8 years ago
Friday, October 16, 2009
Of Minds and Men
Mage happened about a week ago now, but I was busy procrastinating on my Scion post. Tune in after the break for one of my most brain-melting experiences in gaming, and the rest of the most recent adventures of Daniel White-Heart, Swashbuckler Extraordinaire!
When last we left our hero (by which I mean me), he (I) and his (my) friends were facing down a large dodecahedron in the spirit realm. The Padre Julius annihilated it with holy energy. Alanju and I brought the group a boon of haste, and we headed away from Glasgow. Unfortunately, we overshot a little.
Falling somehow out of the Umbra, we found ourselves in a sheltered alley, whose bricks identified it as being part of Seattle. Making to leave the alley, we ran into the crazy Master Archemorus, and two friends of his. All three of them were teenagers, whereas we knew the Master to be an old man and his companions to be dead. A quick taste of the rain and slowing of hormones informed me that we were in 1974 ((There was a fair bit of time-travel in this game. I might well get some of the dates wrong)). After a quick consultation and Ebaylou's discovery of the absence of Paradox spirits, we proceeded with caution, discovering that the men - Archemorus, an Eastern monk and a peace-preaching hippy - were doing nothing of import save running into us and pointing out rather unecessarily that we should be careful.
Knowing that we had no reliable way of returning to our own time yet, we set out to the shopping district for time-appropriate clothing. Unfortunately the trip was cancelled as we ll suddenly found ourselves in a nearby forest, nine years later. Archemorus came crashing through the forest, expending the last of his energies on attacking us before his friends arrived. We heard gunshots and the sounds of men chasing these three, and as the padre went to revive the Master, the gunslinger and I shot at these pursuers. Archemorus informed us that his cabal had been going to apprehend a Nephandus, that most evil kind of mage, who was using an artifact to ignore Paradox Energies. Unfortunately, as we could surmise, the mission had not been a success. As the madmen crashed into sight and a magic shield was thrown up, we were whisked once more away.
Now we stood in a graveyard near Glasgow, and it was 1993. Archemorus was there, standing in front of two graves - those of his companions. He lamented their loss, then informed us that our entire experience of the day had been within his mind. He told us that he was losing lucidity, and that we should kill him before he caused more damage - a plan we already had, though it was nice to receive permission as it were. He also told us of a secret door hidden in a bookshelf in his office before dropping us off in our own time in the same graveyard. It was a day before we had left, at a time shortly after he had defeated the Technocrat and sent us back to the chantry. Matthias called, having no knowledge of Lanky or myself as, apparently, we had not yet been introduced - showing us that he had not shared our time-warping visions.
Resolving to return to the chantry as soon as possible, we requisitioned a car and a hearse. Unfortunately the owner of the car, the graveyard's curator, took issue at this, and while trying to persuade him to let us borrow his vehicle, I was hit heavily by Paradox Energy. My eyes filled with smoke that reduced all I saw to mere blobs of colour and light, and the sound of my breath and blood was amplified into my ears so that I was deaf. My skin retreated into itself, refusing to register any sense of feeling, and my tongue swelled such that I could not even taste the air. I made my way in the direction of the hearse, yelling hopelessly and flailing like a maniac. I was helped into a seat, and we set off.
((Daniel tried to silence the curator. He botched the roll, however, and instead the man spat out a gob of fire onto Ivanku. While Daniel stumbled and shouted "LET'S GO", Ivanku threw the man through the air, bruising his ribs against a tree and the ground. Someone (I forget who - either Kase or Persephone I think?) asked him kindly not to mention this as Ivanku crushed his phone, and then we drove off. Daniel shouted "ARE WE THERE YET?" at every stop, be it traffic light or jam, and eventually we reached the chantry, where Ivanku lifted him out of the car while Matthias was filled in. It was at about this point that Daniel regained sensibility))
When I found the use of my senses returned to me, we were at the chantry, and I had to reintroduce myself to all of the other cabal. After discussing what had happened, and finding from Darius though his raven that the chauffeur had crashed his car, I concluded that the flash of Seattle we saw the last version of that day was the point at which we entered Archemorus' mindscape. After healing, we headed to his study to discover the secret passage behind the book case. I led both cabals down a spiral staircase lit by flourescent tubes, and to a mundane but mighty door with a dragon's head design.
Attempts to scry inside the room revealed a book and a large gem, but no traps. We entered, and despite my protest for caution the greek woman dashed forward to read this book. This activated an image within the crystal of the Master, who informed us of the artifact he had been chasing when his companions died. I turned out that the Nephandus had not had it, and were merely being directed by some extra-normal being who did. The artifact had last been seen about a century ago in the hands of a Hollow One who, before he was executed by the Hermetic Order for crimes not divulged, sent it "From whence it came," or some such spell. It had disappeared but apparently remained active.
We split up with this new information to find links to this Hollower of Lore, who it arose took the name of Gillis deRay and was survived by one of his artifacts, a self-wielding dagger that tied his ghost to this world. This dagger had been used by many Hollow Ones to contact DeRay but none had done so more than once due to dying soon after that first occassion. After a little more research we found that the dagger now rests in a museum in Edinburgh, though there are no nearby Hollowers that Darius could obtain contact with.
After this research was complete, we repeated some of our actions of the previous night which were now invalidated before going to bed. I for one am eager to see what tomorrow holds.
An addendum: It isn't entirely clear from Daniel's telling, but it was the deaths of his two cabal-mates and lovers that sent Archemorus on the path to insanity. Daniel managed to completely miss that the men were actually any more than friends, thinking that Archemorus was attaching additional post-mortem sentiment to their friendship due to the insanity. He's not the sharpest tool in the shed though, and I think everyone else picked up (some through use of the Mind Sphere) that the three were in love.
First Scion session story will be up either later today or late Sunday, depending on whether or not I have time before I head down to England without my laptop for a couple of days.