Monday, April 13, 2015

Monsterhearts: Debts and Smoke

So it's been a while, but we finally managed to play Monsterhearts yesterday, and kept our brutal mojo going.

Last time, recall, Genesis' brother Bastion had died due to smoke-jaguar thing that Erika had called up. We fast-forward a couple of hours. Most of the characters are at the Midnite Diner, having food and coping, while Genesis is down the beach, brooding. Skylar goes after Genesis, and talks with her, trying to get her mind off her brother...and off revenge. Skylar turns her on, and they go into the water for sex (Skylar's dead, the cold doesn't bother him). Genesis gets a String on Briar through her sex move, and asks Skylar why he's being so nice now, as opposed to when she first came up on land. Skylar says Genesis is more human now. Skylar asks Genesis how her died; Genesis doesn't know.

At the diner, the characters discuss what happened. Erika goes into the bathroom, rips up the book that she found, lights a match and calls up Chantico. She berates the "goddess," yelling, and a waitress comes in. She inhales the smoke and Chantico possesses her, causes her eyes to burn like fire. Chantico says that Erika was the one that asked for a way to find a thief; she merely provided what was asked of her. Erika indicates that she's through with this relationship; Chantico warns against it. The waitress coughs up the smoke, but Chantico leaves her blind. Ambulances are called, and the characters leave the diner.

Cassi agrees to drive Erika home. En route, Cassi gazes into the abyss to find out who Erika's "friend" is. She sees Erika standing before a mirror, with the beautiful and resplendent Chantico in the reflection, but behind that form is a blackened, burnt thing with its hands inside the goddess' back, controlling her. Cassi realizes to free Erika, she needs to break the mirror and expose "Chantico."

They talk on the way, and Cassi tells her that she needs to stop, to not draw on Chantico's gifts anymore. And then she smells smoke. The car is on fire! Erika holds steady but fails; the car door opens and Erika is yanked out, the door slamming behind her. Cassi holds steady and fails, suffering Harm as the smoke gets thicker. Chantico talks to Erika, saying that she's not ready to "break up" yet, and make Erika promise not to try and get rid of her. Erika agrees, the door opens, and the two of them start walking to Erika's house.

Briar and Austin go back to Austin's house. Briar sleeps, and gazes into the abyss, trying to figure how to "get the smoke off their fingers," as Baron said last time. She sees herself with Erika, and smoke rising up. Briar inhales it and keeps it away from Erika. This leaves Briar drained.

Erika drives Cassi home, and then leaves. She gazes into the abyss to try and find Dora, and sees herself wandering in smoke. She fans it away and can see Dora (and others), but it rushes back to her.

Skylar walks Genesis home, and Genesis gazes into the abyss to find how to take revenge on Baron and Erika. She sees Erika drowning in a whirlpool - simple enough. She sees her storm destroy the lighthouse, but realizes that although that would harm Baron, it would also destroy Rook's soul as well.

Skylar, walking away from Genesis' house, also gazes into the abyss and asks who knows how she died. She realizes that Ash knows so she heads for the graveyard. Sure enough, Ash is there (isn't like he sleeps). Skylar spends a String on Ash and offers XP to learn how she died. Ash tells her - Skylar was about to commit suicide by jumping off the pier into the ocean, but changed her mind at the last minute. But then a great big wave came and washed her in anyway. Skylar, now remembering this, realizes that Genesis walked ashore following that wave, too. Skylar takes Ash back to Rook's house, and they stay up playing Xbox.

The next morning, Briar decides it's time for an intervention for Erika. She rounds everyone up, and they drive out to get Erika. They take her to a park, and tell her that her actions are dangerous, and she needs to get rid of "Chantico." They go to Briar's house and hit the books, and Briar realizes that this thing isn't Chantico - it's a dark power using the goddess' name. She puts the secret weakness condition on it...but then everyone smells smoke.

The doorknob is hot, but Ash, being a skeleton, can grab it (he succeeds to hold steady). Everyone leaves, but the door slams shut at the end, trapping Genesis and Erika in the library (I spent a String on Erika). Skylar dissipates and walks through the door.

Erika talks with Chantico, and Genesis, furious, tries to use ocean's breath, but fails. She and Erika take Harm from the smoke. Genesis goes to try again, and Skylar spends a String to make her hold steady. She does, though, and uses ocean's breath to have the ocean take something away.

Meanwhile, outside, Austin shudders and his eyes become flames. Briar kisses him (and spends a String to help her manipulate an NPC) and sucks out the smoke. Austin collapses.

Inside, Erika lashes out physically to smash the window. She does, but takes a point of Harm. The ocean rushes in, and knocks her back. Skylar grabs Erika to hold her down, trying to get the demon out. Erika holds steady and fails, taking her fourth Harm and drowning.

But Erika isn't ready to die. She uses numbing it out and recovers. The door explodes outward. Briar holds steady and coughs the smoke into the water, where it swirls away.

But Austin isn't breathing.

Briar starts CPR while Cassi calls for an ambulance. Ash realizes that death is here for Austin...unless some magical method is employed, he's dead. Erika realizes she could save him, but it would involve giving Chantico more leverage. She tries to put it to a vote, but Briar calls her a coward and tells her not to do it. Genesis tells her that this is on her - and so is Bastion. Erika leaves, storming away.

Briar, not knowing what else to do, calls Baron. Time stops. Baron agrees to revive Austin, but makes it clear that someone owes him a life. But he also makes it clear that if Briar does what he wants in return, they can get Rook back.

Austin revives, and holds on to Briar.

Elsewhere, Erika goes into a drugstore and comes out with two mirrors.