Last Friday was Guy Fawkes Day in the UK. One of my players pointed it out to me ((As if I needed to be told. I’ve read V for Vendetta!)), and I told her that I knew about it, and had planned some explosions for the Fearful Symmetries game we had planned that night.
Because I had.
We picked up the game with our heroes having moved to a bolt-hole provided to them by Zuckerbastl to keep them out of Malvora sight. Emeric had recently learned how to change the appearance of his human guise ((By way of a stunt we cooked up and the expenditure of a point of Refresh. I knew he wouldn’t hang on to a Refresh Rate of 2 for long!)), and Izabela used her biomancy to change her appearance to that of a young man. Thus disguised, they decided to carefully try and pursue their path forward.
Emeric made the rounds of his network of contacts in disguise, bringing them word that he was going to be unavailable and out of sight for a time, and that it might be safer for everyone to distance themselves from him and thus avoid the worst of the Malvora attention. He also went to see Reverend Nicola at the chapel on Petrin’s Hill, to thank him for the blessing he had received ((Which had proved very helpful against the Arkady.)). The good Reverend offered to bless him again, which Emeric accepted.
Izabela, meantime, went back to Gold Lane to continue her investigation of the curse surrounding it, which seems to have become a bit of an obsession for her. She found that there were mystic anchor points to the spell around its perimeter, sunk deep in the ground, so she used her Sight to get a better idea of what sort of thing she was dealing with. I described a web of chains of various metals, inscribed with arcane symbols, rising from the anchor points into the air above the centre of Gold Lane, with smaller, finer chains leading to barbed hooks sunk into the flesh of the inhabitants. In the midst of the chains, hovering over middle of Gold Lane, was a giant humanoid, wrapped in the chains so as to be almost obscured. It had vast, shining wings stretching out from its shoulders, and a huge sword of fire ((I was going for a kinda Final Fantasy look to the whole thing, but not too obviously so.)) – apparently, another angel tied into service.
Now, this hit her pretty hard with the mental stress, and she got to keep her Third Eye open an extra round to look at it some more. When she finally got her Third Eye closed, that’s when I had Kirchoff ((Who I had elevated to Named NPC after he got away from her last session, albeit minus an arm.)) pop out of the shadows and hit her with his Incite Emotion power. This caught her pretty much blindsided, and she took another hefty hit in the brain, sufficient to inflict a consequence, before she even spotted him. At that point, though, she pulled the gloves off and blasted him with force. He took the hit, but it didn’t put him down, and he scarpered again.
She headed over to the Goblin’s Brewery for a bit of a rest and refreshment, which is where Emeric currently was, talking with Amadan, who seemed to be in good spirits, even buying food and drink for his guests, and hinting that he had the line on a wager that he was expecting to pay off. Emeric asked him to put the word out that he and Izabela had left town, but Amadan proposed that, instead, he would put the word out that the pair were hiding in the cellar of the house where Amadan had rooms, so that they could set up a trap.
This worked, sort of. Izabela wrapped the room in a ward that would prevent the fear abilities of the White Court from being effective, and they settled in to wait. Some time after midnight, the attack came, but it was indirect – the vampires set fire to the building. Emeric extinguished the fire with his pyromancy, and the pair of them went cautiously upstairs to see what they could see. When they got to the second floor, a grenado came flying in through the window.
Izabela swatted it back out and high over the city, where it exploded ((See? Fireworks!)), and they both went to the window to try and see where it had come from, and thus both were fired upon by the snipers set up across the street. These snipers, not wanting to face these folks head on, took off across the rooftops, escaping pretty quickly.
They’d had enough, now. They headed back across the river to the Malvora manor, where the guards were arrayed in the yard in front of the house. Not bothering with subtlety, Emeric set the house on fire, and Izabela threw a whirlwind into the guards to clear their way to the house.
I didn’t want to turn the hunt through the burning house for Lukrezia Malvora into a dungeon crawl, so I switched to a very narrative approach for this stage. They made their way through the place, shooing out the mortals, killing the vampires (about a dozen of them), and eventually finding Lukrezia’s bedroom. Lukrezia wasn’t there, but they found her hidden closet full of blackmail information, including a file on the Valdstejn family.
They were pretty much at loose ends at that point, so they went back to the basement to retrieve Kirchoff’s arm – which was, of course, missing. But Amadan had a surprise for them: he had caught them a White Court vampire, and had it strapped to a table.
And that’s where we left it.