Story 1, Chapter 1 - Cry Havoc!
Chronicle: Something Wicked…
Story 1: Pack Mentality
Chapter 1: Cry Havoc!
Time: 7 March 2008 (Height of the new moon)
Chapter 1: Cry Havoc!
Scene: You’ve Got Mail
Christian Thorne received a strange e-mail forced into a private account he reserved for the most trusted online allies. The subject contained his SS# and other key information about his past. A bit of hacking told the young Iron Master the message came from none other than Phaeton MacPherson, otherwise known as Odin. Christian decided it best to get on home before opening such a mystery. He hopped his old clunky motorcycle and drove to a tiny apartment and noticed all along the way a number of large black birds framing his path. Crows, ravens, and other corvids eyed him every step of the way.
Safely inside, Thorne clicked open the e-mail and nearly shit his pants when a murder of spiritual crow erupted forth with a message: “Odin requires your dedication in service to the Slivered Moon. The Elder has spoken. The call to Pack beckons. You must join them. You must find your last packmate. They will require your aid.” There, at the bottom of the e-mail, was a time and a location (the Dutchman), the full name and SS# of the target.
A Different Way to Hunt
Thorne performed a brief bit of Iron Master hunting and hacked as much information about old Jack Sullivan as he could. He discovered a number of interesting factoids, not least of which was a regular bar tab, paid each week at 10pm, at the local VFW. Thorne packed his gear, hopped on his bike, and went to the bar.
Dean Thorton prepared to leave his office for the night when a shadow fell across his door. Wary, he glanced outside and noted dozens of crows crowded about his old Lincoln. He felt the strange presence and knew this night would be different. Dean opened the door and a slack-jawed, limp-armed man strode in Ridden by the potent spirit Scarecrow itself. Dean listened as the spirit envoy relayed its message:
“Odin calls and you must answer. The Tribal Elder demands you meet them, understand them, and guide them. You must forge the bonds of pack. It has been seen. Each has a place and a purpose and yours is to guide the pack towards its first goal: finding your last member.”
Dean noticed the old bird eye a shining coin on his desk. As he offered up the coin, Scarecrow laid down a necklace of feathers upon his desk. Dean discovered later the feathers belonged to the spirit itself. Like Christian, he chose wisely to pack up quickly and head to the bar.
Horatio Rose cleansed his home of the corrupting touch of the spirit of silver when the headlights of an expensive SUV (2008 X164 GL-Class; 7 seater) came rambling down the path to his home. A man, a wolf, an Elder named Odin, stepped out and gave a brief message.
“Too long have you gone without a pack. A Lone Wolf will suffer great damage to his soul. Rejoin the world. I call you for this favor and grant you this boon.”
The older wolf lay down three feathers and a card atop his hood and stepped back.
“They will need your special skills. You need to work together, as a pack, to find this cub and bring him into the fold.”
His message offered, Odin departed certain he would be heeded. Later, Rose discovered the three feathers to be talens, each offering a +3 to any roll to perform a Rite.
Bastian DeWitt prepared to close up after an especially poor night of business when none other than Homeless Dave wandered into the bar. The crazed vet muttered a few nonsensical phrases and slammed down a silver coin on the bartop. “He said you’d get me a drink!”
As Bastian examined the coin, he noted an eagle that, for a second, transformed into a raven. He realized the coin was much older than its shining appearance. It was a 1921 Walking Silver Half-Dollar (worth est $2,500).
“He said, they are coming, he said. Gave me this. You’d get me a drink for it. But,” the old man pointed a shaky finger, “you gotta welcome them. Meet and help them. He said, the time for lone wolves is over. The pack must come together. Now,” Homeless Dave smiled. “Do I get me that drink?”
Bastian took the coin and made mental note that Dave’s tab would be free of charge for quite a while.
Jack Sullivan sat in the bar at the local VFW #3671 and drank beer after beer. The voices had grown worse as of late. They whispered of darkness and wolves and he could not shake the feeling of being constantly watched. He glanced out the window and saw a crow. He looked to another and saw one more. Each window, each opening out into the world saw a strange black bird stare back at him. It was going to be a rough night.
Scene: Auspicious Moot
Four wolves dressed as men met at The Dutchman. Bastian welcomed them as instructed and they discussed the strange night to come. A new wolf would be born. The First Change was a solemn occasion and it seemed they had been chosen to come together and usher him forth. The four discussed their options and their knowledge and decided the hunt must begin in earnest.
For some reason, while the others did not bother him, when Horatio Rose entered, Homeless Dave immediately left.
Bastian led them down into the basement and Horatio led the Rite. He cut his tongue and passed the blade. He howled and the others licked the knife and joined him. They shared the scent of their prey, their brethren, and prepared to go forth. Christian offered up his knowledge and they knew where they must begin._
Scene: And We’re Off!
The four wolves piled into Bastian’s F-150 and drove into the parking lot of VFW Hall #3671. Horatio slipped silently around the back in wolf form as both Dean and Christian took a side. Bastian strode up to the front door to speak with two old Vietnam vets named Al and Barry.
“Yeah, ol’ Jack’s here, but we don’t know you and you ain’t a member. Gonna have to wait out here, big friend, while we go let him know what’s what.”
Jack trusted nothing and no one. He wasn’t about to walk out the front door after the night’s he’d been having and instead decided to slip out the back way. He climbed down out of the bathroom window, silent as a mouse. He saw Dean and he knew. “They are here. The wolves are here.” The voice urged him and he fled in the shadows to the back. “Safety in the Cherry,” whispered the voice and Jack changed direction.
He did not see Horatio follow.
Around the corner, another man. “Another wolf,” whispered the voice. And he fled in the darkness. “Run!” it said. So he did. In short order, there were three of them upon him. Jack felt arms around him, Christian held tight. The spirit whispered and he listened. In an instant, he was free. In a blur, he was running.
Dean came to the call of his fellows but was stopped at the door by five crazed men all with the same slack-jawed features. He knew in an instant what they were. Ridden. Urged. He whispered quickly the words of Rite as the five piled upon the huge Rahu Bastian and understood. They were Fearlings. He knew how to subdue them. “Cow them. Intimidate them and they must obey!”
While Jack fled, Horatio roared and the five men dropped to their knees in a fetal position upon the gravel. The spirits in them were weak. The spirit on Jack was not. As the others tried to pile on, tried to catch him, he gave more of himself to the voice in his head and he ran.
Scene: Pop That Cherry
Jack fled into the open doors of the Golden Cherry, a strip club he had visited a time or two. A girl named Cherise had agreed to a date, a real date, a few nights back. Something about the place made the voice in his head feel safe. When he ran inside, crazed and obviously out of his mind with terror, not a soul stopped him. Not a single person even noticed his presence. Jack did not find this strange, but kept on, fleeing through the crowd, protected by the geas of the spirit.
The four wolves split. Bastian, followed in the shadows by Horatio, slipped around back to stop Jack before he could get too far. Christian and Dean accepted their fate and volunteered to enter the den of sin “for the sake of the hunt.”
In an instant it became apparent to the hunters that the place was strange. The air was thick, the loud music deafening and deadening to the senses. Moreover, a strange, but palpable thickness clouded the air. The gauntlet was thicker here, made so by the dark machinations of a Host. An Azlu. As Christian and Dean hunted their prey, they in turn were hunted. A stripper on the pole dropped down. Another slipped forward out of the crowd. Each grew arms, eyes, and the mandibles of their kind. From the stage, the larger of the two grew the fat body and legs of a massive spider straight out of horror.
The prey had led them into the home of two Azlu matrons.
Seductress and Spinner gave combat biting and slicing at Dean and Horatio while Bastian tried, yet again, to stop Jack’s flight. Inside the Uratha felt the power of a locus hidden by the thickened gauntlet.
Bastian grasped tight to the small would-be pup and held tight. In his arms, there was no escaping. Not without aid. Jack heard the whisper, yet again, and gave in. The spirit rode him and gave to him its power. He felt enveloped by the darkness and shifted. His body transformed into a being of pure darkness. He slid, two-dimensional, out of Bastian’s arms, and towards the highway.
Dean and Christian fought and tore and were joined in short order by Horatio. With great haste they dispatched their foes, tore the spiders limb from limb, and watched as they exploded into a hundred tiny hosts. They destroyed what they could, but knew that the Azlu could come back.
The four watched as Shadow Jack slipped across an eight-lane interstate towards an abandoned ranger’s tower on a hill. They felt the power of the locus. They would use it to short-circuit this chase. As one, they entered the Shadow Realm.
Scene: Traffic Jam
Once in the Hisil, Dean offered yet another Rite and drew markings upon the claws of both himself and Bastian. The Blessing of the Spirit Hunt would allow them to defeat the foe they had glimpsed in the club. Between them, Dean and Christian had gleaned information about a powerful spirit that rode on the back of their prey. It was a spirit of fear, of terror, and it drove the changing Irraka into a frenzy. It fed on his fear.
Jack fled up the hill and raced up the old tower at the spirit’s urging. There he found gear and a rifle and knew what he must do. The wolves would come from that other world. They would come out of the darkness near the hilltop, for there at the top was an old marker. A locus, said the voice. A resonance of memory. Jack checked the rifle, loaded it, and took aim.
The others made their way across the bizarre motorway occupied by the rapidly racing spirits of cars. Some hunted, others fled, still others dominated through fear and power. They leaped, dodged, and fought their way through the vicious spirits and took their licks. They made it up the hill to the resonance of memory that was the weak locus. Bastian was the first one through.
Scene: Turn the Tables
Given the opportunity to fight back, Jack lay in ambush and knew the wolves would come through. The huge one appeared first and without a second thought, he fired. Bastian was knocked back by the sure shot and he shifted. The others appeared and Jack fired. From a distance, out of the corner of his eye, he saw a strange abandoned warehouse. From it, three individuals stepped forth. Jack’s fear, his terror at seeing the huge scarred black man in that group overrode the fear of the spirit and he turned his gun. It was the bear and he must kill it.
Bastian raced up the stairs trailing blood. Horatio hid in the shadows and watched the three Pure wolves pick up a sign, a marker of territory, and begin to walk this way. Dean called out to Jack to stop, to cast aside the urging of the spirit. Christian crawled under the tower and held the gunshot wound. In a few moments he would crawl to the locus and feed from its essence to heal himself.
Scene: Wrong Neighborhood
The chase had entered the border between Forsaken and Pure. There on that line was the beginning of the suburb of Kolobton – Godfrey Park, home of the Pure pack known as the Heralds of the Return. They were a large pack and feared, led by a Predator King known as Chosen. But he was not present here. Instead, the beta of the pack, a Fire-Touched zealot known as Sun-Shattered-Sky walked forward with his allies, Celeste and Artois.
Jack fired and put the Peace between Pure and Forsaken at risk. The fear, the rage, the deep well of anger rose up and he squashed it down. He would kill the great bear. He would destroy Artois.
Dean and Bastian combined to try to turn aside the spirit of fear. They roared and called for its death and hoped they could contain it through fear.
Jack fired again. Artois roared and transformed. Sun-Shattered-Sky smiled a smug smile, hands behind his back, and stepped in front of his ally.
Jack fired over the Fire-Touched’s shoulder. A sure shot and Artois roared in agony. The Fire-Touched made a gesture of surrender and backed away. He turned and laid hands upon the great bear and forced down the rage that rose up within his ally. As one, the three Pure turned back to their territory.
Fearing for its very existence, Unfathomable Terror realized that it could not drive Jack into the Death Rage. Its plan had failed. Unwilling to allow itself to be destroyed, it gave up its ephemeral form and exploded into discorporation.
From the base of the tower, Horatio in his wolf-form, threw back his head and howled. It was a victory cry that the others soon shifted to join. Their call and the departed spirit was the final push Jack needed. His body transformed. He felt it shift between Hishu and Dalu, Urhan and Urshul and back to the human form. He did not transform into the monster. He did not devour or destroy or run. Not anymore.
Jack had faced his fears and won. The pack had succeeded in their hunt.
Experience, Rewards, and OOC Information
- Pre-game discussion of the basis of the game. Tone, theme, general feel of the Wild West.
- Discussion of Story 1 – Pack Mentality; formation of the Pack
- XP Needs: Generalized map of the city; locations; more NPCs
- Discussion of Pack XP
- +5 Personal XP each
- +5 Pack XP
- +2 XP that must go towards the Glory Renown (You can bank it for later). This bonus is +3 for Jason instead of 2 for his Dramatic Success on the Howl of Victory.
- Christian triggered Sloth at the end by focusing on healing and indulging in personal importance. +1 Willpower
- Dean and Jack both triggered Fortitude by sticking to their guns against all odds and judgment. +Full Willpower Recovery
- Horatio indulged Gluttony by allowing Artois to keep getting shot (gluttony as territory ban). +1 Willpower
- Bastian indulged Fortitude by not going with “Plan B” (attack Jack and force him into the War Form) and instead staying with the pack tactic of defeating the spirit. +Full Willpower Recovery.
Deed Name Suggestions:
Kyle – Calming Thunder (from Jason); or something to do with his Iron Will for not venturing into Death Rage when he absolutely fucking should have
Enemies Gained/NPCs Discovered:
- The Heralds of the Return (Artois, Sun-Shattered-Sky, and others)
- Unfathomable Terror
- The Azlu (perhaps destroyed)
- Rank 2 Desire Resonance in the Golden Cherry strip club
- Rank 1 Memory Resonance on top of the Hill across the street (in memory of the dead who died in an accident constructing the road)
Both of these are in The Legendary’s territory which abuts The Heralds of the Return.
End of Story Rewards
At the end of the First Story (Pack Mentality) all of the PCs will be given a free single dot of Renown (and associated Gift) as well as +20 total Pack XP to spend however they wish.