Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Cave of Secrets: Resolution? (WtA)

First, a quick convention-related update. The Gencon games I referenced in my prior post got filled up within a couple of hours of event registration opening. That said, if anyone who reads this wants to get in on them, past experience has suggested that showing up with some generics and hoping a registered player doesn't turn up isn't a terrible strategy. If anything changes, I'll keep folks updated here.

Second and more importantly, this past weekend we got the chance to play Werewolf for the first time in way too long. So here we go.

So last time, we left off with the Sons of the Saga figuring out what the hell they're about to do with this radio telescope engineer named Tobias they found in the Umbra, especially since Wants-to-Know basically just ate most of his leg. At the start of this session we decided the group was going to sort out how to deal with this guy before investigating his truck. Åke had just returned from the caern with a Theurge deed-named 'Bend the Gauntlet' (real name Marcus) who could conceivably help (at the very least, he could help them bring Tobias back to the physical world).

The first thought on everyone's minds is how the Litany applies to this and whether he's a threat to the Veil. Is there any good way they can make this guy forget what he saw? Jerry wants to try the "beta blocker overdose" suggestion put forth by Roy last time, in the hopes that it muddies his memories enough that he won't know what happened. Claudiu wants to try negotiating with him, see if there's any way they can get out of this without making enemies of Tobias' superiors (not that the pack knows ICly who his superiors really are, but best case scenario it's government folks) or having to do something drastic. Claudiu figures that Tobias almost certainly has an idea of what they are given where he is, and that trying to convince him otherwise or dance around the issue without supernatural backup isn't worth the effort.

The pack asks Black Unicorn's guidance, and the totem informs them that as long as they can do it without fucking up any innocent bystanders back in the physical world (no traumatizing, no framing intentionally or otherwise), he'd consider just killing the man acceptable as he's a clear and obvious threat. Claudiu asks Marcus if he can heal the man's leg properly, suggesting that if they can't save him (or have to kill him) they can just leave his body in the Umbra and let scavenger spirits take care of the mess. Marcus is able to mostly restore the man's leg (since Mother's Touch can heal recent Battle Scars, I made the judgement call that in this case it would restore most if not all functionality to the leg). They also take a few moments to destroy his phone.

They get Tobias' leg restored and send Wants-to-Know to stand back by the lodge building out of the way before making sure everyone shifts into Homid form. They wake him up, and he immediately wants to know who they are and where he is. The pack says that they're guardians of this place and that he's unintentionally harming it. Tobias insists that it's all a misunderstanding; that the radio telescope has been picking up some strange disturbances from the area (when asked how something in the Umbra could affect a radio telescope in the real world, he looks whomever asked it -- I think Jerry -- straight in the eye and says "It's a really powerful telescope") and he has been trying to deal with it, and that he never intended to harm anyone or anything. He says that he can find a better way of preventing the disturbance, and that if they're willing to let him go he'll "call its squaresies."

The pack accepts his explanation (it helps that Jerry can't pick up any Wyrm taint on him) and suggest keeping the lines of communication open to prevent further incidents. They suggest using the mail slot at the lodge building's Umbral manifestation as a letter drop. He does make it clear, though, that he's going to have to write up a report on what happened but as a show of good faith he's willing to be as vague as possible with dangerous details.

Then the subject comes up of whether there's anything they can do to prevent reprisals from Tobias' superiors. He says that there's something that might help keep everything off the radar, if he's allowed to go back to his truck to get something. Åke is sent back with him to the physical world to escort him. Back at the truck, Tobias changes into a pair of emergency pants he keeps in the truck since his were utterly ruined, and hands Åke a manila folder. Inside are photocopies of news articles from the last decade or so, where a few times a year someone apparently sleepwalks to the lodge building. Sometimes they get inside, sometimes they just curl up on the front step. Tobias explains that he's got until the following Saturday (this conversation happened on a Sunday) to get that resolved before someone gets in trouble, and if the pack can take care of it then that might buy everyone some leeway. Tobias gets in his truck and drives off.

(At some point during all this, the pack basically forgot that Marcus was there so he quietly left. This may come up later on, though not this session.)

Åke fills in the rest of the group on what's going on, and the pack goes into the lodge to talk with the Registrar (with possible menacing to follow if need be). The Registrar explains that people sometimes sleepwalk to the building because he gives them visions in their dreams and sometimes it happens as a side-effect. He explains this all matter-of-factly, like he never expected this to be an issue.

An excerpt from that conversation:

Jerry: "Why are people sleepwalking to this location?"
The Registrar: "It sometimes happens."
Claudiu: "Yes, but why does it happen?"
The Registrar: "Because reasons."
Claudiu: *exasperated* "Oh my God."

So yeah. Nobody really bothered to put much thought into it before, but Jerry realizes over the course of the conversation that the Registrar is a Chimerling, a dream-spirit that serves Chimera. And as Jerry is a Stargazer, that means the Registrar is a servant of his tribal totem (albeit not a direct one). Which means that menacing him is basically out. The spirit asks if his omission is still technically a lie, given that it created a circumstance that led to the truth. He also says that the only reason he's maintained a consistent shape when the Sons of the Saga deal with him is because he didn't want to discourage their assumptions.

They posit scenarios where the spirit could be relocated, or could even move around to disrupt any patterns regarding people sleepwalking to the building. There's some facetious joking from the spirit about how moving him to the middle of a lake could solve the problem (and implying that he'd done so in the past, but between the spirit's unstable nature and the whimsical tone of his end of the conversation it's vague as to whether he meant any of it). But in the end, the pack decides to look into whether he could perhaps be relocated to the cave to cut down on incidents, and we left off with Jerry headed back to try and have a word with the cave itself.

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