Mike’s parents came with. She asks “Arthur Leonio Brienza Donato” if he really wants to know? Leo says yes, we need to know what happened to lead to their deaths, and my hunch is that this is directly part of it. She says that their question was how to defeat someone who she doesn’t want to name but we all know who it is, their answer was that they cannot, but their children can. Leo asks, children, plural? Yes. Were there… more people with them? Yes. Including Leo’s father, who she says is a better man than Leo gives him credit for. Leo comments that he’s returning the favor.
Find more answers at Lorna road.
What ever happens at Lorna road, I have to make her a promise, that he picks the right choice. She then gives us mojo bags, one for everyone. They should not be opened, as it lets the mojo out. They MIGHT be useful for the battery.
Raleigh is unable to find Billy Boone, frustratingly. It’s like he’s laying low big time. But Louie, on the other hand, is more locatable; he’s hanging around the Charlestown Bridge, in the North end of Boston.
Yanay checks on her paperwork (it hasn’t returned), she goes and checks on the battery, Magnus and Albrecht are working on it, arguing with each other. They bicker like old friends. Yanay is helpful with her alchemical knowledge, and gives Magnus the inspiration to fix it! He’s high as a kite, but apparently works very well like that. Yanay gets the call from Raleigh that she’s on the way to the Charlestown Bridge and to meet her there. Yanay rallies the troups and we all meet at the bridge.
8:30 PM we get to the bridge. There’s music coming from under the bridge. Trolls like gold, Raleigh doesn’t have gold but she has a CD of the Golden Oldies, which apparently was a good call as he’s listening to Louie Louie.
Raleigh “The last job you hired me on I got stabbed, a lot! Samurai guy, the blind guy, cut off an arm and a leg.” “The new one looks good?” “Yeah, it kinda does. OK what do you want?” “It’s not what I want, it’s what this guy wants? *points to mike, hides behind Leo*”
The troll gets up in mikes space and sniffs him, “You smell familiar. Have I threatened you before?” Mike hands the picture to the troll, “I’m looking for who killed my family”. Louie takes the picture, goes over to the other guy (who looks like an aryan poster child) and asks “Did we kill these guys?” “You idiot! He’s the kid of thsoe people! The kid we let live and shouln’t have!” The troll likes little kids, and not for dinner. Adults are whats for dinner (and dogs) but kids are cute.
Mike asks who hired them, and Louie starts answering but blood starts flowing out of is eyes, like the unselie sidhe did when we questioned them. Leo mentions that, and they bleed some more because their tells still count as violating the Unspeakable oath. No-one takes this oath voluntarily.
Mike seems to be holding it against their boss, not them.
Louie had held on to Mikes parents wedding rings, and gives them to Mike; the troll seems genuinely sorry. Mike is crushed and weeping as we escort him out, trying to stop Louie from giving him a hug.
We get back to Brimstone Law, and Baalzebub is sitting outside the Dunkin Donuts across the street, complaining about the coffee. Baalzebub offers to Mike to help him get vengence, and says he was Mike’s mothers friend. We all shove Mike inside before Baazebub talks him into doing something stupid.
Leo points out, a bound devil isn’t necessarily freed on the death of the person binding them. There can be a death clause to force the devil to perform one last deed for them. This, however, does not stop the devil from screwing lots of stuff up along the way – it’s highly unlikely that Mike’s mother left Baalzebub the taks of harassing Mike until he goes to the Dark Side, but it’s not like it’s forbidden.
Yanay uses her moonsight to spy on Richard and Louie, they leave from under the bridge in a 1975 puke green oldsmobile. Yanay remembers the license plate.
Mike sits in his room, staring at his parents rings and trying to figure out how he feels about everything.
Aldrick walks in and sits with Mike; he tries to console Mike, explaining that his parents aren’t gone until Mike dies. Mike needs to remember to think what his father would want him to do. The city needs good men right now.
After Action Reports/Game Notes
Lot of stuff happened this game. Mostly, Mike got to find out what happened to his parents – and it was a doozy. This also saw the introduction of a new player and his character. I was pretty happy with how the game turned out overall even though we missed one of the players (Travis). This was the mid-season turn around and we’re starting to get into the meat of the season arc.
“This Bitter Earth”
by Dinah Washington & Max Richter (closing song; Mike silently crying in the dark)