Season Three

A presentation of the in-character history of the game as the tangled stories of ExMiscellanea unravel and progress.
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Season Three

Post by DivineST » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:43 pm


Season Three
(November 2014 - December 2015)

All actions - no matter how selfless or selfish the act - have consequences.

That was something the mages of the Chantry of Thirteen Faiths were due to learn, and it was something they learned harshly. Things were not looking good for them as a whole, and the new season opened with them trying to pick up the pieces after re-securing the chantry building's wards and mourning their lost.
"And what is the potential man, after all? Is he not the sum of all that is human? Divine, in other words?" - Henry Miller

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Re: Season Three

Post by DivineST » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:44 pm

Touched
Trauma affects everyone differently, and something about trauma is that it builds if not processed and tended to properly. For willworkers, it even bleeds into their magic, leading to warped perceptions and uncontrollable shifts of temperament. These ripples became rather pronounced following the assaults on the chantry and the Lamplighters' Estate, and the fallout of Butler Hospital's destruction.

Susan had died. People had watched her die. Yet there she was, now standing. But death takes its toll even when it doesn't stick, and it was another nail in a coffin the Euthanatos had been building for the better part of the previous decade. Pieces fell into place as she began to recognize her outbursts of temper and bouts of irrationality weren't her, and she sought help from Hayley's mentor, Euthanatos Master Miguel Cruxt. He sent her on a mindscape to confront her inner self and work out the demons and issues she had pushed aside and allowed to build.

Sophie had combated a Marader's imposed reality to allow others to respond normally. She had further been forced to cloister herself away to deal with political fallouts to keep them from falling upon the heads of the people she had promised to protect. The socially-inclined Cultist was withering, but she refused to reach out, insisting on projecting an air of having everything under control. While Susan's encroaching Madness received help, Sophie's quietly grew deeper.

Winifred had been assaulted in every sense of the word by Nephandi, the worst of which was the psychic invasion that made her own mind no longer safe. Her outlets for her pain had to be pushed further to numb anything, and she grasped at those around her to keep herself afloat, unable to see that the buttons she pressed to get what she wanted from them was dragging them under murky waters, too.
"And what is the potential man, after all? Is he not the sum of all that is human? Divine, in other words?" - Henry Miller

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Re: Season Three

Post by DivineST » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:45 pm

An Internal Division
Among those being dragged down further by Fred's flailing attempts to cope with her increasing Madness was Soren. He had likewise 'died' during the White Rabbit's assault on the chantry, to force a means through which he could pull the Marauder from this plane. When he returned from the Shadowlands a week after the assault, the Hollow One was darker; he had always had a scathing personality, but its edge had sharpened further, and his demeanor became cold, callous.

While others were coping with Madness Quiets, Soren had found himself in the frigid embrace of the death-taint, Jhor. Fred saw his cold maliciousness and leaned into it, arguing he should bleed off the sadism rather than let it build, while using her for that could help her masochistic coping mechanisms. Rather than help, the two made each other worse, as neither understood what was wrong with themselves or each other.

Benji took issue with Soren's treatment of Fred, protective of her. He thought it to be an abuse of power, as Soren was Sentinel of the chantry. When Soren's Jhor-driven need to destroy things led to increasing tensions and leaning into fights instead of defusing them among chantry members, Benji brought the matter to the Council to see about having Soren removed as Sentinel. When Soren and Fred's games took a drastic turn for the worse, Benji put his foot down and began advocating for placing the Hollow One on trial.

Maeve disagreed with Benji. She recognized that Soren was sick - the Euthanatoi had been convened by Susan to work on righting the Hollow One's Jhor issue. She advocated for helping him recover; Benji insisted he needed to be put on trial; Merianda seemed to side with Benji, while Davos favored lending aid in general; and Josette played Devil's Advocate to both. The Council could not agree, and tensions among its members rose.
"And what is the potential man, after all? Is he not the sum of all that is human? Divine, in other words?" - Henry Miller

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Re: Season Three

Post by DivineST » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:45 pm

Revisiting the Baron
Soren was not the only individual to play to Fred's masochistic Madness. One of the Nephandic individuals who had tormented Fred and others at the Lamplighters' Estate found Fred's place of employment, the Bloody Baron, and lured her into a game in his search for someone he had reason to believe Fred knew. Fred played along for her own sake while stonewalling Nomios' search for intel on the whereabouts of a chantrymate, but in his frustration he sought to rip the information directly from her mind. Fred took a chance and cut the silver thread that tethered his mind to his body while he was within her mind, turning herself into a cage.

Fred reached out to Benji, who contacted Susan, and Soren arrived as well and brought them to a warehouse near the river. There, Fred was unconscious and trapped in a sigil circle to prevent Nomios from reaching out to any of the other Nephandi in the area, while the Nephandus' body was transported and the group attempted to figure out how to get him out of Fred's body and back into his own. Thomas aided to that end, ripping Nomios from Fred's body, through his, and then shunting him back into Nomios' own body.

However, Benji and Soren's mutual antagonism came to a head - and to blows. Benji threw a punch; Soren reflexively drew magic; and Thomas intervened and rendered Soren unable to function through aggravating a pain shard that was buried in the Hollow One's Pattern from an encounter years before with a pain-spirit. Benji and Thomas took Fred elsewhere; Phoebe and Josette were called to take Nomios someplace where he could be kept 'on ice' while they collectively figured out what to do with him; and Susan called Miguel to help deal with Soren - which ultimately led to a mindscape and Soren taking on a Wonder that limited his ability to use magic beyond a sensory level.

Some time later, to keep his cabalmates out of trouble during a planned investigation based on intel drawn from the captured Nephandus, Tripp brought Kara, Fred, and Micah to the Bloody Baron. It was supposed to be a night to relax, with Tripp and Kara keeping the fractured Fred and the whimsy-afflicted Micah away from stress and out of the rest of the chantry's hair during a delicate operation, but it turned into a nightmare. Vampires breached their own protocol of secrecy and attacked the patrons of the nightclub in a deliberate and hostile takeover attempt.

Tripp and Kara directly engaged the hostile vampires - both almost dying in the process but standing resolute. Micah was helped out by the Hollow acolyte Emily, who worked at the club; but Fred lost what was left of her mind in the attack. Under pressure, she snapped - and in her transition into full Marauder, she leveled the building. Everyone inside was lost - vampire and Sleeper alike - as was Fred. Kara had managed to get Tripp out of the building, but he was bleeding out - and the rest of the chantry's members were preoccupied. . .
"And what is the potential man, after all? Is he not the sum of all that is human? Divine, in other words?" - Henry Miller

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Re: Season Three

Post by DivineST » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:46 pm

The Other Winchester
Nomios's capture led to information regarding possible locations for Nephandic operations on a local scale. While Herald Thomas Stacey interrogated him, Josette utilized her connection to Mother Providence to do cursory checks over the intel gathered - supported by Maeve's use of the City Table Wonder at the chantry and Cassie's mundane data mining.

On the ground, Susan and Soren traveled to locations of particular promise to scout, and one such location was an unusual building contracted a few years prior, in a cul-de-sac in Lower South Providence - a house with as confounding a design as the famed Winchester House itself. Here they encountered Nephandic forces that had converted the residents of the cul-de-sac into terrible subhuman monstrosities, and the battle that ensued was fraught with danger.

Supporting the ground team had been the Makeshift Horizon cabal, Merianda, and Hayley, with Soren's familiar as a means to communicate. They made to engage with the cul-de-sac residents as well, though Hayley vanished chasing Soren's familiar - who had run off to try to reach Soren and been grabbed by the Nephandus Charon.

Near-fatalities wrought included Maeve - upon whom the Nephandus Vrykolakas had pushed his mortal wounds dealt by Susan's Wondrous sword - and Hayley, who had gotten lost within the house and encountered terrors that rendered her blind thereafter. The latter was rescued by Susan; while Soren utterly destroyed Charon when the latter killed his familiar. But even with the cul-de-sac residents destroyed and the known Nephandi killed, trouble did not end with them.

From the ground beneath the cul-de-sac had risen an earthen monstrosity that all present struggled to combat to any meaningful effect - even joined by the Hollow One cabal the Four Horsemen did little to shift things in their favor. It was not until the arrival of a small group of Tradition mages that the beast was destroyed - and these mages had come at the behest of their group leader, a Herald from the Council of Nine who had been sent to arrest Deacon Sophie Addams and place her on trial for crimes against the Traditions.

Worse still, Nomios had escaped his bonds. . .
"And what is the potential man, after all? Is he not the sum of all that is human? Divine, in other words?" - Henry Miller

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