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

Post by DivineST » Mon Feb 08, 2021 3:25 pm


Season Four
(January 2016 - May 2018)

On the heels of a significant conflict with foes, the mages of the Chantry of Thirteen Faiths found no reprieve within their own walls. Decisions that had been made over the years echoed back to them, some more loudly than others.
"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 Four

Post by DivineST » Mon Feb 08, 2021 3:25 pm

The Council Intervenes

Falling back to the chantry building after the raid on the Nephandic holding in the cul-de-sac, members of Thirteen Faiths tried to tend to their wounded while simultaneously juggling the news of the arrest of Deacon Addams and the group's eviction from their chantry building pending investigation by the Tribunal group. The Tribunal was comprised of eight individuals - two cabals: Superstition, and Lachesis' Knot - sent to Providence by the New Horizon Council of Paris.

The Sentinel of the time, Phoebe King, attempted diplomacy, but her status as a Hollow One saw her summarily dismissed by Herald Phitz.

The group had been allowed to stabilize the injured but had to regoup on private grounds, but the charges brought against Deacon Addams were weighty ones, and the more politically minded of the group immediately tried to pick apart the incidents in question to prepare defenses. The cabal representatives, the acting Council of the chantry, took charge and simultaneously fielded questions from the Tribunal - to clarify events and the rumors around them, but also to try to lessen whatever would fall upon Deacon Addams by claiming responsibility for aspects of the charged events.

Lacking a place to gather everyone together safely, private homes were offered to host meetings; cabals linked together more closely; and looking after one another became more prudent so no one was overlooked or left out in the cold. There were still so many troubles afoot, after all.
"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 Four

Post by DivineST » Mon Feb 08, 2021 3:26 pm

The Disparates

While members of the chantry's Council fielded interrogations and 'friendly conversations' with individuals of the Tribunal - justifying actions taken and decisions made over the years since Thirteen Faiths' inception, or shouldering blame in attempts to mitigate what fell upon their deacon - time marched on and the world continued forward around them.

The Hollow Ones, as a collective, were no strangers to the concept of nothing stopping for them to catch up. After all, not even the Traditions tried to keep the Craft in the loop regarding dangers, or gave them space in which to be themselves as they were. The years of being declined admission by the Traditions, of being hunted by Nephandi and Technocrats with only each other to look out for them, the Hollow Ones and other, smaller Crafts met to formulate a new option.

The Revolutionary faction of the Hollow Ones, helmed by the Four Horsemen and, in particular, their rather vocal leader Eudora Hadley, wanted to separate themselves entirely from the Traditions - leave them in the cold just as the Crafts so often have been. No friends, no shelter, no aid - just the Crafts fending for themselves, claiming their own territories, and shunning the Traditions in addition to the usual foes like Nephandi and Technocrats.

The Councilor faction, on the other hand, found an unusual leader in the form of Soren Russo, who emphasized that the Hollow Ones could not afford more overt enemies - as the Traditions may become if the Hollow Ones became aggressive about territories and holdings. He supported the Crafts joining together to look after one another, but firmly and vocally disagreed with the notion that they should oppose the Traditions.

The Four Horsemen ventured to Providence in attempts to sway the local, Tradition-aligned Hollow Ones to see their side - resulting in a vicious Duel Arcane issued by Soren against the whole of the Horsemen cabal, in which the defeated party had to vocally support the victor's stance at the next annual gathering. Through cleverness and by dividing the cabal, Soren bested each of them on his own, but when the annual meeting arose, Eudora broke the pact and maneuvered to try to assassinate Soren and pin the death upon Susan Conway, the only Traditionalist at the gathering, to further drive a wedge.

The Four Horsemen's plot unraveled due to Soren's Deathless nature - and representatives of other Crafts watched intently as the Hollow Ones sorted out the matter between themselves. With the Horsemen stripped of Hollow status and sent to assist other Crafts - separately - Micah Winters assisted the Hollowers with negotiating with the other Crafts for the formation of the Disparate Alliance, a sect of Crafts that would look out for one another, but would operate in secrecy for mutual survival.
"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 Four

Post by DivineST » Mon Feb 08, 2021 3:26 pm

Gilded Cages

The Hollow Ones were not the only ones with troubles still haunting them. The Nephandus Nomios had come to Providence for a reason; and though the group with which he had come was dead, his task was unfinished. He had more information than he had started with, courtesy of his stint in Freddie's mind, and cornered the Ecstatic apprentice Isolde - to get access to Tripp Evelyn.

Tripp interacted violently with Nomios after sending Isolde to safety, and the pregnant apprentice called Benji and Kara to Tripp's aid. The three were swiftly able to take him down and try to get answers - with near-neighbor and resident Nephandi hunter Susan being called in to assist with determining what to do with the stray Nephandus, given his previously successful escape. Nomios claimed he had been successful, regardless - Daeris the Gilded Cage now knew where to find Tripp, after his decade of eluding her.

Nomios was executed by a joint effort between Kara and Susan; but he was only the herald of a much larger problem.

Tripp and Isolde's son - both of their firstborn - was born in the spring. That autumn, Daeris herself made an appearance in the babe's nursery - heedless of the wards Tripp had placed to try to protect the child from her. She threatened to take the infant as recompense for some crime Tripp had committed against her, but Kara bargained her own firstborn for a stay of hand - a bargain she regretted months later and attempted to back out of. This led Tripp to instead offer the autumns of every year of his nigh-eternal life as recompense for his 'crimes' so that Daeris and her Unseelie Court could not operate in Providence and the children would be safe.

The pair of Fae-blooded mages largely sought to navigate the situation alone, even after attempts to rouse Isolde from a fae-enchanted sleep failed repeatedly.
"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 Four

Post by DivineST » Mon Feb 08, 2021 3:27 pm

Lone Wolves

Hayley had not been prone to venturing into the world, outside of chantry matters and occasionally classes at Brown, after her near-fatal incident with Emmy Pensa years prior. However, she had taken the doing so more often, courtesy of new friend and architecture nerd Claire. The two had become fast friends, and Hayley had even had her over at Halsey House.

But after the incident in the cul-de-sac - and the terrors of the bowels of the Winchester-like house that had scarred Hayley and blinded her - Hayley relied upon her magic to navigate and perceive the world around her, and that betrayed a secret Claire had been keeping from her: not only was this friend a Willworker, she was a Nephandus, her aura warped by that twisted nature. Hayley - and her mentor, Miguel Cruxt - disappeared the Halloween of the Disparate Alliance's formation, and not even their housemate Susan took notice until a week later.

Susan, Thomas, and Soren tracked Hayley to Grace Cemetery and through a gate beneath one of the abandoned cemetery's unkempt mausoleums; and there they stumbled upon Claire directing Hayley through a ritual over an unconscious Miguel - a multi-limbed shadow entity looming over them and keeping watch. The trio sprang to action - Susan and Thomas confronted the shadow entity, while Soren went after Hayley and to interrupt the ritual. The creature was defeated - thanks to Thomas' revolver, rumored to be capable of destroying a spirit's essence entirely - but Claire escaped and the ritual burned through Hayley, killing her.

Soren immediately set to work, and with the help of the pair of Euthanatoi, revived the youngest Euthanatos against the laws of the Shadowlands - Claire would have to wait.

And she did.

Months of searching turned up false leads and dead ends, frustrating Susan to no end. Even Soren finding the ghost of her mentor - a person Susan had not been able to find for a decade - gave her little on this person that could lead to finding her. Hayley and Miguel - the latter revealed to have been Gilguled by the Nephandus - moved out of Halsey House to reside with Phoebe King at Edgewood Manor. Susan lashed out at Soren, kicking him out of Halsey House, too.

As she was prone to doing, Susan isolated herself.

As soon as she had, Claire struck, pulling Susan across the Shroud and attempting to strand her in the Shadowlands. While Claire successfully stole one of Susan's lives, Susan managed to escape to Thomas' and be retrieved - two weeks after the initial 'kidnapping'. Deemed to have safety in numbers, Susan conceded to stay at Edgewood Manor. Unfortunately, she lost Halsey House in the process - Claire shattered the wall between worlds, turning Halsey House into an uninhabitable Haunt.

Still, Claire herself eluded the members of the chantry, leaving only signs of her presence that led nowhere and scars from the encounters survived.
"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 Four

Post by DivineST » Mon Feb 08, 2021 3:51 pm

Fractious Politics

Struggling with external factors did not quite distract the Willworkers of Thirteen Faiths from the issue of the foreign Tribunal in their own house. While the Council sought to shoulder responsibility for actions or consequences therefrom, others of the chantry sought to dig deeper into events of the previous years - as well as Tradition law - to mitigate or dispel charges against Sophie outright. Hayley Flores, incarnate of Themis and prodigy of the Euthanatoi, proved particularly valuable to such delving.

But without ready access to files from the Sentinels' office or tomes from the communal library - or the security of having a place where one could focus on such matters - it was difficult to get far.

Thomas Stacey stepped forth, as a peer of Herald Phitz - being a herald himself - and issued a certamen challenge. If he won, he sought the return of control of the building to the members of Thirteen Faiths, as well as the release of Sophie into his care and supervision until the formal trial. Herald Phitz agreed - and determined that if he emerged victorious, Thomas would act as prosecutor for the trial, as voice of the Tribunal, and would cede his role and title as a herald.

The certamen was a flashy but brief affair, and Thomas was victorious. With the building and its resources returned, and Sophie in friendly custody and able to be spoken with at length, the members of Thirteen Faiths redoubled their efforts.

Soon after her release, Sophie met with the chantry as a whole and declared two things: the Council of representatives selected by each cabal would be the formal governing party of the chantry henceforth; and the singular role of deacon was to be abolished. Never again would the chantry's internal and external faces differ or rely upon one person.

Finally, in the beginning of Summer 2018, the Tribunal concluded their investigations and convened the formal trial of former Deacon Sophie Addams, to weight the charges of crimes against the Traditions against her. It was a lengthy proceeding, with some charges dismissed and others upheld. Members of the Council stood in protest when they disagreed with a conclusion; but ultimately, the Tribunal saw fit to Brand Sophie and to Censure her: she could hold no position of authority in her cabal, chantry, or Tradition. Thomas' estranged wife, Annalise, was assigned to oversee Sophie's Censure, deigned to remain in Providence when the rest of the Tribunal would depart.

However, not all went smoothly.

During the Branding, Josette made to depart, unwell. The chantry shook - an incredibly localized mini-quake - and the Dreamspeaker collapsed. Immediate regrouping and investigations revealed the chantry's node to have had a volatile power fluctuation - as the unstable node was known to have - but something during the fluctuation overwhelmed or shorted out the City Wonder upstairs. . .
"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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