Dresden Files Baltimore

Metromancy
The Discreet Gentleman's Guide to New York

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Demonic Investigation

Location: Greenmount Cemetery

Present: Ezra, Arthur,
Riza

  • Ezra receives a call from Warden Goldberg in New York, asking for help with a demon problem
  • Ezra agrees, and suggests that Warden Goldberg visit in order to help Ezra go through the tomes
    that Ezra inherited from Charles Tobin
  • Warden Goldberg agrees, and says that he’ll be there in a couple of hours. He is. By train.
  • Warden Goldberg provides a sketch to Ezra, and the two examine it
  • In the course of hunting through Tobin’s Grimoire, Ezra finds a note from from his father.
    “Ezra, If you’re reading this then you’re probably old enough. It’s important that you forgive
    your mother. At the time, she did what was necessary. Love, Charles” The note is located in the
    margins of a page describing the appropriate sacrifices to provide for higher demons
  • Ezra and Goldberg do eventually find the demon that Goldberg is looking for
    • It’s part of a group known as the Chigozatherai
    • Their True Names are all of six syllables, and always start with “Chi-go-za-ther”
    • Fairly minor as demons go, and accordingly easy to summon
    • Very definitely male demons
  • Warden Goldberg explains that such a demon has been stalking a young woman (a friend of his
    daughter’s who attends the same synagogue)
  • Riza agrees to go along in order to stay with Catherine (the young woman in question) in case
    she’s attacked, whilst Ezra and Goldberg wait out of sight to attack when the demon appears
  • Arthur agrees to go along (with the understanding that he will interview a reporter who once
    wrote a story about his mother’s birth along the way)
  • Goldberg expresses an interest in meeting Daniel at some point

Metromancy

Location: In Transit

Present: Ezra, Arthur,
Riza

  • The group are picked up by a Metromancer taxi, which takes them to Penn
    Station at an average speed exactly equal to the speed limit.
  • Somehow, the driver never hits a red light, and is never slowed down by other traffic
  • It appears that the driver is a focussed practitioner who looks far enough into the future to
    always be in the right place to travel quickly
  • The Metromancer train adds in the slowing down of time. Time doesn’t stop, but it does slow
    down for those outside the train.
  • The trip features superb food and an animated puppet show.
  • Ezra and Arthur are each given “The Discreet Gentleman’s Guide to New York”
  • Riza receives “The Discreet Lady’s Guide to New York”
  • The group meets Goldberg’s family (those still at home, anyway), including his wife, daughter,
    and son.
  • Arthur, who has decided to assume female form, borrows some clothing from Goldberg’s daughter
    • At first, Arthur has some difficulty with the clothing, being somewhat prone to unconscious
      exaggeration of anatomy

The Stakeout

Location: Catherine’s House

Present: Arthur, Riza

  • Catherine welcomes the group in to her apartment
  • Arthur, still in female form, calls his PA to give him a tire iron. His PA seems confused.
    • Daniel later calls to let Arthur know that Daniel prevented the PA from calling the police to
      report a kidnapping
  • Arthur discovers that Catherine is a fan of independent films, especially horror
  • They begin watching some films, and Arthur starts hitting on Catherine. She appears not to
    notice.
  • Riza sets up a detection web, but accidentally attunes it primarily to spirits rather than
    demons
View
The Duel
I thought they killed you in the sexy way

October 12, 2010

The Duel

Location: M&T Bank Stadium (luxury box)

Present: Arthur, Ezra

  • The duel between Ezra and Devin is to be held in
    Jerome’s boss’ box
  • Representing the Black Court are Devin and Latoya
  • Jerome has invited the White Court to assist him in refereeing
  • While Ezra duels Devin, Madeleine (house Skavis) feeds on Arthur
  • Madeleine comforts Arthur on Ezra’s “inevitable demise”, leaving him depressed and only
    semiconscious
  • Ezra is eventually able to overcome Devin’s vampiric stamina, especially because Devin isn’t
    actually a good hand-to-hand fighter
  • Before being dismembered, disembowelled, and beheaded, Devin does taunt Ezra about “what his
    mother did before Ezra got her back.”
  • Ezra’s final words to Devin are “Take back what you said about my mother!” Devin’s head does
    not reply.
  • After the duel, Ezra quickly forces Charles to back down, and Madeleine releases
    Arthur. Charles promises Madeleine will be punished, and he will pay weregild
  • Jerome is cheerfully indifferent to any damage to the box, which his boss has paid for (and
    never invited Jerome to a game).

Recovering

Location: The Senator Movie Palace

Present: Ezra, Arthur

  • Ezra comforts Arthur with the original Star Wars trilogy (after a close brush with asking the
    staff to “start with episode one”
  • Arthur is depressed to learn that not all White Court vampires use sex to feed
  • Ezra and Arthur discuss whether Asase Yaa might be somehow rooted to the ground by Wayne’s
    death curse
  • Arthur fills in Ezra on the assassination attempt during the parade and the results of Arthur’s
    investigation
  • Arthur also mentions Amanda, and his suspicion that she was sent by his father
    • Amanda is revealed to be present (via the old alien-bursting-out-of-your-popcorn trick)
    • Arthur immediately asks her to take a blood test so that he can check if they’re related
      • Amanda is a touch put off by this request, or at least confused
      • Amanda does reveal that she is an orphan, and was brought up in Boston
View
The Hired Help
They have swords. They chop off your head with them.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Early Morning Eavesdropping

Present: Riza

Location: Police Headquarters

  • Jerome gathers up the arrestees
  • Riza tags along with the suspects as they’re taken to jail.
    • The unconscious ones end up in lockup until they wake up
    • The remaining thug is brought in for an unproductive interrogation
      • As far as he knows, he was hired to throw glitter dust on the parade
      • He drew his knife when threatened, and then everything started getting weird
  • During the interrogation, the Chief of Police walks in, and orders the civilians to leave
    • Riza hangs around outside, and listens in as the Chief leaves with Jerome
    • The Chief is obviously tired, complaining about having been woken up, and complaining about
      Jerome’s arrests

Delivering a Warning

Present: Arthur

Location: Covington Estate

  • Arthur makes a call to David Miter, in order to let him know that
    the attack failed, and warn him off
  • Miter seems quite surprised, and claims to have had no idea that anything was even planned
  • Miter does agree to pass along the word in the Spring Court that Arthur can (and will) take
    care of himself
  • Arthur also lets Miter know that Arthur is sympathetic to Spring’s ideas
  • Miter suggests that the Changeling courts may have more in common than either does with the
    fae. Arthur does not disagree.

Meeting with the Police

Present: Arthur, Keiko, Riza

Location: The Senator

  • Jerome calls to set up a meeting with the group
  • Arthur suggests a meeting at the Senator, and changes the day’s movie to “Police Academy”
  • Jerome, showing due appreciation for the movie, mostly just wants to vent
    • The Mayor got woken up around 3, the Police Chief around 3:30, and the suspects were freed
      without charges soon thereafter
    • Apparently, eyewitness reports were either confused, or reported Arthur and company attacking
      the changelings
    • Jerome does manage to pass to the group the phone number called by the suspects
    • Arthur recognizes that the number belongs to Jones, Shannon’s
      assistant at Winter
  • After Jerome leaves, Arthur calls his PA
    • He wants to know everything that there is to know about the Mayor and Deputy Mayor
  • Arthur begins planning
    • What if he can transform into the Mayor, and do something both public and illegal?
      • Sexual harassment?
      • Buying drugs?
      • Hate-filled racist rants?
  • Arthur’s PA calls back, and lets him know that
    • The deputy mayor, John Wilkins, actually opposed the mayor in the elections
    • After the election, the existing deputy mayor died of a heart attack, and the current deputy
      was appointed
    • Arthur’s PA also wants to thank him for hiring her new assistant

Making Friends

Present: Arthur

Location: Deputy Mayor’s House

  • Arthur decides to visit the deputy mayor
  • Arthur has his car drop him off about a mile away, glamours himself into invisibility, and
    flies
  • Arthur transforms himself into Gary Oldman from Dracula
  • John Wilkins lets Arthur in, explaining that he was expecting a visit from someone else
    • Wilkins is somewhat reluctant to talk about the election, Bill (the Mayor), or City Hall
    • Arthur is able to convince Wilkins that Shannon and Jones work for him, and Wilkins becomes
      more forthcoming
    • It seems that both Bill and Wilkins work for Winter
    • Arthur tells Wilkins to start distancing himself from the Mayor, just in case
  • Arthur returns as himself, to meet again with the Deputy Mayor
    • They discuss old movies, and the Senator’s need for more parking and transit access.

New Faces (simultaneous with Making Friends)

Present: Riza, Keiko

Location: Covington Estate

  • Riza and Keiko pay a visit to Arthur’s newest staff member
  • Daniel meets them at the door
    • He is quite polite, whilst still being careful not to invite Riza to enter
    • The new assistant, Amanda, was apparently “highly recommended”
    • Arthur has also apparently hired one Frederick, a rather indistinct cloaked form, as an
      assistant for Daniel
    • Amanda is a rather striking woman, with a sense of humour similar to Arthur’s
  • In passing, Eleanor asks them for some “rather delicate” help
    • She discovered a bra in her personal laundry, with the usual psychic bloodstains, and wants to
      find out if it’s theirs
    • It isn’t, but she’s sure that it belongs to someone close by
    • Riza asks about the laundry, and finds out that Eleanor picks it up in the Nevernever, washes
      it, and returns it
    • Cold water wash, for blood.
    • Based on a decent Lore roll (for once, on this issue), Riza tentatively identifies Eleanor as
      a Washer at the Ford
    • During the conversation, Eleanor mentions more than once how terrible it can be to try to
      cheat destiny

Together Again

Present: Arthur, Riza, Keiko

Location: Covington Estate

  • Arthur meets Amanda, who has transformed into a match for his current PA
  • Arthur himself transforms, and the PA makes a strategic retreat
  • Amanda mentions some other humorous possibilities, such as wearing a bit of real clothing below
    the shapeshifted clothing
    • She demonstrates by reaching in through her existing clothing to remove her bra
    • Riza notes that it is the proper size to match the one discovered by Eleanor, albeit not
      quite the same style
  • There is some discussion as to why Winter might have bailed out the attackers
    • Not all Summer changelings belong to the Spring Court — these attackers might have been
      Autumn Court
    • If they are, Winter would get them out (Winter won’t take sides in Autumn disputes, but will
      keep Autumn changelings out of jail regardless)
    • Amanda suspects that the attackers weren’t trying to kill Arthur, but merely force him into
      renouncing his Changeling heritage and becoming mortal (and removing himself as a threat)
    • Arthur takes the form of the attackers
      • The Dryad remains unidentified
      • On of the Trolls is Robert Strong
    • Arthur decides not to go after the Mayor (Winter might take it the wrong way)
      • Amanda does offer to help if he decides to go after someone
    • Who in autumn might have set him up?
    • Amanda “just happens” to have found Sara Atwater’s SIM card. She agrees to call Robert and set
      up a meeting
      • Keiko suggests a bar that would fit the purpose of the meeting
      • The plan is that “Sara” will in theory be offering Robert a(nother?) job

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Troll Walks into a Bar

Present: Arthur, Keiko, Riza (some of the time)

Location: A Bar

  • Note that Riza is at the bar, but not present for the interview with Robert Strong
  • Arthur shifts himself into Sara’s form
  • Robert arrives, and starts to complain to “Sara” about facing three wizards including two
    Wardens
    • “They have swords. They chop your head off with them.”
  • “Sara” is able to intimidate him, and effectively get his side of the story
    • It sounds as if Robert was just hired to scare Arthur into choosing mortality, not to kill him
    • Robert has no idea where the Dryad is
    • Robert blames the Dryad for not having provided any real magical backup
  • They dismiss Robert, and discuss their next move
View
The Parade
I'm sure my PA won't mind pretending to be me

October 1, 2010

Getting ready for the parade

Present: Arthur, Ezra, Riza

Location: The Senator

  • Arthur has a plan for surviving the parade
    • The float will be patterned after House of a Thousand Corpses
      • Riza’s alternate suggestion of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is not approved
      • Arthur will attend as Tiny
      • The others will choose their own representatives
    • Various disguise plans are discussed
      • Arthur could use Glamour to create a double, and then shift himself to match them
        • However: there’s a lack of volunteers, and the Gentlemen aren’t good at looking human
      • Arthur could shapeshift himself to another form, and then use glamour to look like himself
        again
        • Problem: that fails against foes who aren’t supernaturally sensitive
    • Eventually, then plan chosen is that Arthur will shapeshift, and then use Glamour to look
      like himself
    • Ezra will create a force dome to shield the float
      • This requires that the float be manually drawn by horses, as otherwise the magic could
        affect the truck
      • A wagon drawn by corpses is discussed, and rejected as impractical
    • Riza, Ezra, and Jeremiah will be on the float, Warden Nichols
      will be nearby
    • Arthur’s assistant will also be on the float, attending as a baby firefly
  • Ezra armours the float
    • Armour 3 (Complexity 6)
    • Group of people (Complexity +6)
    • Until Sunrise (Complexity +0)
  • Warden Nichols casts a Hyperawareness ritual on himself
    • Block: 4, affects Self and Others
  • Ezra summons two of the Gentlemen to act as guards, with the following two orders:
    • Protect Arthur
    • Protect everyone else on his float
  • Warden Nichols, with all the experience that his desk job has provided, gives Arthur a
    tradecraft lesson
  • Arthur armours up
    • Inhuman Toughness (Standard Fae catches)
    • Inhuman Recovery (Standard Fae catches)
    • Broad Supernatural Senses

The Parade

Present: Arthur, Ezra, Riza

Location: Charles Street

  • The parade is a success
  • Much of the audience is at least somewhat inebriated
  • Around Charles and North, the group is assailed by two Troll changelings, a Dryad changeling,
    and a few thugs
    • Ezra restrains the Gentlemen from responding lethally (effectively a refused compel)
    • The Dryad effectively removes herself from the fight, using Summer Magic to remove Ezra’s
      block
    • The thugs attack with cold iron
    • Nichols turns the attack back on the attackers, removing several of them from the fight
    • Arthur is able to take down one Troll hand-to-hand
    • Jeremiah takes out the second Troll
  • Jerome and squad arrive (it took them three rounds, the combat lasted
    two) to arrest the opponents
View
A Farewell to Wayne

September 29, 2010

Laying Wayne to rest

Present: Elizabeth “Riza” Spangler, Ezra Tobin

Location: Greenmount Cemetery

  • Ezra asks his supervisors to officially close the investigation into Wayne’s
    murder, whilst keeping it open unofficially
  • Since his next step is to tell Wayne the results of the investigation, he picks up Riza on his
    way back to Greenmount.
  • Ezra relates how they found Carlos as a Renfield, and asks Wayne’s opinion
    • Wayne thinks that the Black Court may have been involved after all, as they were the main
      supernatural force that he was in conflict with.
      • It’s possible that Carlos tried to make some sort of deal, or to betray
        Asase Yaa
      • Possibly, Carlos made a deal that included the Black Court not killing him, but failed to
        include them not turning him into a Renfield (equally effective to keep him from answering
        questions).
      • If the fae were involved, the deal might even have been magically binding
      • If Carlos and Devin James were friends, could Devin have been ordered to
        “take care of” Carlos and, not being the brightest of vampires, screwed it up?
      • Also, the Black Court’s behaviour was odd. Usually, they don’t object so strongly to minor
        trespassing, and indeed they use territory fights with the Autumn Court to keep their numbers
        down.
    • When hearing about how Orin reacted upon meeting
      Daniel, Wayne mentions that he had heard that Daniel was retired from
      working for Winter, probably as the Winter Knight
      • This sets off some speculation as to Arthur’s origins, but no results
    • Wayne does remember that one of Asase Yaa’s emissaries tried to buy
      Greenmount from the White Council about a year ago.
  • Wayne is beginning to fade, to Riza sets up a ritual to assist his ghost in passing beyond
  • Riza and Ezra discuss Devin and the upcoming duel, including the question about whether Devin
    is planning to leave some sort of “insurance” behind in case he ends up losing

New Faces

Present: Elizabeth “Riza” Spangler, Ezra Tobin

Location: Greenmount Cemetery

  • A knock on the door. Ezra answers, to discover Warden Nichols, currently the head of
    Intelligence gathering for the North American section.
  • Warden Nichols reveals that he read Ezra’s reports, and decided to come in person as a result
    of some disturbing developments.
    • Asase Yaa, after centuries of not venturing beyond the bounds of Louisiana, apparently has had
      emissaries buying territory all over North America in the past few years.
    • One territory that she purchased, in Portland, has now suddenly revealed itself to be the site
      of a new leyline, apparently previously dormant
  • Ezra gives Warden Nichols a briefing on all that’s happened since his most recent report
    • They discuss Asase Yaa, and the rumours Nichols has heard about her breeding special
      bloodlines for some purpose
    • They discuss Daniel, whom Nichols apparently encountered during the Second World War, and whom
      Nichols is surprised to hear is still alive.
      • Apparently Daniel was an honourable opponent, but not without a sense of humour
      • Nichols was part of a Warden team who spent much of the war chasing a person whom they
        thought was Kemmler through occupied France, finding out later that it was Daniel leading
        them on a diversion.
      • Nichols thinks that Stephan may be a war buddy of Daniel’s, possibly because
        Daniel needed a mortal he knew he could trust for whatever his goal may be.
View
Wrapping Things Up
The Good Stuff -- No Vamps

September 28, 2010

Linking back up

Present: Keiko Sutherland

Location: Various

  • Keiko is woken up by a phone call from Jerome
  • She eventually answers the phone, to find that apparently he has the phone in hands-free mode,
    and she can hear what sounds like Arthur (and others) talking with some Black Court vampires
  • She also receives a text message with an address
  • On her arrival at the address, she is noticed by a Centaur (in human form), currently guarding
    Orin’s convertible. The Centaur tells her that the group seem to be
    in another nearby house.
  • Keiko is unable to convince the Renfield guards to let her past, but does manage to barge in,
    whereupon Stanislav prevents her from being attacked

Negotiations

Present: Arthur Covington, Ezra Tobin, Keiko Sutherland

Location: East Baltimore Development Initiative

  • A rather tense discussion ensues between the Black Court vampires and the party
  • Lord Orin’s easy confidence is obviously intimidating the vampires, but not sufficiently to get
    them to abandon their demands entirely
  • The Black Court
    • Regards the group as trespassing
    • Regards Carlos as (apparently) Devin’s problem
    • Regards the rescue of Eugenia Fitzgerald from
      Devin James as poaching on their territory
    • Wants the White Council and Autumn Court to formally recognize
      Hopkins Hospital as Black Court territory
    • Wants an apology for the current trespass
  • The party, with a combination of well-chosen words, interrupting one another so that their
    arguments can’t be understood or answered, and yelling the loudest, manages to turn most of the
    Black Court’s accusations back upon them, especially because
    Hopkins Hospital is not recognized as Black Court territory in any
    existing agreement.
  • Ezra agrees to apologize for the inadvertent violation of Black Court territory in pursuit of
    Carlos, and otherwise the group is allowed to take him and leave
  • Devin James does challenge Ezra to a formal duel, and is accepted.

Discussions and Revelations

Present: Arthur Covington, Ezra Tobin, Keiko Sutherland

Location: East Baltimore Development Initiative, Covington Estate, The Senator Movie Palace

  • The group continues to discuss the question of whether Carlos (and especially his conversion to
    an apparent Renfield), was intended to frame the Black Court for Wayne’s
    murder
  • During a quick trip back to the Covington Estate, Orin exchanges
    words with Daniel
    • Orin recognizes Daniel as a former Winter Knight, perhaps the only one to retire alive
    • During a rather elliptical discussion Daniel mentions to Orin that his successful retirement
      owes much to the existence of his extensive collection of files detailing “trivial court
      business”.
    • Daniel also mentions that it’s probable that Orin never met Arthur’s father, as he was
      “guarding a Lady at the time”
  • In later conversation, Orin tells Arthur that there’s no shame in being afraid of his butler
  • Arthur, knowing nothing about his father, insists that his father’s name was also Arthur
  • Ezra reports the conclusion of the affair, including his unanswered questions, to the Council
View
End of the trail
It seems we need not pay the bitching price

September 28, 2010

The Meeting

Present: Arthur Covington, Ezra Tobin

Location: The Senator Movie Palace

  • Arthur receives a call from
    Orin, Envoy of Summer, suggesting a meeting. They agree to meet at
    the Senator, and to invite Ezra to join them.
  • Orin arrives to the meeting in a rather impressive convertible
  • Ezra asks that Orin agree to come along as a neutral third party to observe the intended
    meeting with Carlos. Orin agrees.
  • The group discusses whether to inform Jerome of their intentions, and decides that, since they
    only intend to talk with Carlos, having a representative of Asase Yaa along is
    unnecessary.
    • Arthur argues about this, wondering whether the group might need to use force to bring down
      Carlos if he flees. Arthur promises that, if Carlos does indeed flee, Arthur will take every
      opportunity to say “I told you so”, and to bitch about the results.

The Search

Present: Arthur Covington, Ezra Tobin

Location: East Baltimore Development Initiative

  • The group searches one of the two possible destroyed houses suggested by Jerome, and finds in
    the basement an underground passage leading towards the other house.
  • Arriving in the second house, they find Carlos, lying on the floor.
  • Ezra decides to open his Sight in order to examine the scene
    • Carlos is a fountain of rage, barely repressed
    • Carlos’ mind is barely present, as if his personality and soul had been ripped from his body
    • Carlos has bloody hands, and other signs of having committed recent violence
    • Carlos carries a dark knife, a blade that has been used for violent ritual purposes many times
      since its creation.
    • Carlos’ appearance under the Sight is very close to the appearances of Renfields, as described
      to Ezra in the past
  • Before Ezra can close his Sight, Carlos attacks the group
    • Ezra attempts to defend himself, Arthur attempts to attack Carlos, and Orin recites a poem

      You’d like us to acknowledge you were right.
      Self-congratulation is a vice.
      But you predicted Carlos would take flight;
      It seems we need not pay The Bitching Price.
    • The group is able to subdue Carlos, who ends up unconscious and missing his right arm, with
      the assistance of further poetry from Orin.
  • Arthur verifies that the knife was in fact the murder weapon (as it was)
  • Orin takes custody of a number of seeds which, he believes, might be able to grow cocaine
    (without all of that tedious refining involved)
  • Arthur phones Jerome, inviting him over to observe the scene and (potentially) take custody of
    the body.
  • The group discusses the situation whilst waiting for Jerome
    • The situation seems a bit pat to the group, suggesting a set-up
    • Is it possible that the Black Court is being framed for the murder?
    • Ezra takes samples from the body, and determines that the knife has belonged to Carlos for at
      least a decade.
    • Orin performs a ritual, hoping to learn more about the magic on the dagger. He does not share
      the results.
  • Jerome arrives
    • Jerome makes a formal arrest, and the discussion continues

The Ambush

Present: Arthur Covington, Ezra Tobin

Location: East Baltimore Development Initiative

  • The discussion is ended by Stanislav Aloysius walking in to the
    apartment, greeting Ezra, and offering to demonstrate to him the Black Court’s gratitude.
View
Police Procedure
I wasn't accusing him, I was saying he was being framed

September 24-25, 2010

Weekend Activities

Present: Arthur, Riza, Ezra

Location: Greenmount Cemetery, Hopkins Hospital

  • Riza is able to use her thaumaturgical abilities to experience Wayne’s final moments
    • Net information gained: being stabbed in the stomach hurts.
  • When leaving the cemetery, Ezra has a giant spider leap at him from hiding
    • Ezra draws his sword to fend off the beast, but is too frightened to act both quickly and effectively
    • Before Ezra can recover himself entirely, the spider begins dancing (badly) and singing show tunes.
    • On discovering that the spider is Arthur in disguise, Ezra suggests that Riza would be a better person to frighten in this manner.

Monday, September 26, 2010

Meeting Jerome

Present: Arthur, Riza, Ezra

Location: SI Headquarters

  • Jerome discusses the matter of parade security with Arthur
    • Jerome reveals that he is under pressure from those higher up not to provide on-duty security
    • Jerome does offer to be present himself (off-duty), and suggests that some members of his department may also find themselves sick, and end up going to watch the parade, especially if some means can be found of making up for lost income
    • Arthur agrees to provide some assistance to Jerome, who will pass it on to the officers involved.
    • Riza’s assessment reveals Jerome’s On the Take Aspect
  • Jerome discusses Wayne’s murder with Ezra
    • Jerome asks about the ritual
      • Ezra reveals that they were attempting to gain information from a local leyline, which was disturbed at the point where they conducted the ritual
    • Jerome asks that he be kept in the loop on the investigation, especially because he’s been doing favours for the group, including giving them access to police resources
      • Ezra agrees to keep Jerome up to speed on the investigation
      • Ezra further agrees to allow Jerome to be around to make the arrest, unless it turns out to be a Black Court vampire or equivalent
      • Jerome mentions that he has information on Devin James, the Black Court vampire who attacked Ezra and Riza in the morgue
        • Jerome provides a list of known contacts and known hangouts
        • Jerome indicates that he feels the Black Court may be involved in the crime
      • Ezra attempts to otherwise keep Jerome in the dark on what the group has discovered, but Jerome seems a bit suspicious
    • Arthur asks Jerome if he (or Asase Yaa) have any known enemies
      • Jerome mentions the Black Court as a possibility
      • An attempt to read Jerome reveals that he is worried about his own safety, and also about his supernatural reputation if, as the representative for mortal law, he can’t track down the killer
    • Ezra mentions that the killer may not be an active danger at this point, because it looks as if Wayne was able to use his death curse to somehow disrupt the killer’s activities
    • Ezra asks if Asase Yaa has any other local agents. Jerome replies that he doesn’t know.
    • Ezra also mentions that he was able to detect a residue of life magic in the wound, which prompts Jerome to circle a name and place on the list of Devin James’ associates and hangouts
      • Carlos Diyade was James’ cellmate some months ago, and they had a shared hangout where they stashed illicit goods
      • Investigating the location on a recent trip, the police found that the drugs stashed there appeared to be growing actual plants
      • The location is near EBDI, on the edge of Black Court territory
    • Arthur points out that the murder was likely carried out by some new player, likely a mortal man, and probably someone with some sort of magical knife, maybe even a recent acquisition
      • Arthur claims that he is not accusing Jerome, but suggesting that someone is framing him
      • Jerome repeats that he has no idea of who Asase Yaa’s enemies might be, and can’t imagine that she has many, as she is a generally benevolent force
      • Arthur asks to examine Jerome’s blade, and Jerome agrees to meet with the group later for the purpose

Meeting re. Meeting

Present: Arthur, Riza, Ezra

Location: Covington Estate

  • En route to the estate, Riza suggests that Arthur was less than tactful in (apparently) accusing Jerome of the crime
    • The group discusses who Asase Yaa is, and what her role is in all of this
    • Arthur plans to use his supernatural senses to examine Jerome’s knife for blood traces
    • Perhaps Jerome is being framed?
    • Arthur has a theory
      • Asase Yaa possessed Jerome
      • Jerome killed Wayne
      • Wayne’s death curse affected Asase Yaa, and not Jerome, because she was in control
  • The group decides to prepare in case Jerome attacks them at their next meeting
  • Ezra mentions that, since the death curse may have drawn on the leyline for power, he wants to trace the path of the curse
    • Arthur makes a detour to buy a giant map, and the group finally arrives at the estate
  • Daniel is, once again, unwilling to invite the group in
  • When they enter, they assist Eleanor in carrying a load of bloodstained clothes to the washing machine (cold water wash, for blood)
    • Eleanor thanks them, and notes that she doesn’t have anything for either of them
    • Riza notices that the bloodstains are odd, almost as if they don’t exist yet
  • Arthur sets up the map and begins to draw dramatic lines
    • The path from the cemetery to the leyline would continue to Louisiana
    • Arthur decides to plan in case the meeting with Jerome ends up as a chase scene
    • Arthur dresses in a trench coat, and arms himself with a Katana, a Bat’leth, and a d’k tahg before leaving the house

Late night meeting

Present: Arthur, Riza, Ezra

Location: Jerome’s house

  • Jerome’s house is nothing more than a slightly larger than average rowhouse (in the nicer part of Hampden) from the outside, but is full of signs of money well-spent on the inside
  • The only recent blood on Jerome’s knife is his own, from the ceremony that bound it to him (and him to Asase Yaa). There is older blood on the knife, from its previous owner, but no sign of Wayne’s blood.
  • Ezra and Riza decide to use the Sight on Jerome and his knife
    • Jerome is the Fool, in over his head and unaware that his profitable living arrangements are about to collapse
      • When the sight refuses to let Ezra go, he also sees a vision of Jerome typing at a computer, with a shadowy figure looking over his shoulder (and almost seeming to emerge from his shoulder)
    • The knife used to be something like Excalibur, but has grown much darker with the years
    • Ezra and Riza are caught up by the sight, and end up learning a great deal about each other
  • As the meeting draws to a close, Jerome mentions that he has been in touch with Asase Yaa, and she does (or at least did) have a local agent (first name Carlos, last name unknown to Jerome). Apparently, Carlos hasn’t contacted Asase Yaa in weeks, nor has he responded to her attempts to contact him.
  • The group bids good night to Jerome, and heads off in their separate ways.
View
The Meeting
It's Good to be King?

September 22, 2010 (evening)

Dead people never shut up

Present: Ezra Tobin

Location: Greenmount Cemetery

  • Ezra interviews Wayne Roberts about his death. Wayne confirms that the wards were up, and that his attacker crossed the circle that he was inside. He denies that he was working on anything more than enchanting a VCR, but confirms (after asking Ezra to keep it confidential) that he used his death curse, trying to pin down his attacker to the spot where the murder happened (but, apparently, it didn’t work, as his murderer then simply walked away).

September 23, 2010

Two things stick to you when you’re dropped into them. The less pleasant one is politics.

Present: Arthur Covington

Location: Covington Estate

  • Arthur, on being informed that his presence is expected at the next regular Winter-Autumn meeting at city hall, sets up a private meeting with Shannon McClain before the regular meeting, and searches out an appropriate gift.
  • As the people he talks to keep suggesting that he “speak with Jones”, Arthur tries to do so, but is informed that Jones is not currently available.
  • Arthur consults with a friend in the Autumn court (who works with Sara Atwater), and learns that
    • he will soon find out who Jones is, but it’s too late to worry about that now
    • his first priority at the meeting should be to keep anyone from sticking a knife in his back.

Wards and Traps

Present: Arthur Covington, Ezra Tobin

Location: Covington Estate

  • Ezra arrives to set up some wards for Arthur, to find that his threshold is already extremely strong.
  • Arthur’s butler, Daniel, met Ezra at the door, refused to invite him in (until Arthur did so), refused to shake hands, and made a few comments about interfering White Council busybodies.
  • Ezra mentions to Arthur that Daniel might be some sort of practitioner.
  • Ezra decides against setting up a ward at Arthur’s threshold (in part due to the staff), but decides to set up a ward in Arthur’s room.
    • Ward Statistics
      • Legendary (+8) Ward
      • Arthur may enter
      • Simple Condition: Any person carrying one of these Star Trek communicators may enter
      • Duration: 1 week
      • Average (1) Evocation attack, at Average (1) aim against anyone who breaches the ward
      • Components
        • 4 Star Trek Communicators, no longer mint-in-box
        • Earth from the Threshold
        • A pinprick of blood
        • A tie dyed DragonCon ’96 T-shirt
        • Iron Filings, for special protection against fae
  • During the compilation, Ezra convinces Stefan, Arthur’s gardener, to offer him a weekly job, helping out in the garden for minimum wage.
  • During preparation, Eleanor drops off Arthur’s laundry, and suggests that Ezra have a look in her basket. He finds nothing of his, but Madeline’s and Keiko’s clothes are both present.

The Broken Circle

Present: Ezra Tobin

Location: Greenmount Cemetery

  • Ezra finds that the driveway/summoning circle has been breached, as if by a very localized earthquake. He is able to make temporary repairs.

September 24, 2010

The Gentlemen are coming by

Present: Arthur Covington, Ezra Tobin

Location: Greenmount Cemetery

  • Ezra summons his assistants from the Nevernever to act as Arthur’s bodyguards: 2 Gentlemen
    • Gentleman
      • When summoned, a Gentleman will perform 3 tasks for the summoner. Unless the third task is to return to the Nevernever, he will remain indefinitely, wreaking order on his surroundings.
      • A Gentleman appears as a nondescript human male wearing a rigidly precise black suit.
      • High Concept: Spirit of Order
      • Statistics:
        • Conviction: Fair, +1 per additional Gentleman summoned
        • Fists: Good
        • Alertness: Good
        • Endurance: Good
        • Scholarship: Great
        • Stunt: Know-it-all (+2 to Scholarship rolls to know something trivial about the current subject)
        • Guns: Fair
        • Inhuman Strength
  • Ezra orders the Gentlemen to 1) Guard Arthur, until 2) Arthur meets again with Ezra

A Private Meeting

Present: Arthur Covington

Location: City Hall

  • Arthur meets with Shannon McClain. He tells her that he will win the upcoming power struggle, and that the Autumn Court will be better managed after his victory.
  • She is polite, but unimpressed (and amused).
  • She appears to have little faith in his longevity at this point.

On the Agenda for Today

Present: Arthur Covington

Location: City Hall

  • Arthur arrives on time.
  • Shannon McClain arrives a few minutes late
  • About half an hour after the start time, Sara Atwater, Andrew Iceflower, and Jeremiah Sutherland in turn arrive, and are greeted warmly, coldly, and warmly (respectively) by Shannon.
  • Jones, Shannon’s assistant, passes her the week’s assignments.
    • Sara is to be decorative at the Mayor’s fundraiser, and make sure the money raised goes to the right places.
    • Jeremiah is to demonstrate to the Black Court that straying into Autumn’s territories is a bad idea.
    • Andrew is to negotiate with the Knockers to convince them to stop sabotaging Baltimore’s seweres.
    • Arthur, finally, is to run the Fright Night Parade on October 1st, and to use it to send a message to Spring that Autumn can go anywhere that it wants to, and has nothing to worry about even if Spring might try to cause an incident.
  • In other business, Orin’s appearance is discussed, with the note that he enjoys making a show of himself, but is a bit of a lightweight, shuffled off into assignments where Summer cares more about appearances than competence
  • The recent lack of activity on the part of the Spring Court is discussed, with no conclusions reached.
  • Jeremiah agrees that he will be at the parade, in costume and ready for a fight (in case one turns up).
  • After the meeting, Arthur talks with Jones, where he learns that Jones prepares the meeting’s agendas, and makes strong recommendations to Shannon about who should be assigned which assignment. Arthur is encouraged to meet with Jones after the agenda is circulated, in order to discuss which of the assignments are best suited to his strengths.

The Gentlemen are going away

Present: Arthur Covington, Ezra Tobin

Location: Greenmount Cemetery

  • Despite their offer to remain and provide additional service, Ezra dismisses the Gentlemen
  • Ezra and Arthur discuss the upcoming parade
    • Arthur is worried that an attempt might be made on his life at the parade
    • Ezra suggests that the attempt is more likely to be made either directly before or directly
      afterwards, but Arthur is not convinced. Ezra offers to be around in case support is required.
    • Jerome contacts Arthur to arrange for a meeting on the subject of parade security. They agree
      to meet on Monday, September 26

September 24-25, 2010

Street Theatre

Present: Arthur Covington, Ezra Tobin

Location: Charles Street

  • Ezra drives down Charles Street (the path of the Fall Ley Line), until he locates a spot where
    it is distorted. This point is in roughly the direction of the magical residue that
    Ezra and Riza discovered trailing away from Wayne at the
    morgue
    .
  • Ezra performs a Divination ritual in order to assess the spot.
  • Arthur attempts to distract the passers by
    • They attract police attention (compel on Ezra’s I don’t fit in anywhere), but Arthur is able
      to use a quick wit (and quick Glamour) to convince the police officer that they have a permit
      for a public performance
    • A crowd gathers, attracted at least in part by Arthur’s rather poor attempts at showmanship. A
      number of people are recording videos of the event, including Ezra’s ritual
  • Ezra’s ritual succeeds, revealing that
    • The ley line is aspected towards boundaries and borders. The spell that roiled it was itself
      aspected towards creating or reinforcing boundaries, borders, or thresholds, and more at
      imprisoning than protecting
    • The spell did not deliberately draw on the ley line, but was massively reinforced by it,
      because the spell’s intent was so directly connected to the ley line’s aspects.

Where do we go from here?

Present: Arthur Covington, Ezra Tobin

Location: On the road

  • Ezra and Arthur discuss the ritual’s results
  • Arthur is convinced of a number of possible movie-plot threats, selecting Asase Yaa, Jerome,
    Eugenia, the Black Court, and Wayne Roberts as possible masterminds
  • Ezra mentions his previous run-in with the Black Court,
    and suggests that they might well have something to do with the matter
  • In any case, Ezra believes that the Black Court presence should be taken care of quickly.
  • Ezra passes Asase Yaa’s new activity in Baltimore (and, in particular, in the person of Jerome)
    up the Warden’s chain of command, as an informational notice.
View
The Morgue
I make sure that there's a bucket handy

In-game: September 22, 2010 (afternoon and evening)

Waking Up

Locations: Greenmount Cemetery, Riza’s House

Present: Elizabeth “Riza” Spangler, Ezra Tobin

  • It is the afternoon by the time Ezra and Riza wake up (each in their own bed, not that I should have to mention that). The process does not go easily.
  • Jerome has left Ezra a telephone message to meet him at the morgue at Hopkins Hospital

The Corpse

Location: Hopkins Hospital

Present: Elizabeth “Riza” Spangler, Ezra Tobin

  • Riza and Ezra, after a brief detour to SI headquarters, join Jerome in the morgue, where Jerome waits outside whilst they examine the body.
  • Already standing over the body is Eugenia Fitzgerald, there to pay her respects.
  • Whilst Eugenia engages Ezra in conversation about her work with Believe (and against the Black Court), Riza moves directly to examine the body.
    • Though preserved in the morgue, Wayne’s body smells worse than you would expect. Even if you know what to expect.
    • The wound is rotting from the inside, faster than should be possible.
    • According to the Medical Examiner’s report, Roberts was killed by a single stab wound, with a sharp weapon that, when it hit his rib, glanced off rather than sawing in (which is rather odd given the knife’s sharpness). Riza’s examination of the body shows nothing that would cast doubt on this description.
    • According to Lore, the body has traces of residual magic, and the wound was affected by some form of biomancy
  • Ezra joins Riza in the examination, although he is less hands-on than she was. He does take small samples from the wound for later investigation.
  • Ezra and Riza discuss using a thaumaturgical ritual to experience Robert’s last moments, but decide that they will need to make preparations in order to conduct this ritual.
  • Riza examines the corpse with the Sight
    • Violent death is harsh and jagged to wizardly eyes. Roberts did not die easily
    • The residue of powerful magic, its shape reminiscent of White Council (and, in particular, Warden training) is still attached to Roberts, with its residue leading off to the southwest
    • The wound is a hotbed of Biomantic life. The spell that infests it (or the remains of the spell?) is not of human origin. Aspect: Bursting with Magical Life
  • Ezra examines the corpse, and its wound, with the Sight
    • The wound contains magic similar to, but not exactly like, summer’s magic. Aspect: It’s not quite summer Ezra finds himself unable to look away.
    • The corpse as a whole is infused with the residue of Warden’s magic. Aspect: Life energy fuelling a distant spell

Heading for Home

Location: Hopkins Hospital

Present: Elizabeth “Riza” Spangler, Ezra Tobin

  • On their way out, Riza and Ezra meet Jerome, who has copies of the police report on the killing.
  • On seeing Jerome’s Marked by Power, they are astonished to notice that:
    • Riza: Magic from the same type of supernatural entity who marked Jerome infests the wound.
    • Ezra: Magic from the same entity who marked Jerome infests the wound.
  • There is no sign that Jerome noticed their realization, and they did not pursue it.
  • After meeting briefly with Eugenia, the three begin walking towards the exit

Ambush

Location: Hopkins Hospital

Present: Elizabeth “Riza” Spangler, Ezra Tobin

  • As they leave the hospital, Eugenia is seized as she turns a corner
  • Ezra and Riza find themselves faced by two thugs in gang colours (with brand-new spider markings), and one apparently slightly smarter thug attempting to carry Eugenia away
  • Not believing that this is a peaceful meeting, violence ensues
  • One Renfield ends up on the wrong end of a Warden’s sword, whilst the other is blinded and runs out of the building, still in a berserk rage
  • Devin James, a Black Court vampire, is forced to drop Eugenia, but is able to escape. Her carries with him the Moderate Physical Consequence Garlic-infested wounds hurt, dammit!
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