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Killer Shrike

Arc 4: Qlippothic Philosophic

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Jack Maywood
Slayer / Alchemist
Lord Maggot
Joey Manegarm
Beretta Colt
Final Girl
Drew Altman
Lucky Operator
Sniper / Cabalist

King Red



Session 1:


Murgatroyd...aka Saul Jacobson (his true name was revealed for the first time thanks to having to file incorporation papers for the team's new company Unconventional Solutions LLC) was going about his routine in Boston, trying to drum up business for the fledgling firm. Cleverly, he was using magic to disguise himself as some other late middle aged business man (whom we'll call "Ira" to hopefully avoid confusion) each day when going about his day in public.


About a month after the Hunters went their separate ways, as he walked from his townhouse to his office Ira was accosted very rudely by a trio of Boston thugs who were luckily fooled by the magical guise. The thugs' leader asked Ira questions about Murgatroyd in a somewhat comical conversation loaded with subtext and allusions to mobsters movies.


The main thrust of the conversation was that Murgy was being offered a deal by "the powerful people he had made an enemy out of out west". A business card with nothing but a phone number printed upon it was pressed upon Ira to pass on to Murgatroyd and the thugs faded out of the scene.


Arriving at the office clearly shaken, Murgy fortified himself in his office and cast a divination spell to trace the card's recent past back to the most magically powerful thing it had come into contact with...the resulting vision revealed the card changing hands a few times down some kind of crime organizations' chain of command to arrive in the hands of the goon who had handed it to Murgy. The card originated from a slim, charismatic, smartly dressed vampire...handed off to a local crime lord in the back room of what looked like a classy restaurant downtown several days ago. 


Murgy, characteristically, freaked out. With Drew somewhere in Mexico, Joey in FBI training, and Beretta and Jack somewhere out west running around with SAIC Harker...Murgy wasted no time calling Killroy who was in NYC doing Killroy-ish things. Once Killroy arrived in Boston late in the day, the two Hunters began to do some desperate planning. Killroy's plan basically consisted of "kill them all" but Murgatroyd pointed out the various flaws in that particular approach. The two of them then attempted to use their new access to secured online resources available to them as Section M Special Assets but neither one of them were technical enough to figure out how to manage it.




The firm's new secretary Laverne, a nice older lady from a town north of Boston proper and a survivor of a ghoul attack many years ago which sadly left her family dead and eaten but happily made her hire-able by enterprising supernaturally active individuals such as our heroes, offered to help but as she lacks the necessary clearance Murgy thought it best to decline. 


Instead, it now being early evening, Murgy called Joey down  in Quantico and asked for his assistance. Joey was able to pull up a significant amount of data including a surveillance photo about a suspected vampire fitting Murgy's description named Allan Carr active in Boston since perhaps the late 1930's. According to the case records, it appeared that as many as seven groups of Hunters had attempted to root this vamp out of Boston and none of them were ever heard from subsequently. Also, Alan Carr appeared to somehow be involved with an international shipping and industrial services company with a major office located in Boston, called Aleante.  


Murgy and Killroy decided to call the number and find out what the vamps wanted. His first attempt in the late afternoon went to voicemail, but a second try after sunset was answered promptly on the second ring by an urbane, persuasive voice. 


Murgatroyd was offered a deal...L'Eminence Nocturne was willing to "forgive" Murgatroyd's transgressions in L.A. if he would deliver "the young man" (meaning Joey) to them and agree to consider future business opportunities for his wizardly services "at fair market prices". The other Hunters would of course have to die. 


The vampire on the other end, Allan, did not identify himself and was playing the mysterious voice on the other end game, but at some point in the conversation Murgatroyd adroitly flipped the table on Mr. Carr by revealing that he knew who he was talking to. This obviously unsettled Allan a bit, but he adapted. He gave Murgy 24 hours to decide. However, determined not to get a clean win, Murgatroyd accidentally let slip that "the young man"'s name is Joey. Oops.


Murgy, getting even more nervous, called Jack for vampire hunting advice. It turned out that Jack and Beretta were getting settled in to a highway motel somewhere south of Chicago, having just completed a armed delivery of cargo to a Section M facility in the region. Jack, hearing the promise of a vampire to kill, rousted Beretta from her room and convinced her to ride with him overnight to Boston to help Murgy and Killroy out. Beretta sensibly wanted to fly, but Jack pointed out his van is a rolling armory full of vampire killing  stuff. It was also recently repaired and detailed, and he's keen on putting it back into service in his vampire slaying hobby. The two rolled eastward and arrived late afternoon the following day at Murgy's house where the wizard and Killroy had holed up for the night.


Beretta, showing that Harker's field craft had been paid attention to, almost immediately spotted a couple of goons watching Murgy's house front and back. Various magic-facilitated shenanigans later, the team eluded the dopes staking out Murgy's sanctum townhousum, followed the trail of Murgy's scrying into and around downtown, and eventually arrived at a upscale condo highrise with heavy magical wards on it, where Allan's trail ended. Going off residual energy, Murgy was able to guess that either Allan lives in the building or visits very frequently. Murgy was also able to tell that the wards on the building were very old, and had been maintained and extended over the years by several practitioners. It was entirely possible that part of the reason Allan had been able to survive as a vampire in the city for so long without major detection was the anti-surveillance protection the wards on this building would have conferred to him. 


Surprisingly, Murgatroyd received a call from the number he had called Allan at the day before. A different, deeper and more menacing voice was on the other end. Even over the phone, Murgy felt an unpleasant tingling in the back of his neck. The thought crossed his mind that he might be talking to a master vampire...


This conversation was short and couched in less friendly language. Murgy pointed out he had a couple more hours before 24 hours had fully elapsed, but the entity on the other end of the phone was not swayed and demanded an answer. Murgy politely declined and the phone simply went "click"


Killroy did some leg work and found a boutique upscale hotel on the opposing street, catercorner but within view. The team relocated to a room with a view of Allan's roof and settled in for some surveillance. Joey, back in Quantico, was reached out to again and he was able to do some hacking and get a plan design document for the Boston City building department with the details of a fairly serious security-related upgrade to the top two floors of the building, including schematics and floorplan. Things got busy, particularly for Murgy...he teleported around a bit and retrieved Joey from Quantico. Then, back in the hotel once again but with plus one more meatshield, the Wizard patiently concentrated and began to bore a hole through the wards encasing the building. That took a while, but paid off, and Murgy was then able to scry into the building and get a tactical assessment. Finding three armed guards and Allan in the top two floors, Murgy described the layout and the positions of the guards to his teammates. 


Despite the sun having just gone down, the team (minus Drew) opted to press an assault, and raid the building. Using teleporation, Murgy moved the team to the roof of Allan's building. Moving down the fire escape to the floor below the top floor, Joey kicked the firedoor in and then everyone except Murgy assaulted inward to take out the vampires guards, one after the other. Shots were fired back and forth, blood was sprayed, a guard's leg was severed by Killroy's hand cannon of a pistol and a max-damage roll. 


Murgy  had been maintaining an anti-scrying anti-video surveillance spell to cover the teams advance into the building and shield them from any street side cameras (metagame commentary: this was a very smart move by @Durzan Malakim). Once the Hunters were well inside the building and the lights had been killed, Murgy dropped that spell and quickly prepared a new one to make himself invisible to sight and hearing. 


This proved to be fortuitous, as while the other Hunters were clearing the lower floor and assaulting up the staircase to the vampire's lair on the upper floor, the vampire himself had dropped down to the fire escape from a balcony and was stealthily coming in behind the Hunters and the trailing far behind Murgatroyd was isolated and in the vampire's path. 


The vampire very nearly bumped into invisible Murgatroyd, coming to almost the same spot to look through a doorway from the back side of the condo to the front where the other Hunters were advancing. Seeing the situation had turned against him, with his guards taken out and a team of confident and well equipped Hunters leaving a trail of the odor of vampire repellent behind them, Allan decided to cut his losses and escape.


However, before doing so, he muttered "Well played, wizard."


As he was standing nearly shoulder to shoulder at the time, Murgy assumed the vampire could see him and lost his $#!^ (failed his freak out complication roll) and started screaming and gibbering uncontrollably. Fortunately, his invisibility covered sound and no one witnessed this and his dignity was retained.


Allan Carr escaped down the fire escape and faded into the night.

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15 hours ago, Killer Shrike said:

Placeholder for the next Arc of the Be At Ease campaign.


The Arc name is certainly intriguing. I like its alliterative sound.

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The first real session of Arc 4 occurred yesterday. It went in a different direction than planned (the scripted adventure was in Shreveport , LA, but the session ended up being about interacting with a vampiric presence in Boston), so it was almost entirely improv, but it was fun and hopefully people enjoyed it. It was entirely my own fault; I was trying to seed story elements as bait for future adventure to be re-visited later after the team returned to Boston from Shreveport, but I messed up the timing of it and the group jumped on the hook early. It may actually work out better this way in the long run, but I was under-prepared in the moment and had to wing it. The players rolled with it and made it work; they're great and a pleasure to game with.


Everyone got 4 XP, and @L0rd_Magg0t was voted the MVP due to taking charge of the situation when the group decided to assault a vamp in their own lair (at night), and empowering the team to succeed with his alchemical acumen. It was the first episode where Jack really got to  shine, and neither the character nor the player disappointed. Honorable mentions, Murgatroyd also had a lot of great scenes, and @Durzan Malakim carried a lot of the weight of the emerging story for the group. @WilyQ ended up running all the bad guys as Drew was off camera the entire session, @Steve made up and ran Laverne, the team's new secretary and a big hit at the table. @King Red stepped up and demonstrated that Killroy is more than just a guy with a big gun...he was putting Killroy through his paces and using a lot more of the character sheet. And @Scything 's skilling up of Joey's computer abilities paid off as he was able to get a lot of information and keep the team moving forward with good intel. 


There is an XP spending freeze in effect.


I'm looking forward to next session when we may find the Hunters in Shreveport as expected...if the loa's be kind of course.

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Session 2 of Qlippothic Philosophic was played last evening...the Hunters traveled to Shreveport, LA to take a job at a casino having problems with someone cheating...with some kind of magic!  Joey & Killroy were awarded 2 XP each. Beretta, Drew, Jack, and Murgatroyd were each awarded 3 XP. Jack, played by @L0rd_Magg0t was voted MVP for the second session in a row. It was communicated that there was an XP spending freeze in effect until the Hunters resolve Act I of the arc. 

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Sorry to be lagging behind...a lot going on in real life currently. I'd really like to be doing the session write ups but I just don't have the time currently. If someone else wants to take a stab at it on this thread, I don't mind at all.

We played last Saturday night, ending Act 1 of the arc. As it was a significant session and a milestone, 5 XP was on the table...King Red got 4 XP, Lord Maggot got 6 XP due to above and beyond play as a possessed version of Jack and also taking on running Daryll and his zombies in the nights big fight scene. Everyone else got 5 XP. 


Scything and Steve had a split vote for MVP and they both did great things in the session so rather than break the tie I awarded it to both of them. 



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