Monday, 27 September 2010

Sonata Background

Etienne Dreaux was born in the outskirts of New Orleans in 1907. Born the sixth son in a moderatly wealthy family he soon realised his futures would lie elsewhere. Bored of being overlooked in the family run company, He left to find his fortunes in the city. Dazzled by the bright lights, yet with no fortune to call his own, Etienne moved into a series of squats around the city's more shadier districts. It was there that he fell in with a crowd introducing him to the growing New Orleans jazz scene. He found a natural aptitude for a number of instruments including the guitar and piano and started to start a career as a fledgling musician. As time went by, Etienne began to make a name for himself, playing in many of the less legitimate estiblishments around the citys red light district, reveling in the bohemian nature of the scene. In an age where many struggled to find work, Etienne had a steady income, yet he squandered his earnings on excess and would often find himself sleeping rough in one of the many unemployment camps that dotted the city. It was here he learned to steal, often taking what little money the unfortunate souls of the camp had to fund his nights of debauchery, he soon found he had made many enemies in the city. This life style could only last so long and one night Etienne collapsed while on stage. Disgusted at his state, the bouncers left him beat up in an alley, slumped against a cold wet drain. This was the last thing Etienne remembered of his old life.

Etienne woke up in a world devoid of light and sound. It was as if only his concious remained, floating in the void. This world without sense and stimulation was as aneathema to former hedonist. He rebeled at first, desperate to scream out, yet without a physical body there was little he could do. Over time his mind slowly numbed as he accepted his fate, slipping in and out of conciousness without any way of telling the passage of time. He lingered there for what felt like centuries. 

And so when the sound came there was nothing he could do to resist it. Torrents of emotion rushed into his adled mind, twisting him as if but a puppet as the rapturous cacophony shock him to the soul. And then it was gone, leaving him in the darkness once again. 
This cycle would repeat, years of emptyness followed by intence burst of euphoric ectacy or the darkest of torments. The emotions weren't his, for this he was sure the sound was contorting him to its will. However after each time, the sound would leave him stronger and he began to long for the music to come. What at first appeared to be simply riotous noise began to fall into place and he began to understand the complex patterns that wove together. During his times of solitude he would go over the molodies each one invigorating him further until one day he simply screamed out. The sound, although pale in comparison broke the darkness and he felt a part of himself return, a hazy after image of his former self. It was as if his body was composed of swirling smoke, constantly trying to condence itself into its former shape. Although as faint as mist,  he now at least had form and Etienne felt him self fall through the darkness and tangle in the hedge. In a mad panic he tore at the vines and eventually found his way through to the mortal realm.

Reinventing himself as Sonata there are few people alive who remember his former life. Yet old archives and records of his footage can be found and continue to taunt Sinatre of the life that he lost. Although he has found some normalacy he still feels that he left most of himself back in the fey darkness and life feels like a numb shadow of his former self. Though he still tries, the drink and drugs no longer affect him like they used to, and he finds music is the only thing which seems to keeps his soul condenced. Perhaps if he can better understand the music that gave him back his form he might be able to become whole again and take revenge on his hidden captor.

[actual play] Changeling: the Lost


Sunday, 26 September 2010

[actual play] Changeling: the Lost


Changeling: the Lost

Venice: Broken Masks, Shattered Dreams

Episode 1 - Promises - part 3

      The motely were once more in the hallway of the building of one of the previous victims. Their investigation was not over yet as they planned to go to the square where the the female suicide was last seen. Freki joined them there and they filled her in on what they had discovered. Asking around at the bars that opened up onto the square they discovered that the suicide had left with a local man, Cicero, and with a little more time they discovered the Cicero lived in a block of flats near the Ghetto. On the TV they heard that a boat had gone missing, but with the weather being so poor it was impossible for the police to find it.


      The motely arrived at the block of flats where Cicero lived. Something was wrong, it smelt bad. outside the flat some dogs were barking and scratching at a door where the garbage bags for the flat were kept. Freki called upon her contracts and spoke to the Pomeranian in the pack. It spoke, as dogs do, of little that made sense. but Freki did work out that in the garbage there was meat, a different meat. More than likely the remains were a persons. Opening the door to the garbage they found numerous bags, and Stitches had a root about. He finalyl came upon a bag that to his trained eye contained human bones. They had been gnawed upon and the marrow sucked out. Stitches ran out and found a place to vomit.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Totra Kadlinsdottir - aka Freki

Everyday Life


The Taking

Constantly being a child under-foot, Totra was ordered to keep out of the way by family whilst preparing for Midsummers Eve. After escaping to the local woods, she befriended a fae who promised to play with her forever, if only she went to their 'home'. Home was Arcadia, and the lifetime of play was to be experienced through the eyes of a dog.


The Escape

Before the Escape, Totra never really thought of escape - thinking her family hated her, after twisting her own memory to think her parents dumped her with the fae - she thougt she had no-where to go. As she was taken so young, Totra had forgotten about the world of her birth and had melded the world of the Fae with the few memories she had left. It was only after she was sent on a mission to a place outside of her master's created kingdom, that she learnt of the rest of the Fae world. More and more she was sent on messenger missions to other Fae for her master, and through this she began to learn about the hedge and what lay beyond it. Typical of those who hear of stories of exotic lands, she craved to see it, until one day - after a particularly violent beating - she made her escape while on her next mission out of the twisted copy of Asgard, searching for a means to the hedge. On her journey, she came across bands of changelings making their way to the hedge, which eventually grew into river of people leading to a hedgemarket, where she made the final leg of her escape into venice - a world so different to her any she'd known before.

For now, she occupies and abandoned warehouse squat along with Sonata. With both being homeless, and after the creation of their motley, she leant Sonata the use of her warehouse den and scant belongings - A filthy sofa rescued from a skip and many washingline-aquired blankets, along with a rudimentary gas stove and water bucket. Technology scares her still.

??? How old are you?

Chronologically: 1125 - Physically: early 20s

When were you born? 

885 AD British Isles during Anglo-Saxon habitation

How long were you in Faerie? 

Seemingly about 15 years. She aged while she was in Fae to match the time she experienced there.

Is your fetch the same age and appearance as you?

After 1100 years, the fetch is long-gone

??? What do you look like?

What color is your hair? 

Sandy coloured, choppy and scruffy, mottled in places.

How do you dress? 

Unfashionable, but practical clothing. Some seems homemade and roughly patched - gives the appearance of a gypsy. 

Do you have distinguishing marks? 

Faint Facial tattooing resembling a stylised wolf skin pattern in small dots and thin lines around eyes and bridge of nose. Pierced ears, stretched with found objects - ranging from centuries old glass, smoothed by the waters of venice, to abandoned keyrings and other tat. 

What does your seeming look like?

Sharp teeth and a slightly protruding face, clawed hands and feet (not as far as paws though...), Pointy tufty ears that look half-way between Human and wolf, short tufty hair that grows down the side of the face, neck and upper arms slightly with a little bit around the elbows. Light-colored eyes. Medium height and a scrawny, almost emaciated look (think Machinist) with sallow skin - at a quick glance, looks a bit like a skag-addict. Is constantly afflicted with fleas.

??? What was your existence in Faerie like?

Who was your Keeper?

A fae masquerading as Odin. He had an incredibly un-healthy obsession with norse mythology and demanded to be seen as Odin, who he saw as leader of the gods. To complete his look, he took young children of nordic descent and manipulated them into Odin's entorage - some being twisted into avatars of the other gods, and a select few, like Totra, into Odin's wolves 'Freki' and 'Geri' - and his ravens 'Hunin' and 'Munin'. He took a horse and stretched it's very being into Sleipnir, a literal version of the 8-legged horse, and made his kingdom as a hideous representation of Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life.


Was he or she capricious, or cruel or sympathetic? 

Like a demonic master to a pet who has the misfortune of being used as a minion and experiment.

Were you a favorite servant, or despised? 

Favoured servant - sent out on errands and severely punished if not done correctly or quick enough. 

Does your seeming reflect your Keeper???s nature, or were you shaped to some other purpose?

Shaped to represent Freki, the true Odin's messenger wolf - but a bastardised form.

??? What are your motivations?

Do you want to regain your mortal life? 

It's too late for that. Although the shock of seeing the world today, and not being able to adjust to the new way, she gets by the best she can, pretty secretly. She's looking for revenge against the fae, and spends most of her waking time tracking down potential allies and dealing with potential threats.

How do you react to changeling society? 

She'll stick around as they're the only family she has, but she doesn't care much for the politics. She doesn't get on with most Changelings as they continue to treat her like an unwanted dog, which is still better than in Fae. Fortunately, her motley aren't afraid or disgusted by her looks - or at least hide it if they are.

Do you wish to be ???cured???? 

Never really thought about it. After being one way for so long, it's hard to turn your back on that. To 'cure' would take away the only powers left to her to live.

Is there a rival you want to defeat? 

Ultimately, 'Odin', but he's steriotypically overly powerful(?? rubbish...) For now she's trying to avoid direct confrontation with him, trying to avoid the 'Geri', 'Hugin' and 'Munin' avatars, paranoid they're out to find her.

A lover you want to woo?

not particularly - who'd want to woo a mangey wolf? There's a limit...


I have in mind a one shot of Cthulhutech where you are a team of mecha pilots


Here is some inspiration.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Fading Suns - Space Opera with Boundaries


      In a not so distant future (relatively speaking if we are comparing to other Space Opera settings such as Warhammer 40,000 and Dune) Humanity has conquered numerous worlds thanks to the gigantic space gates. However, as with all things, there is hubris and so worlds have been lost, technology forgotten and science and magic blur in a future that seems to be at the end of time.

      At the writing of this Red Brick are in charge of sorting out a 3rd edition of a game originally created by Holisitic Designs (Some may recognise the style of art and writing from White Wolf. You'd be correct as the excellent Bill Bridges of Mage: the Awakening put this baby together). This means my books are a copy of the defunct 1st edition and all my books in pdf form (and I printed these suckers out, thank the gods for university book binding). If you are lucky you can find some of the books for sale in FLGS or online. In Paris I almost got a French edition since the French are happily still printing new material for the game.

      So what is Fading Suns? For starters it is science fantasy. There are starships, giant jump gates (more recently seen in Stargate thanks to the Ori), a lack of faster than light travel save for these jump gates, demons, psionics and theurgy. You have ancient noble houses, a form of interstellar unified church, Dune like shield fighting, an Empire racked with infighting, intrigue and superstition, and a ancient guild of technology.

     What does this all mean in play and why do I like this? OK lets talk the system, the much debated Victory Point System. This looks like, feels like and works a little like the old Storytelling system pre-new World of Darkness. You have an attribute and skill stat. Add them, that's the target. Modify it and roll under on a D20. But the twist is the higher you roll, so long as it is under the target, gives you a greater degree of success. I really like this as it then has a system for raising and lowering the target number so that you can have a) more chance of success but less degree of success, or b) less chance for success but a greater degree of success. So the system favours risk. Now the only gripe is the lamentable critical failure, where a roll of 20 is a critical fail no matter what. Now one mod often seen to remove the 1/20 chance of this is to use a 2D10 roll instead, making a natural 20 less likely (1/100) and giving a smoother range of results.

     Character creation is equally more interesting with a form of career path system, where you choose to belong to one of the big three factions (church, nobles, guild) or the few alien races, and these in turn give you options on the character career progression. So for example you could be a noble, be you need to answer questions about the strata they were born into, how their school was, and what they did after that. All of these options mean you get access to some skills over others, before a final few points are given over to the player to distribute to even out the character. Now you can do this all by points and throw out the career paths, but of course having a speedy way to make characters is good.

      With the system out of the way what about the setting? Why not play Star Wars? Why not Play WH40K? Well Fading Suns does a few things right. It's not too far in the future, making it easy to grasp and getting into as a player. Plus the focus is on purely human characters, unlike Star Wars, so it has that Firefly feel, but where the Western is replaced with the Dark Ages. But the best things about the setting? THe mythology and the inherent boundaries that are present.

      Fading Suns works on the premise that the jump gates are ancient tech from a race that no longer exists. That makes that technology something to seek out. But also the gates are activated by keys, at least ones that humanity had created. And so there is this wonderful feeling of caravans in space where guild ships guide others through jump gates to the next world. The other thing about the setting is the mysticism and feeling of the end of times. Fading Suns has the jump gates, which allow transport from one star system to another, no matter how far apart they are in real space. So stargates then. Well the stars themselves, all stars, are dimming. Yes before they are meant to, and in a way that opposes the rules of relativity and how light travels in space and nuclear fusion.Mad eh? So of course the Church and other faiths have a reason for all this (sin and demons etc).

      What about the church? Well it seems all the old faiths of Earth combined when a man found the Universal Flame (God of some form) when travelling space. But, of course, the Church is split into rival factions and each has it's own twist on faith. Add into the mix other mystics, the faith of alien races, and the issue with jumping through gates and the experience you feel if not shielded, and you have the perfect situation for tales about faith, hope, demons, sin, and the very nature of the universe as miracles are uncovered and science, faith and magic clash.

      One thing that is important about Fading Suns is the limitations of the setting. The setting has a system of known jump gate routes and the linked worlds are the Empire. There are worlds beyond these that once were part of the larger known universe, but they have been forgotten, or war has led to them being shut off. So straight away the ST running the game has a setting to run and no fear of being dropped in the deep end and having to come up with world after world like in Star Wars (it was such a daunting task). You can still do it for lost worlds where you can go exploring, but the inherent limitations make this task more manageable. It also means the game lends itself well to various levels of gameplay, be it courtly on one world, or flying to others, or even going beyond the boundaries of known space. For all these reason I love the game and suggest if you are tired of those well known Sci Fi games then you should pick this up for something that feels more mature.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

My Gaming Area



So what about where I game?


      Above is a picture of my lovely wife sat at home. This is really half of the room. Behind me (from the viewpoint of the picture) is the kitchen area, and so is just lots of white cupboards.

      As you can see from the picture we have around about a 10X12 feet sqrd room. There is a balcony and our that sofa from IKEA (just fits two people). So with the tv there is really only space for people to sit as the room would feel quite cluttered. Recently we moved an office chair in as we'd like to get another proper chair to sit in front of the radiator. The walls themselves have various images and artefacts of Venice so lending to the style of the room. The bookcase is home to many graphic novels, art books, and on top sits a model of the Black Pearl along with some War Machine miniatures. 

     So for gaming the majority of the players are cushioned on the floor. the ST screen is set up on the floor to hide dice rolls and for me to look at for reference, while I sit in the office chair, looming over the other players. So things are focused (on me), with the players in an arc about me. Without a table things are more relaxed as the players lie about, rolling dice and sipping their drinks (coffee, tea, beer, wine). We normally have a ipod dock set up with about 3 hours of music in a play list chosen for the game (soundtracks are great things for the game) and candles are lit as we often play in the evening, so we usually put on the dimmest of lights in room while others are turned off. Being sat about in such a free form space also allows for a degree of improvised acting if needed and also makes conversations much more relaxed and intimate, rather than rigid if we had a table present. It would be good if all players had a proper seat, but the logistics are a nightmare with such a small flat.

     My ideal gaming space would be the same, but without the kitchen interfering. I like having a room that can vary in the amount of light it can have, not be too distracting, have space for players to relax, and allows for mood music. Comfort is the friend of good roleplay. I'd prefer darker walls, but such is the way of living in rented flats. 


    What's your gaming space like?

[actual play] Changeling: the Lost


Changeling: the Lost

Venice: Broken Masks, Shattered Dreams

Episode 1 - Promises - part 2

      Perplexed by the death of the man the motley headed to the Teatro Fenice and the House of Autumn, while Clio headed to the Ca da' Mosto and the House of Spring. There they headed straight up into the roof of the building and entered the hallow, using the particular knock that they knew and allowing the door to recognise their mantle. In the dusty and dark library of the hallow the troupe met Athena, a member of Codexial's motley, the Library of the Lion. Athena was a large eyed woman, her mien showing that she was more like an owl. She swooped down from the upper levels of the library and listened to the motley. She informed them that the House of Autumn did have information with regard to this case. She explained that the Watchmen were aware of the issue but had not yet looked into it as the police seemed to be doing a good job of keeping it under the carpet. Athena gave the motley a folder of information and photos that the Watchmen had gathered so far. There were 3 other victims, all similarly scratched, all suicides. One was a family man, the previous victim. He had slashed his wrists in the bathroom. He had left behind a wife and daughter. The other two vicitims, another man and a woman, had all gone missing after a night out with friends. The woman had drowned herself while the man had jumped from his flat. All lived in and around the Ghetto area.





      At the Ca da' Mosto, Clio entered the Hedge and to the House of Spring. The run down building gave way to the magnificent hallow. It was a palace, covered in statues, drapes of plum and lime, the sound of singing and music, and light dappled in from above through the tallest vines of the Hedge.

Friday, 10 September 2010

[actual play] Changeling: the Lost


Changeling: the Lost

Venice: Broken Masks, Shattered Dreams

Episode 1 - Promises - part 1

      Late at night a couple are in bed making love. Later we see them asleep. One wakes up and leaves the room, while the other, a woman, is left there, eye open, panting, pinned to the bed by some invisible force. Terror flickers across her face and we hear the wardrobe door creak open.


      It was morning, and the snow was thin on the ground. Else, sat in her overalls, was outside a cafe in Cannaregio, sipping a coffee as she took a break from fixing boats. She was near to the church of the Madonna dell'Orto. There was a commotion as staggering through the streets came a young man. He was naked, and he was covered in scratches. Every inch of his body was scarred, and he brandished a large kitchen knife. He stood in the court yard and mumbled. "A Knife through Butter, A Knife through Butter. In the Ghetto Blades get Hotter!" With that he slit his throat and there was panic as people ran over to help him. But it was too late. Else, shocked, went over to the body. She had heard what he had said and she called upon her Fae eyes, to see if reality was as it looked. The blade seemed normal, but then there was omething odd about the scratches.



      At his pharmacy Stitches was having a pretty normal day, but had heard about the strange death on the radio. He was surprised when Else turned up, and she asked if he might come look at the body. He knew it wouldn't be easy considering the police would be all over it, but what with Else sensing something from it, he shut up shop and headed over.


      At his warehouse squat Sonata was not having a good time. He slept through the day, such was the influence of the sun upon his Fae form. He dreamt, and not nice things. He was at first running, in the Hedge, with Briarwolves at his back. But then the dream changed. He was in St Mark's Square. He saw the Campanile, soaked in blood and from it hung cage with prisoners within. From the tower people were falling. Many were hitting the stone floor, their bodies being broken by the force. And the bodies were piling up. Amongst the bodies a lone figure moved, gnawing at the bones, slurping out the marrow, tearing at the flesh with it's teeth. The sky above was a boiling rage, and two eyes hung in the sky, burning with fire, looming over the city.

      There was a growl from behind and Sonata was soon being chased by the Briarwolves. He ran forward, up the pile of bodies, and scaled the walls of the Campanile. At the top he had pause for breath and from here he could see an island, shrouded in fog, and from it he could hear the sound of dogs howling. The Briarwolves were upon him once more, and so Sonanta jumped.

      Sonanta awoke with a jump and fell from the beam he slept upon and hit the floor below. Dazed he got up and left the warehouse, looking for breakfast.


      At the scene of the death there was now a police tent up and the area had been surrounded by the police. Else and Stitches were soon joined by Freki, who had heard about the death and had headed over. Stitches, attempted to get past the police, however they did not accept him as a police doctor and so asked him to leave.

      Meanwhile Sonata had made his way to the square and was helping himself to the food that was left on the plates by some of the people at the cafes. He spotted the motley and joined them. Deciding they needed help getting in, Stitches called Clio, who worked at the Florian tea room in St Mark's Square. She was able to get a break and headed over to the crime scene.

      When Clio arrived, she drew on her contract of Spring, and to the police officers appeared as their superior. Within the tent Stithes took some photos of the body and looked at the wounds. There was certainly nothing weird save for the scratches. They looked at the copy of the report that was there with the detectives, and it appeared the man had no signs of drugs in his body. They also learnt that the man was gay, and that he was had no partner and kept to himself. This fitted the opinion people were forming about the case, that it was some form of divine justice. However, there was a comment by the person that lived in the same block of flats, that he had seen someone leaving the apartment late at night, and that is was a man.

Steampunk Plague Doctor Mask Dr Beulenpest by TomBanwell on Etsy

God I want this!!!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Just what were you expecting it to be about???

      Ever picked up a game and thought 'How do I run this game?' What is the first thing you do? Yes you read the setting material. You read the rules. You read the small short stories and the examples of play. And of course, if it is included, you watch films, read books and listen to music that are quoted as being inspiration for the game.

      So recently, in a very lengthy online discussion on forum (so yes it did get a little bitchy) I was confronted with problem. A person wanting to run Vampire: the Requiem, and his players, dislike the setting of the game because they found the Covenants too shallow, and that there was no 'ancient enemy', like in Masquerade, and that the exploration of what it means to be a Vampire was too boring (or too emo). What he, and his players wanted, was an in built purpose (i.e. I am this type of monster and this is what I do) more akin to say Hunter: the Vigil, or even the Forsaken in Werewolf: the Forsaken. He wanted clearly designed goals for the players, and in his terms, quests. In turned out he and his players wanted their game to be more like the PC game, Vampire: the Masquerade - Bloodlines.

     So I sat back and had a think about this, how he could play a game within the Requiem setting that also gave him and his players what they wanted. And what I realized is this. Some STs are really quite lazy and unimaginative. All the things present in Masquerade were easily simulated in Requiem. In fact you know had books that presented you a multitude of options that you could use. It was up to the ST and not White Wolf, to say what was fact, what was history and what was just a myth. The complaint this ST had was that he was not given a consistent origin for Vampires.

      You see, as stated in a recent White Wolf pod cast, Requiem replicates somewhat the experience of vampires in 'Interview with the Vampire'. The vampires are not gods, they have to fear humans, and they have no true clue as to their origin. Using this in a game, where the players and the NPCs are all for all intents and purposes immortal is important. It means myths and legends remain so. And that Vampires, due to the imperfect memories they retain by sleeping through the ages, have to rely on faith for their beliefs and codes of conduct. It means younger Vampires do not have to taken an elders beliefs as fact. This to me is exciting and means it is up to the players and ST to come to their own conclusions. Requiem is thus built on contradictions so that conflict arises due to conflicts of faith/belief/philosophy. And all of this is important to Vampires, as it up to them to believe what they want so that they can better understand their own place in the world and reconcile their monsterous nature. But, with such tropes so common in Vampire media, why is this such an issue? What was this ST and has players wanting from a game about Vampires? Ah, cool powers, things more darker than the player characters to kill, and some sort of higher calling. They wanted to be dark heroes.

     This left me wondering. Is it bad to think that people are really not running the game as intended by the designers? Now, you can say, and this is fair, that players can run the game the way they like it. It's their game after all. But when you run a game that is so against the grain of the game as it is designed, where many of the important issues of the setting and systems that reinforce those, are made moot by the 'collateral damage' attitude taken in the game, why even bother using that game to run what you want? Why not find something that caters for the action you seek but simulates the Vampires in a more action orientated way? Hell just play Masquerade if you want ancient evils, and forget about whining how Requiem does not have that in the setting? And if that is still not enough why not just make the modifications to the game yourself?All the tools and ideas are there. And failing that do your own research and make up your own setting material.

    I often feel like those that complain the most about the game are those who are too lazy to put in the hard work to make the game their own.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010


      Stiches story starts many decades before he or even his parents were born. A man down on his luck, no place to turn. The Gentry seemed to take pity on him, or so it seemed in his eyes, gave him all the good luck he'd need for the rest of his life. The only catch, a child born on a certain day from his bloodline would be taken by this Gentry for his own on the childs fourth birthday. The man not planning to have children and thinking he could beat the Gentry agreed.
      It is unfortunate that his luck would not always be so good, he got a woman pregnant, either through stupidity or carelessness it was soon to be that his bloodline would continue. He thought he'd escaped when the child was born on a different day and he'd not have to give up the child, though unwanted as he was by himself.
      As generations passed the story was lost and forgotten and no ill seemed to come to the family, well more than normal for the eras. Untill it a boy born Fransesco Aquino. The unlucky child stolen away as he slept soundly in his cot the day of his fourth birthday, a fetch left in his place. His parents blissfully unaware of their childs kidnapping.
      His time in Fae was filled with experiments of this doctor of Gentries, barely remembered agonies and stitches and scars criss-crossing his body as he aged in that realm, sometimes he was allowed off the bench, to help his keeper with others. Eventually a chance emerged to escape, his keeper offered him a way home, in exchange for his help in collecting more humans for his experiments. Numb to everything but the daily pain he'd been put through for these past 16 years he accepted willingly and was lead out to his room. Not a second had passed in this realm yet he'd aged so much. His fetch, still a four year old child slept soundly as he once had all those years ago and yet nothing had changed. He went to reach for the child, to break it's neck to destroy this imposter but as he touched the child it awoke and the sounds of footsteps could be heard approaching. He fled, through the window and onto the street in nothing but the clothes he'd had in fae, still caked in blood.
      He meant to do as his keeper had bid him, hunting to the best of his meager abilities, it came through practice his ability to lie and lull others into a false sense of security, he felt nothing for what he did for those long months.Things changed when his keeper picked out another target for him, a young child barely a few years old. Stitches stood above the child, tears running down his face as a sense of rememberance kicked in for all that he had lost. He ran, hid as far away as he could evading his keeper for sometime, until he found a group of others like him, his motley, this is where his story starts afresh.

[actual play] Changeling: the Lost


Changeling: the Lost

Venice: Broken Masks, Shattered Dreams

Prologue - part 3

     As the evening became night the motley left the Winter Market, heading back up to the upper levels of the cavern, and through the tunnels, our into the back streets near the Doge's prison. Sonata's Cocorange was now just a simple football to mortal eyes, and the other's hedge fruits and tokens were also equally mundane in appearance. It was decided that they should head to Stitches' pharmacy and leave the items there and go to the Teatro Fenice and speak with those of the House of Autumn.

      Having left the pharmacy and now in the streets of the Frezzeria, Clio and Freki could hear something down one of the alleys growling. A bin was knocked over and on the roofs above a number of people moved, apparently armed. From the alleyway something like a big dog burst out and ran past, and the people above gave chase. One, armed with a spear stopped and with easy dropped to the streets and approached the troupe. She was dressed for combat. Her spear tipped with a battered iron blade, and she burned from within with fire. She introduced herself as Cinder Belle, and that her Watchmen were on a hunt. She offered to lead them forward since it was dangerous. The motley learnt that the Watchmen were a group of predominantly Summer courtiers who kept watch at night. They hunted all manner of things, even Vampires who strayed from the shores of mainland Mestre.

      In a courtyard Cinder signalled for the motley to stop, and she hurried off with her spear down a side street leaving the motley alone in the courtyard. Soon enough something stirred, and the motley watched as two wolf like beast crawled down the side of the buildings towards them. Their jaws were wide with teeth and saliva dripped from their fangs. They were Briarwolves, and they rushed the motley.

      Acting quickly Sonanta drew the shadows about him, calling on his Contract of Darkness, and he moved to make a sneak attack on the beasts. One lunged at Freki, tearing into her side with it's claws, as the other failed to strike the nimble Wizened, Else. Stitches called out for Cinder while Clio drew on her voice, and sang and enchanting tune to distract the wolves. Sonanta grabbed the one briar wolf, but was easily thrown off, but Freki struck back, claws grew from her furred hands and she racked the beasts back, causing it to howl out in pain.

      Above Cinder and her motley appeared, her mien burning and melting the snow about her. She unleashed her spear and it impaled one fo the wolves, it's form collapsing into nothing but gnawed bones and rotting meat, while another of her motley let loose an arrow that struck the other beast.

      Safe once more, and having thanked Cinder, the motley headed to the Teatro, where they were let in via the back entrance by the bookish Wizened, Codexial. She shed dust as she moved, and her skin was aged and thin like paper. She led the motley upstairs into the very rafters of the theatre, and through a door into the Hedge and the true House of Autumn. The Hollow was a massive library come attic, lit by animated candle sticks that offered their light to those changelings nearby. Freki and Stitches headed to the infirmary where they could get bandages and Hedge Fruit based salves to repair Freki's wounds, as the others sat about. A candle stick tried to give Sonata some light, but he blew it out and the candle stick, upset, walked away. A growl rumbled from within the library, and a large man came out of the shadows. It was Mad Dog, a fearsome member of the House of Autumn, a gangster and trafficker. He looked like a cross between a man and a Doberman dog. He barked at Sonanta for hurting the candle stick's feelings before explaining to them that he had heard of their run in with the Briar Wolves, and that for their own saftey it was about time they considered forming a motley pledge.

      Upon leaving the Teatro, and heading back to Cannaregio and their squat, Freki and Sonanta spotted a commotion going on near the church of Santa Maria Maddalena. Outside was gathered police and locals. A man had been found, dead. His stomach was ripped open and on his forehead in blood was the letter 'V'.




Wednesday, 1 September 2010

[actual play] Changeling: the Lost


Changeling: the Lost

Venice: Broken Masks, Shattered Dreams

Prologue - part 2

     As the night drew to a close the motley left the Teatro and headed home. However, as Sonanta looked up he spotted something on the rooftops. There, on the roof of the Church of San Salvador sat a dark being, its cape flapping in the wind and its eyes red and glowing. Sonata acted quickly, calling out to the others are then drawing upon the Wyrd. His Contract of Darkness, allowed him to easily scuttle up the face of the church. Soon he was dashing across the snow covered roof, his quarry however was already onto the next rooftop. Freki was also trying to follow, digging her claws into the marble face of the church. The others simply kept watch or followed on foot.

     As Sonata neared the edge of the roof top he flung himself across the gap to the next roof. He barely was able to keep his footing, his contract allowing him to scrabble up the side and up onto the roof, all the while his quarry widened the gap between them and had already crawled over the next building before disappearing. Sonata looked for the highest rooftop nearby and clambered up and sat there looking for the red eyed being, as snow and wind whipped about him.

     The next day was the Winter Market, the 3rd of the season so far. Clio had finished her shift at the Florian,  and Stitches closed up the pharmacy where he works. So the motley met at Else's boat repair shop on the northern edge of Cannaregio. Here they discussed the previous night's events and that they may find out something at the Winter Market. Getting into Else's boat, they departed for the docks near the Doge's Palace, and Else made use of her token, a small broken chess piece. To their Fae eyes the piece was a crystal king piece, and it glowed as the boat ploughed through the waters of the lagoon, making good time, and just before the engine of the boat over heated. Steam was pouring off the engine and Else cursed the machine. The motley stood on the docks watching Else, and then when she was done they head off towards the Palace prisons and the Winter Market.





      The motley approach a door, Freki knocked on the peeling green wood, three times, and proceeded to turn, widdershins, 13 times. As she did she became dizzy and lost count. So stitches did the same. Upon finishing he then sighed, then turned clockwise once then opened the door. (ST Note: The players actually acted this out in my living room. Amusing to see one player get dizzy and loose count) The motley saw that they had opened the door to the Hedge, and that before them 2 grim looking Darklings stood. They were the security for the market, members of the House of Winter's Wight Guard. They were allowed in and they proceeded down the dank, dark tunnel.

      In the Hedge the thorn squeezed through the stone walls, and barred windows hung in the air, suspended by the vines. Looking through the motley could see that these windows showed the real world. Continuing along the vines opened up and they found that they stood above a deep chamber, and below they could hear the music and smell the food and drink of the Winter Market. They continued down the stair case and into the market. There were a number of stalls, all with a variety of wares on offer. The tents kept off the dripping water from above, and steam rose from bubbling pots of grim looking food. Oink growls and chatter of Hedge beasts.

      At the bar, run by the Green Caps, the motley ordered some food and drink. Captain Saor, a grim looking sailor, served up plates of what looked like scrambled egg, but red, with a strange nettle like leaf sprinkled over and a black ooze dressing. Payment was taken in a clump of their own hair, which Saor used to make his own brew. Sonanta picked up a Cocorange in exchange for a poem, Freki got a couple of mapples (meat apples) and Else got some Coupnettle, but had to pay with  bloody toenail.

     The next stop was Triton's stall. Triton was of the Cleaner's motley of the House of Winter. He had quite the collection of random trinkets and tokens, with Clio picking up a ribbon of never miss, Freki getting a random pebble with no idea what it could do, and Else getting a needle capable of stitching steel together with the catch that it would give you pins and needles for a week. But she would only get it if she fixed a old TV that only showed repeats of the last 10 minutes of events that happened near it. The TV needed new batteries for it to work better, as it currently had a goblin called Cedric powering it by crank.

     Next up was the cattle market, where they could of bought Cloud Pigs, Canal Rats and a musical, if aloof, cat in a bowler hat.

     Finally they went by the bordello, run by the Lords of Love motley, lead by the beautiful Madam Rose Blood. None were interested in any sex or narcotics, save for Sonata who tricked them into giving him some time in their smoking room.