Atlanta Rising

The Bonds of Love

This adventure began focusing on Gina Swanson, “CJ” Caleb Joseph Patterson, George Howard, and Xander. They learned that young men all over were committing suicide for no obvious reason, and they were tasked to find the culprit before he or she killed anyone else in Atlanta. A victim had been found at Emory, a young man who apparently committed suicide after his girlfriend came to visit from New York. The girlfriend, however, had an alibi— people could conclusively prove that she had not ever left New York, and the party determined the cause of the boy’s death must have been connected to the imposter. While they were looking for clues, they saw Dr. Reginald Smythe catch up with a very young, and very beautiful, woman. They found this strange because Smythe was about 25 years the young woman’s senior, and he seemed intimately familiar with her. They also sensed magic around her, and so they followed the couple.

They overheard that the woman was very interested in the hostility between Smythe and Berl. They grew concerned for Smythe’s safety when she left a $20 bill for a cheap meal and he took the change— accepting a gift from her inadvertently. CJ and Xander followed Smythe to protect him, while Gina and George followed the woman. She determined that she was working for Puck and that he had offered her goblins in exchange for whatever she was doing. When he noticed that they were watching him and the woman talk, they both left. Gina and George went to warn Berl about Puck’s hostile intent through Nash.

The adventure shifted to focus on the main party members, save for Constance. She had been called away on Warden business. Gina, Nash, and George began to see a woman clad in white with white hair and blood on her face pounding on the inside of reflective surfaces, apparently tormented. They discussed the woman in the mirrors for a while until a red-headed man came in rudely demanding a drink and service. Marco tried to calm the man, but he was having none of it. They quickly realized the man was Puck and tried to get him to let them be. He had no apparent interest in throwing the first punch, so when Gina offered to keep an eye on him, Nash, Berl, and George went to try and summon the woman and see if she had answers for them that Puck did not want them to know.

The woman who came out of the mirror was quickly revealed to be Erica Swanson, Gina’s mother.

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Dream Weaver

(Thanks Chris for typing this up!)

  A new box of Western themed items was delivered to Nash to decorate his bar. While his father’s continued insistence on a Western theme annoyed him, one item in particular caught his eye: an elaborate (and, perhaps more importantly, authentic looking) dreamcatcher, which he proceeded to find a spot for. That night, he discovers that both he and the Andrew, a former Red Court infected, are having lucid semi-shared dreams. After he and Andy talk, Andy goes back to sleep, but suddenly starts sleepwalking, accusing Nash of being “her”. Worse, whatever is causing his dream is apparently able to partly reproduce his former Red Court abilities. After finding a safer position, Nash calls Constance for backup and shifts to coyote form (confusing Andrew). Once Constance arrives, they are able to subdue and awaken him, which re-removes his powers.           

At this point, Constance experiences a nightmarish vision of a man trapped in a tree, and decides to open up a portal to the Nevernever and investigate immediately (with Nash following to keep an eye on her), much to the annoyance of Berl, who is awakened very early in the morning to treat second degree burns after the two meet the world’s stealthiest chimera (it rolled a 9 stealth).

Once their wounds are bandaged and Berl told about the dreams, the three deduce that the dreamcatcher is probably to blame, and Nash calls his father for information on it. Apparently, it belonged to Nash’s recently deceased great uncle, who trained some of the younger Nashs in shapeshifting, but Nash’s father assumed it was not a magic item. Upon being informed of its effects, he arranged for Nash’s second cousin to pick it up in a couple of days. In the meaintime, Berl, Constance, and Andrew, placed the dreamcatcher under a ward to prevent anymore lucid dreams.

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And It Was Good

(The contents of this log spans the last two game sessions.)
Marco and Lt. Montgomery found when they went to church that Father Rodriguez seemed to be missing. They went looking for him and discovered that he seemed to have been kidnapped. Marco got Nash to help him investigate, and, in order to keep Montgomery from hassaling them as they worked, they revealed that Nash could shapeshift and that magic is real to her. They continued their investegation and determined that the attacker would have to be a short, slight woman based on a few clues. They found the father in a restaraunt, badly beaten. Montomery opted to take him to the hospital. Constance met up with them at the church. They went back to the church to look for more clues and determined that the woman had ransacked Rodriguez’s office looking for something, and that a man named Father Montoya had given the mass in Father Rodriguez’s place. The also found that someone called M had sent Rodriguez a letter stating that he did not believe that “the child of the left hand of God” was “ready”. When Constance tried to trace the sender, she learned that the sender was directly above them— way up there— and that his trail was a bright and pure light. They got ahold of Berl to try and determine what the left hand of God actually is. Berl, unfortunately, wasn’t sure. The party went to speak to Rodriguez while Constance consulted the other Wardens on the issue. Rodriguez believed his attacker was a woman he had seen a few times before, but neither knew her name nor was willing to elaborate on the contents of his letter. He asked them to speak to one of the nuns, Sister Serena, but they spoke to Montoya instead. He was brusque and unhelpful. As they were leaving, they met up with Rico, who told them Ella had been missing for a few days. Constance and Marco went back to the hospital and the two Sams went to Ella’s house to follow her trail. They found that Ella was in a hotel and called Constance and Marco to join them. The party heard her inside and she claimed to be ill, but when they went to get the manager to open the door, she seemed to have jumped out the window and run off. Nash and Berl chased her down while Marco and Constance tried to smooth things over with the manager, and Berl slowed her down by using his Incite Emotion ability on her. She tricked some locals into thinking that the Sams were harrasing her and she fled to Rico’s appartment. Marco and Constance went to catch up with her, and when they had, they found she had killed the person who gave her a ride over and had a knife to an unconscious Rico’s throat. Nash and Berl caught up shortly. Being that they couldn’t attack Ella without risking hurting Rico, Marco dared the demon to possess him instead, and the demon found the offer too good to pass up. The demon tried to use Marco to do harm to his party members, but they managed to contain him until Rodriguez arrived. Rodrguez was carrying the Spear of Destiny and he gave it to Berl to protect while Marco was possessed. With the help of the father and the party, as well as by his own strength of conviction, Marco banished the demon from his body. It left Rodriguez even more wearied than he had been, and the party called an ambulence for him, Ella, and Rico. Berl took the sword to the church and dunked it in holy water and tried to protect it in a circle, but Montoya revealed his own power by stepping through the circle and retrieving the Spear from the water. When the rest of the party caught up to him, Montoya revealed that Marco’s father had been the left hand of God, and that after this trial, Marco had proven himself worthy of the title and the Spear if he chose to accept it, or to find another left hand if he did not. He gave the Spear to Marco to defend until he made his decision.

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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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