Matt (innocent_man) wrote in ptc_playtest,

Water of Life Update

Tonight begins These Mortal Engines, the story set in Detroit (from Saturnine Night), probably the last one of the chronicle. We were sans Marty, because evidently newbis was sleepy. Or sick. Or grumpy. Or forgetful. Or Dopey. Pick a dwarf. Or a smurf.

The characters rolled into Detroit in August, all a-swelter. We decided to take a week or so of downtime for characters to go their separate ways in the city (though they actually stayed in pretty close contact). newbis, I will of course need to know what Marty was up to. Blue-booking for XP is available!

Julia joined the Detroit parkour club (dunno if there's one in real life, but in the WoD, there is), and Jesse learned the basics. Julia's to the point where she can scale sheer walls quickly. She dreamed, too, and in the dream saw herself changing forms but being constantly held back by...herself. The "holding back" self was still wearing the bracelet. She talked it over with the others, and they pointed out that she wasn't Julia Swansea, and never really had been. She questioned whether a name mattered, but they pointed out that Julia had been an addict, and she had recently overcome her own addiction. Julia decided, therefore, to take a new name - Phoenix, and in so doing, achieved an important milestone.

Jesus was researching Egyptian burial and funerary rites, in preparation for creating his own Promethean. He also developed the Elpis Merit, and in his meditation, saw the Detroit River full of bodies. He saw people fishing them out, saying, "my brother, my father, my mother, my son, etc." but noticed that some floated away unclaimed.

Hank learned the Refinement of Bronze, which was harder for him than he thought (probably because of lingering Torment and low Humanity).

Now, in looking around, the characters learned a few things. First, Detroit, of late, had been plagued by brownouts and blackouts. The city wasn't offering up any good reasons, but the worst of it had lasted about 20 minutes, city-wide.

Second, weird attacks going on. People getting jumped by strange, bald, white men with filed-sharp teeth. A couple of people had died, and Jesus decided to learn more. He went to a funeral home where a service was being held, and noted that the only person in residence (other than the staff) was the corpse. He used Corpse Tongue and asked if the dude had been drained of blood (no) and if he knew who'd killed him (no), and then what he'd like said at his funeral. He said he wanted it pointed out that he'd fought for his country, but that his country had forgotten and ignored him when he'd returned home. Jesus did that, and left, still perplexed but at least relieved that it wasn't vampires doing the killing.

Hank looked into Moses Moon, whom you'll recall was the demiurge of Lighthouse, and whose notes they'd found in Denver. Looking up his home address using his real name (Moustafa Jaymes), he went to his house and knocked on the door. A woman dressed in black answered, and Hank asked to find Moses. She replied that the service was tonight, at the Oculus Bookstore.


Moses had been murdered a couple of night ago, shot in the head after leaving said bookstore. The woman (Jenny) told Hank where the bookstore was, and the group decided to go en masse. Prior to that, they discussed the throng; Hank asked Spence if he like to become part of the pact. He said he would (Lead, remember), and Hank brought it up to the group, but Nathan said that he was fairly sure that Marty wouldn't allow it, since the only reason he'd let Nathan in was because of Al. That discussion was tabled (no Marty, after all), and the Prometheans went to the funeral.

The place was a true occult bookstore, but mostly supplies rather than books. As they walked in, a white cat saw Jesus and hissed at him. Jesus, using Ephemeral Flesh, saw that the cat was glowing, but didn't have time to pursue the matter. Jenny asked for help moving some heavy stuff, and as more people arrived, the service got underway.

The service consisted of a reading of the Egyptian Book of the Dead (all of it). During the reading, some of the folks nearby made some strange looks at Jesse, but things stayed civil. Julia activated Tainted Azoth to look for mages, and found that there were several in the audience.

When the reading was over, Jenny asked if anyone would like to speak. A few people did, including a man who simply said, "What happened to Moses Moon was wrong" with such gravitas that it put a chill up the characters' spines. Hank also said a few words, expressing regret that he never met Moses Moon but appreciation for the wisdom he'd left behind (speaking at a funeral, BTW, was a milestone for Hank).

After the service, Hank approached the man who'd spoken and asked what he meant. The man looked into Hank's eyes and forced him to tell him why he wanted to know, and then, after learning that Hank was "in the know" about the supernatural, told him that Moon shouldn't have died like that - he didn't deserve it. The man (whose name is Wincott), said that he knew that Moon wasn't robbed, but that his backpack and laptop were stolen after he'd been shot.

Jesus talked to Thorn, Jenny's husband, and asked to see the body. He initially refused, but after he told Thorn his name (his real name, Eptah), Thorn relented. Jesus used his power, and learned that Moon didn't know who'd killed him, but described him as a thin, hunched-over guy with what looked like a dirty lab coat, and rock-steady hands.

Phoenix sought out one of the mages, and talked with her about Moon. After a bit of conversation, during which Minerva revealed that there were several vampires and werewolves in attendance, Phoenix revealed that she wasn't really a mage. The mage, Minerva (whom you can find in Tome of the Watchtowers, if you're interested), didn't ask to know much about "Prometheans," after Phoenix identified them as such. She said that if she knew, and had to explain it to other mages, she couldn't be sure that they wouldn't hold her accountable for more knowledge. Hank joined them, and after hearing that he'd been talking to Wincott, Minerva offered to look in his mind for any residual effects (there wasn't any). Minerva told the characters that some of her folks had looked into the past to see the death, but that one of the charms Moses wore skewed any attempt at doing that. She gave Phoenix her card (turns out she's a pro dom), and was off. Minerva also told them about a pack of werewolves called the Brightmoor Devils, but warned them to be very careful in contacting them.

The characters decided to regroup and figure out what to do next. Next week, we're sans hot493, so we figure Phoenix is off with Jesse jumping off buildings or something.
Tags: actual play, water of life
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