Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Show Must Go On - Season Four (notes)

So last night we made characters for a new Vampire: The Requiem story, in this chronicle. Said chronicle predates this blog, meaning if you want to read about it you either go to RPG.net or you poke around in my Livejournal, which is labyrinthine.

I've run three stories in this game, all with a different cast, but always with some overlap (usually +Matthew Karafa). I read through the previous stories, and holy cats, they're dense. There are a lot of names flying around, lots of vampires in Vegas, which only makes sense.

So, the first story ("The Extras Union") was pretty unfocused. I know what I was going for, but I should have adjusted the story to fit the new players and characters. As a result, it was good, but it wasn't as tight as the ones that followed.

Second story ("The Week of Roses") was directed by Robert Rodriguez, I think. Lots of death and people speaking Spanish. It ended with the characters in a locus in Corpus Christi where they managed to remove clans entirely, changing the face of Kindred society.

Third story ("Six Cards, Six Shots") was directed by Quentin Tarantino. That is, just as much violence and murder, but with a kind of more po-mo/organized crime slant, and entirely in Las Vegas (plus, poker tournament and lots of important characters).

So, just for the goddamn hell of it, here are the PCs through this chronicle:

  • Heath Newman (Nosferatu, Ordo Dracul): Owner of Binion's and now a new, Japanese-themed casino off-Strip. Appeared as a PC in "The Extras Union" and "Six Cards, Six Shots" and made a cameo in "The Week of Roses" playing the PCs in poker for their blood. 
  • Padma Gupta (Daeva, Ordo Dracul): Clubber and drug addict. Appeared as a PC in "The Extras Union" and hasn't been seen since. I rather suspect she's still in town and has drugged herself into draugr status somehow. 
  • John Marconi (Ventrue, Ordo Dracul): Fixer and problem-solver, probably should have been Invictus. Appeared as a PC in "The Extras Union" and cameo'd in the next two stories. I think he's probably grown in City Status and become a fixer full-time, working directly under Courant (the Koagion). 
  • Lindsey Sandford (Mekhet, Ordo Dracul): Scholar and sociologist, appeared as a PC in "The Extras Union" and cameo'd in "The Week of Roses" to tell Aaron McCaskill about banes. She was fairly well-appointed within the Ordo, so I think she's still in town studying the Kindred condition. 
  • Aaron McCaskill (Mekhet/Jones, Ordo Dracul): WWI soldier and utter nutbag, not especially well-regarded in Vegas, but somewhat infamous. PC in "The Week of Roses" and referenced in "Six Cards, Six Shots." He owned a pawn shop in Vegas, so I think he's probably still around. 
  • Alice Storms (Daeva/Carthian): Embraced in the 70s along with her boyfriend, generally doing the "lusty vampire" thing. PC in "The Week of Roses". Stayed in Vegas, but who may have moved on by now. 
  • John Taylor (Mekhet/Carthian): Ex-CIA spook, Embraced in Afghanistan in the 80s. Acted as a kind of voice of reason (as a PC) during "The Week of Roses", and left Vegas thereafter. 
  • Adele Bergeron (Daeva/Circle of the Crone): Embraced in the 30s while traveling to see family, doing the unlife of a bon-vivant in Vegas. Wound up becoming the somewhat unwilling protege of Dawn Waiting Snake during "The Week of Roses," and left Vegas thereafter. I imagine she's still learning Cruac somewhere. 
  • Louis Duquesne (Nosferatu/Carthian): Was a cop in New Orleans until his Embrace, then wound up in Vegas. Shares a sire with Maeve Blackwell and Granjera (now dead). Was a PC in "The Week of Roses," and hasn't been seen since; might have gone home to New Orleans. 
  • Edric Simons (no clan, but sort of Mekhet-ish/Carthian): Sent from Chicago to accompany Bella Dravanzie. PC during "Six Cards, Six Shots." Went home to Chicago thereafter. 
  • Christian Geist (no clan, but very Daeva-ish/unaligned): Club kid and dancer. PC during "Six Cards, Six Shots." May have gone walkabout afterwards, possibly to Bone Valley. 
  • Miranda Walker (Mekhet/Carthian): Gambler/math expert in Vegas to beat the house. PC in "The Week of Roses" and "Six Cards, Six Shots." Now runs Newman's Japanese-themed casino. 
  • Marena Calia (no clan, but feels Daeva/unaligned): Lounge singer, former thief, embezzler. PC during "Six Cards, Six Shots." Now a dancer and singer at the Japanese-themed casino. 
  • Reverend Morris Jensen (no clan, but Gangrel-ish/Lancea et Sanctum): Lancea et Sanctum enforcer, killer, and confessor. Was a PC during "Six Cards, Six Shots" until Christian diablerized him in frenzy. 
Now, for this story, our PCs are:
  • Heath Newman (see above). Known issues: Humanity is 5, which means no Touchstone unless he buys the Merit. A bunch of XP, but under the old system. The current Coils system leaves me a little cold.
  • +Matthew Homentosky's nameless yutz: Mekhet/Invictus. Runs a nostalgia museum in Vegas, stays at Binion's. Embraced in the 60s and once shook Sinatra's hand. Looking to increase his standing in the covenant. Known issues: Needs Aspirations and a name.
  • Myra Siegel (Ventrue/Invictus): Embraced only recently, leaving behind a young son (Tyler) whom she gave up for adoption. Worked as a pro-domme and was Embraced by a client. Still does the work, out of Binion's. Known issues: Her Touchstone should be on 7, since she's Ventrue. Needs 1 more Merit dot. 
  • Delphine (Mekhet/Circle of the Crone): Her (mortal) family has a weird, magical history involving vampires; her father, who was supposed to kill her for not being a boy, instead Embraced her at 18. She's a cocktail waitress at Binion's, and wants to Embrace her girlfriend. Known issues: Needs to spend 3 more Merit dots, needs a last name.
Now some notes that players shouldn't read:

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Character Creation: Of Gods and Heroes

I wanted to do two characters this weekend, but then I got busy yesterday and had to run Chill (which became an object lesson in "why it's important to do the investigation before the combat"). So I might still do two, if I find the time, but for now:

The Game: Of Gods & Heroes
The Publisher: Green Fairy Games
Degree of Familiarity: Not much. I've read it, and I've got a one-shot scheduled.
Books Required: Just the one.

So, Of Gods & Heroes is an RPG inspired by the big, larger-than-life, heroes of myth. The tagline for the game includes the phrase "punch monsters in the face," which, I discovered, is a good way to sell people on the game. The author, my fellow IGDN member +Justin Bow, was selling it at GenCon (not to me, because I backed the Kickstarter), and his pitch involved asking people their favorite mythological hero and helping them make a character based on that. I tried to stump him by giving him Orpheus, but that didn't work. Turns out you can make a character like Orpheus in this game just fine. I'm not going to, however.

There's a certain degree of player-involved setup that goes into the game; you need to decide the influences on your culture and what kinds of gods you've got going on and so on. The default assumes a sea-faring, iron age culture, and that's fine with me.

Step One: Conceptualize All Over the Place. Sounds messy. Anyway, as there's not a default setting for this game (rather, the default setting is "mythology"), I don't have anything in particular in mind, so I'll go for a kind of stealthy, night-hunting, Artemis-only-male-and-not-quite-so-angry thing. I'll call him Ardhem. Just sounds good to me.

Step Two: Fatal Flaw. Every myth-sized hero needs a fatal flaw, of course. Ardhem's, I think, should be tied to being hesitant...oh, wait, "Merciful" is one of the examples. I kind of like that. I get a Legend Point when I let someone live and they try to kill me later (which, holy shit, that would require the right group).

Step Three: What Makes You a Hero? I need a Prowess and an Epithet (much like another mythology-inspired game, this asks for a cool-sounding title, which I like).

There's a list of Prowesses, and I'm having trouble deciding. I want "Stealthy," but that's not a choice...oh, wait, "Dextrous" works on stealth. OK, fine, I'll make another jumpy-flippy-sneaky-throwy charcter. Twist my arm. I'll take "the Silent" as my epithet.

Step Four: What Are Your Skills? What, indeed? I have 25 points to divvy up. Everything's 1-for-1 except Rhyme, which is 2-for-1, and I can't go over 4 in anything.

Well, the Skill chapter tells me that some combat skill is a good thing, that the Resistances should get 2 each, and that Perception is a good choice in general. You know what I think; If it's important enough that everyone should have it, then either fold it into the rules so you don't have to fuck with it at chargen or give it to everyone by default. But whatevs. I have 25 points. I want:

Intimidation (being all scary while hiding)
Throwing Weapons
Mental Resistance
Physical Resistance
Social Resistance

I would take Rhyme (which allows for magic) but I can't figure out the system. The Rhyme Skill seems to indicate that I can only take points in Rhyme if my Prowess allows it, and then I have to take Specializations in magic before I can use it...eh. I can't grok it; I'll have to get Justin to explain it before I run this game. I could take Rituals, I suppose, but screw it, I'll just assume Ardhem makes do without magic (how sad).

So, plugging some points into these Skills, I wind up with:

Intimidation 3
Throwing Weapons 3
Mental Resistance 2
Physical Resistance 2
Social Resistance 2
Athletics 3
Sneaking 4
Tumbling 2
Perception 2
Hunting 2

Step Five: What Is Your Fate? I actually tinkered with an idea like this a long time ago, but never really made it work - you know your character's Fate going in. It's "fate" in a very broad sense; "betrayed and murdered" is good, but specifying who is doing the betraying and murdering isn't.

Well, Ardhem's Fatal Flaw is that he's Merciful, so obviously that should get him killed. I think he intervenes in a fight without understanding what's happening, misunderstanding the situation in such a serious way that the aftermath gets him killed (like maybe the guy he saves is a blasphemer and the God of "Mind Your Fucking Business" takes it out on Ardhem later.

And that's it. Well, I'll say this, chargen is nice and simple. Gotta get this magic thing sorted, though.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Movie #274: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games is a dystopian sci-fi film, based on the novel by Suzanne Collins, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Josh Huthcerson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, and a bunch of other people. I have not yet read the book, so I can't comment on similarities and differences, so this is just about the movie.

The country - now called Panem - is divided up into 12 districts, each of which produces something. Katniss (Lawrence) lives in District 12, the poorest district, which is analogous to Appalachia and produces coal. Katniss is bitter, but driven to help her family (mother and sister; her father died in a mining accident) survive, which she does by hunting game with her bow and selling the kills.

Every year, the government puts on a show called the Hunger Games, in which two children (ages 12 to 17) from each district are chosen at random, put in an arena, given weapons and made to fight until only one remains alive what the actual hell, Panem. The richer districts dress in crazy fashions and treat this like spectacle, whereas the outlying districts are more realistic about what the purpose of the Games is (that is, to remind you stupid fuckers of your place and make sure no one rebels). Katniss' sister, Primrose (Willow Shields) is chosen as tribute, and Katniss volunteers to take her place. She then gets a whirlwind tour of how crazy things are in the capitol, goes into the games with her District-mate Peeta (Hutcherson), who's had a crush on her since childhood, and tries to survive. She succeeds, but also winds up thumbing her nose at the government, to the point that her mentor (Harrelson), a previous Games winner, warns her that she'd better stay in line.

The movie is really good, IMO. One of the potential problems with dystopian sci-fi is when they over-explain or dumb down the world, but I think this film does a nice job of explaining what it needs to and implying the rest. The Capitol and the garish, shallow culture it engenders is well-realized, and I like that we never quite lose that sense of "wtf seriously?" when people congratulate Katniss on being the tribute, as though being brutally murdered is some kind of honor.

The fact that the movie deals with children murdering each other - with hand weapons, even - makes it a difficult sell. The death scenes are pretty effective, though I kind of feel like the scene where Katniss' friend Rue (Amandla Stenberg) dies, and Katniss kills her killer, were a little too clean. But, make it too bloody and you head for an R rating, and this is ostensibly a young adult story.

The most effective scene in the movie, for me, is one that happens on the first night of the Games. Katniss climbs a tree and sleeps there, knowing that sleeping on the ground can be fatal if the pack of "Careers" (kids trained from early childhood to compete in the Games) find her. But another tribute makes a fire, the Careers step out of the woods, cut away to Katniss, and we hear a scream. It's chilling because we just saw this pretty young girl at fire, and the next thing that happens is that another person her age murders her with a sword. (My DVD skipped that scene, but I remember it from the theater.)

It's not a happy movie, but it's a well-made one, and it's just entertaining enough to be watchable without being too heavy. I'm keen to see the finale of the trilogy this year.

My grade: A
Rewatch value: Medium-low

Next Up: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Movie #273: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is an animated movie very loosely based on the children's book by Judi and Ron Barrett, and starring Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Bruce Campbell, and Mr. T.

Flint Lockwood (Hader) lives in a tiny island town called Swallow Falls, famous for its sardine fishing and precisely nothing else. Flint is a brilliant inventor, but his inventions never quite work the way he wants, and his slow, steady, fisherman dad (Caan) doesn't quite get him. His mom does, but this being an animated movie, she dies after one scene (she's never named or given any other traits besides "understands Flint", which is typical of moms in these movies), and Flint grows up with his dad, never quite fitting in.

And then one day, Flint tries to get his latest invention, which will make food from water using scientific garbledegook, on the same day that the ambitious mayor (Campbell) tries to turn Swallow Falls into a sardine-based tourist destination. A weather intern named Sam Sparks (Faris) arrives from the mainland to cover it, and Flint destroys Sardineland with his invention...which, upon rocketing into the clouds, makes it rain cheeseburgers. From there, Flint gets seduced by the power of being a new celebrity, but the machine runs wild (with some help from the increasingly Hutt-like mayor), until he, Sam, Sam's Renaissance-man camera operator (Benjamin Bratt), and the reformed bully Brent (Andy Samberg) have to fly up into the clouds of superfood and stop it.

Oh, and there's a monkey that, with the help of Flint's Monkey Translator, can speak in one-word phrases, voiced by Neil Patrick Harris. "STEVE!"

So, I have some issues with this movie, but they're mostly the mom thing. Generally, I think it's really funny. I like that the secondary cast is pretty well realized (I mean, they're not deep or anything, but most of them have at least some attempt at backstory and a couple of them even have character arcs, which is nice). It holds up pretty well to repeat viewing, and Steve the Monkey stays funny. I think that Sam's dilemma of being a nerdy but still conventionally attractive girl who wants to be a scientist rings somewhat true (as women in STEM are often reminded). If I wanted to overanalyze, I'd say that the "dead mom" thing is more noticeable because there's such a strong theme of "dads showing love and appreciation for their sons," as exemplified by the local cop's (Mr. T) love of his little boy, as compared to Flint's father, who doesn't have the language to express what he feels.

There are a lot of little background jokes, too, that make the movie more interesting, and help it hold up to repeated viewing. Steve is far and away my favorite, though.

My Grade: B+
Rewatch value: High

Next Up; The Hunger Games

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Movie #272: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is, of course, a Marvel Cinematic Universe film acting as a sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger. That said, it's just as much a sequel to Avengers. It stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johanssen, Samuel L. Jackson, Frank Grillo, Robert Redford, and Anthony Mackie.

So: Following the Battle of New York, Sam Rogers/Cap (Evans), not knowing quite what else to do, has enlisted as a SHIELD agent. He's living in DC, doing missions with Black Widow (Johansson). In the opening scene, he meets a pararescue trooper named Sam Wilson (Mackie), and they bond over their shared experiences in the service. Rogers goes on mission to a hijacked SHIELD ship in which Black Widow, following her own agenda, recovers some data from the ship's computers, which director Nick Fury (Jackson) can't crack.

Turns out SHIELD is about to launch three helicarriers armed with state of the arm weaponry and the ability to kill targets from low orbit. Rogers doesn't approve, but follows orders. Fury is then attacked and seemingly killed by a strange assassin with a metal arm - the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). Rogers does some digging, is declared an outlaw and fugitive by SHIELD's acting director Alexander Pierce (Redford), goes on the lam with Widow, and discovers that SHIELD, since the 70s, has been infiltrated by Hydra.

With Wilson's help, Widow and Cap kidnap SHIELD agent Sitwell (Maximillio Hernandez), and learn that he's Hydra and that the helicarriers are going to kill everyone that Hydra deems a threat (Bruce Banner and Stephen Strange are both mentioned). The Winter Soldier attacks, Maria Hill (Colbie Smulders) intervenes, Fury's alive, and the Winter Soldier turns out to be Bucky Barnes, the comrade that Cap thought died in 1944. The small group of them assault the helicarriers and manage to down them. The Winter Soldier recovers his mind enough to save Cap, Fury shoots Pierce, Wilson beats up Agent Rumlo (Grillo, setting him up to become Crossbones later), and Cap and Wilson go after Barnes.

This movie is really awesome and dense. There's a lot going on, and yeah, the action sequences are good, but I am continually amazed at how tight the MCU movies are and how the tone of them changed after Avengers. I need to re-watch Iron Man 3 and Thor: Dark World before Age of Utron opens in May, because I want to get those events in mind, too.

But anyway, the cast here does a great job at portraying the ambiguity of doing intelligence and military work in the Marvel world, and the movie brings out the destruction of SHIELD with appropriate gravitas. One of the nice things about the MCU is that big, game-changing shit like Hyrda's infiltration can work, and I'm really looking forward to seeing it show up in the other characters' movies (this movie hit after the Iron Man and Thor movies, so Hydra wasn't mentioned). It feels like a spy movie with superheros, rather than a comic book movie, and I appreciate that.

And I really want a Black Widow movie. Hawkeye, no Hawkeye, whatever.

My grade: A
Rewatch value: Medium-high, it's long

Next up: Hunger Games

Monsterhearts (rar)

Third session in our second season! Let's go!

Last time, Briar, Genesis, and Skylar were at Briar's house when they heard the growl from outside. The others (Cassi, Austin, Rook, and Dora) were approaching from outside and saw the paw prints. Briar gave Genesis a big club, gave Skylar a hairspray can and lighter, and grabbed some fire pots and headed out to battle.

But outside, the Shade Tiger had attacked! Rook shut it down, and gave it the tamed condition, so it kind of flopped over and waited. But then the others rounded the corner and Skylar yelled, "Look out!" The tiger jumped up and ran to attack Skylar. Briar tried to take the blow, but failed, and it just wound up clawing both of them (Skylar did use mimicry, though).

Dora ran over and tried to use a binding hex on the tiger, but failed. The hex inverted itself and Dora sat there shivering. Genesis lashed out physically with the club, but failed, and the tiger clawed her. Skylar tried to use the hairspray can to burn it (lashing out physically), but failed, and the can exploded, doing a bit of Harm to almost everyone.

Briar lashed out physically with her fire pots, and did some Harm to the tiger, but also triggered her Darkest Self. Rook, again, shut it down, and gave the tiger the passive condition, but picked up feral for himself.

Briar told everyone to leave, and stormed back to her armory to gear up for a hunt. Rook refused, and stayed with the cat (as did Dora, who was treating it more like a pet at this point; she held steady to clip a bit of the cat's fur). Cassi followed Briar, hoping to talk her down, and Austin followed Cassi.

Briar, in her armory, heard a noise behind her and saw a spectral, icy woman - the White Lady. She flung a knife at it...

Cassi arrived at the armory and saw the door ajar. She opened it, and saw the White Lady there. She gazed into the abyss but failed, and the White Lady reached up and stroked her cheek. And then she looked down and saw a knife sticking out of her chest - Briar had successfully lashed out physically.

Austin, a second behind Cassi, saw her fall, caught her, and berated Briar. He called out for help and the others loaded Cassi into her car. There was some talk about taking Genesis to the hospital as well (she was pretty badly injured, too), but they talked too long and Austin left.

Skylar took Briar's car (Briar tossed him the keys) to get Genesis to the hospital. Genesis held steady, but wound up with the terrified condition and didn't want to go - she was afraid she'd dry out or be dissected. Skylar instead took her to the beach.

Meanwhile, at the house, Rook, still feral, turned Briar on. Briar, in the throes of her Darkest Self and ready to go after anything - the Emissary, the White Lady - gave in, and the two of them went back to the armory. Dora, meanwhile, called Miguel for a ride.

Post-sex, Rook asked Briar to promise that she'd never go running off by herself after danger again. Briar promised, which is awesome, because she's one Darkest Self away from breaking that promise.

Dora, waiting for a ride, was approached by the White Lady. Keeping her cool, Dora asked to have the tiger remain, pet-like. She manipulated an NPC, and the White Lady agreed, if she got to mark Dora. Dora agreesd, and the White Lady stroked her face, much like she did to Cassi.

Skylar took Genesis to the beach. Genesis soaked in the water, and gazed into the abyss, wondering how they can get out of this alive. She realized that she could just swim home, but she didn't want to do that yet. She saw the book that they found, the one that keeps adding pages, and saw sketches of her and her friends. But only Rook's was finished; everyone else was just rough sketches. She got out of the water and talked with Skylar, and they decided that going to the hospital was unwise - Genesis didn't have a legal ID, and they weren't sure if they could make all this work. They decided to head back to Briar's.

Rook left Briar's house and walked through the woods. He gazed into the abyss, looking for answers about what was going on, and saw Dora with the chilled mark on her face. He got the sense, though, that someone else was happening, something larger and more important than the White Lady and her mark. He emerged from the woods at a 7-11, and went in to buy an Icy, as police cars zoomed by.

At the hospital, Cassi was taken into surgery and the knife removed from her chest. After it was out, the police - in the personage of Detective MacKenzie - came in to talk to her. She told MacKenzie that they'd been at Briar's, they'd heard something outside, gone to investigate, and she'd gotten stabbed by accident. The detective thanked her and left, and when the door opened she saw Austin talking to the cops. She used her gaze into the abyss (of Austin's mind) and saw that he was still angry and scared, and worried what he might be saying.

The cops arrived at Briar's. She'd remained behind, knowing that the cops were probably on the way. The arrived and arrested her, and took her in to Perdido jail. She told them more or less what happened, omitting the bit about the ghost. Her father's lawyer, Jonathan Schmaltz, arrived and told her to stay quiet; he was doing what he could.

Skylar and Genesis, seeing cops at Briar's, turned around and saw Rook walking down the street. They picked him up and headed back to his place, and Rook, still feral, wound up having sex with both Genesis and Skylar. Rook asked Skylar for a promise never to fade away, and from Genesis to take him to the ocean someday.

Next day, the only one in school was Dora. She gathered her coven and tried to explain what was happening, but just managed to sound crazier and crazier.

Cassi's father arrived at the hospital and was clearly angry about what had happened, but Cassi manipulated an NPC to get him to let Briar off. He agreed, and left. Cassi gazed into Austin again, and saw him at the police station.

Austin was there visiting Briar, as it happened. They talked - Austin, recall, was one of Briar's fellow monster-hunters, but he said that she wasn't thinking clearly and had nearly killed someone. Briar claimed that these folks shouldn't be following her, but Austin said after Homecoming, we were all in this together. And she needed to check her backdrop. Briar agreed, and Austin forgave her, and Briar got released.

The characters got together at Briar's house again after school to talk this through. Briar had an epiphany talking to Austin - she'd been looking for a fight, and she found one. Maybe they needed to not look for fights, but to try and swing the story in some more positive way? Genesis figured this was all down to semantics, then. Dora gazed into the abyss, trying to find her title, and saw her picture in the book, with a blank spot - could she write her own title, then? Genesis grabbed the book to look; Cassi tried to shut her down, but failed. They found Rook's entry - helpfully titled "The Rook" (well, in German), and it said that the Rook was one of "the Chosen Seven," the people who could put the Winter-Heart back to sleep and prevent the onset of Endless Winter. The Rook, though, was easily distracted and wasn't to be trusted - and it warned against making promises to him.

They flipped through and found the rest of their titles. Briar was The Rose, Skylar was the Lost, Genesis was the Stranger, Dora was the Witch, Cassi was the Chosen, and Austin was the Blind. Their descriptions made it clear that the Heart could start beating, and they could prevent it, but the Rook would die, the Chosen ran the risk of being subsumed, the Stranger might vanish forever, and the Witch might be seduced by its power. And so on.

They decided to go out to visit the Emissary. He talked to them, as usual, and was just as enigmatic as he generally was. Briar repeated her theory that they could write their own story - could they write in the book? Suppose they just burned it, or the Heart? Wouldn't that be easier? Genesis asked, "Who says the story can't be easy?"

The Emissary responded, "if you ask that again, I'll have to tell you."

Rook tried to ask, but Briar shut him down but failed (and the Emissary took a String on him). Cassi actually did shut him down; he took the unsure condition, while she took quiet. They talked with the Emissary a bit more, and decided to close the book for a bit. There was a dance coming, after all. Briar asked Rook to go, and he accepted.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Warehouse 13 Finale

Can't believe I forgot about this all week. Argh.

Well, anyway, last time, the characters learned that there were apparently two Blaines, a big ghostly pirate ship romping around killing people to recruit them, and we decided to grab the magic "make all the dead things alive" gem and take it to the ship, and then burn it.

Memphis and Blue drove the van into the ship, while Charlotte and Raji bailed before that. The ship immediately became solid (trapping the van in the hold), and some of the pirates - Blaine included - also had bodies. Fake-Blaine (the one that the characters had been romping around with to date) teleported up to the crow's nest, still ghostly, looking for his chance.

Pirates attacked! Raji set the ship on fire, but the captain (Jack Snow, recall), called down ice to extinguish it. Blaine did what he does best, beating the snot out of pirates, and Charlotte jumped up on the boat and joined in the fray.

Down in the hold, Memphis rigged up a weapon using the gem and a flashlight, weaponizing it. She shot a couple of pirates and saw them age to nothingness.

Fake-Blaine teleported to her and assumed his real form - a young, blond, American man wearing a Dolphins shirt, with a bullet hole in his chest. "I'm Steve," he said. "No time to explain. Just fire that thing where I show you!"

Blue wasn't thrilled, but Memphis, curious as to what would happen, fired it. It put a hole in the ship. Steve jumped up into the beam...and fell to the deck, alive, but barely (the bullet wound became real as well).

Captain Snow jumped down into the hole, followed by Blaine, but Blaine was now out of the gem's radius and wasn't solid, so couldn't attack. Steve moved off to the side and Blue went to stabilize him. Blaine told Snow to stand down - he was the captain of the Poseidon's Due.

"Blaine?" said Snow, slowly figuring out what was happening. "But...we were doing this to avenge you. Because you were betrayed."

"No, mate," said Blaine. "I died in London, warm and safe and surrounded by my grandkids, in my inn."

We turned around and saw Shore/Jameson digging up the ground. He unearthed an object, which he handed to Blue, and thanked us for breaking the cycle. Now he could rest, and now Blue was Regent.

Steve, still bleeding, revealed the truth about himself - he'd been a con artist and drug running in Miami and had been shot and dumped in the ocean. He'd come back as a ghost and impersonated Blaine when the Warehouse crew came calling. The characters decided he'd make a good intern for Memphis, and Steve (not really having a lot of say in the matter), agreed, provided he got a visit to a hospital first.

The ship disappeared, leaving the characters in a burnt-out cornfield, and they saddled up and headed for town.