Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Night 8 Plans and Alliances

Night 8
Plans and Alliances
Saturday, November 14th, 1992

Zoe and Suzanne can barely sleep. Their worst fears have been confirmed, and now they’ve made a deal with the very creatures that they had been hunting so recently. Both are freaked out and scared, both of what the coterie has done and of what they’ve become. However, both have a reason to follow the plan. Zoe desires to understand what, exactly, they’ve become, and how to use that knowledge. Suzanne wants both answers to what happened in the basement, why they were grabbed, why she was left as bait, and what she wasn’t “chosen.” They spend the day as if in a haze, mindlessly drifting around. Fortunately, it’s a Saturday on campus, and so everyone assumes they’re just hungover.

Both will wait for the night, to see if or when the characters contact them.

However, they did sneak into the Hospital, and are directly involved in the removal of two corpses. Do the cops think that they’re involved? They made a successful escape roll to leave, and were fairly competent about sneaking in, but a Hospital is a fairly secure setting. I set the odds to 50/50 (and the CF to 6 for these two characters)—No. They’re in the clear, for now at least.  Shortly before nightfall, they meet in Zoe’s dorm room, and wait for a phone call.

Night

The coterie awakens in their make shift haven. Now that all have fed and they’re more together (each is slowly regaining their Willpower, and hence focus), they’re able to talk. First, how do they all feel about the deal with Suzanne and Zoe?

Daron: Carry Enemies
Trent: Dominate Possessions
Maya: Create Hope

Daron is still leery of them, and not sure how much he can trust them. He was the one they directed their attack on, and he was sure they were trying to kill them. Trent argues that they can be used to their advantage—they need help, and having mortals who can do some dirty work for them during the day would make their lives so much easier. Maya is quiet, but argues that they couldn’t kill them. The hope for a cure almost compels her to trust anyone who can offer her even the slightest aid. They agree to work with them, but Daron insists that they keep as close an eye on them as is possible.

Each character has been changed by their experiences, and the coterie is growing apart. Maya still clings to a hope she can return to her old life, and she is the only one for whom this might even be a valid option—she’s still legally “missing,” while the other two are dead. Trent is enjoying his new form, and is developing a taste for violence and action. Daron is still torn, and indecisive about what he wants and what his hopes are. The truth is, he just wants to leave, get away from this, and try to rebuild something like a normal life somewhere else. The differences aren’t enough to drive them apart, but the strain is beginning to be felt.

They plan to contact the mortals, and to give them instructions. Trent needs a few hours—he wants to get to a library before it closes, so he can start work on further research into Prestor. He knows that they’ll need to make some inquiries, and it being the weekend means that not much can be done, even less at night. But, he wants to figure out what they need to find, and get some idea where to look, then have Suzanne and Zoe make the necessary phone calls and in person requests on Monday.

Daron wants to talk with them, now, and make sure they haven’t been betrayed. He and Maya will rendezvous with them earlier and set things up, most likely at the isolated theater where they had met one week ago tonight. Once Trent finishes his work, he’ll join them.

Trent

Trent takes Maya’s car to the nearest branch library. It’s not the best resource, but he can’t show his face at the University. His Mythic roll is a 9, so there is no alteration to the scene, and no planned encounter with the vampires of Denver this night.  He just needs to do some basic research and come with a general plan for the next steps into the investigation of Prestor.  This is a bit outside the normal bounds of the investigation of Prestor as presented in the module. I decide to set Trent’s roll to an Intelligence + Investigate roll, at a difficulty of 8. The high difficulty is due to two factors: 1) He’s “planning” on research, not conducting it and 2) he has minimal resources to draw on. Each success will reduce the difficulty for Zoe/Suzanne (or whoever actually does the work) on a 1 for 1 basis. Each “botch” increases by a like amount. He has 6 dice in his poll and rolls: 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 3. Goddamn it, Trent. Ok, so, they have 5 successes they can spend to track down Prestor’s background, his mysterious visitor, and anything else they come up between now and Monday.

Trent is done with what he can and leaves for campus.

Maya and Daron

Maya and Trent get into Suzanne’s car, and drive to campus. On the way, I roll the Chaos Factor and get a 5—Altered Scene, Move Away from Thread (The Investigation), Persecute Nature.

The four meet at the theater, all equally awkward and nervous. Of course, neither Maya nor Daron gives any real sign of their nervousness, instead sitting almost completely still and just looking at Zoe and Suzanne. It’s the mortals who seem to waste their movement, to fidget and nervously look about. Daron finally breaks the awkwardness by asking direct questions—what were they doing at the morgue, what did they hope to accomplish, and why are they here, now? Suzanne and Zoe try to calm him, spinning a story about how they just wanted to know, to understand. About how they were scared, but they always did believe him, and had told no one about what was going on.


The truth is, they were prepared to kill them, and so they need to make a Manipulation + Subterfuge (5) roll opposed by Daron’s Wits + Subterfuge (5).  Suzanne gets 1 success versus Daron’s 0, and so he believes them. But, he has broken the ice, allowing Zoe to ask more about their nature, and for Suzanne to try and figure out how they were made, and to hear their story.  Neither are lying, each is being sincere, so Charisma is the correct roll. Maya is willing to talk, particularly to Zoe. Daron is less certain—will Daron share his story? Very Unlikely. Yes. He doesn’t want to, and he starts hesitantly and vague, but having someone to listen to him and to talk to that isn’t Maya or Trent, is a relief.

Zoe: Charisma + Science: 1 success. She has some ideas, but needs more information. And definitely wants samples.  Charisma + Leadership: 1 success. When she asks, Daron refuses, but Maya gives her a nod letting her know she’ll give her some later.

Suzanne: Charisma + Empathy: failure. Daron and Maya tell their story, but nothing placates Suzanne’s questions, particularly what she’s REALLY asking. Her jealousy, if anything, only increases.

While they are talking, another student creeps up on them, Lucas. He is a friend of Suzanne’s, a fellow Theater major, and is worried about her. When he saw her and Zoe heading off to the woods, he had decided to follow them. When he hears voices up ahead, he decides to sneak and find out what they’re up to.

Daron 5 Success vs. Lucas’ 1. While they’re talking, Daron grows quiet, hearing someone else in the woods. What do they do? Trick Exterior Factors.

He signals to Maya, and the two quietly walk to the woods. He looks to Suzanne and shakes his head. Maya is easily lost among the trees, and Daron gets 2 success on his stealth roll. Lucas, hearing the conversation end, walks forward and makes awkward small talk with them, not realizing just how “awkward” things really are. Suzanne tries to figure out how much he knows (Charisma + Empathy, 4 successes), and tries to get rid of him (Manipulation + Leadership 4 success).  He didn’t really hear much, but they hang out for a bit, talking about where Suzanne is and how she’s doing. After about twenty minutes, Suzanne is subtly able to get him to leave, citing her need to talk with Zoe one on one, but promises him that they’ll get lunch tomorrow. It’s an awkward situation, but Suzanne is quite adept at such things, and he eventually leaves.

Once gone, Maya and Daron reemerge. He’s somewhat more confident that Zoe and Suzanne are capable of keeping things to themselves. Soon, Trent arrives. He’s in something of a manic state, having carefully worked out not only who Zoe and Suzanne need to speak with, but their cover stories, fake contact information, the whole nine yards. He’s convinced that it will work. Daron remains quiet during his spiel, though Trent doesn’t notice. He’s on a roll. He believes he knows their questions, and answers them before they get a chance to be asked.

The crazy son of a bitch even brings handouts.

Once finished, an awkward silence comes over the group. Daron wants to leave, now. Maya concurs, though Trent wants to go over the plan one more time. Suzanne and Zoe assure him that they understand, so the coterie leaves.

Daron is frustrated, and annoyed. They really CAN’T go back to their old lives, can they? They can’t risk anyone who knew them even seeing them again. He wants to get out, and he’s sick and tired of the stupid basement. He just wants to leave, be normal for a while. Trent wants to stay, he has more things he wants to look up, and he’d really like to make Zoe and Suzanne some fake business cards. See, he has this idea, hear him out, and Maya cuts him off. Daron needs to leave, and with only one car, they all go.

Trent finally agrees, finally convinced that there’s really not much they can do until after Zoe and Suzanne do their research, so they might as well get out of town. Can’t have a bunch of corpses walking around. Besides, he can do the research as easily in Colorado Springs as he can in Denver.

As they prepare to leave town, I roll once against the Mythic Chaos Factor to see if anything derails these plans, and get a 2—Interrupt. PC Positive Spy/Good. Nothing really comes to mind, so I decide that they leave town without incident. Away from Denver proper, the effective CF drops to 4—none of the current threads are active in Colorado Springs.

With the stolen cash from the drug dealers and free from the police investigation, the coterie is able to rent a hotel room, an extended stay at Residence Inn. They plan to stay in Colorado Springs till at least Monday night, but book the room through Thursday, just to be safe. It’s only an hour long drive, and once settled in the coterie experiences a sensation they haven’t felt if over a week. 

They’re bored.

None of them are terribly happy, honestly none of them have been since that night Prestor grabbed them. But, they had been so busy dealing with chaos and violence and bloodshed that they haven’t had a moment to do nothing.  They spend some time casually hunting in the ranches further south, then stay up late watching horrible movies. Finally, able to relax away from the chaos of Denver, the characters sleep more peacefully than they ever.

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