- Amos M. Humiston (Played by Christopher D): The Linguist and Librarian. He is the brains to the rest of the group’s brawn; but by the same token, he’s slow and cautious compared to the other Orphans, preferring not to charge forwards until he has the answers that he’s looking for. Those same answers that he more than happily provides the rest of the group when they turns to him about the more esoteric aspects that they’re working with and against. Recently Amos has nearly completed his double Masters in Library & Information Science Archives and History and has also managed to get a rather special job lined up. He has also learned from others that he hold the potential to be a Sorcerer which if unlocked would be able to enhance his already considerable talent with ritualistic magic. Tagline: “True alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.”
- Devin Broadhurst (played by Rob D.): There was a blurb here the entire time. But it disappears every time you look away from the screen. Tagline: “You saw it, but forgot it.”
- Gabriel MacAlister (played by Douglas Cole): Built like the natural athlete he is, he is tall, strong, and solidly good-looking, but deeply scarred from much combat. He’s missing his lower leg, which he lost fighting zombies. It is capped by a carbon fiber prosthetic that doesn’t seem to interfere much with his activities. A quiet and hard-working man, always ready to lend a hand with any work, which he will do without complaint or obligating the other person to respond. He is an expert martial arts teacher, and has been following in the footsteps of a carpenter for some time now. Emphatically not a pushover or weak personality, but also not one to purposefully show off. Has been in many horrible places and seen many horrible things; he’s a bit of a compulsive planner as a result, as well as always feeling that most folks don’t really know how lucky they are. He was cursed to carry a magical sword for a while, and gave into its Wrath before it was parted from him magically. He’s since given it up, in exchange for unknown burdens. Tagline: “To serve others is the highest calling; to protect the meek the noblest endeavor, and our works are judged by the effort that went into them”
- Kamali Blackshear (played by Merlin A.): Kamali is a young man in his late teens. He is healthy and is of mixed ethnicity of Caucasian South African and native South African. He is a determined youth who believes in a justice of his own, likening himself to the knight of the round table whom he has read deeply into. Just as they stood against the darkness of their age so too does Kamali seek to do the same. For his sister, for his friends, and for the world. Tagline: “A knight without a sword carrying a faith nobody believes.”
- Lorenzo De Modouco (played by Christian G.): A man with movie star looks and a voice that belongs on the radio. Slowly coming to grips with the fact that he isn’t exactly human, but a “Lupus Dei” – “Wolf of God” – otherwise known as a Benandanti. He’s still cheery and always trying to make others happy, but has become a shrewd student of human behavior, which he uses for the benefit of the rest of his team. Lorenzo’s recently joined the Boston Fire Department as a volunteer as a means to get access to places he normally shouldn’t be able to go as well as medical gear and information that might not be available to the public. He’s become a master of spear fighting and like the rest of his brothers is a highly capable combatant. Tagline: “You can take me to the gates of Hell, but I won’t back down and I won’t be turned around.”
Previously . . .
The Battle of Dogtown culminates in a final standoff. The teams have been set and matched as they’re the only thing that stands between the Tower of Babel and a horde of vampires outnumbering them by at 4 to 1. Setting up base at the foot of the Tower they try to make preparations for the undeads’ arrival, the aurora borealis emanating off of the tower lights up the surrounding rain clouds that have been summoned and blessed, its throwing off enough light to see across the remains of Dogtown.
Thanks to Leo, they managed to construct a good number of improvised barricades with rather pointy obstacles strapped to them, the teams barely manage to get them pushed into place when Gabe decides to go snorkeling in a nearby ditch full of Holy Rain Water to the north to get behind a group of attacking vampires as they cross it. Devin fiddles with his ray gun to allow it to fire UV beams, a much more effective weapon against vampires, and then hunkers down to the west of the town behind barricades alongside Amos.
Stuck Between a Vamp and A Stake Place
Amos, Devin, Gabe, Kamali, and Lorenzo
The Heart of Dogtown
Friday, May 5th, 2000, 2:00 am
Dogtown, MA, USA
The battle starts simply with Gabe rising from the ditch like Swamp Thing and, calling down divine fury, starts to smite the closest vampires to him as Kamali starts laying down some suppressing fire with a minigun aiming at those coming from the SW, catching one with a round of silver causing it to implode a little. But flat plane that is Dogtown is only littered with basements and no real impediment to the vampires that rush the teams. Gabriel takes the brunt of their attack, being in the center of a group of them, he slices through one automatic weapon and then into the vampire itself causing it to explode in Holy Fire, unfortunately there’s a group of them that aren’t too eager to get close to him and he ends up taking serious injury from some of the vampires’ automatic weapons.
The vampires that head from the NW encounter Lorenzo’s spear and the barricades, both equally pointy and both equally deadly to the vamps as one of them finds out as they fail to mantle the barricade and impale themselves. Gabe still acquits himself admirably with the wound, he uses the healing power of the shield that he was given and gets up and slices into them again, wounding and killing more.
Leo, on the eastern side of the tower, fires off shots at approaching vampires while on the western side, Devin pops in and out of cover firing his raygun causing several vampires a rather bad sunburn they only have to worry about for a second or two. Yanay channels her goddess and throws moonbeams at the vampires closest to her, frying them just as effectively as Devin’s raygun. Agrivaine, on the north side, breaks open the Hellfire and the fiery aura catches multiple vamps on fire while Mike strikes at those that managed to escape the flame, killing them.
Lorenzo move to stab a vampire, but due to rule of drama it manages to dodge the blow. To the south, the vampires are too close to Kamali for the minigun to be of any use which forces Kamali to draw Excalibur and activates its Sunfire aura burning away the undead close to him. While Yanay is still spellslinging, a vampire manages to finally get over the barricades and slams her down to the ground and when a flurry of fate and luck happens, it turns out that fate wins and she’s still grappled by the vampire who she then threatens to blow (away) next turn.
As the rest of the horde approaches, it becomes either a game of firing at the teams or trying to grapple them down. Gabe gets the most bullets heading his way while two go for Devin and Amos, one dead on the barricade spikes but the other gets by over the body of his comrade and manages to slam down hard on Amos. The others fare better on their defense than Amos with Lorenzo cartwheeling away from his attacker, another vamp impales himself on the barricade, more come against Gabriel’s smiting prowess and Agrivaine’s hellfire but Kamali loses Excalibur when one tenacious vamp manages to knock it away before perishing.
A greater twist of fate allows Devin to kill the vampire on top of Amos, setting it on fire. Not exactly the best result for the one underneath a burning corpse, but it’s better than the possible bloodsucking that he could have been subject to, but the force has knocked Amos back into the tower for a split second and a giant beam of green light erupts from his chest briefly and thanks to his years moving heavy books he’s able to push the burning corpse off of him.
But that’s not enough fire for some people as Agrivaine, Gabriel, and Yanay throw out more Hellfire, Holy Fire, and Moonfire at the vampires while Kamali resorts to beheading them with a machete, Leo destroys what he can with a shotgun and Mike pulls out some divine intervention to heal Gabriel who in turn grabs the sword he dropped a second earlier and vanquishes the last vampire of the group besieging him. Unfortunately there’s still more to come as Lorenzo continues his fight and Leo is forced to shift into a werewolf to tear another vampire apart. Devin pops out again and fires off another shot from his ray gun.
It was this moment that Amos was waiting for, using the information he gathered from Yanay’s casting of All in One to know when the best moment would be to use his last Warding charm. Drawing the same power from the amulet that he did back in the subway tunnels against the ghouls, it fires off a thirty yard reactive warding that causes the remaining vampires, weak from the holy rain and battle, to burst into flames. But this also backlashes against Amos as he fails to keep things in order and faints as the scenery shifts, it goes from a ruined town to a large plain, full of ruined castle. The team within the warding being those that are transported along.
Kamali only needs to take a glance at the surroundings to know where he is, a former enjoyer of the mythos of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, he knows that they’ve somehow managed to get to Camelot in the center of the heart of the labyrinth.
And there Kamali is without Excalibur.
Stuck Between a Vamp and A Stake Place
Amos, Devin, Gabe, Kamali, and Lorenzo
The Heart of the Labyrinth
Friday, May 5th, 2000, 3:00 am
The Ruins of Camelot Castle
Getting their bearings, and worrying slightly about the unconscious Amos, they drag him with them into the foyer of the ruined castle in front of them. Walls crumbling and a rather suspect wooden bridge lead them into the ruins. Yanay is able to tell that somehow the Labyrinth has become fused, at least temporarily with the real world causing her to question what exactly it was that Amos did in repairing the Tower of Babel.
Leaving the unconscious Amos alone in the foyer at the discovery of a presence inside the castle itself, they charge in to find one of the most unlikely acquaintances that the only met barely a week prior. Mr. Friendly, proprietor of the occult store that helped seal the curse on Gabriel’s former blade. Apparently he was the person, nay, Vampire Master behind the week long assault against the major players in Boston as well as the man that caused the deaths on Lorna Road. And when asked what he was doing there, he replied that he was there to kill Kamali and take Excalibur to unlock the Tower of Babel.
Mr. Friendly was disappointed.
He was quite disappointed to learn that Kamali didn’t have the sword with him, which led to him doing the most logical thing of trying to kill everyone with an explosive fireball knocking down and burning almost everyone. But that wasn’t enough for him as he also pulls out a rapier and a main-gauche, a rather scary looking pair of weapons, authentic and, in a way, battle worn. Mike is the first one up, healing himself a bit from all the burning while Lorenzo throws his spear that Friendly neatly catches only a moment after sheathing his blades, identifying it as the Spear of Arthur with the practiced ease a centuries old Vampire could practice. This show of force doesn’t deter Leo, still in werewolf form from charging in and trying to take a bite out of the vamp.
The rest of the group struggles to their feet while Agrivaine breaks open a charm that brings the group back to full health, he managed to have the foresight to see that the group would need it, especially with what was about to happen. Friendly dodges Yanay’s moonbeam and pirouettes past the large werewolf and stabs through Gabriel, Lorenzo, Kamali, and Agrivaine though Kamali manages to hold onto the spear saving Agrivaine from the pain, but the spell Friendly used doesn’t help any more as it makes combat harder for the team.
Somewhere back in the Foyer, Amos wakes up as Lorenzo starts to have a heart attack. The team is having a tough time with the Vampire Master and it begins to become obvious why the general advice for fighting is vampire master is simply: “Don’t”. Prepared with conditional spells that go off when he’s struck and wearing armor that can resist even strong attacks from the weapons given by the Lady of the Lake. It’s only once Leo, a werewolf, takes action by lunging into Mr. Friendly from nearly 50 feet away does he take some damage. The vampire, being too proud and overconfident to believe a mere dog could harm him stands still and only tries to parry the 500lb ball of muscle.
This was not a smart move.
Friendly’s rapier breaks on the werewolf’s skin and he’s knocked backwards while Devin tries to shoot the vampire with his raygun, sadly missing each shot. Back in the foyer, Amos realizes that the connection from All in One to the rest of the Orphans, and Yanay, is still open and calls upon his knowledge to give them a bit more of an edge, sharing the bonus with those actually in the fight.
Back and forth, with Agrivaine and folks to fighting with all they have and trying to circumvent Friendly’s protective spells, it isn’t until Leo makes another move that Friendly starts panicking. This time he jumps nearly a quarter of a football field at the vampire badly hurting the blood sucker this time. Even trying to flee through the castle doesn’t deter the fuzzy ball of death from leaping once more, Friendly had badly misjudged how far away he needed to be to be safe.
Amos manages to stand up and starts moving towards the battle instead of laying on the ground and just sucking wind. As the group starts to surround the vampire, Leo tears out Friend’s Achilles tendons rendering him stuck on the ground. It’s time for a BBQ and the main ingredients is stakes. Amos, in the meantime wanders up behind Yanay calling out softly for help.
The vampire is writhing to death with werewolf holes and sword and spear stabs in the next room as Yanay turns to face Amos, and what she gets is a stab directly to the heart from a mind controlled companion. Friendly managed to use the connection between the Orphans to follow it back to Amos in the other room, and with his sanity badly damaged it wasn’t hard to take over the weakened Amos.
As the vampire finally dies, Agrivaine barely manages to keep Yanay alive through a spell, Halt Death and she’s alive though stunned from the near death experience. Amos, on the other hand, isn’t so lucky. He was a dead man walking almost three hours ago, the moment that he repaired the Tower of Babel, it was just sheer willpower keeping him going for so long, but at this last action it finally broke and the last thing that the teams see of him is of him deteriorating into a green light, blinding everyone. When their vision clears, they find themselves back in Dogtown, seeing Nimue entering the Tower and Vivian beaten all to hell and back being dragged behind her. Now it’s Aldrick, Trish, Myriam, and other survivors of the battle surrounding them.
With a word, Nimue causes the Tower to disappear, crumbling back into reality as stones of the Tower combine to form a large stone slab, a large stone table. The Round Table of legend as Excalibur rises and embeds itself into the middle of the stones. Olivia runs up to Agrivaine, angrily demanding if he know what he did. Apparently the Labyrinth needs a warden and with both Nimue and Vivian gone, they need replaced and not just by normal humans.
Aldrick and Trish step forwards, Aldrick is a demigod, son of Thor while Trish is a true, classical Greek Muse and therefore considered divine and powerful enough. Despite Yanays protests and Aldrick’s lingering looks, they both step through the portal to take on the position of warden of the labyrinth. Trish, on the other hand, is openly crying and holding onto Agrivaine, gifting him a lock of her hair and a rather long kiss before she leaves. Aldrick, on the other hand, steps back through, unable to leave without giving Yanay a gift, pulling a ring off his arm and pushing it into her hands before he goes back in along with Miriam, Moyra, and Olivia.
At the end, the green cracks in the world fade as though they were never there, but there’s proof enough around them. Two teams suffering from loss, a broken landscape, casualties on both sides, a round table and a sword in a stone and a Boston that is a long ways from recovering from what happened this week.
And as the dawn rises over the east coast, the curtain closes to season one of Ceteri.
After Action Report (GM)
And there we go. That’s the end (for now). Everything wrapped up nice in tight. A PC died (Amos), but might be able to come back thanks to another player having access to a spell to raise the dead (Agrivaine as played by
Travis). I scared the crap out of the players with the penultimate fight (the 45 vampires with assault weapons) and then made it worse with the elder vampire. The former was’t as bad as it could have been thanks to the vampires resisting their instincts to berserk and go for blood. Barricades with stakes on them made for stupidly effective anti-vampire measures. The latter resulted in the players wondering if a TPK was coming up. The elder vamp was moving around 60 mph, had skills over 20, and multiple attacks per round. Oh. Also. Magic. And a crapton of conditional spells overlaid in such a way as to make attacks against him a dangerous or outright lethal proposition. It cast spells, took weapons from PCs, and made four attacks (on average) a round. Combined with the ability to parry like crazy, dodge, etc. they couldn’t really land a hit.
I misjudged one thing: Leo (Emily’s character) and his ability to leap slam. The first one sucked and resulted in knockdown. When the vamp RAN (blurred really) I thought I moved him far enough away. I hadn’t. Leo slam leaped
again, knocked him down, and then on his turn failed his kip up roll. Spending that ONE turn allowed Leo to do a crazy deceptive attack with his bite, succeed, and grapple the vamp’s neck. FROM BEHIND. That basically ended it. Gabe (Doug’s character) stabbing the thing (another critical) through the heart and keeping his sword there, along with Mike (Andre’s character) chopping the now immobilized vampire’s limbs off was the beginning of the end. Lorenzo (Christian’s character) wrapping braided thread from an angel’s belt over the things neck was just insult to injury.
Amos’s death by his own hand was pretty shocking to the players, but not as much as I wanted (ditto on the near death of Yanay – as played by Annia). The game ended with the Labyrinth’s wardens leaving their imprisonment and “Trish” and Aldrick having to take their place or have REALLY bad stuff happened. There were a few sweet moments at the end and then I faded to black.
Campaign over…for now.
“War Pigs” by Black Sabbath (opening song)
“Invincible” by Pat Benatar
“Bullet With Butterfly Wings” by Smashing Pumpkins
“I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith (Trish and Aldrick leaving)
“Where Is My Mind?” by Yoav feat. Emily Browning (closing song)