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.