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trollthumper

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  1. "It works for you," said Temperance. She fetched her own costume, a mixture of Atomweave armor, pea coat, and Doc Martens. "This should work, though I believe several items are not exactly the right color for any sort of Goth club. I don't suppose 'sea Goth' became a thing when I wasn't looking?" She looked over the briefing on their quarry as well, studying the names. "This wasn't exactly my scene," she said - though it was maybe half a lie. Between having a boyfriend who was the phrase "Extremely Online" taken a bit too literally and dealing in the mystic arts as a teenager, she had at least brushed elbows with Gothicness to a certain degree. But still... "But even from the outside, don't these names seem a little too desperately Goth? They do speak to that air of teenage rebirth, but like somebody who hasn't talked to teenagers in... well, a very long time."
  2. There. A plan starting to come together. "Okay," said Cavalier. "Keep the militia in reserve. As you said, they may not do much against the craft, but if he's already invited a bunch of buddies to the party, they'll be good against any landing party that may be coming down the line. That will be if the signals get through the jamming frequency." That just left the matter of the swampland. What would make the device want to go there? Obviously, the Praetorians, but the device would likely decide that chasing opposition wouldn't be worth breaking position, and any attempt to actively lure it by dancing in front of its sensors might result in another round of getting fricasseed. Unless it senses an opportunity... He turned to Sitara. "The Khanate would likely mess the royal breeches if it found out this planet had some sort of A-class munitions. One way or the other. Either that means the colony's managed to point a big freaking gun in their faces, or they might be dumb enough to set it off and press the big instant 'I win' button of quashing planetary rebellion. If we could find a way to mock the signature of such a weapon and 'suddenly' create a holding pen in the depths of the swamp, we might be able to get that thing ready to do a little digging."
  3. This is an interesting set of thematics. Though please stay away from the motorcycles for now. That said... it's a bit early in the morning for me, but Summon and VP are two of the power sets that give Refs here a bit of a headache. Summon is a fair bit of investiture for an army of Minions that will go down if they fail one TOU save, and it effectively adds new parties to the Initiative order. Variable, meanwhile, is very malleable - and the fact that you have a "Enemy Gains This Power" qualifier for this and Summon means that it will fall into the same issue that some parties here have with putting multiple ranks in a power like Nemesis, where the GM now needs to both deal with the adaptations the PC gains and adjust their own NPC to match. I'm not really in the space to offer alternatives right now. This is a good concept; I just want to make sure it works for the GMs who would like to run threads for the character.
  4. Freedom City When they put a name like "Freedom" on it, what did they expect? The name was intended in all earnestness by the Puritan settlers who founded the city in 1630, but it served as a beacon to those seeking liberty in the New World. To the Anarchs, it promised freedom from the games of the Elders. To the Sabbat, it promised free and fertile land where they could build a new Enoch. It's hard to tell who got their fangs into the city first, or even who made themselves apparent as the force majeure. The power struggle was a thing of short, sharp bursts, often carried out under the cover of the crusades of mortal hunters such as Elijah Prophet, or the slaughter of the killer known only as Jack-a-Knives. The Camarilla saw the promise of Freedom marred only by the bloodshed of what they viewed as Anarch fighting worse Anarchs. It wasn't until 1938 that the Sabbat was driven out of the city, under the guise of a civil restoration movement known as the Centurion Effort. Funded as a joint venture between the Anarchs and the Camarilla, it created a state of peace within the city that promised the illusion that the two sects could actually work together - an illusion that lasted just long enough for the Second Anarch Revolt in 1945. With the domains of the West Coast going Anarch one by one, the patricians of the city wondered just when things would go to Hell. The match was lit with the rise of Lenore, Baron of Southside. An Anarch Toreador, Lenore walked a very, very fine line on the Masquerade, her nightclub Equinox serving as a place where human and Kindred could share the illusion of walking hand-by-hand in twilight. But Lenore was an Elder, her record stretching back to the first fires of the Anarch Revolt, and she had made many enemies across the sects - and when Dracula came to Freedom to avenge an ancient slight, her destruction was quickly seized upon by Prince Victor von Nacht, who spun two separate strands from the night's events. The first could be seen as truth: That Lenore's seeming disregard for the First Tradition proved that the Anarchs could not be trusted with their holdings. The second was a lie that seemed so sweet: That Lenore's deep and blood-stained relationship with Dracula suggested that she was not Toreador, but a Tzimisce infiltrator who had corrupted the Anarchs through the rites of the Sabbat. The torch was lit for a new crusade, and the Prince leveraged the election of Mayor Franklin Moore to institute a series of "civic reforms" that could be used to drive out elements of "lawlessness." It half-worked. What happened instead was that the thin skin of propriety was ripped aside; with the Anarchs' Racks and territories left open, new elements, waiting to pounce, flooded in before the Camarilla could staunch the bleeding. The Sabbat, seeing cover for their Games of Instinct, flooded in to fill the hole. Rick van Danski was the one bright light for the Movement, a Gangrel whose status as a rock star pre-Embrace gave him a certain amount of protection from any obvious attempts at assassination. And it became clear that the stress of an endless Sabbat Crusade, an Anarch revolt that would not die, and the descent of his city from a shining East Coast gem to another New Jersey craphole was taking its toll on the psyche of Prince Von Nacht, whose Court and coterie (one and the same) only kept clutching tighter. 1993 was the breaking point. Prince Von Nacht claimed that he was "immune to the games of the Elders" and swore allegiance to the Sabbat. Most of his Court met the flames that night, with the survivors escaping into the city with tales of how Von Nacht walked through the burning halls of his Elysium, swearing to make the city paradise reborn. The day after the Summer Solstice, the people of Freedom City noticed something odd - the sun did not seem to rise until 7:32 AM. Von Nacht, using ancient arts of Abyss Mysticism, had blotted out the sun, and aimed to keep the darkness going until the citizens of the city recognized their new masters. Von Nacht met Final Death at the hands of Van Danski, though he and his gang, FORCE Ops, met the sun in the process, knowing it might be necessary. With the Sabbat driven out, the Anarch Movement emboldened by Van Danski's martyrdom, and the Camarilla still shaken by the betrayal, Freedom became a new experiment, another attempt at the halcyon days of the Centurion Movement. Praxis seemed to be a matter of musical chairs for years upon years as Princes tried to find the right approach to the state of play in Freedom and either overplayed their hands or found themselves torn down by the more reactionary elements of their courts. Finally, Jack Faretti of Clan Toreador found himself thrust into the post of Prince as a gambit by his sire to lure out possible enemies - and it worked. Not for what she wanted, of course, but as a way of ensuring stability. Jack was willing to actually handle treaties with the Movement, rather than treat them as something to keep at arm's length. With the city amicably divided, Freedom is seen as a free city, with room for the Camarilla, the Anarchs, and those whose paths may take them away from the sects... Joe Macayle, War Chief of Southside The games of Kindred often use innocent pawns. Joseph Macayle had no idea of the depths of his lineage. An ironworker and anti-racist skinhead who grew up in Southside, Joe had always heard the stories of his great-grandfather's heroism on the fields of Europe - even if he had gone MIA. In truth, Paul Macayle had been Embraced by a Brujah in the Maquis shortly after the Battle of the Bulge, leaving behind a pregnant widow stateside. Not willing to face her again, he kept up the good fight against fascist elements across Europe, earning the enmity of a Sabbat pack known as the First Hand of Shadow. Johann Meinhoff, the pack's Priest, had learned of Paul's mortal family and infiltrated the States to pick it to pieces - starting with the eldest son. As Joe choked on his blood, his windpipe crushed by a shadow with inhuman strength, his great-grandfather emerged from nowhere and gave him the Embrace. Joe has followed in his sire's footsteps, driving elements of a resurgent alt-right from Southside with terrible fury. He knows how to maintain the Masquerade, working through proxies and young would-be revolutionaries he has inspired through his fiery oratory. He's wed so deep in the Movement that he's not quite sure what to think about Prince Faretti, though at least he's not as much of an asshole as the other capers. Eliza Oxum, Spirit Singer of Lincoln Eliza has managed to carve out a niche as a cunning woman for the citizens of Lincoln, hiding her spiritual arts behind the guise of folk medicine. Eliza had long suspected a hidden world existed; growing up with a Tarot reader for a mother will do that. But her initiation into the unseen came suddenly, as a woman with wild hair claimed to see "the shine upon [her] soul" and offered her the gift of the Embrace. When Eliza woke again, the blood of a sacrificial goat thick in her mouth, she knew she had been brought through to the other side. Eliza learned she was brought into the line of the Ahrimanes, an obscure, all-female line of Gangrel with affinities for blood magic and spirit manipulation. Eliza took to these like a rocket, quickly serving as one of the shining lights for thaumaturgical practices in Freedom. This has painted a massive target on her back among the Tremere, but things have managed to at least avoid bloodshed for now - perhaps due to the interesting relationship between Eliza and Shawn Tulley, a master of the Path of Technomancy.
  5. What Temperance knows: -The old-ass book stolen from Silberman's may have something to do with all of this -Investigating the man suspected in his disappearance has led to horrific brushes with unnatural things -The man in the hospital is likely the actual owner, unlike this guy fronting at him who is likely doing horrible things So, right now, Temperance is kind of on team Storming, like Set, but I will throw for Gather Info w/ Well-Informed to reflect the fact that she is plugged into the spiritual switchboard: And that's a 25, so she may just know where Jimmy Hoffa is buried.
  6. Asylums. Well, Temperance had to be proper. Mental hospitals. It was the 21st century, mental illness stigma was another monster to smack in the face, and it was good to admit you had a problem and seek proper care. Except... she highly doubted there would be anything approaching "proper care" in Bedlam. Just look at the name. And even if people tried to break from the days of nightmares outlined by Dorothea Dix, there were still fears and implications of insanity and "psychos" - sentiments that certain spirits were happy to feed upon and, in some cases, stoke. And if this Crawley was meant to be a grade-A bughouse, then many of those spirits would likely be lurking. And hungry. "While I will not turn down a visit to the asylum, I think I would need to bring some firepower for what might be lurking in the ephemeral corners," she said. "But it might give us more insight before storming into this man's sanctum. Unless storming in keeps him from mustering more of his own firepower..."
  7. You do realize you're... Temperance realized there was no real good answer to that question. Odds were, given all that he'd gone through, Mister Strix was not in a place to realize that his internal monologue was less than internal. And if she was going to chide anyone for talking to empty air, she'd have to have a long, hard look in the mirror. "You need it more than I do," she said. "I suppose I could give myself a trucker's shower in the closet, if need be, but there are some things that maid services are not meant to deal with." She took one of Grimalkin's sloppy shots and pounded it back, then stood where she would be least likely to get the slime of the basement on anything that would need laundering or steaming. "So, we have a rogue occultist who is willing to summon things like that. Given the invocation on the walls, a part of me wonders if this city's going to see a breakout of a new and hideous strain of graffiti..."
  8. Temperance looked to Mister Strix. She wanted to say a few things about his view on his state - maybe ask some questions - but she had a good deal of experience in someone else telling you that your view of your own state was not what you thought it was, and how much that could feel like sandpaper rubbing on a very personal place. "If we need a place to recover and freshen up, I think I can comp a hotel room," she said. "It may be crowded, and I will likely be hung out and flayed if anyone orders room service, but it will at least give us a base of operations to plan, figure out our next move, and not have to deal with the stench of otherworldly abomination."
  9. It was not the most disturbing thing she had seen, but it would definitely be taken a high place in the rankings. Temperance tried to turn her attention away from the very impromptu surgery happening in front of her. She was glad that the influence of that thing was being driven out in the harshest manner possible, but that didn't help when she could smell the ocular jelly sizzling like an egg dropped on a hot griddle. It merging with the brackish fluid on the floor just made everything worse. She tried to focus on the ice, the one seemingly clean thing in the room. "So," she said, trying very hard to breathe through her mouth, "it seems like we need to find our local occultist and have a talk with him about the things from outside the chain of being. Things that should not be summoned anywhere, even a town like --" Temperance then noticed the crackling of the ice, and realized that there were sometimes disadvantages to not feeling the cold. She turned to Mister Strix. "I admit, I don't know much about your... state, but is that normal?"
  10. She could do nothing. Temperance was used to the fact that her strength lay in elemental power. She was used to the fact of being of water and ice and the realms ephemeral. She was used to the fact that her purview, as the daughter of an elemental, was limited. But never before had she hated it like this. There was one thing she could do - at least, one thing she could think of. There was a good chance it might end poorly, and it would require her to make a deal... or, perhaps, beat someone down to the point that they'd be willing to go against their nature. She wasn't exactly thrilled with that prospect, on an objective level, but given what she'd be beating down... well... She turned to Mr. Strix, Set, and Sekhmet. "Can you keep her from harming herself?" she asked. "I may be able to keep this contamination from biting deeper, but I need to go out into the city..." Well, girl, might as well be honest. "...to go discuss terms with a spirit of insanity."
  11. Yet another Power Stunt - this time Transform (water into blood) 9. Temperance will just take the Fatigue for now.
  12. Temperance knew there was only so much she could take. But at this point, it felt like everything was just splashing against a cliff wall. "Divinity and a vampire," she said. "Something told me this might not end well." This was really outside of her territory. Water had associations with healing, and spirits did always dance on the side of the metaphorical... but there were also close divides and the rigidity of the bureaucratic. Water was associated with healing because it was life-giving. And she swore there were stories about running water... To do this, she would have to do something that might get her in a lot of trouble. I really hope Dad doesn't find out about this. There was a lot of rough biomatter in here, even if some of it was sluicing into a puddle of filth. Blood was thicker than water, but only by how much? It was just a matter of adding iron and other binding agents, really... She drew the water from her pack and ran it through the room, catching traces of biological matter. She tried to use as little of the abomination as possible, because she could only see this ending horribly if she fed it to Strix. But in time, with distillation and effort, it turned into blood. She carefully dripped it into Strix's wounds, hoping that this might do something.
  13. "You know, I could stand here and count all the ways that you're wrong while waiting to see whether gravity is stronger than the grasp of the angry dead..." Nick extended his will, and the telekinetic bonds started to reel in, drawing the struggling teenager out of the pit. "...but that's really not how I play." He lay the teen on the ground, making sure to extend a token hold so that he didn't try doing this whole thing over again. "Now. What's going on in your life that would make you think throwing yourself into the gnawing void to give yourself over to Shub-Niggurath would be a good idea? I'm really kinda curious."
  14. Temperance felt the last fleeting tendrils of madness detaching themselves from her brain. It was unpleasantly like feeling an octopus's suckers detach from one's hands. There was still that feeling that things weren't right. Given all the defilement of spiritual concepts that had happened within the basement, that feeling would not go away for some time. There was also the matter of the smell, which was both less unsettling and more aggressively offensive at the same time. But for now, the great, necrotic sore on the face of reality was gone, and she could breathe a little easier. Entirely through her mouth, of course. "Well," she said. "That... was singularly horrifying. And yet, that thing had somebody higher up the hierarchy. It was calling to 'Him.' So now we need to climb that ladder, greased and fetid as it may be." Her boot touched the still limp Mister Strix, and quickly withdrew. "Is he... I mean, he was from the start, but I thought dead vampires usually decomposed rapidly? Or has media been lying to me again?"
  15. "First priority should probably be enclaves," said Cavalier. He was trying to figure out a way to phrase this that didn't make him sound like a complete bastard. "The Khanate... you know as well as I do. Dissent's up there with 'poison in the royal champagne' when it comes to things that don't go down well with the Khan. Your people have likely already evacced from the major population centers, but if you have any kind of redoubts, any sort of doomsday bunkers that you organized for the great people in charge in case everything got lit on fire... I'd consider opening them. Just in case. Because it may not stop with that 'meteor.'" Having greatly crapped on the carpet, Cavalier took a deep breath. "The second thing we could use is interference. Given the announcement from the Justicar, odds are they're planning some great 'nuke it from orbit' tactic beyond just the meteor. If there are other ships coming for backup, we could use something that could scramble comms, make it harder for them to coordinate whatever they might be planning - plus, if it interferes with whatever's puppeteering the big bastard, that could help, too." He snapped his fingers, which didn't have as much of the desired effect, what with metal scraping on metal. "And there's number three. Is there anywhere we can try to lure this Khanate Mecha-bastard so that it punches through some soft loam and ends up on some really rough footing?"
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