Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Promethean: Off the Devil's Dance Floor

Let's see if I can get this done before I have to leave for work.

So, last time, the characters were out on the mountainside, met the wolves, and then headed back to the lodge. Sneaking in, Grimm, Avalon and Feather all felt guilty enough about stealing the snowmobiles that they experienced breaking points; they succeeded, but got a Condition out of it (Drive, Guilty, and Guilty, respectively). Feather also got an exceptional success sneaking in and put the Silent Condition on the lodge, which kept everyone else asleep.

Avalon crept upstairs and peaked in on Leslie and Madison, but they were asleep and seemed fine. She did note, though, that her clocked ticked louder as she approached, so she set it down in the hallway while she checked. Satisfied with that, she (and the others) went to bed...and dreamed.

Matt dreamed of being an angel, flying over a cityscape, but then his body shifted and he was just a skeleton, and he turned and flew out over a desert.

Enoch dreamed of the wedding, and all of the characters watching (except Feather was officiating). It all went fine, but then everyone got up and went to the reception, and as the door to the reception open, Enoch could hear the deafening ticking of a huge clock.

Avalon dreamed of the reception. Everyone was dancing in frenzy, so hard that the flailed and hit each other, and made each other bleed. She heard the "beat" of the music as a ticking clock, too.

Grimm dreamed of everyone standing on the balcony overlooking mountain, and being attacked by a huge, clockwork monster, which knocked them off onto the mountain.

The next morning, Miguel and Denise woke them up for preparations for the wedding! Matt went outside to clear the sidewalks, Enoch, Grimm and Feather started setting up, and Avalon got to work doing hair and makeup. She did everything really nicely, and Stephanie, the maid of honor, caught her after she left and wrote her a check (Serena, she said, was too frazzled, but she wanted to make sure that Avalon knew she was appreciated).

Miguel came and found Grimm, and asked about the snowmobiles. Grimm lied and said he didn't know what had happened, but offered to help track them. Since Miguel didn't want to tell Ferdinand (who was already stressed), he agreed. They headed up the mountain, and Grimm steered him away from the edge of the mountain where they'd lost the first snowmobile.

Inside, Olly caught Avalon and asked her to come back with him to Boulder (clearly in the late stages of Disquiet). Avalon said that maybe she could, but she needed to focus on the wedding. Olly showed her his sketchbook - he'd filled it. With pictures of her. Some of which showed her disfigurements. Avalon, taken aback and mournful that someone she genuinely liked had fallen so far into Disquiet, thanked him and got back to work.

Outside, Grimm saw something move in the trees. Miguel saw it, too, and moved forward, whispering something under his breath. Grimm turned on Sensitive Ears and heard him: "Ni-zu tag?" He didn't recognize the language, though. "Ni-zu tag? Mennina?"

Something reached out to grab Miguel, but Grimm shot its hand (making a milestone: shoot to incapacitate). The thing that stepped out from behind a tree looked like a man in skiing gear and a sun visor. It asked Grimm what he had done, and what he was doing here, and why he'd left the snowmobiles at the top of the mountain, but Grimm's answers didn't seem to answer his question. He started walking down the hill - on top of the snow - and told Grimm his gun wouldn't hurt him.

Grimm helped Miguel up, and Miguel confronted him about the snowmobiles. Grimm confessed, and said how they'd gotten back down, and that one of the snowmobiles was trashed. Miguel said he had someone he could call, and walked out onto the mountain to get reception. Grimm listened in, and Miguel called someone up and asked if he could go to the mountaintop and bring down the snowmobiles. He also told the voice on the phone about the mysterious wolves in the woods, and about the strange people at the resort (presumably the characters), whom he initially thought were duguthim. The voice on the phone asked if they needed to investigate, and Miguel said, "your call."

On the way back down, Grimm talked to Miguel about it, saying that they were apparently both not really normal. Miguel revealed that he had family who were werewolves, and Grimm advised that they not follow the characters. Miguel said that as long as the characters weren't violating sacred places, they'd be fine.

Matt, meanwhile, had been sent to sweep off the balcony. Looking out at the mountain, he saw a man walking down the snow.

Inside, Avalon went to her room after her talk with Olly, pulled out her clock, and struck it on the side of the bed.

The man on the mountain started running. Matt headed downstairs to dress to go out and confront him (having seen that he didn't leave footprints).

Feather and Enoch heard the crash and came to find Avalon. They found her as she smashed the clock into pieces.

The man on the mountain collapsed. Miguel and Grimm caught up with him, and there was nothing left but clothes. Matt came out to meet them and they explained what they had seen. They went inside, Miguel tending to business and Grimm and Matt joining the others. Ferdinand met them on the way in, though, and Matt overheard him tell Miguel to keep his eye on Avalon. Worrisome.

Inside, Avalon found a tiny piece of the clock, a circle of metal, with some strange symbol etched on it. Grimm knew it wasn't a Pilgrim Mark, but beyond that, no one was sure (Avalon actually did use Translator's Eye, but we never resolved that and I think I'll save it.)

Ellie knocked on the door and told them it was time to get ready. She let them borrow some clothes from her and Ferdinand (since the characters weren't traveling with wedding clothes). Avalon asked her if she had anything sparkly, and her response was strange and suspicious; when she left the room, she didn't take her eyes off Avalon.

The characters talked about their situation. Matt mentioned what he'd heard Ferdinand say, and Enoch explained that Disquiet, as it worsens, becomes contagious. Everyone was getting infected with Olly's Disquiet. They discussed Avalon skipping the wedding, but Enoch noted that doing so might be more distracting for everyone, and make them more suspicious.

So they all went to the wedding. Miguel officiated, talking about how the whole weekend had been a series of adapting to situations - Avalon taking over for the hair/makeup person, Miguel taking over for the officiate, the PCs taking over for other staff. But they'd coped, and that was a pretty good lesson for marriage in a complex world - what you get isn't always what you want or what you'd planned. At this point he turned it over to Babhi and Serena, who said their vows, and then kissed, and then on to the reception (and a milestone for Avalon: attend a wedding).

The reception began, and everyone danced! Matt went into the middle of the dance floor to show off for the girls in the wedding party. He used Pyros to raise his Presence, but used Refined Masquerade to hide it, and in doing so made a milestone (Use all Transmutations).

Olly found Avalon again, and repeated his request for her to come to Boulder with him. They talked about her and her creator, and he talked about having a muse - someone who inspired such creativity in him. "Someone loved you enough to bring you to life," he said, and Avalon wept, because she couldn't know how much was Olly and how much was the Disquiet. In the end, she said she'd see him in the morning, and retreated to her room.

Enoch, tending bar, talked to Leslie. Leslie said that last night he'd had a headache unlike anything he'd ever felt - like his head was on fire - and then suddenly it cleared up. Enoch, figuring that was when Feather had punched the cave wall - said to take care of himself. And then Enoch, wondering where Avalon was (and not seeing Olly, either), mentally animated Fluffy and sent him to peek in on Avalon (making a milestone: send Fluffy to spy on one of the throng). Seeing that she was OK, Fluffy knocked, and Enoch talked to Avalon through Fluffy, saying that this was unfortunately one of the rigors of being a Promethean - and that the road was supposed to be hard.

Grimm found Miguel, and gave him his copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales. Miguel, touched, gave Grimm a piece of advice: If he ever met a werewolf and things got tense, he should ask ni-zu tag? ("What are you hunting?"). It wouldn't work on all werewolves, but it was a shot.

Feather also found Miguel, and confessed to the snowmobile incident (resolving her Guilty Condition). She also said that the characters needed to go, tonight, if possible. Miguel said that the roads were improving, and they could use his car - just park it at the post office in Manitou Springs and leave the keys in the glove box. She agreed, and got to rounding up the others.

Matt went and found Ferdinand, and said they were leaving. Ferdinand wrote him a check for their work, and Matt nearly refused it, but decided to hold onto it (he didn't know Avalon had been paid, and the characters needed another car anyway).

With that, they all piled into Miguel's car. Miguel told them what to watch for on the roads, and Enoch gave him a card with his contact info and told him to give it to Olly (on the assumption that Olly was going to follow this through and attempt to create a Promethean). And then they headed down the mountain. Mid-way down, they found the wolves blocking their path. The wolves called for Avalon, and asked her: "What are the angels?"

Tearfully, Avalon said, "They're the ones we leave behind."

The wolves merged into one wolf, and told them that, just as they were wolves-but-not-wolves, the not-angels the characters might have encountered were, in some respects, angels, but not from the character's perspective. And with that rather cryptic bit of insight, the wolf vanished, leaving the characters to head back down the mountain, the music from the reception playing from the lodge.