Friday, March 25, 2011

[WOD] Final Session as Eile

 [this is a long one! bear with it, it's worth it.]

You're so mean, when you talk, about yourself you were wrong.
Change the voices, in your head, make them like you instead.
So complicated, look happy, you'll make it!
Filled with so much hatred, such a tired game.
It's enough! I've done all I can think of.
Chased down all my demons, I've seen you do the same. 

The world stares while I swallow the fear
The only thing I should be drinking is an ice cold beer
So cool in lying and I tried tried
But we try too hard, it’s a waste of my time
Pink, F'N Perfect

Terrance- Chamgeling
Waco- Changeling

Lucky- Geist

Reese- Vampire

Ed- Werewolf
Ginger- Werewolf

Terrance, Waco, TK, Lucky, Reese, Ed, Raaf, Ginger, David and Victor are all at the farmhouse with the doorway where Waco took Eile. Ed and Raaf recognize the area- they had a run in with a “leech” and The Rangers nearby quite some time ago. TK also recognizes it, as he had been told by the leech in question that he could stay there.

The area itself reeks (to those that can smell it) of death. While it's not recent, it is prevalent and saturating, almost drowning out all other considerations. While looking around, the group finds other hostilities laying about. There's some tense investigations as Terrance and the Omen pack feel sources of wrath; along with spirits, shards and rats. The Omen pack makes a quick attempt to destroy the slivers of shards, but the slivers retreat to the other side of the Gauntlet. Ed resolves to deal with the Beshilu after their trip across the Hedge, and moves on.

Waco leads the way through the doorway and the rest follow suit. The pack goes through a strange, disquieting transformation as they step through and are stretched like rubber bands, with the thorns tearing at their psyches. Their pack telepathy is removed, and the “presense” of each others' minds is painfully revoked as they step across. Their spiritual elements are also revoked- most notably, Ed's hammer.

They enter into the Royal Hunting Grounds- an overly lush, verdant and vibrant forest with great trees, brushes, thickets, hills and clearings evocative of old English hunting grounds. Each of them notice their forms are changed (with the exception of Reese, who appears cool, calm& dapper. In truth, he's been deprived of nearly all of his blood pool, and he's HUNGRY, heavily armed- and pale). Terrance and Waco appear as their true miens- Terrance as an elongated, tortured, mangled figure akin to Robert DeNiro's Frankenstein and Waco as the furry dog-man. Waco also bears impressive “spirit brands”- marks that identify rank and power in the Uratha. Waco's marks make Ed's very formidable brands look downright silly in comparison. The Omen pack has been changed as well- into actual wolves. Their spirit gifts, ability to change, First Tongue and ability to speak are all removed. They simply exist as their true animal (or perhaps “primal” ) selves, with nothing to count on other than their wits. TK and Lucky become strange amalgamations of their human forms and their Geists' semblances. They are both strange and complicated monstrosities. Lucky is most like a stone golem and TK is 2 men- 4 eyes, 4 ears, 4 arms, 4 legs, 2 spines and so on.

The group moves forwards, with Waco taking the lead. He indicates the group will need to come around a large rise ahead, and they travel onwards. Reese has noticed his presence in the wilderness is not subtle- as he walks along, everything he touches wilts, fades away and dies. Waco points him away from some important elements and things keep going with relatively little in the way of action.

One of the pack decides he wants to mark a tree and starts to urinate on it. Terrance chides him seriously for this offense- as everything in this world can (and WILL) defend itself. Very shortly after this transgression, the first signs of the Others are seen.

A medium sized pack of hunting dogs descends upon the group- and combat begins. Terrance and Ed make fairly short work of most of the dogs, with the rest of the group embroiled with the remainder. Once they move on, they head into a second wave of hounds. The second wave does very little except frazzle and fatigue the group; which starts to separate into two smaller sections as they divide their attention and energy. TK and Lucky find Reese an especially valuable ally, as he effectively acts as a “plasma battery” for them, and they are able to fuel their abilities with little effort. The Omen pack continues to take down the dogs and the group tries to continue on.

It takes a moment, but Terrance realizes that the Gentry are simply “flushing them out” as Hunters tend to do. He disengages from the hounds and moves ahead in search of the “big threat”. Reese uses his guns and compound bow to very positive effect, and the group slowly makes way for the newly sighted group of Huntsmen. Some of the group are more effective than others- Reese is particularly gifted with his use of a compound bow, taking down a Huntsman and his beast.

The Huntsmen are mounted on horses, and there's a group of about 7 or so. They shoot at the group with arrows and other accoutrements of the hunt,taking the group down one by one. As this occurs, he group is slowly entangled in nets, collars, leashes or shackles. As the collars wrap around the necks of the various denizens of Austin, they become transformed into beagles and hounds. Only Waco, Reese and Terrance are spared this indignity, but all are unconscious at least momentarily.

The group comes to in a large hall inside what appears to be a hunting lodge. At the front of the room are two thrones, side by side. Slightly behind but flanking the thrones are a phalanx of 1500 hound-coyote beings, all of whom have at least some similarity or trait in common with Eile.

From the floor in front of the thrones rises a pedestal with a cage- and inside is a beagle/hound bitch; with a telltale white tip at the end of her tail, with a scent familiar to the Uratha. The cage opens, the collar releases, and the she-creature slowly and hesitatingly emerges from the cage. The cage folds away and the pedestal slides back under the floor, and the beast is transformed (revealed) to be Eile. 

The Master of The Hunt gestures to the gathered group, and speaks directly to Eile. He tells her that they have been brought before her as a gift, and that he is presenting her with  a choice.  He tells Eile that she can chose to go with her family, or leave with the group. 

Eile isn't a really smart girl- she gets by on wit and instinct in most cases. For the time she's been in the Grounds, she's survived the torture and forced birthings through careful remembrance that all things change, and that adaptation is the key to survival. She truly believed an end to her immediate predicament would come, and that with that change some other option would become available. So here in front of her is a choice- to leave with Terrance and his motley gang of "rescuers", or go with her family. 

Terrance IS Eile's family, and she knows she wants to be with him; she feels there is no choice. 

Some other smart soul repeats the offer, and the "too good to be true" element is unveiled. If Eile leaves with the group, the massive ranks of soldiers (which Eile bore) will descend upon them, the Hunt will begin anew, and the entirety of the group will be put at risk of being forever Hunted. If Eile stays, the group goes free without any further claim of ownership nor hint of harm.

Eile looks over the group and sees Reese- a predator who creeped her out, threatened her, and tried to get "too close" to TK when he was in a coma. TK, who Eile had an interesting connection- she used him, offered him plenty of opportunities for violence; yet he dumped her for a wife that might not even be real. There's Ed, who has banned her from his house and regards her as something akin to vermin. There's Raaf, who tried to frame her for murder; but helped Terrance. David, who rejected her advances time and time again; and was an ineffective and cowardly leader. Ginger and Victor; both placeholders in the Omen pack. There's Lucky, who Eile has only met once and does not know; and then there's Waco. Eile had shown him kindness and generosity; but who brought Eile to the Master. Out of the group, the only person who held any importance to her was Terrance, her adopted family and kindred spirit.

The obvious pain of deciding between sacrificing herself and the idea of leaving Arcadia tore over Eile. Terrance makes several comments that specifically cause her anguish, pointing out key words and phrases Eile used frequently in Austin as calling cards and guilty reminders of her true nature. She considered the weight of what she was doing very seriously, and the idea that she could potentially be her own Captor yet again bore down on her heavily.

The Master made a final offer, that if Eile stayed, he would remove the collar from Waco's throat; and Eile is even offered a place to rule her children, with her coerced pregnancies a thing of the past.

The idea of ruling brings out Ed's dominant, rebellious self and he challenges Eile to set her children against the Master and leave with the group; the best of both worlds. Eile knows better than any of the other Lost that setting against a Keeper only turns you into one- perhaps your own. She declines in a very confrontational way and the majority of the group becomes belligerent and agitated. Eile's solder-children feed off her animated state and start to rumble, fidget and stir. Eile quiets them, and realizes the true power she has-

the ability to save Terrance and Waco from her own fate. 

She accepts the "offer" from the Master to stay, and sits upon her newly fashioned pedestal. She then asks (and gains) permission to escort the group to the gate; and extracts the condition that Waco's collar will be removed as well as the group being allowed to safety. A heady and somber reminder that the group remains safe only as long as Eile wishes it (meaning as long as she stays in the Grounds) is warned, and Eile begins witnessing the group's crossing. 

One by one they go back through the thorns, until Terrance is the only one left on her side, and Eile stays collected, but not without work. Terrance understands what she's doing, but he promises not to give up on her. Eile acknowledges this, and tells Terrance not to give up on himself. He walks through the portal, and  Eile watches the doorway close and seal, and she assures its permanent erasure from her side.


  1. Wow! Awesome write up. The last 45 minutes or so were some of the most intense relo-playing that I had ever been a part of.


  2. That? That is, frankly, noble.

    Seconding the 'what's next?'

  3. Tom: thanks very much. It was a deep, intense and personal scene; which is my favorite sort. thank you for being part of it!

    Von: Yes. It was also DIFFICULT because Eile's opportunities to walk towards hope rather than greed have been exceptionally limited, so she's not practiced at looking out for the good rather than herself. This choice really came down to- is she good, or is she selfish?

    Christian and Von: Well, I retired Eile due to being very busy at the store. I'm stepping in to help the ST as a Narrator (rules judge) and assisting with making new characters.

    I've not yet decided if I intend to do write ups as a non-player; I think that whole dynamic would be different.

  4. Well, that can't be fun to have to retire a long-term character due to time constraints. At least with the way Eile retired she can come back later as a Changeling if you get more time.

  5. C'nor: No, it really wasn't fun to decide to do that. However, I talked with the ST about it at length and being able to come back was part of why things shook out the way they did. He's the best! =)

  6. Well, I'm glad things worked out well. :)

    Also, I'm thinking of buying the core rulebook for this. Any advice on making sure I get the right version?

  7. C'Nor: Do you mean Changeling? If so, you want the GREEN book that says Changeling: The Lost. It SHOULD be identifiable as the core book- all the supplements say so on their cover or interior pages.

  8. Actually, I was talking about the core rulebook for WoD. I don't want to end up getting the book and find out that it's a version that's not compatible with the nWoD books.

  9. It's a dark blue/black book. The cover has an image that looks like a person walking in the rain and/or shadows. White lettering, "World of Darkness" on the top.

  10. That sounds like the one that I'm looking at buying then. Thanks!