Unknown Armies – Session 6 (16/06/15)

You go get a burger at a local Mak Attax, hoping to find some clue and support over there. The only relevant piece of information seems to be about a strong ‘mystical perturbation’ being felt by several in the MA group at the time of the crossroad explosion, like if something of a great magikal magnitude had been released there: there are a bunch of conspiracy theories going around in forum about the event being linked to something called the ‘Chakras of America’.

Meeting up with Angela and Maggie, the two get very tense when hearing about Sid’s invite on July the 2nd, as that’s the anniversary of Amelia Earhart disappearance. A blood spell is then performed using the fake watch as focus, to figure out more about Sid Anderson: this reveals he is a descendant of Rose Amelia Buckingham, wife of Harry Gordon Selfridge sr, parents of HGS jr, which somehow (broadly) ties his lineage with the history of Earhart. An improbable google search also throws up a native american ritual called ‘Thunderbird’ or sometimes referred to as ‘Phoenix’, meant to trigger transformation and rebirth. In light of all this it you all agree to visit Sid’s farm residence few days ahead of time to figure out what’s going on.

You also decide to preliminarily survey the place one day before, and there they find someone is already breaking into it: that’s Angela, who decided to take the matter into her own hands. You more or less reluctantly join her. The attempt however ends when Sid, him native american assistant and henchmen (cultists?) spot you approaching the house entrance: he is in the swimming pool with tribal paintings on his body and sitting on what appears to be the floating wing of some kind of airplane. Maggie arrives too, on the tail of Angela and clearly upset by the turn of events .

Sid pulls out a pocket watch from a nylon bag and starts spinning it rapidly from the chain: an engine humming sound starts propagating as he does that. Everything plunges into chaos as one of you opens fire on Sid and his men respond. Then some jump into the pool, some turn into animal forms, Angela and then Maggie walk over the water surface to approach Sid. The humming turns into the roar of a falling airplane mixed with a woman wail. Sid is apparently rammed by a swan (!) and gets knocked off the board as a deafening explosion is heard and a tidal wave erupts from the pool covering everyone around in salty water. Angela, Maggie and Sid drop together underwater and from their tangle a large luminous winged shape emerges, quickly propelling upwards and disappearing into the sky.

Afterwards everyone is rescued and mostly safe, but Sid appears to have turned into a woman, although he still speaks with a male voice.

A later reconstructions of the events brings to light the following: Sid discovered his path as an avatar of the Demagogue when working for a company connected to TNI. He then learned about the Thunderbird ritual from Chogan, who he had employed as shopkeeper at Circle’s Edge. He saw connections between the ritual and the Flying Woman archetype, but decided to use it for the sake of his own Demagogue path instead. He tried to do that by leveraging his own lineage, but soon realized this was too weak, so he concocted and carefully disseminated the Earhart watch story for luring in a high ranking avatar of the Flying Woman to channel energy from: this one happened to be Angela, who picked this up via her (now severed) ties with TNI. Even the second watch was a fake: Sid was just counting on persuasion and belief to work out for him. Things didn’t turn out as he expected however, maybe because the ritual was disrupted or because it was flawed from the beginning, and what he achieved instead was actually switching path and becoming an avatar of the Mystic Hermaphrodite, the embodiment of contradiction.

As a side effect, whatever had been captured inside the watch at the crossroad has now been released as a result of the attempted Thunderbird ritual, and perhaps also shaped by it.

 

Unknown Armies – Session 5 (09/06/15)

The phone rings twice: first time is Maggie, who has found Angela and is proposing a get together with all, out of town; second time is Sid Anderson, who is interested in having a detective consultancy at his shop.

The party goes for Maggie/Angela first. Angela is keen to get hold of the real watch, as she believes Anderson has nothing good to do with it, not being an avatar of the Flying Woman, which the artifact is connected to. She also doesn’t want it to fall in the hands of TNI.

Leaving the meeting, the party splits, with some heading to the Circle’s Edge shop and others to the closer Mak Attax place, looking for support against TNI. Both vehicles gets tailed by the same kind of car: a white Lexus with four men on board. One situation turns into a chase with gunfire, magic and serious wounds before the evaders manage to shake off the pursuers. The other gets funny, with the Lexus hooked by the party’s truck and then dumped aside with a banana in the exhaust.

At the Circle’s Edge shop Sid is there to meet them and he proves very collaborative: he shows footage of the burglary that frames a tall blonde woman (Angela with a wig) hiding in the place at closing time and the stealing the watch, but surprisingly managing to leave the building without neither triggering nor turning off the alarm. Sid is quite concerned about the possibility this may happen also where he keeps the real watch: his ‘farm’ residence on the hills of Carmel valley. The party offers to conduct an assessment there for him, which is then settled to be on July 2nd in the afternoon, right before an event planned there in the evening.

 

 

 

Unknown Armies – Session 4 (02/06/15)

The party arrives at the Circle’s Edge ‘historical relics’ shop and finds four smart-dressed men getting out of it and leaving in a white Lexus.

The shop is attended by a muscular guy of native-american origins. The conversation with him brings up several subjects: the shop owner is Sid Anderson, an hipster millionaire, formerly working as strategic marketing exec in silicon valley, now obliging his fancy for expensive old stuff. Turns out there was a burglary last night, which some watch being stolen; no worries however: the insurance company just came in and they’ll cover for everything.

Back to the office, while trying to picture all this together, Raven goes for a blind road crossing at peak hour, managing to get through unharmed and loaded with enough magic to bend probabilities upside down: at the traffic light nearby she spots an old Ford with the crossroad assailant adept at the drive.

The pursue leads to the SF General Hospital. Also there are four smart-dressed guys (surely in a Lexus): they reach the 33th floor and position outside one of the rooms there (33B).

The party confronts the adept (Morris), who only cracks upon hearing about the men: there’s his daughter Amy in that room, a critically ill young girl of 7. She requires expensive medical care which has been funded by TNI so far, in exchange for some special assignment performed by daddy (and mummy?).

They manage to elude the TNI agents by triggering a fire alarm, rescue the girl with a Patch Adams impersonation and then leave through the staff access, making an escape for the safer place they know in town: the underground clinic of Dr. Victor Crane.

Unknown Armies – Session 3 (26/05/15)

The situation at the motel escalates rapidly into a gunfight. Only through foolishness and blind (or maybe not so) luck the party manages to overcome the opposition and keep their own guts inside (some more than others). There is not much to learn from the corpses: no IDs, locked mobiles… just a company name on the car renting papers.

The wounded leave towards the whereabouts of shady doctor Victor Crane for patching up, while others go to meet the biker at Ocean Beach.

There she is, leaning on the bike near the shore. Maggie needs allies and is willing to share information with whoever may be inclined to be one: the watch is supposed to be the one worn by Amelia Earhart on her last flight in 1937 – a gift from Harry Gordon Selfridge Jr. The lady in the Pontiac name is Angela (Osborne) and she is an avatar of the Flying Woman, same as Earhart has been herself, allegedly. Angela is also Maggie’s ex-lover and was her guide on the path of the Flying Woman as well. Angela got close to TNI and likely acquired information about the artifact that way.

Maggie however is adamant the watch is a fake: too recent make. It should not hold any power, but apparently it does as a consequence of the major charge being used at the crossroad, with the watch at the center as the interest focus of both sides in the conflict. Now it seems to be tied to that moment in time and keeps rolling back to it when the leftover charge within gets released, like some sort of mystical time-warping jo-jo. The process is however unpredictable and may stop working or go wrong anytime – that said Maggie is willing to take the chance, also to erase the mess with TNI and start with the party on a clean slate. The agreement is for the party to investigate the Circle’s Edge shop (where probably the watch comes from) while she goes after Angela.

She smashes the watch against some rocks and all find themselves back at the crossroad, right after the explosion, with a biker in aviator gear approaching.

Unknown Armies – Session 2 (19/05/15)

The next day all go to the Motel address, looking for Maggie the Biker. There they find the room  front door had been forced open already and there is a person inside searching through the place (which is a mess). A telephone on the back of the head puts the intruder conveniently out to setup a forthcoming interview.

Turns out he is a journalist who is investigating on a group known as The New Inquisition (TNI), which operates ruthlessly to acquire magick artifacts or magick people to enrol for their cause; they also appear to have large fundings at their disposal. They have been here before the journo, and left the mess behind.

Suddenly a movement outside the window starts the party on a chase that culminates on the diving board over a swimming pool with no more than 50cm of water in. From there Maggie threatens to throw away some kind wristwatch she is holding, guessing her pursuers are after it. Seeing they don’t relent at all, she smashes it to pieces against the border of the pool.

A booming explosion and blinding flames engulf them all as they find themselves at the crossroad again, with two cars one over the other. A biker dashes away from the scene at full throttle. Everyone retains all memories of what happened so far.

They try to get Maggie a message through the Motel reception, with an invite for a meet up.

An informer confirms the woman actually went to the Motel and packed up in a hurry.

The party decides to go there and wait for The New Inquisition arrival, to confront them. While hiding or taking place around, a text message comes back from an unknown sender: after few exchanges an agreement is found about meeting at Ocean Beach few hours later.

A Lexus stops in the parking below and four men dressed up like bankers or lawyers come out of it, heading straight towards Maggie’s room. From the front door they can hear someone singing out loud from the bathroom, in a high pitch voice, and they pull out their guns.

Unknown Armies – Session 1 (12/05/15)

Looks like you all happened to be at the wrong place at the right time: a crossroad in San Francisco’s hills, just when a car took over from a ramp and landed onto another passing by below.

The scene is a mess, with the hitting car flipped and the other one partially squashed – its lady driver miraculously safe. Not so much luck for the other car driver: a woman as well, and a very dead one too. The passenger however managed to crawl out and is now pulling out a gun and pointing it against the other car’s driver, all with copious tears running through his face.

The lady got out too and has reached for the boot, in an attempt to pull out some kind of ancient sword from it. Here things go weird as you step into this, adding your own share to the mayhem. At some point the gunner teleports aside to get a clear shot on the lady and manages to hit her. Your attempts to attack him all appear to weirdly miss the target. The wounded lady pulls herself on top of her Pontiac Firebird , right above the large phoenix-shaped bonnet decal, and suddenly an explosion knocks you all off to the ground, blinded by flames that look like fiery wings for a split second. Both contenders gone.

You just notice a biker on a custom, observing and leaving the scene at this point: wearing a leather jacket with an eagle logo on the back and an aviator helmet with googles. You get the plate too.

You also recover a leaflet from the Pontiac wreak, advertising some kind of shop named Circle’s End. You also got possession of the sword the lady left behind.

The police arrives on the scene and seems fine with your statements, which carefully remove any reference to unnatural events from the facts.

Following up with some detective work you discover the bike’s owner identity as Margaret LaTorneau, an LA resident, currently staying in a motel about town.

Some research on the sword reveal it to be devoid of any magick, but probably ancient, even though perfectly kept: looks like a greek gladius with the hilt shaped as a pair of wings; possibly a ritual weapon for Nemesis, goddess of the righteous vengeance.