Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Beast: Session One

This chronicle needs a name. I'd use "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors," but that's already taken. Hmm. As you'll see, the game is doing what I wanted; characters are getting established in their neighborhoods, events are unfolding slowly. It's clear from last night's session that I'm probably gonna need to have a man with a gun kick the door in at some point, but I actually have an idea on that. I think Roots in the Community hits the note I want.

Anyway! Our story begins on May 22, 2009. It's Friday of Memorial Day weekend, and folks are gearing up for a little break. Miriana Kyle is packing up her car to go camping. John Dawson is coaching his Little League team. Tyler Townsend is closing up his curios shop for the weekend. Maia Wallis is getting ready to go out.

All of them are doing normal things. All of them have monsters in their souls. For the moment, all of their Horrors are Sated.

Tyler leaves the light in the display case on as bait, and goes to the hookah bar across the street. He waits for a while, and sees a slim figure in a hoodie walk by his shop, stop, walk up to the door, try it, take a picture with a cell phone, and then walk away. Tyler tails the individual to an apartment a few blocks away, and notes the number. Maybe this person is just interested in buying something. Maybe Tyler will have to punish a thief.

Dawson finishes up the practice, noting which parents are there cheering for their kids and which ones stay on their cell phones the whole time, ignoring what's going on. He doesn't need to feed right now, but he notes which of his charges might need to get lost for a few hours at some point, just enough to make their parents take notice.

Maia goes down to 4th Street, where crowds are already drinking and partaking of the hip new restaurants beginning to spring up (this trend continues, by the way; Cleveland has a fun food scene). A young man named Ryan approaches her - suit and jacket, tie tucked into a pocket, obviously a young capitalist type. She flirts and accepts his offers. She doesn't know yet if he's going to be her next boyfriend; it depends on what he needs to learn. They eat and flirt, and then head over to the warehouse district to go clubbing. Maia notices posters on the wall with a picture of a woman in a top hat, and the words "DOCTOR BONES - I CAN HEAL YOU" underneath, along with some tear-offs with a phone number. She grabs one.

Miriana hears a knock at her door. Her neighbor, Elle King, asks if she'll come over and discuss something with her. She agrees, and Elle asks for her help in finding homes for her cats (she has...more than a few). Miriana agrees, but asks why she's getting rid of them. Elle says she doesn't want to, but at her age (82) it's good to plan. Miriana gets the feeling something else is going on, but she agrees to help out. She goes home and makes some calls, lines up some no-kill shelters who will take the cats, and as she does, she realizes that Elle looks healthier than she's been in a long time. Musing on that, she goes back over to Elle's and tells her what she's learned.

Tyler goes over to John's house and watches the Indians game with him, drinking beer and chatting. They talk about John's Little League team and any Beast-related actions John might be; Tyler points out that the kind of trauma John inflicts doesn't always have the intended effect of bringing families closer. John agrees, but at least it gives them the chance.

Maia and her new beau Ryan are waiting to get into a club, and hear sirens. As they watch, they see a man round the corner on foot, fleeing a squad car. Maia surreptitiously trips the guy, figuring he'll just be arrested, but the cops jump out of the car and immediately taze him, and then whack him with nightsticks a couple of times. Maia, outraged, films it, but the cops don't take much notice; they cuff the guy and toss him in the car. Maia expresses her feelings to Ryan, but he shrugs it off. Probably a drug dealer, he says. So what. Maia realizes this guy might actually be something of a schmuck, and is cheered by that thought.

The night progresses. Tyler and John continue drinking and chatting. Miriana builds a fire in her yard and watches for Elle's lights to go out. Maia and Ryan get to the club and dance, and Maia sees her friend Mikhail (a Ventrue). They chat a bit; Maia mentions what happened with the cops, and Mikhail points out that the Cleveland PD has a horrible track record with violence against civilians, one of the worst in the country. They part ways, and Maia goes back to dancing.

Back in Parma, Elle spends evening on the phone with various people, laughing and occasionally crying, and then goes to bed. Miriana breaks in (not that the door was locked) and snoops a bit. She finds a stack of papers on the desk, including a will, and letters to family and friends. Elle is definitely putting her affairs in order, but she seems so hale and healthy - even her arthritis is clearing up. She finds a tear-off slip of paper next to the phone, and takes it back to her house to call it.

A woman answers. Miriana stalls a bit, and the woman asks if she needs a doctor. Miriana arranges to meet her near a homeless shelter downtown. When she meets Doctor Bones, she realizes immediately that she is some kind of supernatural being, but not one that she has met before (to Miriana, she kind of smells sweet and floral). They talk, and Bones talks about how people have a flow of energy through them, like light, but injury and sickness acts like mirrors, reflecting it out of its intended path. She can correct that. Miriana, noting that this sounds a little New-Agey, asks if there's a cost. Bones says there isn't. Mirana asks why she does it, then. Bones says, "because I can."

That seems kind of suspicious, so Miriana heads back to Parma and drops in on John and Tyler, and tells them about what she saw. Maia rolls in short after and she and Miriana note they both have Bones' number, so they decide to meet her the next day. For now, though, it's late. Tyler swings by his shop on the way home and sees someone has broken in and stolen a brass spyglass in the front display. Perfect.

He visits the presumed thief, and sees her on the phone. He knocks on her door, but she tells him to go sleep it off somewhere else (he doesn't say why he's there), and he decides to wait and hit whoever she fences the object to.

The next day, he waits until she leaves and trails her to a dive bar. He watches her sell the spyglass to a man, and then Tyler waits and tails him. This guy notices him, though, and leads him into an alley to warn him off. Tyler tells him to give back what he took, the man says he bought it and refuses to give it back. He pulls out a sap.

Tyler, in no mood to fuck around, uses his Dragonfire Atavism and sets the guy alight. He runs a little ways before he remembers to stop, drop, and roll, and Tyler picks up the bag and leaves. Unfortunately, his Horror isn't interested in this meal (player failed the Satiety roll and took the dramatic failure), so Tyler is even hungrier now. Fortunately he knows someone else to punish.

Meanwhile, John does a little digging. He uses the cell phone number to look up who Doctor Bones really is - her name is Grace Macintyre, and up until a couple of years ago, she was a teacher at Cleveland Clinic and a respected doctor. Then a former patient kicked in her office door and shot her in the chest. The article says it was a "miracle" she survived. John knows better; he met Alistair Hodge once, and knows a few things about Sin-Eaters.

Knowing that these folks help people pass on, the Beasts feel a little better about Doctor Bones. They go downtown and meet her again, and John confirms upon seeing her that she is, in fact, a Sin-Eater (Maia has never met one). They talk a bit, and Miriana reveals that she's not a normal person (but doesn't get into the specifics). They ask about Grace's intentions, but she says that when people die and leaves ghosts, they are typically consumed by negative emotion. Wouldn't it be better to put some things in order before it reaches that point, free of injury or illness? The Beasts are OK with that, and John and Miriana start the process of establishing Family Ties with Grace (it takes some time; they get one roll per day).

Meanwhile, Tyler goes back to the thief's house. She's on her couch, smoking a bowl. He breaks in and hits her with the You Cannot Run Nightmare, and then grabs her head and carves a T into her cheek (for thief). Hungry and pissed off, he spends a Satiety to inflict the Fugue Condition on her, as well, grabs the money she got, and leaves, his Horror happily feasting (he's up to six Satiety; didn't quite crack out of Sated).

He goes downtown and meets up with the others for lunch. It's a nice day for it.