Welcome to part three of my series chronicling the misadventures of my players in a New World of Darkness game I am running over the course of ten weeks. As always, here is a reminder of the cast:
Willow- the amicable dog-sledder
Eric- the helpful mechanic
Geoff Jr- the slippery con artist
Mike- the hungry intellectual
Anna- the inventor
Vic- the hot headed fighter
Tabitha- the timid medic
After a GM timeskip, the players are left to wake up in their own time, after spending a week looking after baby Hope. Willow was the first to rise and takes her dogs outside to allow them to do what they do. However, after she takes them inside, she notices that they are a lot more skittish and aggressive than usual and not only that, something in the house is…calling to her. She follows the feeling to the attic and eventually finds an antique Ouija board in a box in the corner. When Willow picks it up, she can feel an energy travelling through her fingers and so she takes it downstairs wrapped in a blanket.
Once everyone else is up, Willow shows them the board and tells the group that it is ‘weird’. However, none of the other players experience anything when they touch it. After some discussion, they decide to go and visit Charlotte, Hope’s mother, and the rest of her mage cabal. They arrive in front of a quaint blue house about half an hour east of their own home and the door is opened by Charlotte, dressed in her very best Mad Man-esque housewife apparel and the faint smell of peanut butter cookies wafting out of the kitchen.
As the players stand in the hallway and make polite chitchat with Charlotte, a Hans Moleman-esque man, who had previously been distracted by Happy Days reruns, hops out of this chair and proceeds to sniff Willow. While satisfied and returning to the TV, this action appears to have sparked something within Charlotte, who is looking at Willow in a completely different light. Eventually, Charlotte reveals that Willow may be a mage. They move to the kitchen to get Willow something hard to drink, in this case vodka and coke, while Charlotte answers any questions that the players, in their role as Hope’s temporary guardians. At this point, Willow reveals that during a particularly violent blizzard a few years previous, she had been awoken by her dogs acting erratically and had gone over to the window to see a giant shape walking through the village at the centre of the storm. Charlotte explains that there are five people in the house- her, her father, Romona, Jack and Violet. All of them are mages and all of them are employed.
While Charlotte some of intricacies about mages, Eric and a drunk Willow go off to look around the rest of the house. It’s a very nice house until they come to the top floor, where they find a large bedroom chock full of war memorabilia. Everything from tattered flags to a large mortar shell. At this point, Eric is assaulted by Charlotte’s father, who beats the crap out of him, all the while accusing him of being a ‘Commie bastard’ and threatening to ‘get Senator McCarthy down here’. Eventually the attack subsides and everyone returns downstairs. When asked about her father, Charlotte explains that he was a military man all his life, serving in both Korea and Vietnam. However, every time he came home, he left a little bit of himself on the battlefield. This naturally worries the players but Charlotte continues, explaining that the only times he ever seemed ‘normal’ was when he would come home to visit her and she had seen that same softness and togetherness when he first saw Hope.
The players leave soon after, taking some peanut butter cookies with them. Eric leaves with a curious quip about hoping that Charlotte had simply been making cookies and hadn’t in fact gone 30 minutes into the past when she heard them arrive in order to make herself look extra motherly. After loading the now passed-out Willow into a taxi with Anna, the rest of the players head north to meet with Brad and his hunter cell. Finding themselves in a much wealthier neighbourhood, they pull up outside a house with a Porsche in the driveway. After receiving no answer at the front door, the players troop round to the back, discovering a young woman doing lengths in a heated swimming pool. After getting her attention, she introduces herself as Sophia, one of Brad’s fellow hunters, and invites them in for coffee. She is much more pleasant to talk to than Brad and explains a little more about hunters, with help from Wyatt. While the cell seems rather normal, comprised of Brad, Gareth, Sophia, Emilia and Megyn, Wyatt is a cybernetics-enhanced talking chimpanzee from 1967. He appears in a smoking jacket and aids Sophia in explaining the details of the hunter life to the players before Brad arrives home. Brad, who arrives home with groceries, is more cordial than last time they encountered him but still comes across as a jerk.
They learn that the cell is in unusual in the sense that its members are from different overarching hunter organisations. Brad and Gareth are part of something called Ashwood Abbey; Sophia, Emilia and Megyn are part of Aegis Kai Doru and Wyatt was initially with a hunter cell from the Union. However, their conversation is cut short as Megyn, a white hat and the cell’s techie, bursts in to report that they have something to deal with. The players are taken along in order to be shown what hunters really do. They are kitted out and also get to meet Emilia, the free love, free spirit member of the cell who has actually met Hope. After heading across the water and into the rural area north of Vancouver, they come across an unpleasant sight- a car has been shot at and a young woman is lying nearby. As Tabitha and Eric rush to her, they discover that she is not only suffering from a light shotgun wound to the chest, she is also missing most of her abdomen. As a medic, Tabitha attempts to stabilize her but soon begins to realise that it all may be in vain and that this woman may die whatever happens. Meanwhile, Geoff spots a path of destruction leading into the woods and a number of the players, plus Brad and Megyn, head out in search of whatever cleaved a path through the forest.
Next week: Tabitha and Eric need to decide whether to give the young woman a sedative and the rest of the party discover what is smashing its way through the forest.