Monday, January 12, 2015

The Morgantown Project: Something New (VtR)

While I've discussed the history of my Requiem game in broad strokes, I've got a little bit of more recent backstory to get into before jumping into events at the most recent session. So this'll be pretty much a two-fer on session write-ups.

So, previously on the Morgantown Project...

The coterie know there's a Strix operating in town. Their research has turned up that it pops up every now and again, manipulates things in town towards some unknown purpose, and then at some point its machinations seem to go off the rails and it goes into some sort of hibernation. They also know that for a while, it was trapped in Woodburn Hall, in some sort of unexplainable contraption built by monster hunters some unknown period of time ago. It cut a deal with someone a few years back where it went shrieking into the night and may or may not have encouraged the Oberlochs in Fairmont to embrace and unleash a bunch of larvae on Morgantown. (The stuff about Woodburn Hall, the contraption, and the incident with the Oberlochs is all stuff that came up in a Hunter: The Vigil LARP I ran some years back.)

They've also discovered that the Strix may be residing in some hidden tunnels beneath Morgantown. WVU has traditionally been an engineering school, and in the early days of the school's existence a mine of sorts was dug under parts of the campus for engineering students to get hands-on work. Also, according to a source of the characters (a hunter named Billy Bricks, whose local hunter group has been completely co-opted by the Invictus), it was used by occultists to commune with some sort of entity that lives beneath the Earth. All records of the tunnels have been wiped, but Billy and his group have some material referencing them. And during the last session, he tipped off the characters that there may be an easy access to those tunnels through the basement of a local PRT station.

Before they could follow up on that, they got a call from another mortal flunkie under control, a government agent named Barbara McCoy. She called them out to a hotel room where an old enemy of theirs, Donald, was found staked with a note indicating he was a present for them. There were signs of a struggle, and they could tell someone had taken a point-blank shotgun blast to the chest but there was no body in evidence. As near as they could determine, for some reason the Strix had intercepted someone who was coming to town to kill them. And that they were pretty sure it had piloted a living body into that hotel room and then piloted the corpse back out again. (Barbara's people are still running tests to determine the original owner of the gore that got painted all over the wall by the shotgun.)

So the investigations were still up in the air when Prince Justin arrived from Charleston to appoint Derrick the new Regent of Morgantown, which is where we left off.

Now, for the most recent session...

As part of a not-quite-prelude to introduce Bryan's new character, Matthew Bryant (a Ventrue, but he's deliberately cagey on what he is, Bryan having taken both Dominate and Majesty on the character), we wound up picking up almost immediately after the last session, revealing that he'd decided to come up to Morgantown as soon as things had stabilized enough to appoint formal leadership to get a jump start on establishing a church of Longinus. Yes, that's right, Matthew is a member of the Lancea et Sanctum. (Bryan's previous character, we decided, was called back to Charleston on covenant business) So we had introductions, Derrick established a little bit of hierarchy, Prince Justin's seneschal Francis made nice with the local Carthian contingent, and the night pretty much wrapped itself up.

So the next night, the coterie (with newcomer in tow) made plans to try and find the tunnels Billy had explained to them. Because they still need to figure out what to do with the Strix (since they're not exactly easy to kill), they also got in touch with Billy and asked him if he could possibly find out who built the system in Woodburn Hall that can trap spirits. He agreed to get on it.

It didn't do much for short-term efforts, though. So they went downtown to a bar where they knew they could find some local experts on spirits in general, in case they might have something useful. So they went to a club called 'The Wrong Alley' and met with a man (well, not quite a man) named Bernard Kroner. (This name may be familiar to some people.) They asked him if he could ask some of his allies for anything useful, and if they could borrow someone to come down to the tunnels with them in the hopes of bringing back some intel that might help. Assuring him they'd be able to do a big favor for Bernard and the rest of his pack of werewolves (by the way, Bernard's part of a pack of werewolves) down the road, he agreed to go down himself since this was just a recon trip.

So they went to the PRT station, broke in, and Bryan used Dominate to get rid of the only janitor on duty. They made their way to the basement and started poking around the boxes and closets. One of the doors was locked, and when they tried to access it they were suddenly confronted by a security guard with a strange way of speaking named Maria. Their first thought was that she was possessed because she registered as not quite right, mystically. Derrick tried to address whatever entity was inside her while the others determined that she couldn't have possibly followed them downstairs because they'd have definitely heard the door being fiddled with. So Derrick looked at her and asked "What's happening?" She looked at him, said "This is happening," and raised her hand to blast him with electricity.

So the vampires and werewolf piled on to try and subdue her and managed to do so, getting her to back off with Dominate and explain that she was trying to protect whatever was behind that locked door. They thought they'd been able to force her to stay out of their way, but when Derrick kicked the door open (revealing some horrible clockwork engine-looking thing coated in blood) she attacked again and while defending themselves she exploded into light, wires, and rapidly-dissolving plastic.

So they basically declared that to be a moment to collectively go "Well, fuck this night." Especially since digging through the basement confirmed there in fact was no tunnel access like they thought. So next time, Billy's going to have a little bit of explaining to do...

Edit: Also, forgot to mention that on the way out, they found that janitor again, who casually commented that if they hadn't gotten rid of him he could have warned them about what was in the basement. Also, they found a business card with a phone number on one side and the word 'Later' written on the other.

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