Atlanta Rising

What Price Inspiration?

Tensions errupted at the Goblin Market as Berl brought the Sword of Summer. Abby was frustrated that he didn’t give the sword to her and gave him a “gift” or attacked him (depending on your point of view). When he returned to Nash’s bar, Berl suddenly got hit with a burst of inspiration and began scribbling a paper on a new surgical technique. Nash snapped him out of it by pouring cold water on him and Berl panicked, believing that he would become affected like that again. He locked himself in a circle for the night to protect himself.

Constance and Marco went home for the night. The next day, Marco was greated by a woman named Vanessa who claimed to be his mother’s sister. She seems to want to become a part of Marco’s life in a way she hadn’t been before. Constance, meanwhile, noticed a fifth-grade girl named Alyssa seemed to have a not-so-imaginary invisible friend and Cameron Dodd liked to torment her over it. She learned, though, that Alyssa used to be a very depressed child, and ever since she ‘made up’ this friend, she has been much happier and healthier.

Berl decided that he had to finish the paper he had been doing, so he made arragements with Nash to bribe Abby to give him some more inspiration with good absinthe. She agreed to give him what he needed, and he began to finish his paper. As soon as he finished, he fell to the ground, unconscious. He was dazed when he woke, and will be pretty out of it for a fair while.

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Holes in the Wall

The arriaval of the man with the sword pretty well ended the conflict between the party and the goblins. He was fairly cordial, but despite his manner, the party was hesitant to trust him. When asked, he could not give them his lord’s name, nor was he helpful in describing what his lord looked like. He did allow them to question Roger, which proved slightly more helpful than not. Roger may have been ordered to serve the man with the sword, but whoever their master is did not permit him to disclose it’s location to the party, even at the man’s command.

The party left the Never-Never and were harassed by a little old lady whose backyard they had chased Roger into. She threatened to shoot them, so they reconvened at The Last Howl. There they met with Adrian Paul, who was most distressed over his son, Caleb Paul, having gone missing. The group opted to split up— the two Sams waited until the dead of night to try and look for the missing Sword of Summer and Constance and Marco set off to find little Caleb.

The Sams quickly located the sword without much of a conflict. Marco and Constance, on the other hand, ran into some trouble. Their trail led them back to Weisenburg’s home. They broke down the door and as they looked around, Marco got hit in the head with a book. Caleb was at the top of the stairs, standing behind another boy he called “Cammy”. Cammy was determined to keep Caleb away from them, and mentioned taking him back through a “hole in the wall” to where he could see more “monsters”. Fortunately, Marco and Constance were able to convince the boy to call his father and go home, but Cammy ran into his room— presumably through the hole in the wall back to the Never-Never. Caleb didn’t understand why his father was so worried: he believed he had only been gone for an hour.

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On the Prowl

The party gathered to find the Sword of Summer and set off. Constance got them started on the right path by using a spell to trace the Sword itself, but as they traveled, the trail got weaker and she became too frustrated to hold the focus she needed to find it. Nash took over the hunt by transforming and trying to catch a familiar scent. At first, he was surprised to smell fey all over a particular garden, but one smell in particular caught his attention: the smell of seawater. After a while, he noticed he was being watched and made chase. The party followed him (unfortunately leaving his clothes behind), and they chased their quarry into the Never-never.

In the Never-never, they nearly ran headfirst into three tallish (for fey: still shorter than Constance by nearly a head), thin, hunched goblins, each with a distinct scent: the smell of seawater, the smell of coal and fire, and the smell of ozone and thin air. These goblins were not happy to have someone intruding on what the one who smelled of seawater called “the realm that was a gift to our master.” They refused to give the party passage further into the Never-never, nor would they give them a guide. Marco didn’t like their attitude, so he started a fight with them. At one point, he even threw Nash (in coyote form) at the goblin who smelled like seawater and knocked the fey unconscious. While the battle raged on, another portal opened into the Never-never, and a tall, stocky man with a mangy beard and a sword on his back stepped in. He seemed quite bewildered to see the party and asked what was going on. His answer may come next session.

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City Creation

During this session, we finally sat down and fleshed out some of the Locations in town. I also have a few ideas from the boys that I’ll be working on to set up few more adventures to come.

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Locations and Aspects

This is related to city creation. Some of the areas in the Locations page are going to have aspects. Most of them will be discussed in the city creation meeting. I’m not going to assign aspects to all of them because they may not match what you all have in mind for them. I have no problem assuming St. John’s Church has the aspect “Holy Ground” because, well, duh. But, I don’t know if Marco’s shop is “Just Shy of a Scrap Yard” or if it’s “Our New Place”. Likewise, is the Last Howl “Warded,” “Accorded Neutrality Pending,” or “A Seedy, Shady Joint?” (I’m not going to grant it Neutrality automatically because I think earning that might set up a cool story.)

Give thought to what kind of place your characters live in, as well. Constance may still be living out of boxes in her new apartment or she may have settled quickly, while Nash may be comfortably living in a messy bachelor pad above his bar or he may have a cabin in the woods he commutes back and forth to. Marco could bounce back and forth between his friends’ apartments, or he may rent a house for all of his posse to stay at until they find their own places. Berl has money, so he could probably afford his own house, but he may be living instead in an apartment paid for by the University. It’s all up to you! Be sure to give your homes a distinct aspect as well as some description.

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An Exorcism and the Goblin Market

In session, the group dispacted with Weisenburg (Marco helpfully smashing the wizard’s face into the pavement a few times) and helped Larry get to Father Rodriguez’s church to have the demon exorcized from him before it left his body the way it did his teacher’s. Nash’s car is ruined, but that’s okay because he stole Weisenburg’s (for the time being) so Marco could take Nash’s car to get repaired. They then took Larry to the hospital to treat his concusion and Nash offered Larry sanctuary in his bar, should he need it. As far as can be told, Tara and Jeter got away and Weisenburg’s house was on fire when the party left.

After the session, we discussed the “Guest Stars Redux” adventure. The party heard of a Goblin Market being hosted in Atlanta and went to visit for various reasons. Nash went to purchase some goods for one of his employees, Elizabeth (or “Liz”), a shy woman who has severe anxiety about dealing with any supernatural powers, be they fey or the White Counsil. Constance was there at the Counsil’s behest, providing ‘security’ of sorts to the proceedings. Marco went with Ella and Rico to keep them from making any bad deals. Finally, Berl went to try and determine what had happened to his parents’ debt.

While the party members were each minding their own business, a cry rang out. Someone had stolen the Sword of Summer! While at first all the eyes turned to the suspicious mortals (i.e., the party) because they smelled of Summer (because of their standing arrangement with Lord Summerhill) and of Puck (Constance, of course, being exempt from suspicion because she’s never dealt with either fae), it was quickly determined that only a wyldfae could have taken the sword without the other faes’ knowledge.

The party does not know (though the group decided out of character) that the sword had been taken by a goblin named Jolly Roger, an ally or associate of Puck’s. Berl was able to make a deal with a Winter fairy called Abby that if he returned the sword to the market before it was too late, he would have his parents’ debt given to him.

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*Notice* City Creation and Guest Stars Redux

Lady and gents, while we won’t be doing the City Creation and Guest Starts Redux session until we complete the adventure with Kyle Weisenburg and Lawrence “Larry” McDunnough, there is quite a bit that I hope you will all consider before that session comes up.

First of all, there’s the issue of how everyone treats Marco Verde. Guys… I can’t in good conscience tell you to treat Marco differently in-character, but please remember that this guy fought trolls with you and met a high Sidhe and a goddess face-to-face, and he fought demons and vampires with his bare hands well before the party even really met each other. He doesn’t need as much ‘help’ as everyone seems to think he does. Just give it some thought.

Now that that unpleasantness is out of the way: let’s talk city creation! (Yay!) In the city creation session, we’ll be talking about what kinds of adventures you want to have, what kind of villains you want to meet, what kind of friends you want to make, etc. By the time we play, I should have tentative sheets up for the NPCs you’ve already met who may make a comeback. I want all of you to give thought to some of the people your characters can or should know. Other things to consider would be where you want the story to take your character, or what effect you want your character to have on the city of Atlanta.

As for the guest stars redux slot: I’m going to give y’all some options for how to fill it. After this adventure is completed, we WILL be discussing an ‘off screen’ adventure you all share. This will be considered canon for all intents and purposes, even if that adventure is not where you choose to take your new aspect from. You may choose to declare an aspect from either the Their Eyes Were Watching or Friends in Need adventures as well. The off screen adventure will be totally up to you guys. It does not have to include Puck or any other NPC you’ve met, though it can if you want it to. The important thing is that it is another experience that you all share and can relate to in order to better tie the party together as a group of friends and allies instead of as independent characters who occasionally ask each other for help.

As I said on Facebook, my brother and I will be out of town on Friday, and even if the hotel has Wi-Fi, we’ll be with family most of the evening, so there won’t be any DFRPG that night. Next week, we’ll pick up with Larry’s unsuccessful attack against Nash and go from there. Until then, guys, have a great week!

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Friends in Need

This session, the boys were at first worried about the investigation of the warden Constance Esther Grace Harper, but before they could be too worried about her, they found themselves in the middle of an investigation of their own. The cadaver of Shequan Thatcher brought into Sam Berl‘s class was apparently possessed by a demon, bad news by anyone’s reckoning. The asked Father Rodriguez about what he knew, and were advised that the man could either have put the demon in himself or have had the demon put in him by someone else. They quickly determined that he could not have done it to himself, and that it was likely that he was attacked because he was worried about an abused student of his, Lawrence “Larry” McDunnough. They decided to confront Larry’s mentor, Kyle Weisenburg, and quickly learned that the mentor was in league with their old friend, Puck, having exchanged his foster son Cameron Dodd for the name of the demon. The session ended with Weisenburg’s associate Derrick Jeter and girlfriend Tara Shane trying to deter then, and Weisenburg bewitching or possessing Larry, and the boy then attacking Nash.

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Previews of Coming Attractions

Atlanta is the city too busy to hate (or to love, for that matter), and if the boys thought they were out of the frying pan, they have yet to see the fire. A warden is on the trail of Adrian Paul and the trail leads to the guys who tried to save him from himself, and Isis herself wants this man protected. Just when they thought things couldn’t get any worse, a demonic spirit rushed out of a patient (or corpse, depending) that Dr. Berl was performing surgery on for his students’ benefit. Can the boys keep their necks when so many entities want to rend their heads from their shoulders? Find out next time in Atlanta Rising!

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Their Eyes Were Watching

Sam Berl, Samuel Nash, and Marco Verde learned of the theft of the Eye of Horus. Marco wanted to help find it because his friend Rico Dominguez and Rico’s girlfriend Ella St. Claire were suspects. Dr. Berl knew of the item’s power and wanted to find it, not only to keep the various mortals who might encounter it safe, but also to keep his job, since apparently some of his innate abilities have made him somewhat unpopular to the various deans and regents in charge of the school, and if any insurance money were to be paid, cutting his salary entirely would balance out the cost of the item fairly well. Mr. Nash was pressured by his family to keep an eye on the Eye, and when it went missing, he knew he would catch their crap.

Particularly unusual to Berl and Nash was the interest a Mrs. Edgeview had in them. She seemed to see right through them and correctly assessed that they might appreciate the significance of the item’s loss. After having Bobby, one of Berl’s students hack into some files to findout the information her licence plate, they followed Mrs. Edgeview to her presidential suite at the Hilton, and they learned quickly that she was Isis, the mother of the god Horus whose Eye it was. She promised a favor to Nash and Marco in exchange for its return (not offering a gift to Berl due to his fey-born nature).

As they looked for the Eye, they became increasingly concerned of its power, learning that it had the ability to shatter the minds of people against whom it was used. Despite not wantin to get the White Council involved, they were forced to have Nash’s family contact a warden to tend to a security guard who caught the full brunt of the Eye’s force. More than that, they learned that at least one being interested in the Eye was a fey of unknown allegiance, raising the stakes. They came to find that the man who most likely had the eye was being chased by trolls, probably sent by the unknown fey from the museum. They had to use one of Nash’s contacts, a sorcerer named Don to have a tooth-fairy find the location of the theif, Adrian Paul. In doing this, they learned that the fey who was sending the trolls was no friend of Summer. They went to find Paul and ran into a troll and killed it. Paul escaped, but they learned the fey who sent the troll was Puck, as well as Puck’s location, and hoped to use this information to get the agents of Summer in Atlanta to take out their only obvious competition for the eye.

The agent they got was the sidhe lord Lord Summerhill, and while he could not take out Puck directly, he offered to help them get Paul in exchange for them placing a potion on Puck that would ensure the Summer Court could always locate him, no matter how far or fast he ran. When they went to place this potion on Puck, trouble really got started for the party.

Though Puck inadvertently gave the party his True Name, he grabbed the upper hand over them quickly. Marco was a bit too slow on the draw for his water gun filled with the potion, and Puck threatened Berl’s life before Marco could pull the trigger. The fairy forced Marco and Nash to leave so he could interrogate Berl. He tricked Berl, learning what was in the water gun and getting the doctor to agree to a very bad deal in the process. Puck’s exact words were that he would see to it no nixie owned Berl’s foster-parents’ debt and that he would not purchase the debt from any non-nixie who may have obtained the debt over the years— essentially granting Puck permission to get ahold of the Berls’ debt for himself.

The party left Puck’s hotel, more dejected than anything else, and resolved to use Nash’s abilities to locate Paul. When they did find him, they were able to scare him into dropping the Eye. Horus appeared and demanded the eye, but when Berl wouldn’t give it to him (having promised to return it to Isis, not Horus), the goddess appeared and took it from them to give to her son. She then cleared Paul’s mind of the strain he had incured from using the Eye and the party took him home. Afterwords, Isis reappeared and gave them words of advice- essentially warning them that they could either become great or let their previous mistakes rule them. She then granted Nash and Marco favors in the form of two scarabs and disappeared again to leave them to their own devices.

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