Mythic Engine World of Darkness

The Victorious Case Is Made

Kira Hong, in the form of a blonde Californian Valley Girl, willingly divulges everything she knows of Jay Taglieri and Unagilis, and their collaborative involvement in the creation of the Victorious pathogen. Simon Gregor Chanofsky is able to partially co-locate her Correspondence Pocket with the Vatican Library, which makes her feel at home. She misses her League of Legends game and doesn’t believe or understand any of this hippie bullshit.

According to Kira (and some internet research), Jay went through a divorce 9 months ago, and received a major Technocracy promotion 8 months ago. About 6 months ago, he began buying liquor for the underage Kira, and talking to her about a spiritual awakening, including his readings of the Tao Te Ching and Black Elk Speaks. During this time Unagilis came into contact with him and began to influence him – in part through real spiritual knowledge, and in part through threats, primarily by way of the Nulamal. He met all five of the Dreamspeaker mages in the region… who did not think much of him. Unagilis provided the mirror during this period and exerted increasing influence on Taglieri. Kira describes Taglieri’s Time-based engineering of the pathogen as “genius,” and most of the characters conclude that she is quietly in love with him, despite what he put her through. Gross.

Why exactly Taglieri arranged for the disease to have a one month duration is unclear, although it makes the successes of United Chord in fighting the pathogen less impressive – they only were able to stop it when it was designed to be stopped. Kira did manage to code in the “Trolololo” protein at the last minute before the release of the amoeba into the world, which was her “message in a bottle” asking for help.

After examining the machine used to build Victorious, Eli Anders is able to show exactly how it was done. Blair Astor is able to show that only Taglieri used the computer during the period in which it was done – so that he must have known what was happening, whether he did it or not. Mara was able to show that a separate spiritual influence was exerted on the machine during the creation of the pathogen – presumably Unagilis himself. She also contacts the powerful local Spirit known as Coffee, who informs her that he guided Taglieri to Unagilis, as Taglieri searched for meaning and fulfillment following the collapse of his personal life.

A very clear case could now be made to the Traditions that the Victorious Pathogen is artificial, coded by Technocrats (apparently under Paul Allen’s nose), and created at the direction of Unagilis himself.

As an important aside, Chanofsky is able to do a major working distracting the Technocracy from their trail (after kidnapping Kira) and blaming Nathaniel Widdershins instead. All evidence suggests that it worked handily.

One question definitely nags at Blair Astor – How did Taglieri program in a dodge that prevented his monitoring by the Technocracy? Either Allen knew what was happening – and he didn’t seem to – or Taglieri pulled off Magick he shouldn’t be able to… Or he had help.

The characters receive a copy of the DVIANT Tracker and the knowledge of how to summon Coffee.

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Jay and Kira Covered In Lube

Although escorted out of the building (politely) by Laurie Hwang, our team realizes they must reacquire Jay Taglieri and / or Kira Hong if they want to have any credible source for what just happened, or any clear trail to follow to prosecute the creator of Victorious. Although Eli Anders is confident he can make a case with the machinery, he admits that witnesses would strengthen the argument further.

Special Agent Kitari Tama decides this is her moment to use her unique abilities to walk through almost any level of security. Mara accompanies her invisibly, while Chanofsky watches, ready to extract them. Blair Astor prepares to crash their systems, and Anders protects Mara from casual magical detection (Agent Tama already being protected), steals a van, and makes functioning communicators for the team.

Inside the Allen Institute, Chanofsky has loosely identified Taglieri’s location, and confirmed that he is about to be “Re-Educated.” Agent Tama and Mara follow Chanofsky’s whispered directions, passing through two security checkpoints and narrowly avoiding Laurie Hwang, only to reach a simple metal door with an analog / manual lock, guarded (?) by a grey-faced zombie-like man. Tama confirms that beyond the door is another Strike Team (later identified as “Gamma”), including a gigantic (Greek? Turkish?) woman dubbed Helga (although her nametag said Anneke). Mara acquires an extremely nice Cisco 1911 custom pistol from the zombie guy, but then they notice he is some kind of cyborg laced with recording devices, and have to short him out. He collapses.

Mara then asks the door to unlock, and it does. Huh.

Beyond the door are four bullet-proof stations in front of a number of desks and some movable lab equipment, with a few personal touches. A working space for someone. Tama’s false credentials bring her through again (once the door unlocked, they also assumed she has the right to be there), and beyond another room in which a pimple-faced older man and an albino women operate a bank of machinery attached to a room full of naked humans, greased in some clear liquid, strapped to 16 metal tables. Two of them are Taglieri and Hong.

Using her Gifts, Tama is able to convince the Re-Educators to free the suspects, and removes them with the help of “Helga” and a metal gurney. With some very tense moments, all are able to reach the main floor. At this point, Mara and Blair crash the security system and Tama pushes the nude bodies of Taglieri and Hong out the side door. (note a brief conversation with the cranky black security guard about his crossword puzzle box).

Anders pulls up immediately with the van and loads everything in. Within a minute he has pulled off the road and completely changed the van’s appearance. Blair and Chanofsky speed off in her vehicle and meet Anders at his home space, where he erases the van and gurney from existence. Chanofsky places Taglieri and Hong in a supposedly inescapable Spatial Bubble while Anders keeps them unconscious.

Upon awakening, Taglieri seems unconcerned and smug, while Hong seems abjectly terrified – at which points the team realizes there is a steadily growing magical power and the sound of eerie scratching through the walls of reality. Mara’s Ancestor Spirit speaks to her through the fine webwork of stars in the antlers of a great elk lumbering through the primordial spruces that surround her in her spirit vision, and names the things that are coming: the Nulamal.

The Spirit also says that Hong can (temporarily) throw off pursuit by changing herself. She does. It works. Taglieri, on the other hand, takes this distraction as an opportunity, and tears his way out of the Spatial Bubble, and into an unknown place beyond, somewhere in the Umbra. The scratching sound and rising magic both diminish. Taglieri has escaped, but Kira Hong remains for questioning.

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Hawaiian Gods, Spirit-Hacking, Into The Machine

Maralah takes a trip into the Olympic Peninsula to meet Michael Lachkanam, local Elder of the Northwest Coast Uktena. He agrees to find her a path to Victoria, but asks her opinion about the great Spirit that has just moved in to Mount Constance. Maralah speaks to the 200-foot tall, beautiful Hawaiian woman with a voice like a steam engine and a breath of tropical flowers. She says she is Poli’ahu. When Mara offers her assistance, her fang-toothed grin says only, “Kill Jack Frost for me.”

Various minor items: the Virtual Adept known as “Otto” has a second cousin in Kineta Biotechnology. Gay Matthew is the best intern at FBI Seattle. Jenny the intern is more enthusiastic (too much so…) but not as good. Gretchen is a damn bitchy secretary.

Blair Astor is able, with Mara’s help, to pursue her lead on the creation of the Victorious Pathogen. An IP address, hidden by proxies, leads her back (using a Net Spider) to a server on the central mainframe of the Allen Institute, a known operation of the Technocracy. Kitari Tama makes a quick phone call to Laura Newman, who arranges access through Paul Allen.

Upon visiting, they are admitted by Laurie Hwang, a pleasant functionary who gives them access to the lab spaces. There, Eli Anders is able to hone in on the signal of the Resonance connected to the Victorious pathogen – sure enough, it’s here. In the lab of Jay Taglieri and his assistant Kira Hong, they find it. Yet Kira is terrified of an ornamental mirror in the room.

Out of it bursts something ebony-skinned and woolly, with fingernails of polished wood and a face like a carnival mask, wielding a seven-foot stone-tipped spear and moving in utter silence. It moves for Kira, but Anders shoots it (with help from Simon Gregor Chanofsky’s Magick. Taglieri goes for the mirror suddenly, only to find Agent Tama in his path. She knocks him unconscious.

A Strike Team’s arrival (by teleport) makes things dicey for a moment, but the characters negotiate with Paul Allen himself for access to the machine used to make Victorious (possibly). In exchange, the FBI will data-share with him about a number of new supernatural entities in town… one of which is on Mount Constance…

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Sake and Widdershins

The afternoon of November 20, 2010. After completing all relevant paperwork, drinks at the Lotus Kirimi bar near the FBI Seattle headquarters allow some brief relaxation with Sterling Gonzalo. After Sterling’s departure, our new allies leave for Blair Astor’s palatial condo within view of the Seattle Space Needle.

There, after some difficulties, Blair is able to get a lead on the suspected genetic engineer, while Chanofsky surprises everyone by opening a portal straight to one of their suspects, Nathaniel Widdershins.

Unfortunately Widdershins is a wily and frightening opponent, and he soon has his blade (“Mankiller, Faetouched Blade of the Eldritch Era”) up to Chanofsky’s throat. After a minute of negotiations, he leaves. Many observing conclude that he is infected by something – Chanofsky and Anders suspect “Dynamism.” His form is unstable. After taking a sample of his shedding skin, we conclude.

Special Agent Tama declares that we will gather again at noon on November 21 – the next day.

Mara is driving west to quickly meet with the Uktena Elders.

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Beginnings.

New heroes gather in Seattle to investigate the Victorious pathogen and perhaps prove Unagilis the guilty party – but already things seem wrong. The protein-coded writing on the surface of the amoeba is no Spirit Magick, but clearly the workings of a deranged or immature genetic engineer. United Chord has offered significant support, but few other leads. How do you catch a criminal that isn’t on Earth? How do you track a protein code?

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Swords and Castles

After the war council and Raven’s report, our heroes lounge about in Craigdarroch Castle, discussing their options. They know that they are expected to pursue the last unaccounted-for of The Hamatsa bird (Splitter of Skulls) and Archmage (Shona-hah), but are not well-prepared to do so, since the more powerful and numerous Wendigo Tribe and Welsh Fianna have departed.

Realizing that they may have serious opposition from the Dreaming side, now that they have left Earth, our heroes ask Baron Ailil for weapons. He provides Glamoured weapons: a rapier to Nathaniel (Mankiller, Faetouched Blade of the Eldritch Era, inscribed along its edge), a butterfly throwing knife for Raven (apparently vividly alive), and a heavy raw-looking metal meat cleaver (too heavy to lift for a mortal) to Joseph. Each, he claims, will grievously wound the Fae, and will function normally against the mortal.

They discuss options with Itonkwa and Samuel the ghoul. The Baron, Tristin, and Fergus are all present. Itonkwa experiences the revelation that he is no longer subject to harm by the sun. Upon recovering, he tells them that this could actually be bad news… not because of him, but because his former master Meleagaunt is also infected. If the effect on Meleagaunt is the same, he may soon be awakened by the hunger, only to find that he can walk in the daylight again – he will be “like a god,” says Itonkwa. Hopefully this is hyperbole.

There is some brief discussion of what happens if you bring a dead thing – a vampire – into Arcadia. The Baron claims it is a place of life where nothing dies. He is very worried about the implications.

They take a short side trip to the Luxton Fair, where they meet the Glen and the president Ray of the Vancouver Island Blacksmithing organization, and purchase all of their iron.

Joseph proves that Samuel can be taken into the Umbra, with only moderate difficulty. It may be possible to take ghoul troops, courtesy of Rhett, into future conflicts.

A rumbling noise cues them into a new major change in Victoria. Over the heart of the city, a fog rises – Raven, rising above, keeps her people informed – and then an enormous, impossible castle rises. Lady Catherine has come back into her power. A troop of knights rides almost instantly from the new castle to Craigdarroch, and their leader, Roland, demands politely that Joseph depart from the “Queen’s Domain,” and that the Baron either depart or swear fealty. He then returns from whence he came.

Nathaniel flees into the Umbra rather than risk a direct command from Catherine. He elects to return to the Lost Trod, pass Jealous Galen and the Gremlins, and enter The World Tree.

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Raven's Solo Mission
Gowlland Tod is full of Things

Raven successfully meets with Sylvester Orchard, her old friend, and convinces him that she is not corrupted by evil and that the Compact is using the Hamatsa as weapons against innocents (she vomits the eyeball of one of its victims for him). He apologizes for doubting her. She fills him in on basically everything except for any Fae details. He says he will spread the word to non-Compact Corax and they will have a Parliament tomorrow (the 18th, in game).

She then goes a-spying in Gowlland Tod. She finds evidence of the Hamatsa landing on the two peaks on the west side of the park. She finds a forest of 30 foot tall plus mushrooms with butterfly-winged black cougars crawling about inside… She finds an area blasted flat and empty, trees standing bare and dead, with a large humanoid figure standing in the center – possibly a giant Green Man, but she isn’t sure.

She then finds the Crusher of Men, sees him meet with Charlotte (they discuss post-Unagilis continuation of The Plan, should this fail), and then meets with him herself in a bid to convert him. He makes it clear that he supports the Compact for essentially spiritual reasons (he comes across like a nature bodhisattva), and the elimination of non-Native humanity because they are not a part of this land. He says it is his people’s role to protect the land.

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9 PM Sept 16, 2010 (in game). 6 days until the Fall Equinox. The 22nd at 8:23.
Previous Session (before War Council)

Meeting with Rhett in one hour at the coffee house.
Meeting with Banson. He says the Fianna will attempt to deal with the Dragon, and would be willing to hunt one of the Archmages.
Call Teresa – talk to her – she did not call back. She agrees with Unagilis and will not switch sides.
Call Ice – she is in super angry mode. The Wendigo agree to participate in the overarching plan.
Meet with Rhett. He has many helpful suggestions and indicates that his forces will provide support if events go down in Victoria. He also says he hasn’t needed nearly as much sleep lately.
Red Talons are coming down, fetched by the Stormcrow. Turns out all of Vancouver Island is drifting into the Umbra.
They sleep and it is now Sept 17th.

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REAL WORLD SEPTEMBER 9th 2012. Game World 7 AM September 17th.
The Baron's War Council

Baron Padraig Ailil calls together the Fianna under Banson, the Unseelie Court, the Wendigo under Ice, Nemed, Itonkwa, and the newly-arrived Red Talons for a War Council. Rhett cannot attend, obviously, but there is a ghoul in a business-suit wearing a Bluetooth sitting at the bar.

He says, “this will be brief, I believe. We now know that the Archmage Unagilis intends to destroy most of humanity, and in so doing, he will probably slay the Totem Wendigo and unleash a terrible Welsh dragon on the survivors. We know his actions have thrown all reality here out of kilter, and that hordes of unlikely beasts roam the earth, some of which are straight out of Ancient Wales, while others look to be horrible, horrible mutants. We now suspect his new ally, Queen Catherine, to be a 1500 year old True Faerie, probably freshly restored to her true power. Evidently she is married to some awful Vampire thing too and is trying to bring it to Arcadia, my homeland. As if this isn’t enough they have apparently enslaved the local Indian priesthood and their pet giant monster hell birds as well as possibly thousands of masked assassins. Now that we finally know what we’re up against, I feel our options are actually fairly simple.
There are three remaining hell birds, controlled by three remaining wizards. We have to kill the three wizards to have any hope of dealing with the rest. Banson and the Fianna have already offered to pursue the Archmage Lelooska, master of the creature known as the Crooked Beak of Heaven, reputed to be the strongest of the birds. I want it known that I consider this to be the basest grandstanding and do not applaud it (Banson grins here). Ice Heart Frost Slave and the Wendigo have already offered to pursue the Archmage Tsungani, master of the Great Raven, for some religious reasons which are obscure to me (Ice growls here). As we don’t believe we can effectively assault Unagilis himself at this point, the archmage Shona-hah remains, who wields the power of a creature called the Splitter of Skulls. He is supposed to be the weakest of the three but the most dangerous to humans. There are, of course, many other things we can be doing, but striking at their heavy artillery presently seems to be our best course of action. Of our remaining fellowship, I would ask for volunteers for this task, and I myself would suggest the Storm Crow Trinity to lead the expedition and assemble the team they see fit. Now I encourage volunteerism as well as discussion of the plan. I ask for our senior members to stay until such questions are answered. Thank you for your time.”

The ghoul is Samuel.
The Wendigo representative is Erica.
The Fianna is Lucan.

Raven convinces Sylvester to meet with her at 9:00 AM, Sept 17
Stewart Rowan’s work address – he works for a graphic design firm.
Raven is also expected to spy upon the Crusher of Men and see if it might be possible to remove him from the Compact or perhaps assassinate him.

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