Age of Anxiety

downtime: game 2.5
A funeral to a murder

The night is crisp, it still being early in the year. There is only a light dusting of snow and the night’s dew has already gone to frost by the time the undead of central Ohio gather. It is the 20th of April, a new moon. Mother Oak believes that the absence of the moon is an auspicious time for such things, as the moon is a reflection of the sun and the sun hates your kind. She wishes to see the girl’s soul pass in as much peace as possible.

Felix seems to be taking the death of the girl personally since it was his child who dealt the killing blow, and he has tended to her body personally, stitching up her woulds, washing her skin, and dressing her in a stark white dress, a color he thinks befitting the death of someone already dead.

When people arrive at the pig farm there’s a funeral pyre built and Gwinnith is already laying upon it, her dress cascading down around her lifeless body and surrounded by flowers: white carnations for remembrances, geranium for comfort, and rhododendron to mark her as one to beware of even in death.

Malcolm looks sad, but he seems to be deferring to Maria for the time being, still shamed from his rebuff from the city as a whole. Maris addresses the crowd. “It is good of you all to come. For some of you, here has never been death in this life. You have been reborn to immortality and you may have believed that this immortality was true. But the sad truth is that even we have our limits, and this poor girl found hers. I will not shy away from what this means. Her death is my fault. Mine and all of ours, as sure as it was Royal’s. His hand landed the blow, but it was our decisions that brought his blows upon her and our decisions that brought this about. each choice was a link in the chain and thought this may not have been our intent, I see my place in it. I see what I might have done differently and the next time I will. I hop that each of you have learned something as I have learned something.” She pauses to glance over at the small fire being tended by William and Elizabeth. He stands closer to it than she.

“Those of us who came here from elsewhere have perhaps seem death for our kind, though rarely this close. I had heard it behind closed doors before now. I had seen it’s aftereffects, but it was all done very distantly. I find that I have no taste for it now that I have seen it up close, and I hope not to develop any. I knew this girl hardly at all, though she seemed sweet and well meaning. She may, as we have rumored, have been evil. She may have been wicked. Then again, she may have been no more than she claimed. And now we will never know. That, I feel, is a shame, but one that can not be undone. ALl that is left now is to speak and finish it, letting her soul free to be with God.”

She pauses to give people a chance to speak (or remain silent if they have nothing to say that is appropriate at a funeral.)

Malcolm speaks when it is his turn. “I do feel a great sorrow for what came to the girl. She was so kind to me and so desperate in her desire to please, and it was my own weakness which caused this. I will not bore you with lies of my great morality nor my closeness to God, but I hope that you all understand that this is not what I wished for a creature that was so soft and kind to me. I deeply regret her death, of that you can be sure.”

Madame Oak, in her time, walks to the pyre and speaks a series of chanted words in a strange tongue. She pays her hands upon the wood below the girl and lowers her head for a bit. “Her spirit lingers, of that I am sure, children. It lingers in fear and confusion, these things I sense all around her. We should be done with this soon.”

When all words have been spoken, William takes a stick from the fire and draws the flame over to the pyre. It is clear that the core of this pyre has been infused with some manner of accelerant, because the flames begin to grow quickly, driving William back to his child. the gathered vampires each feel the flare of the fire as it drives them to move backwards. Some do take those steps back, which others manage to hold their ground.

As the flames reach the top of the Pyre Gwinnith’s ignites, and the flames burn away her white dress and her hair first, but her body takes the fire quickly and begins to smolder and then turn to ash very quickly.

And as it does, there is a scream. A terrible, pained, throaty scream. And it comes from the pyre. Her eyes open at the last moment and a terribly cry carries forth from her mouth, locked open in pain and confusion. The assembled faces watch on in frozen shock for only a bare few seconds as the flames consume her body utterly, turning it to ash in a matter of seconds, all the while a terrible pained wail carrying on the night winds. When the ash consumed her completely and her body’s shape collapses in on itself, the echo of her wail can be heard for several seconds as it bounces around the countryside into the black night.

There is general confusion after this, some saying that the girl clearly wasn’t dead when she was put on the pyre. Felix states that she certainly was, and that he examined her and performed the post-mortem himself. It is suggested that maybe her cry was simply the death of her demonic powers: that it was to do with her being a witch. In the end, nobody is certain what really happened, but there is a general sense of unease with the evening. Only Madam Oak is silent, and she watched everything, her eyes wide and unblinking since the cry began. When it is time to retreat from the place, she leaves slowly, lowering her face from the area and avoiding conversation as much as possible, clearly eager to get away from what she has seen.

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Game one, Session two
Lies and Spies

game 2

This session was nicely tied into the last session. The majority of the PC’s were introduced (or reintroduced) to Madame Oak and her child Annabelle (is that right? I don’t have my notes in front of me). The young woman sought out Leighton and Royal, concerned that the witch Gwynith had not, in fact, been shipped back to her elders, but was still staying with Malcolm and being kept fed on his own blood. Some creeping around the property revealed this to be the case, and revealed that the girl was hopelessly and entirely devoted to him.

The elders (save for Malcolm and James) met and discussed with some of their children what should happen. It was decided that the witch was too big a threat, whether she was Malcolm’s guest, his prisoner, or she had bewitched him and was just playing them all. Attempts to subdue the girl lead to a mad chase through Malcolm’s house where Royal brought her low with a stage prop sword, killing her in his enthusiasm. Left with only a dead body and a mess, Malcolm was questioned.

He admitted that he had left the party with every intention of sending the girl home, but that after a week of keeping her fed in his home she grew entirely devoted to him, though he admits that whether this is the result of his blood, his charm, or a little of both is not known to him. Regardless, he claims that the woman was very convincing and begged to remain in his home, even if it must be a secret. She offered to send letters to her elders explaining why she needed to remain and what a good man he was to keep the peace and he thought no harm could come of it.

The collected body of the city seemed unsure of his sincerity, and he was given a punishment decided – it would seem – by Maria Phelps: that he should give up his house and opulence for a period of time and be forced to live in the wards be neath the Tuberculosis Hospital with Felix until he had learned a lesson about his place in the grand scheme of things.

The group disbanded, but not before making a decision that a mysterious package, which had been s hipped to Malcolm from a man named Vincent on behalf of his elders should be taken to Delaware and opened in a safe far off field by Felix and Royal (the latter likely as a punishment for his overly enthusiastic aggression which caused the accidental death of the witch … and perhaps Felix is being punished as well for the failures of his child).

What was in the package remains to be seen and the future of this group of elders seems shaky at the moment.

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game two, session one
game 1

the first class of columbus embraces were brought by their sires to a coming out party. Left with each other to fledginlings agreed to leave certain people int he city alone who were friends, family and other important relations to the vampires. This brought up blood concerns given the increase in vampire population. The event was disrupted as one of the sires brought out humans for communal feeding against the wishes of the other city elders. Peter and amber went off to get rid of the confused humans and on return encountered lady oak who apologized for not bringing her child in.

The night was dominated by the arrival of an unplanned outsider who awoke suspicions of foreign attack and witchcraft.

in the end the city decided to turn the visitor away until such time as she could prove herself an asset to the the collective to offset her costs.

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game one
oops

Didn’t, happen. Ty guys!

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First Session
A bomb

First session was plagued with players unable to show either at all or on time. Better luck next time.

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