Made in Abyss

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Made in Abyss
Part of Hail to the Pumpking
Date2082-01-20
GMAsmodeus
LocationThe Depths of the Metaplane of Man
Status Threat Level: Medium
Factions Involved
ShadowHaven Dark Spirits
Babylon Crawler
Gum Toad
Casualties and losses
Crawler
This was an initiation run (metaplanar quest) to acquire an ally spirit formula and change mentor spirits.


Summary

In which Babylon takes an astral journey to the metaplane of man.

Background

In Out Of Place, Out Of Order, Babylon encountered a strange spirit calling itself "Pump King Jack" who claims to have began his existence as a shadow spirit (a Nightmare) before encountering the metaplane of man and taking on aspects of metahumanity into itself. Jack was seeking a living vessel, but was disrupted and sent back to his home plane, and Babylon - curious about the details of his creation and seeking further secret knowledge/power for herself - has amassed enough experience with shadowrunning that she feels confident seeking him out as part of her initiation into the higher mysteries of magic.

The Prepwork

Babylon contacts Juliette Burns, her mentor in the ways of black magic, for advice on how to journey to the metaplanes and make contact with the Dweller at the Threshold, explaining that she wishes to learn the art of Invocation and find the formula for a willing ally among the denizens of the metaplanes. Juliette takes her through the ritual to project herself away from the material plane and offers a bit of advise. After taking loco to put herself in the proper frame of mind, Babylon prepares herself in her lodge and astrally projects, subsuming into the astral plane and journeying to the Dweller.

The Dweller at the Threshold

Finding herself in a starry void with a cyclopian spiral galaxy-sized being, Babylon projects herself towards it but quickly ends up disoriented and lost - worried she won't be able to make it back to her body, she closes her eyes and tries to focus her mind. Opening them, she finds that she has been taken to an otherworldly cavern with the spiral before her. Assensing it, she is stunned by its power and engages in a mental conversation with it. The Dweller questions her motives and goals, asking what she would give up for the power she seeks - she answers confidently, and it seems satisfied, opening the way to the metaplane of man for her. Taking a moment to appreciate the significance of this step, she walks through the threshold and begins her journey.

The Journey

Passing through the misty portal, Babylon ends up in a field with an enormous city on the horizon, noticing that she can now feel her mentor spirit's presence with her. Flying towards the city, she takes in the sights both literal and metaphorical, ending up in an otherworldly bazaar; she looks around and sees a saw-handed merchant butchering fish who seems to have an approachable quality to his aura aura, and strides up to him to ask a few questions about his home. The spirit is friendly enough, making polite conversation has he fillets the still-living fish, and it comes about that he has met Babylon's bound force 1 man spirit which she sent to the metaplane during Out Of Place, Out Of Order to seek information on Pump King Jack's origins. Summoning the small imp-like spirit to her side, she introduces the two and asks about Jack; the spirit tells her that he came from the deep in underground city below their feet, a location where the depths of the metaplane brush up against dark places where evil spirits come from, and that she'll need a smuggler that can get her there. Babylon thanks him for his help and offers a handful of reagents, and he gives her a pair of fish in return.

The mage and her spirit buddy first head to the train station where spirits waiting to come to the material plane wait to be summoned, but find it is full of weak and cowardly spirits who could not find another way - Babylon asks hers how he got to her, and he says he "cut in line", and that any spirit worth summoning finds their own way to get what they want. She nods and decides that he would make for the best guide she can hope to find. They fly together to the first layer of the undercity, where gravity suddenly resumes its hold on her astral form, and she uses the art of channeling to bring him into herself in order to protect him on the journey. Finding a gum toad smuggler who traffics in finding ways for weak low-force spirits to get where they want to go, Babylon tells it of Jack and uses the fish she acquired to bargain for passage to wherever he came from. The gum toad says it can get her there, but she'll have to find her own way back, and demands that she summon several weak spirits when she returns to the material plane so that they will be in its debt. She agrees, handing over a necklace of great importance to her as collateral and warning the gum toad that she will hunt it down if it does not return it when she comes back.

The gum toad sends her the pit - a yawning chasm that seems to be bottomless - and with Chaos urging them on Babylon and her spirit jump down into it, falling for what seems like an eternity before suddenly coming to a stop. They find a dark graveyard full of will-o-wisp-like lights and millions of eyes lurking in the shadows, wandering about and feeling around for Jack's aura or signs of his presence. The familiar fear-tinged aura leads to a fork in the shadowy road, and choosing the left path leads her towards a crawler demon which attempts to devour her, leading to an exchange of mana bolts and astral punches until the tentacled horror disintegrates. Taking the other path, Babylon finds Jack's domain, managing to stay composed despite the palpable fear-inducing aura to the place, and the spirit greats her with warm familiarity quite atypical of its kind.

Babylon asks Jack if he still wants to return to the material world and find a living vessel for himself, offering to learn to prepare one for him if he tells her of his origins and how to master the art of invocation. During the conversation however she feels Chaos pull at her, urging her to learn the secrets herself and not rely on the spirit; Babylon agrees and tells Jack that she will still help him (as she wants to learn to make vessels and master ritual spellcasting, and needs his help to return to the surface), but that she needs to find something else that she came here for. He nods in understanding and takes her and her spirit to a dark lake, rowing them out and urging her to look at her reflection in the surface. She sees herself, or another version of herself, warped by the shadowy surface that eventually takes on a life of its own, reaching out to her - she moves to take its hand, but Chaos holds her back, telling her that it is trying to pull her away from it. Having felt her connection to her mentor weakening as of late after a decade in its company, she tells it that it should embrace change and reaches down to take the new spirit's hand, pulling it into herself as Chaos leaves her to it, leaving a scar on her astral form that the new spirit pours itself into, filling her with the knowledge of its formula in the process.

Gathering up the remnants of what Chaos left in its departure, Babylon thanks Jack and her bound spirit for their help and says she's ready to return to the material plane. Jack takes her back to his domain and invests part of his essence into her aura, briefly tainting it with shadow magic as she feels a weight in her chest, and the three of them leap out of the darkness and back to the surface, journeying to the train station and hitching a ride back home.

Aftermath

Waking back up in her lodge, Babylon coughs up a dark smoke that coalesces into Jack. Realizing she doesn't have her necklace with her, she briefly panics before Jack reaches inside himself and hands it to her, now turned black and bearing an echo of his aura on it. She snatches it back and tells him that she'll hold up her end of their deal, but that she needs time to learn ritual spellcasting, and to process what she went through. He tells her that she can contact him with the necklace, leaving his mark on her lodge as well as he departs into the night to go and stir uptrouble and seek out his crew of disaffected Halloweeners to spread a bit of his brand of fun.

Taking a bit of time to reflect on everything that happened, Babylon writes down the spirit formula she learned and finds that a new presence is with her in place of Chaos, getting to know her new mentor spirit and calling up her metahuman mentor to thank her for her help and to point her towards sources of knowledge on ritual casting. While not yet ready to invest karma into an ally spirit after such a harrowing ordeal (not to mention re-bonding with a new mentor and learning new rituals), Babylon does thank her bound F1 man spirit for accompanying her by re-summoning it as a great form and investing it with Chaos's leftover power.

Rewards

  • Initiation Ordeal (Metaplanar Quest) - IG2 (Invocation)
  • Ally Spirit formula
  • 13 karma
  • 2 CDP
  • Haunted quality for low-level lifestyle
  • Optional Contact: Pump King Jack (C4/L1 Halloweeners Usurper) for 4 RVP or 8 CDP
  • Optional Quality: Sensei (@ chargen price for 5 RVP)

Game Quotes

Player After Action Reports (AARs)

Babylon

Frag, that was a trip. I'm just coming down off the loco now and I'm not even sure how much of it really happened and how much was in my head - I mean, I guess it all technically was, fragging metaphysics... still, it was an experience, to say the least. Seeing actual demonic spirits was pretty harrowing, as was meeting Jack again, but it was worth it for what I learned. Juilette told me to write it all down for later study, and I have that spirit formula for my other self now when I'm ready to try to summon and bind myself to her, plus it seems like something else came back along with Jack in place of Chaos. I'm not sure what to call them yet, but Juilette says she thinks its Seducer and is glad I've finally come over to her way of doing things - I don't know about that really, it's not that I didn't like Chaos, but I could feel him holding me back and it was time for a change. Maybe I'll see what she has to show me though, a new way of doing things couldn't hurt. I guess I should get to actually practicing with these rituals - after a drink or two to celebrate of course.