Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Cave of Secrets: Barking Up Family Trees

Before I get into the next Cave of Secrets write-up, I've got a couple of updates.

First off, unless something goes completely off the rails by next session, Sean will be rejoining our game with a new character. I'll share more details when it comes up.

Second, a couple of my gaming buddies (including one outside the normal group) have been talking about doing another tabletop game, this time rotating between us, with each of us taking turns running something different. We're still hammering out the fine details, but once that gets started, this blog will also include write ups of a Doctor Who campaign I've been plotting out in my head since the days of David Tennant.

But that will be then. This will be now. Or something.





So as they head back to the sept, the Sons of the Saga go over what they think they know regarding the Spirals'/Stumps' plans. Jerry thinks that they're trying to corrupt whatever magical working that Florence Slavin was doing a century ago, perhaps trying to summon some sort of Wyrmish train-related spirit since her ritual was meant to appeal to the Stourbridge Lion. The pack is also wondering whether or not keeping two of the seven enchanted railroad spikes out of their reach is enough to disrupt whatever it is they're intending.

Åke suggests seeing if they can bribe another Pattern Spider to help them find the spike located in the old train station spot, but Jerry's not entirely comfortable with doing that again. They get back to the sept and Åke suggests they go back over Andy Stump's research with what they've recently learned in mind, after they unwind a bit (which winds up being some sparring and meditating). They go back over the research with new context from what they've learned, like the location of the tannery spike, but no obvious patterns to the spike locations comes to mind. They do, however, manage to decipher from the scribblings that Florence wrote down two major copies of whatever it was she was doing. A full, detailed description for herself, and a stripped-down version possibly intended to be handed off to other Kinfolk for magical maintenance purposes.

Which leads them to wonder: Where did Florence live back in the day, and is it possible her stuff is still there?

They give Marlinton a couple more days to calm down, what with the continued police presence (and some lingering concern over the FBI) involved, and head back into town to do more research. They go to the courthouse to see if they can find any public records about Florence or her family, with the intent of taking what they find and using it to guide another deep-dive in the public library.

So the best they can really find on Florence in the public records is a mailing address for her in 1912 that puts her in "Tannery Row," which was a low-class neighborhood for the tannery workers (as the name suggests). So they start there at the library. Wants-to-Know and Jerry go to check obituaries between 1912 and 1940. Åke just starts looking through newspapers within a couple of years of 1912 to see if there's anything about the Slavin family or Florence specifically or even just that address.

They find a good bit of information about Florence's family, but as Åke's inexplicable need for more details drives him on to try and find more tidbits Jerry starts to question whether any of it will be useful. They find out that Florence was born in Ireland in 1880 and her family came to the States when she was 12. She had a lot of siblings, never married, never had children, but at the time of her death of cancer in 1937 she still had two brothers, Patrick and Martin. Patrick passed away in '42 of a heart attack, left behind a couple of kids, but there was no record of Martin's death nor any mention of it in Patrick's obituary (not that necessarily means anything). After spending the whole day researching, they go back to the sept to check things out at Florence's old house the next morning.

So they head out to the house -- still clearly the original building -- and Åke peeks into the Umbra to get a glimpse at it and notices a dark, smoky miasma over the house. Jerry takes a good whiff with Sense Wyrm and easily picks up the signs of strong, recent Wyrm-taint. The pack finds a place to step sideways and can see the miasma and smell burning meat. They poke around the house and Åke and Wants-to-Know both hear something moving around in the kitchen, while Jerry follows something seen out of the corner of his eye and gets ambushed by a Scrag (a nasty murder bane, for those of you at home). Between the three of them they're more than capable of taking apart the bane with ease but that doesn't change the fact that we left off the session with them hearing something upstairs...

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