Ceteri Campaign: S1E4 – Vampires and Demons and sold souls

Dramatis Personae

Kamali Blackshear (18): Kamali is a young boy in his early teens. He is healthy and is of mixed ethnicity of Caucasian South African and native South African. He is a determined youth who believes in a justice of his own, likening himself to the knight of the round whom he has read deeply into. Just as they stood against the darkness of their age so too does Kamali seek to do the same. For his sister, for his friends, and for the world.

Tag: “A knight without a sword carrying a faith nobody believes.”

Lorenzo DeModouco (18): A handsome and charismatic musician. The loss of his parents didn’t dampen his spirits and he soldiered on after their death. He’s the cheery one always trying to make others happy and sometimes spontaneously breaks into song. Perceptive of others and their feelings, Lorenzo is the one who knows what people are thinking by the looks on their face. He’s also a boy scout and is quite comfortable in the wild.

TAG: “He’s a Jukebox Hero. He’s got stars in his eyes. A Jukebox Hero – he’ll make sure you survive.”

Amos M. Humiston (19) – This boy is far from where he started out at the orphanage. His comfortable existence already gone and instead has gotten used to his new life. Not like his brothers, his talents lay more in mental pursuits and has already started towards getting a double Masters degree at a local college aiming for his goal of becoming a research librarian. Following in his family’s footsteps almost unknowingly, he exhibits certain talents towards more occult pursuits such as druidism and alchemy, mixing up herbal supplements and elixers for the team. And while he’s still somewhat still slipping along behind the group, he has become a lot more outgoing with the rest of the Orphans and have started making friends with folks outside his adopted brothers. Always showing concern for them and trying to make sure they know everything that they need to when it comes to the dangers they face.

Tag: “True alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.”

Gabriel MacAlister (18) – Built like the natural athlete he is, he has grown taller, stronger, and more solidly good-looking. A quiet and hard-working lad, always ready to lend a hand with any work, which he will do without complaint or obligating the other person to respond. He is an expert martial arts teacher, and has been following in the footsteps of a carpenter for some time now. Emphatically not a pushover or weak personality, but also not one to purposefully show off. Has been in many horrible places and seen many horrible things; he’s a bit of a compulsive planner as a result, as well as always feeling that most folks don’t really know how lucky they are. He lost a leg fighting zombies; he got an artificial replacement and kept on fighting the good fight.

Tag: “To serve others is the highest calling; to protect the meek the noblest endeavor, and our works are judged by the effort that went into them”

Timothy I Mitchell (19): Timothy possess an honest if forgettable face. He tends towards comfortable, though inexpensive clothing and durable running shoes, rounding off his typical attire is a deep pocketed jacket and a backpack slung over one shoulder. Timothy appears to be a poster-boy for bad kids, often finding himself in trouble with any and all forms of authority. A victim of neglect, driven to never become a victim again he often acts seemingly on impulse, taking any dare or challenge in his stride. Timothy doesn’t have friends, not in any real sense. Too few of the people who enter his orbit can deal with him in anything more than bite sized pieces, a fact which only further frustrates the young teenager.

Tag: “Darkness is within all of us, it’s how you use that darkness that matters”

Curses and Their Removal

The group had planned to investigate the twelve engines that had been sent to some nefarious character, but as they’re deploying, the get a call from Carl. Gabe has come into the safe house, and blood from Gabe is flowing off of him into the sword he’s clutching in his hands, hugging it to him like a very violent steel teddy bear. He’s barely conscious, and operating on a near-feral level. Wounds and not-wound injuries are both draining into the very thirsty sword.

There are black veins coming from his hand. When Kamali tries to shake Gabe awake, there’s a response as if he’d love to bisect Kamali in half . . . but the sword is just too thirsty to let the blade move from the blood. The motion is suppressed – not by Gabe’s choice.

The team looks to cast the separation ritual to separate him from his sword. But . . . that’s going to take too long, they decide. Timothy of the fast knives just goes to lop off Gabe’s hand. The swords blurs in automatic response, and cuts one of Timothy’s favorite knives in half. Timothy blames Gabe for this. “Oh, Gabe is going to pay for that knife.”

Well, they decide, let’s to the curse removal ritual. They do the spell, and separate him from the sword, wrapping the blade in white silk. They think about brought about the sword’s transformation, and come up with it seemed to transform in the cave when Gabe rescued Dierdre.

Gabe comes around slowly. The first thing he hears is “You f**king owe me, brother” as he kicks the pieces of his bisected knife towards Gabe. Gabe, confused, pulls out his wallet, which Timothy relieve him of quickly. This somehow seems oddly correct to Gabe at the moment. He’s feeling hungry. And poor.

Timothy pointedly reminds me that I killed his good knife. And that no, he’s not going to loan me money for a Chicken Burrito. Anyway, the team is uncertain whether Gabe is at 100% and more of a liability than is worth taking to go after the engines. Kamali goes for some mental mojo – reading aura, holding hands . . . it’s a very tender moment.

Kamali sees Gabe slaughtering pale folks. He’s pretty sure they’re vampires. The way the sword gets you is by helping you go after things you hate; once the hooks are in, you start hating everything.

Kamali goes full psychobabble on Gabe. There’s an analogy to the Emperor and Luke and Darth Vader somewhere in there. We decide there might be a story in that, but why ruin a perfectly good villain by dwelling excessively on a backstory?

In any case, Kamali has SeekerSense, and he can use the blood to track; the blood and the engines are kind of the same directions.

The Firehouse Ghost (and they were monster hunters) says “you’re going to fight vampires with THAT?” looking at Kamali’s assault rifle and machete. He sighs, walks over to a wall, and pushes a panel. The wall opens. We see a fresco of the order of St Eustace. Hunters. Trappers. Firefighters. One of the few soldier-saints.

The door opens into another room which looks a lot like Myriam’s mysterious disappearing room from whence the sword came. Gabe gets a quick download on Myriam’s confusing and secret history. Another wizard with a secret history and questionable past filled with pursuits of power. Hmm.

Timothy suggests we talk to the “f**king ghost” about the best way to hunt vampires. The ghost takes a quick inventory of our current weaponry. He suggests shotguns if we can get them, high-caliber weaponry if we can’t. And spears. They would keep the vamp away with a spear. Then blast off important bits.

We get a quick download on vampires and their weaknesses

  • Hawthorne, greenheart wood, and silver stops them from regenerating
  • Holy attacks and fire will hurt them, as will sunlight
  • Immersion in natural water or sunlight is extremely dangerous to them
  • They will be uncomfortable around natural running water

Gabe stumbles across a whole drawer of ammunition that looks like silver and wood and garlic slugs for shotguns. We also are well supplied with silver knives.

A few things strike was weird: hard-cased shotguns shells with glyphs on them. Also some liquid-suspension rounds with garlic, water, wood chips, sliver. . . called “The Works.”

We spend a LONG time kitting up. Timothy is honking the horn with a “get this the f**k on with it” thing. Naturally, the spectral dog jumps into the car. Through the door. 

We head to the location. We decide “bring one alive; the rest? Toast.”

Lorenzo and Gabe are on point. Amos is taking care of the trees. “He don’t have no weapons, just a slingshot!”

We head over to the site. Windows blacked out. We enter through a garage door, and there’s a one-armed vampire sleeping on the bar. Lorenzo runs up and stabs him with a spear for 9 impaling. Others, including Gabe, follow up with various nasty attacks to vital bits. Still – unliving, so not much additional damage. We pin him in place, but then the garage door starts to slam down, catchign Amos’ hand underneath. His hand is trapped under the garage door.

Timothy: “Amos. Stop f**king around. Lift the door.”

The spectral dog tries to run through the door . . . and bursts into blue flame, running away, yipping. Timothy makes a mental note to steal a piece of the door for later anti-dog operations.

Lorenzo passes, but Kamali decides to place the barrel of his shotgun against the guy’s head, and pull the trigger. The vampire has expired. It is now dead.

And then vampires drop or rise from freaking everywhere. Gabe gets hit on his left hand for 5 HP of injury; not crippled. Kamali gets his leg crippled.

Gabe invokes Smite. 2d6 burning damage to everyone within . . . hrm. Usually Range 4, but for some reason, Range 2; he steps into close combat and delivers 10 points of holy fire to three targets. They are not amused. They’re not dead or incapacitated, but they’re not amused.

We continue to fight; Timothy is struggling with the doors. Gabe gets grappled from behind. Kamali spends fatigue and other things to avoid being grappled. Gabe invokes Smite again, and my assailant bursts into flame. But hangs on, making my back really hot. Apparently it’s time to stop, drop, and roll.

We continue to fight. A vampire is attacked, dodges and drops, fast-draws a shotgun from under the counter, and acrobatically kips up. He tries to shoot Gabe, who goes full Neo and dodges. He sheds the grapple of the burning vampire limbs, and tries to stab the vampire 2 yards away. He crit fails and falls down. Oops.

Timothy goes through a window, and hurls a stake at the vampire’s face; the vamp grabs it out of the air. Seizing what is hopefully a moment of distraction, Kamali takes aim for the face of Vampy McGrabbypants.

We smell rotting flesh coming from map-south.

The vampire that caught the stake tries to pin Lorenzo to the floor with the wooden stake. An acrobatic dodge later, Lorenzo jumps down and dodges.

Kamali finally gets a chance to shoot a vamp in the face and hits.

Oh, and big nasty thing. Stitched from multple corpses. Amalgam of many parts. 9-10′ tall, putrid, SM +1. And fast. It comes running at Gabe. It slashes him for 12 damage, 10 absorbed by armor, and 3 injury get through. A toxic attack is shrugged off with enough margin that I might well be immune. Gabe strikes back: a hit for 9 cut and 1d flaming damage, which comes up a 1. This is an abbatoir demon; a body is built for it which the demon occupies. It’s weak to holy water.

Timothy moves around to the back of the thing; he makes a deal with the unholy knife to take the soul of the demon. The knife says “The pact . . . is sealed!” Kamali and Gabe can both hear this, somehow. He stabs it right in the chest, and it folds around the knife, dying.

So, net/net: dead demon. Several deep sleeping vamps. One captured vamp. We do a purification on the giant pentagram/summoning circle. There were wards set up against us. But we managed to clear the hall.

***

We end there. We head back to the firehouse. We meet Desire, who looks like she’s ready to collapse. Check that: she actually collapses. Oh, this is going to be one of those conversations later.

 

 

 

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