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trollthumper

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  1. Temperance had to suppress a wry smile as she saw Dale desperately try to wipe the 80-proof failure from his face. "I'm probably not the best gambit," she said. "I've met my share of guys who rock the style --" And dated one, even if he came at it from... different angles. And a different world. "--but there's an air to this one. The style, the thirst... he likes exotic, but probably not my exotic. I could try to turn on the 'babe in the woods,' but it'd be a rough fit, and he might see through it." While they discussed strategy, she opened her senses to the spiritual tenor of the area. Getting a read on individual spirits in this warehouse might be tricky, especially over the thumping bass and the shifting crowds. But it would give her the first signal if some of the ritual weirdness that they encountered in the basement was about to repeat itself.
  2. Temperance may not have been familiar with the scene... but she recognized the aesthetic of the gathering. It wasn't in the thudding base, or the beef gates out front, or the warehouse that looked it came from any number of supernatural thrillers from the Nineties. It was all around her. It was being "dangerous" by going where you never would. Where the "good people" never were. It was dancing into the wasteland, the outlands, the... ghetto. To feel like you were transgressing, and to feel like the baddest bitch in town - while having plenty of protection in case anyone tried to step. Well, you're in real danger, at least. She knew she was both in place and out of place, given the milieu. So... best to lean into that. She slinked out of the car the best she could possibly slink, trying to move like water with long, purposeful strides towards the door, her eyes piercing out with faux-disdain (not entirely faux, to be honest) towards the bouncers. She wanted to project attitude best she could.
  3. Yeah, it might be possible to do magical guns empowered with the psychic weight of the firearm that manage to incapacitate people through fear (though that still might be a bit... um in the era of the mass shooting, so let's say "force blasts" or whatever). But a full-out mundane assault rifle? Nope.
  4. It's an interesting approach... but it does come with its own thorns. Has Gnomon ever experienced dysphoria as a result of their shifts? Or have they come to realize that the shift helped them realize that they are more genderfluid than they thought, but they still like to treat gender identity as a personal binary rather than a spectrum? We're just trying to avoid that thing in early '00s transformation webcomics where gender dysphoria was just something you powered through, while trying to recognize the personal circumstances for the character. Because not everyone who is trans or genderfluid experiences the classically associated bout of dysphoria, but we're just trying to get a good understanding here.
  5. So, one thing I want to clarify is the pronoun situation. Claude is referred to alternatively as "he" and "they" across the course of their life. What is their current gender situation? Is this a Ramna 1/2 situation where Claude has a distinct gender dichotomy that shifts to what they classify as polarities of "he"/"she"? Or is Claude starting to embrace being more fluid and adopting a "they" identity, or some other non-gendered pronoun? As there are elements that suggest the character may be nonbinary or genderfluid at this point, it may be best to clarify the pronoun situation across the course of Claude's life.
  6. Nick Cimitiere Eric remembered the time Jack Faretti had ended up in his apartment. Eric had tried to talk to him about draugr, and Jack had asked pointed questions about necromancy that sounded very much like declarations. And this was the other side of it. Nick Cimitiere knew who Faretti was fairly well, and while they hadn't exactly talked much over the years, he'd gotten a clearer sense of the person looking over Freedom's vampires - and a much clearer sense of his family. He wasn't necessarily in the loop with Phantom, but being practitioners with a foot in the politics of the otherworlds, they had traded a few notes and kicked more than a few asses together. And that was before she'd assumed the mantle of Master Mage. He'd provided some insight in her days settling into the role, but not all that much - just hints on how to pull power moves when talking to Hades. For most of the night, he had drifted around the borders. He'd passed by Dead Head, smiling at seeing the zombie up and about again. He had waved to Aquaria, remembering the trip to Dunwich. And when the proclamation came, he raised his glass. "To Ouroboros! Welcome to the deeper weirdness."
  7. "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."
  8. 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."
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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..."
  13. 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..."
  14. 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."
  15. 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?"
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