The scene opens up at Murray Street Coffee Shop in Deep Ellum, a private local non-franchise coffee joint that’s well loved by Dallas hipsters, indie musicians, and downtown yuppies. It’s about 6:45am and John Wolf had dropped by to check up on a barista named Tom Dixon, a young man who tends to hang out with the wrong crowd and get into more trouble than he should (the Dallas DA is pretty sure that Tom is not guilty of the crime that will be bringing him into a Dallas courtroom in a few weeks and John was sent to go and get more information).
Unfortunately, John arrives at the coffee shop to discover a broken front door and two baristas dead of gunshot wounds… one of them is Tom. The money is still in the register so it’s not a robbery. John calls it in to the Dallas PD.
Meanwhile Sara, another barista that works at the Murray Street Coffee Shop, arrives in time for work and discovers a guy that gives off the “Cop” vibe standing in front of her workplace, a shattered front door, and two of her friends and coworkers dead. She’s a broke wannabe college student (and former ninja academy dropout… no really!) and this was her first job since coming back from Japan. She also discovers… her boss Diane is missing! She always is there in the mornings as she’s the one that opens the doors, picks the music, and helps the morning crew get everything ready for a new day of business.
Unseen by either of them or anybody on the street is Chrys who is sitting on a nearby street sign sobbing. Tom was one of her Lost Boys, and the source of coffee beans, leftover stale biscotti, day old sandwiches, and other assorted goodies that Chrys usually smuggled out to give to the others in her little “crew.” Tom was a good kid, stupid, easily manipulated by his criminal “friends” … but a good kid.
Elena is also nearby doing her morning patrols. When she hears about the situation over the police scanner, she comes over to investigate (or course making it there before the uniformed PD do). She’s observing everything from the streetside when a squad car pulls up, the details are worked out between the police officers (who are awaiting a homicide detective and the coroner), John, and any witnesses (like Sara). Everything seemed to be well in hand when one of the side broom closets open up and a human armed with a shotgun levels it at the police ready to fire! Elena, supernaturally fast, draws her gun from the street and puts a round into the “goon” and he seems to keep going!
Chrys, unsure of what’s going on (but knowing that letting cops get shot would be bad), throws some Glamour into the goon’s face. He successfully fires into a couch, blowing a way a black cushion, and misses the police officers completely. The police officers draw their weapons and blow the shotgun armed goon away.
Well, now things are very, very interesting. The cops turn on the shooter from the street, and Elena of course drops her weapon and puts her hands up. John Wolf recognizes her and after the police officers establish that Elena is a CHL (Concealed Handgun License) holder and John vouches for her as a former DEA agent.. the cops give Elena a “thanks” (after all, in their minds it was Elena’s bullet that threw off the shooter’s aim) and let her retain her weapon and go about her business after taking a statement.
After things calm down John goes over (with the uniformed officer’s permission) to look at the body closer and he senses that black magic is involved (the goon had no free will, he’d been enthralled). Sara gives a little more information to John, about how her boss is missing. John asks a few important questions of Sara and discovers that Diane recently went through a bad breakup with a particularly unpleasant individual named Eric. During this time, Chrys also secretly makes herself known to John and Elena.
Tripwires, Black Magic, and Warlocks oh my!
John, Chrys, and Elena take off to try and find out more about what’s going on. Sara does the same… but by herself… after all, she’s a ninja (well okay technically she dropped out of ninja school but still)! Sara also has bills due and if her boss is missing, there’s no way she’s going to get paid. They set off in different directions, but as John hunts down information about the missing coffee shop owner and “Eric” her ex, he calls Sara on her cell phone… only to discover that Sara is en route to Eric’s house herself. He tells her (thinking her just a regular citizen) to get off the DART bus and wait for him. Then he goes to pick her up.
They arrive at Eric’s home in Lower Greenville on the M-Streets and it looks pretty normal. Elena, Chrys, and John head to the house… John tells Sara to wait in the car (like that ever works). Sara of course, sneaks out of the car and goes around the back of the house unnoticed. She climbs the wall ninja-style using just her fingertips and enters via a second story window. She feels a strong sense of “wrong-ness” in the house but is unsure what it is. She goes to the second floor railing and peers down into the dining room only to see something she totally wasn’t expecting.
When John and Elena knock on the front door, it unexpectedly opens (okay, well maybe John was pounding on it a little hard … what with his supernatural strength and all) but it was definitely unlocked. Elena notices Sara up on the second floor trying to be sneaky, but says nothing. John calls out to the house and hears a muffled voice… well… it sure sounded like a call for help, so he enters! Unfortunately it’s Eric’s home and there’s still a threshold so John and Elena are slightly at a disadvantage… Chrys cannot enter at all and so she flies around and looks in at windows to see what she can do.
Inside, in the dining room, is a magical circle of energy and a caucasian male, bound and gagged with duct tape in a chair. The magical circle gives of a palpable “wrongness” and it doesn’t take much speculation to figure out that it’s more or less a magical bomb or trap of some kind.
While Elena and John are discussing options (Jaime, the wizard that they know well, is out of town) Sara comes downstairs and does the ninja thing. The magical trap was intricately drawn, but the lines of energy seem to pulse and vary like tripwires. She bends, contorts, and is able to bypass the magical energy “tripwires” to get inside and to the individual. She then rips off the duct tape so that they can all communicate. Needless to say John, Elena, and Chrys were rather surprised.
It’s then discovered that the guy is Frank, Diane’s current boyfriend, and that Eric kidnapped them both and is headed to Reunion Tower to perform some kind of magical ritual. That’s never good.
Not knowing how much time remains, the band of “heroes” head to Reunion Tower, with Elena stopping by Miranda‘s house to ask her assistance getting Frank out of the magical trap. She herself isn’t awake, but one of her friends (one of the Chorus) agrees to see to it.
They make it to Reunion Tower by lunchtime, and discover a couple of floors that are currently under construction and closed to the public. Seemed like the perfect place for evil shenanigans.
The heroes step off the elevator (even Sara, it’s clear she’s got some skills though what kind the rest of the heroes aren’t sure) and within minutes two Ghouls come loping to intercept them. A battle ensues and John is clawed up pretty good, but between Elena’s shooting and Sara’s skills with a length of steel rebar (it’s not quite a katana… but it’ll do), the Ghouls are quickly dispatched. The surprise highlight moment comes when John “wolfs out” to combat the Ghouls. The heroes didn’t have time to catch a breather when a “rock demon” came stomping up… but Elena drew out a magazine of blessed bullets (thanks to Matthew) and puts one right between the monster’s eyes.
Then they ran up to a scene of black magic, Eric had Diane strung up in a chair in a magic circle and he was chanting. John charges in, in his wolf form, and Elena opens fire and the bullets were magically deflected by some kind of “force field” (or more correctly “wind field”) that protects Eric. However, by charging in, John breaks the magic circle and ruins the spell. Eric then engages in battle with the heroes but it quickly (very quickly) goes south for him and he flees by flying out a broken window and makes his escape.
Both Diane and her boyfriend Frank are safe. They’re shaken, scared witless, and terrified… but safe. Some things will have to be explained to them… like what Eric actually was… the ghouls, rock demons, etc. etc. … but at least now Sara can get paid.
- Game date: 3/10/2012 GM Wolfhound
- Once again we went to Austin to visit friends and got in a game of Dresden Files
- This Adventure was modified from the Neutral Grounds free adventure from Evil Hat
- Milestone: Significant (the 2nd for John and Chrys, first for Sara, not sure for Elena, need to do an audit and get her squared away)
- Timeline wise, this takes place sometime in January (before the events of Kawaii Desu Yo.. ne?)
Fate System Highlight
The interesting Fate System “thing” that happened was when John took damage from one of the Ghouls. As usual for an attack that inflicts more Stress than the character has… it resulted in a Consequence. In this case a Minor. Nothing unusual there.
The potential drawback of a Consequence is that it’s a taggable Aspect, and of course when it’s first discovered it can be tagged for free (usually by the bad guy that inflicted it). Normally this represents the shock or pain of a wound or whatever and it’s part of the reason that once injuries start accumulating combat goes downhill … fast.
So what was interesting was that the player of Chrys thought about it… and tagged the Aspect herself before any of the bad guys could. Butcher’s Dresden novels have established precedent for Glamour causing a human to forget injuries and pain temporarily (Lia helping Harry, or even Lash helping Harry imagine a cold shower was hot).
Chrys tagged John’s newly acquired injury Consequence with Glamour to make it feel less (to make his senses ignore the pain) intense. Since she was tagging a newly introduced Aspect… it granted her a free two Shifts as normal and she rolled for her Glamour. I set the difficulty equal to John’s own Discipline plus two (for the Consequence) and she beat it easily.
This both alleviated the pain for John as well as removed the potential danger of the “bad guys” getting a “free tag” on the Aspect.
Well played Chrys. Well played indeed.