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Old 09-28-2017, 09:55 PM   #193
tshiggins
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Denver, Colorado
Default Re: Campaign: Facets

Astral Shenanigans

We held the most recent session of Facets, a couple of weekends ago, and have the next session scheduled for this weekend. So, with that in mind, I should really get this write-up done.

We pick up a few days after the last session ended, when A.J. and Henrietta return from Chicago, and report the outcome of their negotiations to Aurelia, Sunmi and Beatrice.

Characters Present:

Dr. Henrietta "Indiana" Johnson -- A personable, age 29-and-holding Anthropologist who specializes in the pre-Columbian indigenous people of the American Desert Southwest. A Native of Apache Junction, AZ, "Indiana" is good with people and has been fascinated by American Indian religion and folklore since she was a child. Henrietta speaks Apache fluently, and not-so-secretly wishes archaeology could be more like Raiders of the Lost Ark and less like digging in a trench with a trowel and a toothbrush -- Played by Debbie S.

Dr. Arthur "A.J." Jamison -- a retired NASA scientist with a home in one of Moab's nicer canyon sub-developments, who volunteers for 4CSAR because he needs to do something to get out of the house. Considers himself responsible for Sunmi Jones, who is enough of a science-geek that the two of them can actually hold a conversation. -- Played by Anten S.

Aurelia R. Lockrin -- A young woman with a shady past who teaches History at Grand County High School (Home of the Red Devils!), and volunteers for 4CSAR because she's a bit of an adrenalin junkie, and likes the companionship. -- played by Bennie Rae P.

Randy "Random" Shoop -- a twenty-something, semi-pro mountain-bike competitor who has trouble staying focused, but is basically a good and reliable member of the team, with an unexpectedly strong moral character -- Played by Gold & Appel, Inc. (Unable to attend, this time.)

Dr. Belody "Doc" Bascher -- a local veterinarian for both large and small animals, who frequently fixates on her job and uses 4CSAR as her primary social outlet. -- played by Samantha H.

Sunmi Jones -- A Korean-American prodigy and student of chemistry at Utah Valley University, who spent most of her childhood with her deceased mother's family in Korea, but has come to Utah to attend college and work with her father's petroleum exploration firm. Somewhat moe, awkward-but-cute, glasses-wearing nerd girl, who only volunteers with 4CSAR because volunteer work is required for her degree. Recently suffered mental damage after an attack by a spirit of pain and violation, and agreed to become a chwal for the loa Erzuli Dahomey, as a way to replace the negative affects with those more positive. -- Played by Rebecca W.

Beatrice "B" Lawrence -- U.S. Army veteran who works for a local air charter service as a helicopter mechanic. She recently lost the lower part of her left leg in a fight with a sorcerer from an opposing lodge, and now wears a high-tech prosthetic. A cynic about men, she is accompanied by "Grunt," the biggest, best-trained pit-bull anybody has ever seen (purchased as an ally, and a totally badass dog, even before it was possessed by what appears to be a benign “foo” spirit) -- played by Bernetta W.

Claudia Abigail Tavulari, member of the NASA Quantum Physics Research Team, and an old friend of Arthur Jamison’s. The team has been helping Arthur research the portal physics, on the sly. – Played by Tisa T. (Unable to attend, this time.)

Stephen Mack, another member of the NASA Quantum Physics Research Team, a former U.S. Marine Corps test pilot, and outdoors enthusiast. – Played by Jeff T. (Unable to attend, this time.)



NPCs Present

Jimmy Ehrland – A fugitive from the 1918 Colonia de Nova España, on the other side of the portal, he had fled from his vampire mistress, Doña Eva, only to find himself in a strange, alien world to which he must struggle to adapt. -- shifted back to NPC mode, but usually the character available for guest players.

Trooper Frank Moses -- A former Marine who recently quit his job as a trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP), based out of the Section 13 office in Moab, under Lt. Lee Exeter. Moses works with 4CSAR as needed, and has an interest in Doc Bascher. Frank finds himself attracted to what he perceives as the much simpler life on the 1918 side of the portal.

Grunt: Beatrice's ally, a large pit-bull possessed by a protective "foo" spirit. (Finally healed, but remained on the other side of the portal with Beatrice.)

##

Upon their return from Chicago, A.J. and Henrietta caught Aurelia and Beatrice up on current events, which triggered a second round of discussion. Both Beatrice and Aurelia found news of the qlippoth most disturbing, and Aurelia (in particular) vowed to operate with a much lower profile. For her part, Beatrice wondered if the problem through the Paris portal might have something to do with a qlippoth infestation.

In general, the two ladies agreed with the priorities set – clear out the rape spirit from the portal, first, and then figure out whether to go to Shangri-La, or investigate the problem in the 18th Century reality through the Paris gateway.

Aurelia also strongly advocated the group investigate Harold Taverner, and try to find a way to “discourage” him from messing with JoCat’s inheritor, Krystal Swan. Her ally, Wren, had reported that Tarverner’s company, Gunnison Supply Depot, had done business with Island Petroleum of Houston, Texas, in the past. Moreover, they’d recently secured a huge contract to supply fracking materials to the front for the Society of the Scarlet Sage, for use in some oil fields in Oklahoma.

A.J. argued that, while the timing certainly seemed suspicious enough, nothing in their armistice with the Society of the Scarlet Sage prevented the group from doing normal, mundane business with firms located in Colorado, Utah or New Mexico. As such, while the Scarlet Sage might be bending the spirit of the agreement, they continued to adhere to the letter of the treaty.

As such, the engineer said, perhaps the group should let the law handle the matter (as it seemed Taverner likely had a weak case, anyway), rather than do anything to come to the attention of the law, again – especially when they had more important matters on their agenda. Henrietta and Beatrice agreed with A.J.’s assessment, and eventually the grumbling Aurelia decided to have Wren keep an eye on the case, but do nothing more, for now.

As expected, Aurelia whole-heartedly endorsed the theft of a dirigible from either the Spanish or the Americans in the world through their own gateway, but wondered who might have the skills to pilot such a dangerous flying machine. A.J. noted that Steven had been a test pilot, and that he himself could fly, and Beatrice was a skilled mechanic with (at this point) considerable experience with compression diesel engines, an earlier version of which the airships likely used.

While the trip would undoubtedly prove challenging (Where would they refuel?), A.J. said, the actual piloting itself might be okay – especially since the long trip to Kashmir would give them time to practice.

Beatrice’s presence on the trip had become much less of an issue, also. The helicopter mechanic reported that her attorney had successfully convinced the federal judge to release her early from the remainder of her probation. She had returned the ankle bracelet while A.J. and Henrietta visited Chicago, and that made her a free woman, once again.

All that said, the group decided its first priority must be to practice some of the new spells they’d learned during the winter, so as to get a bit of experience in the plane of Yetzirah, before they tried to jump through at the Dark Canyon portal site and engage an angry rape spirit, native to the realm, in lethal combat.

With that in mind, the group decided their deconsecrated church in Denver probably offered the safest place to transit to the Astral Plane. Henrietta recalled from her reading that places with a strong magical or other presence projected themselves strongly into Yetzirah. Given that the Dark Canyon portal was the only other strongly magical place they knew, they figured that Denver probably offered a much safer opportunity for a dry run.

So, everybody piled into their vehicles and made the day-long trek through the snowy Rocky Mountains to Denver, which remained firmly in the grasp of winter despite the fact that the season had officially turned to spring. The group rested up, for an evening, and then entered their chilly church building, the next day, where they’d already set up sacred spaces for ritual magic.

There, Sunmi noted that, as a beginner, she didn’t feel comfortable trying to cast too many astral gateway spells at once, and the group decided to send only two at a time, while the others remained behind to watch over the comatose bodies of the astral travelers.

The first to make the trip were Henrietta, Aurelia and Beatrice. Henrietta had used a spell in her newly-learned Sphandôr college to peek into the Yetzirah before they made the trip, themselves. Seeing nothing, Sunmi loaded them with the spells needed for the shift to the astral plane, and the three went through.

Once there, they mostly just tried to orient themselves, and look for threats. Aurelia and Beatrice peeked outside, but the cautious Henrietta remained in the astral projection of the church. About 10 minutes later, they woke in their own bodies.

A.J. went next to accompany Sunmi, who decided to make the trip through. The two of them found themselves in the old sanctuary, and Sunmi found herself with a far more attractive avatar than she anticipated. A.J. pointed out that likely was due to the influence of the loa, Erzulie Dahomey, for whom Sunmi had agreed to act as a cheval

(continued...)
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Last edited by tshiggins; 10-01-2017 at 03:49 PM. Reason: Seriously misremembered the sequence of events
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